Well let’s see here. Should I make a facile attempt to appear fair and just? This is a poem/movie, a Malick auteur project. Seat belts on.
My first description of Knight of Cups was to be: Post-Modern Vomitorium.
Have I been dropped in Grumpyville, or was it truly the movie’s shortcomings?
That Stanley Kubrick quote continued to haunt me as I sat wondering, for two-thirds of this film, if Kubrick might have actually liked it. Here’s the quote:
“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”
I’m guessing he’d have half liked it but in the end found it repetitive and pointless, as I did.
In retrospect, Knight of Cups wasn’t even good music. The heavily stylized camera caught my eye. It’s all shot on about an 8-10mm super wide lens, constantly moving and distorting the world. Heavy stylization. Emmanuel Lubezki shot it, but what is it?
After half an hour it gets old, and the same look bogs this thing down. There are so many extraneous shots, with pretentious voice overs attempting to hold this thing together, that you may find yourself shouting at the ceiling. Yes, pretentious and pointless.
What’s unforgivable is that there are only about 4 minutes of story and seventeen hours of fucking footage!
The Logorama solution is the only solution when confronted by Knight of Cups. Logorama is an Academy Award winning animated short film where — SPOILER ALERT — Southern California falls into the Pacific Ocean. Yes. Take it out. All of those people and everyone concerned. Into the sea.
Didn’t think I could despise Christian Bale more after he peddled torture and mass surveillance in a bat mask. But I was wrong. His spoiled, mindless blank state character does absolutely nothing the entire movie, says nothing, cares about nothing except that he occasionally jumps around a room or a beach with a beautiful actress or three.
Terence Malick has flown over to Locoville. He’s now a proponent of Madman Cinema, farting out his personal psychological problems as if that guaranteed a movie plot. They shot with no script. Mad cinema could be brilliant, or it could be horrible.