The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review
Roger Keen has already reviewed this film for DVD Times and as I think his piece admirably covers its strengths and weaknesses, I will direct you to it here. My own view tallies more or less with Roger's, although I was a little less enamoured with Brad Pitt's performance which struck me as rather narcissistic. I do, however, highly commend Fincher's typically exquisite filmmaking and the absolutely stunning cinematography by Claudio Miranda. It's certainly a film to be seen even if you come away thinking that the whole is rather less than the sum of its parts.
The DVD under review is the Region 2 SD edition from Warner Brothers which contains the film and a commentary track from David Fincher. There is a 2-disc R2 Blu-Ray release available with extra special features and a Region 1 release available from Criterion.
The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and has been anamorphically enhanced. On the whole, it's a lovely transfer and while I'm sure the Blu-Ray will better it on several levels, viewers of the DVD have little to complain about. There occasionally seems a little too much texturing on the screen; more than you'd expect from ordinary film grain. But the all-important colours are a treat for the eye and there's loads of detail throughout.
There are two Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in English and Italian. It's not a film which is likely to blow the listener away with surround effects but the track is subtle and effective, allowing the beautiful music score by Alexandre Desplat to embrace you and draw you in. When the track does open up, the surrounds and bass are used very effectively.
As stated above, the only extra feature is a commentary track from David Fincher. It's an excellent listen; Fincher manages to fill the two and half hours with ease. He spends much time on the technical side of the film and it's fascinating to see who many CGI effects were used in places where they go unnoticed.
There are optional subtitles for the film but not for the commentary.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a peculiar film which lingers in the mind long after it has finished. I found myself torn between admiration and frustration but this leads me to wonder whether another viewing might bring me down on one side or the other. This R2 DVD presents the film well but fans will, naturally, want to check out the three hours worth of special features on the R1 disc or on the R2 Blu-Ray.