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Empire Admin -> The Lovely Bones (26/11/2009 10:51:56 AM)

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hatebox -> (26/11/2009 10:51:56 AM)

I found the success and praise of the novel really bizarre, it did nothing for me. Will wait for more positive reviews before deciding to see this.




Sweet Caroline -> Anticipation rating (26/11/2009 12:18:47 PM)

As an anticipatory rating, a cautious one, as when I read the book I cried more than I ever have at any book. It was literally every few pages, to the point where I started to feel like a freak. If the film does this to me, I'll be mortified (crying in the cinema not being a good look). But if it doesn't, I guess I'll be disappointed. Impossibly demanding? Moi?




Tech_Noir -> RE: The Lovely Bones (26/11/2009 12:28:03 PM)

Wait a minute, Empire like a new film by Peter Jackson?

[;)]




JohnnyBGoode -> Totally Agree (26/11/2009 12:37:29 PM)

I was there on Tuesday too and this is the most accurate review I've read since. Broadsheet moaning that the film drowns in kitsch imagery is wide of the mark - it's a 14 year-old girl's vision of the afterlife for heaven's sake! (ahem). Wahlberg and Weisz are underused but Saoirse Ronan is terrific and the film is affecting and engaging as well as being incredibly cinematic.




Old_Pyrate -> (26/11/2009 1:45:15 PM)

Reserving judgement, but looking forward to it all the same. When's it out proper like?




MyPOV -> Balanced out the average - ha ha (26/11/2009 4:25:53 PM)

How can you review a film without seeing it? On the basis of Ian's review and the amazing trailer alone (best I've seen this year - Cocteau Twins Alice, amazing track in the middle), I've averaged out the review.




benjaminlwright -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (26/11/2009 7:31:46 PM)

Disappointing adaptation of a disappointing book. Some really clumsy direction. Some below par acting. Only thing to recommend it is a great performance by Stanley Tucci and of course Ronan who is definitely one to watch. Seriously disappointed. Just in case you hadn't noticed.




Timmy_Brisby_05 -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (26/11/2009 8:11:32 PM)

Yay, I can't wait!




drews -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (27/11/2009 7:14:17 PM)

Empire gives its very "safe" 4 star rating to a new big release.




londonnut -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (27/11/2009 9:07:39 PM)

Empire sorry but your review misses the point - forget it's a PJ movie and you're left with an empty film, albeit visually stunning.

I'll start by saying I've read the book twice (just because I'm a PJ fan so wanted to know what he would be working on) and loved it. No, it's not brilliantly written and does veer off in places but I found it genuinely moving. So went to the film (London) with high hopes, loving both source material and director. Major disappointment.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

My main criticism is the family characters have all been severely short-changed (which is no fault of the cast who are all superb with what little they've been given). The Grandma (Susan Sarandon) is simply there for inappropriate comic effect; you get no sense whatsoever she helped pull the family back together. There's a montage of her screwing up the housework with a drink in her hand and cigarette dangling from her mouth but her character in the source material really drives the family along. Not here. In this version the Grandma is there to do the hoovering. I really feel for Sarandon.

Rachel Weisz fares even worse. She has absolutely nothing to work with as the mother and neither do the actors who play the Detective (Michael Imperioli) and Ray & Ruth who have hardly any characterisation (or screen time).  From cast interviews on the red carpet it's clear dramatic family scenes were filmed but cut (here comes the 3 hr DVD edition) including the Mother's affair.  Both Sarandon and Imperioli are both calling PJ out on it... watch that get more press as time goes on. PJ is simply too obsessed with the 'In-Between World' and it seems he sees the story as a thriller, following the murderer way too much. While it's fun to watch Stanley Tucci who's terrific, the down-side is you hardly care about the family towards the end. Mark Wahlberg is good (yes, really) but his role should be so much more powerful. It's a big mistake; those that have read the book know there's no emotional pay-off on the murder, it's all attached to the emotion of the family rebuilding itself. It's the film's fundamental flaw; it should be terribly moving but it's empty. The mother returns and they hug. That's it. Brilliant.

