Monday, 30 August 2010

The Thin Red Line (1998)

Based on the James Jones novel of the same name, this film depicting the Marine assault on Guadalcanal in 1942 is wonderful....

Up until the last hour.

Really, while director Terrence Malick is a cinematic genius, casting himself as the wily Captain Smith was the wrong choice. Seemingly in every frame during the last half of the movie, Malick shoves aside such veteran actors as Nick Nolte and Sean Penn to occupy the center of the action.

The trend continues in the most recent DVD special edition. Malick talks on five separate commentary tracks, striking in that he literally doesn't say the name of any other person involved in the production. Twenty hours worth of press interviews are also included, in which the director goes into great detail about his early life, including a game by game description of his career as a Little League pitcher.

Malick is famous for keeping his home phone number public and inviting anyone who "wants to just shoot the breeze" to call him up at random. Sadly, at some point, the director will have to learn to let his art do the talking and stop being so publicity mad.

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