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-   -   The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/movie-talk/591583-tree-life-malick-2011-reviews-thread.html)

Fist of Doom 06-07-11 12:52 AM

The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
http://i422.photobucket.com/albums/p...ife-Poster.jpg

Starring:
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken

Rating:
PG-13

Runtime:
138 minutes (2 hrs. 18. min)

IMDB synopsis:
Spoiler:
The impressionistic story of a Midwestern 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.

Dan 06-07-11 01:05 AM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
I watched it at the Angelika in Dallas this weekend. I absolutely loved it from start to finish. Sure, Malick repeats his point over and over throughout the film, but I connected with it. I think it helped to flesh out the relationships and how these people would interact with each other. My only real gripe is...
Spoiler:
Sean Penn had, what... 5 minutes in the entire film? His name should not be on the poster. The kid who played Jack for the majority of the film should be.

TheySentYou 06-07-11 09:45 AM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by SomethingMore (Post 10806365)
I watched it at the Angelika in Dallas this weekend. I absolutely loved it from start to finish. Sure, Malick repeats his point over and over throughout the film, but I connected with it. I think it helped to flesh out the relationships and how these people would interact with each other. My only real gripe is...
Spoiler:
Sean Penn had, what... 5 minutes in the entire film? His name should not be on the poster. The kid who played Jack for the majority of the film should be.

Spoiler:
remember the screentimes for all those big-name actors for Thin Red Line? ranges from 5-15 minutes from the likes of John Travolta, Woody Harrelson, and George Clooney. haha.

PopcornTreeCt 06-07-11 07:59 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
Saw this today and wow don't know what to think of it. It was definitely unlike any film I've ever seen. I think it's definitely worthy of analysis and I think that may be the only way for me to appreciate it.

On the surface, leaving the theater I was pretty underwhelmed. I think I would've preferred a stronger narrative structure only because the Pitt family storyline was such a big part of the film. I thought Pitt was amazing though, I think it ranks up there with his greatest performances. He's so subtle and tells everything with his face.

I think it's sort of a good time capsule piece, showing the contrasts between showing kids playing outside in the 50's and their lazy asses nowadays.

Overall though I would say I was disappointed.

SPiRAL 06-08-11 10:40 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt (Post 10807937)
Saw this today and wow don't know what to think of it. It was definitely unlike any film I've ever seen. I think it's definitely worthy of analysis and I think that may be the only way for me to appreciate it.

On the surface, leaving the theater I was pretty underwhelmed. I think I would've preferred a stronger narrative structure only because the Pitt family storyline was such a big part of the film. I thought Pitt was amazing though, I think it ranks up there with his greatest performances. He's so subtle and tells everything with his face.

I think it's sort of a good time capsule piece, showing the contrasts between showing kids playing outside in the 50's and their lazy asses nowadays.

Overall though I would say I was disappointed.

I agree with most of this, although I'm still processing the film. I wasn't blown away by it, but I also wasn't disappointed, I knew what to expect going in. One thing I still don't understand is
Spoiler:
the dinosaur scene, coming out of nowhere

whotony 06-08-11 11:51 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
Philly area please.

CRM114 06-09-11 02:22 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by whotony (Post 10809867)
Philly area please.

It's apparently showing at Ritz Theaters East in Philadelphia starting tomorrow. Then the following on June 17.

Ambler, Ambler, PA
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA
Country Theater, Doylestown, PA

I may go to the Doylestown theater.

mhanlen1 06-11-11 05:55 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
Moved from the other Tree of Life thread.



Saw it yesterday during it's first showing in St. Louis. It was a mixed bag for me. Please, before you skewer me, I'm not a Terrence Malick hater. I've been looking forward to this movie for quite some time My first Malick movie was the Thin Red Line, and since then I've been hooked. What bothered me about the film?

The minor spoilers follow, that discuss the film's structure in general terms without revealing any major plot points.

Spoiler:
To me it seemed like there was quite a bit of retread of ideas in that film and also from the New World. I didn't particularly care for the voice over work in the film, I think mainly because a lot of it sounded thematically similar to the narration in the The Thin Red Line.

