As a film that is essentially about the entirety of existence on Earth, Terrence Malick’s 2011 drama The Tree Of Life is a lot to take in. It has family stuff with Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt, it has melancholic stuff with Sean Penn as their son a few decades later, and it has wild 2001-style imagery about the birth of the universe, and now Criterion has released a special-edition Blu-ray that is nearly an hour longer than the theatrical version. This comes from Indie Wire, which says Malick decided to put together this longer cut because he wanted to keep the “creative process” going, not because he felt that the studio had forced him to cut anything crucial the first time around. In fact, Indie Wire says the new scenes are literally new scenes, not old material that was originally cut.
As for what happens in the additional 49 minutes, Indie Wire has a breakdown of the biggest changes. They mostly involve the sequences with Pitt and Chastain, introducing some new family members and adding new insights into the movie’s themes, but all we want to know is if this cut has more dinosaurs. The theatrical cut was disappointingly light on dinosaurs, featuring just one scene where a dino chooses not to kill another dino, but the whole movie would’ve been better with some regular interludes about what the dinosaurs were up to. Hell, maybe Malick should’ve moved the whole plot to some kind of dinosaur theme park? Now that sounds like a movie.
You can see a trailer for Criterion’s cut at this link.