The Tree of Life (2011)

Insert witty cutting tree down joke

Sometimes, nothing I write will ever fully represent exactly how I feel about a movie or director or writer than actual events.  From the Trivia page of The Tree of Life on IMDb:

“An Italian cinema showed the film for a week with the first two reels switched. Even though the film starts with production logos, no one in the theater noticed and thought it was all part of Terrence Malick’s “crazy editing style”.”

I’ve only seen one other Malick movie – The Thin Red Line – and that boring, pretentious bag of wank was enough to not only turn me off of any future Malick works, but also war movies in general.  That’s why it took me something like eight years to see Saving Private Ryan.  Malick’s style seems to consist of “art for the sake of art” and it is terribly boring, and excruciatingly hard to sit through.

Currently, I’m writing this as I’m about an hour into the movie.  If anything changes, I won’t delete it, I’ll just put a strike through it.  I feel confident that you won’t find any strikethroughs in this entry, thus proving that sometimes it is perfectly accurate to judge a book/movie by its cover/pretentiously lofty title/director.

I like Brad Pitt, I think he’s a fine actor.  But sometimes he just seems to go out of his way to prove that he’s more than just a pretty, chiseled face.  I suppose he’s decent enough in this movie, as is Jessica Chastain (who I last saw – and enjoyed – in the cheesily bad Jolene), but the structure of the movie doesn’t really provide anything more than snapshots of his “character”.  And the non-linear structure in this movie, well fuck it.  Some of the plot details I only knew about because they were mentioned in the Wiki article for the movie.  A good 10-15 minutes of it appears to be unused footage from “Planet Earth”, and let me make this perfectly clear: if at the end I give this movie anything higher than a zero, it’s because of the stunning visuals and the genius behind them, Douglas Trumbull.

To me, the movie is essentially what would happen if you gave some emo film student a digital video camera and a tumblr account and told them to film “LIFE”.  Much like SuckerPunch was just a bunch of music videos strung together, The Tree of Life is basically the clip art version of life.  Don’t even get me started on the pointless hushed whispers of the voiceovers, like they’re imparting some sort of worldly secret.  Fuck this movie.

And now the HORRIBLE STUPID ENDING (though I am grateful it’s soon to be over) which – even after reading the Wiki explanation of it – makes no fucking sense.  If that’s Jack at the end of the world with all the memories of the people he knew, why are they not the aged versions of them?  They’re the versions of them we saw in his stupid childhood memories, which leads me to believe that Jack was left behind in the house because his family wanted nothing to fucking do with him.  I HATE THIS MOVIE.

0.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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