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A Thin Red Line : A good blind buy?

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A Thin Red Line : A good blind buy?

Old 09-08-03, 09:48 PM
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A Thin Red Line : A good blind buy?

I believe this film was released the same year as Saving Private Ryan. I do enjoy war movies, especially Platoon, but I can't say I really liked Saving Ryan's Privates. Having Tom Hanks in a serious war movie is hard to imagine, because I keep thinking of Forrest Gump when he was in Vietnam talking about shrimp with Bubba. Okay, I'm way off topic, anyways is A Thin Red Line a great movie? It's got Nick Nolte, Jon Travolta, and Sean Penn, all of whom I really like.
Old 09-08-03, 09:59 PM
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If you like your war movies SLOW and POETIC than this is right up your alley... I personally dislike the film a great deal and wouldn't really recommend buying it... give it a rent maybe... Saving Private Ryan was by FAR superior IMO.

MATT
Old 09-09-03, 01:42 AM
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On the other hand.......I think The Thin Red Line was the best film of 1998 (and the best American film of the 1990s) and made Saving Private Ryan look like garbage. Sure Ryan had some cool battle scenes, but the story was ludicrous, the acting was pretty ham-fisted in parts, and the framed narrative part of the story was just insultingly bad (but I still own the dvd for some of the action scenes in DTS).

mdc3000 is right. The Thin Red Line is a poetic film. Many people do not expect this going into a "war film". I wouldn't personally call it 'slow' by any stretch of the imagination, but can't argue with other people finding it as such. 'Slow' is a very subjective term.

Since they came out the same year around the same time and were both nominated for best picture, The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan get compared and contrasted a lot. Some people like both to varying degrees. Other people hate one and love the other. They are very different films that have different goals in what they want to achieve as films (they tell their stories in very different ways). I doubt they would be compared at all if they had been released 5 or 10 years apart.

Do I recommend TTRL as a blind buy? That's a tough question. It depends on what kinds of films you like, of course. Seriously, I am glad I bought TTRL blindly because I was lukewarm to it the first time I saw it (and had that been a rental I am not sure I would have come back to it a second time).......but since it was sitting on my shelf, I watched it again, and fell in love with it. I now watch it quite often, whenever I need my faith in filmmaking restored, lol. Have you seen any other films directed by Terrence Malick? Badlands or Days of Heaven? Malick makes beautifully photographed films. If you enjoy lush cinematography and don't often think films are 'slow' I would recommend Malick. Also I think this disc can be found quite cheaply these days....about what it would cost to rent it twice. For that price, I would suggest buying it and just selling it off if you don't like it. Renting discs that can be purchased cheaply can be a big waste of money IMO (then again I've rented less than 5 dvds since I got my first player in 1999--I am not a renter).

Also, TTRL is one of my favorite film scores and I recommend both the film score cd, and the cd of all the Melanesian songs.
Old 09-09-03, 02:17 PM
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I would not reccommend this movie if you are a fan of war movies. It simply pails in comparison to Saving Private Ryan, Band Of Brothers, etc. Very slow moving and to be honest, quite forgettable. My 2 cents.
Old 09-09-03, 03:36 PM
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Rent first. The movie is a love it/hate it type deal that improves greatly with repeated viewing if you're patient. I personally love it.
Old 09-09-03, 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by garmonbozia
I think The Thin Red Line was the best film of 1998 (and the best American film of the 1990s) and made Saving Private Ryan look like garbage. Sure Ryan had some cool battle scenes, but the story was ludicrous, the acting was pretty ham-fisted in parts, and the framed narrative part of the story was just insultingly bad.
Not to mention the usual overbearing John Williams score.

I would recommend TTRL as a blind buy as well. Like someone else said, it's only 10 bucks, and if you hate, just sell it off.
Old 09-09-03, 06:06 PM
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Sure, I'd recommend TTRL as a blind buy--either that, or pour paint thinner into your eyes, if you're pressed on time...

A truly abominable piece of self-masturbatory, pretentious filmmaking...blech...
Old 09-09-03, 06:17 PM
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Rent it.

As you can see, the Private Ryan (yawn) crowd generally hates this film. For whatever reason, they seem to think that The Thin Red Line is a war film... As such, the film bores them.

On the other hand, like Jepthah and garmonbozia, I think it's a great film. And it's NOT a war film, not at all. It's a study of the human condition that takes place in a war setting. And yes, it's quite poetic and reflective... That apparently means slow to a lot of people.

Very much a love/hate film, and that usually = a rental in my book. No one knows how you're going to react until you see it with your own eyes.
Old 09-09-03, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for all the great opinions guys. I honestly did not enjoy Saving Private that much. Yes, the action sequences were great, but that was about it. Didn't require any thinking at all.. what you see is what you get: bloody action Holywood style.

