Knight of Cups – 1 star
A pointless, narrativeless, droning visual feast. Terrence Malick’s internal monologues were sometimes overwrought and brazenly lyrical in The Thin Red Line and The New World but at least those films were, respectively, a World War II drama and a historical venture into the unknown, where the inner thoughts of men in and at the edge of peril could naturally meander through subjects such as longing, love, fear, madness and the utter beauty and danger of their foreign surroundings. Knight of Cups is about a wayward Hollywood screenwriter (Christian Bale) who floats through the LA scene (mainly, the beach, parties, photo shoots, piers, hotel rooms populated by various attractive women, inexplicable rooftops, and the dreaded blue lit strip joint), a chic but shabby male model zombie. His inner monologue – heavy musings about lost family, his quest, his ruined life, and a lot of stuff that simply makes no sense whatsoever – rarely rises above the banalities of a Calvin Klein Obsession commercial. The inner monologues of other characters – his father (Brian Dennehy), a party host (Antonio Banderas), a former wife (Cate Blanchette), various lovers – are no more compelling. Vapid and self indulgent, though pretty and populated by stars eager to be part of Malick’s experiment.