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Review

Harry says that LOVELY BONES is a lovely brutal film!





It is strange how sometimes you can’t shake a single word from your mind when you see a movie. It is especially ironic, if that single word is actually a part of the title for the film, but I really can’t think of a descriptive word more appropriate for LOVELY BONES, because LOVELY BONES is absolutely lovely. I know what you’re thinking. How can a film about the rape and murder of a beautiful 14 year old girl be anything other than traumatic, but frankly… the film is lovely. First, the recreation of the period is lovely. This is seventies America. The sort of time when a 14 year old girl would wear yellow bell bottoms and a blue parka without fear. When hand knitted head warmers with tinkly little bells would be cute. When big-feathered hair was a big deal for women, along with heavy eye makeup and platforms. The clothing of the time popped with color, pants were particularly colorful. The malls look… well; they look like they did in the 70s. They weren’t as BRANDED as today. Less signage, more products in windows. There’s something about the lighting that made me instantly nostalgic. In some ways, Andrew Lesnie’s lens reminds me a tad of Bob Clark’s A CHRISTMAS STORY. In A CHRISTMAS STORY, Reginald Morris’ cinematography was amongst the most loving set of lenses that has ever caught a period. With LOVELY BONES, it seems Lesnie was taking notes. In particular, Susan Sarandon’s Grandma is such a callback to the glam grandmas of the seventies. Those 50’s Housewives, that became empowered women, that became cocktail sloshing ladies, and then later… those painted faced feathered haired hip grannies. My grandmother on my Mother’s side was very much like Susan’s grandma here. She dressed to the 9s, drank voraciously and was a failure at most everything she tried, yet was somehow magnificent in spite of it all. To me, Susan was note perfect. Lovely through and through. Her rather grown-up and slightly risqué conversation with Susie about her own first kiss… well, it’s a secret conversation from Grandmother to Granddaughter that could very well be the first time that Susie was ever treated like a woman. You can tell that all at once, she’s a bit disturbed, slightly titillated and totally envious. Lovely also describes the performances throughout this film. Take Mark Wahlberg’s Jack Salmon, the father character. I love that he builds ships in a bottle. I love his rationalization to little Susie, for why he does it. I love how at the beginning, he explains to little Susie about the Penguin with the scarf in the Snow Globe… that he’s happy inside his perfect little world. And how that becomes the rather sad metaphor for Susie’s existence in the afterlife. He’s a lovely man. Susie was his favorite child. She was his first child. Susie glowed in his eyes. She was the bright light of the family to him. Then there’s Rachel Weisz’s Abigail Salmon, Susie’s mother. Of the family unit, she’s the least developed character. Rachel gives her so much, with such a little amount of time, that the end result is still powerful. Prior to Susie’s death – she’s the kinda of mom that would knit caps & scarves for her kids. She cooks dinner. She is in charge of the house and is the very picture of a lovely mom. After Susie disappears, she’s an emotional wreck as you would expect, but while her husband wallows in the memory of Susie, digs into the disappearance of their daughter and investigates everyone around them… She just wants to leave it all behind. Lock Susie’s door. Hide her memory behind them. And when Jack & her own mother make life at home impossible, she runs away from it all. Goes to a fruit farm to gather apples and bury herself in hard work. She needs to grieve alone, it is how she copes. I found this tragic, yet lovely. Then there is Susie. Susie Salmon, like the fish. Saoirse Ronan reminds me of a young Jodie Foster, but less Tomboy. She has those slightly Gelfling / Elf-ish features. Big wide expressive and beautiful eyes. Watching her with her camera, what a wonderful spirit. She is at that age. That age when she’s still a girl, but she’s flirting with the notion of becoming a lady in the slightest of ways. She’s precocious, a bit obsessed with this guy at school named Ray Singh. He’s Indian, has the cutest accent and is just kinda dreamy through her eyes. She thinks he’s interested in her, but she doesn’t quite know. She’s interested in him, and only her Grandma knows it. Susie is lovely. Just looking at Saoirse, you want her to grow up, you want to see what she would become had things been different. And the film worships her. If you’re watching this film and you don’t fall in love with Susie Salmon… there might very well be something dead in you. She’s an awesome young girl. And it makes you a bit sick inside. I hadn’t read LOVELY BONES. I’m currently about 44 pages in as of the writing of this review, but I was scared of reading the book in advance of the film. I’ll admit it, I was a bit terrified of this movie before seeing it. You see, my wife and I are discussing the possibilities of having a kid. We want to build our house first, but as everyone we know around us seem to be getting knocked up, it feels right. We definitely want kids, but I’ll be honest. Reading a book about a little girl being raped and murdered, then tracking her grieving family and her rapist/murderer from the safe confines of a personal heaven… well, frankly. That didn’t sound like something I wanted to put in my head. I don’t like thinking about the sex offenders living within 15 miles of me. I don’t like to think about the fact that we have Big Bad Wolves in the world preying upon our children. That’s about as ugly as it gets. And I’m someone that likes to think about the best of our world. It is why I throw Butt-Numb-A-Thons… to sponsor a year round film series for kids of amazing fun films that they otherwise won’t get to see. To me, we grown ups should endeavor to make a world that feels wondrous to kids. That feels awesome. LOVELY BONES, as I knew it, felt like something that would taint my rather idealized notion of the world we live in. This brings me to Stanley Tucci’s George Harvey. The Big Bad Wolf to Saoirse’s Little Red Riding Hood. Only, nobody is going to save her, there is no happy ending. The wolf is going to get her. There was never any doubt of that prior to seeing the film. My fear was… how horrible would the “scene” be. In the book, it is stomach turning. In the film, the scene is handled a bit impressionistic, but I’m getting a head of myself. Tucci is introduced as the man who kills Susie. We know this, because Susie tells us this. She narrates the film from her heavenly vantage… and it fills us with dread, even as we’re falling in love with her. She’s at such a sweetly innocent and pure stage of being a girl on the precipice of teenage first love. An absolutely magical place and time in anyone’s life. Tragically so here. Stanley Tucci is invisible as Mr Harvey. His hair, face and eyes are all changed due to make-up, hair and creepy as hell contacts. He makes dollhouses. He has manicured rose bushes that are beautiful. He’s deliberate. He’s not someone that does anything without preparation. He knows the devil is in the details, and he outlines, prioritizes, draws up plans. He’s an effective Wile Coyote, without a giggle. When he finally comes out of the shadows to invite little Susie Salmon into the secret underground clubhouse he’s built for the neighborhood children… my blood went cold. My heart froze. This isn’t the warmly awesome hole in the ground that Bilbo lived in, this is that personal rape & murder hole that a piece of shit built to victimize a little girl. He decorates it with creepily dated KID things, to put his victim at ease. There are candles, to create a slight sense of warmth to this ungodly place. As Susie begins to feel uncomfortable, he offers her a Coke. She insists on getting home. He uses Grown Up Authority, and tells her not to be rude. A chill went down my spine. At this point, my hands went up to my face. I was scared to death about what Peter Jackson was about to assault me with. You remember the killing scene in HEAVENLY CREATURES. Peter can be vicious when he wants to, and I was terrified. I literally couldn’t stomach anything approaching a graphic rape and murder of Saoirse Ronan. I was in knots. Peeking through parted fingers. Once the tension got excruciating, right as I was about to shut down and hate the screen, Peter goes impressionistic, ethereal and haunting, rather than the obvious brutal ugliness that is in the mind of every viewer at these moments. In the book, we read about Mr Harvey’s drooling, sloppy kisses. We’re spared, thank god. Once you see Tucci’s Harvey, your mind can imagine – and you’ll hate your mind for the images it could create. Peter knows this. So he didn’t need to show the horror to you. Instead he leaves it to you, lets your stomach knot up – and even though he doesn’t show it to you – the knots remain. The sick sharp knife of disgust is twisted, via the emotion of the family when a knit cap in an evidence bag is plopped upon a family dinner table. They have hopes, the detective crushes them, when he mentions how much blood was found at the scene. The knife twists as the Salmon parents’ eyes well up. I could go on describing the rest of the film. But frankly I think I’ve conveyed what needs to be conveyed. This is a lovely film about the toughest of times. The film is reassuring in a slightly karmic way, it is never ever exploitive – but is instead, incredibly personal. Susie’s adventures in the in-between are amazing, heart-breaking and quite revealing. They combine elements seen in her room and life at the Salmon home…. But also within the realm of her death scene and the world of her murderer. She’s an angry spirit, but oddly still innocent. She seems to be spared the worst of the memory of the actual event, having repressed it – or perhaps spared by the otherworldly nature of the afterlife. But it is all lovely. This is an incredibly lovely film. From the visuals to the performances to the story-telling and film work… it all goes to capture a very powerful story in a way that makes you want to hug those close to you. After the film, my wife and I began discussing the movie. As I started talking about how much I loved Saoirse Ronan’s Susie. How vital and how alive she was – Yoko’s eyes welled up and through blubber speak, she talked about how much she wanted to see that character grow up, and how she just thinks of everything she missed. Everything that was taken away. And I had to comfort her. This is an incredibly powerful film, masterfully told and captured as only cinema in the hands of a consummate storyteller can tell it. LOVELY BONES will be one of the films of the year. I imagine that some of Peter’s choices in adaptation could very well be hotly debated amongst readers of the book. My wife loved the film, but missed scenes from the book of Susie and the Heavenly high school – and she missed Susie following her little sister growing up, as they were her favorite passages and sequences in the book. Those things are touched on, but Peter focuses more intensely on her experiences in her personal heaven, the people she meets there, her father and the story of George Harvey. A bit of what happens with Ray Singh and the strange girl named Ruth, played perfectly by Carolyn Dando. Everything about the film is lovely, in particular the score by Brian Eno, Andrew Lesnie’s cinematography, the effects work, production design and the lovely performances. Most importantly, the movie made me go out and buy the book afterwards, which is the highest complement that a film adaptation can give its source material. It implants a desire to read the source material.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 23, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this movie

    by Dhaemon

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    the trailer looked pretty weak..

    by mindgrapes

    ..it looked cheesy like a hallmark made for tv movie.. hope that was just the trailer..

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Primero Putas!

    by peter_dickinson

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 5:57 p.m. CST

    aww chingada madre

    by peter_dickinson

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean says where are this week's DVD reviews?

    by SoylentMean

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Soylent Mean

    by HEADGEEK

    had to get this review out. Was wrestling with it since Saturday. Had this long meandering piece that I just was never happy with. About an hour and 45 minutes ago, I deleted what I'd spent 3 days toying with, and started with a blank page. Now that I've captured my thoughts on this, it is time to knock out two DVD columns. Later!

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    So ...

    by GINGE_MUPPET

    its lovely .... thats nice.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I saw it tonight, it's WEAK, pathetic

    by LightninBolt

    The book is shlocky but entertaining, intelligent and emotional. The film (despite solid lead performances) is unengaging, over directed, poor narrative, terribly mawkish in parts (painful to watch) and generally shows everything PJ overdoes... slow-mo, overly manipkuative music, stupid extreme close-ups... and no intelligence. Ok mainstream film 3/5 if you'rw lucky. WAY too much CG too, give it up PJ please, you can't write or direct quality cinema.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Conflicts of interest do not get any stronger than this

    by IndustryKiller!

    Harry, besides being a bit of a sap when it comes to anything that even purports to be emotional, is waaaaaay too close to this project and the director to be taken with even a grain of salt here. I've been dying to hear word on this film, but not like this. Not to mention the review seems to be littered with faint praise.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Harry, three books to read BOFORE having a child...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...THE LOVELY BONES, THE ROAD, and A PRAYER FOR THE DYING by Stewart O'Nan.<P>All great books that deserve to be read...can't re-read them now that I have a daughter though.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST

    hi donkey

    by phoenixmagida5th

    Say hi to your mother for me. God mark can't act

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    It's not good... some of the acting is terrible

    by LightninBolt

    The lead girl and Tucci ae great. Sarandon is funny but superficial. The parents are 'fine' but some of the other roles (boyfriend, dead girls in heaven) are PAINFUL. There was a Q&A after and PJ seems really nice but her and Fran Walsh said nothing interesting and repeated the same points waaaay too long. Sarandon had one question and got across more in one short sentence. I just don't think they're bright enough to write powerful material right now. One or two scenes were tense but not they would be no matter what. They need to watch some classic MOVIES and cut out the superficial overly manipulative direction. It's like an off-key Spielberg. Would have been so much better for $10m by someone young and bright. Sorry to be negative but I'm still smarting from how bad TTT and ROTK were. The Hobbit should be great though. Out.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    guess they wont be showing this at BNAT

    by BillboeFett

    I'm actually kind of surprised. I guess when Harry got done sucking PJ's cock, he got bored and moved on to find another one somewhere else

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Sweet DVD reviews, & I can't wait to see The Lovely Bones

    by SoylentMean

    I remember getting pissed off at the book and the more I thought about it I realized that was the point. That shit should never happen to anyone, but especially to a little girl. <P> When you actively want to punch a fictional character in the soul, smiting its very existence, well that's pretty effective writing.<P> Unless the character is a giant, shape-changing robot, and the hatred provoked is unintentional...

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Tucci's the MAN!

    by Linguo_IS_Dead

    As an actor I mean...not for the girl raping and killing.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:19 p.m. CST

    IndustryKiller!

    by HEADGEEK

    You know - I love that you think I'm TOO CLOSE. I never visited the sets. Wasn't given giant exclusives. Now - Quint is in the movie, so feel free to dismiss his review, but I've never even had a conversation about LOVELY BONES with Peter. Last email exchange was about American and British television that I'd recommend for him to watch. <BR><BR>Not sure how you read this as being faint praise. I clearly state that it is one of THE films of the year. That I love every aspect of the film - and that it has inspired me to pick up and read the book. Something that I haven't done since I saw SILENCE OF THE LAMBS on first release.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Books

    by Kabiathan

    Harry- I have a question about your stance about reading books after you've seen the movie. You mentioned in this review that you are now 44 pages in and you have said that you will read the Harry Potter books after you have seen all the movies. Why do you watch the movie first and then read the source material? Is this the case with both comics and books? Just books? Is your position that you would rather walk in and be able to judge the movie as just a movie instead of adaptation? I was just wondering. BTW, I'm looking forward to your DVD reviews. They are one of my favorite things about the site.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    I imagine the studio doesn't really know how to market this

    by SoylentMean

    and I'm sure folks that aren't familiar with Heavenly Creatures fully expect to see some orcs popping up on screen in this movie.<P> There's only one slimebag greaseball douchebag in this movie, and he ain't never been to Mordor...

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    I believe Harry's review is legit

    by LightninBolt

    It's a movie you could enjoy a lot having not read the book, and definitely if you want to enjoy it you will. But it's far from a classic, not even a top 50 of the year.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:26 p.m. CST

    TAINT!

    by ISleptWithKathyBatesAndAllThatIGotWasThisStupidTalkbackName

    The word of the day is in there! Harry wins a no-prize!

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:26 p.m. CST

    An amazing book

    by Darth_Tarantino

    And in the hands of Peter Jackson, I can imagine it being quite a great film. Will have to wait and see.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    You got me sold, meng.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Quint's in this?

    by ISleptWithKathyBatesAndAllThatIGotWasThisStupidTalkbackName

    In the interests of journalistic integrity, i do hope he doesn't write a review for this movie otherwise he'll be obliterated in the talkbacks....

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    One problem...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    "To me, we grown ups should endeavor to make a world that feels wondrous to kids. That feels awesome" An old man in a car pulls up to a little boy and holds out of his window a bag of candy. "Little boy, come into my car and I'll give you this candy." Little boy says "Mister, you give me that candy and I'll come in your mouth."

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    I thought this was a rom-com about Leonard McCoy

    by YackBacker

    Fuck, was I wrong!

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    THE STORY IS A METAPHOR

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    The little girl = YOUR CHILDHOOD<p>Stanley Tucci's character = EVERYONE INVOLVED IN INDY 4

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Harry "Lovely" is about as evocative a word as "Good"

    by IndustryKiller!

    Seriously when was the last time you heard someone describe something that they thought was amazing as "lovely"? Maybe we just have a different point of view on the language, but I think most people would agree it's a weak descriptor. And things like "I love that he builds ships." That's what you have to say about the character? That's so damn matter of fact. It's like saying "I loved Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds...he speaks with a southern accent." It's just arbitrary.<P> And it's common knowledge you and peter are very close Harry, that's not even up for debate. I would have honestly bet every posession I own against this film getting a negative review, no matter how it turned out. It was simply not in the cards. And the fact that it seems like you're picking arbitrary non-sequitors up to showcase as positives, well, that gives me pause. I think I've earned that amount of hesitation from what I know here. I guess I'll find out for myself when the film comes out. I'm waiting for Beaks' review btw, not Quint's.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Harry, You Don't Write Reviews

    by JaPra

    Harry, the problem is, is that you write about 'My Wife' and 'Starting a Family' and it sounds a bit superfluous, or disengenious, like because you feel these things you have some secret knowledge of something. <br><br>Your don't write reviews Harry, they're opinion pieces, you describe every bit of the films you watch and then add this strange bit of elitist opinion, and you do this for 95 percent of the films you review. <br><br>I try and read your pieces, but every time, these seem overly sentimental, and strangely disconnected from reality.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    I would give my friend a good review on his new movie

    by YackBacker

    It ain't a bad thing- especially if the movie was halfway decent. If it was complete shit, I'd probably lay low for a couple of weeks and leave it be. But giving your buddy a thumbs up is a class thing to do. Sinatra did it, and that's how I fucking roll.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Pardon...

    by JaPra

    ...my incorrect grammar, I wish there was an 'edit' button.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    I...kinda agree with IndustryKiller!

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Harry says that LOVELY BONES is lovely and bony

    by Chakraborty

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST

    ...BONES WILL...BE....LOVED!

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I'm ashamed.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST

    ...or WILL, BE....LOVELY! I suppose.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Harry is getting more and more repugnant every day

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Fucking fat liberals

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST

    IndustryKiller kinda nailed it

    by bongo123

    Harry reviewing a film is a bit useless as a review as hes heavily biased and i cant read em anyways, they're like reading a stephen king book, takes bloody ages to get anywhere and when you eventually do get to the interesting parts it wasn't really worth the effort in the first place

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST

    It's a terrible book

    by BeatsMe

    sorry, a really bad mashup of schmaltzy tearjerker and lifetime-movie exploitation. not convinced that it can make a better movie

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST

    This fucking guy is absolutely one in a billion.

    by GQtaste

    No matter how many fims he writes about every time he relates a past experience w/ said film. He's completely and utterly full of shit! And the way he boasts and goes on and on and on and on how said films are in tune w/ what's going on w/ his life presently. I can't seem to explain myself w/ what I'm trying to convey but in essence he's a bullshit artists.

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  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Wow. I'll be sure listen to someone called "new moon"...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...you misjudged your audience pal.<P>Fuck off.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:06 p.m. CST

    well no need to see the film now Harry spoiled the whole fucking

    by pipergates

    way too much information, very amateurish. you could learn a thing or two from Moriarty about discussing the film without spoiling it. understandable that the film carried you away, but still. and that was an extremely brief mention of Eno's score.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Ms. Ronan...

    by MaxTheSilent

    ...should be cast in the Coen's TRUE GRIT. She has every quality for the main character in that picture.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:12 p.m. CST

    ending (spoilers)

    by Stormshadow4life

    so if they only touched on the ending....does that mean...SPOILERS..... that Susie does not possess Ruth?

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    A singular is a plural "he's a bullshit artists" GQtaste

    by SoylentMean

    That's fuckin' meta right there. All the movies I watch tie in to my life, I mean just the other day I realized that my wife had pushed a button on a box brought to our home by a lightning burned stranger and we were given a million dollars, only someone we didn't know was taking a dirt nap because of my wife pushing the aforementioned button and holy shit my wife is Cameron Diaz but she's missing half her foot but I don't fuckin' care because she's Cameron Fuckin' Diaz.<P> And immediately before that I had watched The Goonies.<P> It's strange how life and movies seem to overlap and sometimes bitchslap eachother.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:19 p.m. CST

    ...and this is not a terrible book. It covers some...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...potentially shmaltzy tearjerker territory but elevates the material with fantasy elements and beautiful execution.<P> In that sense I'd compare it a little to something like LET THE RIGHT ONE IN in that it takes solidly genre material and treats it seriously...with intelligence and memorable characters.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    I'm curious about the post "test screening" changes.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    There were reports all over the Internet today that several changes were going to be made to "The Lovely Bones" at the last minute after test screenings. Suposedly, a couple of the changes were minor, but meant to "punch up" things that were at first only suggested. Is there any truth to this?

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    MARKY MARK IN THE HOUSE YO

    by HaterofCrap

    marky mark and peter jackson...there's a team for the hollywood historybooks!! historybooks of CRAP!

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:30 p.m. CST

    ...I would lure Rachel Weisz into my candlelit bunker...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...but she would probably notice that I cut and pasted the top half of her naked ass shown in ENEMY AT THE GATES with the bottom half of her naked ass shown in THE BROTHERS BOOM to make one beautiful, framed Rachel Weisz ass.<P>Then it would get all awkward and stuff...

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:31 p.m. CST

    You also loved King Kong

    by BitterMan23

    Just sayin'

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Stormshadow

    by Canuck815

    I think I heard that the scene you mention was cut, at least that's what I remember hearing from script reviews.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Can you please do more reviews, Harry?

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    I'm getting pretty tired of having to paw through Massawyrm's stuff.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    This movie will tank

    by AlwaysThere

    There's no way it wont.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:02 p.m. CST

    been waiting for this

    by adomenic

    I cannot wait to see this movie, the book is so good and I think Jackson will do it justice.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    i can't wait

    by LegoKenobi

    this book was indeed lovely, and it destroyed me. when i heard peter jackson was involved, i was beyond ecstatic, because i have every confidence he'd do the book justice. and NOW i read that brian eno did the soundtrack?? holy fucking shit, i'm in heaven, man.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Why will it tank?

    by slappy jones

    If you are going to be a prick at least back it up with reasoning.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Could you be any more biased????

    by blackcatssecretlover

    Firstly - this film ain't that great! It's got a lot of problems with it. Secondly - why the hell are you reviewing one of your friends films??? Shouldn't you get someone a bit more independent?

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Now maybe you'll get the point of the torture scene in the Passi

    by zinc_chameleon

    There can be no sublimity without brutality. Susie's personal heaven wouldn't connect with people unless we knew how she missed growing up on Earth. Your wife was right though, Harry. Had this been a Chris Weitz/Stephanie Meyer production, we would have spent the better part of an hour at the Heavenly High School.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 8:57 p.m. CST

    yikes, Harry

    by Kammich

    im usually one of the more tolerant people when it comes to your reviews, but this is painful. you love that he enjoys building ships in bottles? the period work is on point because those are the type of pants people wore in the 70s? you could go on describing the rest of the movie, but frankly you won't? come on, man. I follow this site closely, over any other film sites, simply because I have been for years... this is an early review of a movie im really excited about, and this is the best you can do? i'm not going to accuse you of sugarcoating because of friendships or anything like that, because that doesn't seem to be the case... this is just a completely off-target review. I wish you would've gone into more detail about the film itself, rather than how its concept made you and your wife feel.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Kammich, I guess he should have elaborated on the...

    by SoylentMean

    laser rabbits.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:16 p.m. CST

    I hope Peter saved the abysmal book

    by performingmonkey

    The Lovely Bones book is pretty badly written and goes into meandering pointlessness around halfway through. Hopefully Peter and co. will have adapted it into a much better, well-rounded overall story, even if that meant taking liberties with the source material. The IDEA of The Lovely Bones is fantastic. The same goes for the Temeraire series, which it was reported Peter also picked up the rights to. The idea is great but you've still got to deliver on the fucking book, especially with Temeraire which is a 6 book series.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Harry, three more books to read...

    by SimonDunkle

    before having a kid: Peter Sotos - Total Abuse Peter Sotos - Tick Peter Sotos - Predicate

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Reminds me of "Princess"

    by Toonol

    A french animated film, about a terribly abused five-year old girl, whose dead mother worked in the sex trade.. .and whose uncle ends up going on a revenge spree. Not the story, but the emotional reaction to the pain inflicted on an innocent youth.<p> The movie mixes in a bit of live action footage... and when it showed the physical bruises on the girl's body, the film switched to actual photos of bruised and battered little girls. Blatantly manipulative, maybe, but effective; it broke me down into blubbering tears, and made me want to seek out and kill certain people at the same time.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    zzzzzz, huh wha?

    by Chewbacca_Khan

    Sorry, I feel asleep reading a predictable, uninspired book and had a bad dream that it was being made into a predictable, uninspired movie. <p> Oh wait, that actually happened?

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST

    GQtaste

    by Hellbastardo

    This your first time here dude ? Seriously why the fuck are you still here ? Just to complain eh

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Harry, you mean you haven't read a book since 1991?

    by YackBacker

    Dude, that's 3 presidents and several hairstyles ago! Reading is FUNdamental!!!!!

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST

    why "fear to wear yellow bell bottoms and a blue parka"?

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    I wore that same outfit to a teabag rally recently.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    THERE'S NO FUCKING RESOLUTION TO THE GODDAMN STORY!!!

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    The killer is never caught, it's just about this girl watching her family deal with her death and Jackson has clearly fucked up this adaptation. The idea of visualizing Heaven is, and always has been, a mistake but Peter has an effects company now and can’t very well make anything without a fuckton of CGI. An intelligent movie would have shown the events of the movie with Susie narrating. The climax of the film would show the murderer die and being sucked into Hell for eternity while Susie and her family, who are already there with her since Heaven would be a non linear plane of existence, watch and lament his fate. Also, this idea that, in Heaven, she would forever have the mentality of a teenage girl is stupid. If there was a Heaven, I’d like to think that one would gain knowledge beyond human comprehension and learn about every corner of creation. Wouldn’t that be better then the stupid idea that she could eat sundaes and ride ponies forever if she wanted? I will be avoiding this movie.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to this one...

    by SoylentGreenOnACracker

    In some kind of strange way. Ironically enough, my daughter gave me the book to read. It was both devastating and beautiful at the same time. Especially as a parent.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST

    YackBacker, HARRY HAD FOOD TO EAT AND....

