Life (1999)

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In the mid-1990s, two inmates bury the burned bodies of two lifers at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Farm; a third old-timer relates their story. They'd served 65 years for a murder they didn't commit, framed by a local sheriff while buying moonshine whiskey for a Manhattan club owner to whom they owed money. In flashbacks we see this odd couple thrown together (Ray is a fast-talking con man, and Claude is a serious man about to start work as a bank teller), the loss of Ray's watch (sterling silver, from his daddy), the murder and trial, the hardships of Parchman, and the love-hate relationship of Claude and Ray as they spend 65 years bickering and looking for a way to escape.
Eddie Murphy as Rayford Gibson
Martin Lawrence as Claude Banks
Obba Babatundé as Willie Long
Nick Cassavetes as Sergeant Dillard
Anthony Anderson as Cookie
Barry Shabaka Henley as Pokerface
Brent Jennings as Hoppin' Bob
Bernie Mac as Jangle Leg
Miguel A. Núñez Jr. as Biscuit
Michael Taliferro as Goldmouth (as Michael 'Bear' Taliferro)
Guy Torry as Radio
Bokeem Woodbine as Can't Get Right
Ned Beatty as Dexter Wilkins
Lisa Nicole Carson as Sylvia
O'Neal Compton as Superintendant Abernathy
Full cast

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Film explores creation, evolution down to slice of everyday life in small town America in the 50s as well as a glimpse of afterlife, which is an epic experience. Be prepared for limited dialogue, appreciate the visuals and embrace post film reflections on life.


" TREE OF LIFE dares to offer a divine perspective on tragedy. " writes Dr. Film (Craig Detwieler). Agree. When you see this hugely ambitious movie, you will experience wonder and brain-stretching puzzlement, but, at the last, reconciliation. The 'story' and characters are partially drawn, because this picture is about big answers to universal questions. Well, well worth it! !!!!! A wonder-filled movie.


Best acting by Pitt ever and the kids are great, too. Malick GOT all of that stuff spot on. There is very little dialogue; the wife scarcely speaks. Unless it's her whispering existential doubts to God in the background. Sean Penn basically glowers and looks pained, and isn't present in most of the movie. Now for the bad news - much of the run time is taken up by more or less pretty, interesting pictures of celestial events (lifted from an IMAX of a few years back?) with sonorous choruses, some volcano eruption shots, some peaceful forests with -even - a fairly cute dinosaur. But all of this doesn't add up to a whom movie that matches the performance of Pitt and the incite of Malick's direction of him and the boys. It's sad. About 1 minute before the film ended when I saw it, a number of people in the audience laughed. When yet another shot of cosmic explosions appeared, someone else groaned, "Oh, God." Definitely not for kids.


Dali, Bergman, Malick. Synonymous in their level of artistry and craft. This doesn't happen at the cinema anymore (at least not outside of you jerks in LA and NY), so its arrival is heralded by not only me but thousands of other art fans, regardless of the stupid girl who laughed during the Creation sequence and pontificated her lack of approval to a sold-out crowd once the credits began to roll. I can only imagine how hurt Malick must feel at his failure to appease her. I know I would be upset. Perhaps he will descend into a self-imposed exile yet again, mirroring his twenty year absence between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line. Crying himself to sleep next to an empty bank account and thousands of pages of translated Heidegger, all for naught. In all reality, people will still be talking about this film in 100 years. They will not be talking about The Hangover 2 or Pirates 4. And that should be enough to let you sleep well tonight.


Do not go to this movie. If you go you will be sorry. Sit on the end of the row so you can leave after the first ten minutes. It does not get any better. Trust me.

See also
Uncorked 2020
Uncorked 2020,  USA
I Still Believe 2020
I Still Believe 2020,  USA
The Orchard 2020
The Orchard 2020,  USA
Downhill 2020
Downhill 2020,  USA
Resistance 2020
Resistance 2020,  USA
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