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HTF DVD REVIEW: The New World Extended Cut

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36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 15 2008 - 02:39 AM

[img]http://static.hometh...NLD040810.jpg">
The New World: The Extended Cut

Directed By: Terrence Malick

Cast: Colin Farrell, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi
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Ken McAlinden
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#2 of 37 Nicholas Martin

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Posted October 15 2008 - 04:22 AM

According to the DVDTalk review, the score was changed. Does anyone know if that means the original score was restored to the film, at least in part, or is that Wagner music still all over it?

Does the film make more sense now? I was confused as hell and vowed never to watch the theatrical cut again because of that, so is this significantly different?

#3 of 37 Matthew Clayton

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Posted October 15 2008 - 07:45 AM

So is this extended cut a carryover from NL that they didn't get to release on DVD themselves? Maybe they were waiting to get some good bonus content before they were folded into WB.

And does the disc open with a NL logo or the WHV logo after the FBI warning?

#4 of 37 Ed St. Clair

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Posted October 15 2008 - 11:17 AM

FINALLY!!!
BIG thx!
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#5 of 37 Aragorn the Elfstone

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Posted October 15 2008 - 05:22 PM

All good things come to those who wait. Posted Image

I just finished watching this. Wow! I fracking loved it. Posted Image

While I admired the original cut (mostly for its visuals and use of music), I never felt pulled in. The characters seemed to distant to me. Despite the numerous VOs, I never felt I knew them.

I don't know what it was about the new footage that did it - but I was completely and utterly emotionally enthralled when watching the new cut. This film conveys such enormous emotional power while remaining incredibly subtle. Whereas before I felt the lack of dialogue was a problem in the film, now the breathing room given to the film allows you to fully absorb the characters without needing the spoken word. You feel their emotions.

The love stories in this film had me in pieces at the end of the film - and that is something I don't think I can completely say of the original cut. This is a case of the original version being (for me) an admirable historical drama with great acting and cinematography, while the extended cut is one of the most emotional and awe-inspiring masterworks I have seen in quite some time.

I believe I have a new Best Picture for 2005.

#6 of 37 Nicholas Martin

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Posted October 15 2008 - 08:35 PM

Fracking?

#7 of 37 Bryan Beckman

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Posted October 15 2008 - 10:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Martin
Fracking?

Battlestar Galactica reference. I've often seen it spelled as "frak" or "frakking," though.

Jack's reaction to the extended cut nearly mirrors my reaction to the theatrical cut. Most reviews I've read of the extended cut say that the new version isn't a radical re-working of the elements, but "more of the same" from Malick. So chances are if you didn't think the 135-minute version was all that great, you won't change your opinion after seeing the 172-minute one.

Personally, however, I'm always open to people changing their negative impressions of the film, irrespective of which version does the trick. Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Martin
According to the DVDTalk review, the score was changed. Does anyone know if that means the original score was restored to the film, at least in part, or is that Wagner music still all over it?

In another review I've read (sorry, can't remember the source), it was stated that the beginning and end of the film were left untouched, so that would essentially mean the Wagner piece ("Das Rheingold") stays.

Manohla Dargis (being far more familiar with Wagner than I) pointed out the symbolism of that that particular piece in her review:

Quote:
After a brief credit sequence, James Horner's score gives way to chirping birds, blowing wind and what might be the rumble of distant thunder or a cannon blast. This cacophony then melts into the opening notes of the prelude to Wagner's "Das Rheingold," the first opera in "Der Ring des Nibelungen." A haunting drone meant to suggest the rippling of the Rhine River, the prelude begins as a whisper that grows progressively louder until it reaches a crescendo, signaling the moment when the Rhinemaidens realize that the Nibelung dwarf Alberich has forsworn love for gold and power.

Regarding James Horner's score, I've listened to it many times on the Internet. It contains some beautiful motifs. Typical of much of Horner's recent work, though, it repeats them over and over and over. It's also quite similar to the synthesized vocals in "Titanic" and his work in "Braveheart." I believe that by dramatically paring back the use of Horner's work in the film (by substituting Wagner and Mozart for it in several places), Malick preserves the power of those notes when heard for the first time, such as in the scenes surrounding Rolfe and Pocahontas' marriage and then in the end scene between them as they walk along a path in England, which is one of the most beautiful moments in film I've ever experienced. I think the impact of those scenes would be dramatically reduced if the musical accompaniment was essentially the same stuff we've been hearing again and again.

Of course, I'm an ardent defender of the film, so I'm completely biased in my remarks. I've also not yet seen the extended cut, and may need to wait a few days until I have three hours of available time in my schedule to do so. So everything I've said regarding the score may be rendered completely moot in the new version. But I get the feeling there hasn't been any radical re-editing in this longer cut.
 

#8 of 37 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 15 2008 - 11:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Clayton
So is this extended cut a carryover from NL that they didn't get to release on DVD themselves? Maybe they were waiting to get some good bonus content before they were folded into WB.

