• Once upon a time, followers of Terrence Malick’s infrequent, visionary films constituted something of a cult. Nowadays, it seems that everyone who loves good movies loves Malick; just look at the response to the new Criterion edition of his 1998 film The Thin Red Line. Josef Braun, writing about the release for Edmonton, Alberta’sVue Weekly, eloquently describes the film: “It’s a genuine war epic, elegantly staged and chillingly violent, as well as a Tarkovsky-like meditation on nature, and one of the most penetrating and immersive megabudget movie experiences I can think of . . . The overall effect of The Thin Red Line is to leave us by its end feeling as though we’ve been pushed through something, borne witness to something grandiose that only the cinema can offer. We feel closer to a particular vision that’s at once helmed by a single and singular artist and a portrayal of a difficult to fathom experience shared by hundreds. There’s almost nothing like it.”

    The idea of a Malick film as pure experience is echoed in reviews by Ryland Walker Knight at GreenCine Daily (“Any time filmmaker Terrence Malick releases a work of art, it becomes an event . . . Malick understands how movies help us see a world we can sense better than we can comprehend”); Rob Humanick in Slant (“The Thin Red Line continues to dwarf all but a handful of other war films . . . [Its] hallucinatory blend of images defines the very essence of cinema”); and the Miami Herald’s Rene Rodriguez (“Get ready to scrape your jaw off the floor . . . A stirring, haunting experience, one that’s unlikely to be matched by any other war picture you’ve ever seen”).

    That such a profound, emotional, and unorthodox film came out of Hollywood is what most astonishes Dennis Lim, writing for the Los Angeles Times: “It boggles the mind that, after all that time away, Malick was able to put studio resources and an all-star cast in the service of a deeply personal, practically nonnarrative film, a lyric poem as much as a war epic, the kind of movie the industry had long stopped financing.”

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7 comments

  • By Rudd Harpoon
    October 11, 2010
    08:59 PM

    The Blu-ray is simply amazing. Great job, Criterion!
    Reply
  • By daveed
    October 29, 2010
    03:14 PM

    Thank you so much for yet another fantastic BD release. It was the film I most anticipated this year, and as usual you did not disappoint.
    Reply
  • By Robert
    January 16, 2011
    12:14 PM

    I enjoyed it the first time. Now, however, having spent time in a war zone I can't help but cringe at the oncept of making an art house war movie. On second viewing, it is amazing to see how many of the actors are just downright horrible. John Travolta, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas and John Cusak either over act or are so lifeless that you wonder what the critics were thinking. This is a terrible movie by a great director.
    Reply
  • By MA
    January 16, 2011
    05:26 PM

    I agree, Robert. The film is a failure, although one can see that it was meant to be more.
    Reply
  • By Phil
    January 18, 2011
    01:14 PM

    The film would have been better served had no-names been cast. The star cast sort of takes me out of the world of the movie. One of the most laugh-out-loud moments comes early on when Nick Nolte and John Travolta are walking around the deck of the ship. Under Nolte's voice-over, they just sort of walk to one spot, look randomly around, walk to the other spot, look randomly around some more, with Travolta's stiff head movements punctuating the scene. Do yourself a favor and check it out. High comedy, I say. That being said, I do like the film overall.
    Reply
  • By Josh
    January 18, 2011
    08:20 PM

    Badlands on Bluray with Lanton Mills as a special feature!!!!
    Reply
  • By thevoid99
    January 18, 2011
    10:31 PM

    HELL YEAH!!!! w/ commentary by Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, and Jack Fisk plus loads of commentary including "Lanton Mills". And maybe in a few years, "The New World" on Criterion with a box set consisting of the 135-minute theatrical version, the 150-minute NY/LA/European Oscar cut, and the 178-minute extended edition.
    Reply