Curious Case Of Benjamin Button DVD Cover Art
SRP $36.99 2.40:1(16:9) Dolby Digital 5.1 PARAMOUNT
 
Curious Case Of Benjamin Button BRAY Cover Art
SRP $39.99 2.40:1 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 PARAMOUNT
 

This reviewer has to admit being much less enthralled with "THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON" than most were, going by the huge amount of Oscar nominations it received. It's hard to conceive that the script was adapted from a "short story" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, because nothing about the film feels short! While it's easy to appreciate the hard work that Director David Fincher and others put into it, it's laborious to sit through, in spite of its often beautiful images and note-worthy performances.
 
Brad Pitt stars as the title character, a baby left on the doorsteps of a nursing home by his father, after being shocked by its appearance, that of a baby with the features and limitations of an old man. As time progresses, Benjamin ages in reverse. The older Benjamin gets, the younger his characteristics and abilities. So, while his "teen" years are marred by Benjamin barely being able to walk upright without the aid of a walker or cane, his latter years allow him to look and move like an agile "Brad Pitt!"  The pretty young girl Benjamin has come to know as an old looking child ages correctly so that Benjamin and her end up mid-way looking and feeling age-appropriate at just the right time in their lives for the film to offer a romantic layer to the film that succeeds during their later scenes together. Benjamin's life has its share of grandiose moments, whether travelling across oceans, or experiencing moments and interludes often lacking in other's lives. Still, for some unfathomable reason, many critics/fans of the film like to emphasize that other than the "reverse" aging, Benjamin's life is not larger-than-life than most of humanity and this feels intellectually and visably dishonest! Perhaps even more frustrating, the filmmaker and star have been steadfast during their Charlie Rose interview, in proclaiming the film doesn't attempt to offer "deep insight" into the human condition, and is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated as entertainment without profound revelations. So, why so much deep analysis by so many critics!
 
As entertainment, "THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON" is "ok" at best! It's not a bad film, but it's certainly hard to describe a film that moves so sluggishly as entertaining.  Running close to three hours, one does appreciate the significance behind the minutes making up life, more by the wonder of how much longer the film has, more than any provocative layers within the film's narrative! 
 
Also, the bookcase sub-plot encasing the film's beginning and end, with ties to Hurricane Katrina, feel completely heavy-handed and unnecessary.  Sure, there are those who will undoubtedly love "THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON," but there are arguably many more that will be bored by it.
 
PARAMOUNT/CRITERION have provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for the (16:9 enhanced)dvd and 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray.  It's a flawless transfer, showcasing the best potentail of both formats. Fincher has given the film a design that is intentionally varying in quality. Some scenes taking place in the past, are given a rough, gritty, marred appearance, wherein colors are pushed to the utmost in vibrancy or restrained. However, all of these scenes are exactly reflective of the original cinematic presentation. Detail is often staggering!  Whether in the smoky setting of a New Orleans brothel or the open-air of a boat taking off to sea, the exquisite detail of every stitch of cloth on the actors, wall texture and more, jumps off the screen with astounding depth. The dvd image does an outstanding job in replicating the theatrical experience, however darker scenes lack the flawless detail found on blu-ray, and while the majority of dvd scenes look great, they're notably limited in comparison to what the higher resolution of the blu-ray offers, in virtually every scene.
 
PARAMOUNT/DREAMWORKS has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd.  While both mixes create an immersive experience, the lossy mix offers notably deeper bass, and far many more effective nuances are apparant that are completely lacking on standard dolby digital 5.1  If one didn't hear the HD mix, the dvd mix showcases one of the greatest 360 degree environments ever offered. However, upon hearing the lossy mix, and the perfect balance of music, dialogue and discrete effects within it, the desire for the blu-ray version should be palpable to everyone!
 
The extras found on both formats are impressive.  Along with a terrific, insightful commentary by Fincher, a lengthy documentary, succeeds at continously intriguing the viewer in a manner which the film couldn't achieve. It delves into virtually every possible component of filmmaking, including interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, costuming, visual effects and much, much more.  These are offered in 1080i on blu-ray.