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Author Topic: Favorite Terrence Malick films?  (Read 1061 times)

Robert Neville

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2016, 05:20:33 pm »
Finished. Much like Tree of Life, it's also a 4/10 for me, though for somewhat different reasons. That film had first stunned me, and then it progressively pissed me off with just how little it had to say, and how much time it had taken to say that. Here though, there's no longer all that much to be impressed even when it comes to the visuals, and the shallowness of it becomes apparent in the first minutes.

After that, I just went with the flow, kind of like how I assume Goldblum does with a lot of the dumb DTV stuff he reviews on NTS. This might not be "dumb" in the traditional action film sense, but it's so simplistic it actually functions as a moderately relaxing time-waster just as well. If the life of our author insert protagonist and his friends is "like Call of Duty on easy mode", then this whole film is like Proteus,  the pixel-art screensaver sold as a game. The way Malick's direction is so impotent he has to resort to showing us more female eye candy at regular 10-15 minute intervals grows kinda amusing as well. They all follow him, and some say they "fall in love", even though, quite frankly he never once demonstrates why he's worth it, but that's OK, since it's just harmless wish fulfilment for director Malick (and apparently its few fans as well.) Unlike Diego, I simply don't find anything in it worth getting worked up over.

And unlike Diego, I can also say that the core problem of the film - a shallow protagonist who is almost never really examined  critically and doesn't deserve a quarter of the attention or fortune he gets - is also one shared by Limitless and Donnie Darko, and Limitless had actually managed to piss me off with how brazen it was about it. They might not share Malick's style, and Donnie Darko had put its emo style on it, but they carry the same rotten core, just portraying it differently.

I can also link this film to The Counselor. In many respects, the main differences I see between this one and The Counselor is that a) Counselor tried to follow more then one character (and failed badly at it) b) It was also honest enough to show what will happen to people like him once their inheritance runs out. (And of course, The Counselor was also far more "original". As bad as it was, the windshield scene alone had more originality then the entirety of "Knight of Cups")

On the whole, the one film that has the same kind of protagonist, and deals with similar themes, yet is far, far better then everything just mentioned is Cosmopolis.
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CT_Sexybeast

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2016, 06:19:01 pm »
I don't really have much else to add to the discussion, but I will say that the main aspect of the film we seem to wholly disagree on is the shallowness of the plot. The film hit me on a personal level where it clearly didn't reach you, and I can definitely understand the criticisms given from your standpoint. I simply got something different out of the film than most.

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2016, 07:40:27 pm »

I don't doubt the existence of visual storytelling. The quote marks are there to signify that I don't think Malick is actually good at it beyond throwing money (via expensive cameras/locations/CGI) at the most obvious visual techniques to make them appear more impressive and deep.

And I won't lie, I'm taking the piss with these comments. Both because I found it quite fitting on those occasions, and because the movie so far is just remarkably mediocre. The most notable thing so far is just how insubstantial it is.

To clarify, I don't deny the existence of visual storytelling either. I just think it's a half-assed way of excusing a movie that's as plotless and aimless as Knight of Cups. Visual storytelling can be useful, but when it's used in a blatantly obvious manner (The Artist) or when there isn't a central plot to anchor it down (Knight of Cups), it's just not as effective.

Robert Neville

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #63 on: August 23, 2016, 01:19:53 am »
I don't really have much else to add to the discussion, but I will say that the main aspect of the film we seem to wholly disagree on is the shallowness of the plot. The film hit me on a personal level where it clearly didn't reach you, and I can definitely understand the criticisms given from your standpoint. I simply got something different out of the film than most.

Yeah... I'll have to say though, that this is the kind of film where if you identify with the main character to that extent, it probably means you're kinda fucked in real life. After seeing it, I still struggle to think of positive ways in which to describe him, since there are few, if any, to be found.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 01:21:52 am by Robert Neville »

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #64 on: August 23, 2016, 01:54:36 am »
I just think it's weird how much he tends to piggyback off Diego with these things. First BvS, then Suicide Squad, and now this. Now, I like Neville, but the guy just needs to get his own material.

What? I know I shouldn't put too much stock in RT's scores, but if you just look at the reviews for these three films, you'll see that they fall very short of being "critically acclaimed." It's not too hard to imagine a scenario in which someone dislikes these movies without being influenced by Diego Tutweiller. You didn't even like two of them. Are you a bootlicker too? See, I think this is just a way of subtly painting Neville's argument as less valid than it actually is. And it's going along with the "anyone who agrees with Tut is a brown-noser" mentality. People are allowed to agree with me if they want to. And Neville and I disagree on plenty of films. He's not Costigan.

