August 7th, 2013: The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line

Cast and Crew:  Hans Zimmer (Score); Nick Nolte, Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin, James Cusack, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Miranda Otto, Jared Leto, John Travolta, George Clooney, Thomas Jane, John Savage, Tim Blake Nelson, Donal Logue

What It’s About:  U.S. Army units arrive in Guadalcanal in a large push to break Japanese resistance.

Why Watch it Today?:  The U.S. invaded Guadalcanal on this date in 1942.  Terrence Malik’s contemplative adaptation of James Jones’ autobiographical novel takes place ni the late stages of the fighting.


4 comments on “August 7th, 2013: The Thin Red Line (1998)

  1. theelderj says:

    I know this movie gets some flak, but I remember really being enchanted by the visuals and the contrast between the sweeping landscapes and the vicissitudes of war. This is another movie that made the Indian fall asleep. But, then again, she fell asleep during Transformers 2.

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I loved it-thought it was better than Saving Private Ryan. Even though in some ways it is more fantastic, it felt more real. No heroic last stands, just guys thrown into war and trying to survive with no meaning to who lives and dies. I haven’t seen either since, so it is hard to judge.

      Maybe she needs a strong story-both are more about images.

      • theelderj says:

        I have seen Saving Private Ryan many times, but I think that once it gets to the narrative and outside of the fighting sequences (the images) it gets a bit corny. In a way, Band of Brothers is really superior storytelling.

        I remember coming away from Thin Red Line awestruck. The need to tell a heroic or sympathetic story often obscures the ‘truth’, no?

  2. T.A. Gerolami says:

    The only thing I really like about Ryan is that opening on the beach. Everything after is just any given old World War II movie combined with modern film techniques. It’s not a bad old style WWII movie (in fact, it’s quite well made) but I wish the critical/popular acclaim acknowledged that instead of citing how “realistic” it was.

    I, too, was awestruck by the images. The story that’s there isn’t new either (I mean, it’s based on an autobiographical novel, and had been adapted previously) but I felt Malick brought something new to the screen with it.

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