Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cinematically Speaking 11/8

Old Movie I Finally Saw

BADLANDS (1973) - I'd seen three Terrence Malick movies, and while I liked A New World okay, I wasn't wowed by it. Thin Red Line I found overrated, and then I found Tree of Life to be the most beautiful slideshow I'd ever seen, but it was a slideshow. Everyone loves Malick, so I decided I'd go back to the beginning and make sure I wasn't missing anything.

Well, from this movie, I can see why he's so beloved. It was really good, holds up really well. Martin Sheen is great as the young 1950's killer, polite to those he's shooting, with Sissy Spacek along as his naive, guileless girlfriend accomplice. I see where inspirations were drawn for True Romance and Kalifornia. Badlands is also Malick's most solid narrative accomplishment I've seen. Since it was his first movie, it looks like he's fallen more in love with cinematography and impressions and less so with cohesive narration. Now when I eventually rent Days of Heaven, my first Malick viewing will be complete. But yes, Badlands holds up just fine and is worth seeking out, whether you love or hate what he's putting out now.

The Academy Awards

I'm not heart-broken Brett Ratner's not producing the Awards now. I just wonder who they're going to get that Eddie Murphy's still comfortable working with. Each year I root for a good show, and last year, the gamble with James Franco and Anne Hathaway flopped when Franco worked stiff all night.

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