Benjamin Button

Last night I got a chance to see a screening for the new film coming out Christmas Day, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. If you’ve seen the previews, it’s the peculiar film with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett where Pitt plays Benjamin Button, a person who ages “backwards.” He was born old and wrinkled, and “grew” younger each day of his life.

The film was truly remarkable. It started with a very “Forest Gump” feel, with plenty of humor and heart. Unique creative storytelling… like nothing I’ve ever seen. Then it transitioned into a romance much like “The Notebook.”

I really enjoyed the film, and I can see why it’s getting so much Oscar buzz. Pitt was amazing. But Pitt is always amazing. Don’t discount his talent because of his pretty boy appearance or his reputation in the tabloids. Pitt has proven himself over the years with a range of roles and accents (think of the range from Kalifornia to 12 Monkeys, Meet Joe Black, Snatch, etc.).

Blanchett was equally good. It took me over half an hour to recognize her under the makeup of an elderly woman- the makeup and special effects in this film were mesmerizing. (You’ve seen films where you could tell that someone young was playing someone old. Not in this film.)

So, was it one of my favorites of 2008? No. It was a little long, and slow at parts. And I have nothing against long films. Several of my favorite films of all time are over three hours long (i’ll share those in my podcast tomorrow). This film was 2 hours and forty five minutes. In its defense, I didn’t look at my watch once until an hour and forty minutes. After a 10 minute lull, it had my interest back for another 35 minutes and I looked at my watch again.

It was good… just not the best of 2008. I’ll be sharing my top films of 2008 in our podcast coming out tomorrow on our podcast page.

It’s not for kids. Sensual at times (like The Notebook), and very much reflecting the world’s values and philosophies.

I’ll be giving my complete take on the film on our movie review page the day before its release Christmas Day.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to Benjamin Button

  1. Jonathan says:

    Boy, after a teaser like this, I couldn’t wait to see the full review on the movie review page.

    Good thing I’m a few days behind on reading your blog – it’s already up for me to read!

    Except you left out the rest of the review 🙁

    I bet you’re having a busy Christmas. But I’d love to hear a little more about this one – especially since you haven’t given me a reason why it’s theater worthy even though it’s so long. (I prefer to watch long movies at home, where I can fall asleep in the middle of them without being embarassed, and then repeat the process over and over again as I try to watch the entire film.)

    Merry Christmas!