RE: There Will Be Blood (Full Version)

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Lydia_H -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 3:28:52 AM)

I was very, very underwhelmed with this. Perhaps my expectations were too high. But Anderson's direction seemed aimless and distant to me. Although he has the likes of Day-Lewis and Dano primed to deliver astounding performances too often he seems distracted away from them, but by what? They're always nothing more than promising, they scarcely get an opportunity to really deliver which is a terrible disappointment. I have no problem with Day-Lewis winning an Oscar for this, I just feel his performance is hamstrung. Maybe not strictly by Anderson because the script also seemed a bit weak to me, maybe the source material could shoulder some of the blame.

I didn't think it was a slow film, in fact it seemed surprisingly brief. Although obviously there were the makings of something really epic, it strikes me as very hasty and superficial filmmaking

6/10




Wilbert -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 9:52:59 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H

I was very, very underwhelmed with this. Perhaps my expectations were too high. But Anderson's direction seemed aimless and distant to me. Although he has the likes of Day-Lewis and Dano primed to deliver astounding performances too often he seems distracted away from them, but by what? They're always nothing more than promising, they scarcely get an opportunity to really deliver which is a terrible disappointment. I have no problem with Day-Lewis winning an Oscar for this, I just feel his performance is hamstrung. Maybe not strictly by Anderson because the script also seemed a bit weak to me, maybe the source material could shoulder some of the blame.

I didn't think it was a slow film, in fact it seemed surprisingly brief. Although obviously there were the makings of something really epic, it strikes me as very hasty and superficial filmmaking

6/10



Lydia, you could not be more wrong. Or vague. "His performance is hamstrung"? What does that even mean? I understand the individual words but what do you mean?

Also, the scene where Eli tries to humiliate Plainview by getting him to confess his sins to the congregation is "nothing more than promising"?

We really saw two different films it seems.

Hasty and superficial? You are just plain wrong here.

I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion but that doesn't mean that their opinion is right. You are in a tiny minority on this one, so I would suggest that the problems aren't necessarily with the film but with your very high expectations of it.




DAVID GILLESPIE -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 2:25:06 PM)

I don't often disagree with Lydia but I do on this one. If even a quarter of the tosh that I view on an unhealthy basis rated anywhere near this Anderson effort then I would be a happy man.
The withheld frustration and violence building inside of Plainview throughout the the first half of this epic was worth the admission money alone. Perhaps Anderson does dwell on location shots and long pauses a little too much at times, but I felt he painted a powerful image of how the strong overpowered and punished the weak in these bleak times.
Aforementioned scenes where Plainview in humiliated in front of the congregation and vice-versa were unforgetable.




Lydia_H -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 4:21:43 PM)

quote:


Lydia, you could not be more wrong. Or vague. "His performance is hamstrung"? What does that even mean? I understand the individual words but what do you mean?


Why not take exception to everything saying the same thing beforehand? Because just being pedantic and pretending to be confused is easier?

quote:

Also, the scene where Eli tries to humiliate Plainview by getting him to confess his sins to the congregation is "nothing more than promising"?


I don't think that was a scene to write home about, though Plainview delivers a really powerful note that is diffused once he starts his gibbering. Otherwise it breezes past like so many scenes in this film.

quote:

I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion but that doesn't mean that their opinion is right. You are in a tiny minority on this one, so I would suggest that the problems aren't necessarily with the film but with your very high expectations of it.


I don't really care if I'm in a minority, if you're going to start pointing to the films popularity as its quality then I won't have to say an awful lot against it. Just because the vast majority find something faultless it doesn't mean it has no faults. Often people are desperate to be in a majority and adopt whatever opinions they need to.

There are many films I had incredible expectations for that didn't let me down in the slightest. No Country for Old Men, for example.

quote:

Perhaps Anderson does dwell on location shots and long pauses a little too much at times, but I felt he painted a powerful image of how the strong overpowered and punished the weak in these bleak times.


I thought the weak were a pretty minor element of this film, only Eli offers them any kind of personality and of course his personality isn't exactly flattering. That role seemed to have more potential than Plainview, but I felt Eli was underused and, moreso than Day-Lewis, never allowed an opportunity to shine except for those sermons, which are good Oscar scenes but ultimately dissatisfying in creating a true character. Who knows, maybe this is something else that could be blamed on the source material.

The final scene might have been the exception, but that is let down by some embarrassing dialogue, plus the films has lost all momentum by then and the Plainview character is exhausted and tiresome, not the best foil for Dano.










