Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The curious case of undeserved praise

What would F. Scott Fitzgerald think of his short story being made into a movie?
The picture at the left is from The Official Anti-Benjamin Button Club. The guy who runs the blog clearly has a single minded focus at attacking and ridiculing one very specific corner of pop culture--how could I not love it? This is one of many hilarious jabs at the most over-hyped movie of the year. The blog includes posts on topics such as "Possible plot twists that could have made Benjamin Button a better movie," and "10 Things That Would Be Less Shocking Than Benjamin Button Getting 13 Oscar Nods". Of the comments on the site, my favorite is "The first time I ever wanted to punch a leathery baby was when I saw this movie!"

The one thing I would add to the blog is a Hall of Shame, listing all of the critics who put this thing on their top ten lists. Number one is, of course, Ben Lyons, followed closely by Michael Sragow, of the Baltimore Sun, both of whom called Button the best movie of the year. According to metacritic, they are the only ones, but several major critics included it in their top ten list. Note the prevalence of The Hollywood Reporter--they have clearly spent too much of the last year smoking out Michael Phelps in their office. Coming in second is The New York Post, although that might be explained by Lou Lumenick's pent up emotional issues expressed in his recent assaulting of a recovering Roger Ebert.

The Pro-Button Critical Hall of Shame:

Hollywood Reporter
(Kirk Honeycutt)

Hollywood Reporter
(Stephen Farber)

Hollywood Reporter
(Frank Scheck)

Miami Herald
(Rene Rodriguez)

New York Post
(Lou Lumenick)

New York Post
(Kyle Smith)

ReelViews
(James Berardinelli)

Seattle PI
(William Arnold)

Time Magazine
(Richard Corliss)

Wall Street Journal
(Joe Morgenstern)

4 comments:

Don said...

I'd rather be part of The Official Anti-Slumdog Millionaire Club. Where can I join?

Rollie said...

Does "Benjamin Button" deserve 13 Oscar nominations? No.

Is it overhyped? Probably.

Is it bad? Definitely not. Yes, it was done better in Forrest Gump. No, it's not done poorly here. Detractors of the film are knocking it for knocking the film lacking drama, emotional depth, and some sense of profound and/or shocking truth behind the mystery of life. I wonder of those things could possibly be more beside the point. I think you overlooked the film's strengths, Scott, and I think you're faulting it for not being an entirely different kind of movie altogether.

Fake Benjamin Button said...

Dear Scott,
Please consider yourself an OFFICIAL member of the O.A.B.B.C.
Thank you for your support of our cause and please continue your Button-bashing fiesta on this wonderful site.
Sincerely,
O.A.B.B.C Management
(Official Anti-Benjamin Button Club)
http://nobenjaminbutton.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

I just came here to join the The Official Anti-Ben Lyons Club.

Personally it was well done but the screenplay is one of its biggest pitfalls and therefore not worthy of that nomination and possibly Best Picture but the actors and Fincher do deserve some credit for making it work.