Yeah... I'll have to say though, that this is the kind of film where if you identify with the main character to that extent, it probably means you're kinda fucked in real life. After seeing it, I still struggle to think of positive ways in which to describe him, since there are few, if any, to be found.

Okay, similarly... what? I hated a lot of things about this movie, found it to be unabashedly self-absorbed, and thought the main character was a total bore... and this is too far even for me. The only movie I would say could "fuck you in real life" if you like it is an Adam Sandler movie or something, because if you mention that you like Jack & Jill at a job interview, you'll likely get thrown to the curb. I'll agree that I didn't identify with the main character in Knight of Cups either, but not because he's some horrible person. I can't think of positive ways in which to describe him, but that's because I can't think of any ways in which to describe him. He's a blank slate. If Tatum for some reason projected his own experiences and outlook onto him... more power to him, I guess? I dunno, at that point the movie is too subjective to even argue about. I'll say it's a shittily made movie, but this comment makes no sense.

CT_Sexybeast

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #65 on: August 23, 2016, 03:25:00 am »
Yeah...if I'm gonna be considered "fucked in real life" for connecting to this film, I think I'm just gonna leave this discussion be....

Robert Neville

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #66 on: August 23, 2016, 03:33:22 am »
Yeah... I'll have to say though, that this is the kind of film where if you identify with the main character to that extent, it probably means you're kinda fucked in real life. After seeing it, I still struggle to think of positive ways in which to describe him, since there are few, if any, to be found.

Okay, similarly... what? I hated a lot of things about this movie, found it to be unabashedly self-absorbed, and thought the main character was a total bore... and this is too far even for me. The only movie I would say could "fuck you in real life" if you like it is an Adam Sandler movie or something, because if you mention that you like Jack & Jill at a job interview, you'll likely get thrown to the curb. I'll agree that I didn't identify with the main character in Knight of Cups either, but not because he's some horrible person. I can't think of positive ways in which to describe him, but that's because I can't think of any ways in which to describe him. He's a blank slate. If Tatum for some reason projected his own experiences and outlook onto him... more power to him, I guess? I dunno, at that point the movie is too subjective to even argue about. I'll say it's a shittily made movie, but this comment makes no sense.
[/quote]

The point is that the entire movie, and practically everything that goes in protagonist's life, is almost a textbook definition of a First World Problem.  Tatum's praise of this movie (and a lot of it is rather vague praise as well) ignores that completely, which is what makes me concerned.

Yeah...if I'm gonna be considered "fucked in real life" for connecting to this film, I think I'm just gonna leave this discussion be....

OK, that was a poor choice of words. Apologies. Still, I do believe this particular aspect of the story deserves a closer look than it has received in the discussion so far. I was wrong to make it so personal, and I hope what I have to say next won't cause any more offense.


Forgive for not thinking that a guy whose thoughts upon entering a poor area for the first time in the film are "I felt as if the tide was going to engulf this city.", because obviously, it's easier for him to envision the violent erasure of these people's existence then to ask how they can live and laugh without a huge cushion of inherited wealth, and what, gasp, makes them want to go on through life. Ruminations like "This world is a swamp. Fly over it." while on another happy-go-lucky gathering whose very existence actually IS helping to turn much of the world into a swamp in the future, is also not exactly endearing. In general, drawing deep lessons from a story of s guy whose entire LA rich kid lifestyle might well not exist in the next 40 years as global warming starts to bite is not what I would call a good idea.

As a thought experiment, imagine this same film, with just one structural change: the protagonist (still played by Bale) is an LA pool cleaner. Everything else stays structurally the same: he's still trying to discover what makes him want to go on, we still see the cycles in his life, still see his brother and their fraught relationship with the father, we see wealth-adjusted parties (alongside the 8-hour work, of course) we see the general failure to learn until he finally stumbles into responsibility by impregnating a woman. Would that film still elicit the same reaction from Tatum? I wish there was a less personal way to say it, but yeah, forgive me for having doubts.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 03:54:47 am by Robert Neville »

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #67 on: August 23, 2016, 11:32:40 am »
OK, that was a poor choice of words. Apologies. Still, I do believe this particular aspect of the story deserves a closer look than it has received in the discussion so far. I was wrong to make it so personal, and I hope what I have to say next won't cause any more offense.