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Might have accidentally choked on a novel if it got near his sarlacc pit of a mouth.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Yackbacker

    by HEADGEEK

    No, I have read many books since 1991. But this is the first time since SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, where I went to a movie based upon a prior work, that immediately upon leaving the cinema - I went out, bought the book and started reading it because I wanted to know about the differences and what I missed by seeing the adaptation, but not the original source material.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:12 p.m. CST

    GOD ALL OF YOU ARE SUCH WHINERS!!!

    by BadMrWonka

    every fucking talkback now is half about the movie and half about your whiny fucking BULLSHIT about AICN. too many reviews, not enough reviews, too mc mainstream shit, too many articles about non-news. too many set visits! not enough scoops! too many articles! not enough articles!<p>SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!! my god, I'd like to stab you all with your fucking broken records!!!<p>if you don't like this site, FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF FUCKOFFFUCKOFF!!!!!!<p>jesus fucking christ.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    BadMrWonka

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    What is LOL is that you are also whining about AICN.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    BadMrWonka

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    What is LOL is that you are also whining about AICN.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Every movie Harry see is a ONE OF THE BEST OF THE YEAR.

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    BadMrWonka

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    :( ...lol

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    At least there arent any morons comparing it to "What Dreams May

    by Playkins

    Seriously, every other talkback about this movie was punctuated by some moron that clearly had no idea what he was talking about calling it a ripoff.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    soylentmean

    by Kammich

    i only want laser rabbits if said laser rabbits are accompanied by styx lead singer and overall sex symbol DENNIS DEYOUNG!

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:33 p.m. CST

    I kinda agree with BadMrWonka

    by criticalbliss

    heh heh...

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:38 p.m. CST

    This is aint-it-cool-news

    by micbenxyy

    This site is driven by Harry Knowles' personal love of films. It has never attended to what other people have thought this web site should be. Harry writes commentary about how a film makes him feel. If you don't like it, go somewhere else. I am sure Hollywood Elsewhere would be glad to have you. Wankers W

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:46 p.m. CST

    HARRY MUST HAVE THE THICKEST SKIN I EVER DONE SEEN

    by BringingSexyBack

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:55 p.m. CST

    It's sad that movies like this aren't as successful

    by RequisiteMonkey

    as Twilight.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    liesandpicturesofalsolies

    by BadMrWonka

    right...and Jack Ruby killed Kennedy.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11 p.m. CST

    Bad Mr. Wonka...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    suffering from we like to call in the medical field as Sandy Pussy.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:14 p.m. CST

    So, how long is the movie?

    by cornholiosbungholio

    Is it "watch it twice" Bad Taste length, or "watch it over the course of 2 weeks" Return of the King length?

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Andy Serkis in this?

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Sandy Pussy sounds like

    by RequisiteMonkey

    a Top Ten rejected Bond girls name

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:25 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by Toonol

    Think of it this way; every spiteful, juvenile, moronic post that complains about Harry is one more ad impression Harry is making money off of.<p> I would encourage people to whine about me all day long, if it paid my bills.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Harry thinks The Fantastic Mr. fox is Fantastic

    by Rene_Belloq_12inch_Figure

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    BMW

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    That doesn't make sense, you're complaining about AICN but Jack Ruby *didn't* kill Kennedy.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Harry writes New Moon feels New

    by Rene_Belloq_12inch_Figure

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    The Blind Side made Harry wish he was Blind

    by Rene_Belloq_12inch_Figure

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Harry says precious is precious

    by Rene_Belloq_12inch_Figure

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Do I get a job at AICN now?

    by Rene_Belloq_12inch_Figure

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:48 p.m. CST

    how can it be PG-13?

    by lavatory love machine

    spoilers: what about the body fragments and the rape scene?

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 11:51 p.m. CST

    BadMrWonka

    by MacReady452

    "I'd like to stab you all with your fucking broken records!!!" Is that supposed to be a Swing Kids reference? Stab away.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Ok Harry, that's what I was hoping

    by YackBacker

    I could have sworn you mentioned that you've read the DARK TOWER series at some point. Good show, my man. Happy Thanksgiving too.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:17 a.m. CST

    GOD ALL OF YOU ARE SUCH WHINERS!!!

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    *PUTS GUN TO HEAD* *KA-BOOM!!!*

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Harry, about the sex offenders in the neighborhood

    by ShadowMaker

    If you're really worried about putting a child into the world, you should check out a site called freerangekids. It's very good at debunking all kinds of 'Stranger Danger' myths that are put into our heads. Apparently children are safer now than in the 70s, from car crashes, disease and yes, bad men (and women). The registered sex offenders lists are a joke, since if you made a picture of your weenie when you're 14 and you put it on your Myspace page, for the next 10,15,25 years or so you could be labelled a sex offender. The registery makes no difference between serial rapists and a one time bad joke with your friends. So, don't worry too much about this, there's a bigger chance you'll be able to screw up your kids yourself.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST

    liesandpicturesofalsolies

    by BadMrWonka

    Jack Ruby killed the man who killed Kennedy. I'm complaining about the people who are complaining about AICN.<p> and cheyne, you know you hate all these whiny bitches, too. I'm not ready to put the gun to my head, but jeez. if they hate it here so much, why can't they just leave?<p>this outburst wasn't out of nowhere, I've been seeing this escalate over the past few weeks to previously unheard of level. it's really sad.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:33 a.m. CST

    MacReady452

    by BadMrWonka

    never seen swing kids, sorry. I Can't do musicals. the only ones I've ever seen are The Music Man (thanks mom) and The Sound of Music (thanks film school). musicals are nails on a chalkboard to me. I respect their place in film history, but man. I just can't do it.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:41 a.m. CST

    pipergates

    by hst666

    What did Harry spoil. She narrates from beyond the grave from the beginning and I believe you know who the killer is from early on.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Is this where I can find...

    by Tipsy McStagger

    the feelgood talk back of the year?

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:45 a.m. CST

    I enjoy having a forum...

    by Tipsy McStagger

    where I can whine, because my wife doesn't listen to me anymore since she had the locks changed.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:03 a.m. CST

    ATTN FLICKAPOO: Re: Naked Rachel Weisz..

    by BillboeFett

    Dude.. just get 'I WANT YOU' starring Weisz from 1998. </BR> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119347/ </BR> she shows full frontal, boobs, pubes, the 3 Bs man, over and over and over. Comeon, enlarge your movie vocabulary brother!

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Shutter Island didn't make Harry Shutter!!!

    by Thrillhouse77

    I know it's Shudder, but Harry's never been a genius with wordplay.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    A V A T A R - Fucking your eyeballs in December!!!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    nothing else matters

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:39 a.m. CST

    More Serious Message to Harry & Yoko

    by MattmanReturns

    The decision is yours. Not some talkbacker who tells you not to use your brain. Jesus. No wonder the world's overpopulated.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    I don't see the whinning dude but whatev.

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:58 a.m. CST

    How long is it?

    by yodalovesyou

    Coz the last three hour+ PJ movie gave me serious back problems. Man needs to get over himself.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Also, this idea that, in Heaven, she would forever have the ment

    by Bass Ackwards

    That's not the way heaven is portrayed in the book, nor is it meant to be a thriller, so that the killer isn't ever caught isn't the same as the story lacking resolution. Maybe you ought to take another, more patient stab at the book.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Mark Wahlberg

    by Rocco Curioso

    His presence in this, all by itself, is enough to keep me away. "Boogie Nights" excluded, he somehow manages to diminish every movie he's in. First Jack Black in "King Kong", and now Wahlberg in "The Lovely Bones"; PJ must be hellbent on torpedoing his recent movies with bad casting. Have at it, hoss.<P>Speaking of "have at it, hoss"... Harry: if you want to procreate, ya better get crackin', pokey. World's gonna end in three years.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 2:30 a.m. CST

    I can't read this idiot's reviews anymore.

    by 3 Bag Enema

    I tried. Moving on.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 2:51 a.m. CST

    This looks terrible.

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Like PJ tried to get back to Heavenly Creatures-style filmmaking but had to throw millions of dollars, CG and bland, flat cinematography at it.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 2:52 a.m. CST

    COMPLEMENT?

    by pip1345

    Compliment. It's compliment, man.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:47 a.m. CST

    One of Harry's better reviews

    by Drsambeckett1984

    I have a bit of a problem with Peter Jackson, I love LOTR, but all he seems interested in doing is adapting books, and I always thought he had more of an imagination that that. <P> The Frighteners is awesome, I'd like to see him make a film like that again.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:54 a.m. CST

    This site needs an editor

    by pelhamsim

    Also, so the editor doesn't get lonely, this site should also get some writers...

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:14 a.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach

    by LightninBolt

    Bingo

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:29 a.m. CST

    Filmed

    by NudeandAroused

    I work where some of this was filmed. I also met Jackson when he was location scouting. I certainly will be there to see it.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Hitchcock's Frenzy

    by swanstep

    Ruined incantatory uses of the word 'lovely' forever. Not sold on this film at all yet.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:36 a.m. CST

    When is this officially being released?

    by meta4

    I thought it was pushed into 2010?

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 6:46 a.m. CST

    ...BillboeFett...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I somehow missed that one.<P>You are a scholar, a gentleman, and a humanitarian...in this particularly bile filled talkback I applaud and thank you for this selfless gesture.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 7:02 a.m. CST

    hst666, harry spilled his beans and prematurely ejaculated

    by pipergates

    yeah, that was known since day one, the gist of the story. but that overexciteable fool Harry is telling pretty much every little detail of the story, the things you would want to find for yourself. you do not need to tell the whole thing to give an impression and an opinion about a film, and Moriarty is much better at it. i generally enjoy Harry's more from the gut style too, but here he just spilled his beans and prematurely ejaculated on them.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Harry says KING KONG is Kingy and Kongy

    by Chakraborty

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 7:32 a.m. CST

    BadMrWonka - I concur

    by spud mcspud

    I'd agree that Harry's maybe not the best writer on here, but you know what? We're in his casa, so he can do what the fuck ever he likes! I kinda like the references back to his early life in these reviews, because it gives you some insight as to where his undiminished passion for movies comes from, and fuck it - NO-ONE should be ashamed of that! <P> There's a lot of whiny bitches on here who just need to MAN THE FUCK UP. Nothing wrong with coming to the AICN TBs to bitch - hell, it's cheaper than therapy, and Mrs Spud-To-Be will tell you, I'm easier to live with since I started venting on here nearly a decade ago. But don't bitch about the site itself - if you hate it so much, don't fucking come here any more! Jeeeeeeeesus.<P> In conclusion, BMW, I feel you, dawg. Whiny bitches, FUCK OFF!!

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Rocco Curioso

    by spud mcspud

    Behave yourself! ROCK STAR was AWESOME!!

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    spud mcspud

    by Rocco Curioso

    Point taken. "Rock Star" movie good; Marky Mark not so good in it.<P>There's a scene near the end of that movie (as you may recall) where Dominic West gives MW a right proper dressing-down: "WE... write the songs for a Steel Dragon album. YOU... sing them. You got it?"<P>... and as he's standing there listening to this, MW gets this pouty, little-kid look on his mug like someone just stole his milk money. Maybe not the worst reaction shot ever, but damn close.<P>Dominic West--- now THERE'S a solid actor. Why couldn't PJ have tapped him as The Dad instead? He does a servicable American accent.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    The book draaaaaags

    by PoopAgoose

    The book was good up until Harvey leaves town..then it gets bogged down in side characters side stories and drags on way too long, then needs to end so they (basically) drop an anvil on his head. It's like a stooges short that only has 10 seconds left and needs an ending, so they jump out a window and ride off on buffalo's. The end of the book is about as ridiculous.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Expect Harrys review of AVATAR to be the same!

    by standundermyumbrella

    A director we wont dare to criticize also and so AVATAR will also be one of the films of the year, which still means very little since he probably called 30 films this year "one of the best films of the year". Way to go Harry. dont burn bridges with your A-list director friends!

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Harry says AVATAR is avely and tarry

    by Chakraborty

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    standundermyumbrella

    by meta4

    I don't get your rant. Harry hasn't even reviewed AVATAR,so how will you know he'll like it? Harry hyped 2012 pretty decently for not being a QT or Robert Rodriquez film, and still didn't like it. At one point and time Harry said something along the lines of "I only review good movies because they should be recognized as such, why should a bad movie be recognized?" And I tend to agree. I personally don't have high hopes for AVATAR based on the trailers, but I want it to succeed because James Cameron (like Peter Jackson) makes moving art, and tries to advance the industry rather then sit and remake his own work like alot of studios make directors do.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    This right here

    by meta4

    Is my most wanted movie. I haven't anticipated a film since TDK.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    The reviewers on this site do a damn fine job

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    except, of course, Harry.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    is the actress actually 14?

    by Bouncy X

    because i wanna make sure how appropriate or inappropriate my thoughts will be.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Harry, go ahead and have kids!

    by HapaPapa72

    Just no boys. Too many of those in this world. And way too many wind up like Bouncy X.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Saoirse Ronan

    by Meadowe

    Pretty out there first name, but it reminds me of the band Saosin. This fliq looks awesome, the trailer was one of the best things about seeing that emo snooze fest new moon.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    HARRY CAN'T HAVE KIDS BECAUSE HE CUMS GREASE!!!FACT!!!

    by TehCreepyThinMan

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    The book was unreadable

    by Rupee88

    ok I tried to listen to the audiobook and it was unlistenable...this seems like a story for teenage girls..maybe not as much as twilight, but still the case. I don't get it.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Harry says BAD LEIUTENANT is bad....

    by Chakraborty

    ...and is a Lieutenant.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Rocco Curioso

    by emteem

    Wahlberg doesn't diminish I Heart Huckabee's. He's a highlight of the film, and obviously I'm sure Huckabee's isn't popular around here as there are no robots or tits, but I like it.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Rupee88

    by emteem

    It's a story about a teenage girl who gets raped and murdered and how that tragedy affects both her family and friends as well as her killer for a period of years afterward. Can you be more specific about how it is a story for teenage girls?

