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- 15/2/2010 7:52:07 AM   
hi charlie


Posts: 138
Joined: 3/9/2008
ooh ooh the book get over it. it's a film, the truelly poor points of the film where the michael bay editing, and consequently the tone. Heavenly creatures already proves that jackson has the skill to pull of a film like this but he didn't, maybe he's been on the big productions to long. Having said that the film does get better on repeat viewings.

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Post #: 61
Hmm, I totally disagree. - 15/2/2010 11:12:27 AM   
El-Branden Brazil


Posts: 126
Joined: 7/10/2005
I am a huge Peter Jackson fan, and have been following his career since Bad Taste. I absolutely adore Heavenly Creatures, LOTR and even King Kong. However, I was massively shocked at the dreadful storytelling in Lovely Bones. Some of the performances were painful to endure, especially by Mr. Wahlberg. It was like watching a film school graduate's first film, but with a budget to bag a top knotch CGI company!

Again, let me reiterate that I am a huge fan of Jackson, but this was below his experience and talents. It was a total mess.

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Post #: 62
Rubbish - 15/2/2010 10:46:23 PM   


Posts: 21
Joined: 30/9/2005
Dam you Empire. I used to hold your fair reviews as the highest standard all the way back to Issue 1. I still will always read your mag but goddam if your taste hasn't gone sour in recent times. This to me is the worst of all, as this film is undoubtedly a complete mess, pretensious, overblown and utterly shallow, yet you suck up to one of your 'buddy' directors by championing it after he got completely wrecked by virtually every US critic. Well way to show Jackson where your allegiances lie.

Maybe I'm being cruel, maybe you were just really high when you watched this.

< Message edited by hellsfoxes -- 15/2/2010 10:47:52 PM >

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Post #: 63
I'm Amazed At This Rating... - 16/2/2010 2:51:34 AM   

Posts: 214
Joined: 28/8/2007
From: To Your Immediate Left
This movie was a complete and total failure in my mind. Starts on the wrong foot and stays there. Too corny, too obvious, too much fantasy, disjointed plot, subplots excised, Mark Wahlberg (self-explanatory), just an all-around mess.

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Post #: 64
Mark Wahlberg (self-explanatory? - 16/2/2010 11:13:26 AM   


Posts: 63
Joined: 31/8/2006
The Mark Wahlberg that was incredible in movies by Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese? ok cool. just checking.

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Post #: 65
Crap - 16/2/2010 11:54:55 AM   


Posts: 94
Joined: 26/9/2006
Utter crap

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Post #: 66
Cowardly Tales - 16/2/2010 1:05:26 PM   


Posts: 118
Joined: 29/4/2006
It was like three very different stories glued together - and neither one coming together in a very satisfactory way.

I always found it a bit sick to be honest - But the worst offender (Sadly also in the book) is how they ultimatly dealt with Tucci's Character. It almost feels tacked on, and there just to ake an audience not feel too bummed out about the facts. It's cowardly storytelling at its worst.

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Post #: 67
Hmmmmmm - 16/2/2010 2:57:45 PM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 16/4/2008
As a caveat , i have not seen this film, but all the buzz from the States has been horrendous. This includes critics who i trust from the /filmcast podcast. Their review of the film definitely convinced me that it is not a good film, which makes me very cautious of Empire's verdict

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Post #: 68
5 STARS One of the best of the naughties - 16/2/2010 10:12:42 PM   


Posts: 5
Joined: 27/8/2007
From: \Leeds
Meadows finest work. Probably one of the best expoits ofyouth ever. Shane is clearly a man who knows what he's doing behind the camera. Keep working Shane!

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Post #: 69
meow - 16/2/2010 10:18:27 PM   


Posts: 13
Joined: 28/8/2007
hmmmmm yet again a film that has been universally slated gets four stars from empire, and you just trying to be different?

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Post #: 70
meow - 16/2/2010 10:18:32 PM   


Posts: 13
Joined: 28/8/2007
hmmmmm yet again a film that has been universally slated gets four stars from empire, and you just trying to be different?

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Post #: 71
meow - 16/2/2010 10:33:26 PM   


Posts: 13
Joined: 28/8/2007
hmmmmm yet again a film that has been universally slated gets four stars from empire, and you just trying to be different?

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Post #: 72
- 16/2/2010 10:57:23 PM   


Posts: 21
Joined: 30/9/2005
Haha only good review here is for another film...

p.s big surprise... bunch of lovely bones interviews right after review goes live. Lame.

if you guys are going back and fixing old reviews (like demoting Starship Troopers to 4 stars, which i disagree with) I think you should check this one again and at least take an undeserving star off!

