5 Things I Learned While Watching The New World

The New World: The Extended Cut
New Line Cinema
Starring Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, and Christian Bale
Written and Directed by Terrence Malick
Rated PG-13 for some intense battle sequences.
Running Time = 135 minutes

As I watched this extended version of The New World, which was my first time viewing the film, several thoughts came to mind. I wish to share five of them with you now.

1. This is NOT a musical! I was disappointed. This is a sweeping dramatic and historic epic film. None of the characters break into song. There are no rambunctious animals to help Pocahontas on her journey. And it’s not a family film. If you want the aforementioned things in a story about Pocahontas, rent Disney’s Pocahontas.

2. It stars Batman and the second villain from Daredevil! That’s right. Christian Bale and Colin Farrell are in this movie. Throw in Hugh Jackman (not in the film, by the way), and this would have been quite the feast for the eyes for the ladies. Farrell plays John Smith (played in the Disney version by Mel Gibson), who falls for the beautiful and vivacious Native American Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher, I don’t know how to pronounce that). Bale plays the bad guy, English dude John Rolfe. Who will win?

3. Insomniacs rejoice! Did we really need an extended version of an already slow-paced film? This version would be a great cure for insomnia. It just felt long, which is never a good thing for a movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s artfully directed, shot, and edited in a very interesting way (jump cuts at times). But there’s still a matter of pacing that causes the eyelids to droop after a while.

4. A must for history buffs. If you like history, American or British, I can safely recommend this film. If you can watch the History Channel for hours on end, this is a great way to get another take on a piece of history. Of course, as stated above, there are no musical numbers, and I’m pretty sure those actually happened in the real story.

5. Writer/Director Terrence Malick. He’s worked with Richard Gere (Days of Heaven), Adrian Brody and George Clooney (The Thin Red Line), and Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in the upcoming The Tree of Life. His films are meant to deliver messages about humanity and the world the surrounds us. He’s a creative man. If you are a student of film, he should be on your directors list.

And there it is, the top five things I learned while watching The New World. I must give it a B-. It’s not my cup of tea. But if you like sweeping historical epics, you’ll be right at home.

**The DVD also includes a digital copy that can be downloaded onto your computer!

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