Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
Peter Jackson was a great director. His campy zombie gore fest Dead Alive is one of my favorite guilty pleasures and The Lord of the Ring series was a crowning achievement of fantasy film. After that though he decided F*** it I don't care anymore I made Lord of the Rings. It shows in all of his movies afterwards and almost even more so in his latest film The Lovely Bones.
The Lovely Bones is Alice Sebold's masterpiece of literature brought to life. I was a huge fan of the book, rich with deep symbolism, disturbing and unnerving violence, a portrait of heaven we haven't seen before, great characterization and a brilliant story overall. Everything about that book is so fascinating and awe inspiring. That book inspired me to want to write (along with John Green and Stephen King). So when I heard that it were to become a movie I was excited. Even when Jackson's name was attached I thought "How could he screw this up?" Well he answered that question and proved me wrong.
The first major problem is the story and how the film not only treats the story but the whole world that that the story encompasses. While not totally accurate (what film adaptation is) the film lacks any true emotional output. It's violent in a tasteless way, lacks any symbolic meaning whatsoever, and the settings all feel cold, devoid of life at all. The protagonist now whines too much without reason, heaven feels fake and forced (pretty but dull over the top and trippy at times to make it almost seem like "Look what I can do"), and its boring to boot.
For those who don't know or who haven't seen the previews (or read the post title) its the story of Susie Salmon, a girl who was murdered and now wants to solve her murder from heaven. That's really it at least in the film version. Yeah the mom and dad get involved and so does the sister but really the film doesn't even try to hard to make a decent story or a film that is interesting at all.
The second major flaw is the acting. Besides Stanley Tucci's brilliant performance (the only good thing about this movie) every seems to either phone it in or come off as whiny. Susie is a pain to listen to and everytime she talks I'm annoyed. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz are okay but really seem too overdramatic or melodramatic at times. Overall the acting (besides Tucci) is total bull.
I really wanted this film to be good and besides sometimes pretty visuals and the brilliant performance from Tucci, this film just falls flat in every other aspect. You would do good to avoid this one.
MY VERDICT: AVOID IT