I hope someone was fired over this. Knight of Cups is a terrible name for a film. Terrence Malick has a difficult enough time selling his films to an audience in the first place so there is no need to give it the worst title possible. I mean, I’m rooting for the guy. I’ve loved the films of his that I’ve seen and I want him to make many more, but even I totally cringed at this title and stayed away from it in the theatre.
It doesn’t help that his movies are becoming more and more experimental. Knight of Cups was loosely inspired by various ancient texts (including The Pilgrim’s Progress, Hymn of the Perl, and A Tale of the Western Exile) and follows Rick (Christian Bale), a screenwriter, through an odyssey of excesses and women to distract him from personal pain.
Or something. I’ve seen multiple descriptions of this film, and none of them make any sense. Much like his last film, The Tree of Life, the reviews have been mixed with some calling it a work of genius and other deriding it as pretentious garbage. Though I’ve only seen two of his films (Badlands and The Thin Red Line), I really rather like Malick. Those two films are quite wonderful and the rest of his films continue to be acclaimed and they’ve won lots of awards.
I really am rooting for this film and for Malick, though I'm not well versed enough to call myself a true fan. Knight of Cups is the sort of film I want to watch, I know I should watch, but its experimental nature (and that terrible, terrible title) have thus far kept me from it. I’d like to say now that it's out on Blu-ray I can watch it at my own pace in my own home, but I know I’ll keep putting it off for ages.
But I get geek cred for making it my pick of the week, right?
Also out this week that looks interesting:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2: The first Greek Wedding was a surprise hit. With a budget of roughly $5 million, it banked over $350 million at the box office. It was a a genuine phenomenon. Now, more than a decade after everybody completely forgot it existed in the first place, it gets a sequel no one was asking for.
The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses: In 2012, the BBC ran its first series of TV-movie versions of Shakespeare’s history plays with versions of Richard II; Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II; and Henry V. This week sees the release of the second cycle including all three Henry VI plays plus Richard III. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville, Michael Gambon, David Troughton, Judi Dench, and a host of others. That’s a feast for Shakespeare fans.
The Wave: Disaster movie from Norway. I’m fascinated with what some Scandinavian filmmakers can do with this genre.
Midnight Special: Spielbergian sci-fi thriller about a boy with special powers on the run from the government and a weird cult. It stars Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver. I hear good things.