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    My question

    by emteem

    But it gets into spoiler territory is whether the climax is taken straight from the book? Possibly the worst ending to any story ever. I remember enjoying the book for about 305 of it's 320 pages and then I got to the climax and was literally angry. The fact that I think the moment is supposed to be beautiful and touching makes it worse. <p>Okay, worst climax ever might be hyperbole especially since I haven't read and viewed every story ever, but it's on my short list with Stephen King's It, Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, and Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Rocco Curioso

    by spud mcspud

    Yeah, point taken - though ROCK STAR is an awesome movie (fucking killer soundtrack - WE ALL DIE YOUNG is right up there on my playlists) but Marky Mark does eff up a couple of shots, admittedly. Dominic West was solid in that movie - especially that line "Then our fans will be off enjoying the vocal stylings of, say, RATT,") and also in THE FORGOTTEN. He WOULD have been a better choice.<P> I've got THE LOVELY BONES novel, but have a real problem getting into it. I've read TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE, the BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY trilogy, so I'm in touch with my feminine side etc etc, but something about that novel doesn't get me. I'm hoping the movie will, but HEAVENLY CREATURES and THE FRIGHTENERS were a long time ago...

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Nice review Harry

    by tronknotts

    Hadn't heard of this movie before. Glad to hear that you liked it Harry. I hope I will too. Also, I am extremely jealous that you get to run such a cool website, and that jealousy almost makes me want to say mean things to you (terrible writer, hack, biased, etc). But I'm not going to do that, because I am over 13 years old.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Jackson shoulda cast the LB girl as TinTin

    by AzulTool

    She looks just fucking like him...

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Them Bones, them bones, them lovely bones!

    by ToMonicker

    Ding, ding, dingaling. Meh. I haven't a clue about this... Didn't even know Peter Jackson had a film coming out.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    So this is essentially a snuff film?

    by detinue

    Seen through the eyes of the snuffed; before, during, and after the fact?

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    I saw this review coming a long time ago...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    ...when Peter Jackson became a "friend" of Harry's and WETA participated in Harry's wedding. <p>You scratch my back... </p> <p>Of course, I have slowly grown suspicious of MANY of the reviews here at AICN since it attempted to change from an underground spoiler/review fansite into a "legitimate entertainment business" (complete with perks offered to the almost-quasi-celebrities in charge). Oh well...what can you do? </p> <p>Regardless, I sincerely look forward to this film...even if I take this review with a grain of salt and suspicion.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    However...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    ...I thought that Harry's STAR TREK review was one of the best that I have ever read...and completely reflects my own feelings toward the film and franchise (even though Harry is a decade older that I am). <p>Regardless of any bias that might exist, sometimes Harry is dead on with his reviews (from a fanboy standpoint). </p> 'Nuff said.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I have nevah evah seen two more wishy-washy posts

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Just in the fucking backstroke, please don't ban me, hall of shame! Congratz ccchhhrrriiisssm.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    BEST OF THE YEAR - AICN!!

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Oooookayyyy...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    I guess that I simply want to point out that I suspect some butt-kissing in many of Harry's reviews... <p>...but I happen to still agree with some of them too. Is that clear enough for you? </p> <p> Besides, I couldn't care less if Harry banned me. lol! If he DID ban me for something like this (a legitimate opinion)...then maybe this site really isn't for me. </p> <p>I have been roaming through the pages of this website since the beginning (well, around 1997...when I was still in high school). I've seen the highs and lows (including some of the funniest debacles ever...like Harry's infamously dubious GODZILLA and AOTC reviews). I've also seen this site change over the years. I have continued to haunt it (maybe out of habit). </p> I do miss the good ol' days, though. I miss the days when people actually spent their time in the TBs discussing movies, games and comics rather than trying to "out-diss" one another. Argh. I think that I just became an apologist for civility. Damn.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Gah, Harry -

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    How about reviewing THIS movie, and not re-reviewing all of Peter Jackson's other flicks?<p><p>Myself, I have no interest in this. The trailer informs me this movie is the antithesis of creativity, as Jackson is wont to do. For a movie that clearly works so hard to be "visually beautiful," everything is so obvious and everything panders - a world of rose petals and birds making the leaves of trees and great green fields and giant ships-in-bottles - THE MOST obvious and thoughtless imagery one could imagine. "What do we want to make the little girl's fantasy world look like?" "Oh, let's do a lot of birds and roses and fields, you know, lots of ribbons blowing in the breeze and flowers opening up beneath ice-skating ponds, the usual stuff." "OK!" Jackson doesn't have a creative bone in his body, as he's proved again and again and again.<p><p>This is even more obvious in Tucci's appearance, where he might as well be wearing a sandwich board that says CHILD MOLESTOR, where every tic of the performance beats right along with the popular perception of the total stereotype of the fat, baldning, bespectacled mousey dude with perfectionist mannerisms. Total obvious bullshit.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    tick tick tick tick BOOM!

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    Is that a BOMB I hear ticking?

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Peter Jackson is one lucky sum bitch!

    by lockesbrokenleg

    If he had never done Lord of the Rings, would we even be talking about him? Hell, I only knew him as the guy who did Frighteners.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    TINTIN

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Can't wait to continue to watch TINTIN not get made due to TOTAL FUCKING DISINTEREST on the part of everyone who's not French (or French Canadian). I giggled with schoolboy glee when all major studios issued a massive FUCK YOU SPIELBERG edict telling the most powerful man in Hollywood that not even HE could convince anyone to see TINTIN. Fuck TINTIN.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Oh, and the Bushy Brown Moustache

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Child molestor in a movie's GOTTA have a bushy brown moustache to make sure the audience KNOWS he's gross. Audiences NEED to be taught that he's gross in every way, as they don't have the mental acuity to recognize him as emotionally gross no matter what he looks like. Gotta make sure too that he wears lots of brown, to you know, associate him with filth. And make sure he always looks sideways at the other actors and the audience - especially for a long shot as he hears a loud noise from upstairs. Gotta make sure we never get a clear look at his eyes 'cuz he's a child molestor. "Will you take your children to see THE CHILD MOLESTOR? You should." I fucking lvoed that Grindhouse fake trailer. "Oh, no, he's posted his work on the internet! I'll stay here and ... check it ... out!"

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Spymunk, you're full of it.

    by Mostholy

    "Jackson doesn't have a creative bone in his body?" Um, yeah. Even if you don't like the guy's output, that's such an obviously stupid statement that it's hard to take anything else you say seriously. (Not that I took you seriously anyway, after the Ayn Rand worship of a few months ago.)

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Also the world outside Quebec is very down with TINTIN.

    by Mostholy

    And it will make mad bank worldwide. Count on it.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Chhhrriiisssmmmmmm

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    I agree with you 100 percent. I'm all for the civility. Most of the "disses" are horribly uncreative and don't do much to convey anything but stupid superficial hate. I want people to talk about movies, and you'll notice when I diss it is only only in response to some motherfucker tossing off a review so critical of myself or of a whole subgroup of people I feel compelled to write.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    lovely? talk about damning it with faint praise

    by zapano

    im hoping its really good, but this review leaves me nonplussed. the delay in the release of the film doesn't inspire confidence either.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Guardian gave it 2 stars! ouch!

    by zapano

    and Xan Brooks is not the toughest of critics

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Some hypocritical backstroking muthfuckas in here

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    FLASHFOWARD on temporary hiatus?

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    http://tinyurl.com/ff000 <p>That can't be good. </p>

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    HEE!

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    FLASHFORWARD IS DONE! HEROES IS DONE! V IS DONE! The sooner fanboys learn Hollywood hates them, and the mainstream world despises them, the sooner they'll stop trying to gain mainstream recognition and acceptance and start making their material only for themselves and by themselves, with no studios, making it actual, you know, good quality and true to its roots and source material - and Hollywood can get to the business of making OLD DOGS 2.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    "And I had to comfort her."

    by reflecto

    Oh God.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    the last page of the book will absolutely kill you

    by brainiacdesigns

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Comfort

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Can anyone here conceive the mental image of being comforted ny Harry Knoles? Stop. Think.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST

    After Kong I'll pass on P. Jackson

    by Flip63Hole

    Terrible, terrible flick.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    I love Peter Jackson but the subject matter of this film sounds far from 'lovely'. Not one for me im afraid.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Flip - Agreed

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    I gave up on him after the terrible THE FRIGHTENERS, which consisted of men covered with pink sludge yelling at each other, hatefully, for two hours. It was headache-iunducing with its nastiness, its lack of even the fragment of a soul. It was a soulless, cynical film without a shred of real performance or humanity in it. Zero stars.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Technology has KILLED Creativity

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Now that directors can accomplish anything visually, they think that everything should be accomplished. In the past, directors had to think about different ways to get across things they couldn't manage in the budget. Dumb directors made stupid decisions nad tanked. Smart directors were clever and innovative. Now that visuals show everything in front of your face, there's no need (nor room) for innovative thinking, so bad directors show us their worst material and good directors give in to their easiest and worst impulses. It's not hard to figure out wht's wrong. Its' why low-budget filmmaking is the only valid genre for horror, sci-fi, etc. left. They have to THINK

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Total film gave it four stars

    by slappy jones

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    RequisiteMonkey... it's

    by MurderMostFowl

    The bond name is "Sandy Gina"

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    An effective Wile Coyote

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Bunk

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Maybe PJ Has No Balls...

    by Squinty CGI Flynn

    He can't tell his wife and philipa boyens that their scriptwriting is fucking terrible. Or too lazy to find decent writers. The trailer for this movie just seemed like a very sleek, over directed, over CGIed commercial for Mark Wahlberg's incredibly awful wig.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 8:26 p.m. CST

    my question...

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    we all know aicn plays favoritism wit movies, but who do they go bout doin it? do they send a company wide email tellin everyone to write a good review? is it in a hush-hush way like "yea, ya know gi joe is comin out. *coughcough* ill like that review"? or is it like durin a big meeting or somethin?<p>

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST

    TUCCI MOLESTER - "DO I LOOK LIKE I OWN A COMPUTER MOTHERFUCKER?

    by TehCreepyThinMan

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Liberal Harry

    by MegaBeth

    Talks the talk but don't walk the walk. Harry would weep if the child rapist was put to death because Libs hate the death penalty.

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Harry's review 4 months from now when it hits Blu-Ray:

    by wash

    "It bored the hell out of me."

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 10:14 p.m. CST

    BONES will be LOVELY...

    by Darkman

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:44 p.m. CST

    AVATAR FEATURETTE’S – CHARACTERS AND HARDWARE…..

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Jake - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qyl2Vt9seM<br> <br>Neytiri - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY_RTaKbSiE<br> <br>Dr. Augustine - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4mJUkGVKlI<br> <br>Selfridge - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2kUOrr7zZM<br> <br>Chacon - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyeTXZ6NcKk<br> <br>Thanator - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2FAVxbXWRI<br> <br>AMP Suit - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzyC_66id_I<br> <br>The Scorpion - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM-DR8itsCw

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:47 p.m. CST

    thanks creepythinman, but you are needed

    by southafricanguy

    in the Avatar CNN interview talkback asap.....lol

  • Nov. 24, 2009, 11:49 p.m. CST

    guys its peter jackson, the guys a pretty

    by southafricanguy

    good film maker last time I checked, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.....

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 2:53 a.m. CST

    wonder if Harry is gonna flip-flop

    by JefferyLebowski

    and pan this movie in 4 months when the DVD arrives, a la his BRUNO reviews.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 3:36 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night and...

    by londonfnut

    ...it didn't move me. The book did in a major way. The film is stunning but has no emotional punch. Really, really disappointed.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Daily Mail review "we leave the cinema....glad it's over"

    by livingwater

    The Lovely Bones: Big Budget blows away all subtlety By Baz Bamigboye Last updated at 10:06 AM on 25th November 2009 The Lovely Bones: 12A The Lovely Bones is based on Alice Sebold's mega-best-selling novel about a 14-year-old girl's horrific sexual assault and murder as narrated from a space between heaven and earth by the dead girl herself. The book was deeply moving but the film, in the hands of director Peter Jackson, he of the Oscar winning Lord Of The Rings trilogy, is a somewhat leaden, stiff-jointed affair. His idea of heaven reminded me rather of that New Seekers Coke commercial, full of pastel colours, special effects and wind blowing leaves off trees. No tear-jerker: Jack Salmon (Mark Wahlberg) and daughter Susie (Saoirse Ronan) won't have the audience reaching for the Kleenex in The Lovely Bones Not one tear did I shed. And I know any movie about a dead child would normally have me reaching for a Kleenex. The bare bones of Sebold's novel are there, with the family going through hell as the daughter watches from above, but Jackson and his co-screenwriters seem to have removed the essence of Sebold's astutely observed vision and sense of a family attempting to cope over time with such shocking loss. Saoirse Ronan plays Susie Salmon, the dead girl who tries to guide her distraught family from the afterlife. Big budget bodge Susie Salmon tries to guide her family from the afterlife - but the movie's attempts to portray the world she inhabits do not totally succeed It's not her fault the movie locks itself in that in-between world she inhabits. She proved in Atonement that she's a young actress of grace but she hasn't been given a structure that's able to use her gifts. Apart from a couple of gripping moments where Susie's father (Mark Wahlberg) and sister (Rose McIver) turn detective and try to flush out the man they believe is behind Susie's death, there are few moments of tension. Mother's grief: Rachel Weisz is Abigail Salmon who struggles so desperately to deal with her daughter's death Susan Sarandon pops up as the grandmother who arrives to help keep house and she's slightly bonkers. She chain smokes her way through house-keeping duties but Jackson just overdoes it. There are no gentle touches in The Lovely Bones, and, believe me, a story such as this needs to be handled with care. Jackson cuts out a vital storyline involving Susie's mother (Rachel Weisz) and an affair she has with the policeman who is trying to find out what happened to her daughter. Searching for truth: Mark Wahlberg plays susie's father Jack Salmon who turns detective and provides one of the film's more gripping moments It would have neatly balanced the New Seekers in heaven. One cannot argue with the film's production values. I mean millions of dollars have been thrown into the making of The Lovely Bones - and it shows. Everything's too big, everything's signposted. There's not a subtle moment to be seen and, more importantly, to be felt. It's a great shame because Sebold's book showed us a world of pain, loss and love. That sense has been lost in translation. We leave the cinema, not heart-broken. Just glad it's over.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 4:37 a.m. CST

