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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE NEW WORLD

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 135 minutes, making of documentary, theatrical trailers

STUDIO: New Line/ Sunflower Productions LLC/ Sarah Green Film Corp/ First Foot Films/ The Virginia Company LLC

RELEASE DATE: 5-9-2006

THE NEW WORLD is slow. It could have used another 15 to 20 minutes edited out of it at least. Director Terrence Malick made a great meditative war movie with THE THIN RED LINE, but THE NEW WORLD is too long. His poetry style structure of storytelling repeats too often while other scenes run on for too long. A few scenes could have even been cut out. He already edited down the film from a longer 150 minute version. You have to pay attention to get the bits of story interwoven in this film while Malick sometimes is too much in love with the beautiful scenery and the girl who plays Pocahontas.

THE NEW WORLD starts in 1607 Virginia as English colonists make their first steps in America. They make contact with the Native Americans (Naturals), face hardships, and even fight with the Naturals. Captain Smith (Colin Farrell) finds a chance to redeem himself and soon falls for the Native American history knows as Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher). The detail for the film is amazing and Kilcher is fantastic as Pocahontas, but I still wish writer and director Terrence Malick would have edited THE NEW WORLD tighter. It almost plays like the American version of an Andrei Tarkovsky (Russian director who makes very slow and long films). He got the casting right (Farrel, Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, and a few other faces some may have seen in other movies before like John Savage and Wes Studi).

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

A beautiful transfer that captures the fantastic cinematography. Image detail is good and no problem with the vivid colors (and good black levels).

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 DS

Subtitles: English, Spanish

The surround action at times is subtle, but the dialogue is quiet compared to the nature sounds and the music.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The 10 documentary, MAKING THE NEW WORLD, is about 59 minutes long and covers various aspects of the pre-production and production of the movie from making the film authentic as possible, finding the actress who played Pocahontas, director Terrence Malick (Terry) likes to turn the camera on anyone or anything, working with Terry, and the hurricanes that followed the production whether they were in Virginia or England. It is sad they couldn't interview the director for the documentary or do an audio commentary for the film. The teaser trailer and theatrical trailer for THE NEW WORLD are included. Don't forget to hunt for the Easter Egg in the menu screen for MAKING THE NEW WORLD.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Due to THE NEW WORLD being too long due to Malick not editing the film down even more, I will caution you to rent it if you have patience for a slow movie. I wish New Line would have the courage to tell the reclusive Malick to release a shorter and better flowing director's cut.

this review is (c)7-21-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com