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» One Touch Football - Archive » Film » There Will Be Blood - New PTA (Page 2)

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Author Topic: There Will Be Blood - New PTA
goldstone97
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The LA Weekly thinks it might be half-decent, too:

quote:
As for There Will Be Blood, about which you will be reading much more in the pages of the Weekly over the coming weeks, I will say only this: There are great films (like No Country For Old Men) and then there are films that send shock waves through the very landscape of cinema, that instantly stake a claim on a place in the canon. Often, such vanguard works fail to be fully understood or appreciated at the moment they first appear, as some of the initial reviews that greeted Psycho, 2001 and Bonnie and Clyde attest. There Will Be Blood belongs in their company, and I consider myself fortunate to belong to a group with the foresight to recognize it in its own moment.

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Reed
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"There Will Be Blood belongs in their company, and I consider myself fortunate to belong to a group with the foresight to recognize it in its own moment."

That's the most self-important comment I've ever read in a critic's review. And that's saying something.


I saw it yesterday.

I wasn't super-impresed. It's a very good film, but I don't think it lived up to the critical acclaim. I give it ***1/2

Spoiler******

I was expecting the story to portray a descent into madness driven by greed and I expected us to tell me something about America or greed or American greed in the tradition of Godfather II or Citizen Kane, but I didn't get that.

I didn't get a feeling of a descent or much of character arc at all until the very, very end, but at that point the film has skipped over 16 years, so it's very abrupt and not so much of an arc as a we-saw-it-coming-all-the-way twist. The Daniel Plainview character is a whackjob in the beginning and a whackjob in the end. The only difference is that he lets his thin disguise go at the very end.

And for a film that is nearly 3 hours long, there's not nearly enough development of the characters other than Plainview. The Eli Sunday character seems incompletely drawn somehow. The story seems to be juxtaposing his lust for power (albeit of a different kind) against Plainview's ambitions. But this could have been drawn out better.

And the very end of the film felt trite.

And the strange cacophanous music struck me as pretentious and trying too hard. I found it distracting. I guess the idea was to give the audience a headache, but I'm not sure why. Total silence with nothing but the sound of the wind through the dirt would have communicated the atmosphere better, I think.

But the performances are very good. Daniel Day Lewis' character is a bit over-the-top, but he handles it with pretty good restraint for the most part. The design and lighting, etc, do a great job of drawing the audience into a that world of dust, wood and iron.

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Joe Public
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quote:
..do a great job of drawing the audience into a that world of dust, wood and iron.
Good times!
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Reed
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This review explains what I thought of it better than I did.

http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/review/2007/12/26/blood/index1.html

But it's clearly a minority view. Most critics think it's the greatest thing since...the last thing they all thought was really great.

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garcia en dolor
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i agree with reed that the movie was underwhelming despite a genius performance by day-lewis.

**************
***spoilers***
**************

i didn't like the long wordless beginning with the straining sweating day-lewis down a hole hacking his living out of the bowels of the earth. at first i watched calmly savouring the sounds and photography. then i was thinking yeah, OK OK, mining is brutal and dangerous. daniel plainview has to work really hard at the start. OK OK, plainview is almost psychotically driven and will endure any pain to get what he wants. i get the fucking point. i told my girlfriend that the reason this movie was so hyped was that no words were used in the entire nearly-3 hour length and it was considered a revolution in storytelling - her horror kept me amused until people started talking and things started to move.

day-lewis is an incredible actor. i've never seen anyone exude silent yet totally deranged menace like DD-L. i loved the hysterical church scenes with eli. but... i don't see why there's so much excitement about the movie. it's a decent movie about obsession. it doesn't even have all that much to say about that (people sometimes sacrifice everything to their obsessions and become twisted), it's not about much else and it's not one of the best movies i've seen.

there were plot elements i didn't get. what was going on with paul and eli? are they meant to be the same person, or twins? i had assumed it was a trick by eli and they were the one guy, then there was that scene with eli attacking his father, talking about the stupid son, which just left me puzzled. where's paul supposed to have gone? why make them twins when it only confuses the issue?

also, it seemed the only possible reason why plainview decided not to buy the strip of land from mr bandy at the same time that he bought all the rest of the land in the place was to make possible his future humiliation at the hands of his enemies for the sake of plot development.

i thought the drama sagged a bit. all the characters except eli and plainview are ciphers. the "brother" is the only one who has more than a few lines and he's plainly dodgy from the outset (odd that the super-paranoid plainview is the only person who can't see it). yet eli and plainview are not especially interesting either. as reed says, plainview is a whackjob at the beginning and at the end, likewise eli is a slimeball at the beginning and at the end. both actors give good performances, but i was thinking... who cares.

i'd say it's a good movie, not a great movie.