Forgive for not thinking that a guy whose thoughts upon entering a poor area for the first time in the film are "I felt as if the tide was going to engulf this city.", because obviously, it's easier for him to envision the violent erasure of these people's existence then to ask how they can live and laugh without a huge cushion of inherited wealth, and what, gasp, makes them want to go on through life. Ruminations like "This world is a swamp. Fly over it." while on another happy-go-lucky gathering whose very existence actually IS helping to turn much of the world into a swamp in the future, is also not exactly endearing. In general, drawing deep lessons from a story of s guy whose entire LA rich kid lifestyle might well not exist in the next 40 years as global warming starts to bite is not what I would call a good idea.

As a thought experiment, imagine this same film, with just one structural change: the protagonist (still played by Bale) is an LA pool cleaner. Everything else stays structurally the same: he's still trying to discover what makes him want to go on, we still see the cycles in his life, still see his brother and their fraught relationship with the father, we see wealth-adjusted parties (alongside the 8-hour work, of course) we see the general failure to learn until he finally stumbles into responsibility by impregnating a woman. Would that film still elicit the same reaction from Tatum? I wish there was a less personal way to say it, but yeah, forgive me for having doubts.

Okay... while you definitely went too far with the "fucked for life" thing, this is worth thinking about.

CT_Sexybeast

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #68 on: August 23, 2016, 02:37:37 pm »
That sounds like a very different, but perhaps even more interesting take on the story. It'll lose the whole theme about shallowness in high society, but I think it could gain quite a bit more. Reminds me a bit of To The Wonder in that sense.

But anyways, if you think I like this film because of my "first world sensibilities", then you're wrong. Sorry man, I know it'd make you feel good to think that I'm some pretentious **** and that's the only reason I connected to the film, but that's just not it at all. I agree Bale's character is an **** (he even seems to acknowledge it himself), and I never said I directly related to him. I just found his reflective journey of discovering the power of human relationships interesting. I understand you disagree, but trying to make this personal and assuming I liked a goddamn Terrence Malick movie because because I'm **** up in the head is just wrong. I'd never do that to anyone here, not even Jed. Respekt mah onion, motherfucker.

Also, global warming....warming....thermal....thermodynamics! The motherland would be proud.

So yeah, I think I'm done with this. You guys can say whatever you want about the film, but after being attacked on a personal for liking it, I think I'm done. Have fun guys.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 02:40:09 pm by Channing Tatum »

James Orenthal Cutler

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #69 on: August 23, 2016, 03:55:08 pm »
Neville and Diego may not share the same opinions on films, but Neville was definitely emulating a classic Diego mannerism with the whole "fucked in life" bit.  Usually resorting to ad hominem attacks is a staple of Diego's (and mine's but more or less for things outside of film discussion).  But did Neville go too far?  Or did he just insult the wrong person?  Would it have been far more acceptable to get on Jed for liking the film? 

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #70 on: August 23, 2016, 06:28:38 pm »
Neville and Diego may not share the same opinions on films, but Neville was definitely emulating a classic Diego mannerism with the whole "fucked in life" bit.  Usually resorting to ad hominem attacks is a staple of Diego's (and mine's but more or less for things outside of film discussion).  But did Neville go too far?  Or did he just insult the wrong person?  Would it have been far more acceptable to get on Jed for liking the film?

What the fuck is this supposed to mean, you cock-juggling thundercunt?


Also, it's not that Neville went after the wrong person. It's that he went after the wrong movie. If this argument had been over, say, Grown Ups 2, I think it would have been perfectly reasonable to say that liking such a film could be detrimental to your success in the long run. Not necessarily accurate, but certainly within the realm of possibility. I can definitely imagine one's enjoyment of Adam Sandler or Disaster Movie (or whatever) leading to failings in relationships and personal life, simply because normal people don't want to be around individuals with such horrible taste. And can you really blame them?

When it comes to Knight of Cups though... I don't see this logic at all. Neville seems to be trying to psychoanalyze Tatum here based solely on his upper-middle class status and enjoyment of this particular movie. I mean, clearly I'm gonna disagree with that lol. If I think Danny can be a successful person (which I do) despite his love for The-Film-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, of course I'm not gonna say Tatum's "fucked for life" because he liked this film. It makes zero sense.

If we were talking about Jed and Jack & Jill here, yeah, I might have to think twice. But Jed and Knight of Cups? Forget about it.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 06:40:42 pm by Diego Tutweiller »

John Tyler

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2016, 06:33:58 pm »
Neville and Diego may not share the same opinions on films, but Neville was definitely emulating a classic Diego mannerism with the whole "fucked in life" bit.  Usually resorting to ad hominem attacks is a staple of Diego's (and mine's but more or less for things outside of film discussion).  But did Neville go too far?  Or did he just insult the wrong person?  Would it have been far more acceptable to get on Jed for liking the film?