The good though? After the beginning of time section, and all the way up until the Sean Penn stuff near the end, it was pretty involving. The childhood scenes were all very nuanced, and well-observed. I identified with a lot of the stuff the kids went through, as I was one of five boys. For my money, it seemed like one of the better representations of a realistic childhood I've seen on film.

Anyway, the movie didn't gel for me the way his other films do. There were quite a few overly surrealistic touches for me, that didn't seem to fit with the realism of most of the middle of the movie. Also, while well shot, I wish the camera had been a little less "ADD" at times. I don't mind a wandering camera every now and again, but shot after shot of random panning (and then pans back) did get a little old at times.

Throwing Copper 06-12-11 09:19 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt (Post 10807937)
Saw this today and wow don't know what to think of it. It was definitely unlike any film I've ever seen. I think it's definitely worthy of analysis and I think that may be the only way for me to appreciate it.

On the surface, leaving the theater I was pretty underwhelmed. I think I would've preferred a stronger narrative structure only because the Pitt family storyline was such a big part of the film. I thought Pitt was amazing though, I think it ranks up there with his greatest performances. He's so subtle and tells everything with his face.

I think it's sort of a good time capsule piece, showing the contrasts between showing kids playing outside in the 50's and their lazy asses nowadays.

Overall though I would say I was disappointed.

I agree with all of this.

Some sort of a plot etc. would've been very nice. We had a few applause at the end of the film at my theater, but it was pretty easy to tell that a decent amount of people were glad it was over.

Only 1 person walked out though.

Goldberg74 06-12-11 11:10 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
It comes to San Antonio in a few weeks and I am really excited to see it.

Throwing Copper 06-13-11 01:49 AM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
I would like to add that the film is visually arresting.....really impressive shit. This will be a strong contender for the Oscar in cinematography.

The celestial/creation of the stars etc. part that came early in the film and seemed to last about 20 minutes was something to witness on screen.

It didn't appear to have much to do with the rest of the film (in a way) but was really awesome to see.

I just think Malick could've put some kind of story structure together here and made it so much better of a movie that more people would actually enjoy sitting through.

The actual film lasts 2 hours and 10 minutes, but it started to feel like well over 3 hours for me.

This coming from someone who has seen "Magnolia" 13 or 14 times.

PopcornTreeCt 06-13-11 10:33 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by Throwing Copper (Post 10814385)
I would like to add that the film is visually arresting.....really impressive shit. This will be a strong contender for the Oscar in cinematography.

The celestial/creation of the stars etc. part that came early in the film and seemed to last about 20 minutes was something to witness on screen.

It didn't appear to have much to do with the rest of the film (in a way) but was really awesome to see.

I just think Malick could've put some kind of story structure together here and made it so much better of a movie that more people would actually enjoy sitting through.

The actual film lasts 2 hours and 10 minutes, but it started to feel like well over 3 hours for me.

This coming from someone who has seen "Magnolia" 13 or 14 times.

I felt it lasted long too and I was checking the time on my cellphone quite a bit during it --which I never do in movies. The scenes with the boys and the family felt like they went on forever.

Thinking back on it, it actually has some semblance of structure:

Spoiler:

The family is informed about the son dying. We can tell from Sean Penn's reaction and lighting the candle that this is an important day in his life. He then starts thinking about how the planet formed and how everything in the present has gone to shit. He has a meeting, thinks more about his brother and then daydreams about his childhood. The kids and family scene finally ends when they have to leave the house. Then back to Penn in the glass building. And then well... I think you'll have to explain it to me cause I don't know how to explain the ending.

CloverClover 06-18-11 03:04 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
Wow, this movie was *****/***** for me. It was definitely flawed and I want to see a directors cut. but what was there, I think, has the ability to change our world and who we are. It was a 'spiritual' experience.