And does the disc open with a NL logo or the WHV logo after the FBI warning?
It carries the New Line logo. Warner is distributing it, though as they are no longer functioning independently. I probably should have listed New Line as the studio in my review, so I think I will fix that after I finish posting this. Posted Image

Regards,
Ken McAlinden
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#9 of 37 Aragorn the Elfstone

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Posted October 16 2008 - 01:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Beckman
Battlestar Galactica reference. I've often seen it spelled as "frak" or "frakking," though.

Well that's embarrassing. Posted Image No use making a reference like that if I can't get the spelling right. Posted Image

#10 of 37 Tim-H.

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Posted October 16 2008 - 03:22 AM

That's why I use felgercarb; even if people don't get the reference, they still know you're a nerd.

I was really moved by this in the theater, and will have to get this cut.
Thanks for the review!
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#11 of 37 Nicholas Martin

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Posted October 16 2008 - 03:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Beckman
Battlestar Galactica reference. I've often seen it spelled as "frak" or "frakking," though.

Okay....

Quote:
Regarding James Horner's score.....

No need to tell me about the score, being one of the biggest fans of his in existence, I know his music inside and out, all of it. Ever. Posted Image

In a September 2006 audio interview, Horner made some rather brutally honest comments about The New World, an experience that left him more frustrated and disappointed than he's ever felt before.

According to Horner, Malick was restructuring the film endlessly, right up to the end.

Scenes were placed out of chronological order, instead going for a more randomized, abstract approach that, was simply not workable for a flowing piece of film score.

Working with Malick's film editor (Star Wars editor Richard Chew) and the full support of New Line, a chronological cut of the film was set up for Horner to score, and the album version of it represents that 'editor's cut'.

When that cut was played back in stages throughout the scoring, it moved everyone to tears, NOT because of the music, but because the film itself was so beautiful. Malick himself was completely cold to the whole thing and went back to restructuring the film as he did previously.

Eventually, Chew and Horner left along with the other assistant editors because they were fed up and thought Malick was simply not the "genius" he's been made out to be, taking what was to be a great sensical telling of Pocahontas and John Smith and making something that, while beautiful to watch, was just confusing. (Put me in the confused crowd, I thought I wasn't smart or refined enough to understand it originally)

So the score simply didn't fit anymore and outside music had to be sourced, and while Horner didn't mind that at all, because he's not concerned about his music as much as he's concerned about supporting the film, but he hated the Wagner choice because of how heavy and thick that sound was for such delicate, beautiful imagery.
Horner and Co. were left let down, because they felt Malick didn't deliver the film he said he would. If Malick had left the film in its more chronological flowing state, it would have been exactly what he promised, but he tore it apart.

As a film, I simply didn't get it. It made no sense to me. I would be more than willing to see it again if the film was altered to be a bit more understandable in this extended cut, regardless of whether the music was changed or not, because it was indeed a visually stunning film.

If anyone would like to hear that portion of the interview themselves, let me know.

#12 of 37 townsend

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Posted October 16 2008 - 08:44 AM

I found both the review and all the comments quite interesting. Thanks.

I've got but two comments:

1) I didn't get it either, in fact I was (almost bitterly) disappointed because I was looking forward to enjoying the film. I'm a huge fan of Malick's The Thin Red Line and Days of Heaven, and I especially like historical epic types movies (generally, 19th century or earlier). While The New World was great to look at, after awhile I found myself looking at my watch . . . I gradually became disinterested. For a movie about the clash between Native Americans and Europeans (whether directly from Europe or after inhabiting the new world), I far prefer Black Robe.

2) I will probably try to rent the extended cut, but it won't do it for me. Why? Well, supposedly Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, which was mutilated on the chopping block for theatrical release, all came together in the extended cut released on DVD. I saw both. Perhaps the extended cut had bettering pacing and certain gaps were filled in, but I didn't really get into it either. So I doubt the extended cut of TNW will change my opinion. Nonetheless, I am still looking forward to Malick's next movie, Tree of Life. He's just too good when he's on. YMMV.

#13 of 37 Paul Case

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Posted October 17 2008 - 01:11 AM

I don't get the continued references to a "chronological" cut of The New World. The theatrical cut is chronological, as is the extended cut. It doesn't jump forward and backward in time. It starts with the arrival of John Smith in North America and ends with Pocahontas' visit to England. Everything in between happens in a clear and distinctly chronological order. The film is languid in its treatment of those events and fills much of its time with internal monlogues and lengthy shots of natural scenery, but nothing is out of order. There are no jump out of the established narrative timeline. That's Pulp Fiction, not The New World.

Perhaps those who refer to chronology are actually referring to the lack of narrative momentum that Ken mentions in his review?

#14 of 37 Bryan Beckman

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Posted October 17 2008 - 02:37 AM

Now here's a surprise: the digital copy included with the DVD is not the extended cut, nor the 135-minute theatrical cut, but the 150-minute NY/LA cut.