Visually, it's stunning and I do feel like I need to watch it again for the little visual clues in the 'In-Between World' here and there that Susie needs to spot in order to move on. There are also some great stand-out scenes where PJ shows off his technical skills (how Susie discovers she's been murdered is especially well done as is the tension when her sister is in the murderer's house). Saoirse is brilliant but the script just doesn't give her the powerful role she deserves - she's a better actress than the material PJ gives her. 

To anyone who says the reduction in the role of the family is simply cutting away the worst of the book, they're wrong; it just doesn't work as a film either. It's a story about the family; that's what 'the lovely bones' are, the new bonds that form following Susie's death - it's even explained in the book (patronising as it it in places). And so it's the lovely bones themselves that are lacking in the film (including the relationship her sister develops which is one of the most moving story-lines of the book). I think people who see the film who aren't familiar with the book will be even more frustrated; they won't care about the family and will have no resolution on the murder.

Can't tell you how disappointed I am with PJ. How a man that made Heavenly Creatures allowed this cut of the film through I have no idea. His budgets are clearly going to his head; it's all style and absolutely no substance (and believe me I was desperately willing myself to love the film as I was watching).

Last thought; maybe the well publicised test-screenings resulted in the drama being cut? Either way it's fatal to this film (and any Oscar hopes).




Wrathschild -> Empire loves to smoke the pole of big directors shit films (28/11/2009 12:46:39 AM)

Empire loves to smoke the pole of big directors shit films to help ensure future exclusive features and covers (never mind fuel the lowest common denominator excesses of the movie making industry they are so dependant on to help sell their advertising space). Lucas, Spielberg, et all. Which unfortunately makes this review utterly worthless.
Why 'must' I select a rating?




fierce-hairdo -> Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 1:00:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Wrathschild

Empire loves to smoke the pole of big directors shit films to help ensure future exclusive features and covers (never mind fuel the lowest common denominator excesses of the movie making industry they are so dependant on to help sell their advertising space). Lucas, Spielberg, et all. Which unfortunately makes this review utterly worthless.
Why 'must' I select a rating?


This is so true. Empire seems permanently hostage to big blockbuster's and is servile to the big directors of the day. We need film reviewers who offer an independent, un-biased take on a movie so we can cut through all the lies in the advertising, instead Empire kisses butt and won't dare bite the hand that feeds it.
For a slightly less biased account see:
The Guardian gave this same movie 2 stars (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/24/the-lovely-bones-film-review).
Time Out gave this film 2 stars (http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/87481/the-lovely-bones.html)




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 1:16:57 PM)

If the magazine and (free) online review is so rubbish then maybe you should go somewhere else? Why be so bothered by a review for a film you haven't seen?

2/3 of the critics on RT gave the film a fresh rating. You can play this game forever.




Prophet_of_Doom -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 1:24:31 PM)

Indeed one can play this game all day ... 43% of top critics gave it fresh [;)] most of the positive reviews are tabloid reviews and we all know what that means.




drews -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 1:27:29 PM)

Empire loves its 4 Star ratings. You can always count on it for a big release.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 1:29:53 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prophet_of_Doom

Indeed one can play this game all day ... 43% of top critics gave it fresh [;)] most of the positive reviews are tabloid reviews and we all know what that means.


What?

This internet culture where the only acceptable reviews are the ones that conform to your feelings really is taking the fun out film discussion. You didn't like the film all that much? Fine. But debate the words, not the scoring system or if Empire has sold out.

Oh whats the point. This happens in every damn thread. No wonder folk who usually have interesting insights into films avoid these reivews pages. Have a blast guys.




shool -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 1:42:32 PM)

Rgirvan - You knows this way madness lies. Come back to the inner fold. [:D]




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 2:06:40 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: shool

Rgirvan - You knows this way madness lies. Come back to the inner fold. [:D]


*grumblegrumblethingswerebetterinmydaygrumblegrumble*




Woger -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 3:05:38 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: fierce-hairdo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Wrathschild

Empire loves to smoke the pole of big directors shit films to help ensure future exclusive features and covers (never mind fuel the lowest common denominator excesses of the movie making industry they are so dependant on to help sell their advertising space). Lucas, Spielberg, et all. Which unfortunately makes this review utterly worthless.
Why 'must' I select a rating?


