Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Behold Christopher Nolan & David Fincher bow before the greatness of Malick's TREE OF LIFE!!!

Hey folks, Harry here...  got a busy film day - a pair of summer blockbusters and a big FANTASTIC FEST meeting, but before I leave the house, I had to share this.   It's one thing to hear film critics worshipping a filmmaker that is known for being brilliant, but difficult for mass consumption, but when you have two filmmakers like David Fincher and Christopher Nolan.   These two have a very obvious understanding of film on an incredibly powerful & commercial level.   Now, they've sat down and given their thoughts on what it is that Malick does that no other filmmaker can quite emulate.   It's really quite a sweet expression of love for another filmmaker that I genuinely wish other filmmakers would open themselves up to discuss and reflect upon the great contemporaries as they make difficult films to sell.  

TREE OF LIFE is great filmmaking.  A film that bores its way into your brain and in the month or so since seeing it, I have to say - I reflect upon the film often with friends.   Can't say that about much of anything else this year.   Though in a completely different way, I am going there with Woody's MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. Anyway, here's David and Chris...  Enjoy...


Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • June 16, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Already interested in watching

    by darksith

    Very nice though

  • June 16, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    I can't wait

    by David Ledford

    I really can't wait for this film. I was in awe from the first time I saw the trailer.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Malick is a poet

    by Seph_J

    and his films are about as close to cinematic poetry as you'll ever get.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Malick's got clout that's for sure

    by Samuel Fulmer

    He won't do interviews, but he can get others that aren't connected to his film at all to do it for him!

  • June 16, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Seeing it tonight.

    by HoboCode

    Can't wait. Although I've heard some people claim it's quite religous. A little apprehensive about that. Although it has dinosaurs and Hubble galaxy clusters. How religous can it be?

  • June 16, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    A film that bores its way into your brain

    by matthooper8

    The key word there is bore. Malick...a cure for insomnia.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Where's the Tree?

    by paralyser-pro

    Part of me wants to stay spoiler-free, but the rest of me really wants to see the titular Tree first!

  • Bring back Treat Williams as Karl Thommason.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Every single shot

    by The PimpDragon

    Looks like a work of art. One thing about Malick - dude makes great looking films. Color me interested in seeing this one.

  • *psyche*

  • June 16, 2011, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Harold Throckmorton Knowles IV!


    Get us your GREEN LANTERN review, stat!

  • June 16, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    it's sike you dummy

    by Waka_Flocka

  • June 16, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Choices specifically designed to evoke a feeling.

    by BlaGyver

    I feel like this statement is redundant when used to talk about movies. The rest of this was really cool though, regardless of my lack of excitement for this flick.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Tree of Life

    by Eric Jones

    This is exactly how I feel about Malick. His movies always have an emotional impact on me and his visual sense and style are jaw-dropping. I just wish Warner Bros would give us Badlands on blu ray so I can revisit all his films in HD

  • June 16, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Can't be any worse than Thin Red Line.

    by Atticus Finch

    At least, I hope it isn't.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Great or almost great or whatever

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Most importantly it's unique. Also, I thought The New World was very good but this is the type of film I like to see from Malick - much more experimental, arty. If you don't like his movies really - do not bother with this. Also: It is not religious.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:38 a.m. CST

    But *What's* *It* *About* ???

    by The StarWolf

    2:26 of scenes and of people gushing, yet not one solitary clue about what the heck it's ABOUT. Some of us do care about the PLOT of the film and it's kinda hard to decide when there's NO MENTION. Hello?

