This Is Us, a drama that brought an interconnected story, where twists occurred around every corner, and often punched you straight in the face with emotion. Due to its popularity, Hollywood seems to be ready to draw upon their talents to make a movie that can do the same. Tall orders from the popular writers, tonight’s movie is a tribute to their work, one that will hopefully hold the same quality, and perhaps leave you in tears at what lies in store. Robbie K here with another review of:
Movie: Life Itself (2018)
The Acting: You know from Fogelman’s work that the stories weigh heavily on the characters and the stars that make them come to life. For this guy, the acting is certainly the strongest like. Much of the cast holds the ability of bringing the characters to such realistic portrayals, controlling their emotions in this very heavily feeling based position. The chemistry with each other is fantastic, each phase holding these dynamic performances that life holds in its mystical throngs. These characters are who you have to grip to, and fortunately the acting is there to do it.
The Realism: It may be overstuffed with emotion like a mega burrito, but Life Itself is all about the realism of life. This mega drama will drop much of the fantasy quirks of Hollywood to give you that slice of life to immerse in. If you want the closest thing to life in a film version, Life Itself is the one for you.
The Twists: You like those jaw dropping revelations that This Is Us is capable of dropping? Well, maybe not to the same extent, but Life Itself doesn’t do too shabby a job of unleashing its own surprises to help link all the tales together. What many movies (like Valentine’s Day) have tried to execute the combination of stories, they often fall flat into some grand stretch to make it all work. This film, not so much. Instead, it’s a well thought out plan, where these stories are designed around the connection and not vice versa. These connecting points are the key to the twist, and they hope to bring the same pizazz the TV series does. It’s not quite as impressive, but it is a start!
The Make-Up/Costume/Setup: Hands down, the movie has some solid artistic attributes to add to their characters that I like to give a nod too. Costumes are stylish, but not overbearing or too primary to overshadow the performances. Pregnant prosthetics are curtailed to the actress and decently integrated to again be balanced into the character. And as for the make-up, a fantastic blend of pallets to bring out physical attributes of aging as the scenes jump forward in time. It’s stunning to see what they can do and really impressed me despite not being the most unique or out of this world project.
The Guts: Life Itself does something many movies fear to do and that is hit the hard-hitting topics. This film is all about facing the ups and downs with life, doing a decent job of portraying these very tough, rigorous trials that life brings and how to go about working through them. And while it may be difficult to see some of these components, you’ve got some fantastic morals to teach you for preparation of many things. Well done their guys.
Slow Pace: Let’s get this on the table, I like faster paced movies so I don’t fight sleep. Life Itself is not one of these movies, for it decides to move at a slow pace to make sure you become entrenched in the character’s tale. While this wasn’t too bad at first, by the third chapter, I was battling my attention span’s limits to not walk out. Those who like a drawn-out tale will not fell this way, but for those wanting a little brisker pace, you’ll be dreading this film.
Missing The Story/Development: Most fans of This Is Us I talk to love how much you are immersed into the character’s lives, following their tales and uncovering every little detail at just the right moment. Life Itself had the makings of that, but it didn’t quite have the same magic that they really were going for. A strong opening was quickly fizzled out by montages, shallow dialogue at times, and even some messy wrap ups that showed they were running out time. What this movie suffers in this category, is not having enough time (e.g. multiple seasons and episodes) to tell the story and therefore it did not accomplish the goals set out.
Depressing: Let’s be honest, this is a movie that is not for the faint of heart, the overly depressed, or hating sad stories. Life Itself is much like real life and those ups and downs can really tax the emotions and leave you feeling down. When you combine with the dislikes above, you might have an even harder time staying in the theater to heart the surprisingly powerful finish. So, heed words guys, this is not a movie for when you are feeling down, so please take heed and don’t fall victim to the antics.
Life Itself was ambitious in its goal to take the popular drama field and unleash those same emotions onto a bigger screen. While the acting, realism, artwork, and guts are all there, they aren’t enough to bring the half-baked stories to full effect. There are key points that really stand out, but much of them don’t have the finesse they needed, mostly due to time restraints. Nevertheless, this depressing film moves at a snail’s pace and doesn’t quite have the well mapped out writing to warrant the nearly 2 hours. Instead, Life Itself should have taken the carbon copy components and made a spin off show for a streaming service instead. Still, not the worst thing I have seen.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5