    The Guardian and Variety pan it too

    by livingwater

    How does one make a PG-certificate film about the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl? Director Peter Jackson provides an answer of sorts with The Lovely Bones, which leaves the murder unseen and the rape unmentioned. His reward is a blushing mainstream entertainment that was tonight deemed fit to be introduced to polite society at a royal premiere in Leicester Square. Our reward is anyone's guess. It's not that The Lovely Bones is a bad movie, exactly. It is handsomely made and strongly acted, while its woozy, lullaby ambience recalls Jackson's work on the brilliant Heavenly Creatures, before he set forth on his epic voyage through The Lord of the Rings. Here, he audaciously conjures up heaven as designed by a teenage girl – a kitsch spread of sunflower fields, spinning turntables and the sort of airbrushed waterfalls that could have spilled straight off an Athena poster. All of which is entirely fitting, and often captivating. The problem, though, is that The Lovely Bones also gives us a real world as designed by a teenage girl. The land that Susie leaves behind is so infested with cartoon archetypes and whimsical asides that, at times, it scarcely feels real at all. The difference was that Sebold's novel was not scared to look the central horror in the face. This ensured that it at least part earned its subsequent flights into the ether. The screen version, by contrast, is so infuriatingly coy, and so desperate to preserve the modesty of its soulful victim that it amounts to an ongoing clean-up operation. Gone is the dismembered body part that alerts the family to Susie's fate. Gone is her anguished mother's adulterous affair with the detective who leads the case. Gone is all mention of what really transpired in that lonely 1970s cornfield. Is this really the best way to secure a crime scene and retrieve the victim? Jackson turns up with his eyes averted, spraying cloying perfume to the left and right. ################################### VARIETY Peter Jackson's infatuation with fancy visual effects mortally wounds "The Lovely Bones." Alice Sebold's cheerily melancholy bestseller, centered upon a 14-year-old girl who narrates the story from heaven after having been brutally murdered, provides almost ready-made bigscreen material. But Jackson undermines solid work from a good cast with show-offy celestial evocations that severely disrupt the emotional connections with the characters. The book's rep, the names of Jackson and exec producer Steven Spielberg, and a mighty year-end push by Paramount/DreamWorks will likely put this over with the public to a substantial extent, but it still rates as a significant artistic disappointment. There has been cautious optimism among longtime Jackson followers that this material might inspire him to create a worthy companion piece to his 1994 "Heavenly Creatures," which similarly involves teenagers and murder in an otherwise tranquil setting and remains far and away his best film. The potential was certainly there in the book, which reminds of Dennis Lehane's successfully filmed novels "Mystic River" and "Gone Baby Gone" in its devastating emotional trauma, but offers the distinctive perspective of the most entirely plausible omniscient narrator in modern literature. Unfortunately, the massive success Jackson has enjoyed in the intervening years with his CGI-heavy "The Lord of the Rings" saga (the source of which receives fleeting homage in a bookstore scene here) and "King Kong" has infected the way he approaches this far more intimate tale. Instead of having the late Susie Salmon occupy a little perch in an abstract heavenly gazebo from which she can peer down upon her family and anyone else -- all that is really necessary from a narrative point of view -- the director has indulged his whims to create constantly shifting backdrops depicting an afterlife evocative of "The Sound of Music" or "The Wizard of Oz" one moment, "The Little Prince" or "Teletubbies" the next. It's a shame, because the first half-hour or so suggests that Jackson, had he taken a vow to keep it real and use not a single visual effect, still has it in him to relate a human story in a direct, vibrant manner. Aided immeasurably by the spirited teen actress Saoirse Ronan ("Atonement"), who plays Susie, the early scenes depicting the ordinary life of the Salmon family in a midsized Pennsylvania town possess a heightened quality charged by lively thesping and Andrew Lesnie's dynamic mobile camera (pic was shot with the Red digital camera system). "We weren't those people, those unlucky people to whom bad things happen," Susie intones from above, as we watch her interact with attractive young parents Jack and Abigail (Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz), sporty sister Lindsey (Rose McIver) and younger brother Buckley (Christian Ashdale), boozy glamorpuss grandma Lynn (Susan Sarandon) and handsome first crush Ray Singh (Reece Ritchie), just before she announces she was murdered on Dec. 6, 1973. Even before the deed is done, it's plainly stated that the perpetrator is neighborhood solitary guy George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), a man marked as creepy by his utter ordinariness. While Tucci, adorned with stringy blondish-brown hair, moustache, large glasses and a raspy voice that tightens and elevates under pressure, is good enough to validate all the scenes involving this bland monster, Jackson shows his low-budget horror-film roots in the way he shoots the sinister scenes, with silhouetting white lights, heavy fog effects, wide-angle closeups and generic synth backgrounding from Brian Eno's otherwise effective score. While the script by the "Rings" trio of Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Jackson at first inventively reshuffles elements to cinematic advantage, over time it serves more to dilute the impact of some story elements -- the father's obsessive determination to nail George no matter what, Lindsay's romance, the passage of years -- and eliminate others, including Ray's beautiful, long-suffering mother and the relationship between Abigail and local cop Len Fenerman (Michael Imperioli), whose efforts to solve Susie's murder are maddeningly frustrated. Once Susie is installed in her heavenly quarters, for which Jackson digitally dedicates himself to continuously changing the wallpaper, the emotional link to the family is ruptured and never fully repaired. There are intermittently intense scenes: Lindsey proves herself a resourceful if somewhat reckless spy, and the ever-meticulous George almost blows his cover on occasion. The way Jackson only partially reveals the killer's face at times is effective but stands in stark contrast to the wobbly treatment of so much else. As the story progresses -- in a way that points to resolution in one sense and a simple petering out in another -- it becomes clear that the actors are being deprived of any meaty, well-developed scenes to play; we learn more about them early on than toward the end, making this a film of slowly diminishing returns. With reddish hair, brilliantly alive eyes and a seemingly irrepressible impulse for movement and activity, Ronan represents a heavenly creature indeed, a figure of surging, eager, anticipatory life cut off just as it is budding. Less quicksilver and more solidly built, McIver's Lindsey properly begins in her live-wire sister's shadow only to grow gradually into an impressive figure. Chain-smoking and depleting the liquor cabinet, Sarandon camps it up for a few welcome laughs, while Ritchie seems a likely candidate for teen idolhood. Mainly, it's Wahlberg and Weisz who are shortchanged by the film's divided attention between earthly agony and astral accommodation. Both thesps are OK as far as things go, but that's not nearly far enough. When it sticks to the everyday neighborhood inhabited by its characters, "The Lovely Bones," which was shot on Pennsylvania locations and in New Zealand studios, finds a reasonable equilibrium between drama and production values. When it ventures beyond it, heaven turns into Hades.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 4:38 a.m. CST

    I knew this was going to be junk

    by livingwater

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 5:23 a.m. CST

    "misses the joy and heartbreak of the original."

    by livingwater

    HOLLYWOOD REPORTER ::: his was never going to be an easy story to film. Using the same characters and many events, Jackson and his team tell a fundamentally different story. It's one that is not without its tension, humor and compelling details. But it's also a simpler, more button-pushing tale that misses the joy and heartbreak of the original.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 5:38 a.m. CST

    How does one make a PG film about the muder of a 14-yr-old?

    by Mr Gorilla

    Ask John Ford - he made THE SEARCHERS.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST

    But seriously...

    by Mr Gorilla

    Heavenly Creatures was very good, The Frighteners was wonderfully nasty entertainment, and The Fellowship of the Ring one of the most beguiling fantasy films ever. But Two Towers and Return of the King have very limited re-watch value, since they set their store in big effects and battles rather than character and humanity. Whoever could guess that Shelob sequence would be so incredibly dull? And that Saruman would be dealt with so very ineptly? Battles are only good if they are suffused with genuine character: not the ridiculous banter between Gimli and Legolas.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 6:35 a.m. CST

    livingwater

    by sambrook

    I'm not sure what point you're making by looking for bad/mixed (because that Variety one isn't bad) reviews - whether you're aiming to discredit Harry or taking pleasure in the fact that a Peter Jackson film hasn't got overwhelming reviews (everyone likes to see someone big take a fall after all). But you can ignore that Baz Bamigboye review - the guy's an absolute hack. The fact he writes for the Daily Mail should clue you in on that, not to mention he's practically a shill for any Working Title or period (pre 20th-Century) film made.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Daily Mail Reviews

    by koalaofdoom1982

    Seriously, livingwater how can you read and quote anything associated with that facist rag? Their opinion is as relevant in the real world as Paul Ross' movie reviews....

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 6:50 a.m. CST

    and

    by koalaofdoom1982

    I'm looking forward to this. I read the book on my wife's reccommendation. (Child Murder wasnt high on my summer reading list) but I loved the book and in Jackson's hands it's in a better place than 95% of the other Hollywood hack directors working.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 7:37 a.m. CST

    are the reviews this bad? Does anyone know

    by southafricanguy

    of some other reviews (good or bad)? Preferably by objective reviewers...

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    I'm really looking forward to seeing this...

    by Halloween68

    Loved HEAVENLY CREATURES, and I'm looking for something similarly personal by Mr. Jackson. Something to bring him down to earth, away from big budget blockbusters and Hollywood studios. I think it'll be nice to see. On a side note, I wish Susan Surandon would stop making films. I really can't stand her, and I'm finding she's attaching herself to many of my most looked forward to film projects. I really hope she doesn't ruin LOVELY BONES for me.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    JUST HAVE THE KID, HARRY

    by Wee Willie

    Don't wait for the house, don't wait for shit. If you both want a kid, go ahead and have one because it's NEVER the right time, the stars don't align, the kid aligns them for you. My wife and I met at 22 and had our first at 31. We wish we'd started earlier. Just knock Yoko up already, you will not regret it.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    I re watched the lord of the rings on DVD

    by emeraldboy

    On Hd and the fellowship is one of luminously beautiful films ever made. but they really are nothing more than expensive new zealand promos. nothing wrong with that. ireland has two of the best of those types of films. Ryans daughter and the quiet man. What got people in to the cinemas were the trailers. I was let down by the return of the king. it was a boring movie.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Fellowship is so much better...

    by SK229

    than the other two films, in hindsight. It's just very strong and clear in it's storytelling... super focused. The closest you get to that in the second one is Helm's Deep, and then the third one is just a complete mess, imho. Way too much shit thrown at the screen and he could have used some economy of storytelling. If you watch the behind-the-scenes stuff, he can be a messy filmmaker if not reigned in, and by the end of ROTK, he seemed to be wanting to challenge the very idea that you cannot do as much as was done on that movie in the time period allowed, but it shows in shoddy filmmaking. The FX range from brilliant to Hercules and Xena and the editing is sometimes atrocious... it goes from one idea and set-piece to another in a way that just doesn't flow, it feels like it has a choked off energy and that there are WAY too many shots in some sequences where fewer would have sufficed. I'll admit, technically and for the amount of storytelling and big sequences it achieved, the thing is a fucking monster, but at the expense of clarity in the storytelling. Maybe it's inherent to the ROTK book, but as much people hate the Ewoks, Jedi did a pretty good job of cross-cutting on bits of dialogue and musical beats between the three concurrent stories at the end. It flowed and the energy wasn't cut off the way I feel it was in Return of the King. Just my two cents...

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Maybe Harry's worse review ever...

    by squeakyfromme

    ... which is saying something. I'm sure he thinks he's being clever by tying everything back in with the word "lovely", but a) it was given to him in the movie title so no points at all for perceptive insight, and b) by just repeating "lovely, lovely, lovely" over and over again it comes across as fey baby talk. That's right, baby talk. The same way "I love that so and so...", "I had a big goofy grin on my face", and "these are characters I really want to spend time with" is juvenilia. I know the geeks have won the battle but does that preclude the possibility of speaking like a grown ass man instead of a giggling little school girl?