Larry of Arabia -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 4:39:01 PM)

There Will Be Blood doesn't share much with it's source material, Oil! - the protagonists and plot of the two stories are different. The film is said to be 'loosely inspired' by the book, so I guess any criticisms of the film can only be levelled at the film itself.




doncopey1 -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 5:14:33 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H


I thought the weak were a pretty minor element of this film, only Eli offers them any kind of personality and of course his personality isn't exactly flattering. That role seemed to have more potential than Plainview, but I felt Eli was underused and, moreso than Day-Lewis, never allowed an opportunity to shine except for those sermons, which are good Oscar scenes but ultimately dissatisfying in creating a true character. Who knows, maybe this is something else that could be blamed on the source material.

The final scene might have been the exception, but that is let down by some embarrassing dialogue, plus the films has lost all momentum by then and the Plainview character is exhausted and tiresome, not the best foil for Dano.









    Day Lewis's performance is not meant to be put on the screen in order to have moments to shine just for your mere pleasure, what we do witness is a true character descending into madness which we see in the final quarter and to call it tiresome is folly because we get two sides of Plainview and the part you call tiresome is only given 15 or 20 minutes of screentime.
The final scene too possesses some real fine dialouge, slightly exaggerated from your point but again it reprsents the character brilliantly but ultimately its bloody good cinema. I mean i could easily point out Bardem's coin flipping speech as unrealistic tosh too but i won't because it works as it does in There Will Be Blood.





Lydia_H -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 5:41:06 PM)

quote:

Day Lewis's performance is not meant to be put on the screen in order to have moments to shine just for your mere pleasure,


Exactly, but his performance is made up of little moments, it's completely disjointed and so this transition into madness is cumbersome at best. I don't need a character to be entertaining and exciting for my appreciation before you start. 

quote:

The final scene too possesses some real fine dialouge, slightly exaggerated from your point but again it reprsents the character brilliantly but ultimately its bloody good cinema. I mean i could easily point out Bardem's coin flipping speech as unrealistic tosh too but i won't because it works as it does in There Will Be Blood.


It's not that it's unrealistic tosh, it is just precious little stands out in TWBB's script. It's definitely one of the weakest elements of the film, and even though for the most part the performances compensate there are still a lot of clangers throughout (Like when he's talking to Mary or slapping Eli around). As I said, I didn't find Plainview's transition into madness convincing at all, so when he does start gibbering and rambling the dialogue and subsequently performance becomes cringeworthy.






kingalan -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 6:26:38 PM)

Not much to say that hasn't already been said but thought it was absolutely sublime. Day Lewis's performance was beyond splendid and the tone was subtley disturbing; continuing to creep under my skin long after the credits had rolled. Easily the film of the year so far and should have walked away with Best Picture Oscar. As much as I liked No Country For Old Men, it was a crowdpleasing chase thriller compared to the slow-drip nuances on display in There Will Be Blood.

Lydia, I genuinely can't understand how anyone could have found Day Lewis's performance in this anything but exemplary.




Wilbert -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 6:51:50 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H


Why not take exception to everything saying the same thing beforehand? Because just being pedantic and pretending to be confused is easier?



I'm not trying to be pedantic or pretending to be confused and I am genuinely asking what you mean by saying his performance is "hamstrung".

To play you at your own game; is it easier to accuse someone of being pedantic and dismiss the question as less than genuine than it is to answer the question?

You say his performance is "hamstrung". By what/who? How does this manifest itself in his performance?

Of course a films popularity is not a hallmark of perfection, but when the praise for a movie is as strong as it is for this one, I find it bizarre that you dismiss it so lightly. I don't expect you to like it but to be so dismissive seems like you are striking a contrarian pose without any real reason.




Jim Fear -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 7:15:41 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H

...Plainview's transition into madness....


I think you're missing the point here. There is no transition, Plainview is mad (though psychopathic is probably a better word) from the start, its just that by the final scene his need to hide it has been removed.




Wilbert -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 7:19:05 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim Fear

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H

...Plainview's transition into madness....


I think you're missing the point here. There is no transition, Plainview is mad (though psychopathic is probably a better word) from the start, its just that by the final scene his need to hide it has been removed.



He's more of a sociopath than a psychopath, really. Although it is a very fine line![:D]




Jim Fear -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 7:30:50 PM)

I'll have to trust you on that. Anyway so long as we're not describing him in a way that suggests his behaviour is crazy and random I'm happy.




