Hymn Haw

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation…while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” 

– The Book of Job 38:4,7

Jesus Malick! And where the fuck have you been since Days of Heaven? You should have quit while you were ahead instead of ruining your legacy with three mediocre movies. Hey Terry, I have two words for you; Harper Lee.

From the get go The Tree of Life has confluence of Darwinian and overtly preachy bible mumbo jumbo ethos that permeate the movie and beckon audiences to question the meaning of life and death. One wonders if Malick’s foundation rooted in Waco, Texas made him another byproduct spawning the likes of David Koresh to Jessica Simpson who are also fellow honorary God loving citizens. Thank whoever – Willie Nelson was spared. Either way, I was more interested in the special effects and consultant Douglas Trumball. Especially that dino scene!

But of the many haunting and fleeting images, the one that reoccurs like chapter bookends is of a glowing orb like flame that flickers in Deep Space Nine or used here instead as a standard representation of the so-called Creator of the Universe. I prefer a Black Monolith myself or Roman Castevet. Anyway, while Malick’s need for a narration and Alexandre Desplat soundtrack are overdone, Pitt and Chastain’s performance and beauty require little dialogue as Emmanuel Lubezki stunning camera work keeps us interested enough. But Sean Penn is no Benjamin Button. He meanders on a beach, disheveled and  “soul searching” with a face not even a mother can love, when in reality the true mystery is how he bagged Scarlett Johansson!

(After her Jimmy Fallon appearance it’s no wonder she has no dialogue.)

The old adage of less is more can not hold truer than in the case of Badlands and Days of Heaven, both clocking in at 94 minutes, whereas these last three are just as long as the entire James Bond series. So after surviving the Big Bang and Harold Camping’s May 21 rapture the one question I left with is why the film closes on a shot of the Verazzano Bridge over to Staten Island? Now that truly is The Land of the Lost, just ask George Harrison.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Hymn Haw

  1. Even if this movie did well and audiences ebaemcrd it, studios would be scared of the implications: the directors should once again have control of their films. Studio execs need to have some sort of creative control to feed their egos. Once 1980 s HEAVENS GATE changed the structure (directors aren’t in control anymore, studios are!) things haven’t been the same. Art is considered dangerous and a director in control is considered embarrassing (see TOWN & COUNTRY). So even if a film like this did well, the culture wouldn’t change and it wouldn’t really be discussed. My question is this: Can anything truly change the current system? INCEPTION was supposed to remind studios that original screenplays/ideas (not a sequel? not a comicbook flick? not a based on ?) can be box office gold, but the original screenplay market hasn’t improved much (granted financial reasons play something of a role, but INCEPTION should have proved investing in these are less of a risk than the studios convinced themselves they were). It’s a real shame.

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