  • Not liking Malicks films is mine. Who wants a drooling idiot sitting next to you while you try and watch something interesting. Its ok. They still have 2 1/2 men.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    It's finally opening up here in Taiwan tomorrow.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    Getting a wide release and everything. I'm pretty shocked. I mean we get the big tentpoles, but I've been totally unable to see comedies and a lot of other indie flicks until they come out on DVD or whatnot. Though 'Super' is playing here at the Taipei Film Festival, and so is Submarine, but of course it's already sold out :(

  • June 16, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Οh come on now,like they were going to

    by KilliK

    trash the movie even if it was the most atrocious film ever made. When it comes to such talented big name creators who have been immortalized in the cinematic history and are widely respected by the critics and the cinephil audience,you simply cant afford to say negative words about their new film in the fear that you might be seen by the public as some kind of a pretentious prick artist who thinks he is more talented and makes better movies than the mentioned big name creator. Not that Nolan and Fincher dont express their real opinion about Malick's new film,i am pretty sure it kicks ass in all the leves.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    It's the middle of 2011 and David Fincher still has a goatee.

    by SnootyBoots

    Does he wear baseball hats backwards, too?

  • June 16, 2011, 12:03 p.m. CST



    David Fincher can wear Zubaz and snap bracelets for all CHOPPAH cares. Show some fucking respect. CHOPPED.

  • June 16, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    The New World was a fucking bore

    by Rupee88

    I don't see how this guy is brilliant but must speak to a lot of people somehow.


  • June 16, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    I like the way it looks

    by torontoxic

    I love the way every movie the man makes looks but why does is always have to be glazed with depression? I think he's benefiting from what is implied by the aesthetic. His movies look amazing but the content I would say at this point is his major and crippling flaw. Both Fincher and Nolan also make incredible looking movies but they have the good sense to know how to make it all accessible and thus entertaining. <P> Its the opposite effect of Michael Bay with most viewers: they go to a Michael Bay movie hoping to hate it and will never admit they enjoyed it and will of course see the sequel whereas Terence Malick movies people go to see hoping to love them so they can rest assured they are in fact as smart as they hoped they were. Nobody admits they were bored to shit until they get online. <P> Somebody should just challenge him to make something that rakes in money. Sort of like the guy who sells a picture of a square for 10 million and you wonder if he could even sketch out Pikachu to save his life. I like to know this artistic vision is purposeful and holds significance and meaning beyond what I'm able to ascertain. To prove that though its necessary to validate that the approach is indeed a choice with reasoning. <P> To make it simple: I am confident Justin Lin could not shoot Tree of Life. But could Malick shoot Fast 5? If the answer is no to both then why are we sucking on the brainpenis of one and shitting on the other? They're both film makers with consistent vision and to be honest I had a better time watching Fast 5 than I did Tree of Life. If one makes movies to entertain and the other does it to be an artist without reason then both are completely even in terms of talent and accomplishment.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST


    by Aquanaut

    well then count me out of the mainstream, then. because i am interested. and what people find entertaining is entirely subjective. I loved The New World, so I go into this with optimistic anticipation.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST

    all the fawning over this movie

    by spidercoz

    is really pushing me away from ever wanting to watch it

  • June 16, 2011, 1:25 p.m. CST

    by rich nelson

    Mainstream audiences can go see mainstream movies with mainstream sensibilities. This isn't a mainstream film and it's not for the mainstream audience. It's for an audience who wants more than simple entertainment (a goal which most mainstream movies fail to accomplish anyway).

  • June 16, 2011, 1:27 p.m. CST


    by Shadow16nh

    The film is basically the existential crisis of Sean Penn's character as reflects on his parents' differing & conflicting perceptions of the world and God within the context of his adult knowledge of the expansion of the Universe, and the evolution of life on Earth. Tree Of Life is extremely detailed in its portrayal of universal experiences the importance of which we tend to forget, such as the gradual loss of innocence every child goes through when they begin to realize the fallibility of their parents and that the world does not operate perfectly, with complete justice or in equal fairness.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Will probably see

    by konkrete590

    But I am on the fence about Malick. The first time I watched Thin Red Line, I really didn't like it at all. But upon a second viewing and each subsequent viewing I really love it. I hated The New World the first time I watched it. I tried watching the Director's Cut to see if it was better and still hated it. Too disjointed for me. No story just randomly showing us bits of scenes with no context. Days of Heaven and Badlands were a little before my time, but need to go back and watch.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST


    by Shadow16nh

    Actually, this is probably the least pretentious film I've ever seen. It's all about coming to terms with the humility imposed on us by the existentially shocking enormity of the Universe and the cruel indifference of natural selection and a planet prone to extinction level events.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    we ALL feel like that ALL the time

    by spidercoz

    you don't hear us gassing on about it

  • June 16, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    I had no idea who...

