Episode 33 – David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This is the podcast dedicated to The Criterion Collection. Rudie Obias, Ryan Gallagher & James McCormick discuss Criterion News & Rumors and Criterion New Releases, they also analyze, discuss & highlight Criterion #476, David Fincher’s 2008 film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, along with ‘Variations On a Theme’.

This Week’s Variations on a Theme: Undying Love in Movies

What do you think of their show? Please send them your feed back: [email protected] or call their voicemail line @ 347.878.3430 or follow them on twitter @CriterionCast or Comment on their blog, http://CriterionCast.com.

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They broadcast every episode LIVE on UStream every Friday @ 7pm EST/4pm PST. Join in on the conversation @ CriterionCast.com/LIVE

Our next episode they will highlight and discuss Criterion #321 Ingmar Bergman’s 1960 film, The Virgin Spring.

Add It To Your Netflix Queue & Available on Netflix Watch Instantly.

Show Notes:

(00:00 – 01:02; David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – CC #476)

(01:03 – 01:19; “A United Theory” by God Help The Girl)

(01:20 – 01:59; The CriterionCast – Episode 033 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – CC #476)

(02:00 – 02:04; News & Rumors)

(02:05 – 12:57; Roger Ebert hates 3-D, What About You?)

(12:58 – 17:29; Avatar Breaks New Records With DVD and Blu-Ray Sales)

(17:30 – 20:33; Gucci To Help Restore La Dolce Vita and The Leopard)

(20:34 – 27:32; Criterion New Releases)

(27:33 – 28:44; Break Music by Carlos Segovia)

(28:45 – 1:16:30; David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – CC #476)

(1:16:31 – 1:17:27; Break Music by Carlos Segovia)

(1:17:28 – 1:19:00; Travis George’s Update From The Road)

(1:19:01 – 1:20:46; Variations On a Theme – Undying Love in Movies)

(1:20:47 – 1:24:19; Away From Her – Rudie Obias)

(1:24:20 – 1:30:49; The Fountain – Ryan Gallagher)

(1:30:50 – 1:37:24; The Princess Bride – James McCormick)

(1:37:25 – 1:38:29; Wrap Up & Contact Info)

(1:38:30 – 1:38:47; Music Credits)

(1:38:48 – 1:38:56; Broadcasting Live Every Friday On UStream)

(1:38:57 – 1:39:09; Next – Ingmar Bergman’s 1960 film, The Virgin Spring)

(1:39:10 – 1:39:23; Follow Along With Us @ CriterionCast.com/Schedule)

(1:39:24 – 1:39:31; Goodbyes)

(1:39:32 – 1:40:14; “Working Poor” by Horse Feathers)

(1:40:15 – 1:41:22; Outtakes!!)

Music Credits:

Intro Music by God Help The Girl. Learn more on iTunes and their website, GodHelpTheGirl.com.

Break Music by Carlos Segovia. Learn more @ GhostRamps.com.

Outro Music by Horse Feathers. Learn more on iTunes and their MySpace Page, MySpace.com/HorseFeathersMusic.

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6 Comments

  • A great episode but one which I was a bit disturbed by the fact that someone's opinion was put aside and suggested that the film in question, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was a film, if not liked in general, the viewer must be crazy or even dumb to think otherwise. I'm surprised by that sentiment, considering the previous week's episode about The Last Temptation of Christ was also not liked by someone, but instead was welcomed with that opinion. I felt bad and almost cringed when James mentioned he didn't like this film, which many people agree with his opinion in the critic world, it seemed like he couldn't get a word in edgewise. I know film conversations get heated, it's a way of life with us film fanatics. But I would appreciate if each of your hosts got a fair share to speak about their opinion of any film in an episode. I know Rudie is a bigger host than that. I would hate to see this podcast being one I give up on because of ill will. Thanks for your time.

  • Jonathan,

    I certainly hope we don't come off as dismissive when countering arguments on the podcast. I know that sometimes I can get too excited about making a point, or arguing loudly. I'll have to go back to re-listen to what was said.

    I once felt that this movie was a complete mess, and entirely unoriginal. After repeated viewings of the film and the supplemental materials, I've found it to be very enjoyable.

    I enjoy our podcasts more when we disagree, as we tend to suss out what we really like or dislike in the movie when we are confronted by differing points of view.

    Please continue to call us on our faults though, as this is the only way we can improve our discussions.

    Thank you for your feedback.

