Badlands (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven). His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate killing spree of the late 1950s uses a serial-killer narrative as a springboard for an oblique teenage romance, lovingly and idiosyncratically enacted by Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) and Sissy Spacek (Carrie). The film also introduced many of the elements that would earn Malick his passionate following: the enigmatic approach to narrative and character, the unusual use of voice-over, the juxtaposition of human violence with natural beauty, the poetic investigation of American dreams and nightmares. This debut has spawned countless imitations, but none have equaled its strange sublimity.
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Top Customer Reviews
Malick's film arrives in a stunning 4K blu-ray transfer that has amazing depth and detail. The colors look gorgeous throughout and the widescreen images (true to the original aspect ratio of the film)are often breaktaking.
This isn't an action film nor a typical thriller.
The audio is presented in a lossless mono soundtrack. The only way they could have improved this would have been to create a 5.1 mix from the original elements (which, no doubt, no longer exist).
We get a New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.
The special features included with this set are quite good."Charles Starkweather," a 1993 episode of Great Crimes and Trials which gives us background on the people that inspired Malick's film. We also get a new documentary on the making of the film with new interviews featuring Spacek and Sheen discussing the making of the film. We also get new interviews with film editor Billy Weber and producer Edward R. Pressman. As with all Criterion releases we get a booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda.
The only person missing is Malick who keeps a pretty low profile now. It's a pity that we don't an audio commentary but the documentary does make up for that.
This edition of "Badlands" features a transfer that is the best the film has ever appeared on home videowith some nice extras for the film. I would avoid the Warner DVD and go for the Criterion if you don't have a Blu-ray player. The earlier Warner edition had a full screen transfer of the film (as I recall) while the Criterion looks very similiar to the Blu-ray (perhaps using the same source transfer).
It is a film about a savage murder spree and the lovers who went through with it. Kit and Holly, played incredibly well by Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, are the lovers on the run, killing anyone they see fit, all the while remaining charismatic, likable, and most of all, relatable. Just imagine if the films of Quentin Tarantino actually had soul. My interest in the films of Quentin Tarantino dwindles more and more as the years go by. I've come to the conclusion that the man is not only a hack but a thief, and his crimes against Badlands did not go unnoticed nor can they ever by forgiven or forgotten.
If I could pick one word to describe the films of Terrence Malick, it would have to be 'poetry'. Badlands is one of the cinema's boldest and most chilling poems. I could go on forever about how I analyzed the film but these 'films of the day' are meant to be brief, so I'll spare myself the time and energy I'd spend on writing something that will never actually be read. Just know that the film is brilliant, in every single aspect, one the my favorite films of all time, and the best directorial debut ever. Beautiful and intimate, Badlands is a true treasure.
Bare with me while I praise Martin Sheen. He was just incredible in the film. Badlands' Kit is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite screen characters. Sheen was extraordinary, and has definitely proven that he was one of the best actors of the seventies, and that's a pretty big accomplishment once you consider his contemporaries. I absolutely loved his performance. Great talent.
The film is otherworldly, maybe even mystical. A visual poem full of lyrical beauty. I believe that Badlands best represents American cinema of the seventies. There is an intimacy that no other film, aside from maybe Malick's other ventures, has been able to match. An amazing film that I recommend to everyone I know. A top ten mainstay for me, and a film that like none other. An addictive film, I can watch Badlands over and over again, and I do.
Kudos To Criterion For An EXCELLENT BLU RAY!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Even the Solaris is mono.
There is one version dvd which is stereo.
Am very upset.