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Contrast this to the Variety review

    by Gungan Slayer

    WAY different

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    total film four star review

    by slappy jones

    Is there a filmmaker in history who’s made four bigger back-to-back movies than Peter Jackson? Fellowship, Two Towers, King, Kong… that’s a total of 30 words in the full titles, 745 minutes in running time (883 if we’re talking the extended cuts), $1.3bn at the box office and more spectacle, CG extras and horizon-stretching battles than a T-Rex could shake an Oliphant at. So how’s this for a change of pace: an intimate family drama set in a small American town (one street, primarily) and faultlessly recreating the early ‘70s. It’s a lost world but there’s not a dinosaur in sight – though a beast does live across the street and Jackson gets to flex the fantasy once more by visualising a land so vast and fertile it makes Middle-earth look like a disused parking lot. Welcome to heaven. Confused? Then you haven’t read Alice Sebold’s 2002 bestseller The Lovely Bones, to which Jackson and partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens cleave faithfully but not, wisely, reverentially. It tells the imaginative, heartfelt tale of Susie Salmon (“like the fish”), a 14-year-old who is raped and killed by Mr Harvey, her inconspicuous neighbour. Only she’s not ready to die, instead loitering around the gateway to the afterlife and peering back over her shoulder as the murder investigation unfurls below. Sensitively cast - Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as Susie’s parents, Susan Sarandon as vulgar Grandma, a bewigged, bespectacled Stanley Tucci as Harvey and Atonement’s Saoirse Ronan as poor, hurting Susie – Lovely Bones is a touching, at times distressing film. It deals with loss, grief, rage, familial breakdown and love, most of all love. But it’s also energetic and entertaining, the camera already moving whenever Jackson cuts into a scene and the horror/thriller elements given just enough fizz to recall the director’s early genre forays (minus the splatter) but not so comic book as to undercut the drama. Likewise the emotion, Lovely Bones teetering along the thin, thin line that separates genuinely affecting from schmaltzy. How can it not, with colours popping from heavenly vistas (cornfields, lakes, mountains and more, the picture postcard views forever morphing to reflect Susie’s emotional state) and Wahlberg’s wide, earnest eyes rimmed with tears. Some will label it What Dreams May Come 2, and even those plugged in might experience a short circuit splutter come the 12-hankie denouement. But many more - the book’s fans, certainly - will exit exalted. Next up for Jackson are Tintin and The Hobbit. Well if Lovely Bones was a chance for cinema’s supreme showman to get his breath back, one thing’s for certain: the air sure tastes sweet. Verdict: A sister film to Heavenly Creatures, brimming with not just tears but imagination, thrills and verve. It’s heart-on-sleeve, sure, but it also has a whiff of awards potential. The Academy loves a good cry...

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST

    the sun - a rave (ok its the sun but still a rave)

    by slappy jones

    The Lovely Bones, out on January 29, is his most mature, self-assured and visually dazzling release. Sure, it is only November 2009, but your critic doubts he will see anything more astonishing, emotionally draining and life affirming than The Lovely Bones in the next year. This is Peter Jackson's first feature film as director since King Kong in 2005 - and it is his best yet. Yes, even better than The Lord Of The Rings trilogyAdapted from Alice Sebold's best-selling novel, it tells the story of Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old who watches from the afterlife as her family battles to come to terms with her brutal murder. Susie, played wonderfully by 15-year-old Saoirse Ronan, has decided not to travel on to heaven and exists in a middle point. This other world allows Jackson to set his incredible imagination free. He creates something even more amazing than his Middle-earth fantasy. The effects are breathtaking. The Sneak confidently predicts an Oscar nomination for her and the film is sure to be up for several other gongs, including Best Picture. Some critics will attack the film for radically altering the novel but many of Jackson's decisions are right. He opted not to delve into the gruesome details of Susie's death. The word rape is not even mentioned.Good. Too many filmmakers revel in horror. The fact Jackson is not a slave to the original story, like he was with The Lord Of The Rings, shows a growing confidence. A movie is a different animal to a book and shouldn't copy it. After this, cinema-goers will be desperate to see what Jackson comes up with next.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    time magazine loved it

    by slappy jones

    Two men, neighbors in Norristown, Pa., are dedicated hobbyists. Jack Salmon (Wahlberg), loves to build miniature ships, then deftly slip them into bottles. As he instructs his daughter Susie (Ronan), "If you start something, you don't give up till you finish it." Across the street, George Harvey (Tucci) has constructed a dollhouse — pristine and perfectly appointed, but untenanted. In a nearby field, he's also created an underground rec room filled with comic books and figurines and Cokes — a kind of clubhouse for the local kids. One kid. Susie."I was 14 years old when I was murdered," Susie narrates in Jackson's creepy, dreamy film of Alice Sebold's best seller. The girl, who vanished late one afternoon and is presumed to have been kidnapped or killed, speaks to us from the in-between — an Edenic halfway house for the recently deceased, a bridge between life and a hoped-for heaven. It's a fantasyland of penguin topiary and gigantic ice-sculpture ships, where wheat fields turn to soggy marshes and autumn becomes winter in a flash of fallen leaves. This engrossing, often enthralling movie straddles multiple worlds as well: Susie's bright innocence, Mr. Harvey's meticulous depravity and Jack's ferocious determination to discover his daughter's fate.Like Susie's father and her murderer, Jackson builds models — the imaginary realms of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong — and invites children of all ages to share his obsessions. (This time, he re-created rural Pennsylvania in his native New Zealand.) Into these landscapes a filmmaker puts characters, whom he may kill off at whim; so many splatter-movie directors do just that. The Lovely Bones, though it follows Mr. Harvey as he disposes of Susie's remains, concentrates on the victim and her loved ones: Jack, his wife Abigail (Weisz) and their surviving daughter Lindsey (Rose McIver), who could be Mr. Harvey's unmasker — or his next prey. There are horror-movie elements here — imagine a suburban Psycho — and echoes of Heavenly Creatures, Jackson's 1994 study of a girlhood crush that blossoms into murder. But essentially this is a story of loving and mourning — about how, with Susie gone, her family carries a tumor in its collective heart. The film is also an affecting daddy-daughter romance, pre- and postmortem. As Susie says of Mr. Harvey, "He didn't understand how much a father could love his child." The plot has a few pitfalls. Jack, who fingers dozens of men as Susie's potential abductor, takes ages to notice the strange guy across the street. And Abigail departs and reappears with little organic reason. But the movie is packed with privileged moments, like Susie's glimpse, from the in-between, of her younger sister's first kiss — an ecstasy Susie was so close to experiencing before she entered Mr. Harvey's lair. Tucci plays the killer not with a madman's sneers and cackles but with a quiet malevolence; he's never more ice-shivery than when he's pretending to be normal. Such a performance could upset the movie's balance if Wahlberg didn't provide the foundation of parental devotion and McIver weren't so naturally winning. The center, of course, is Ronan, the Irish teen best remembered as the girl whose lie set lives tumbling in Atonement. As Susie, hovering over her family like a guardian angel, she seems an ordinary child whom catastrophe has made sweet and wise. When else has the obscenity of child murder been the cause of such gravity and grace?

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    screen international liked it with a few misgivings

    by slappy jones

    The power of the story of a young family devastated by murder is undeniable and the blockbuster film-maker demonstrates subtlety and tenderness in his treatment of the emotive subject matter. But he also almost blows it all with his afterworld special effects, smothering Sebold’s delicate conceit with overblown visuals and ostentatious CGI. While The Lovely Bones is as dark as it gets thematically, it will still be an event movie for the adult audience. Both Jackson and the novel have myriad fans who will be eager to see what the New Zealand master has done with it. Paramount is putting the film out in limited release in the US on Dec 11 before going wide on Jan 15; aside from Australia and New Zealand which open on Dec 26, the rest of the world starts releasing from Jan onwards to capitalise on inevitable awards buzz. The Lovely Bones will doubtless prompt comparisons with Jackson’s ground-breaking 1994 feature Heavenly Creatures, his version of a true murder story which blended (more restrained) special effects fantasies into its narrative fabric. Once again his eye for the period detail – this time 1973 Pennsylvania – is impeccable and he has again cast a young and exciting actress in the leading role. Then it was 18 year-old Kate Winslet in her first film role, this time it’s the 15 year-old Irish ingénue Saoirse Ronan. Ronan is luminous as the fresh, likeable 14 year-old Susie Salmon who is about to embark on her first romance with handsome English immigrant Ray Singh (Reese Ritchie) when her neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci) lures her into an underground dugout in a cornfield where he rapes and kills her. The dead Susie enters an afterworld of her own imagining (although it bears some resemblance to the afterworld in Vincent Ward’s What Dreams May Come) and from there watches as her parents Jack (Mark Wahlberg) and Abigail (Rachel Weisz) and siblings crumple under the gradual realisation that she has been murdered. Although her body is not discovered, the cop on the case (Michael Imperioli) informs them that she is probably dead. As the years go by, Jack and his oldest daughter Lindsey (Rose McIver) begin to suspect Harvey, while Susie’s friend in heaven Holly (Nikki SooHoo) tries to persuade her to leave earth behind. But Susie has yet to find closure, still perturbed by the fact that Harvey is still at large and that her longing for Ray remains unconsummated. Jackson captures the grim essence of the novel even while compressing much of its character development and plot detail. And if the rhythm is problematic, his film-making bravado is constantly in evidence most notably in the heart-stopping scene when Lindsey breaks into Harvey’s house. The down-to-earth sections are far more engaging than the afterlife and indeed the first 20 minutes before the murder are the film’s best. Ronan leaves a strong impression during these sequences, and they are enough to make her the film’s emotional anchor, even after the character becomes more abstract in her surreal heaven. Tucci is a perfect foil for her winsome beauty; his chilling, complex characterisation of the serial killer earmarking him for awards attention. Wahlberg and McIver are both memorable as the shattered father and resourceful sister respectively, although the other female roles played by Weisz and Sarandon are woefully under-written.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 3:44 p.m. CST

    i know what i did there was against everything the boards

    by slappy jones

    stand for which is tearing things down and revelling in others perceived 'failures" but if you want to post reviews that back up your preconceived ideas about the film here are the counterpoints. the positive reviews which this far still outweigh the bad.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    As an Occasional Fan of Harry's Articles...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Remember his "There and Back Again: A Geek's Adventures in Middle-Earth" eleven part series back in 2000? Man, that was quintessentially geeky, wonderfully passionate LOTR reading material. Harry's writing was at its peak...<BR><BR>Meanwhile, in the present, Harry occasionally produces a thoughtful, unusual gem of an article or review, but--for the most part--Harry's (comparatively few) articles these days are lackluster and simply lazy in execution.<BR><BR>And I've got to agree with squeakyfromme. This LOVELY BONES review arguably represents Harry's worst writing to date. It's a poorly constructed, train-wreck of a film-summary (a movie critic no no, of course) loosely held together with the insipid, recurring "lovelies." <BR><BR>Harry--worst of all--perhaps for the first time in my memory you've written a film review that seems forced, disingenuous, and unconvincing. I don't know if it's because you consider the filmmaker a close friend and couldn't bear to critically and realistically and thoughtfully assess his film or if it was simply a matter of laziness and lack of interest and/or passion on your part. <BR><BR>I love you, Harry, and I love AICN. But--shit, man--you and I both know you're way better than this review. Maybe you should spend less time traveling/hobnobbing with movie industry moguls and more time doing what you (used to) do best: giving your honest, thoughtful, unbiased and thorough opinion about movies you've seen. After all, it was your fresh perspective and (as I recall) at times harsh criticism of films you'd seen that had some film studios shaking in their boots. <BR><BR>Honestly--and I hate to write this--I think you've lost your edge, Harry. And I'm not the only one thinking that. Prove me wrong, big guy.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    I really won't trust the legit critics on this one

    by Mr Gorilla

    Seriously, the number of papers and mags that gave KING KONG four stars or more, when the thing is clearly a pile of shit - not delivering on either the thrill ride or the deep/meaningful levels. Watching someone give birth to a cable of a turd like that makes me want to watch some properly zippy popular film-making, like Back to the Future, or, you guessed it, the original King Kong.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    I havent seen any of peter jacksons early work..

    by emeraldboy

    his best film is wihout a doubt Heavenly Creatures. Fellowship proved he could do massive blockbusters. and loved the frightners. but heavenly creature is for my money his best film.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 6:22 p.m. CST

    le vicious

    by slappy jones

    what exactly is it about harrys review that makes you think he doesn't mean it?i keep seeing people say this. he clearly likes the film! a lot. people are reading way too much into it. does he have to compare it to oral sex for you to believe it??

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 7:45 p.m. CST

    "[Harry] couldn't bear to critically...assess his film"

    by reflecto

    Le Vicious is absolutely right and this is far from the first time Harry has done this. Remember LADY IN THE WATER? When he comes upon flops from his buddies, Harry glosses shit over and goes into his TEE HEE I'M JUST A KID AT DA MOVEEZ I JUST HAD A FUN TIME!!! mode. Harry: IT'S FORCED, YOU'RE TOO OLD AND NO ONE IS BUYNG IT. WE SEE THROUGH YOUR ATTEMPTS TO SOFTSHOE REVIEW BAD FILMS.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST

    I love how the people who wish films were bad

    by slappy jones

    Even turn positive reviews into negatives.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Can we have a dedicated BIG LOB talkback already?

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    WThat'd be lovelly...

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 3:53 a.m. CST

    I remember Harry positng a response to comments I made.

    by emeraldboy

    One was that he loved this site and would never give up on it. and the other comment.. well he basically ripped my effing head off when i asked did he give any advice to young filmmakers. Harry talked on this site about producing some film or other that never happened. and Harry ripped my effing head about that. you can throw all the stones you like at a studio for the muck they produce. this site has done that to fox over the years. People can spot a pipe dreamer a mile off.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Harry doesnt critally assess..

    by emeraldboy

    any film. because maybe there are those who think that is boring. which is why people give out about ebert and others on this site. pound for pound the best film critic is Philip french. he started off as the literary editor of the gaurdian decades ago. and has been going to his local cinema since childhood. to give you an example of how good he is. i will post his reviews of the lord of the rings.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Fellowship review

    by emeraldboy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2001/dec/16/lordoftherings.jrrtolkien

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 4:13 a.m. CST

    two towers

    by emeraldboy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2002/dec/15/lordoftherings.jrrtolkien

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 4:21 a.m. CST

    the return of the king...

    by emeraldboy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/movie/92716/lord.of.the.rings

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 4:23 a.m. CST

    one last thing..

    by emeraldboy

    message boards and sites like this allow people to say what they want. it has killed critical analysis.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 4:59 a.m. CST

    CARL SAGAN AND STEPHEN HAWKING SING......

