Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Curious Case of My Disappearing $19

SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know how Brad Pitt’s movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ends, don’t read any further. However it must be mentioned that if you can’t figure out how a movie about a man aging in reverse ends, your powers of deduction are woefully limited and you should see someone about that, like your mom or your third grade school teacher because you should get your tax dollars back.

Let me start by saying that I don’t mean to be a trendsetter (although I do take credit for the popularity of the “high and tight” haircut in my elementary school), so my point here isn’t to prevent you from seeing the movie. I’m just saying after you do see it don’t come back to me saying, “YOU FILTHY SON OF A BITCH. That’s three hours of my life I’ll never have back. NEVERRRR!” Okay?

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before Brooke doesn’t like to know what movies are about before seeing them. Going off only the title (and the fact that the movie was released just in time for the holidays) she assumed the film was about a young British boy who loses his favourite teddy bear and must search for clues to his disappearance in order to find him.

In hindsight, this would have been an infinitely better movie. Teddy bears? Cute. Boy detectives? Goldmine. British people? Clever.

But no. Instead the producers decided to go with an awkward love story about a man who ages backwards, a woman who ages forwards, and a bunch of people who don’t see very much wrong with this situation. What could go wrong!?

Umm . . .

Problem #1: When I finally told Brooke the premise so she wouldn’t bug me throughout the entire movie asking where the teddy bear was, she seemed incredulous.

Brooke: “But how is he born? Like, does he come out a full-sized old man?”
Me: “I’m sure they won’t actually show him being born. They’ll just start the movie and he’ll kind of already be there.”
Brooke: “Yeah, it’d be ridiculous to do it any other way.”
Me: “Totally.”


Act 1, Scene 1 – The baby is born an old man. Like out of a vagina. A wrinkled old-man baby that looks like a cross between George Burns and a shaved Pug. Not cool, Brad Pitt. Not cool.

Problem #2: Unless you’re making niche porn (preferably Japanese) it’s never really okay to hint at a sexual relationship between an elderly man and a pre-teen. Even if what you’re trying to suggest is that the eternal bonds of love defy age and circumstance, what you’re really doing is making everyone uncomfortable. By the time they’ve reversed rolls and the elderly woman is making out with an infant, I was practically in tears, albeit tears of shame because it was actually kind of hot.

Problem #3: You could spend the entire movie trying to do the math on how old Brad Pitt is supposed to be and never come to a definitive conclusion. I know this for a fact because it’s exactly what I did. More than once I completely zoned out trying to gauge Pitt’s age by the severity of his wrinkles, and then do some reverse math to calculate Cate Blanchett’s age.

The furthest I got in my calculations was figuring out that Brad Pitt looked way too fucking old. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story on which the movie is based is supposed to take place between 1860 and 1910. That’s 50 years. This movie starts in 1921 (liars) and supposedly goes into the 70’s. Now I get that Pitt’s character doesn’t have the benefit of modern cosmetics like under eye cream, but no one looks that old at 50. I mean, that’s like ancient Mayan 50.

(On the right)

Problem #4:

Making movies where actors look different than themselves is stupid. (Oh no! I hurt the make-up artist feelings!) Seriously though, I’m not a gay man but that doesn’t change the fact that Brad Pitt is fucking HAND-SOME and the most interesting part of the movie is when Brad Pitt looks like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett looks like a hotter version of Cate Blanchett. (There’s a bone, make-up artists.)

What they should have done is filmed the movie over the 80-year span of Brad Pitt’s life so it was always Brad Pitt. Baby Brad Pitt, teenage Brad Pitt, studly 20-something Brad Pitt, elderly Brad Pitt – you get the idea. And that idea is that I am a genius before my time.

Problem #5: Seriously, no on thinks it’s strange that he’s aging in reverse? Scientists? Oprah? No one? I know you’re supposed to suspend reality for these things, but there’s only so far you can go with it. Like, I couldn’t make a movie called Poopman (about a man covered in poop) and not have at least one or two characters comment on how awful he smells. It just can’t happen.

All in all, the best part of the movie was when the ticket clerk charged me only $19 for two tickets – a student rate! It looks like that under eye cream is really paying off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

didn't he write the journal in 1985 when he was in his teens? he was older than 50 in the beginning.

