Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stardate 59948.91 - The Thin Red Line

I watched The Thin Red Line over the past couple of days (it is 3 hours long, and with a 4-week old at home I don't get many 3-hour blocks of time where I am completely free). I recorded it onto the DVR from one of our many movie channels, so I did not see it in its full, widescreen glory, but I don't think that would have mattered. Thumb down. Way down. It was awful. I thought maybe it was just me, but I talked last night with a former Army Captain friend of mine, and he agreed that it was long, boring, and bad.

I understand that Terrence Malick recorded more than 6 hours of film and then trimmed it back to 3 hours. He should have trimmed it back to 90 minutes. The film was ponderous, and it was very obvious to me that entire sections had been cut out. Example - near the end there are supposed to be hordes of Japanese soldiers moving down a creek towards the company of soldiers, and everything is made to seem like any second they will be overrun and all killed...and then suddenly they are all down on the beach loading into boats to leave the island. Uh...how exactly did that happen? And they paused long enough to bury someone? WTF?

I think the main character died at the end, but with about 20 main characters it was hard to a) care, and b) remember who he even was. Add to that the fact that two of the actors looked enough alike to be brothers, and I was even more confused. But I found that ultimately, I just didn't care. I don't like my war movies cerebral, I like them with action. A little thinking is good, but long dream-like sequences of one character remembering his wife...BORING! I found that I just didn't care when he got a "dear john" letter near the end.

The movie did a good job of showing the brutality of war, and how completely disorganized things get during an attack. But that was its only redeeming feature.

Highly recommend that you not watch this. Thumb down.

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