I've not had time to view the entire movie, but I did a few point-by-point comparisons with this blog post, and those things the author mentions as being in the first cut are there. The winter-to-spring transition in particular is a shot I don't remember from the 135-minute version.

I'm not sure if this is an error on Warner's part, but this is a huge boon to those of us who love the movie and are curious to compare the differences between all three versions without shelling out for the Italian PAL 2-disc set. The audio of course is 2.0.
 

#15 of 37 Nicholas Martin

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Posted October 17 2008 - 04:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Case
Perhaps those who refer to chronology are actually referring to the lack of narrative momentum that Ken mentions in his review?

Perhaps.

When I saw the theatrical version, events were taking place that jumped ahead to something else, and it happened so often that I didn't know what was going on, or why events had changed, and it was just confusing. Someone once said that "Watching The New World is like watching someone's recollection of a dream about a movie" - quoted from another messageboard I frequent, and that's accurate - to me anyway.

This is one film that people will either A) see as this abstract visual feast of art or B) a totally confusing visual feast that leaves the viewer frustrated.

#16 of 37 Elijah Sullivan

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Posted October 17 2008 - 02:11 PM

Download the Academy workprint for free w/purchase?! Whoa!

Personally, I'm not at all a fan of James Horner, and his feud with Malick strikes me as absurd, as Horner simply was not the director of this film. He was hired to do a job. His input ends with delivering the sound-bytes called for by the director.

The film itself is marvelous, and was quite pleased overall with the 135min version that I saw in the cinema. This extended version is welcome, and I've already ordered it, but it is rather sad to see that it sports less-than-flawless image. A Blu-Ray disc would be a boon to filmgoers. Also, wasn't this supposed to arrive with a slew of documentaries?

Townsend: Funny, because I was bored to tears by Black Robe, which I found xenophobic and sloppy, and awed by The New World.

#17 of 37 Bryan Beckman

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Posted October 17 2008 - 03:30 PM

The press release said it would come with the same documentary that was on the previous DVD release. But they lied.

Eh, that's OK - getting the Academy workprint is a FAR better bonus. I just hope that I'm not the only one who has (or will) benefit from this quirk regarding the digital download.
 

#18 of 37 Nicholas Martin

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Posted October 17 2008 - 08:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijah Sullivan
Personally, I'm not at all a fan of James Horner, and his feud with Malick strikes me as absurd, as Horner simply was not the director of this film. He was hired to do a job. His input ends with delivering the sound-bytes called for by the director.

Being a fan or not is irrelevant.

The point is simple, Horner DID do what he was supposed to do, but Malick changed everything as they went along, leaving an incoherent assemblage of shots to work with, only to have the music thrown out not because it wasn't what Malick wanted, but because it did not fit the film anymore after Malick's endless revisions. In the end it was easier to source some classical pieces in, which were fine except the classical selections themselves were the antithesis of the original musical ideas.

I saw the film as soon as it hit DVD release, which was long before this audio interview was recorded. Therefore, that didn't influence my opinion of the film - I was confused as hell prior to all of this, and this interview, revealing some of the post-production issues, merely helped clear things up a bit. That's why I posted this, because it was a key member of the crew speaking out, and positive or not, I thought it was something others should know about.

The remarks were quite harsh, and Malick fans certainly wouldn't enjoy hearing him portrayed unfavorably, though it was out of disappointment, not out of pointless insults which did not happen.

#19 of 37 TonyD

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Posted October 18 2008 - 02:11 PM

I loved the New World when i saw it in a theater during it's initial run.
I teared up as i realized the movie was coming to an end.

As the credits hit the screen i heard many people say "that's it?"
and one genius say "is that F@#$ing all?"

I wanted to wait for this new cut to e on blu before i bought but this
150 min extra might be changing my mind.

what do i need to be able to watch that digital copy?

also i noticed this cover art is the same as the Best Buy exclusive art, when this was first released 2 years ago.
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#20 of 37 Bryan Beckman

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Posted October 18 2008 - 02:23 PM

Inside the DVD case is a paper insert with a code on it. You need to have the extended cut DVD in your computer's DVD-ROM drive for the Web link to work. After entering the code, you'll be redirected to the CinemaNow site to download their movie manager program (joy) and download the entire 2.47GB file to your hard drive.

I probably wouldn't have gone through all that hassle if it weren't for the fact that it was my first time trying out the whole digital copy thing and I wanted to see if I could download a portable version of the movie for my Dell Axim. (It didn't work.) It was only after the download finished that I noticed the runtime was 150 minutes - which at first I thought might be a mistake. So I spot-checked a few scenes and sure enough, it's the Academy workprint.

Again, I'm not sure if this is an unintentional error (since the insert clearly advertises getting a digital copy of the extended cut) or if this is Warner's gift to the film's fans. If it's the former, and the workprint isn't supposed to be in active distribution, I recommend people take advantage of this offer soon before Warner/CinemaNow corrects their mistake.
 


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