For whatever reason in the fall of 2005, I had missed out on the initial local press screening of Terrence Malick's latest epic, The New World, and the reactions that followed were decidedly ... less than appreciative. Shortly thereafter, word had come our way that an alternate cut would be opening instead, and so it was this second screening that I did attend.
For the first half of the film, I was fairly fascinated by the tale of John Smith (Colin Farrell) and his conquest of both what is now America and what was then Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher). However, somewhere around when Smith disappeared and John Rolfe (Christian Bale) all but replaced him, I found my interest waning at a considerable rate.
It's difficult to deny that there were those who still thought the film to be one for the ages, even in its 135-minute incarnation. Those who lucked into the earlier screenings or lived in New York or Los Angeles could briefly get a glimpse of the original 150-minute cut, before certain scenes had been abridged, excised, or even replaced. Now, come October 14th, fans will get the chance to devour a DVD release of 172 minutes in length.
Earlier that same year, I'd found myself fairly unimpressed with the theatrical cut of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, only to eat my words once the engrossing three-hour-plus director's cut hit DVD after a similar NY/LA bow. Maybe almost three years after the fact, I can bring myself to give Malick's masterpiece another go. Will you?
[via DVD Active]