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The Grand Visual Majesty Of Terrence Malick's 'To The Wonder' Is Going VOD On April 12th When It Hits Theaters

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 27, 2013 5:24 PM
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To The Wonder

Toldja? When Magnolia Pictures picked up Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder" last fall, we openly wondered if that meant that the filmmaker's latest effort was going to end up mostly being an option on your TV screen rather than at your local arthouse, and it worries us to say, that may be the case.

While an April 12th release date has always been scheduled for the film, today brings with it news that the release will be accompanied by a day and date VOD bow as well. While the film itself may not be receiving the same unanimous praise as "The Tree Of Life," no matter what you think of Malick's latest ode to love and faith and loss, it looks pretty damn spectacular, and so it's kind of a bummer that for many (most?) people experiencing the film for the first time, it will be on a TV. Granted, you might have the most pimped out home theater system ever, but there is something special about seeing Malick's film in a cinema and just letting it wash over you, free from any distractions.

That said, the VOD approach does ensure that it reaches a wide audience pretty much right away, and one should also remember that at its peak, "The Tree Of Life" was only on 233 screens. By comparison, Magnolia ensured Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" hit 145 screens during its run (though it was on VOD first, before hitting cinemas). So, thoughts? Opinions? Are you going to zap "To The Wonder" right away in April, or cross your fingers that it will eventually make it to your town? [Thompson On Hollywood]

To The Wonder
To The Wonder Javier Bardem
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  • dfw | March 28, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    I'll certainly make an effort to see this in a theater as I have for every Malick film since Thin Red Line but I'm envious that this writer's experience seeing a Malick film "free from any distractions". Whether seeing his films in a multiplex or an art-house, every goddamn experience has been nearly ruined by restless, fidgeting audience members. I saw Tree of Life on opening weekend and there were several people checking their phones or audibly complaining about the film the moment it ended. It will be nice to see it in a theater and then immediately be able to revisit it at home, quiet and free from glowing iPhone screens.

  • Glass | March 28, 2013 6:42 AMReply

    Not mad at this... Watching movies like Birth/The American/Eyes Wide Shut on the iPad with Beats headphones is the most intimate viewing experience I've ever had. There are a lot of movies I purposely wait for on video so I can watch it like that.

  • Paul | March 30, 2013 8:13 PM

    I agree. Theaters are very overrated. The big projection screen is only one aspect of the movie watching experience and you're really rolling the dice on a lot of other factors at the cinema that could very quickly ruin your experience. Home viewing really is the way to go if you want an intimate and undisturbed experience.

  • Jeff | March 27, 2013 10:34 PMReply

    It's not a big deal. Von Trier's spectacular Melancholia was released by Magnolia the same way, and all of IFC's releases the past few years have been released on VOD day and date with theatrical too. The two can coexist peacefully. Of course anyone who has the opportunity should watch a Malick film on the largest screen possible.

  • yer | March 27, 2013 7:03 PMReply

    A filmmaker like Malick reduced to VOD? What a joke.

  • hank | March 27, 2013 7:26 PM

    get used to it, soon it will be the only way to see new films now that most cinemas looks no better than a blu ray on a plasma television.

  • anonymouse | March 27, 2013 5:53 PMReply

    i wonder how this bodes for the next couple of malick films: knight of cups and the film previously known as lawless (fpkal?). apparently, these two were also shot without screenplays and are similar in style with focus not on dialogue but on beautiful cinematography and v/o work. however, the forthcoming pair are more talent heavy and that may result in a larger release.

  • Anonymouse | March 27, 2013 8:31 PM

    @john according to a recent gosling interview i read earlier today (i believe on this site), the film previously known as Lawless had no screenplay.

  • CARY | March 27, 2013 7:25 PM

    On paper, the (original) cast of To the Wonder is as starry as the other two upcoming Malick movies.

  • John | March 27, 2013 6:50 PM

    Huh? They were shot with screenplays.

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