Monday, April 22, 2013

Terence Malick

This is gonna be controversial, but I'm going to say it: Terence Malick is probably the most overrated director out there.  OK, sure, Badlands is fucking bad ass, no one can contradict that.  But that was made in 1973, which is so old it was even before I was born.  How much of how amazing it is is Sissy Spacek?  A LOT.  I think Malick discovered her at some party in Texas if I remember correctly.

Anyway, since then we've got Days of Heaven, which was dreamy and pastoral and all that but pretty much ruined by casting Richard Gere as the protagonist.  He's too much of a light weight.

Then 20 years and out comes The Thin Red Line.  I was excited and liked it at the time but that movie was a mess.  So many pointless cameos: Nolte, Cusack, Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson (who is not pointless I guess because I am sure he was great), Jared Leto??, Travolta (that one was super pointless) and Clooney. And cut out Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, Gary Oldman, Bill Pullman, Lukaas Haas, Vigoo Mortenson and Micky Rourke!!  He recut it to make the movie about non-charismatic Jim Caveziel, who later went on to star in that non-classic The Passion and then do nothing ever.

OK, next we have the Pocahontas movie.  I like Colin Farrell as much as the next lady but also a mess. I barely remember it.

Tree Of Life: pretty good but not as deep as it wanted to be.  And now we have To The Wonder starring Affleck and it's getting terrible reviews.  I guess the lady lead just twirls a lot.  That's enough strikeouts that I'm declaring him a hack.  He's like a band with one great album, which I respect but that's not much of a band.

There's another new post below if you're interested.


Caroline said...

I fucking hate this post. Malick for life.

Anonymous said...

i had to read this sentence 3 times to understand it, but i still love it.

"How much of how amazing it is is Sissy Spacek?"


beckler said...

poorly worded. I'm saying she is responsible for 85% of the goodness of this movie. Her face and accent alone.

Caroline I would like to hear you defend some of the movies individually. My opinions are very fungible. Did I use that right?

DaveNinja said...

Thin Red Line needed to ditch the cameos (Travola is the worst; also his cameo in this movie is terrible!) and not be released the same year as Saving Private Ryan

Caroline said...

He is hands down one of my favorite directors. Malick is far from perfect (increasingly so) but what he does well is done so incredibly perfect and singularly. A lot of my love of Malick is emotional/visceral and hard to convey. The way he handles characters and actors, the amazing reverence and stunning shots of nature, the use of silence, man versus/with nature, it all resonates very deeply with me. The cinematography alone makes me want to explode. I always feel completely FULL while watching his movies.

My favorite is atually Days of Heaven, I don't mind Gere in the least!

I also loved the shit out of The New World! Amazing relationships and characters and oh boy how beautiful. I sob a bunch every time I watch it.

Tree of Life was definitely his most flawed but also was a full realization of many of the things he does so well. I found myself constantly thinking about it and talking about it afterward, and so many people felt differently about each aspect of it. It was one of those movies that I loved more a few days after seeing it, because of these things.

Anonymous said...

Once I stopped smoking weed, I stopped giving a fuck about Malick.


Cody said...

Probably a stupid question, but have to seen 3 Women? Sissy Spacek kinda blew my mind in that one, and it also confirmed my love for Shelly Duvall.

beckler said...

Totally love 3 Women! One of my Altman faves. So dreamlike and different from his other stuff. Reminds me more of those weird Aussies Nicolas Roeg and Peter Weir.Maybe check out Walkabout and Picnic At Hanging Rock for more trippy shit

ya know what, come to think of it I think Shelley Duvall was the one discovered at a party, not Spacek

beckler said...

always good:

beckler said...

Caroline, I respect your opinion. I don't think he doesn't have his moments, I just think he's overrated because of that 20 year break and being all mysterious.