January 7, 2009 at 11:27:00 AM EST  
Blogger Meg said...

I hadn't planned on seeing the movie because the sight of Old Brad Pitt wigs me out. A lot. Yes, I would dump him for a younger hotter man when he hits 60. Based on your synopsis, I think I will see this movie, on dvd of course, out of, how do you say, train-wreck curiosity.

January 7, 2009 at 11:39:00 AM EST  
Blogger Leezer said...

i once fell in love with a man covered in poop - our love didn't last because of society's prejudices . . poopman, i still love you!

i agree SO MUCH with you on this. i don't even want to see the movie. it's pretty transparent that the point is, "love transcends the physical." we get it. let's take that thought to its logical conclusion, then. you could have a film about a man falling in love with an ottoman, a pus-filled boil, 4A explosives, etc. etc. . . .

January 7, 2009 at 12:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger Not The Rockefellers said...

I wasn't going to see that movie because I detest the word button.

Now I have a much better, saner reason for eschewing it.

But Poopman? Now that's a movie that sounds like a real pissah!

Peace - Rene

January 7, 2009 at 12:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger ruby said...

my brain almost exploded trying to do the math through the whole thing. slammming a glass of wine at 3pm in the afternoon before viewing it didn't really help either.

at any rate, i actually did love it. especially teenage brad pitt. ME-OW!!!

January 7, 2009 at 12:52:00 PM EST  
Blogger SassyTwoSocks said...

Everyone I know says this movie was not that great. Yet it's up for like dozens of awards. I don't get it.

January 7, 2009 at 2:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Raven said...

Sassy, Its not hard to be the best movie of 2009 seven days into it.

January 7, 2009 at 3:52:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed (out loud!) at the "on the right".

January 7, 2009 at 5:25:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WWI in 1918, Katrina was in 2005.
And Brad Pitt is so hot as a young-ified version that my three sisters and I were in tears, wishing he could really reverse his age for a decade and not be too old for us.
Each, not collectively - because that would be lesbian incest, and incest is still incest no matter which way you swing.

January 7, 2009 at 6:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger emertron said...

If you're really itching to see a movie about poop, I recommend Monsturd.

January 7, 2009 at 10:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger ms. undastood said...

Yeah I went to go see it also, well I was forced to go see with a group a friends, hell I thought we were going to see the Tom Cruise movie. But anyways, I thought it was an ok movie, it kind of made me think about Forrest Gump a little bit. Like In the beginning Forrest had issues he could not walk normal and he also fell in love with a girl at a young age. However, lets not dismiss the fact that in the case of Ben Button it was a little weird cause he was so old looking acting so young. And then in Forrest Gump, Forrest went to war and traveled the world ( or more so the United States) and so did Ben. And then in the end he they both had children. It was like the same type of story with like different scripts to me.

January 7, 2009 at 11:59:00 PM EST  
Blogger Chelsea McNabb said...

ok fine I admit it... I liked it.

January 8, 2009 at 1:10:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crap. I have spent the first few workdays of 2009 successfully avoiding hours of work by reading your blog. And now I have finished reading all of the old posts. So if you could just start posting, say, 5 times a day? That'd be great. Thanks.

- Yasmin

January 8, 2009 at 2:51:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your disdain for this movie but I absolutely LOVED it. What can be bad about watching Brad Pitt get hotter and hotter? Sure it creeped me out when he was old but yowzah - he is a tasty morsel. It didnt hurt that the story line facsinated me and I thought it was well acted too - Cate Blanchet was remarkable.

Quit being a hater - it was fabulous and you know it. Nothing with Brad Pitt is bad - remember that!

January 8, 2009 at 9:54:00 AM EST  
Blogger 00Frog said...

Just another confirmation that I will in no way be going to see this. I was already turned off after reading the short story (available online in Project Gutenberg: which I found very uncomfortable. It seems the movie doesn't follow it all that closely, but would be uncomfortable in a different way...

January 8, 2009 at 10:57:00 AM EST  
Blogger LiLu said...

