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Month: June 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Crappy Movie

I don’t know what’s more surprising: that I’m blogging a blog, or that it’s not about improv or something geeky.

I will start with a metaphor.

Imagine you run a sideshow attraction on the side of a busy highway.  A tourist trap, if you will.  Something along the lines of Wall Drug or any attraction that starts out “The World’s Largest” or “The World’s Only.”  In fact, I’d like you to pick your own personal roadside attraction right now.

For example, I’m imagining that I run a small attraction called “The World’s Largest Flapjack Clock” located somewhere in the city of Chamberlain, South Dakota off the I-90.

You’ve set up shop, bought some billboards.  People come from all around, desperate to see the Flapjack Clock (or whatever).  But you can’t just have a single room with one silly thing in it.  That won’t do.  So you build up an entire ecosystem around it.  You put in a concession stand.  You sell miniature Flapjack Clocks (or whatever).  You have visitors funnel through some boring museum, showing them smaller clocks and less exciting flapjacks.  They walk through it knowing at the end, there’s a payoff.  That’s the deal you’ve struck — walk through my crappy museum (and pay me 5 bucks), and at the end you get to see it.  The World’s Largest Flapjack Clock (or whatever).

This is the heart of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”  If a movie is about a man born old who gets younger, you know what everyone’s waiting to see — what’s going to happen when he dies?

This would be great, except that the writer, producer, and sundry other people involved with the creation of this monstrosity forgot they were running a freak show and made the flick last near 3 hours.  So as a viewer, you’re left sitting through a rubbish film, holding on for that one exciting thing at the end of the tunnel.  Except when you get there, the clock’s not that big and it only marginally looks like a flapjack.  I mean, I guess it does, but only if you tilt your head a bit and then it starts to hurt your neck, so you stop, and now it just looks sort of like a moose but without any horns.  Sort of.  There’s just no substance.

What a terrible film.  I do not recommend it.