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dave jenkins
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2013, 09:32:36 AM »

But on the blu-ray you'll be able to jump straight to that chapter, what?

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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 02:44:57 PM »

An amazing interview with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki: http://www.theasc.com/ac_magazine/April2013/TotheWonder/page1.php

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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 03:14:00 AM »

Just saw it.

So if The Tree of Life tells about the love between child and parent (among other things), To the Wonder tells about the love between man and woman. The same problems of carnal vs. spiritual are present in both films. Like the boy in The Tree of Life finds himself hurting other living creatures without any sensible reason - just out of impulse - so the characters in To the Wonder do against what they know is right: cheat on the ones they love, marry when they should break up. Malick seems to credit God for the will to do right and the beastly side of man for the desire to do wrong. You can think what you want of this proposed solution (I think it sucks) but you have to give Malick credit for portraying the dilemma - for he does well.

I was touched by the film in many sequences but in as many sequences I was feeling how fake it was. The endless shots against the sunset, hands wondering across the grass, people playing around with lamps and other nonsense like that. At times it felt like some hack copycatting Malick. But some scenes are among the best of his career.

It's an uneven film but quite rewarding as such. And I rather watch a film with both spectacularly great and terribly bad moments than a film filled with mediocre scenes.

As for a rating... I'd say 8/10-ish.

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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 04:02:34 AM »

MS: how would you compare it to The Tree Of Life?
As far as I understand, he's trying to make the same point from another story, in a less ambitious but more "free" way. But which one is the best? What's the point of this one, after he's made TToL?

(Didn't see it yet)

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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 04:53:15 AM »

MS: how would you compare it to The Tree Of Life?
As far as I understand, he's trying to make the same point from another story, in a less ambitious but more "free" way. But which one is the best? What's the point of this one, after he's made TToL?

(Didn't see it yet)
To the Wonder is reaching less for the universal level although it makes hints at that direction also. It's smaller in its scope. I'm not sure if I'd call it more "free" or looser in structure because this time we actually have a pretty traditional story going although it's told without traditional scenes.

The Tree of Life really captured the essence of childhood and To the Wonder (in its best moments) captures the essence of romantic relationships.

They are really similar in their themes but in the end they are different films and I'm happy to have both. But yes, To the Wonder has some leftover scenes from The Tree of Life which in my opinion should have stayed on the cutting room floor.

I prefer The Tree of Life because it felt more united as a piece of art. But I can see why Malick did To the Wonder - it's got some good stuff that couldn't have been part of The Tree of Life. The real question now is what he's got left to offer with the upcoming Knight of Cups.

It's really admirable how Malick can tell this story with so little dialogue. Too bad he uses too much pointless voiceover. It kinda ruins what he achieves with eliminating the dialogue.

What also bugs me with To the Wonder is its more explicit religiousness. The way I see it, The Tree of Life doesn't really force anything down your throat - it simply shows that the Sean Penn character finds the God he lost long ago. But the last ten minutes of To the Wonder are almost like propaganda. It's funny that Malick uses Catholic imagery but his thoughts are at times almost Buddhist or Taoist. I recommend you ignore a good deal of the religious aspect and concentrate on the human aspect. 

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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2013, 05:13:16 AM »

Thanks!

To me, the Tree of Life was pretty much forcing the thing down your throat the whole film: it opens with a religious quote, and then the whole movie explicitly illustrates the quote. The childhood themes, that would have made a masterpiece alone, are only here to support the point of the movie. This is no propaganda to me since Malick is just expressing his own views and is not controlled by the catholic church, but it's still the main idea of the whole film to me.

I recommend you ignore a good deal of the religious aspect and concentrate on the human aspect. 

I'm afraid that's what we'll have to do for the rest of Malick's career.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2013, 02:23:54 PM »

UK blu reviewed: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/To-the-Wonder-Blu-ray/67049/#Review

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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2013, 04:20:22 PM »

Blu-Ray comes out August 6th in the US. Excited to watch it again. Malick always improves on a 2nd viewing.

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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2013, 04:22:39 PM »

I said it elsewhere, To the Wonder looked like a less talented director had tried to copy the style of The Tree of Life.

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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2013, 08:56:44 PM »

I said it elsewhere, To the Wonder looked like a less talented director had tried to copy the style of The Tree of Life.
I agree to an extent. I prefer it only over The New World for Malick's work. I still thought it was a decent effort though.

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« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2013, 05:19:57 AM »

At the moment I think that there is a good chance I will enjoy it when I re-watch it one day. But the first time was a slight disappointment.

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