    by HughHoyland

    ...This guy was a few months ago. But after watching several of his movies Im hooked. My question is how does he shoot such beautiful visuals?

  • Like Fincher, he really knows exactly what he wants from a film and manages to translate that perfectly to his audience. Since Momento he's just got better and better. I love the fact that his brother writes a lot of the scripts too.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    The expression "it's not a movie for everybody" aplies to a fault to this movie. It's not a movie for everybody. there will be hardcore movie geeks who will come out of this movie moaning and bitching and completly pissed off by it, and they wouldn't be the most idiots either. There will be a lot of intelligent hardcore movie geeks who will absolutly hate this movie. And there will be others who will love it and claim it a masterpiece. I'm a bit of the later group. Not yet wuse if i should call it a masterpiece, but it certainly is an unique movie. It will befuddle even those who liked it, like myself. not that i think i didn't got it. I think i got exactly what Mallick wanted to say wuith the movie. The message itself is not complex. It's profound but not complex. In many wys, the movie is pretty in your face about what's about. The difficult part of the movie is how it's presented. The movie is gorgeaus to look at. The trailer is a good indication, but it doesn't even show the best parts. The shots from nature or even from civilization are amazing. The other big suprise is that the mvoei is actually very fast edited. Rarely a shot last more then 3 to 5 seconds. However, the pacing is slower then usual. This mix of very fast editing but slow pacing will clash to most people. It's the main reason,i beleive, for the befuddling reaction many have, unsuspected to them. The befuddling that peopler will be aware is due to the part when dinosurs and the emergence of the universe shows up. but let me tell you this, special Effects Of Awesome barely describes the magnificence of what's on display. This movie has the best special effects of the year. Maybe even of the last decade. It's... undescritable. And it's basically just showing the start of galaxies, stars, planets, and the interior of cells, the human cell that eventually makes a baby. Seeing is believing. The astronomical stuff shown in the movie, both at themiddle point and at the ending, i immedialty understood what was about, since i'm a bit og a astronmy mgeek. The movie never bothers to tell you what's showing, you weithe rknow it or you go for the ride. The movie makes no concessions. Fro example, you only know the mvie is set in Waco Texas because you cna clue in by the accents or when the name of the city is shown obliquely from the name of a company in a truck. nothing is said outright. There is a narrative, but it's not linear. And evne in i's non-linear there's no aparent string of seqeunces. If anything, the ebst way to describe the movie is like a collection of moments, the present day stuff being like imrpssions form a day in life when one is at his job bout our mind is on other matters. The stuff fromthe past are like representations of bits of memories from long years past, and impressions of other people's life from hearsay. Much could be said about the movie. Or very little. It's a move to experience, but there's also food for thoughs. There will be intelligent people who will hate it. and there will be people who will love it. somehave called it the 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY of this generation. It's not a very good comparison, but i can understand why some would say that. Tonaly, it might be the best comparable movie out there, though it's also quite very different.

  • The reason they didn't asked for directors like JJ Abrams to do a coment is quite telling. Only intelligent directors can aply.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST

    i'm scared to see this movie

    by akkosa

    i really want to see it , but i have to prepare myself mentally for no traditional plot. its like going to a museum, one has to be in the art mode and not the passive entertainment mode.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Malick's secret is....

    by alienindisguise

    just aim the camera at bright light sources...ALOT! and bang, instant arty farty cinema that some will deem legendary.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    More lens flare than J.J. Abrams.

    by Royston Lodge

    The Tree of Backlighting!

