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Showing 1-10 of 35 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 50 reviews
on April 10, 2013
Inspired by the true life case of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate, Terence Malick's debut feature film follows two young lovers who go on a short-lived crime spree, like a bored and jaded Bonnie and Clyde. It all starts when Kit, a garbage man, takes a liking to teenaged Holly. Holly's father warns Kit to stay away from his daughter, leading to a showdown of sorts between the two men that ends with an act of violence. Kit leaves a record player playing a recorded message claiming that he and Holly are going to kill themselves (to throw off the authorities), and sets fire to the house before escaping with Holly, setting off on a journey whose course is foreshadowed by something Kit says in the aforementioned recording: "Nobody's coming out of this thing happy...especially not us."

From their makeshift home in the woods and a brief, violent visit to an old friend of Kit's, to their dash for the mountains of Saskatchewan (which to Kit represent freedom beyond the reach of the law), we are given a window into Holly's private thoughts through the use of voice-over, a sometimes vapid, sometimes rambling commentary from a young girl that can also be frightening at times, like when she thinks after Kit commits a triple murder: "At this moment, I didn't feel shame or fear, but just kind of blah, like when you're sitting there and all the water's run out of the bathtub."

Holly chitchats with a teenage girl, who is likely not much older than herself, surely knowing that the girl will most likely come to a bad end, and soon. Kit records nonsensical "advice" (for whose benefit, we're not quite sure) into a Dictaphone while holding a man and his housemaid hostage. The pair politely ask a man if they can borrow some gas before Kit pulls out a gun when the man refuses. Kit and Holly dance together in the glare of headlights while listening to Nat King Cole. We watch them drive though a great emptiness under painfully blue skies, heading somewhere, reaching for something, while seeming to not quite know where or what it is they are searching for. And all the while we remember those words spoken earlier in the film, "...especially not us." But as Kit concedes in that same recorded message: "I can't deny we've had fun, though."

And the reason for it all? There is no reason here, no logic to these senseless acts of violence. It's best summed up in a line from the short story "Nebraska" by Tennessee Jones, a story inspired by the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, which in turn was inspired by this film. When the girl asks the boy why he killed a man, he answers simply: "I don't think I need a reason for that. He was doing what he does, and here I am doing what I do."
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on March 29, 2013
This is my third " Criterion " Blu Ray of the underrated director Trerence Malick , the first was " The Thin Red Line " ,I hope other buyers read my reviews . Ths title is truly beautiful transfer , the colours are constant through out the film
( BD Disc) . there is nothing you could criticise with " Badlands " . I have to mention , the beauty of this High Definition
Transfer , there are exceptional scenes Sissy Spacek where she is leaning against a tree ,with the bright sun light behind her , you can still see her details , not just outline , but her face freckles ,including her eyes . That is why , this disc , Recieved the five star rating ....
Thank You
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on March 17, 2013
I saw Badlands when it first hit the theaters back in the 70's...and immediately went back to see it again. I believe it's director Terrance Malik's first major movie, and his best. My feeling is that it is one of the best ever made by any director. I won't write a summary of the true-life based storyline. That is available elsewhere. Let me just say that I love movies where everything "works": The story, the script, the direction, the acting, cinematography, the serendipidous background soundtrack (music the classical composer Carl Orff wrote for children); and the magnificent acting by Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, including her voice-overs throughout. If I had a "Top Ten" list, Badlands would be on it. I'm surprised it took so long to produce it on Blu-Ray. It's one of the most expensive single DVD's I've ever purchased...don't know why it's priced that high. But, I'm glad I waited for it. It's worth it. Check it out!
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on June 1, 2017
Malick's masterpiece given the Criterion treatment, finally. The photography, the performances, the story, all superb on this remastered bluray.
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on May 20, 2013
A masterwork is a hard thing to come by, and once you find one, it becomes impossible to let it go. Make no mistake about it, Badlands is a masterpiece of the highest order. It is a film I might never recover from, like all of Terrence Malick's films, Badlands aims to get personal with its audience. Badlands has officially entered my top ten favorite films ever made. Chilling, haunting, sublime, and enigmatic, Badlands is a blessing.

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!
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on May 9, 2013
it's seldom stated, but the event that inspired the film was a beginning of the generational shift that buried the quiet, old, safe smugness of the post-WWII '50s. malik-spacek-sheen got it right. i'm looking back 55 years now, and my jaw is still agape. i generally don't purchase film in any format, but this one is not in wide circulation these days. product quality is A+, as is the sales service, as usual.
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on July 10, 2015
Wonderfully complex and hilariously disturbing. This is a movie that makes you take a hard look at how we treat violence (in films and in society) and how a lot can be forgiven if our hero (villain?) is charismatic and handsome. Strange, beautiful, heartwarming and horrifying. Martin Sheen's performance is one for the ages. I love this movie!
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on September 5, 2014
Great Film That Truly Benefits From An Upgrade To High Definition. The Rich Colors And Background Bring This Film To be Considered Great. This Story Is A Classic Story That Was Really Brought To Life By The Truly Superb Acting And Filming tThat Were State Of The Art For It's Day.
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on November 10, 2015
One of my all-time favorites, it is beautiful on blu-ray. I'm pretty sure it is impossible to dislike Martin Sheen in this. The only downside is that there is not as many special features as I would have hoped for, but that is no real problem because of Amazon's price.
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on November 23, 2016
Why all the Criterion collection has to be mono?
Even the Solaris is mono.
There is one version dvd which is stereo.
Am very upset.
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