Like its main protagonist, 'The Odd Life of Timothy Green' is sincere to a fault. It's too schmaltzy for its own good. It tries so hard to be this loveable, quirky little drama about a family who has trouble having kids of their own that it instead gets a thick smattering of Disney's patented sugar coating to create a movie that is far too sweet for anyone to possibly take seriously.
Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) have confronted the strong possibility that they'll never be able to have children on their own. This troubles them so much that they find it difficult to function. After their last try, they decide to move on. Before they move on though, they spend one last night together, dreaming up the perfect child. The child they'd want if they were to ever have one.
They write numerous traits down on pieces of paper. Our son will rock. Our son will score the game winning goal in a soccer game. Our son will be Picasso with a pencil. You get the idea, right? They dream up the perfect son, stick all the papers in a wooden box, and like we'd all logically do, they bury it in the garden. Coincidentally, a magical rainstorm forms right over the Green household that night, sprinkling its enchanted raindrops down on the unsuspecting family. Odd little Timothy Green pops up out of the soil to greet his new family with all the quirkiness of a ground-grown child would.
Timothy (CJ Adams) is annoyingly cloying. We soon get the point of the movie. He's been sent here by some higher force, to teach all of the stereotypical characters in the Green's small town a lesson. The only truly funny part of the movie is when Ron Livingston pops up as Jim's soulless boss. The same type of boss he thoroughly despised in 'Office Space.'
As Timothy helps the townsfolk he soon begins losing the leaves that are attached to his legs. He's bullied and ridiculed by the local kids, but he doesn't care much. He's there for one purpose, which is soon made apparent by the painfully obvious story structure. The story is recounted by Jim and Cindy as they talk to their adoption officer about adopting a child of their own. The movie is full of annoyingly familiar emotional scenes as Timothy changes the attitudes of even his hardest critics.
I assume that 'Timothy Green' would be an acceptable movie for a family with young children. It doesn't hold much in the way of dramatic value, but it should be OK for a young family to watch together. For serious movie watchers though, this is one of those flicks that you won't be able to stop shaking your head at. It pulls out all the clichés one would need for a Hallmark Channel special.
Maybe I'm being too hard on poor Timothy. After all, he's just a kid who grew in the ground, like a potato, and only came to help. There's nothing wrong with going for the sweetness route. However, 'Timothy Green' ends up not just trying to give you cavities, but instead tries to saddle you with a debilitating case of cinematic diabetes.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Timothy Green' comes in a Disney Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. There's a code for Disney Movie Rewards contained inside. It's housed on a 50GB disc. A slipcover is provided. The release is region free.
Like many Disney transfers 'Timothy Green' boasts a splendid looking 1080p visual presentation that focuses intently on the detail found in the natural world. Timothy's leg leaves are CG creations, but the rest of the leaves in this picture are real and they harbor a tremendous amount of detail. The veins of the leaves are easily discerned during close inspection. When Timothy and his friend go riding through the forest the countless numbers of leaves behind them all have distinct edges, providing a crystal clear picture of the outdoors.
Sharp detail imbues facial features and textures with lifelike capabilities. Colors are resplendent. The natural colors of the leaves as they change hues are magnificent. Reds, oranges, yellows, and greens all shine with exceeding definition. Many of the nature shots look like they could've been ripped straight from 'Planet Earth.' There are some fantastic scenery shots in this movie and the transfer does them justice.
Black levels are constantly amazing. Flesh tones are spot-on accurate. They never burn too hot or appear too orange. I didn't notice any hints of banding or aliasing to report. Overall, Disney has done another great job here.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is another area of this release to celebrate. The entire sound stage is sufficiently used up here. Each channel is given a job which it exceeds at. The only thing holding it back from true demo quality is that there really aren't that many scenes in the movie that lend themselves as show-off material.
Dialogue is always clear as it's piped through the center channel. The front channels take on precision directional capabilities. A few of Timothy's soccer games feature screaming parents, barking coaches, and blaring referee whistles. Each of these sounds is placed precisely where it needs to be in the mix to make the scene feel engrossing.
The low-end part of the spectrum's activity is few and far between, but there are a couple rainstorms where it is called upon. The resulting bass is low and heavy, adding much needed LFE to the light talkative mix. This is a very solid mix provided by Disney, but we've come to expect as such from them over the years.
It's sweet. Too sweet. Little Timothy is cute as a button, except for those adorable ways soon start to wear thin after the movie exhausts the quirkiness of the situation and settles in for its morality tale. The good news here is that the video and audio presentations are typical Disney – near perfection. If you end up picking this one up you'll be glad to know you're getting a technically sound release, that's for sure. I really can't recommend anyone blind buying this title though. It just isn't a good enough movie to outright recommend for purchase. However, it may be worth a look. See if your kids like it. If they do, then you may be justified in dropping a few dollars on it.