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Pearls Before Swine
5/10 This movie shouldn't be my cup of tea. I'm pretty cynical and my favourite film genres are sci-fi and horror in that order. However, this film blew me away.2 years ago
I don't understand all of the negative reviews concentrating on the CGI. It's supposed to be depicting an other-worldly realm between earth and heaven - what do you expect / want to see if you go to Heaven, grim city streets with alleys full of garbage and low-lifes? I found the imagery to be exactly what I would hope from heaven - endless possibilities bounded only by imagination - and it delivered that feeling.
As for the plot and the acting, I thought it was first-rate from start to finish.
If you still have a soul in this cynical world then I'm sure you'll like it - don't listen to the miserable horde.
Jackson, the risk taker
8/10 I vaunt myself of being an independent thinker and yet I was taken by the atrocious reviews "The Lovely Bones" got. Rogert Ebert called it "deplorable" I didn't go to see it when it first came out. Shame on me! The risks Peter Jackson took, a thoroughly established filmmaker, should be applauded. True, it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea but then, what is? I was taken by surprise, a film of unbearable emotional suspense breaking every imaginable rule. We're far too used to have stories in which everything is neatly tied up by the end, so we can go back home with a fictitious peace of mind. In "The Lovely Bones" we know who the monster is from the time the monstrosity is committed but we're only spectators unable to do anything about it and that frustration may have turn part of the audience and most of the critics away. True the CGI of the "in between" is, sometimes, too much but the film as a whole is a real experience. Saorise Ronan is marvelous, so are Rachel Weitz and Mark Whalberg. Stanley Tucci was deservedly nominated for an Oscar and Susan Sarandon, another risk taker, plays the emotional constipated grandmother with great courage. Look at the exhaustion on her face as she takes care of the family, drained without betraying the arid nature of the character. As the film ended I stayed in silence for the longest time, embedded in the sadness, clinging to the hope and mystified by the massacre the critics perpetrated in this original and highly recommendable film2 years ago
Wait.... hang on a minute!!!!
8/10 I just saw The Lovely Bones today & having let it set in I thought it was a tremendous film!!! OK, I'll admit that Peter Jackson tried a little too much to overpower the film with CGI but that does not take anything away from the heart & emotion this film can generate.2 years ago
Firstly the acting is absolutely superb with fine performances all round. Saoirse Ronan (from my homeland - Ireland) is a revelation as Susie Salmon. I have yet to see such a gifted piece of acting from such a young actress since Natalie Portman in Leon. She has been robbed of a nomination for a truly Oscar-worthy performance. Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon & of course Stanley Tucci (one of the finest supporting actors in modern times) are all convincing here too.
I believe that when the nay-sayers saw the level of CGI they lost interest & forgot what this film can really offer you at its core - tension, heartbreak, thrills & joy.
If you really make the effort to delve into this film, you will come out with a tear in your eye. If not, then I pity you for not being able to look past the CGI blunders & see a really emotional film.
Not like most other films!
9/10 -The following will not reveal any spoilers above those presented in any trailer-2 years ago
It is rather sad, to see how people are grabbing on to many of the former reviews and are continually bashing on the CGI use in this, in my opinion, hauntingly beautiful movie.
If one would actually watch this movie without reading any reviews at all, without having an opinion about a movie they are about to watch before even having seen it for themselves and just take it for what is presented, I strongly believe there would be much more positive opinions about it.
And to mention this before anything else is said: I do not believe that the movie is too CGI crowded since the scenes at hand are meant to be unearthly and even a little mystical at that! I am not a very emotional person, I haven't even been able to really feel sad when others around me were already sobbing. But going into this movie and just letting it do its magic, it actually touched me deeply and made me think about it!
Sure - there are a few things that might have been done differently, probably even quite a bit better. But the all-in-all feel this movie leaves the viewer with is incredible. The bizarre but at the same time beautiful world of the in-between, the pain of the family members over the horrible loss and their unique ways of, not necessarily dealing, but rather living with it, even the sick mind behind the murder - it all works together in creating that viewing experience that is deeply touching through its countless layers.
The acting of pretty much each individual actor is already quite impressive, but as the characters interact, one can actually feel the emotional bonds and understandings, as well as the tension or even hatred between them.
All in all I can only urge anyone who loves movies that go beyond that typical mirror of merely entertaining and uninspired filmmaking to watch this gem. Certainly not everyone will enjoy or appreciate it as much as I did, but at least give it the chance it deserves without going into it, already looking for those 'evil CGI' parts and at the very least you will have your own opinion about it afterward and not the one of some guys that merely told you the same thing they only heard from someone else ;)
I hope you have a great viewing experience!
Brilliant, but Not For Everyone
9/10 Based on the thorough thrashing this movie has received from other reviewers, I came with few expectations. Movies based on novels are, after all, often difficult to put together in a way that is satisfying to readers yet visually engaging. On this note I must disagree with the negative reviews and nay-sayers: Jackson has succeeded in both stunning me visually (hard to do, as I'm an artist and therefore picky) and thoroughly tugging my heartstrings. I found myself in tears during easily one third of the movie. Although I am an emotional person, I strongly disagree that The Lovely Bones bears much resemblance to a made-for-TV melodrama.2 years ago
I gave it a 9/10 because it is not perfect. There are a few elements that could have been better developed, such as the relationship that grows between Susie's younger brother Buckley and their bereaved father. However, Jackson chose to focus almost completely on Susie's dilemma in the afterlife as she watches her family grieve and her killer become maddeningly arrogant in his ability to duck and cover.
It is this reviewer's opinion that if you came to The Lovely Bones expecting a gruesome rape scene along the lines of A Time to Kill, you were disappointed. (Jackson expressed dismay that his viewers would even WANT to witness a 14-year-old girl being raped and murdered, stating that he had no desire to portray such and never will.) This movie will not appeal to males in general, particularly under the age of twenty-five, for what should be obvious reasons. It is about a young girl whose life was stolen from her. She therefore has a young girl's feelings, hopes, and fantasies. If you can't relate to those emotions, then you probably won't like this movie. If you can't be touched by the powerful imagery the CGI in the movie provides, you probably won't like this movie. There are straightforward, A to Z movies that tell their stories step-by-step from beginning to end (plot-driven), and then there are movies that weave a tale around the emotions and struggles of their characters (character-driven). This movie is one of the latter, and if you don't like that kind, then you probably won't enjoy it. Furthermore, a character-driven tale based on a novel in which every character receives as much screen time as it did page time ends up becoming epic in length. I marathon-read the book in one day. How long does a movie based on it need to be in order to accurately establish the core plot?
In summary, if you can allow Jackson's special effects to blow you away, as was intended, and if you can approach it with an open heart, then you're in for a real treat in The Lovely Bones. It was elegantly done and very entertaining -- to the right person.