The Lovely Bones [Blu-Ray] Peter Jackson

The Lovely Bones [Blu-Ray] Peter Jackson
After years of directing special effects-driven blockbusters, director Peter Jackson is having some trouble turning off his "epic" switch. What should be an entertaining little supernatural/psychological thriller turns into a bizarre, three-hour-long, rambling mess of meandering storytelling and misplaced special effects. Synopsizing The Lovely Bones poses a problem, as the sparse story that consumes this three-hour trek is fragmented into two distinct sections, neither of which warrant such examination. The majority of the film revolves around the life and murder of Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), and the after-effects that her death has on her typical suburban family. On its own, simply told, this portion of the film would be an enjoyable, yet forgettable, tale, deserving neither accolades nor derision. Mark Wahlberg does a decent job portraying a grieving father, and while the story is nothing special, it acts as a fine canvas for the exploration of how the death of a child can affect a family unit. But Jackson, with the might and majesty of his WETA workshop waiting in the wings, can't let the chance to create some eye candy special effects pass him by and we get the "Susie's afterlife" sequences that are not only distractingly weird to look at, but also detract from the storyline, interjecting unnecessary dream sequences that sap momentum from an already slowly paced narrative. The special features disc is a little different than the norm, showing the making-of the film in shooting order and giving audiences a detailed look into just how disjointed the process of filmmaking can be. The feature disc may be more interesting to budding filmmakers than the film itself, as Jackson gives us a very in-depth view of the movie-making process as a whole. I'm sure on paper The Lovely Bones seemed like an interesting adaptation of the novel it's based on, but the end result is odd, overblown and entirely unnecessary. If Peter Jackson wants to take a break from doing big budget blockbusters, he's going to have to learn how to turn his style down a notch and cut an hour from his run times. (Paramount)