DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Peter Hedges
Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rosemarie DeWitt, David Morse, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith
Writing Credits:
Peter Hedges, Ahmet Zappa (story)

He's a force of nature.

Disney brings enchantment home with The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, an inspiring, magical story for the whole family starring Jennifer Garner. Cindy (Garner) and Jim Green are a happily married couple who can't wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim - and their small town of Stanleyville - learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life's greatest gifts. From Academy Award-nominated director/writer Peter Hedges, it's a heartwarming celebration of family as only Disney can deliver.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$10.822 million on 2598 screens.
Domestic Gross
$51.598 million.

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Video 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 12/4/2012

• Audio Commentary with Director Peter Hedges
• Five Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “This Is Family” Featurette
• “The Gift of Music” Featurette
• Music Video
• Sneak Peeks


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Odd Life Of Timothy Green [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 7, 2012)

For an unusual form of family-based fantasy, we find 2012’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Married couple Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) desperately want to have kids but find themselves unable to do so. After much struggle, they accept this and try to move on.

Before this occurs, though, they perform a ceremony in which they “make a kid”: they write down all the traits they’d love in a child, place these notes in a box and bury it in the backyard.

That night, a storm hits and creates a miracle. Jim and Cindy awaken to find a young boy named Timothy (CJ Adams) who refers to them as his parents. Even more bizarre, Timothy appears to be plant-based in some way, as leaves emanate from his ankles. We follow the Green family and their unusual journey with their unusual child.

Some films generate a sense of magic in an organic sense, while others try very hard to achieve it – too hard, so they feel phony. Into which category does Life fall? Unfortunately, the latter – way, way into the latter, in fact.

Life wants desperately to be miraculous and magical, but it only succeeds in the “desperate” side of things. It’s like a sadsack who begs and pleads girls to like him – it just comes across as pathetic in the way it nuzzles against us and tries to gain our good graces without any care for logic or reality.

No, I don’t expect a movie about Plant Boy to boast a solid sense of the real world, but that’s not my problem – or at least not my main problem. I do think Life suspends disbelief too readily, as Jim and Cindy buy into their little garden child awfully rapidly. They clean him up, see the leaves on his legs and bang! Baby makes three!

Shouldn’t they be a little more skeptical than they are? Wouldn’t it make sense to give us at least a few minutes in which they more actively question their miracle vegetable? I guess that’d get in the way of all the magic ‘n’ whimsy, so any semblance of sanity/logic must go out the window.

And with them we lose any potential entertainment. Life comes packed with wide-eyed wonder and not much else. Plot? Essentially absent. Character development? Minimal at best.

Instead, we get one sequence after another in which Timothy creates itty-bitty miracles and impresses all around him. All of these feel artificial and contrived, as if the writers came up with the various situations and created a story around them.

It doesn’t work. As the movie drifts from one scene of wide-eyed wonder to another, we never feel any impact. We sense the filmmakers’ eager desire to awe us but don’t get the feeling on our own.

We find a nice cast, and they give it their best as they try to overcome the inherent dopiness of the story and premise. However, they can’t succeed. Granted, I do like the scene in which David Morse beans Timothy in the head with a dodgeball, but otherwise, this is a saccharine tale of forced whimsy that falters from start to finish.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

The Odd Life of Timothy Green appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie gave us a fairly good but not excellent presentation.

Sharpness was usually fine. Interiors could be a smidgen soft, but that wasn’t a big distraction, and overall definition seemed positive. The image lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to materialize. Print flaws also didn’t show up in this clean presentation.

Odd Life opted for a palette with a golden tint. This amber sensibility didn’t overwhelm the other tones, but it did dominate; some daytime shots also veered a bit green, and the film went more autumnal as it progressed. Within these parameters, I thought overall color reproduction seemed fine. Blacks were dark and tight, but shadows could be a bit heavy; nighttime shots seemed somewhat thick. None of the various issues created genuine problems, but they meant that this ended up as a “B” transfer.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it went with pretty typical fare for a family drama. The movie’s storms opened things up reasonably well, and a few other scenes added a little oomph, but most of the track remained subdued. This was a soundfield that created a decent sense of place but never went wild with sonic possibilities.

Audio quality was fine. Music seemed full and vivid, and effects showed good replication; those elements demonstrated solid clarity and heft. Speech was always distinctive and concise. Nothing here impressed, but the track suited the movie.

As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Peter Hedges. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at the project’s origins and development, story/character subjects, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and audio, production design, costumes and effects, and a few other areas.

In other words, Hedges essentially touches on everything involved in the film’s creation, and he does so well. Hedges looks at a nice mix of topics and gives us solid insights into the work involved. I’m not fond of his film, but I find a lot to like about this insightful commentary.

Five Deleted Scenes last a total of five minutes, 46 seconds. These include “Remember Bubbles” (2:11), “Neighbor” (0:48), “Discovery” (0:54), “You’re a Ficus” (1:13) and “A Mess” (0:40). These tend to focus on the status of Timothy’s leaves; they too heavily foreshadow a major aspect of the film’s conclusion, so it makes sense that they were left on the cutting room floor.

We can view these scenes with or without commentary from Hedges. He tells us a little about the sequences and lets us know why he omitted them. Hedges delivers basic but useful notes.

Two featurettes follow. This Is Family goes for 10 minutes, 12 seconds and boasts comments from Hedges, producer Ahmet Zappa, and actors Jennifer Garner, Ron Livingston, Common, CJ Adams, Joel Edgerton, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Odeya Rush. The show covers story/character subjects, Hedges’ work on the set, cast and performances, and overall thoughts.

Should you expect anything other than fluffy happy talk here? Nope – that’s all we get, as everyone involved praises everyone else. You might like the shots from the set but the content is banal.

The Gift of Music occupies nine minutes, 15 seconds with remarks from Hedges, composer Geoff Zanelli, and songwriter Glen Hansard. We learn a bit about the movie’s score and the song that plays under the end credits. Though we find a lot more puffery here, at least we learn a little along the way, so “Gift” fares better than “Family”.

Next comes a Music Video for Hansard’s “This Gift”. It mixes lip-synch performance shots with movie clips. The song itself seems lackluster and the video remains ordinary.

The disc opens with ads for Oz The Great and Powerful and Finding Nemo. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with clips for Bunheads, Frankenweenie, The Muppet Movie and Peter Pan. No trailer for Odd Life materializes here.

A second disc provides a DVD Copy of the film. This includes a few bonus features – not a lot, but some.

No one who cherishes ET The Extra-Terrestrial as much as I do can claim to be immune to films packed with magic and wonder. However, I think those movies need to earn our sense of awe, which doesn’t occur with the mawkish, forced Odd Life of Timothy Green. The Blu-ray gives us generally positive picture and audio along with supplements highlighted by a terrific commentary. The movie does little for me, but the Blu-ray reproduces it in a positive manner.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main