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The Tree of Life [Blu-ray]

3 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler
  • Directors: Terrence Malick
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Oct. 2011
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0058HYTGG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,029 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.

“A captivating, unmissable experience” *****--Total Film
“Brad Pitt gives the strongest performance of his career”--The Telegraph
“Awe-inspiring” *****--The Independent
“A masterpiece” *****--The Guardian
“Magnificent” *****--The Times

From Amazon.co.uk

The long front lawns of summer afternoons, the flicker of sunlight as it sprays through tree branches, the volcanic surge of the Earth's interior as the planet heaves itself into being--you certainly can't say Terrence Malick lacks for visual expressiveness. The Tree of Life is Malick's long-cherished project, a film that centres on a family in 1950s Waco, Texas, yet also reaches for cosmic significance in the creation of the universe itself. The Texas memories belong to Jack (Sean Penn), a modern man seemingly ground down by the soulless glass-and-metal corporate world that surrounds him. We learn early in the film of a family loss that happened at a later time, but the flashbacks concern only the dark Eden of Jack's childhood: his games with his two younger brothers, his frustrated, bullying father (Brad Pitt), his one-dimensionally radiant mother (Jessica Chastain). None of which unfolds in anything like a conventional narrative, but in a series of disconnected scenes that conjure, with poetry and specificity, a particular childhood realm. The contributions of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and production designer Jack Fisk cannot be underestimated in that regard, and it should be noted that Brad Pitt contributes his best performance: strong yet haunted.

And how does the Big Bang material (especially a long, trippy sequence in the film's first hour) tie into this material? Yes, well, the answer to that question will determine whether you find Malick's film a profound exploration of existence or crazy-ambitious failure full of beautiful things. Malick's sincerity is winning (and so is his exceptional touch with the child actors), yet many of the movie's touches are simultaneously gaseous (amongst the bits of whispered narration is the war between nature and grace, roles assigned to mother and father) and all-too-literal (a dinosaur retreats from nearly killing a fellow creature--the first moments of species kindness, or anthropomorphic poppycock?). The Tree of Life premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Palme d'Or there after receiving boos at its press screening. The debate continues, unabated, from that point. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have a cautious love for this film. An oddity in some ways, seeking to place the story of one family and their regrets in the context of the beginning of existence and the eventual end of the world. Majestically shot, superbly acted, but perhaps Malick could have placed the very important dialogue (of which there is not that much in the whole film) a bit higher in the mix. Subtitles helped me out here in a way that people who saw the film in the cinema weren't blessed with. With great art comes the risk of great pretentiousness and this is certainly a film that walks the tightrope between the two.Which side of the tightrope you fall off and land in will be very much about who, and how reflective you are.
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By Adam VINE VOICE on 12 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I took a chance on this film after hearing various bewildered critical responses from cinema goers and critics. At issue seemed to be the sprawling cosmic imagery, intercutting scenes of family drama, with sequences involving dinosaurs being singled out for especial derision.
Still, intrigued, I rented this, and I am incredibly glad that I did.
The film is long and sprawling, and you are put in the mind frame for the human wrestling the transcendent straightaway, with a quote from the Book of Job, the voice of God, no less;
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world..."
The film unfolds at a searching, meditative pace, but we go straight to intense human drama, with the O'Brien family receiving news of the death of a son. The action then rewinds, through the mind's eye of Sean Penn's middle aged architect reflecting on his boyhood with this family, and the character of the mother (Jessica Christian) reflecting on the twin paths of 'Grace' and 'Nature.'
The interplay between the sons and the parents in the America of their day (50's Texas) is the human drama of the film. The mother is all gentleness and grace, but with steel too. The father (an impressive Brad Pitt), authoritarian and wounded, is scarred into an oppressive attitude to his boys by what he sees as the merciless, Darwinian struggle of life.
The Sean Penn character, as a boy, grows and rebels, increasingly testing his father. There are also landmark events that further underscore the frightening side of life. The drowning of a boyhood friend is a particularly chilling and effective example of this, with the grotesque suddenness and splintering horror of it breaking in when least expected to a carefree community event.
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Format: DVD
This film is nothing if not ambitious, and I suppose it deserves some credit for attempting to ask what life is all about with sincerity, and trying to place human life in the bigger scheme of things. The soundtrack is continuous and dominant, plastered over a film that is rather inflated. An opening announcement suggests you turn it up loud, presumably to override critical faculties. By trying to question God's purpose and pitching the whole enterprise at this exalted level, its imagery often falls flat, or would do if the camera stopped gliding around for a second. It conflates images of natural phenomena and the planets - breathtaking in themselves - with the story of one family in Texas, and the stylistic constraints this imposes on the domestic depiction do not work in the film's favour, although they do make it possible by trying to give an air of lightness and transience to the everyday which matches the grandest imagery, or at least doesn't jar. It is all of a piece. The Fifties sections, which take up most of the film, show 'daily life' although it's hardly recognisable as such. It is shot in a way that suggests the view from a fairground ride, but without the lights or colour - you've hardly seen something and it swoops out of the picture. It succeeds in avoiding a soap-opera feel, but the setting is pretty blank in itself. The family of three boys live in a house that seems devoid of any specific character, and lead bland lives to match - no time of day is ever really clear, no sense of a routine or any of the basic things that underpin any real life. Instead we get whispered metaphysical questions, swooping close-ups and sharp cut-aways, often over great music: Berlioz and Couperin are used quite a lot, to good effect.Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The difference between Art and Entertainment is that Art demands something of the viewer. This is a very demanding film and many have refused the demand. For those who do respond it rewards with a new narrative style, visual beauty, and profound (and challenging) theological insight into the value and cost of human life. I have shown this movie 14 times to friends and still cannot take my eyes from the screen.
Chastain glows and Pitt gives his best ever performance, achingly true,
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Format: DVD
The Tree of Life a mixture of dreamy reverie that Malick does so well and grim kitchen sink realism that’s never before featured in his films as far as I’m aware. I found the dreamy symbolic passages quite brilliant – as good as I’ve ever seen on film.

The other stuff, which concerns a grim family situation in 1950s Texas, was excellent in its own right. Brad Pitt was terrific as the tyrannical father and Jessica Chastain was quite gorgeous though, of course, playing the stereotypically submissive wife. The boys who played the sons were also excellent.

However, the family story was too long and drawn out and certainly if one were watching it in the cinema it would be quite an ordeal for both mind and backside. If Malick had edited this part of the film and cut about 30 minutes from it he would still have had a decent length 100 minute feature film and probably a masterpiece.

But sure there’s no talking to these genius types.
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