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Author Topic: There Will Be Blood (2007)  (Read 58814 times)
PowerRR
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« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2008, 12:10:19 AM »

TB, you can tell your friend that he gave me my first boner of 2008.

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« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2008, 08:28:08 AM »

TB, you can tell your friend that he gave me my first boner of 2008.

LOL, no problem rrpower. This kid has great taste in film, and from what I know, he's very hard to give a film a 10. This film must be fantastic. There's been many reviews just like this I've seen all over the net from many critics. Why is this film on limited release damnit!?!?! I need to see it.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2008, 02:42:25 PM »

Hey, that review does what a positive review of a movie should do: makes me want to see the film.  Afro I'm also glad he mentioned the music; a review without such a mention is always incomplete.

Drawing the parallel with 2001 is an interesting idea, but he kind of spoils it with this: "The difference, is that the Monolith gave more life to humanity, thus creating more intelligence. Oil brings death, destruction, greed, and blood." Huh? As many have pointed out, the Monolith brings intelligence, and then the man-apes are able to use bone-tools to kill their enemies. Thus, the Monolith brings "death, destruction, greed, and blood." The parallel between 2001 and There Will Be Blood is actually stronger than the guy knows! He had an opportunity to ace this thesis, but faulted. You may want to pass this criticism on to him . . .

Anyway, I was vascillating about whether to see this or not (I'm not much of a PTA fan--well, Hard 8 was okay), but I'm sure gonna put this on my list now.

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« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2008, 08:44:25 PM »

Then again, maybe I won't.

Quote
JANUARY 2, 2008

ARMOND WHITE
A GUILT-SOAKED EPIC


There Will Be Blood
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson


“No!” is the first word spoken in There Will Be Blood, and it should be the last said in response to Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest pretend epic. That obstinate “No!” is Daniel Plainview’s refusal to accept the fate awaiting him when he falls on his back and breaks a leg in his California silver mine in 1898. “No!” startles our concentration on the mystery of who he is and what he’s doing. The lonely willfulness of an American pioneer is also the stubborn tenacity of a born isolate and naysayer.
As Daniel Day Lewis plays the part, Plainview is also a ferocious psychopath. His curious position as There Will Be Blood’s central character makes one recall the question Paul Newman asks in his soliloquy in Robert Altman’s Buffalo Bill and the Indians: “How come you took him to be a hero?”

The key problem of There Will Be Blood is that Anderson takes Plainview to be a hero—personifying everything that’s wrong in American character: greed, selfishness, stinginess and unchecked ambition. He’s a shock-and-awe hero who reduces all to shame. Mounting a large-scaled epic around such a characterization would be unthinkable before the 2000 presidential election unleashed the Left’s rage, and yet Altman-acolyte Anderson isn’t asking sympathy (like Altman did in his Richard Nixon movie, Secret Honor) because Blood is a guilt-soaked epic. Americans are meant to identify with Plainview for the worst aspects of themselves.

That makes the movie an oddball showcase for Day Lewis. His twisted charisma and commanding skill galvanize the 30-year plot developments and the parade of sketchy subordinate characters: a charlatan preacher, Eli (Paul Dano); an estranged brother (Kevin J. O’Connor) and a loyal but deaf adopted son (Russell Harvard). Plainview’s family-narrative tree suggests what Pauline Kael said about Days of Heaven: You can hang all your old metaphors on it. It’s never clear what Anderson intends these characters to mean—for Plainview or us. The movie’s interest lies simply in how Plainview reacts to them. Day Lewis digs deep into primordial madness—evoking Western culture’s most memorable freaks from Prospero to Captain Ahab to Gordon Gekko.

Plainview is the most remarkable movie performance since Eddie Murphy’s Norbit trifecta. One must recognize that Day Lewis’ is also a postmodern comic turn. He gives Plainview the insinuating growl of John Huston’s Noah Cross in Chinatown—a Biblical allusion already tied to both Hollywood dynastic history and the corrupt pioneer spirit. And because Anderson anxiously pitches himself into American cinema tradition, Day Lewis’ flinty characterization resembles the same obdurate old man that Jason Robards Jr. etched so magnificently in Anderson’s overweening Magnolia—only Day-Lewis has two and a half hours to do it. A thousand times better than his Gangs of New York butcher, he keeps coming up with actorly surprises from his own British theatrical tradition. The way Plainview shames his son by calling him an “Oooorphan” combines cruelty and self-dramatization in a way that recalls the hammy grandeur of Olivier and Charles Laughton at their best.