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    This is very beautiful and very hopeful.<br> <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 6:30 a.m. CST

    I'm going to read those reviews right now....

    by Righteous Brother

    not many reviewers I trust these days, but I do like Kim Newman.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Curioso Weekly's 5-word review

    by Rocco Curioso

    Fuck<P>this<P>gloomily<P>cuddly<P>bullshit.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Empire Magazine - Four Stars

    by slappy jones

    Like The Lord Of The Rings, The Lovely Bones does a fantastic job with revered, complex source material. As terrific on terra firma as it is audacious in its astral plane, it is doubtful we’ll see a more imaginative, courageous film in 2010.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    I expected nothing less from Pe'er!

    by Kike_Sosa

    Reading you review, Harry, made me anticipate this one ten times more. Hell, you described it as exactly what I was expecting. Very compelling, specially when you narrate your prelude to the rape/murder scene. Great review!

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    one thing I noticed in the empire review

    by slappy jones

    which some of the negative reviews seemed to have missed when complaining about the heaven/effect scenes is that the heaven we see is meant to have come from the imagination of a 13 year old girl. i do think that regardless of how good the film is it is at least going to be a very interesting experience.

  • Nov. 26, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Gimli farts...

    by ScriptCunt

    As long as P.J. throws a couple of those in, I'm there...

  • Nov. 27, 2009, 7:19 a.m. CST

    You should read this book before the movie

    by marv42134213

    I loved this book, and I thought I would not at all. This was one of the most touchin and profound books I have EVER read. And before the inevitable slams roll in, let me tell you I am a King man, love me some Gaiman (especiall the Sandman run, American Gods,the Asani Boys and so on. My favorite comic series of all time is Preacher, so I'm not someone who thought I would like this book. I loved it and read it twice, going to again before the movie. I would just say give it a chance. You may be suprised.

  • Nov. 27, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Nice review Harry,

    by ndoty_sa

    I may not agree with your reviews (Godzilla, Armageddon, etc), but I still manage to check AICN before anything else each morning.

  • Nov. 27, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    You Gotta Warn Them

    by SupermanEmpire

    Harry, If you are to have children, its fine to try and give them a setting thats creative and whimsical...fun and "lovely" (jesus man way overused in the review), but if you don't let them know of the dangers of the world, of all those aforementioned "wolves", then they will more then likely fall prey to one should such an unfortunate thing touch happen in their life. Our world is a fucked up, very dangerous place...if you raise kids to be completely naive to that you won't be doing them any favors.

  • Nov. 28, 2009, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Rental

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I just didn't care for the book, sorry. I just found Sebold's style to be off-putting. And as for the casting of Mark Wahlberg...it defies logic. Maybe it works here, and I know he's been very good playing a thug cop (The Departed) and a moron (Boogie Nights), and he's turned in some serviceable performances elsewhere (Invincible), but what in his resume makes him seem capable of pulling off a role with any degree of emotional complexity? Not buying it. With enough raves, maybe via Netflix someday.

  • Nov. 28, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    mark wahlberg acting career..

    by emeraldboy

    defies logic

  • Nov. 29, 2009, 3:27 a.m. CST

    mark wahlberg..

    by emeraldboy

    only ever had one really great performance in him and that was in a film with Reese witherspoon. where he played her violent boyfriend. thing he ends up killing her dad or something.

  • Nov. 29, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    it was called fear.

    by emeraldboy

    Whalberg was very good in that. but as i say his career defies logic.

  • Nov. 29, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    I'm confused Harry

    by liljuniorbrown

    I'm glad to see the movie affected you the way it did ,but i didn't think rape scenes in movies bothered you. Not saying your some kind of monster or anything,but i've read your thoughts on the original Hills Have eyes,and Last House on the left and thats the kind of stuff you show at film festivals. Its good to see that you draw the line somewhere. Not trying to bash you man it just came across as kind of a new outlook for you. Personaly I can't watch movies like Antichrist,Irreversable ,and or I spit on Your Grave.

  • Nov. 30, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    RE: Playkins - What Dreams May come

    by Kizeesh

    Read the fucking books. Both of them. Lovely Bones rips it off horribly. Maybe the film does it better but the book was mind-numbingly unoriginal in the heaven respect.<p> Also no-one has mentioned if the gallingly bad 'Icicle' moment still remains at the end. ruined the entire book for me.

  • Nov. 30, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    ALWAYS see the movie first!

    by The Colonel

    Here's why: http://bit.ly/4R8Zh1

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Interestingly Susan Sarandon is on this big, anti-PJ campaign

    by CronenbergResearcher

    criticizing his directing choices and criticizing the final product.

  • Dec. 3, 2009, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Damn it. And backlash.

    by Jaka

    First, damn it! I failed to notice the spoiler warning. Grr! lol Second, I think for whatever reason we're experiencing PJ backlash. I'm going to ignore it. : ) And what has Sarandon said? That's not really her style.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to what PJ and crew do to this story...

    by Tom_Bombadil

    I just finished this story. I think what the book is lacking PJ and crew will add to it. Comes out next week!!!!

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 8:19 a.m. CST

    What, no more Amazon links to the book?!

    by GimpInMyPants

    What happened to the AICN I grew up with?

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    jaka you nailed it

    by slappy jones

    absolute backlash

  • Dec. 7, 2009, 12:34 a.m. CST

    finally saw the film

    by slappy jones

    NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS SOME ARE CLAIMING. Is it perfect? No of course not. It has it problems but as a whole it is a very good film.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson

    by darthvedder81

    Is he ever going to make a movie based on an original idea? (That's not puppet porn or schlock?). As far as I'm concerned he'll never hold legendary status like Spielberg/Cameron/Lucas until he crafts an original story.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Release DATE?

    by Judge Briggs

    I can't get a fucking straight answer on when this moooovie comes out? ANYONE? Wide release?

  • Dec. 12, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST

    @Judge Briggs

    by Rocco Curioso

    The wide release date has been changed to Jan. 15th, 2010. It's currently playing at just 2 theatres nationwide(one in N.Y., one in L.A.)to qualify for the Oscars.<P>Which brings me to Sunny Point #2: most people haven't seen it, but plenty of critics have. It has a 41% approval rating among 74 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. THAT doesn't bode well, for either award season hosannas or box office.

  • Dec. 13, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Harry wants to start a family?

    by Penetron

    Not with his limp dick? I guess that lap-band surgery didn't take. Trust me, he's better off not having kids. He won't be alive to see them enter kindergarten.

  • Dec. 13, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    This sounds like What Dreams Come True-

    by Sal_Bando

    -or whatever that was w/ Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding there a decade ago. Hmmmmmmmmm. I'll pass. <p> Harold, never, ever let a Movie tell you what to do on your major life decisions. Stanley Tucci turned around after 'cut', went over to Craft services and had a Ring Ding, okay? That ain't enough to influence anyone save for the go-fer who hadda make sure there were enough Ring Dings on the platter Every Time Mr. Tucci wanted one. It's a mooooooovie. <p> Anyways. Sir Petey Jax made a movie. That's cool. Glad you liked. Time for Avatar.

  • Dec. 15, 2009, 6:17 a.m. CST

    peter jackson

    by notkinski

    is an asshole. just look at the films.

  • Dec. 17, 2009, 4:45 a.m. CST

    saw it, I'd give it a marginal thumbs down

    by Deaf_Ears

    In retrospect, the weird thing about this movie is that HEAVENLY CREATURES, which is from the POV of two young murderers, is far more emotionally involving than THE LOVELY BONES, from the POV of a murder victim. HEAVENLY CREATURES, which remains IMO PJ's strongest film, really got the sense of what it feels like to be trapped in obsession. THE LOVELY BONES, especially given the loaded subject matter, punts. The other paradox is I think it would have worked if PJ had played it more low-key. As it is, it's like watching the aftermath of a car accident and the movie is a weepy old lady clutching at your elbow saying ISN'T IT HORRIBLE? ISN'T IT? There are three main problems with it - the overwrought tone, the cheesy, cheesy CGI, and the script, which glosses over a number of implausibilities (maybe a quibble, but just to mention one, how the hell does one character get an iron safe that must weigh a ton or so up some wooden stairs in a matter of minutes)? This film really shows the influence of Speilberg, who has a pretty strong tendency to ladle on when he should pull back. Worth seeing, because it fails in an interesting way, but a disappointment.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    HARRY YOU ARE SO FULL OF IT!

    by Jabbawookie77

    This is sitting at an extremely poor approval rating on rottentomatoes. As far as I'm concerned that website is a god damn gospel when it comes to movie reviews. You have just proven once again why I can't trust your opinions when it comes to movies... this reminds me so much of your michael bay fiasco gobbling in order to get set visits, and your GODZILLA AND INDEPENDANCE DAY OR SO GOD DAMN AMAZING BS... The only reason i read your reviews is for a good chuckle,... the real reason i even come to this site is for news. I find it hilarious movies use your quotes to sell their movies. And you peter jackson you should be freakin ashamed of yourself for ruining what was otherwise a really great novel... you need to get rid of those fat cows that are sucking your blood from you... phillipa fatty and fran fatso

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:27 a.m. CST

    PETER JACKSON GET RID OF WALSH AND BOYENS!

    by Jabbawookie77

    THEY'RE SUCKING THE CREATIVE JUICES OUT OF YOU!... those bloodsuckers need to get their own career and stop riding on your coattails through ever venture you do.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Sal_Bando: Seriously?

    by Playkins

    This plot sounds like "What Dreams May Come"? DCome on, buddy- don't be a bunghole. It is NOTHING like "WDMC"

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Sal_Bando: Seriously?

    by Playkins

    This plot sounds like "What Dreams May Come"? DCome on, buddy- don't be a bunghole. It is NOTHING like "WDMC"

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    It's as bad as the critics are saying.

    by derubermax

    I saw a screener copy. It is really bad. I was expecting a tone like that of Heavenly Creatures, and yes I love that movie. Here are my criticisms, spoilers be damned. THE CASTING -- Marky Mark is just not up to the acting challenge of playing this role. First off he looks a bit young to play the father of a teenager (sure maybe he is old enough now, but his boyish looks are a bit off putting) and I kept thinking of the Andy Samberg SNL skit of Mark Wahlberg meeting all the barnyard animals -- yes Wahlberg ALWAYS maintains that level of gravitas. Suzy Salmon is portrayed by a fine actress, but the character is so passive she has almost nothing to do with the story. She's left whispering in CGI world for almost the entire film. Susan Sarandon. Watch this film and please tell me what she's doing here? She plays Grandma (which is kind of sad for Susan to now be playing Grandma) with a cigarette in her mouth and a glass of scotch in her hand. Maybe she playing "cool grandma", but how can we have any sympathy for the character when she could give a shit about her granddaughter being murdered? Also -- look out for the incredibly annoying Asian girl in the Cuba Gooding Jr. "What Dreams May Come" role. THE PLOT -- There is a big deal made about Suzy Salmon taking pictures with a little kodak camera, and Dad says it's too expensive to develop the film. Suzy is murdered and then Dad upholds a promise to develop one roll a month. So we're all set up for Dad to discover the picture of the murderer and put two pieces together and then call the cops and end the movie. Dad develops the picture, looks at the murderer, has a half hearted confrontation and that's that. The murderer gets away with everything and throws Suzy's body in a safe and throws her down a hole. And the murderer gets away with everything. Gee -- nice job Dad. You really avenged Suzy's death there. The big resolution is that the murderer is at the top of a hill trying to get a girl to get a ride with him (shame shame shame -- he's at it again!) and an icicle falls on his head and the murderer falls down a hill and dies. Let me repeat that -- AN ICICLE. At this point in the movie Suzy Salmon has moved on from limbo to heaven or whatever, so she wasn't in any way connected to the icicle falling on the murderer's head. Nor were the other girls in limbo with her connected (why would a murder victim want to spend eternity with other victims of the same murderer anyway? Is that really heaven to a murder victim?) There can be no suspense in this film because 1.) We know who the killer is in the first 10 minutes of the movie, or just by watching the trailer, 2.) We know Suzy will be murdered because she says it in the first 5 minutes of the movie. So why make the whole plot about finding out what happened to Suzy and who the finding out who the murderer is when the audience already knows? And why make it play out so frustratingly? You will be pulling your hair out when Suzy's sister hesitates giving a key piece of evidence -- a diary that shows his blueprints and the exact location of Suzy's death, as well as a detailed journal of this thoughts on killing Suzy, after she steals it from the killer's house and barely escapes with her life. Suzy's sister comes back in the house after almost being killed and having the journal that INCLUDES A CHUNK OF HER DEAD SISTER'S HAIR and hesitates giving her family the book after her Dad is distraught and her Grandma suggests they all just need to let go of the memory of Suzy. Oh and the incredibly hot Mom played by Rachel Weisz goes off to be a Mexican apple picker after her daughter dies. Literally Rachel Weisz in a field with a bunch of Mexican migrant workers picking apples. My suspension of disbelief can only go so far, but when we see Rachel Weisz working in the fields with migrant workers, how far is too far?

