Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. Look for their reviews whenever you need to know more about the latest films. In this special mid-week edition, the two movie critics share their reactions to Disney’s latest, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” This weekend, get the scoop on Tristar’s “Sparkle” starring the late, great Whitney Houston and "The Imposter," a docu-drama opening at the Santikos Bijou on Friday.
San Antonio.- Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. Look for their reviews whenever you need to know more about the latest films. In this special mid-week edition, the two movie critics share their reactions to Disney’s latest, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” This weekend, get the scoop on Tristar’s “Sparkle” starring the late, great Whitney Houston and "The Imposter," a docu-drama opening at the Santikos Bijou on Friday.
By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr.
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THE NEW COVO & AYOTTE GUIDE:
- INSTANT CLASSIC! FIVE STARS
- DON'T MISS! FOUR STARS
- DON'T WAIT! THREE STARS
- DON'T RUSH! TWO STARS
- DON'T BOTHER! ONE STAR
Covo’s take: “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” One Star
It seems Hollywood is suffering from an epidemic of “manifestation” movies – the latest one from Disney is about a couple, Cindy and Joe Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton) who desperately want children and somehow manage to wish one, who ended up growing in their garden, during a freak rainstorm, in just a couple of hours.
The film, which works hard to make you laugh and cry, accomplishes neither.
If I had to describe this movie with one word, it would be unbelievable. So unbelievable, I think many viewers will feel as cheated I did.
From the start of the film, when an absolutely flawless 10-year-old kid (CJ Adams) sprouts from the garden and lines up his adventures so he can check off his adopted parents’ dreamed-up list of qualities like a bucket list, the movie moves from scene to scene without letting us get to know any of the characters enough to make us care.
Which brings us to the second problem -- the film’s plot holes are so huge, they swallow all the potentially promising moments in the film. Unlike the movie magic we’ve come to expect from Disney (think Mary Poppins, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) everything in this film feels like a set-up: all sleight of hand – no magic. And not one character in the film, not a school official, not a family member, not even a friend seems to wonder (or care) about where the boy came from.
The movie starts with the couple telling the tale of their “son” Timothy Green, so the audience already knows he’s gone … making the film completely predictable. What’s worse, the Greens tell the story without an ounce of emotion, like they are retelling the story of a nice vacation. And nobody questions what happened to Timothy either – as if his disappearance was routine and expected.
On the bright side, the cinematography is stunning and offers great vistas of small-town USA and plenty of gorgeous nature shots. The film does have a couple of touching moments, but those moments are not enough to redeem the movie.
For those who are curious about the film, I would say wait for the DVD which will certainly be available soon. Somehow, Disney missed the mark with this fantasy.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is rated PG and runs for about 105 minutes. The film opens nationwide Aug. 15.
Ayotte’s take “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” Two Stars
“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is like a modern day “E.T” minus the greatness of the 1982 classic. Warning: this review is full of spoilers intended to spare you an hour and a half of your life you won’t get back.
The movie follows the same premise in that a stranger shows up in town and everyone falls in love with him. When it’s time for him to go – get ready to cue the waterworks. There is no doubt you will begin to fall in love with CJ Adams’ character, Timothy Green. He is the perfect kid, literally.
Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play Joe and Cindy Green, Timothy’s parents, who make a list of what their perfect child would be like after they are utterly disappointed about not being able to have their own children. They summon the perfect collection of attributes: the heart of his mother, the ability to be honest to a fault, the musicality of a rocker and the talent of Picasso with a pencil. It all comes true after Timothy magically appears from the garden.
Garner and Edgerton are startled at his sudden arrival, however they are more than accepting because they are not able to have children of their own. It’s not 100 percent clear why, but the film alludes to some type of medical issue. They are desperate to have their own child and Timothy is a godsend.
But Timothy is different from other children. He has leaves growing from his lower legs and wears socks to disguise his secret. It’s odd, but his secret draws him closer to his crush, Joni.
Joni is a bad girl of sorts. She’s different like Timothy and has a secret. It’s not as big as Timothy’s but something that makes her self-conscious in her own right.
This review is as boring as the movie and there is nothing to say that will make it any better. The first 30 minutes of the movie are painfully slow and almost intolerable. The monotony continues throughout and when you think things might get better, they do not.
As for the acting, CJ Adams is really the only bright spot in this film and his on-screen crush Odeya Rush is also great in her role. Garner delivers the performance you would expect, and Edgerton is somewhat of a surprise as the caring quintessential father.
Disney continues to fall off when it comes to creating big screen blockbusters and the best part of this film was knowing it was shot in the same house as “Halloween 2.” When an obscure fact is the highlight of a film, it’s pretty safe to assume there is a big problem.