Friday, April 19, 2013

The Vern Reviews To The Wonder or looks at some of Terrence Malick's Home Videos.

To The Wonder

Cast: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko

Writer and Director: Terrence Mallick.

* and a 1/2 of of four.

This latest feature from director Terrence Malick is a visual wonder.  That man knows how to make a movie and with each shot looking as beautiful as the next without any big special effects is quite the achievement.  Seeing this on the big screen was a  pretty sweet deal because I knew I would be getting a really good looking movie. I don't like calling it that because it has doesn't  have any characters or a  story.  But for the purpose of this review. I will call it that. There are no computer generated landscapes or characters in this.  Just the normal everyday beauty that appears daily, but we never see it.  Yet despite it's great look.  This is a really boring film  and if you are not impressed with the visuals as I am.  You are going to hate this.  I've read a few reviews that do explain a lot of  the theories surrounding this, and they are all correct.  Whom am I to judge if someones opinion on this artwork is correct or not.  It's like looking at a beautiful painting. Each person who views it is going to have his or her own perception based on what they saw and the same thing applies to this movie.  Mr. Malick is in no way is asking for any easy answers.Instead he wants us to do the work and come up with our own insightful questions. The only question I had throughout this entire movie was "What is this whole thing about?".  If you are curious to read my interpretation of this movie.  I invite you to read a quick interview I had with my brain while I watched this movie.

Start of interview

Me:  Alright, let's get ready to watch this movie.

Brain:  I don't know why you even bother with these things.  You didn't understand "The Tree of Life".  What makes you think you will understand this one?

Me: I think that one was about a man trying to figure out what way his life is going to go.  Is he going to be more like his mother or his father.

Brain:  You got that from the damn trailer.  There was no way you could tell what that movie was really about,and you know it.

Me:  That may be true, but we are here to look at "To the Wonder" with a fresh pair of eyes.  After all this was the last movie Roger Ebert reviewed before he passed away, and I think it was the perfect feature to say goodbye with.

Brain: Stop thinking, You'll only end up hurting yourself. That's my job.  I really hope you're not comparing yourself to Mr. Ebert.

Me: Oh no, not at all.  I was just expressing a fact.  That's all.

Brain: That better be it.

Me: Shhh , it's starting.

Brain:  Hey wait a minute. Why is this being shot on home video?  I thought this was suppose to have amazing visuals.

Me:  Just give it a second, It's only just started.

Brain:  Oh man, it's a foreign movie.  Don't tell me I'm going to have to read this entire fucking thing.

Me:  I don't think it's going to be that way for the entire feature, and besides you've watched foreign movies before and never had issues with them.

Brain:  I was only waiting  for the naked chicks to show up.  They usually show up in these types of movies.

Me:  I don't think we will see any nudity in this.

Brain:  Oh it's coming.  Just you wait.

Me:.  Wow, the shots comprised here are really amazing.

Brain:.  What the hell is going on?  I just see Ben Affleck and that one Bond chick from "Seven Psychopaths" walk around with their daughter while she narrates stuff that I don't even understand.

Me:  Maybe she is looking back at the relationship she had and is remembering all the good times.

Brain: You're not going to give me the credit for that one, because it's obvious you pulled that one form out your ass.  Wait, why don't they all speak the same language.  I can see that both the chick and her daughter speak Spanish, but Ben clearly does not.  He's barely speaking English.

Me:  At least he understands what they are saying.

Brain:  What?  He only says a few words to his daughter, but won't speak them in  her native language.  What a douche bag. Wait, wait wait. There it is, Bond girl's tits. Yes!  I knew these french films would be good for something.

Me:  You barely see anything and her name is Olga Kurylenko.

Brain: DO NOT RUIN THIS FOR ME.  You little shit.  I'll give you the fucking "Jaws" dream again.

Me: Dude, chill.  It's all right.  There you can see part of her ass too.  Now do you feel better.

Brain: Yeah.  My god these people walk around a lot.  Where are they going?

Me:  This looks to be more of a personal journey rather then just a point A to point B quest.

Brain: But they seem to be just walking around in circles.  I understood the conflict in "The Tree of Life" even though it was a  vague but this. This doesn't make any sense.

Me:  Well maybe it's suppose to help you reflect on your own life and get you to think about your past relationships.

Brain:  Hmm, maybe. What, hold on, wait a minute. Where the hell did Bond Girl go?  Now who is this chick?

Me: That's Rachel McAdams.  She was in "Mean Girls" and "Midnight in Paris".

Brain: Well I don't know why she is in this movie, but I bet we get to see her naked.

Me: It doesn't look like there will be another nude scene.  Ben's character doesn't look like the type that would cheat on his wife.

Brain:  It's Ben Freaking Affleck.  One of the most powerful people in Hollywood.  Dude must have bitches lined up around the block.

Me:  He's married in real life you know.

Brain Pfffftttt.  I tell you what man, if I could score off some of that pussy magnet power that he has.  I would fuck him.

Me:  What?

Brain:  I'm not gay or anything, but shit if I could have the type of power that he has.  I'll risk being sore for a week. Plus chicks like gay dudes.  They tend to get naked in front of them all the time.

Me: Umm..Let's get back to the movie. Oh look it's Javier Bardem.

Brain: For the past hour, I've seen nothing but people walking around while they talk to themselves. We could have gone down the block and watch just watch the homeless people instead.

Me: His character seems to focus on the loss of faith. He keeps asking where is god,like he lost him.

Brain:  Well if you wanted to loose someone. This would be a good place to do it.

Me:  This is a very complex film that I may need to watch again to fully understand it.

Brain: You go ahead and enjoy your complexities. I'm going to go away for the next few moments and watch porn.

End of interview.

It is damn near impossible to leave a Terrence Malick feature without having it effect  how you view the world.  The man just has a natural gift to film the most mundane things and make it the most extraordinary thing you ever experienced. The stuff we take for granted somehow become the most extraordinary things ever witnessed  It's almost like if someone gave God or any other religious entity a video camera and just her shoot random footage. All right maybe that whole construct is stretching things just a tad. I don't want to praise this film too much.   I will close by saying that if Terrence wasn't making feature length movies he would have a great career making videos for weddings or birthday parites. Can you imagine how cool your dull vacation would be if it was directed by Terrence Malick.  I would watch that video even if it wasn't my own.


  1. Ha! Love the talk between your brain and yourself. I haven't seen Tree of Life or this yet but I'm eager to see both. They sound right up my alley.

    1. If you can see them both on really big screens. They are both much better that way. Thanks for stopping by.