  • June 16, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    royston lodge and alienindisguise, you are both wrong.

    by AsimovLives

    And alienindisguise, Terrence Malick is the real deal. He's not an artsy-farty director, he's actually really an artist of themedium. you migth not like his movies, and that's fair enough. Nobody is forced to like them. But to dismiss him out of hand and just go for the easy artsy-farty accusation is just wrong. You do not haveto likehis movies, but that doesn't mean you have to be a dick about it. Give the man the merit he has.

  • Instead of the CGI created flares by Abrams. There's a differnce in that.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    New world is a bore?

    by sardonia

    You have to like Mallick's style. It's going to be boring to some. The new world was transcendental. The opening of the film was the most beautiful five minutes of any film I have ever seen. The ending is also brilliant. If you are the type of individual who is turned on by visual aesthetics, you'll likely like his work. He uses images and music to tell his story, rather than dialogue. If the images do not invoke a feeling within you...a sense that there is beauty in everything...and doesn't warm you heart, Mallick will appear as stream of pretty images lacking coherence.

  • thou wouldst do well to heed thine own words irony, thy name is asimovlives

  • June 16, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    RE: the "special effects" scenes.

    by WriteForTheEdit

    I agree completely with AsimovLives that the "formation of the universe/dinosaurs" sequence is magnificent. Trumbull is a god. I'd also add that I think one of the most affecting moments in the film involves the dinosaurs. Says so much about the themes of the movie. The more I think about this film, the more I like it. Again, Sean Penn's story? Not needed, for me. Otherwise, awesome.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Malick is probably the only current living filmmaker...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    who truly understands how to use cinema the way it was designed to be used...movies today tend to rely on very strict rules and specific guidlines to tell a story, mostly through dialogue and plot (which is pretty lazy IMO)...Malick comes at it from the opposite end of the spectrum, and he tends to start with the visuals and allows them to tell the story first and foremost, using dialogue and voice over sparingly, mostly to accentuate the narrative, not drive it...ever since I saw Days Of Heaven years ago I knew Malicks was pretty much the greatest living FILMMAKER, he really understands it more than anyone else.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I always heed my words. And since then this has anything to do with the pudrid shit made by Abrams? Abrams is not a talented filmmaker, so why does my words have any relevancy to him? Or do you think that JJ abrams stands in the same heights of Malick? You cannot be that daft!

  • June 16, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST



    Watched it recently. The first hour is still really good. But I had forgotten how much it descends into a big-budget A-Team episode by the end...rather dull extended shootouts with clunky editing. I guess that marked the moment where Sean Penn's destiny lay in movies that were more about action than the sublime, for much of the next decade. I was so hopeful when Megamind came out that it heralded the return of both Pitt and Ferrell as genuinely comedic guys. But it was a false dawn for both.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Why THE TREE OF LIFE won't work


    You really have to be a fan of the director. Oh what the hell, this movie will just plain stink! The costume looks horrible, too many liberties were taken with the characters and the plot will lurch forward badly. Here's how it will probably go down: It will basically start out with a few minutes in one place, a few minutes in another, a few more elsewhere, etc. You get the idea, and then all these separate incidents gradually and slowly lead to one single plot. MST3K's Pod People was easier to follow! Maybe a few good things about this: Sean Penn looks enough like Brad Pitt's kid should, but will be hampered by the lousy script and implausible plot. The culture shock he has returning home after too many years might be done fairly well, and the Hubble/God description reminds me of a cross between Freddie Kruger and Jason Voorhees. This movie could have been so much better set entirely in WW2 with the opening scene of Hitler screaming at his generals, "I could make that bellboy a better leader than any of you !" That is from the mythos of the genre. After the opening credits, we should see the process of Pitt/Penn becoming the hero who goes on to fight the religious undertones, what through most of the movie should be spoken of and referred to, but not seen. This movie will need that sort of impact, the indication of the sort of evil the Nazis represented, but as it is, it sounds like one big car wreck.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Malick passed on making "Stroker Ace"


