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'Benjamin Button' Bitch Bin


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#1 Ian

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:31 PM

I'll update the initial thread post with the specs when they are offically announced by Criterion. The press release was a little too vague about the details of the release...we should have all the information tomorrow.

I posted the covers for the Criterion edition and the regular Paramount edition. As you can see the Criterion cover looks much better, using the same image, it takes out all the clutter from the SD release cover and is more elegant and simplified. It is still quite below Criterion's usual standards but it is my opinion that this cover was mandated by either the studio or the movie stars involved and they did the best they could with such little to work with. It is strange that Fincher does not get credit on the cover, though it is possible that it is a slipcase and alternate artwork more in line which one would expect from Criterion will be found on the actual dvd.

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#2 mikesncc1701

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:49 PM

Yes! I'm actually kinda proud of myself for discovering something first (it never happens to me so I have to be a little narcissistic). I think I may pick this up even though I haven' seen it.

#3 Pair

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:05 AM

I didn't realize these Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett asshats were directors, let alone co-directors.

Translation: fuck that cover.
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#4 mikesncc1701

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:42 AM

Translation: fuck that cover.

I think they should've used the huge cardboard theater stand up posters. It was essentially the same thing, only certain things were reversed.

#5 Pair

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:01 AM

It is strange that Fincher does not get credit on the cover, though it is possible that it is a slipcase and alternate artwork more in line which one would expect from Criterion will be found on the actual dvd.

I'm praying it is a slipcase.
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#6 havemercyonme

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:49 AM

I usually like David Fincher, but I haven`t seen this film. It this movie is that good criterion must release before his other movie.? :D

#7 Lawrence

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:53 AM

I usually like David Fincher, but I haven`t seen this film. It this movie is that good criterion must release before his other movie.? :D


I think it's more the case that they can get the rights for this film so they jumped at it. I'm certain Se7en or Fight Club would be more worthy of a Criterion release, but that's not very likely.

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#8 havemercyonme

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:10 AM

Well, actually this year seem to be my favorite year so far.
I finally getting My dinner with Andre, Last year at Marienbad.
I am also excite about the friends of Eddie Coyle.
So, I guess I could learn to love this movie. :D

#9 Pair

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:32 PM

I think it's more the case that they can get the rights for this film so they jumped at it. I'm certain Se7en or Fight Club would be more worthy of a Criterion release, but that's not very likely.

Don't forget The Game! :D

Well, actually this year seem to be my favorite year so far... So, I guess I could learn to love this movie. :D

My sentiments exactly.

My original plan was only to rent it just to see what all the commotion was about. If it's going to be a Criterion I may as well just buy it and scratch another spine number off the list. ^_^
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#10 cfkane

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:46 PM

I think it's more the case that they can get the rights for this film so they jumped at it. I'm certain Se7en or Fight Club would be more worthy of a Criterion release, but that's not very likely.


Although I liked Se7en, I absolutely despised Fight Club. I know I am in the minority here, but it just wasn't that good to me, but both would be nice to have in the collection.
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#11 dwk

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 01:30 PM

I had assumed that Criterion's deal with Paramount for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was similar to their deal with Disney for the Wes Anderson films (Criterion produced the special features, designed the art and menus and Disney pressed the discs and distributed them), but it turns out that the deals are not similar at all. David Prior posted the following at the Home Theater Forum

I produced, directed and designed all the supplements and the menus. Criterion's involvement came very late in the game, and is really about branding. We brought them in to help acheive a better footprint in the marketplace than we got with the Zodiac special edition.


So all Criterion is doing is giving them the Wacky C and a spine number. If this is more about helping TCCOBB, then what is Criterion getting out of this deal? Some money? Access to more Paramount titles?

#12 Ian

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:36 PM

Well that would be why it doesn't seem to be up to Criterion's usual excellent standard with the boring cover and supplements like "red carpet footage". I just hope that Criterion was able to wrangle a deal for some more high profile catalogue titles from Paramount in exchange for the use of it's branding. Even if they were paid a small fee, I suppose it's free money since they don't seem to be incurring any costs with this release.

I hope they did or will use their generosity to ink a deal for some of the titles previously nixed by Mulvaney and Paramount staffers, Don't Look Now, Harold and Maude, etc. Or at the very least Paramount makes enough money off this deal they approach Criterion to do the same with other high profile titles that would normally be off limits...like The African Queen.

Just pipe dreamin'.

#13 dwk

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:47 PM

Well that would be why it doesn't seem to be up to Criterion's usual excellent standard with the boring cover and supplements like "red carpet footage".


David Prior has produce some great dvds (his best work being the dvds of Fincher's other films), and in the same thread he said

The doc is about 130 minutes. There's also another 30 minutes of stand alone material that didn't fit in the doc, divided amongst the tech scouts, costume design and CG work on the baby, as well as several still galleries.

I hope you enjoy it.


So, regardless of what people think about the film (I haven't seen it), I imagine that the extras are going to be pretty good.