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Post #: 73
Ah FFS Empire. - 17/2/2010 9:56:01 PM   


Posts: 151
Joined: 14/10/2009
Saw this, it's poison. How can Empire get it so wrong so often? I've said it before, thank God your news section is excellent because your reviewing skills are horrendous.

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Post #: 74
RE: The Lovely Bones - 18/2/2010 8:50:05 AM   


Posts: 113
Joined: 30/4/2006
From: Bath
Warning - Spoilers (oh I haven't read the book so have no idea how it compares!)

I saw this last night and exited with somewhat mixed feelings. I was genuinely moved by the opening 45 minutes where Susie (Ronan) was still alive, the impending inevitability of her death on the horizon, followed by the early impact on her surrounding family. The scene in which she is lured into Mr Harvey's (Tucci) hut and kept against her will is without doubt one of the most uncomfortable viewing experiences I've ever had.

However, what follows is somewhat dissappointing. For all it's impressive visual imagery, I do not see what benefit many of the afterlife sequences had. There were moments in Susie's afterlife that worked well to move the plot along, for example, her interactions with aspects of the real world environment, uncovering a background to Harvey's character. However, for all these moments serving to move the story forward, I couldn't see the value of sequence after sequence of her wandering around in these visually stunning landscapes. Instead, I would have preferred more focus on the real world and the impact on her family and underused characters such as the grandmother (Sarandon), who, in the end, serves almost as a comic add on. 

Performances on the whole were generally impressive. Ronan does her best to look amazed at each landscape she sees but demonstrates greater talent when in the real world, Wahlberg and Weisz are solid as her parents, but it is Tucci who steals it with his unsettling, creepy performance. It is unfortunate that his demise seems somewhat tacked on at the end of the film for the sake of rounding off the story.

So it's not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination and is well worth a viewing, but it is certainly not without its flaws.

On a final note, Susie was a 14 year old girl in the film. Did anyone in the casting department not think that the chap who played Ray looked somewhat old - at least 19/20?

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Post #: 75
RE: The Lovely Bones - 18/2/2010 9:04:25 AM   


Posts: 113
Joined: 30/4/2006
From: Bath
Did anyone else think that they were watching something from Michel Gondry at times, i.e. a bit pretencious?

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Post #: 76
Shambles - 19/2/2010 1:24:33 PM   


Posts: 4
Joined: 25/10/2005
A talented director has caught the George Lucas Diease. Adding effects when it really isn't necessary. Instead of adding to the story, it dilutes any emotional impact there might of been. While Tucci and Saoirse Ronan are ok, Whalberg is dreadful, as per the norm these days. How empire can say this is will be one of the most imaginative, courageous films in 2010, I do not know. There is nothing new or orginal in this. No wonder Ryan Gosling left this vanity project citing creative differences. Clearly a man with taste. I doubt we'll see more shambolic, disappointing movie of 2010. If this wasn't Peter Jackson, i wonder what sort of rating it would of got. Shame on you Empire. I hope the PJ exclusive interview was worth it.

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Post #: 77
- 19/2/2010 6:33:35 PM   


Posts: 238
Joined: 5/12/2009
I like this film but wasnt sure about the ending SPOILER ALERT STOP READING NOW....Stop him, open the safe, dont let him throw it in the sink hole! they will never find her lovely bones where is the justice?

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Post #: 78
Spot The Peter Jackson Cameo anyone? - 19/2/2010 6:41:20 PM   


Posts: 238
Joined: 5/12/2009
Great film did you spot the the Peter Jackson Cameo? He is in the scene where Suzies dad is getting her pictures developed you will see Peter Jackson is playing with a video camera.

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Post #: 79
RE: The Lovely Bones - 19/2/2010 7:06:38 PM   


Posts: 355
Joined: 23/6/2006
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenwriters: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli, Rose McIver

Set in the early 70s, young Susie Salmon (Ronan) gets murdered and watches over both her family and killer Mr Harvey (Tucci). She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Between his early years as a handler in splatter movies and now a critically-acclaimed filmmaker behind epics like The Lord of the Rings, director Peter Jackson made Heavenly Creatures, an extraordinary drama that blended the beauty of imagination and the harsh reality of murder. This was the film that made people take more notice of him and he is now one of the most successful directors of today. The essence of his 1994 classic echoes in Jacksonís latest.

