155 - Badlands - 3 stars
I know that Tarantino gets accused of stealing from films all the time, but there probably isn't a stronger case for this than with Badlands.
I just watched it for the first time and was immediately struck by the huge amount of similarities, no more so than the fact that True Romance used the central theme music from this film, and Patricia Arquette mimicked Sissy Spacek's southern drawl voiceover.
Elements from this and Bonnie and Clyde filter through to both True Romance and Natural Born Killers, in that the central couple are young, in love and they kill people... well Martin Sheen does, a lot. Who knew President Bartlett could be so cruel?
Sheen does his best to channel James Dean in his performance but never truly shows the kind of charasmatic personality that could bewitch a young girl to stay with him through all these murders until the final scenes where he befriends the very cops who have hunted and arrested him, seemingly enjoying the celebrity status of the case.
Unlike a film like Natural Born Killers, it does not focus at all on the media coverage of the two or on the police force that is tracking them.
This is all about two people in love, beautifully captured by Terrence Malick with a beguiling voiceover from Carrie herself.
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