Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The New World The Extended Cut|
Actors: Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg
Director: Terrence Malick
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 10/14/2008 Run time: 171 minutes Rating: Nr
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MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""It seems like a dream." So intones John Smith (an emphatic and forceful Colin Farrell) describing his time with Pocahontas (a gorgeous newcomer, Q'Orianka Kilcher) in what would come to be known as Jamestown, Virginia circa 1607.
And so much like a dream is Terence Malick's newest "The New World." There are long stretches of this film in which there is only action without or with minimal sound: the Native Americans going about their day-to-day lives, working, playing, training, eating and celebrating while the King James sent Englishmen, looking for a quick way from England to the "Indies," basically go about their day scavenging for food, fighting amongst themselves and acting like savages. In fact, the Native Americans are mostly gorgeous, clean, well groomed while the supposedly civilized Englishmen are smelly, scuffy and ill-mannered. One of the funniest scenes comes at the beginning of the film when a Warrior approaches Captain Newport (Christopher Plummer) and squinches his nose due to the Captain's body odor. There is no doubt that the peaceful, though wary and intelligent Natives as presented here: regal, civilized are superior to the intruders.
In a mesmerizing almost stuperous mist, in a land so new and fresh and rife with possibilities, where a man can begin again without the sins of his past encroaching upon and stifling him, Malick sets the scene for the beginning of "The New World." There is such wonder, giddiness and hope in Malick's mise en scene that you can't help but be taken in by it all: what a chance we had to build a better world, what a chance we had to right the wrongs of our former world.
The central story is the one between Princess Pocahontas ("playful one") and Captain John Smith who arrives in Jamestown in shackles and is almost hung for treason but Captain Newport thinks better of it and instead sends Smith on a journey up the river to find and pay respects to Chief Powhatan. Powhatan instructs Smith to teach Pocahontas English and from this a romance develops.
Malick takes his time telling this story and "The New World" is slow, quiet, often silent and elegiac: he takes the time to stop, observe and ponder what his camera is showing...no quick jump cuts here to keep us supposedly impatient viewers interested. The world of Malick's films is a world filled with innocence and wonder: but wonder and innocence tempered with the realities of the brutal and the unforgiving. We are in Paradise here, Paradise before the fall: the fall is inevitable, of course and there is no doubt on whose doorstep the fault can be laid.
Terrence Malick's Counterpart To The Thin Red Line, It's Bea
Kaya Savas | Bethesda, MD USA | 01/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MOVIE: Terrence Malick is not a mainstream director, his films while few in number, are incredibly rich with detail and visual language. Only a very few people can appreciate one of his films, mostly because they tend to run longer than mainstream movies and they don't follow the traditional formula. If you've seen The Thin Red Line then you know what a Terrence Malick film is. The Thin Red Line is in my opinion one of the finest cinematic accomplishmensts in the war genre. The New World is basically Malick's counterpart to The Thin Red Line. While The Thin Red Line was a look into the dark nature of mankind and how we destroy ourselves, The New World is the opposite of that. This film is about the celebration of the human spirit and the wonder of life. It is a truly poetic film that uses the story of John Smith and Pocahontas to express this commentary. The New World focuses on the clash of differences between two civilizations and how in the mess of differences two people are able to connect and see the beauty of each other. The movie moves slow though, and there are some parts where I found the editing to be a little confusing. Otherwise, I think the film is an incredible emotional journey filled with poetry and brilliant cinematic images. This film and The Thin Red Line are very similar in style. Malick even uses the same motif with birds as he does in The Thin Red Line. You also have the poetic narration of the main characters, and the narration itself can stand alone as poetry, it is truly remarkable. Beautiful landcapes captured brilliantly with the camera, long tracking shots, and many wide shots enhance the surrounding for the audience. He also uses his "sun through the trees" shot multiple times, which I personally loved in The Thin Red Line and even used it a couple times in my projects. All the shots are accompanied by James Horner's acceptable yet somewhat flawed score. In my opinion I thought the score sounded exactly like his work on The Perfect Storm. I was devestated when Hans Zimmer was detached from the project due to scheduling problems, because it was with The Thin Red Line that Zimmer composed his masterpiece. Horner does a good job in my opinion, but at times I felt like it was all too similar and sometimes lacking. The characters are all wonderfully expressed as well, and the change that Pocahontas goes through basically defines the film's central theme of change in surrounding while still retaining your individual personality. This film celebrates humanity and is his counterpart to The Thin Red Line, which basically shows the flaws of humanity. See both film if you have not already, and if you are new to Terrence Malick please have an open mind. This man is a wonderful filmmaker, I wish he wasn't so elusive and would actually do interviews as well do maybe more than 1 movie every decade. Then again, the fact that he has only directed 5 movies in his career since 1969 maybe is his greatest strength, and puts him on the list of top directors in the industry.
