The Thin Red Line [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line is a film so packed with notable acting talent that some notable performances never even managed to make the final cut. The ones who survived the edit include George Clooney, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn. The ones who didn’t? The work of Billy Bob Thornton, Gary Oldman and Martin Sheen, to name but a few, ended up on the cutting room floor.
Nominated for seven Oscars upon its release, The Thin Red Line marked a return to directing for Terence Malick, his first film at the time in two decades. And it’s a beautiful, ambitious piece of work, moving slowly through its story of chaos as it follows a group of soldiers, serving in the Pacific during World War II. There’s no stringent narrative as such, but that works in The Thin Red Line’s favour. Saving Private Ryan it isn’t.
It’s inevitably a divisive movie, but it is, if you take to it, a brilliant one. It’s also utterly beautiful to look at in high definition. Malick frames shot after shot that you could simply freeze frame, print out and stick on your wall. The 1080p transfer does tremendous justice to this work, and this is a catalogue title that’s well worthy of an upgrade. It might be as notable for who didn’t make it into the film as opposed to who did, but it’s a superb piece of cinema nonetheless. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a host of fine acting talent on display, from Sean Penn to Nick Nolte, from John Travolta to Woody Harrelson, from Adrian Brody to Jim Caviezel, from John Cusack to Miranda Otto. Their abilities are matched by a fine script and directing, both courtesy of Terrence Malick.
This is potent cinema, containing the power to provoke thought and to move the viewer. There are contemplative moments and violent action, both accentuated by being juxtaposed with each other. There are intercuts of nature simply being as we blow each other to pieces over a piece of land. There is the contrast between modern man and a more primitive existence. Basically, there is so much to explore in this movie that a simple Amazon review just can't do it justice. A truly profound film.
Directed by the reclusive Terrence Malick, the film is an adaptation of a World War II novel by James Jones (From Here to Eternity) about the battle for Guadalcanal. American soldiers land on the island hoping to secure it from the Japanese. This film does not follow the usual path taken by other war stories and unlike `Ryan' - which begins explosively, this film takes about 40 minutes before a single shot is fired! This long prologue is used to good effect as an introduction to the main characters and some carefully selected flashbacks to their lives pre-war. The tension to the film is slowly uncoiled as the troopships approach Guadalcanal Island. This is done quietly and thoughtfully and gives the viewer a good idea of the stresses and anxieties of the soldiers as they approach this life-changing situation.
The story is told through the eyes of 5 men of C Company and the visual images are simply amazing. This is where Malick excels. He has produced a film that is a cinematographer's dream where almost every shot is carefully composed as if it was to be entered in a photographic exhibition.Read more ›
Of course, Malick's decision to return with a 'war film' (albeit imbued with his unmistakeable sensorial touch) was always going to provide a challenge, given the plethora of great 'anti-war' films already on the books - Kubrick's Paths Of Glory and Full Metal Jacket and Coppola's Apocalypse Now to name but three. And the man certainly gives it a good go - his 165-minute work being essentially one of three sections, topped and tailed by some reflective passages, which sandwich the film's hour-long centre-piece as, under the command of Nick Nolte's outstanding turn as the reckless, glory-seeking Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Tall, C-company attempt to 'take' a fortified Japanese hill-top bunker.Read more ›
A scene depicting two soldiers getting shot while approaching a bunker is superbly complimented by the sun peaking out from the clouds just after they have fallen and disappeared into the tall grass. The absolute tension and thick air of the pre-dawn build-up to the attack with Nick Nolte and John Travolta is one of the greatest scenes of tension I have witnessed.
Personal narratives and agendas throughout the film flood the viewer with emotions and feelings that you wouldn't normally associate with a war film. The soundtrack here is also one of the film's strong points and effortlessly entwines itself into the path of the edits. Engrossing, beautiful and an absolute pleasure to immerse yourself into.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film is a meditation on life and death, and it is beautiful
and amazing at the same time. Released the same year as
Saving Private Ryan, this is the better movie of... Read more
This is a film about people. The war is a backdrop for the exploration of just a few who fought in it. Superb.Published 1 month ago by C. Tilley
I don't really see this as a war film, although it is set in World War Two's Pacific theatre and has battles in it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr. G. Morgan
I remember watching this when I was a teen and thinking it was great. I just re-watched it now and I was really disappointed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr Dill Weed