It is as if our bodies are already on their own path of evolution, that will lead us places we don't know yet. (The universe was all rocks and energy at one point, but it lead to something). We have to have faith that it'll lead somewhere, that all this suffering isn't for nothing. that we have to build a bridge to our souls to understand that all this suffering is a temporary transition.

When [spoiler] sean penn walks on the beach and accepts all the suffering and shame in his life, it is like he has awakened to the spiritual reality of things. The movie accepts that life is hard and unfair, like how pitt was screwed with patents and his kids have to deal with his abuse... but it is about FAITH in a god, and order of this all. It also presents a larger reality... that humans may be gone one day like the dinosaurs. or that there is the DANGER of that, just like there is a danger of having abusive parents and getting ruined.

I believe the movie believes we won't die out like the dinos. we will reach enlightenment, through the merging of science, and soul. (they keep comparing man's individual creation with gods, like all these elaborate and complicated architectures they walk through, and brad pitt's scientific patents.) I think the movie is saying, when a comet comes to strike us, or if we have an abusive parent, those things won't be an issue anymore in our more evolved future, because we have come to terms with it, a 'bridge' between our world and the soul. as far as we wil progress scientifically, our souls will as well. I think the movie is full of hope in this way. I could be reading it all wrong though !

PopcornTreeCt 06-18-11 03:18 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
Nice interpretation of the ending.

P.S. Your spoiler tag didn't work.

Patman 06-20-11 10:13 AM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
My 5 word reaction to this film was: An ode to progeny, perhaps.

Malick's vision produced some haunting sequences in this film, though jarring at times, and mystifying, but there's enough "downtime" during the film for you to review what's come before, and what's happening on the screen to piece together such a fractured narrative.

There's this thread running through the film on the creation of life, and the nurturing of it, and the requirements to keep the sustainment of life amongst one's progreny, to see it fullfilled and unfulfilled. It's not always pretty and pure, there's some hardships, heartache, and hateful times through the course of one's life to fuel the search for meaning in living and death, coming to acceptance after a long journey of emotional hurt and loss. There's even some bits on intentional or unintentional mercy at the dawn of time sequence.

It's weird to give this film a rating, as it does run a little long, but its visuals and imagery will linger in your subconsicous much longer than the run-of-the-mill movie that exist solely to entertain for a couple of hours.

Brad Pitt gives a nuanced performance of a father at odds with realities of a family and his own dreams. The 3 child actors gave solid performances as the 3 sons, and their performances felt very natural and lived-in. Jessica Chastain, as the mother, was almost dreamy in her presence in the film at times, as I felt she was more of an ideal, than a character for Pitt's character to be a foil to in their family. She provided more of the emotional touchstone responses through their family's journey through life.

That being said, I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

Ash Ketchum 06-20-11 10:35 AM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by CloverClover (Post 10822187)
Wow, this movie was *****/***** for me. It was definitely flawed and I want to see a directors cut. but what was there, I think, has the ability to change our world and who we are. It was a 'spiritual' experience.

It is as if our bodies are already on their own path of evolution, that will lead us places we don't know yet. (The universe was all rocks and energy at one point, but it lead to something). We have to have faith that it'll lead somewhere, that all this suffering isn't for nothing. that we have to build a bridge to our souls to understand that all this suffering is a temporary transition.

When [spoiler] sean penn walks on the beach and accepts all the suffering and shame in his life, it is like he has awakened to the spiritual reality of things. The movie accepts that life is hard and unfair, like how pitt was screwed with patents and his kids have to deal with his abuse... but it is about FAITH in a god, and order of this all. It also presents a larger reality... that humans may be gone one day like the dinosaurs. or that there is the DANGER of that, just like there is a danger of having abusive parents and getting ruined.

I believe the movie believes we won't die out like the dinos. we will reach enlightenment, through the merging of science, and soul. (they keep comparing man's individual creation with gods, like all these elaborate and complicated architectures they walk through, and brad pitt's scientific patents.) I think the movie is saying, when a comet comes to strike us, or if we have an abusive parent, those things won't be an issue anymore in our more evolved future, because we have come to terms with it, a 'bridge' between our world and the soul. as far as we wil progress scientifically, our souls will as well. I think the movie is full of hope in this way. I could be reading it all wrong though !