What the fuck is this supposed to mean, you cock-juggling thundercunt?
I thought you hated David S. Goyer. Y U quote his dialogue?

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #72 on: August 23, 2016, 06:42:41 pm »
Neville and Diego may not share the same opinions on films, but Neville was definitely emulating a classic Diego mannerism with the whole "fucked in life" bit.  Usually resorting to ad hominem attacks is a staple of Diego's (and mine's but more or less for things outside of film discussion).  But did Neville go too far?  Or did he just insult the wrong person?  Would it have been far more acceptable to get on Jed for liking the film?

What the fuck is this supposed to mean, you cock-juggling thundercunt?
I thought you hated David S. Goyer. Y U quote his dialogue?

I literally have no idea what film that is from.

John Tyler

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #73 on: August 23, 2016, 06:43:19 pm »
Neville and Diego may not share the same opinions on films, but Neville was definitely emulating a classic Diego mannerism with the whole "fucked in life" bit.  Usually resorting to ad hominem attacks is a staple of Diego's (and mine's but more or less for things outside of film discussion).  But did Neville go too far?  Or did he just insult the wrong person?  Would it have been far more acceptable to get on Jed for liking the film?

What the fuck is this supposed to mean, you cock-juggling thundercunt?
I thought you hated David S. Goyer. Y U quote his dialogue?

I literally have no idea what film that is from.
Blade: Trinity, featuring Ryan Reynolds' most annoying character.

Jim Raynor

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #74 on: August 23, 2016, 06:46:54 pm »
Neville and Diego may not share the same opinions on films, but Neville was definitely emulating a classic Diego mannerism with the whole "fucked in life" bit.  Usually resorting to ad hominem attacks is a staple of Diego's (and mine's but more or less for things outside of film discussion).  But did Neville go too far?  Or did he just insult the wrong person?  Would it have been far more acceptable to get on Jed for liking the film?

What the fuck is this supposed to mean, you cock-juggling thundercunt?
I thought you hated David S. Goyer. Y U quote his dialogue?

I literally have no idea what film that is from.
Blade: Trinity, featuring Ryan Reynolds' most annoying character.
I thought this was JohnBot for a sec, I swear.

JohnBot

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #75 on: August 23, 2016, 06:53:35 pm »
I thought this was JohnBot for a sec, I swear.

Fun fact: The system is rigged.

John Tyler

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #76 on: August 23, 2016, 06:57:57 pm »
JohnBot, your new profile pic would imply I've seen Mr. Robot.

I haven't.

James Orenthal Cutler

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #77 on: August 23, 2016, 07:01:18 pm »
JohnBot, your new profile pic would imply I've seen Mr. Robot.

I haven't.

#JohnBotExposed

JohnBot

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #78 on: August 23, 2016, 07:03:30 pm »
JohnBot, your new profile pic would imply I've seen Mr. Robot.

I haven't.

Actually, I gave it a 10/10.
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Robert Neville

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Re: Favorite Terrence Malick films?
« Reply #79 on: August 23, 2016, 10:20:26 pm »
So... the discussion has already kinda moved away from the whole thing, but can I, in the interests of clarity, just note that my original comment has said nothing about liking the movie per se; it was entirely about the degree of identification of character. Since Tatum said he doesn't directly relate to him, there's no problem here. Moreover, I've also never used words "for life" or "in the head" here: that was read into it later.

Also, global warming....warming....thermal....thermodynamics! The motherland would be proud.

This is actually the closest to what I meant. You call say that I have a dark worldview and all, but if you look at the world history carefully, there's always been a major war or similar kind of upheaval by around the middle of the century, for about the past 500 years at least. I don't think the humanity has changed all that much, and so think expecting something like this again is only reasonable. I also don't think it'll be the actual WW3, though, but more of a conflict akin to, say, Thirty Years War and other sectarian bloodlettings of the gunpowder age. The first truly cataclysmic floods/droughts, etc. to do with global warming, which are slated to kick in at about this time, will be the most likely catalyst. In this instance, a person with the characteristics of the film's protagonist will simply not fare well. That is pretty much a fact.

 
But anyways, if you think I like this film because of my "first world sensibilities", then you're wrong. Sorry man, I know it'd make you feel good to think that I'm some pretentious **** and that's the only reason I connected to the film, but that's just not it at all.

Also of note: I never said that either. I said that this is why you might've had overlooked that aspect of the film, and not found it problematic, which is an entirely different proposition, and doesn't preclude you from liking it for different reasons.

 

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