Lydia_H -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 7:33:47 PM)

quote:


You say his performance is "hamstrung". By what/who? How does this manifest itself in his performance?


Firstly by Anderson, whose direction seems quite nonchalant and uninvolved leading to a very fragmented film that struggles to maintain consistancy and mood, and secondly by a weak script. As a result Plainview's development as a character is always lurching forward too abruptly when clearly Day-Lewis was more than capable of smoothing it all out. As I've been saying.

I'm trying not to critisize Day-Lewis's actual performance as Plainview here. I just didn't think Anderson utilized the phenominal talents he had at his disposal (Dano as well).




moviemaniac2 -> There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 8:08:57 PM)

There Will Be Blood is a film of opposites - the wordless opening fifteen minutes vs. the deafening finale; the beautiful and quiet scenery vs. the dark and unsettling score by Jonny Greenwood; the expansive plains vs. the intimate, up close and personal story; Sunday' vs. Plainview.
The director is one of the greatest filmmakers that ever graced the screen.




captain jack harknes -> (2/3/2008 8:23:18 PM)

Wasn't overly impressed - it confused me that the same actor played both paul and eli, so much so that i thought he had split personality disorder or something - if there was any mention of them being identical twins I didn't get it until the afterbirth comment at the end. The soundtrack was very loud and intrusive in places and i expected the film to culminate in some big conclusion but this didn't really happen. Other than that Daniel Day Lewis was fantastic as always and I enjoyed seeing a film a bit different to everything else out there.




TheGodfather -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 9:50:55 PM)

So I finally saw it this afternoon. This is what I made of it:

There Will Be Blood
1 word is enough to describe this true piece of art: WOW!

Absolutely everything is correct here. The acting of Daniel Day-Lewis is totally brilliant. He doesn`t act, he is Daniel Plainview. Every second that he`s on the screen he gets your attention and is fascinating to watch.
The transformation that he goes trough during the film is fenomenal. The other parts, Paul Dano up front, are great.
The camera work and the cinematography are breathtaking. A couple of scenes are already classic and a true joy for the eye. The soundtrack is pretty surprising with the classical music in it but it works really good because of it. The brilliant combination of images and the classical music make it that in some scenes it isn`t a movie but that it looks more like an opera. Fantastic.

I didn`t think that it was too long either, like I read a few times before. It didn`t bore me for 1 seond. The 2,5 hours were over before I knew it.

As said before: this is not a film anymore. This is pure poetry, this is pure art.
You can see it more than once without a problem, it probably will only get better if you see it more often.
With There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson deserves a place among the world`s best filmmakers.
This is without a doubt the best film of the year and already a classic.

9,5/10




demoncleaner -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 10:20:30 PM)

We may always hear talk of the "Great American Novel" or the pursuit of the "American Dream".  But being a believer in the universiality of a good story I always wondered why the great novel had to be "American" or why the dream should be nationalised.  If you're like me and if you've seen There Will Be Blood you can stop wondering.  The reason is simply due to the fact that the themes of the nation are so clearly definable.  Money.  Family.  God.

This handy triptych isn't so much subject matter for PTA's fifth film - its pretty much the mission statement.  And in Daniel Plainview we're given someone who's a bit of a separatist, systematically divesting himself of the "Family" and "God" bits of the pie.  "Those, you can keep" he seems to say.  He's like the proverbs that warn how money and friends don't mix; oil and water; descriptive of the quick divorce that comes between a fool and his cash and a rueful lesson that blood is indeed thicker than water.  Plainview represents a theory that to survive the American Dream you have to pick only one prize from the 3 on offer.  And while the truth is, that family and God aren't mutually exclusive,  if the movie were to acknowledges that, it would be a different story entirely.  Instead, this is the story of a man who chooses money over everything else because Capital, he knows, bears no constituents in happiness.  So much so boo-hoo right?  Well no.  This is not a Tragedy.  Tragedy is where a character is introduced to his flaw.  (Try telling telling this motherfucker he's flawed and see how far you get!)  He is not Michael Corleone or Charles Foster Kane  who become acquainted with a few hubristic truths when it's too late.  Plainview is a man in full possession of his bastardliness from the off.  "Plainview" you see, isn't just a surname, it's a prognosis, and it's for the film's effect that we learn nothing of what spurred him in the first place.  Instead he is a frightening constant of a made-up mind and honest passages of paternal affection ultimately make him appear more mercurial than redeemable.