Based on the international bestseller by Alice Sebold, Jackson (and his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) have the tough challenge of adapting a novel with a non-linear structure. If you were to describe to someone what Seboldís book is, you canít say that it belongs to one genre as the story deals with many themes including paedophilia, revenge and the idea of the afterlife (not heaven), etc.

However in the case of Jacksonís film, the plot has stripped down into a conventional straightforward supernatural thriller in which Marky Mark Wahlberg searches for her daughterís killer while the mother (Weisz) is in some form of depression. While that is going on, the late Susie is stuck in between the enjoyment with the afterlife and her desire for revenge against the man who ended her life.

In terms of adapting a complex novel, reduction is always a cost and unfortunately you do feel it whilst watching The Lovely Bones and wished that Jackson expanded both plot and character. However, despite the conventionality of the first half, the film finds its feet in the second half as sequences become more suspenseful and charm suddenly shines through, thus the film becomes both a lovely watch and a emotional experience.

While Heavenly Creatures definitely had its hard edges, there are moments of intensity during the course of The Lovely Bones despite it being advertised for a mainstream audience. Though it is not as violent as it is in the book, Jackson succeeds at creating an uneasiness, particular at the murder sequence. Since this is a Peter Jackson film, donít be surprise if there is going digital effects that were used to create the In-Between, which is not the most original take on the afterlife but looks spectacular if not a bit too whimsical.

At a young age, Irish actress Saoirse Ronan is someone we just canít resist as her performance as Susie has such innocence that we feel every moment sheís on screen. Pity that the Oscars havenít took much notice. Marky Mark (aka the underwear dude) may not be the finest actor to hit our screens, but he is getting better in his acting than in his early years this film shows it, while we needed more Rachel Weisz and especially Susan Sarandon as the comedic grandmother. Along with Ronan, the other standout is Stanley Tucci (who is Oscar-nominated) as Mr Harvey, who seems like an ordinary friendly neighbour across the road but also has a dark presence when it comes to his job.

It may not have the brilliance of Heavenly Creatures, but like before, Jackson manages to make a watchable experience based on highly imaginative literature. Get a hanky or two if youíre soft!

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Post #: 80
Peter jackson does it again!!! - 20/2/2010 1:44:27 AM   


Posts: 14
Joined: 1/2/2010
I loved it!!!! it was very good !!!!
Please just watch it !!!

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Post #: 81
RE: Peter jackson does it again!!! - 20/2/2010 1:36:50 PM   

Posts: 808
Joined: 27/4/2006
loved it, really loved it. performances were great, was affecting. mind you ever since seeing District 9, everything seems to be pretty good compared to that nonsense. but honestly, The Lovely Bones really was a terrific film, creepy, tense, had a bit of everything. well done PJ.


Nxt up.... The Descendants
Post #: 82
Like the book.... - 20/2/2010 5:30:36 PM   


Posts: 218
Joined: 12/10/2005 is a mixture of great moments and vomit-inducing slush. The first 40 minutes before Susie dies (and her rape doesn't seem to be mentioned) is great. The moments "in-between" less so. Susie's Inbetween just doesn't make much of an impact. It looks great, but never seems a bit strange. In the book, her Inbetween is similar to the world she just left. Although her Inbetween in the film looks great and is very ethereal, it doesn't quite ring true to the other half of the story. Some very nice touches, such as the light house and the gazebo, but I would have prefered an unhappy Inbetween, where she feels somewhat trapped and isloated, like in the book.
Saoirse Ronan and Stanley Tucci are excellent, but the other characters aren't fleshed out enough. I'm surprised by the bile towards Wahlberg as I thought he did pretty well. The mother and Fennerman are quickly despatched, their subplot having cut out completely - perhaps thankfully as I never believed either would of them would be bad enough to have an affair!
More scenes were needed with Lindsay, Grandma, Ruth and Ray. The actress playing Lindsay was fantastic, but others hardly get a look in, only appearing when they have to advance the plot.
They make some strange decisions. They keep the overly-sentimental dialogue,but anything daring about the book and moving (the rape, the finding of the elbow) have vanished to keep a 12A rating. Even the dog is kept alive in the film. (He dies in the book).
It is an odd mix of a film. Had it been given the length of The Horse Whisperer and given some characters room to breathe, it would have been fantastic. But the Inbetween is a bit too soft and happy, and the dialogue too cheesy at points. A touch too forgettable, as it bits tend to whizz. Not as dark or dramatic as it should have been. Feels like the film was much longer but sliced at the last minute.
But on the plus side, the first 45 minutes are excellent, the acting very good and it is still an enjoy

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Post #: 83
Lovely Bones - 20/2/2010 7:48:22 PM   


Posts: 101
Joined: 18/9/2009
From: Bicester
Lovely Bones was a touching, emotional, unnerving, rollercoaster ride through; Susie Salmon's life before and after the terrible incident, the effects in the afterlife were created beautifully and there was, even a sense of coming home after a tragedy. Brilliant acting by all cast and wonderful directing by Peter Jackson a must see! I might start reading the book.