    thank God for that.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    asi, I said nothing of Abrams

    by spidercoz

    You instantly jumped to that conclusion all by yourself. You have issue with him, I don't care. I just want to see you stop being an asshole to people who like movies you don't. It shows an unmitigated lack of class, and when you then turn around and say things like "You do not haveto likehis movies, but that doesn't mean you have to be a dick about it" you appear to be a galling hypocrite.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Abrams could give Malick a run for his money



  • June 16, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Don't worry about it spidercoz

    by Continentalop

    Its just Asi's MO. If you disagree with him, he instantly labels you a supporter of Abrams and/or Michael Bay. He has a very narrow, b&w narrative that he forces everything to fit into.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    BTW One of Terrence Malick's favorite films

    by Continentalop

    Is Zoolander. Just throwing that out there.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Shadow16nh - Ah, so that's it?

    by The StarWolf

    Thanks for the warning. Lived through it once, not keen on spending good money to see someone else go through it, thanks.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:26 p.m. CST

    yeah I know

    by spidercoz

    thing is he seems like a reasonably intelligent and thoughtful person in any other circumstance, he just can't seem to see in himself what he's so quick to pounce on in others

  • June 16, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Billy_d_williams summed it up perfectly

    by Kammich

    The term "visual filmmaker" is so loosely and often applied, but Terrence Malick truly is a "visual filmmaker." And I say that because he relies on the visual progressions, first and foremost, to tell his stories. Dialog, set pieces and actors all take a back seat. "Days of Heaven" is a perfect example... its a film that, at its core, is pretty simple: its a love triangle story that could come straight out of any given classic literature. But instead of explaining every single beat of the character emotions and plot developments in the love triangle, Malick does it solely with his visuals(as well as a very unique, often-metaphorical 3rd party narrator). And the results are stunning. Its one of the most beautifully shot movies EVER, but its also one of the most beautiful love stories ever, and Malick does it all while only using about 3% of the movie on spoken dialog. If you want to know whether or not you'll like Terrence Malick's body of work, just watch "Days of Heaven." For whatever reason Terrence Malick seems to be at the epicenter or perceived elitism in film fans, and I don't really get it. As Billy_d said, Malick really isn't some sort of over-complicated, self-fulfilling elitist auteur... he's the opposite. He's an old-fashioned director that strips an inherently visual medium down to its basics and delivers his stories in a way that harkens the heyday of silent films. I think another large reason for Malick's pariah status is the 20 years between "Days of Heaven" and "The Thin Red Line." When you have a guy deliver two stunning films out of the gate, and then disappear to France to teach class for 20 years, it brings a certain mythical status to him. And that status has produced an entirely divided fanbase(it seems you either LOVE Malick or HATE Malick), that I don't think he'll ever be able to shake. Alas, "Tree of Life" doesn't hit my neck of the woods until sometime in Mid-July. I'll be seeing it in theaters, certainly, and it will be the first Malick film that I've had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You didn't need to, i know perfectly well what we were talking about, as anybody would who knows me in here.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I'm the least narrow minded person about moveis in here. I limit my detesting to just bad movies. You have issues with THE DARK KNIVGHT because it doesn't exactly fit with the exact image you have of Batman in your head. And others are even much worst.

  • See? I can invent stuff up too.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Like most Malick movies

    by double_l88

    I was certainly intresting. The beginning of the universe scenes, were great. It was like 2001.

  • Do you even read anything past the subject line?

  • June 16, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Yeah, and like Ol' Queen Victoria, i was not amused. But we can be cool again. I have no hard feelings toward you, just your words, which i believe were poorly chosen.