This is so true. Empire seems permanently hostage to big blockbuster's and is servile to the big directors of the day. We need film reviewers who offer an independent, un-biased take on a movie so we can cut through all the lies in the advertising, instead Empire kisses butt and won't dare bite the hand that feeds it.
For a slightly less biased account see:
The Guardian gave this same movie 2 stars (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/24/the-lovely-bones-film-review).
Time Out gave this film 2 stars (http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/87481/the-lovely-bones.html)


Or both of you could fuck off to the souped up nova forum where you can argue over who makes the best No Fear stickers instead of plaguing this website. If you have seen the film give a reason why you think Empire is wrong. Have any of you see The Lovely Bones?




Prophet_of_Doom -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 3:54:10 PM)

Ooh, I have, I have! Does that mean I can comment? Hm, no, better not, because that's obviously not what forums are for.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 4:02:15 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prophet_of_Doom

Ooh, I have, I have! Does that mean I can comment? Hm, no, better not, because that's obviously not what forums are for.


Yes, that is clearly what we are saying.




superdan -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 4:04:55 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: fierce-hairdo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Wrathschild

Empire loves to smoke the pole of big directors shit films to help ensure future exclusive features and covers (never mind fuel the lowest common denominator excesses of the movie making industry they are so dependant on to help sell their advertising space). Lucas, Spielberg, et all. Which unfortunately makes this review utterly worthless.
Why 'must' I select a rating?


This is so true. Empire seems permanently hostage to big blockbuster's and is servile to the big directors of the day. We need film reviewers who offer an independent, un-biased take on a movie so we can cut through all the lies in the advertising, instead Empire kisses butt and won't dare bite the hand that feeds it.
For a slightly less biased account see:
The Guardian gave this same movie 2 stars (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/24/the-lovely-bones-film-review).
Time Out gave this film 2 stars (http://www.timeout.com/film/reviews/87481/the-lovely-bones.html)


I have never once agreed with a review by the Guardian (and its the paper I buy) for anything except tv. Also, since TF has given this film a 4-star review I expect to see you both in their forum braying loudly about bias and 'pole-smoking'. Personally, I'm going to take on board the fact that the two biggest-selling movie magazines in the country have given this film good reviews and consider watching it to find out for myself if its any good. Which is all reviews are for.





Woger -> RE: Empire scared to bite the hand that feeds it (30/11/2009 5:15:18 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prophet_of_Doom

Ooh, I have, I have! Does that mean I can comment? Hm, no, better not, because that's obviously not what forums are for.


Finally, someone realises that commenting of a film you have seen is just for the elite. Sorry for dragging this off topic mods but these predictable posts are really getting annoying.




Quint -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (30/11/2009 7:11:46 PM)

SPOILERS

quote:

ORIGINAL: londonnut

Empire sorry but your review misses the point - forget it's a PJ movie and you're left with an empty film, albeit visually stunning.

I'll start by saying I've read the book twice (just because I'm a PJ fan so wanted to know what he would be working on) and loved it. No, it's not brilliantly written and does veer off in places but I found it genuinely moving. So went to the film (London) with high hopes, loving both source material and director. Major disappointment.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

My main criticism is the family characters have all been severely short-changed (which is no fault of the cast who are all superb with what little they've been given). The Grandma (Susan Sarandon) is simply there for inappropriate comic effect; you get no sense whatsoever she helped pull the family back together. There's a montage of her screwing up the housework with a drink in her hand and cigarette dangling from her mouth but her character in the source material really drives the family along. Not here. In this version the Grandma is there to do the hoovering. I really feel for Sarandon.

Rachel Weisz fares even worse. She has absolutely nothing to work with as the mother and neither do the actors who play the Detective (Michael Imperioli) and Ray & Ruth who have hardly any characterisation (or screen time).  From cast interviews on the red carpet it's clear dramatic family scenes were filmed but cut (here comes the 3 hr DVD edition) including the Mother's affair.  Both Sarandon and Imperioli are both calling PJ out on it... watch that get more press as time goes on. PJ is simply too obsessed with the 'In-Between World' and it seems he sees the story as a thriller, following the murderer way too much. While it's fun to watch Stanley Tucci who's terrific, the down-side is you hardly care about the family towards the end. Mark Wahlberg is good (yes, really) but his role should be so much more powerful. It's a big mistake; those that have read the book know there's no emotional pay-off on the murder, it's all attached to the emotion of the family rebuilding itself. It's the film's fundamental flaw; it should be terribly moving but it's empty. The mother returns and they hug. That's it. Brilliant.

