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The Lovely Bones

Aww. Sweet thin Peter Jackson has directed The Lovely Bones, adapted for the screen by his usual team of Walsh and Boyens. Gladly, they have brought the magical tapestry of their visual imaginations to bear on the work, but the material does come across quite sickly. Little miss Salmon’s in-between is an extraordinary creation, evoking various works of Dali-esque surrealism. Unfortunately, the trailer sandwiches this between the deeply moving opening act, in which every reaction shot acts as a signpost, a bleary-eyed upward glance or a grieving burial in hands, and the third act’s hackneyed murder-mystery cliché. The actors are also distractingly starry, but on the whole it looks to be promisingly well-directed. Will its strength prove to lie behind the camera (“in my own perfect world”)?


Alongside exciting science-fiction projects centre-stage and left-field (from District 19 to Avatar, by way of the recently green-lighted Brave New World) is the upcoming Alien prequel. It was recently revealed that Ridley Scott himself will helm this as-yet-untitled work, rather than an advert-directing protege (formerly hotly-tipped Carl Erik Rinsch also happens to have been Scott’s daughter’s sweetheart). However, Fox refused to give the green light until Scott was attached to the director’s chair. Meanwhile, the script will be penned by Jon Spaiht, who has an impressive CV in-the-making. Writer of Passengers, one of the most acclaimed unproduced scripts of 2007 (now to become a Keanu Reeves vehicle about interstellar travel) and upcoming Disney picture, Children of Mars (St George and the Dragon, reloaded, in space). His pitch allegedly wowed Scott and the studio. Might it peer into the genetic origins of the xenomorph species, or look back to the crash-landing of their Space Jockey hosts on LV-426? Exciting, either way.


Given my penchant for detailed, post-viewing analysis and personal ambivalence on this issue, my interest was particularly sparked by these two posts from the blogosphere this week. On the one hand, a little outburst about spoilers ruining the experience of film (I agree, but don’t think critics are culpable, given their readership and comparatively small profile shadowed by the marketing behemoth). On the other, an erudite defense of this type of criticism. I myself and culpable: my review of Moon was a real spoiler-fest (and incidentally, I far more succinctly ruined the film for someone in conversation today…)


A towering figure for a generation passed away this week: here is an excellent round-up of comment and eulogy for John Hughes. Lest we forget Budd Schulberg, RIP.



Written by James P. Campbell

08/08/2009 at 22:22

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