  • June 16, 2011, 5 p.m. CST

    the_choppah, i can't predict how you will react to TREE OF LIFE.

    by AsimovLives

    I really can't. I think this is a movie which the reactions from the people who watch it will be unpredictable, even for themselves. I have first person experience of that. People who we think will hate this movie will liekit,a dn people who we are certain will lvoe it will hate it, or dismiss it as mere artsy wankery. Nothing is for certain about this movie. Everybody will praise the special effects, though.

  • June 16, 2011, 5 p.m. CST

    as long as I was understood, asi

    by spidercoz

    I'd like us all to be civil, that won't happen of course, but we don't have to go out of our way to ensure it won't. Just ease up on the ad hominem is all I ask.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I saw some nods to 2001. Remember that shot showung Jupiter and it's moons? Remind me of the scene that showed the monolith before the stargate sequence. I'm certain it's not the only nod to 2001 in it. Funny enough, the trailer of TREE OF LIFE is actually very accurate to what the movie is. Including the editing style throughout he whole movie.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Chris Nolan is the spit of

    by Robert McNamara

    Harry Enfields 'Tim - Nice but dim'

  • June 16, 2011, 5:06 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    What ad homine attacks? On Abrams? I can respect any talkbacker in here, as i think i do own anybody that much. But on a bad filmmaker? Never!

  • But to dismiss the talent of Terence Malick is just... wrong to say the least. One doesn't ned to like this movie, or his movies, for wwhateve reason (a preference for faster paced mvoies, or example), to understand that he's a filmmaker of rare quality. His name itself is used to describe a certain style and way of filmmaking. How many other filmmakers have achieved such? Malick is an artist, and a damn good one at that.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Harry Enfields is hillarious

    by AsimovLives

  • June 16, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Asi I didn't invent that

    by Continentalop

    Mallick appearently goes around quoting it. Ben Stiller supposedly even record a birthday card video for Malick as Zoolander.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    And who is the judge or good or bad movies here?

    by Continentalop

    Oh yeah, it's you Asi. You're the litmus test. I mean, otherwise we would have to discuss and debate and come to the conclusion ourselves. And you don't even begin to understand my opinion on TDK so spare me your attempts to explain what my "problems" with it are.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Malick = total failure as a visual storyteller.

    by Flip63Hole

    But no doubt he hires a mean cinematographer! Heck, even Spielberg's lesser films ("War of the Worlds" for example) tell a story better with visuals/dialog better than Malick's Hallmark card voice-over (first 10 minutes of War you already understand the back story of Cruise's relationship with his children and ex-wife.) No voice-over, no ponderous shots of wheat blowing in the wind. If I want a challenging, emotional cinematic experience, I'll keep waiting for Charlie Kaufman's next directorial feature...

  • June 16, 2011, 5:39 p.m. CST

    But Malick doesn't need to tell a story like Spielberg

    by david starling

    The New World was a film that reached a point, and made you sit through every uncomfortable, ponderous turn until you reached that point, then left you gobsmacked. Just one example (and trust me, I had to pick a hard one!!) but of Malick's work, it strikes me that he doesn't want to be conventional in any sense. He's a breed apart from Spielberg, and he's an equal to Kubrick dare I say it. I look forward to the Tree of Life; and I hope I'll be blown away. I'm sure I will.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST

    It looks like an upscale car commercial with Brad Pitt in it.

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    That's my dumbass reaction.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Pretentious piece of shit, for losers who like to feel smart

    by Nabster

    The truth is, some of Maliks films work well on the big screen. The photography is ALWAYS beautiful, and this buttresses all his weaknesses. But if you watch any of his films at home, where the beautiful photography loses most of it's impact, his movies are quickly exposed as insufferable pieces of horse shit.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by johnnyrandom

    ...disguised as a moron.

  • Stop with that. It's bullshit talk, and you know it. You are not making the point you think you are.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:52 p.m. CST


    by johnnyrandom

    ...shut your piehole, artless fool!