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Mark Felt
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How'd you see this Garcia, is it out at home?
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Reed
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quote:
there were plot elements i didn't get. what was going on with paul and eli? are they meant to be the same person, or twins? i had assumed it was a trick by eli and they were the one guy, then there was that scene with eli attacking his father, talking about the stupid son, which just left me puzzled. where's paul supposed to have gone? why make them twins when it only confuses the issue?
That made no sense to me either and the film seems to be deliberately obfuscating that for no apparent reason.

quote:
also, it seemed the only possible reason why plainview decided not to buy the strip of land from mr bandy at the same time that he bought all the rest of the land in the place was to make possible his future humiliation at the hands of his enemies for the sake of plot development.
I hadn't thought of it exactly that way, but I did think all of that seemed a bit odd. Early in the film, Plainview says that he won't go out to talk to Mr. Bandy right away but that "he'll come around." It doesn't make a lot of sense that he wouldn't talk to the guy. How does he expect him to "come around" if he won't even give the man the time of day? Any decent businessman would at least make some effort, especially a guy like Plainview who makes such a show of demonstrating that he's a hands-on family-oriented sort of oilman.

And then he just forgets that he doesn't own that piece of land for a few more years until he wants to build a pipeline? That doesn't make sense. The pipeline was part of the plan from the beginning. He discussed it with his son while they were quail hunting on the Sunday Ranch. It's implausible (yes, I know it's fiction, but I mean the character) that Plainview would just randomly forget an important detail about his business like that.

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garcia en dolor
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MF: i downloaded it.
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Hieronymus Bosch
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Were you watching one of those bootlegs where someone in the audience has a camera in their coat and people keep walking across the screen on their way to get more popcorn/go to the jacks?
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garcia en dolor
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no, i waited for a dvd screener version.
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Hieronymus Bosch
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I couldn't find one the other day. Do you still have the link?
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goldstone97
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Reed, garcia and the Salon reviewer have all hit the nail on the head. Saw it yesterday, and as well-made as it is, it just seemed vacant to me. I'm baffled by the reviews like the one I started this page quoting.

I didn't find the Eli character convincing or interesting particularly, and as for Plainview -- as powerful as the acting was -- I just kept thinking: so what? Why should I care?

I couldn't even tell if the final scene was being played for comedy or not, but it was laughable.

The soundtrack was technically decent, but just didn't fit in the way it was used over and over again.

So many things jarred in this movie: I never settled into it at all, and was glad when it was over.

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gt3
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I went to see this last night. Thought the soundtrack was especially good. I was wary about going to see it ever since DDL did that Bill The Butcher stuff. Really awful over the top hokum. However, I thought he was the best thing about this movie, but ultimately I came away admiring it rather than thinking it was great.

It doesn't ultimately have alot to say that hasn't already been said.

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ian .64
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I was impressed by it as a solid, well-made piece of work, technically, in all departments. Good score, photography and art direction.

I know it was easy to look at Day-Lewis's performance and comment on it as either being hammy or overdone, but I thought he was terrific. It's a long movie and Day-Lewis was the key to it being worth the haul - I don't think that it would've been as compelling if another actor without his commitment was at the centre of it. Did he deserve his Oscar? Well, I think so - argue the toss whether he was as hammy as a delicatessen stand, or chewed the scenery so much he was picking dried wood out of his teeth, he carried it by the force of performance. He was gigantic. He should've been a goalie. But then, the film sort of suffered by having a minimum of characters. There wasn't the life that having a much fuller cast would've given it (perhaps it would've spoiled it, who knows), and sometimes the viewer doesn't feel so stifled by having a cast that fleshes things out and having emotions bounce off of each other. When you consider Anderson's prevous movies were huge, impressive ensembles, it's as if he decided to go into the other direction and have just a handful.

I acknowledge the flaws of it. It seemed too lean a story. Inconclusive. Meandering.

Yet, I can't complain about the craft in which it was done. It was superb. There are times when I put the story aside and simply revel in the world that's there on screen. It was almost a tangible experience - the noise, the dust, the feel of it was wonderfully conveyed.

That said, if you like having your hearing damaged, go to Fiveways Cinema in Broad Street, where your ears will be pummelled with FUCKING LOUD NOISE. Gunshots sound like car crashes.

In summary: good stuff, well made and acted, but I wouldn't be eager to go and see it again, no matter how immaculate the production.

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Max Payne.
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quote:
I liked Punch Drunk Love the best thing Adam Sandler's ever done.
Little Nicky. Punch Drunk Love was a sleeper.
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