Visually, it's stunning and I do feel like I need to watch it again for the little visual clues in the 'In-Between World' here and there that Susie needs to spot in order to move on. There are also some great stand-out scenes where PJ shows off his technical skills (how Susie discovers she's been murdered is especially well done as is the tension when her sister is in the murderer's house). Saoirse is brilliant but the script just doesn't give her the powerful role she deserves - she's a better actress than the material PJ gives her. 

To anyone who says the reduction in the role of the family is simply cutting away the worst of the book, they're wrong; it just doesn't work as a film either. It's a story about the family; that's what 'the lovely bones' are, the new bonds that form following Susie's death - it's even explained in the book (patronising as it it in places). And so it's the lovely bones themselves that are lacking in the film (including the relationship her sister develops which is one of the most moving story-lines of the book). I think people who see the film who aren't familiar with the book will be even more frustrated; they won't care about the family and will have no resolution on the murder.

Can't tell you how disappointed I am with PJ. How a man that made Heavenly Creatures allowed this cut of the film through I have no idea. His budgets are clearly going to his head; it's all style and absolutely no substance (and believe me I was desperately willing myself to love the film as I was watching).

Last thought; maybe the well publicised test-screenings resulted in the drama being cut? Either way it's fatal to this film (and any Oscar hopes).


Now I haven't seen the film or read the book, but I did read the shooting version of the script and almost everything londonnut says about the family and the lack of emotional weight (particularly in regards to the murder) are spot on with what my opinion was. As I say, having not seen the film, I'm sure things have changed, and naturally actors bring a huge deal to the roles, but I still felt the script was rather light weight and really just going through the motions. Having not read the book, I didn't know there was far more meat to the family scenes, and that makes a lot of sense, since time with Tucci's character is interesting, but without an actual pay off, it felt like the wrong route to take. I'm still going to see the film, as the script and the reviews have made me very interested in the visual direction, but I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the shooting script in terms of a story and an emotional ride.




matty_b -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (30/11/2009 7:40:04 PM)

I think I must be in the minority when I say that I really don't care about Empire's - or anyone's for that matter - reviews. It's always the least interesting part of the magazine and I usually skip forward for the interviews and features.

I certainly don't see why people shit their pants at a rating they disagree with.




Wrathschild -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (30/11/2009 10:05:43 PM)

Yaaay, fight.

I was drunk as hell when I posted the 'pole smoking' thing. But to be honest I stand by the sentiment. True, I f I ever see The Lovely Bones I might like it but as a long time buyer and reader of Empire (since the Jurassic Park days anyway) I feel like I have earned the right to vent steam about what I deem to be an increasingly common occurrence. The magazine has great value for me. Where else do you get such a comprehensive overview of the film world? Certainly not on your average popular movie news website. And 'The Big Story at the Back' or whatever name it's going by these days is usually worth the price of the mag itself.

But seriously, I bet some of the reviewers at Empire also roll their eyes at how the corporate hand there manipulates things for the sake of getting pocket money off teenage boys. Because if past form is anything to go by, that's what an in the minority, positive Lovely Bones review represents- Helping ensure some exclusive Hobbit covers further down the line.




Deviation -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (1/12/2009 2:22:05 AM)

It's already got a review?[&:] You mean it is finished?






shool -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (1/12/2009 11:55:05 AM)

Wrathschild, Fierce-hairdo and any others who care to post in this direction. Accusing empire staff of publishing impartial reviews for commercial gain is tantamount to libel and such comments are not acceptable on these boards. Any further comments along these lines will result in an official warning.




drews -> RE: Balanced out the average - ha ha (1/12/2009 11:59:40 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: shool

Wrathschild, Fierce-hairdo and any others who care to post in this direction. Accusing empire staff of publishing impartial reviews for commercial gain is tantamount to libel and such comments are not acceptable on these boards. Any further comments along these lines will result in an official warning.


HAHA, it's funny you give a stern warning to someone you have to refer to as Fierce-hairdo!!




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