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Customer Review

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bimodal Distribution, 24 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Tree of Life [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not surprised to see a bimodal distribution in the ratings for this film. All 4/5s or 1/2s and very few 3s.

As mentioned by others this is quite beautiful in a cinematic sense with lush colour, visual poetry and some beautiful, simple scenes. The story is presented in lots of cut up fragments for the viewer to piece together as he pleases.

By that description this is a film I should love.

But for me, the spell did not work, and I think there are a few reasons for that. The film starts with a series of childhood reminisences but a few minutes in it jerks suddenly into an odd series of scenes that we eventually realise represent the birth of the universe, the birth of earth, evolution of life and so on. I guess the intention is to set the scene for our little drama and point out how insignificant, if all consuming, our lives are. The main structural problem with this film is that this sequence does not work. The device is odd in and of itself and leaves you with the same WTF feeling you get on first watching 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is transitioned to in a jarring manner. Worste of all is the choice of material to tell the story of the universe. We have random floaty clouds and ;ights. Then we haev some nice astro photography. Then some plasticy looking birth of life sequences, some BBC Wildlife footage and some hilariously poor Dinosaure animation. The mix of very poor original material and high quality (I guess) stock footage does not work. The film has started to feel like a college project and from then nothing can save it.

After that the predictable and pretty tedious progression of family scenes leavew you wondering what Penn and Pitt saw in the script.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Feb 2012 20:54:50 GMT
mister joe says:
"Bimodal distribution..."i immediately stopped reading once i read that.Pretentious.I think Penn and Pitt probably wanted to work with one of the most mysterious,evocative directors of modern times......DUHH!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2012 18:29:28 GMT
Rob C. says:
To Your Mum

I read you comments about the Reviewer, but what were your views on the film, do I presume that you loved it?

Next time, instead of personal abuse, please give some constructive feedback about the film and/or counter arguments to the points made in the review.

To Nasher - Thank you for your review.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 22:18:46 GMT
Nasher says:
Sean? Is that you? I thought you were great in "Risky Business", honest.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 22:29:06 GMT
Nasher says:
Thanks Rob C. My pleasure. I suppose, on reflection, that the film moved me enough to motivate me to write a review of it says something for it.
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