Re: Saving Private Ryan vs The Thin Red Line

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Posted by MMMMarcia on February 24, 2000 at 18:57:40:

In Reply to: Re: Saving Private Ryan vs The Thin Red Line posted by NightSky on February 24, 2000 at 16:22:34:

Night Sky writes:
: ~~~~~~~~~~
: For what it's worth, here's my two cents. For those of us who waited 20 years for a new film from Terrance Mallick, TRL was not a disappointment. I think the last thing ever on Mallick's mind is historical accuracy, he's much more interested in the human heart. If you haven't seen Days of Heaven, you certainly should. BUT TRL ranks up there with Breaking the Waves, Hillary & Jackie, and The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, and one viewing is enough for a lifetime. I couldn't take the emotional wringing out a second time through. As for the rain drops slowly trailing down a leaf, it's been my lot in life to interview quite a number of people regarding extremely stressful experiences, and those are the types of things that invariably stand out in their minds. The sounds of passing traffic, a fly crawling on the wall, the wind moving branches in the trees. The mind tends to focus on things it can understand and quantify during times when the world around them becomes unreal. I just hope we don't have to wait another 20 years for the next Mallick film.

: Saving Private Ryan: Wonderful the first 30 minutes and hack Spielberg for the rest of the movie. It always amazes me that someone who could make The Color Purple and Shindler's List, could then revert to a Hollywood formula war movie. Certainly it was one of Tom Hanks lesser efforts, with a true wasting of Tom Sizemore, Ed Burns and Matt Damon.

: All in the spirit of opinion, and that love of film we all share. YRH

Hi, Night Sky! Well, here's an issue we shall have to agree to disagree on, I reckon. Now that you've told me about Days of Heaven, I understand my reaction to The Thin Red Line. Compared to Days of Heaven, I'm IN LOVE with The Thin Red Line. I really, REALLY hated Days of Heaven, especially the lead actress. Though I have heard people complain about the length of The English Patient, one of my favorite films of all time, I thought it went by in a flash compared to Days of Heaven. So perhaps my problem is, I'm not a Terrance Malick fan. Oh, just goes to show we can agree that we love one movie passionately, and yet be totally at odds over another.

As for Saving Private Ryan, I agree that the film is not a "great" film, artistically, but then, it didn't pretend to be, which is what I feel The Thin Red Line did. Some films are art, some aren't, and some try to fool you into thinking they are. But when you get right down to it, which movies fall into which of those categories must surely be in the eye of the viewer, eh? For me, The English Patient was art, both of those Malick films wanted to be, but weren't, Saving Private Ryan didn't pretend to be, but just told a good story, and made me care about the people involved, which is absolutely my first criteria for whether I'll watch a movie over again. I have to care about the characters, no matter what else is wrong with the movie. If that doesn't happen, I'll never view it again, regardless of artistic merit, historical accuracy, splendid cinematography or anything else. The people are IT, for me.

I loved Tom Hanks in Private Ryan, by the way, though I certainly didn't feel it was on a par with his performances in Philadelphia or Forrest Gump. I actually thought everyone in the film was quite good, particularly Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies. But the reason I thought they were so good was because I felt I could "see" into each of them, and understand something of what made them the way they were. Some of that was missing for me in Tom Hanks' character, but in the supporting roles, I felt it clearly. I felt nothing for the characters in The Thin Red Line, which is probably why it didn't work for me.

Thanks for sharing your feelings about the two films. I like reading what others think, even when it's totally different from my take on a movie. My hubby & I disagree more often than not on what makes a film worth watching. And even my closest friend in the world and I do not agree on every movie, though we are more often in accord than not. I think that makes for very interesting discussions, though, and provides insights into what makes us each so very individual.

BTW, another film I absolutely loathed that received much critical acclaim was Apocalypse Now. To me, it was a load of pseudo-intellectual claptrap. To others I know, it was an astounding revelation of some sort. It's funny how different we all are, but that's one of the things that keeps life from being a bore! ;o) Oh, and we are in total agreement on The Color Purple and Schindler's List. Works of Art, both, with a Capital A...and both also made me care DEEPLY for the people portrayed. (And Schindler's List also featured my second favorite actor in the whole world, Ralph Fiennes, in a devastatingly fiendish turn as the Nazi commandant.)


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