There may be no contemporary director more self-dramatizing than Paul Thomas Anderson, always attempting a true epic and this time coming close. But Blood is an insipid epic. Anderson adapts Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil, partly in response to the blood-for-oil arguments about the Iraq War—as if going back to Sinclair’s fictionalized history of the U.S. oil industry explained anything about Americans’ dependence on energy and exploitation of their natural and spiritual resources. But Anderson’s argument isn’t muckraking or cogent. Plainview’s robber-baron immorality and atheism—the way he cheats a family out of its oil-rich land, his cut-throat competitiveness and inability to express love—do not represent the essence of American culture or industry. It’s just nihilistic reaching.

Ironically, Anderson enjoys unearned good will among today’s film nerds. Since the silly Boogie Nights sentimentalized the porn industry with a fake rubber penis, Anderson has been the small white hope for Gen-Xers wishing there was a Griffith, Stroheim, Ford, Wyler, Vidor or Stevens among them. It reveals the naive cynicism that infects today’s movie geeks. (Embarrassingly, There Will Be Blood won IndieWire’s online poll of real and wannabe critics yearning for a film that depicted America as land of the greedy and the home of the great Satan.) Yet, There Will Be Blood isn’t a unifying American epic like Giant or The Best Years of Our Lives; it’s the Worst Years of Our History, a post-Iraq War Termigant.
Anderson’s grandiose narrative gives the impression of depth when there’s only jumbled, surface breadth. It’s strange to watch a confidently-made film by a director who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Each dramatic segment is impressively paced—as if Anderson was showing Stevens how magnanimity ought to be done—but the result is piddling; inexpressive of universality. Have Anderson’s boosters noticed, there are virtually no women in this epic? No single contradiction to Plainview’s masculinist cruelty? None of the richness found in Gone With the Wind, Giant, The Sundowners, Sounder?
Yes, Blood has photographic detail. Cinematographer Robert Elswit records nature more tastefully than the great Roger Deakins’ show-offy work in the fake-epic Jesse James/Robert Ford, instilling genuine visionary heft. And Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood provides a wondrous emotive score, as eclectic as Carl Stalling and expressive as Max Steiner. Musical wit disguises the story’s incoherence—its meaningless siblings, silences and opportunistic sadism.

Yet, Anderson’s story becomes stupidly fashionable in its stacked contest of Plainview vs. Eli, capitalist ruthlessness vs. religious fanaticism. The shabby set-up of Plainview and Eli’s ultimate confrontation in a bowling alley is so confusing and slapdash that their symbolic clash—where one forces the other to confess his shallowness and deny his beliefs—comes across as just secular-progressive prejudice and loopy, unconvincing drama. Each man is a thesis position, not a character. Is There Will Be Blood an undeniable expose of American ruthlessness, or a formidable dramatization of the struggle between power and faith? No!

Volume 21, Issue 1

© 2008 New York Press

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« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2008, 09:42:15 PM »

See it jenkins! Look at rottentomatoes.com. The film is getting RAVE reviews left and right.

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« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2008, 09:43:34 PM »

sorry for being the village idiot here, but when is this thing coming out?

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« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2008, 09:50:19 PM »

sorry for being the village idiot here, but when is this thing coming out?

You're not an idiot. The film opened last weekend, but it's limited right now. Hopefully it gets a wide release soon which I'm most certain it will. It's getting OUTSTANDING reviews.

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« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2008, 10:33:56 PM »

Yea but so did "The Assassination of Jesse James...."  Cry

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« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2008, 08:21:15 AM »

Yea but so did "The Assassination of Jesse James...."  Cry

Exactly. I haven't seen that yet because of the limited release bullcrap! Thankfully it's being released on DVD soon.

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« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2008, 08:31:14 AM »

Exactly. I haven't seen that yet because of the limited release bullcrap! Thankfully it's being released on DVD soon.
Guess who's going to see it on silver screen by shall we say 80% chance.

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« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2008, 08:43:36 AM »

Guess who's going to see it on silver screen by shall we say 80% chance.

Your mom. You'll be in bed already.  Evil

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« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2008, 09:00:40 AM »

Your mom. You'll be in bed already.  Evil

hahahaha, poor moviesceleton. Well, his mother can tell him about it later on.

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« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2008, 09:23:10 AM »

Your mom. You'll be in bed already.  Evil
Yea, she promised to tell me how it ends, you know, whether Jesse James dies or not.

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« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2008, 10:46:07 AM »

Yea, she promised to tell me how it ends, you know, whether Jesse James dies or not.

Jesse James dies?!?!?! You bastard, thanks for spoiling it for me! Wink

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« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2008, 12:44:09 PM »

Guess who's going to see it on silver screen by shall we say 80% chance.

Me! Cheesy
I hope.

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