I've been so confused ever since I saw the first preview for this movie, and you just confirmed every single one of my suspicions. Wasn't he a hobbit at one point? It would have been way better if he grew from a hobbit to The Rock, or something.

January 8, 2009 at 11:10:00 AM EST  
Blogger David said...

I completely agree with you! This movie made me so angry for 4 reasons:

1. It was almost 3 hours long! Holy shit...that is not cool.

2. They NEVER explain WHY he was born old. I mean, come on. If you expect me to sit here and watch this, I need a REAL reason of why this happened.

3. He was only supposed to be 50!!!??? He looked damn near 90 as an old man. How did I not pick up on that?

4. He boned the old ladies whose hair he was cutting! Oh, that was the Zohan bad.

2 tickets at a student rate is $19 there? Holy crap - they are like $12 (for 2) here. Maybe you should move to Texas next?

January 8, 2009 at 12:09:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Maggie said...

The lesson I'm taking away from this is that when I want to see hot, young Brad Pitt, I'll just rent Thelma and Louise and A River Runs Through It again.

January 8, 2009 at 12:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Alex K said...

on the other hand, the post wouldnt have been nearly as funny had the movie been good. so it all evens out.

January 8, 2009 at 5:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger Abigail Road said...

Thank you for this. I've been trying to decide if I wanted to see this, knowing full well it's one of those movies that would just piss me off. Born an old man? Gimme a break!

Now, I know all I needed to know, and I can save myself some money.

January 9, 2009 at 3:33:00 AM EST  
Blogger sid said...

Brad Pitt old ... don't think I can stomach the thought

January 9, 2009 at 5:24:00 AM EST  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

I saw Bolt with the Girlfriend the other day. And by "the Girlfriend", I don't mean Brooke, I mean my girlfriend, who's not imaginary and not from Canada, I swear. It's a good date movie and my GF even cried at one point in the movie (it's hard not to become emotionally attached to cartoon dogs, cats and hamsters).

I had no desire to ever see a Brad Pitt movie (I saw Legends of the Fall and think that if you grew up in a family where Brad Pitt was the tough brother, you have a problem), and I don't think your review of this movie changed my mind.

January 9, 2009 at 10:47:00 AM EST  
Blogger BSH ADMIN said...

"You not like other children, Benjamin. You a MAN-CHILD."

January 9, 2009 at 11:05:00 AM EST  
Blogger Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!

January 9, 2009 at 12:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amber said...

Well, I still want to see it, but keep the hilarious reviews coming. And I usually agree with your taste in media, so if I hate it, I will have only myself to blame.

January 9, 2009 at 3:57:00 PM EST  
Blogger Allison Hatfield said...

i also spent the better part of the movie trying to calculate brad pitt's age in relation to cate's age. but at least you didn't have to spend the rest of the movie explaing to someone that, "no, this is not based on a true story."

January 9, 2009 at 5:23:00 PM EST  
Blogger LC said...

You need to read this:

I hadn't even thought about it, but the movie is like Forrest gump.

It was OK, but kind of meh.

And I agree, the highlight of the movie was when Brad Pitt was in his prime years. YUM

January 10, 2009 at 12:26:00 AM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

And Hollywood screws F. Scott Fitzgerald yet again.
The more I think about this movie, the sadder it makes me.
ALSO... what was with the stupid clock? Was it supposed to tie in the Benjamin Button in any significant way? Never explained... really, and just turned into a two hour ordeal better spent, I don't know, chain smoking in the bathroom or something.

January 10, 2009 at 6:19:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Snob said...

lol. i do love fitzgerald but have absolutely no interest in seeing this film... and the line about the 50 year old looking like an ancient mayan: golden.

January 11, 2009 at 5:04:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marinka said...

I can't believe he was born vaginally. Hell, C-section!

January 12, 2009 at 8:49:00 AM EST  
Blogger Dana said...

You really need to get some sort of rating system Dan. And in case I just confused you, I want us to be able to rate your posts. E.G.

I just gave you 5 asterisks because this post was awesome.

p.s. I don't think Brad Pitt is attractive. He was pretty good looking 10 years ago, but now he just looks like my cousin Steve.

January 13, 2009 at 9:57:00 AM EST  
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May 1, 2009 at 11:24:00 PM EDT  

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