  • As for the "he just hired a good cinematographer" argument, that's what all good directors do. What a non-argument that is.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:54 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    The flip-side of that coin is that you migth need to be smart to feel for a Malick movie. How you like them apples?

  • June 16, 2011, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Just watched THE THIN RED LINE again recently.


    Holy fuck. What an amazing example of, yes, visual fucking storytelling. The combat scenes that make up most of the movie's midsection are better than anything of their kind other than the opening sequence of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and Kubrick's war films. That's right. Terrence Malick is a better action director than anyone in Hollywood who purports to be one. And Malick doesn't set out to make action films. CHOPPED.

  • malick... fucking lightweight.

  • June 16, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    by all means, asi

    by spidercoz

    Keep abusing JJ and Co (TM) at every opportunity. It's your calling and I can respect that. Plus, it's hilarious. But don't shit on people who honestly like (some of) his work, it's all a matter of taste and everyone's is different, for better or worse.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CST

    David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, Terrence Malick

    by Erik Klassen

    Pretentious hacks for pretentious people.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:35 p.m. CST

    The Thin Red Line

    by proevad

    is one to be admired. The first time I watched it I was very distracted by the cameos that kept popping into the movie every 5 minutes and by the seemingly confusing voiceovers, but as I've viewed it more over the years--it's pretty damned stunning.

  • June 16, 2011, 8:21 p.m. CST

    saw this last week, didn't care for it

    by drave117

    I was blown away by the cinematography, as well as the fantastic acting, but the movie just didn't successfully communicate any of its ideas to me. Was the failure on my part or on the part of the movie? I can't really say. It's probably my second to least favorite movie of the year (after Sucker Punch), but that doesn't necessarily mean I wouldn't recommend it. I am no slave to linear storytelling, and I have really loved some films that border on abstract (loved The Fountain), but I just don't get what Malick was going for here. Maybe I haven't seen enough of his previous films to appreciate it. Maybe I need to be a parent, or be religious, or have an estranged father. I don't feel like it's Malick's fault I disliked his movie. I'm glad he made it, but watching it felt like seeing somebody else's private session with their therapist, with both of them talking in a language you don't quite understand.

  • you show you dont actually know pretense (ie purely 'for effect') from actual content.. you dumb shithead

  • June 16, 2011, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Cry about it some more, Quantine.

    by Erik Klassen

    Keep sucking the dicks of your pretentious heroes.

  • Even though 'visualist' isn't really a word. More of a neologism, I think.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by quantize

    go fuck yourself you dribbling fucking moron.. yeh you read it dickhead

  • Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Sorry folks, TOL was not that good. I wish it were. It wasn't.

    by Jerry Piper

    It had great ideas but it was not well put together, did not seem to realize it's potential and the ending was ripped right from the finale of Lost.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    "not well put together"???

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Are you out of your fucking mind? Dislike the movie all you want but that is a ridiculous assertion. And if you think the ending was like the ending of Lost, you don't understand what you watched.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Can anyone explain Harry's second sentence in the "article"?

    by onezeroone

    "It's one thing to hear film critics worshipping a filmmaker that is known for being brilliant, but difficult for mass consumption, but when you have two filmmakers like David Fincher and Christopher Nolan."<p> Can ANYONE explain what he is trying to say here, to me it seems he left the sentence half finished.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:46 p.m. CST

    .....Tarsem Singh

    by Partyslammer

    Singh would be more revered as one of the top current visual stylists if he could get more than one movie per 6 years out.