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Post #: 84
RE: Lovely Bones - 20/2/2010 8:49:33 PM   
Gizmo 76

Posts: 1950
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Still around.....
I got this comparison in my head quite early on in the film... and couldn't shake it



Overall, I enjoyed the first 3rd of the film, felt it really dropped off and dragged in the middle, and the final third had it's moments of goodness, but the film really didn't reach the heights I had hoped... I came out of this with a similar feeling that I had with 'where the wild things are', just was expecting more....

< Message edited by Gizmo 76 -- 20/2/2010 8:54:36 PM >


Giz Presents . . .

My Website of Work

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Post #: 85
lovely bones - 20/2/2010 11:27:45 PM   


Posts: 1
Joined: 20/2/2010
I liked the story line and susan sarrandon and the girl did a great job acting in this movie. I think it could have been better if some of the roles had been casted differant.Exspecialy the parents neither one showed enough emotion. Mark could have played the role more dramaticly,he should have been angry instead of whiney and the mother should have been too devastated to breathe much less get out of bed and tell her hus its time to move on. If that were to happen in my family(god forbid) I would not stop crying and my husband would not stop drinking we would both be yelling all the time and probably pointing blame at each other. Thats how most people would react I think. And I wish they would have found her body at the end to give the family some kind of closure. But all in all it was pretty good.

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Post #: 86
Read the Book - 20/2/2010 11:36:48 PM   


Posts: 1
Joined: 25/7/2009
I entered the cinema really wanting to love this movie. Unfortunently I left feeling slightly crushed that a genius director was seemingly unable to craft a coherent and moving film from A1 source material. Jackson and his team of writers seemed to forget that the core of the book centres on Susie's family and the manner with which the relationships are firstly weakened and eventually strengthened by her death. In the film there is very little time given to any of the principal characters of the family therefore it is impossible to feel any empathy with them. The afterlife sequences are embarassing and seemed to have been shoehorned in to add some special effects sequences to the film. These sequences, so out of place, also prevent any emotional engagement with the story as you are either trying to figure out what is going on or trying to stop yourself laughing at some of the more outlandish images Jackson creates. Speaking of out of place, Susan Sarandon's turn as a comical grandmother belongs in My Family, not what is supposed to be a heart-wrenching drama. Stanley Tucci is the main reason to watch this film, as he enters a superb performance as a twisted serial killer, but even he is let down by the lousy script. Why does he commit these murders? We are never told. He is simply an evil man. And herein lies the problem of the movie, despite the 135 minute running time, none of the characters are give any depth, unlike the book, meaning that there is no reason to care about what they feel or do. How Mr Ian Freer could give this 4 stars I do not know, even The Sun got it right when it reviewed it.

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Post #: 87
Too Tame - 21/2/2010 10:00:13 AM   

Posts: 16
Joined: 9/2/2008
From: The Dark Side
Never read the book (so can't compare like others can) but heard great things about this film so off I toddled with my girlfriend. I have to say some parts like the bathroom scence, the father getting beaten, the sister finding the book, ships in bottles were amazing and memerable. Unfortunately considering the subject matter I thought it was exremely tame. Everything was set up brilliantly at the beginning for this film to be a classic but it looks like half way through PJ can't deccide what type of film it should end as. Thoroughly enjoyed it but would have been superb if it had more punch.
Worth watching and my GF enjoyed it to.

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Post #: 88
RE: Peter jackson does it again!!! - 21/2/2010 1:21:11 PM   


Posts: 117
Joined: 2/5/2009

ORIGINAL: tonethestone

loved it, really loved it. performances were great, was affecting. mind you ever since seeing District 9, everything seems to be pretty good compared to that nonsense. but honestly, The Lovely Bones really was a terrific film, creepy, tense, had a bit of everything. well done PJ.

Hey man, anyone that doesn't rate District 9 can step into the dunce's queue right at the front.

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Post #: 89
RE: Peter jackson does it again!!! - 21/2/2010 2:54:47 PM   

Posts: 1567
Joined: 5/10/2005
From: bournemouth
after reading half the stuff on this thread I cannot wait to see it. I haven't read the book and the trailer makes it look interesting so I am game.

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Post #: 90
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