Thin Red Line seems pretty appealing to me, but as mentioned it sounds like it may be pretentious and over the top, ala Apocalapse Now, which I found to be very long and boring, albiet the end. Anyways, if I do find it for $10 I'll most definately pick up TTRL. From what I've read on the internet, the sound and picture are reference quality.
Old 09-10-03, 12:55 AM
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I think that it is not a war film in the sense that we know war films today. If you go into it expecting a drama, with intermentant scenes of action, you will be pleasently surprised. It simply does an excellent job of telling the story.
Old 09-10-03, 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by NaturalMystic79
Thin Red Line seems pretty appealing to me, but as mentioned it sounds like it may be pretentious and over the top, ala Apocalapse Now, which I found to be very long and boring, albiet the end.
Are you judging this based on the original cut, or the Redux cut?

If you don't like Apocalypse Now, Thin Red Line is probably not going to be to your liking either.
Old 09-10-03, 12:46 PM
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Josh Z-

I saw Redux.
Old 09-10-03, 02:59 PM
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Got to love dvd's. You can just chapter skip the parts you don't like. There were a lot of parts in TRL that I liked, especially the battle scenes. Now that its price is dropping, I'd recomment it as a blind buy if you can get it at a price a few bucks over the rental cost. I've watched it about 5 times but only once (first time) all the way through.
Old 09-10-03, 03:00 PM
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I agree--if you thought APOCALYPSE NOW (which I adore) was overlong, boring and pretentious, then get ready--TTRL will make it look like a rapid-fire music video in comparison...
Old 09-10-03, 03:29 PM
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I saw TTRL at Best Buy today for only $12.99 so I picked it up. Tonight I'll check the entire thing out. I checked out a few stops just to glimse the disc, and the audio and video are very good. Hope the film holds up well too! I'll let you all know.
Old 09-10-03, 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by NaturalMystic79
I saw Redux.
The original cut is better. You shouldn't have watched Redux without seeing the original first.
Old 09-10-03, 08:45 PM
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Nice thread! I've been eyeing TTRL for quite a while, but was never sure if I really wanted it. But some of the comments in here sound really good to me... not to mention that I loved Apocalypse Now.
Old 09-10-03, 11:08 PM
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I'd recommend it as well. Great movie...some of the best cinematography I've seen recently. Watch it thru once. Then next time just fast forward thru the beginning 30 mins and you end up with a nice little war movie.

I watch it more than SPR
Old 09-15-03, 05:47 PM
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Yes, the cinematography is what makes TTRL stand out and give it character. Best appreciated on a big sceen IMHO.
Old 09-15-03, 08:16 PM
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A good movie! I'm happy I bought it. Quite similar to Apocalpse Now. I must say the battles scenes are some of the best I've seen on screen. Sound and video were top notch. I agree that it was a bit drawn out and the first 30 minutes could of been dropped. I really like how it makes the viewer come up with their own interpretation of each character and what the message of the movie was about. I enjoyed it especially because the acting was excellent. I really enjoyed Nick Nolte's performance. I've only seen it once and I enjoyed it, so I'm sure I'll appreciate it even more upon future viewings. Still, this is not your typical war movie. It's good but not as good as say, Platoon, which I thought was excellent.
Old 09-16-03, 01:35 PM
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Well, my distaste for the film aside, I do have to concur that Nick Nolte's performance was riveting...along with the cinematography, this film's only two virtues...
Old 09-16-03, 09:07 PM
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The Thin Red Line, while an excellent war film, is definitely an aquired taste. I still prefer Saving Private Ryan over The Thin Red Line, but I have watched TTRL a few times since I bought the DVD and it has grown on me. TTRL has excellent acting all around and a great cast (Nick Nolte, John Cusack, George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn, and on and on), though it is slow moving and the battle sequences are few and far in between. However, it does show WWII from an entirely different perspective than Ryan and really it isn't right to compare the two. In my humble opinion, TTRL is worth a blind buy but just don't go expecting Saving Private Ryan.
Old 09-20-03, 03:32 AM
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Thin Red Line

Not only is this a great movie, there is apparently a lot more film that was cut. I would love a director's cut of this movie as there are story lines of which we just have a glimpse. THe production was apparently in financial trouble. There was even a criminal case in Bexar County concerning some production checks that bounced.
Old 09-21-03, 03:54 AM
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Just saw this for the first time. IMO it is much better than Saving Private Ryan but not as good as Apocalypse Now, but not by much.
Old 09-24-03, 12:44 AM
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I watched this movie in the worst setting possible: on a 13 inch screen in a motel in san diego at 7 in the morning. Dont ask why. Its not fair for me to judge the movie since i saw it with crappy conditions, but what the hell, i'll do it anyway. Give it a rent. I remember it being long and slow. It was well acted and shot though. Not as engaging as RYAN though

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