  • Arguably, some of the greatest images captured on film are from Malick's "Days of Heaven". It is kind of hard to get a lens flare when the vast majority of the film is shot (purposely so) after the sun has just set on the horizon. It is called the "golden hour" for good reason. Why don't you do yourself a favor, educate yourself, and watch "Days of Heaven" and try to count the number of lens flares. Come to think of it, I can't remember any overt lens flares in "Badlands", "The Thin Red Line", or even "The New World". And as far as I am concerned, it doesn't count when the cinematographer specifically is pointing the camera directly overhead to catch the dappling effect of sunlight (and the "heavenly beams") as they filter through a forest canopy. IMHO, that is NOT an intentional, and lens flare (a la JJ Abrams or Michael Bay), but a natural side-effect of catching sunlight as it pierces through a natural filter (foliage). Moreover, it is especially metaphoric in "The Thin Red Line", as it symbolizes nature struggling against itself. In this case, the sunlight is trying to break through the dense jungle, and is partly "strangled" by the riotous and chaotic growth of vines, branches and leaves that symbolize the smothering of light...or in the words of Private Train, "why does nature vie with itself". You know folks, Malick's films are NOT that hard to just have to open you mind and look at deeper meanings. I realize that this is harder to do in this day in age when almost every commercial film holds your hand and SPOON FEEDS you it's "message". But if you give Malick's films a chance to speak to your heartm mind AND soul, then I assure you that you are in for an enriching and "spiritualy" motivating experience. And although I must disclose I speak from a Roman Catholic perspective, I believe Malick's films "spiritual" nature are general enough to apply universally to all the Great Religions. And one final note, a previous poster commented that they were concerned with the perceived "spirtuality" or "religious" nature of The Tree of Life. I am a scientist, but also a person of Faith, and I find no conflict whatsoever between my belief in modern Science and my Catholic Faith. In fact, I find them wonderfully complementary. Even if one was agnostic (or even a dedicated atheisist), Malick's films are open for interpretation, and IMHO absolutely no one should be "threatened" or scared off by any spiritual sub-text that may or may not be intended by the Director.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:27 a.m. CST

    can't be more overrated than Fincher and Nolan

    by chien_sale

    hacks abound!

  • June 17, 2011, 1:59 a.m. CST

    saw it tonight

    by cuntworthy

    and it was just ok. its beautifully shot and there's moments of pure greatness but then there are moments where it just pulls me out of it. it wasn't terrible, it wasn't great, but still worth checking out.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:46 a.m. CST

    FOX Searchlight is wisely targeting cinephiles

    by justmyluck

    Endorsements from other directors is a good start, since TREE OF LIFE wasn't intended to be commercially accessible (except for maybe Christians seeking 'a message'). It's a very conflicting, and aggravating, to see a film that beautiful looking and sounding which aims for non-linear impressionism and ends with a deflated narrative. I understand why Fincher and Nolan are talking up the imagery and immersion aspects.

  • June 17, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by johnnyrandom're an idiot.

  • June 17, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    CHIEN _SALE...

    by johnnyrandom

    ...Fincher & Noland? Hacks? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You don't know cinema, son.

  • June 17, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Asimov, since I thought New World was

    by Mattman

    a pretty film, but overlong and pretentious, and I utterly despised the tone poems... will I hate this?

  • June 17, 2011, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Fincher and Nolan come out good because the rest sucks

    by chien_sale

    It's the truth. Nothing they have ever done or will ever do will touch any of the classic of the past. It's all gimmicks.

  • June 18, 2011, 6:01 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I think that everything you didn't liked about THE NEW WORLD will be amplified in A TREE OF LIFE. In the end, it's your call. Who knows, you might suprise yourself and like it better then THE NEW WORLD. I don't even dare predict what anybody's reaction to this movie will be. People who love David Lynch movies migth hate this. And a guy who had nothing but a dietry of Michel Bay movies might watch it and get a revelation and turn complely off from the Bay movies and became a full on cinephile for art movies. I just really don't know how people will react to this movie. I don't even dare predict that.

  • June 20, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST


    by Mattman

    Thanks, that response actually has me intrigued about the film. I will check it out.

  • June 20, 2011, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Calling Fincher and Nolan hacks is laughable

    by Mattman

    They make the movies they want to make, and most of those movies happen to appeal to mainstream. Nolan made the Batman movies that audiences didn't know they'd always wanted. Hence their success.