Saturday, June 03, 2006

New World, old style

Top 5 movies of all time (an ever changing list):

High Fidelity
The Thin Red Line
Royal Tenenbaums
Annie Hall (bonus pick)

The important aspect of this list is The Thin Red Line. It has a permanent place in my top 5, and it secured Terrence Malick as my director hero. Malick and Toll (DP) capture the lives of WWII soldiers with an obsessive eye. The cinematography's intricate details leave the viewer out to defend his own life, crotched in the tall, South Pacific grass. Malick created one of the greatest combat films of all time.

Needless to say, The New World had a lot to live up to; however, I felt up for anything Malick could throw at me. What I got was The Thin Red Line with Indians, and forgettable characters.

Truthfully, the game was rigged before I sat down in front of the TV. The trailer had been full of Malick's signature style, and the reviews warned of a carbon copy film. I knew Malick had no intention of reinventing himself; yet, I was not prepared for the extent of the damage. The New World smells of studio execs, board meetings and power point charts. Where is Malick's organic love for the topic? Everyone just took the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach, and organized a massive costume change.

If you have not seen a Terrence Malick movie, then this tail of John Smith and Pocahontas might seem fascinating and original. The movie isn't terrible, and of course every frame is beautiful. Malick didn't lose it, he just hasn't gained anything. The Thin Red Line is OK Computer, and I wanted The New World to be Kid A. That hope was not fulfilled. Not even close.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting list, I once tried to pick my top 10 and it bloated to 50. Royal Tenenbaums is up there for me. I think I need to give Thin Red Line another look.

10:53 AM  

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