ACTING: The film is almost absent of any structural dialogue. Dialogue between characters is rare and brief yet oh so meaningful, and then there is the poetic narration. The actors do a fine job with facial expressions and evoking the right emotions. Colin Farrell is great and plays a character who is in love with Pocahontas and embraces her world. Christian Bale does a fantastic job as the man who falls in love with Pocahontas yet tries to make part of English society. Then we have newcomer Q'Orianka Kilcher who plays Pocahontas, and does an amazing job with the role. The acting is all emotion and hardly any dialogue.
BOTTOM LINE: I talked to my parents after I saw the film, they said that people walked out of the movie at the showing they saw, which didn't suprise me at all. I was happy that no one walked out of the showing I went to. The Thin Red Line got the same response by movie goers that this one is getting. They walk in expecting an intense action drama and end up at a poetry reading, but you can blame decieving marketing for that. Like I said, Terrence Malick isn't for everyone, but if you see it with an open mind you will experience a truly amazing and meaningful film."
Everything I had hoped for the Blu
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 09/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I figure if one is reading this they already know the film and are questioning whether to buy this upgraded version or not - I would have to say a resounding yes.
Knowing how he filmed this and with what equipment I had very high expectations on clarity. I tested this thoroughly by pause checking over 50 different scenes and light levels (dark, dim, bright, motion, fine detail, etc.) and I could not find fault in anything; The running water scenes, moving pans through trees - all of it. The colors, contrasts and light level all came across beautifully. The smaller LCD panels looked wonderful, but I even scrutinized on the larger Plasmas and it still looked awesome. The sound has the TrueHD and English 5.1, and the mix maintains being able to crank up the volume above normal listening levels as to immerse in the sounds/music but still hear the dialogue adequately.
This is the 172 minute version with the 10 part documentary series from the other releases included. I am very happy with this preservation so I hope that those who enjoy his work will appreciate this package."
Not what you may have expected.
Frankland S. Strickland | Memphis, Tennessee | 05/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember about a year ago when I saw the previews to this movie while at the local cinema. "Oooooo," I thought, "I can't wait for this to come out!" Well, I waited and waited and waited and still nothing ever came out. To my surprise, I discovered earlier this spring that it had already had its run at the box office and apparently none of the cinemas here in Memphis, TN. desired to carry it. So . . . I waited for the DVD to come out and rushed out to Circuit City to grab it on the morning of its release. I was full of anticipation all the way home about how good this "historical" movie was going to be. Would it be like "Braveheart," or "The Patriot," or maybe "Troy," or even "King Arthur" or "Alexander"? So I settled down and waited for the intense action and suspense to unfold. And I waited and I waited and I waited!
If you, like me, are under the impression that this movie is an "epic" telling or re-telling of history, or if you desire the intensity of action then you had better look elsewhere. For all of these reasons I was totally disappointed. Yet, you might ask why I would give it a 5 star review. Hmmmmm, well let's see. This movie is great for one, even if it is completely NOT what I expected.
At the center of this movie is a love story. In fact, it's more of a love story that just so happens to be set in 17th-century Virginia rather than a movie based on the founding of Jamestown that just so happens to include a love story. Does this make any sense? I've read a few other reviews that call this movie "poetic" and I can't agree more, although I've never really thought of a motion picture as being "poetic." If we want to run with the poetry analogy then I'll say that this is more of a "Tintern Abbey" than a "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." It's a "Dover Beach" as opposed to a "Dulce et Decorum Est." In other words, it's subtle, reflective, surreal, and even pensive. Sure there are a few short battle sequences, but it is centered more around the spoken thoughts of Pochahantas/Rebecca, John Smith, and John Rolfe. It's sort of a dramatic monologue if we wish to keep the poetry analogy alive.
While Christian Bale and Colin Farrell occasionally give convincing portrayals of brave, adventurous explorers, it is not really this aspect of their character that is highlighted. Instead, we delve into the innermost confines of each character's soul as this movie unfolds. We see firsthand the inevitable UNcompatibility of European and Native cultures and how diificult it truly must have been for the earliest settlers of this country. Indeed, the movie places quite a bit of emphasis on the harsh conditions faced by these first settlers and actually exposes the pitiable circumstances that rendered them virtually helpless. One may stop and wonder if we could do the same thing today. Who for the love of God would leave England with it's bountiful fields, lush gardens, paved streets, and brick houses with glass windows for the rustic "stick and mud" abodes of the New World? The contrast between the two worlds is certainly striking from the European perspective.
I had high hopes of showing this movie to my high school class, and I suspected it would be worthwhile for a U.S. history class or an English class that focuses on American literature. I suspect, however, that most adolescent minds will be bored to tears with this one. While I can't wholeheartedly recommend that you go and buy it today, I will insist upon at least a trip to Blockbuster for a weekend rental.
Again (and pardon me for sounding arrogant), this is a "thinking person's" movie. If you want action and adventure, then buy "The Patriot" or "The Last of the Mohicans.""