Your take strikes me as an extremely optimistic one. (I'm being generous. Some would call it "delusional.") You are a lot more hopeful than I am. (As Zen Buddhist philosopher Alan Watts once put it, "Faith is hope.") I have to confess that I have little patience for Malick's navel-gazing. I would have preferred a conventional narrative about the effect of grief on this Texas family. As it turns out, Malick gave me way too little information to feel anything for this family. He keeps us at way too much of a distance. I didn't figure out which of the brothers Penn was supposed to be or which of the brothers was the one who died until the very end. And I'm still not entirely sure. My confusion about these matters interfered with my acceptance of the film.

And that whole metaphysical journey back in time didn't affect me at all. A little too grandiose for the ideas it was supposedly supporting. I'm guessing this is all Malick's personal journey, his own dissection of the grieving process. In fact, I found it a little too personal for my tastes. And perhaps too inaccessible to show in a multiplex. If CloverClover's above interpretation is correct, or even partly so, it just doesn't jibe with my ideas about these weighty subjects. I tend to take the Buddhist approach: "Life is sorrow and then we die." Get used to it.

Hixx 06-20-11 03:14 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
It's funny, since I watched it I've really enjoyed thinking about this movie's themes and subtexts.

Spoiler:
In particular the scene where Jack shoots his brother in the hand, and the betrayal of the deep trust between them that it represents, as well as a loss of innocence. That spoke to me quite a bit, and also seemed to be kind of a microcosm of abusive relationships that mirrored the boys relationship to their dad too.


But watching it was fairly tedious.

So I guess it was worth seeing for the thoughts it sparked for me, but I don't think I'd ever watch it again.

Bobby Shalom 06-20-11 04:10 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
I must have been in the exact right frame of mind to see this movie, because I feel it fucked me up, and good.

Saw it on father's day - and man it moved me. I think if I was in another frame of mind I may have found it boring and pretentious. But I was moved to tears around half a dozen times, and I never cry at films.

My family couldn't have been farther removed from the family in the flick, but I connected with it so strongly, and found it so truthful in its depictions of life.

The one word I kept thinking of when watching it was - "masterful."

riotinmyskull 06-24-11 02:13 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
http://i56.tinypic.com/6p5mom.jpg

clappj 06-24-11 03:23 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by riotinmyskull (Post 10830275)

Did they write you that letter, after you asked for your money back?

;)

The Antipodean 06-24-11 03:41 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by riotinmyskull (Post 10830275)

There's something really sad about that....

Solid Snake 06-24-11 04:04 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by Sierra Disc (Post 10830454)
There's something really sad about that....

yeah..that's pretty sad.

PopcornTreeCt 06-24-11 04:36 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
I really like that notice.

DeanoBKN 06-24-11 04:39 PM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 

Originally Posted by riotinmyskull (Post 10830275)

Where is that picture from? My local arthouse theater is playing this movie, which is also called The Avon Theatre.

If it's them, I find that very silly because 90% of the films that play there would never attract the type of people who would request a refund for buying a ticket, not knowing what they are getting themselves into first.

Eric D. 06-25-11 02:16 AM

Re: The Tree of Life (Malick, 2011) - The Reviews Thread
 
I saw the film a couple of days ago and liked it, but I didn't love it. Malick is easily one of my top three favorite filmmakers and this was his most unique film to date. However, I felt like was redundant at times and think it would have been much more powerful if it was trimmed up in a few spots. As usual, the cinematography and music was incredible.

The most annoying thing was that two girls were laughing throughout the entire film and that took me out of it at times. Every now and then I'm reminded just how awful people can be. I have no problem if you hate the film, but don't ruin it for everyone else. There were people who walked out after thirty minutes, but these douchebags stayed for the entire running time and just kept laughing. I think that ruined my enjoyment of the film quite a bit and I need to see it again before I become solidified on how I feel about it.


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