The Thin Red Line (1998)

(In theaters, January 1999) An acceptable 90 minute WW2 movie mixed and intercut with a five-minute credit sequence, thirty minutes of a Discovery Channel special on the plants, animals and wonderful savage people of the south east-asian jungle, a fifteen-minutes experimental film by stoned freshmen philosophy students and another forty-five minutes of footage that the editor forgot to cut, probably because he fell asleep at the editing console. I really loved the camera work, the cinematography and the war scenes. I also liked the characters, but I just wish they’d been featured in a better movie. Saving Private Ryan it ain’t, because Spielberg never forgot that great movies entertain as much as they’re art. Now, could someone re-cut The Thin Red Line and chop off all the simplistic philosophy, repetitive romantic imagery and non-sequitur interludes? There was a great film in there, but director Terrence Malick choked it to death it with his disillusions of cinematographic grandeur. I’ve seen better reflections on the nature of war in men’s adventure novels, and those were entertaining.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *