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- Audio commentary by director Terrence Malick and cinematographer John Toll
- Audio commentary by Toll, production designer Jack Fish, and producer Grant Hill
- Original theatrical trailer
- Interviews with several of the film's actors, including Kirk Acevedo, Jim Caviezel, Thomas Jane, Ehas Koreas, Dash Mihok, and Sean Penn, composer Hans Zimmer, editors Billy Weber, Leslie Jones and Saar Kelin, and writer James Jone's daughter Kaylie Jones
- New interview with casting director Dianne Crittenden, featuring archival audition footage
- Fourteen minutes of outtakes
- WWII newsreels from Guadaleanal and the Solomon Islands
- Melanesian chants
The return of director Terrence Malick to feature filmmaking after a twenty year sabbatical, this World War II drama is an elegiac rumination on man's destruction of nature and himself, based on James Jones' semi-autobiographical novel, his follow-up to From Here to Eternity. James Caviezel stars as Private Witt, a deserter living in peace and harmony with the natives of a Pacific island paradise. Captured by the Navy, Witt is debriefed by a senior officer (Sean Penn) and returned to an active duty unit preparing for what will be the Battle of Guadalcanal. As Witt goes ashore in the company of his fellow soldiers, they meet diverse fates. Sergeant Keck (Woody Harrelson) is killed by an exploding grenade. Captain John Gaff (John Cusack) is an intelligent, sober leader facing the destruction of his command because his commanding officer Colonel Tall (Nick Nolte) is bucking for a general's star. Sergeant McCron (John Savage) loses his mind. Private Bell (Ben Chaplin) gets a "Dear John" letter from his beloved wife. However, as the U.S. troops advance up grassy slopes toward entrenched Japanese positions, it is Witt's voiced-over ruminations on life, death, and nature that are the real heart and soul of The Thin Red Line (1998). Adrien Brody appears as Private Fife, the major character of Jones' novel and the author's alter-ego, although Fife has been relegated to a minor supporting role by Malick's filmed adaptation. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
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(1 out of 1)
The other war film of 1998
Posted by: Film619
from San Diego, Ca on
09/26/2010This will always be associated but should never be compared to as the other war film from 1998, the other being the visceral "Saving Private Ryan". When viewed together, one can actually experience two important battles in WWII. The battles in "The Thin Red Line" exist mostly in the minds and imaginations of the characters. The action is at times startling, yet lacks the punch of the Spielberg, which I think there are fans on both sides. The approach and mastery of Malick is not to be missed as he assembles an impressive array of characters to illuminate the horror of war. Always beautiful and moving much like his previous efforts (20 years earlier!). Criterion releases the canon in great cinematic art and this film certainly belongs there.
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