#14 Ian

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 11:09 PM

Oh, I'm sure he's a wonderful producer, I was just saying that if Criterion were actually producing the disc, they would not have bothered with red carpet footage from the premiere and such. I'm sure that will be a rather minor segment in a dvd which could be quite exhaustive. I will buy it out of curiousity, so the deal with Criterion seems to have worked as they have at least one sale they didn't have before.

I left a message on his board asking if he would be involved with any other Criterion titles. I'm secretly hoping that he posts a reply that indicates The Game or one of the better Fincher pictures could be around the corner. Actually on that note....since this seems to be a reaction to the sluggish sales of the special edition of Zodiac, they could probably just rerelease Zodiac under the Criterion banner and discontinue the current special edition. I'm sure in such a case they would leave the specs the same and it would just have a different cover with a wacky C...I would buy it! I rented Zodiac and loved it but for whatever reason have never gotten around to purchasing it....I could use an incentive to do so. :wacko:

#15 Ian

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:32 AM

I think it's more the case that they can get the rights for this film so they jumped at it. I'm certain Se7en or Fight Club would be more worthy of a Criterion release, but that's not very likely.


I wouldn't say that. Criterion has working relationships with all the studios Fincher has made films for. Considering the nature of how the Criterion logo has come to be apart of Benjamin Button, this same route could be used as a cheat to get the rest of Fincher's oeuvre into the collection. As long as the studios get all the money, I'm sure they couldn't care less about having a little C discretly tucked into the corner...but it obviously would mean a lot to Fincher. I have to say I had no idea he was that desperate to have a spine number. I knew that Aronofsky has been having a tantrum about not having one of his films in the collection...but Fincher surprises me.

If you look at Prior's message board, he indicates that both Seven and Fight Club are going to get rereleases on SD and Blu. At least with Seven, there are a number of Criterion produced extras from the laserdisc that could be added to the existing disc along with the new transfer for something more definitive. Fight Club will probably include the extras exclusive to the R2 version along with a new transfer for it's definitive take on the film. We may see wacky-C's on both, depending on Fincher's desperation and the amount of "pull" he has with Fox, WB, Universal.

I've asked Prior about further escapades with Criterion. Will have to wait for his answer to my question, if he even bothers, before starting round 2 of the Fincher gossip fodder.

For the sake of disclosure, I am a very big fan of David Fincher, though I think Button was his first major film that wasn't "great" but underwhelmingly average. (I'm not counting the work-for-hire Alien 3)

#16 Ian

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:17 PM

email sent to me from Fincher's dvd producer David Prior:

This disc was far bigger than anything Criterion has done in the past, and to be blunt, they would not have the resources to put it together. That's by their own admission. In this case their involvement is strictly about branding, really no different than SuperBit was. The Criterion name has a certain mystique about it (which they themselves are all too aware of) and that's what we're counting on to hopefullly drive a few more sales. For proof, look at your own question. But this release is exactly the same as it would have been had they not been involved.

As for future titles, I don't know at this point. I discussed a few possibilities with them early on, but we had some difficulties working with them and I'm not sure how that will impact future projects. We'll just have to see.

#17 marcusbulbous76

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:37 PM

email sent to me from Fincher's dvd producer David Prior:

This disc was far bigger than anything Criterion has done in the past, and to be blunt, they would not have the resources to put it together. That's by their own admission. In this case their involvement is strictly about branding, really no different than SuperBit was. The Criterion name has a certain mystique about it (which they themselves are all too aware of) and that's what we're counting on to hopefullly drive a few more sales. For proof, look at your own question. But this release is exactly the same as it would have been had they not been involved.

As for future titles, I don't know at this point. I discussed a few possibilities with them early on, but we had some difficulties working with them and I'm not sure how that will impact future projects. We'll just have to see.


So what does Criterion get out of this? Because according to King Shit, they're just cynically slapping the C over the top of their own product to try to boost sales with the art house DVD buyers who otherwise would yawn at faux-art house like Benjamin Button. I have half a mind to ignore this spine number and instruct my completist compulsion to complete the collection with this one missing, after an answer like that.

#18 marcusbulbous76

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:41 PM

Note that they 'had difficulties working with' Criterion. Which means Criterion was trying to design the set according to the high standards they're accustomed to, and the Right Honorable King Shit wanted the drab cover with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and the fluff special features etc. I'm wondering whether if this set is a one-off situation that might not be for the best.

#19 Ian

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:43 PM

He comes across like an asshole doesn't he? No kidding criteiron was "difficult to work with" with that attitude.

#20 Duke Togo

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:44 PM

Note that they 'had difficulties working with' Criterion. Which means Criterion was trying to design the set according to the high standards they're accustomed to, and the Right Honorable King Shit wanted the drab cover with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and the fluff special features etc. I'm wondering whether if this set is a one-off situation that might not be for the best.

Yeah, and we should burn something too, and in this case less relevance = more symbolic. I vote for wood. :lol:




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