THE CRITERION CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Friday, March 20 by

Cinematical’s Elisabeth Rappe just announced that David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will forego the regular DVD release period that normal films get before being deemed a classic, in order to go straight to the gilded library of high society that is the Criterion Collection.  Don’t worry, peasants.  The regular release will be available on your primitive studio-released DVD and Blu-Ray, too.  But you’ll be missing out on the Two-Disc Criterion’s following features:

 

- "The Curious Birth of Benjamin Button four-part documentary."
– Follow the production from day one (whatever that means)
– A special exploration of Button’s VFX, and a visit to the scoring stage with composer Alexandre Desplat
– Walk the red carpet at the film’s premiere in New Orleans
– Audio commentary with David Fincher

The only extras that seem to be missing are the glass of Chateau Neuf de Pap and a silken napkin for you to daub the corners of your mouth while watching this far superior home video version. 

Seriously, though. I feel like the people at the Criterion Collection are taking the piss on this one.  And I liked Benjamin Button.  A lot.  But we need to see if it stands the test of time before giving it the DVD equivalent of fellatio (and not the kind they sell at the adult bookstore).  I think there are movies that are far more deserving of a Criterion release RIGHT NOW.  Here’s one:

Mac and Me.

So Why Mac & Me?

Because Mac and Me – to this very day – is the single greatest achievement in cinema product placement history.  Visual FX will always improve, and one day Benjamin Button will look like a Troma flick.  But nothing can possibly trump Mac & Me‘s use of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.  And that makes it something to preserve in a time-capsule.  For Christ’s sake, the friggin’ alien’s family at the end gets saved from dehydration by drinking cans of Coca-Cola!  And Coca-Cola is the last thing you want to be drinking in the middle of 120-degree heat in the desert!  But the filmmakers made us BELIEVE.  And that’s what’s important.  And that’s why so many kids went home after that movie and sat on the couch on hot summer days and just chugged Coca-Cola.  And then they grew up to be fat and got kidney stones and had to pass something that looked like THIS out of their urethras:

But it didn’t matter, because Mac & Me made us FEEL GREAT.  It made us feel that, even if we were confined to a wheelchair, we could roll off the edge of a cliff and be okay (as seen in the clip below).

 

It also made us feel that, at any given moment, we could show up a a local McDonald’s and a party coul break out.  And that party could have football players show up to dance in an amazing, seemingly choreographed routine, but it was completely impromptu.  And those football players could look like Freddie Mercury and we still believed they were professional football players. 

And it made us believe that if we were harboring an alien, we could simply dress him in the hollow, dead shell of an old teddy bear, and then bring him to the party, and no one would know the wiser – not even after the alien (who can’t resist Coca-Cola because it’s the nectar of his people) stretches his alien arm twenty feet across the room to try and grab it.  Amazing?  Yes.  Horrifying?  Nope!  Just a really cool Teddy Bear toy.  Because this is McDonald’s.  And magic can happen.  And smiles are free.  And kids are so hopped up on sweet, brown corn syrup that they wouldn’t give a flying f**k if the Hamburglar drove his car through the window and started shooting people for cheeseburgers. 

But most of all, it made us feel like McDonald’s. And that’s what I call a return on the filmmakers’ (McDonald’s) investment. 

Dammit, Mac & Me deserves a Criterion release right now.  Admit it, Criterion Collection!  Try having Kurosawa hawk McNuggets, or Jim Jarmusch entice people to have a McRib!  Or just release Mac and Me.

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