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The New World
DVD disk
05.29.2006 By: Matt Hosack
The New World order
Director:
Terrence Malick

Actors:
Colin Farrell
Christian Bale
QOrianka Kilcher

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
One of the great American love stories has returned to the screen, this time by a visionary director. The tale of Captain John Smith (Farrell) and his love with Pocahontas (Kilcher) is as old as any (in America). Boy discovers world, boy meets girl, girl saves boy, boy falls in love with girl, boy looses girl. The basic story is as simple as all that, but it’s what the director does with that story that really counts. Welcome to THE NEW WORLD.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Much like our ancestors had visions of a new world, so did Terrence Malick of a new film. Mr. Malick rarely makes a film but when he does, it usually is something special. With THE NEW WORLD, Malick set out to make a dream of the 1700’s become reality. When I beheld the opening frames where the English ships arrive to untouched shores, I was so elated that I literally felt like I could fly. The coupling of savory photography, careful framing, glacial pacing, and a rousing James Horner to die for add up to a dreamlike experience. The scenery and the framing are so sumptuous that I felt as though I was actually discovering a new land with the characters. Of course, not everything is beautiful – like any good story, you have to have conflict and the internal/external conflicts present in the film are very believable.

The dream wouldn’t be complete without knockout performances and the cast delivers. I thought Colin Farrell would turn me off as John Smith but he kept me mesmerized. He does an excellent job inhabiting his character and the world. You feel his love, his confusion, and his heartbreak. A pleasant surprise is Q'Orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas, though she is never addressed by that name. Kilcher brings an innocence and vitality to the story that feels real. Also great are Christopher Plummer and Christian Bale in solid supporting roles. Of course, the real star of the picture is Virginia herself, providing a center stage for events to take place. I commend Malick for making such a daring, different picture filled with beauty, ugliness, irony, and a dream made real. If Stanley Kubrick was alive and made this picture, it probably would be the same result – that’s the highest compliment I can give it. Not everyone will like it, or even understand it but it certainly is worth a trip to THE NEW WORLD.
THE EXTRAS
Mr. Malick has all but confirmed that there will be a full on director’s edition (the original cut was 150 min) on the way, so unfortunately we only get one feature.

“Making The New World” >> 60 min > This behind-the-scenes doc is an overview of the production. Some of the aspects of it really are a good tease of possible special features in the future. Malick offers up what he wanted the film to be and the crew really get into things.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
THE NEW WORLD may pleasantly surprise you with its romantic charm and graceful composure. It really is not that often that we get a film that isn’t in a hurry to get to the next plot device. Instead, THE NEW WORLD is about the nature of discovery and I found the discovery to be intoxicating. Make it a point to see this movie. You may want to hold off a purchase till the inevitable master cut gets released. Discover THE NEW WORLD.

Props 2 >> Terrence Malick, Farrell, Kilcher, Plummer, Bale, Horner, and the rest of the crew for such a kick ass film.

Final D >> A MUST

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