  • Rudie, I have to go with James (And Travis!) on this. I found this movie to be assembled rather sloppily, composed primarily of sap and fluff. I mean, it's not horrible- but mediocre at absolute best, visuals aside (and of course, brilliant visuals don't save a bad script or lame dialogue). It's clearly Oscar bait, intended to be a sentimental tear-jerker, but it fails to really say anything other than what's the on the surface. Benjamin is almost too good, too sweet. Daisy's motivations are…unclear and confusing, her character muddled and undeveloped. Benjamin's mother is one dimensional, just a bank of what they must have hoped would be the next “Life is like a box of chocolates”-type catchphrases. The movie spends too long on the middle of his life, so by the time it was at the end I had nearly forgotten he had a problem and was completely disconnected with the rest of the story. Really the film is too long in general- 40 minutes too long. I could have done without the secondary narrative of Cate Blanchet mumbling incoherently and poor Julia Ormond, who only got to read and smoke a cigarette the whole film- all against a rather exploitative background of Hurricane Katrina which does nothing for the film other than to say “Look, Hurricane Katrina!”

    I found it funny the sound clip you use for the intro, as that was the part that I hated the most. The “outro” of all the characters doesn't fall within either the first or secondary narratives. It's not in the diary- so where does it come from? And “some people know buttons”? Are you kidding me? And I hate that hummingbird so much, words can not contain. It might as well been the 3 'toons from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. “Hi Benny! Bye Benny!”

  • i just now got around to listening to this episode and i didn't find it to be more confrontational or caustic than any other episode. however, i did find that the episode continues a trend that i, personally, find disturbing when i listen to the criterioncast.

    now, let me preface this by stating and re-affirming my appreciation for what you guys are doing here and how much i usually enjoy your varying opinions on film. i tend to disagree with a large number of the opinions put forth on the criterioncast, but i enjoy hearing everyone's point of view.

    a few of the things that somewhat distract from my enjoyment follow: this episode is a good example of the on-going trend of “interruption” in the podcast. it is going to happen if you put two or more people together that are passionate about what they are discussing, but there are far too many times where someone is making what i consider an interesting point, or even an uninteresting point and get interrupted with no chance of return to the original thought. a lot of times these interruptions are either made by someone who is saying (or defending) the exact same thing that they themselves already said previously, or the person doing the interruptions can't get their point across without verbally stuttering and stumbling their way through. i think that a lot could be gained if there were more courtesy when it comes to these weekly discussions. these bursts can't really be justified under the umbrella of “disagreements” or “differing viewpoints” as much as they just come across as conversational posturing. i am sure that you guys don't mean to come off as argumentative or combative, but it can be difficult for listeners to overcome that perception. there are a million interpretations out there in the world, so it shouldn't be too difficult to let three people state theirs in a complete and unfettered manner.

    now that i have whined about that topic so much i probably shouldn't bring up the other issues i had with the episode. perhaps if they continue to affect my enjoyment, i will shoot out an email in a less public manner .haha.

    remember, i enjoy your show, so this is coming from a place of love. a love of being an elitist film snob.

    oh yeah, also, the curious case of benjamin button is THE epitome of oscar bait for me. well-made, entertaining, and blande beyond all that is holy. just my 83 cents.

  • i just now got around to listening to this episode and i didn't find it to be more confrontational or caustic than any other episode. however, i did find that the episode continues a trend that i, personally, find disturbing when i listen to the criterioncast.

    now, let me preface this by stating and re-affirming my appreciation for what you guys are doing here and how much i usually enjoy your varying opinions on film. i tend to disagree with a large number of the opinions put forth on the criterioncast, but i enjoy hearing everyone's point of view.

    a few of the things that somewhat distract from my enjoyment follow: this episode is a good example of the on-going trend of “interruption” in the podcast. it is going to happen if you put two or more people together that are passionate about what they are discussing, but there are far too many times where someone is making what i consider an interesting point, or even an uninteresting point and get interrupted with no chance of return to the original thought. a lot of times these interruptions are either made by someone who is saying (or defending) the exact same thing that they themselves already said previously, or the person doing the interruptions can't get their point across without verbally stuttering and stumbling their way through. i think that a lot could be gained if there were more courtesy when it comes to these weekly discussions. these bursts can't really be justified under the umbrella of “disagreements” or “differing viewpoints” as much as they just come across as conversational posturing. i am sure that you guys don't mean to come off as argumentative or combative, but it can be difficult for listeners to overcome that perception. there are a million interpretations out there in the world, so it shouldn't be too difficult to let three people state theirs in a complete and unfettered manner.

    now that i have whined about that topic so much i probably shouldn't bring up the other issues i had with the episode. perhaps if they continue to affect my enjoyment, i will shoot out an email in a less public manner .haha.

    remember, i enjoy your show, so this is coming from a place of love. a love of being an elitist film snob.

    oh yeah, also, the curious case of benjamin button is THE epitome of oscar bait for me. well-made, entertaining, and blande beyond all that is holy. just my 83 cents.

Comments are closed.