Mark Frauenfelder at 1:56 pm Mon, Jan 19, 2009
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"If you see only one version of Forrest Gump this year, make it The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." (Thanks, Liz!)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His latest book is Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of DIY
MORE: Funny • movies
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One of my goals is to die at a ripe old age without ever having seen Forrest Gump. Or Titanic, but that goes without saying.
Honestly, this is the reason why I haven’t yet watched Button. People keep calling it Benjamin Gump. I’m not a big fan of the Gump. Still, I’m a huge fan of Fincher (he really should’ve gotten the director’s oscar nom for Zodiac over Reitman–still annoyed), so please, someone, tell me why I need to see Button.
Wait….so it’s Zelig 3.0?
#9: I can see it now. They would use the kid from The Day After Tomorrow, and he would be shamelessly photoshopped carrying people out of the WTC, and also some kind of Michael Phelps Olympian.
@#25 – Well said. Forrest Gump is a pale ripoff of Being There.
Antinous – you lucky lucky bastard. That’s a noble goal sadly denied to me :(
Oh that is freakin’ hilarious and I LIKED Benjamin Button, but then, like Antinous, I’m one of the few people who’ve never seen Forrest Gump (and plan to keep it that way).
Life is like…leftovers.
And that dang movie “Transmorphers” was a lot like “Transformers”! What the heck!
At the risk of nitpicking it’s only half-true the two movies are from the same writer. They’re based on stories by different authors (Winston Groom & F. Scott Fitzgerald), but the screenplays were written by the same person (Eric Roth).
I’d have to agree, I saw Benjamin Buttons recently and liked it. But ironically, if I had seen the, ‘This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Paramount Pictures Corp.’, (particularly when you look at fair use’s ‘criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research’, and it easily fits the first two, sigh) I would have been annoyed enough to not have gone and watched the movie.
Give him some due credit— Eric Roth is one of Hollywood’s best. (I know, to some folk ‘Hollywood’s best’ is a weak compliment). He’s great at these sentimental lifespan bildungsroman pictures.
But if you don’t like that sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you aren’t going to like.
Someone (I can’t remember who right now), referred to the film as “Benjamin Buh-tocks.” I can’t stop calling it that now.
movie reviews on boing-boing?
Since what moments of Forrest Gump were so terrible there’s no way it could be hiding anything good in the whole of it, I’m in the “will never see it” camp.
BUt I’m still going to say I’m glad they made it- if only for Bubba Gump restaurants. 3 pages of shrimp dishes? Oh yes.
a blatant Forrest Gump remake (which is probably coming somewhere along the line in the next 10-15 years, what with how movies are going nowadays)…
I’d pay to see a movie that captured the tone of the actual book: “Let me tell you this: Being an idiot ain’t no box of chocolates”.
Read some Joseph Campbell, and you’ll discover that almost all movies have the same plot. ;)
I’d be curious to find out how many people have actually seen Benjamin Button. This clip takes many liberties in the way it compares the two films. While I agree that the films share various similarities, the connections drawn by this fauxmercial only make sense if you squint your eyes and cover your ears.
In fact, the clip transposes the plot points of Benjamin Button to bring it into line with the Forrest Gump plot arc. It employs movie footage in a misleading manner (the soldier running through battle is not Benjamin Button) and mischaracterizes characters. Yeah, I said it. Mischaracterizes characters.
It doesn’t matter that Button was inspired by a short story. There is almost nothing from the story in the film.
It is the same writer who just did a cut and paste of the names and a few settings. It’s a joke how much alike it is. Formula film, sorry.
Whoever put this film together is very smart. And I see that the studio has erased it from utube. What are they scared of?
Go see Slumdog Millionaire.
I think Benjamin Button was more a rip-off of Big Fish than a rip-off of Forrest Gump.
I like to watch.
>>”Oh that is freakin’ hilarious and I LIKED Benjamin Button, but then, like Antinous, I’m one of the few people who’ve never seen Forrest Gump (and plan to keep it that way).”
Err, isn’t the whole point of this post to say that… you just did?
Though I agree that they make the similarity look more pronounced in the clip than it really is. But they deserve it, I’m sick of THE FORMULA cranking out the same mediocre slush over and over and over.
Aw, man, I hate it when people point stuff like this out to me. I never would have caught it myself, but now I can’t help but notice, and I’ll want to tell all my friends about it, but I’ll mangle the details and come across sounding stupid, and they’ll just start ignoring me again.
Thanks a lot, asshole. :-(
At the risk of nitpicking, both films deviate so greatly from their source material that it doesn’t matter who the original authors are. The short story of Benjamin Button has a different plot, different set of characters, is set in different locations and occurs in a different time period than the film. You can read the whole thing here.
Yep. As soon as we left the theater after seeing ‘Benjamin Button’, I said to my girlfriend “Didn’t that remind you a lot of ‘Forrest Gump’?”
Oh, thank goodness, one more reason for me not to see that movie.
say what you will, but i really enjoyed “button.” the message is quite different from “gump” to me, and the acting and (anti-) aging effects were amazing. it’s so easy for people to criticize the parallels, but the story that “button” was (admittedly loosely) based on predates “gump” by decades.
there are only a half dozen stories, why quibble over enjoying today’s rendition?
Antinous – I’m still sailing in the same boat as you, despite the efforts of pretty much every girlfriend I’ve ever had to try to shatter that very goal.
Does it really matter? Hollywood keeps recycling movies over and over…and over….and over….
THIS is the best Gump rip-off of all time:
Both films were written by the same lazy sonofabitch, Eric Roth.
Hey…Titanic was basically Lady & the Tramp on a ship.
I failed to watch Gump all the way through, since I only caught it on network television [with commercial breaks and such]. I got enough of Tom Hanks during the 80′s [sorry, Tom!]. Benjamin Button seems like something I’d watch; it has just enough weirdness to suit my tastes.
No one has pointed out the fact that there are two “r”s in Forrest and two “t”s in Button. It’s very subtle, but just like the actual movie, the similarities in the title made me feel like I was seeing the same movie. Yeah, the movie didn’t have AIDS like Forrest Gump, but it had Hurricane Katrina.
I got enough of Tom Hanks during the 80′s [sorry, Tom!].
Charlie Wilson’s War was totally worthwhile. At least watch it for Philip Seymour Hoffman (who’s in everything lately) if not Tom “Bosom Buddies” Hanks.
There are great motives that pinion great stories. War, the pusuit of love and the triumph over adversity are just a few. By just cutting and pasting them together undoes the skill of a great writer. We all have little ideas for stories, that’s the easy part. Putting them together in a way that makes us feel something, that’s what devines artists from critics.
PS: I liked the movie, and I liked the clip too.
Oh, he meets a black person? What a damn rip off. Next you’ll tell me there’s credits at the beginning of both of them.
At least it wasn’t a blatant Forrest Gump remake (which is probably coming somewhere along the line in the next 10-15 years, what with how movies are going nowadays)…
I was watching this while listening to Santana’s Black Magic Woman and it made this trailor Awesome. And I would have never figured this out also. . . well done sherlock.
The video has been removed, apparently at the demand of Paramount Pictures. Hard to imagine a clearer fair use, and yet they still take it down. Unbelievable.
Why else you think they’d adapt it for screen? It fits the formula. Anything that deviates from The Formula risks making $0.50 less in box office sales. Why would we risk that?
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