Every Tuesday I'll be posting reviews of movies currently NOT in theaters. These films might be from last summer or might even be from 20+ years ago..thus the title: Time-Warp Tuesdays!
This week I'll be reviewing The Lovely Bones & Charlie St. Cloud. See the theme? Not, entirely, intentional.
The Lovely Bones
Director- Peter Jackson
Based on the novel by- Alice Sebold
Top Billed Cast- Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Surandon, Stanley Tucci, & Saoirse Ronan.
This story is about the time between life and the after life and the imprint one leaves behind on those around. While the book follows this family for over a decade, the movie is only 136 minutes long so it doesn't even touch that length of time.
* Stanley Tucci is amazing. He almost makes this movie worth it. His portrayal of a murderous pedophile is spot on...or rather, he is exactly what one would think of when thinking of a murderous pedophile.
* Saoirse Ronan does a pretty good job of being lost and confused. She portrays innocent rather well and one does feel sorry for her predicament.
* As you can probably tell by the short "pro" list...I have quite a few "issues" with this movie. Starting with the graphics. Peter Jackson fell short here. While the ideas were good, the execution was not. Most of the CGI scenes were cringe-worthy...total cheesefest.
* I feel that this movie was really confusing to those that haven't read the book. The book was definitely NOT one of my favorites, it really just drug on and on and ON. The movie, though shorter for obvious reasons, left out some of the key elements that really make this story "work". One of the big things was the fact that Susie's sister, Lindsey, is pregnant at the end of the movie with no explanation as to how much time has passed.
* Story line....You've been dead for years and the one chance you get to come back, to experience life again, you use to have weird out-of-but-in-random-girl's-body sex? Strange choice seeing as how you were JUST watching your sister get almost trapped by the murderous pedophile. Odd choice indeed.
* Rachel Weisz's character was really underdeveloped in the movie and only a tad bit less-so in the book. It was kind of a shame to waste such talent on this part...we really didn't get to see a lot of the struggle that she had. She felt closed off and unmoving when the role really could've given more. Maybe there just wasn't that much stretch in the writing. Sad day.
* This movie is rated PG-13 and has INTENSE scenes with implied pedophilia, rape, and murder. Though we don't actually "see" anything, the filming style and delivery is cringe worthy. If a movie makes *my* stomach turn, it's probably pretty rough stuff.
Bottom line: I didn't really enjoy this movie. I was really excited about it when I saw previews for it..I mean, hello! Peter Jackson + Stanley Tucci + Rachel Weisz + Mark Wahlberg = Instant Classic! No? No. That being said, I do own it...it's still in its original packaging...but I do have it sitting on my shelf. I gave this movie 2.5/5 stars. Blarg.
Charlie St. Cloud
Director- Burr Steers
Based on the novel by- Ben Sherwood
Top Billed Cast- Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, & Kim Basinger
This story follows Charlie St. Cloud as he deals with the sudden death of his little brother.
* Charlie Tahan is adorable and I thought he did well with what he was given.
* This movie was pretty; I liked the choice of colors and sets for the most part.
Honestly, I hated just about everything about this movie.
*In the book, within the first few paragraphs, the author describes Charlie St. Cloud. He makes sure, throughout the entire story, that the readers are very aware of the fact that Charlie has BROWN eyes.....not green, not hazel, not grey, and DEFINITELY not BLUE. With all the technical advances and all of Hollywood's best make-up artists at their disposal...why, WHY?? could somebody not give Mr. Efron some colored contacts? Is it really that difficult? Oh, I understand creative license and I get that changing details can make a story more "the director's" but, really? Something as stressed in the book couldn't possibly mean more, changed, in the movie. Just don't get it.
* The magic that was "death" in the book lost a LOT in interpretation. In the book, Sam could go anywhere and do anything during the day time...he often caused mischief throughout the town while Charlie was busy at work. It seems that in the movie they were trying to make Sunset this uber-magical time for the brothers when, in the end, it really just made their time too shortened. I mean, how much bonding can one do from 6-6:30? Not a lot.
This movie is rated PG-13 and there is a sex scene, drinking, and a not-so-graphic car crash. There is a LOT of talk of death and the after-life, so be prepared to discuss your views on the subject.
It's not really that there were that many things that bugged me about this movie, I think it's more that it was SO different from the book that got to me. I thought that most of the acting was pretty good and the writing wasn't horrible. Had I not read the book, it might be a movie that I watch in theaters then, months later, secretly rent. It was just really disappointing to me and I gave it 2.5/5 stars as well.
Neither one of these movies met my expectations and goes to show that it takes a lot to "wow" me. Ask any of my friends, I really wanted to like both of these movies...didn't matter.
Stay tuned for Theater Thursday, my reviews on the latest films!