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    derubermax: Methinks you're missing the point

    by Playkins

    Your assemsment merely tells me that you're missing the bigger picture of this film, which is the incidental and circumstantial nature of life. It's driven home in the ending, which after all the murderers crimes and opportunities for comeuppance, it was a random occurance which ulitimately finishes him.<P> I'll agree that it's irritating that Susie's sister hesitates when giving her grandmother the diary, but the reason is profound- it is right when her mother returns and her father appears to be in the process of putting everything behind him. She is afraid to reopen old wounds.

  • Dec. 29, 2009, 1:39 a.m. CST

    I do see your point.

    by derubermax

    I really really was rooting for this movie -- I am by no means a Peter Jackson hater. I was excited to see his adaptation of this book into a film. The final execution was just bizarre and the ending of the film was anticlimactic at best, confusing at worst. Again, I see what you're saying about the point of the film and the chaotic nature of existence. I so wanted to get some of that from this film. The nature of the storyline being so unusual, I was fully prepared for a Barry Lyndon style of film where the narrator diffuses conventional artificial suspense tropes. Maybe the film wasn't my cup of tea. I don't know. I did watch the movie with not only a totally open mind, but really really wanting it to succeed. I just wasn't feeling it.

  • Dec. 29, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    a letdown.

    by james_cameron_raped_my_childhood

    Finally saw this & was dissapointed. It's like Jackson wanted an excuse to make a serial killer movie. The heaven was done badly, it wasn't some kind of dreary purgatory in the book. CGI looks like it was done by Weta guys too burnt from Avatar to give a shit. The mother leaving the family - did they cut out the subplot of her having an affair with the cop, or just didn't bother? the kid playing Suzie was great though, she had this otherworldy look to her, I hope PJ casts her in the hobbit, she'd make a great Elf!

  • Dec. 30, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Terrible, terrible film (Small review)

    by OceanWang

    I saw an awards screener last night. Jackson never focuses on either world long enough for you to care. Suzie Salmon is a completely shallow character and you feel like there's an actually decent movie happening with the family but you're never with them long enough to find out. They go for a big emotional impact conclusion at the end of the film and it's completely unearned. Here's the stupidest part though, SPOILER: When Tucci's character is found out he picks a bag to get out of town. He throws a bunch of clothes into a bag along with a framed Certificate of Appreciation, and Jackson hangs out it like there's some sort of significance (he does that a lot in this). WTF is the point of that? Why would that be one of the first things you pack?! END SPOILER My girlfriend and I kept debating whether this or Final Destination was the worst movie we saw this year. And when it comes from Peter Jackson, that's a god damned shame. Go see it, but only because you'll be baffled by how unbelieveably awful it is.

  • Dec. 30, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    One more thing...

    by OceanWang

    Everything in this movie is told basically AT you. Everytime there's something important that we need to pick up on it basically comes up in narration or a character says something horribly out of place. It just comes out as hollow. Perfect example SPOILER: So at the end Suzie is coming to her acceptance and all of Tucci's other victims gather around this rainbow that looks like it's straight out of a Lucky Charms commerical. Then one girl shouts, I shit you not, "it's Heaven!" No. Shit. END SPOILER The filmmakers had no confidence that the viewer would be able to figure out ANYTHING for themselves to every story beat is forcefully spoonfed to you.

  • Dec. 30, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Ok, I'm really done this time I swear!!!

    by OceanWang

    And I like Peter Jackson! I'm not trying to be a hater, but it seems like he keeps trying to tug the narrative back into genre territory but whenever he dips his toes he ends up going to opposite direction. I think Jackson would be wise to stick with genre stuff and not mess with something as dramatically heavy (I'm referring to the book, the movie takes out anything that might actually challenge the viewer). I think he's a great filmmaker, and even King Kong works despite it's many flaws, but I can't remember another movie I've seen this year that fails on as many levels as The Lovely Bones. Despite their best efforts towards the end there's still a complete and utter disconnect between Suzie's world and the real world. Jackson, like Suzie Salmon (as she keeps saying "Like the fish... ugh) is caught in an in-between, not knowing which story is the one he should be telling. Sadly, the Lovely Bones are anything but.

  • Dec. 30, 2009, 11:49 p.m. CST

    another thought & PJ's cameo

    by james_cameron_raped_my_childhood

    Just wanted to add my wish that PJ's downward trajectory, which emerged during the last 30 minutes of ROTK, has finally bottomed out with the Lovely Bones. And did anyone notice his cameo? he's the guy with the super 8 camera you see when Wahlberg picks up a set of photos.

  • Jan. 2, 2010, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Its been a while... but i had to comment

    by GingerTwit

    i saw this film last night and it was great, dazzling, fantastic, compelling... untilthe last half hour. WTF???<p>i actually hope PJ is reading and i hope he takes heed because that ending is unacceptable. i dont care if it followed the book, but that ending has turned this film into a total flop in my mind. for 1..... the whole killer coming home while the sister is upstairs. she obviously hears him come home... but ho hum, ust goes on reading the book. the murderer obviously knows some one has entered the house.... but....... thats it. she goes on rading. he goes on looking around the house. THEN, she discovers without doubt he's the killer, and he discovers without doubt someone has entered the house. but they BOTH act so fucking dumb like they cant even see the evience before them. but then, she must know hes in the house because she quietly as possible closes the secret floor board to try and not be discovered, but does she know he's there? she's being quiet as a mouse, but does she knows he's there???? her back is to an open door. it was fucking wierd. then he stops to listen... and she makes a sound. and he runs for her, and she runs for the window. it was sucha good movie until this point and then it got even stranger. she makes her escape and races inside with the evidence... but what does she do. nothing. she decides to put the book behind hr back... and lets all move on. everything is ok, we're a family again. lets put all this behind us and move on. FUCKING BIZZARE!!!!! <p>THEN, suzi is off to heaven finally, but she wont go, she needs to go back. this intercuts with the murderer painfully trying to dispose of the safe with her body. he's going to get away with it if he succeeds but surly suzi will make something happen which will have him caught... but what happens?????? The murder disposes of the evidence and suzi comes back to life to the boy she liked in highschool and gets the kiss she never would have had. <p>WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!<p>everything i loved abou this film was forgotten with tis god aweful confused ending. it made no fucking sense and PJ is a fucking goon. <p> I'm going to add another little bit of hate for the ultimate ending. the killer is free. and he's trying to get another victim... but it's pretty obvious somethings going to happen... he's ona cliff top. maybe we'll get a fantastic death. maybe suzi will possess this new girl and kill him.... something, y'now.............. but wait - there's a stalectyte and it's going to fall on him, stabbing his head? well it does fall on him... but it doesnt pearce him.. it breaks on his shoulder. and then he fumbles and falls in probably the dodgiest cartoon CG since spiderman came to life. <p>i reinterate, i loved this film.... but the ending destroyed it for me. and dont tell me jackson was trying to divert a story away from predicatbility. because thats a moot point considering it had been predicatable (in a good way) for the magority of the whole film.... <p>so basically. anyone who sees this film after reading this... here's what you do... when suzis father works out without a doubt that the neighbor is the killer..... walk out, go to a pub and make up your own ending.. it'll be a fuckload better than the piece of shit wacked out ending we got. <p>i loved this movie. but that last half hour. Mr. Jackson......... go FUCK YOURSELF

  • Jan. 3, 2010, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Cameo?

    by Dr. Strangelove

    Jackson practically gave himself a spotlight and flashing chyron. Then again, nothing else in this film is subtle. At least he's consistent.

  • Jan. 4, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Gingertwit

    by meta4

    So your basically mad that he didn't follow your predictible story you made up in your twisted head? Stabbing him through the head? You need a hug,friends,and a piece of cake.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 4:56 a.m. CST

    TLB film

    by Louisa

    Hey guys, This is a shameless plug but for those of you on Facebook or Twitter, we have set up the official UK page for The Lovely Bones film on both networks. Based on the bestselling book, The Lovely Bones is the brand new film which is in cinemas from 19th February. Check out Facebook as they have all sorts of fun stuff like images and videos on bit.ly/3dzA12 or follow us on twitter http://twitter.com/LovelyBonesUK Enjoy TLB

  • Jan. 13, 2010, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson's greatest film.

    by Griefo

    but I should add I thought the LOTR movies were overlong and kinda boring.. so I'm the minority.

  • Jan. 14, 2010, 4:45 a.m. CST

    Pre-Frighteners PJ could've made a great TLB film

    by UnChienAndalou

    Shudder to think how Heavenly Creatures would've turned out if it had been made in the post-Frighteners PJ era. It probably would've been nothing but CGI imagination fancy flights, and the nastiness of the mother being brutally murdered would've been totally glossed over. He seems like a genuinely good guy so I feel bad for ripping him, but I was annoyed by his glorification during the LOTR craze, and I can't help but feel vindicated by his profile being held into question by the lukewarm reactions to Kong and TLB. A ham sandwich could've won an Oscar for replicating the LOTR text with a forceful emphasis on solemn self-seriousness. I didn't view that series as an outstanding feat of contemporary film direction because I never discerned that his influence over how the proceedings should be staged took precedence over the computer animation. Horribly misinterpreting harrowing adult source material by gussying it up with pretty CGI landscapes and aiming it at tween girls is a misstep that could potentially torpedo somebody's career, so hopefully PJ will realize how lucky he is to have a limitless supply of goodwill and prove with his next project that he truly has the abilities to validate his alleged stature among the giants of the profession.

  • Jan. 17, 2010, 6:30 a.m. CST

    AWFUL film!

    by Golden_Ux

    Derubumax's review on the 28th December sums this film up perfectly. I think we all know Harry's review's hold no worth whatsoever but this review proves it more than any other. The only positive I have to give this film is Stanley Tucci's acting as George Harvey - he really pulled off the ever lingering but subtle threat which resonates through this character's words and actions. There was some elements of the soundtrack I liked too however I couldn't shake off the feeling that some Sigur Ros would have been far more moving and really would have helped in polishing this turd of a film! What I hated most was the lack of character development which the book pulled off so well because there you really did warm to some of the characters. Nevermind the Grandmother (what was the point in her involvement in the film anyway? In the book her character is pivotol in keeping the Salmon family together), the biggest injustice was the character Lyndsey Salmon. There was absolutely no acknowledgement of her journey after Susie's death in the film, in how she suffered from a form of neglect by her parents due to their inability to break away from their grief. All we got was a girl in pig tails breaking into Harvey's house and finding some evidence (And why the *beep* didn't she hand that book over straight away!!!). Also, this had one of the worst endings ever. So what if Harvey met his end by falling off a cliff. Where's the justice in that???? I hear some people were clapping in theatres following this scene, well all I could say is that they must have been fellow paedophiles who were relieved their hero got a quick death. Personally I would've clapped if he'd been thrown in jail and suffered a slow and agonising death by cancer. Too much CGI, too much cheese and crap voice overs from the lead. Were we supposed to get a warm fuzzy feeling when Susie said "my name is Susie Salmon, like the fish, I was murdered at 14 years old...... I hope you get a long and happy life". Some of the worst dialogue ever!!!! Finally, did anyone else have a problem with the actor who played Raj, he looked more mid 20's than that of a 14 year old's love interest! Creepy.

  • Jan. 17, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night

    by richievanderlow

    Loved it. I agree with a lot of what Harry says here. The acting and casting is perfect. Rarely do filmmakers capture a time period in both look and story, but this does both brilliantly. For Jackson and co. to move so adeptly from such big productions to such a personal film just illustrates how in touch they are with whatever they choose to do. I can't wait to see what he does next. Well done.

  • Jan. 18, 2010, 11:12 p.m. CST

    This watch shit

    by b3mike

    Just watch the leaked screener. Don't reward anyone responsible for this garbage!

  • Jan. 19, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST

    The rape scene was a cop out

    by grizzlor18

    I couldn't disagree with Harry more on this, he said Jackson handled the rape scene in a way that tied up your stomach even after the filmaker goes spineless and shows NOTHING of the key event behind the book. You can't leave it all to the imagination. This movie was a big disappointment in all possible ways.

  • Jan. 19, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    This movie was so bad ... Wahlberg looked good in it

    by grizzlor18

  • Jan. 22, 2010, 2:30 a.m. CST

    Why do we need the rape scene?

    by Golden_Ux

    Sicko. The book only touched on it anyway!

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    I loved it until the last 5 minutes or so...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...at which point it got really corny.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 1:14 p.m. CST

    FYI: I didn't notice Peter Jackson's cameo.

    by Royston Lodge

    Sorry.<p> I did notice the big Lord of the Rings poster in the bookstore window.

  • Jan. 24, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Royston Lodge

    by mattforce7

    ^^^ BaazZING!! lotr cameo for the money

  • Feb. 4, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Ron Perlman & Guillermo Del Tore in TLB

    by sheathledger

    In the book store where lord of rings book is spotted look at people in background. I think Guillermo walks by and then Ron Perlman...full head of grey hair

  • Feb. 10, 2010, 7:31 p.m. CST

    ******IT WAS CRAP*******

    by omega_786

    film was shit. nuff said.

  • Feb. 10, 2010, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Was it crap with corn?

    by orcus

  • Feb. 12, 2010, 12:24 a.m. CST

    ???

    by orcus

  • Feb. 18, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    reviews for this..

    by emeraldboy

    film are in on this side of the pond and they are all of them mixed. Tucci puts an oscar worthy performance but Soairse Ronan is Luminous but beyond that the film is a frustrating film to watch especially the scenes with Susie salmon in the afterlife.

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