It this amoral defiance - it's denial of hubris at the end - that is it's bravura.  It may well be a fable calling for the vilification of its central character but for the time being you've got to admire its commitment to nihilism.  There Will Be Blood is biblical and Godless at the same time.  It's the story of Job if Job was an atheist.  It's a film that shouldn't work, it should be too ambitious - too oblique.  It's neither.  It is fucking brilliant.

Anderson has crafted a piece that is beautiful but hardly "poetic".  It is to its credit that his movie is unrhetorical for instance.  If anything, it is dread specific and Bergman would have killed for its acuity with verbal confrontation.    This is not some windswept, navel-gazing pap like the Jesse James film.  It is not a "mood piece" (often a euphemism for "inarticulate").  It knows the difference between projecting cinematic unpleasantness and projecting the less interesting unpleasantness of venal whingeing gits.  Nor does it serve up something non-commital that at best makes the audience feel "slightly awkward" and then dares to call this "drama".  It credits audience intelligence by acknowledging that if you are going to propose a seething antipathy between two characters for two and a half hours it might be nice to have said characters strap on a pair and fucking go at it for the final scene!

And this is what Anderson does for us in the double-header of his last two sequences.  The scene between Plainview and grown-up son is particulary telling.  This is where he spurns the opportunity to be at least passive aggressive.  Here was his opportunity to be self-serving, to complain of the sacrifice it took in adopting the boy.  Instead he elects to tell something of an evil lie concerning his business motives for the adoption.  This is the script taking the passive out of "passive agressive".  Truly a film like no other - this sick bastard left the cinema beaming at it's beauty and cruelty, but mostly at its bravery.  It's so good they should give it another run at the Oscars next year.

5/5




Jim Fear -> RE: There Will Be Blood (2/3/2008 11:08:28 PM)

Best review in the thread. Bloody good show.




DAVID GILLESPIE -> RE: There Will Be Blood (3/3/2008 12:30:09 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lydia_H

quote:

Perhaps Anderson does dwell on location shots and long pauses a little too much at times, but I felt he painted a powerful image of how the strong overpowered and punished the weak in these bleak times.


I thought the weak were a pretty minor element of this film, only Eli offers them any kind of personality and of course his personality isn't exactly flattering. That role seemed to have more potential than Plainview, but I felt Eli was underused and, moreso than Day-Lewis, never allowed an opportunity to shine except for those sermons, which are good Oscar scenes but ultimately dissatisfying in creating a true character. Who knows, maybe this is something else that could be blamed on the source material.


I don't considered Eli to be one of the weak in the film. He certainly has an domineering influence on the rest of the villagers, probably, moreso than Plainview.  Eli also resents the weakness in character his father has shown when giving up his land to Plainview.
Eli possesses all the corrupt characteristics, that the power hungry possess.









The REAL Bozz -> RE: There Will Be Blood (4/3/2008 11:50:25 AM)

I'm going to see it this afternoon. I'll put a review up here this evening and I WILL BE THE DECIDER OF THIS FILM'S quality. Nah, but I do hope it's good!




Breakneck -> RE: There Will Be Blood (4/3/2008 5:34:05 PM)

SPOILERS !!!

Lydia H, I know where you're coming from and although I'd ultimately disagree with you I'll explain why i understand. First off, let me say that I thought the film was two parts brilliant, and one part arse. Very self-indulgant, it's hard to classify it as a masterpiece as so many have. It is a very good, very unusually paced and shot film with a sometimes strong, and sometimes very cliched script ( i found resorting to the introduction of a "brother" mid-way tedious, extranious, and hammering the point home too unsubtly ) and excellent acting from all.

With regard the shooting style - Anderson is a very unique film-maker, with a very melodious and meticulous style. I found his ability - in Punch Drunk Love - to shoot a film as though from the point of view of it's lead character, ie someone with Asberger's syndrom - or something similar - both fascinating, and horribly irritating, ultimately to the detriment of my enjoyment of the piece. The distancing that you refer to, I think is quite deliberate - he distances both himself, and the audience from Plainview at very specific moments - such as the return of his son. He does not allow us to enjoy his company, or take part in whatever humanity he possesses. The only time in that scene that we are close-up is when his son slaps him. We are close to the boy, we want to see him attack his father for doing this to him. The film is filled with such moments, distancing us from him and then bringing us leeringly close to his madness.

The acting itself worked for me - Day Lewis' rants were very purposeful, his single-minded dogedness at the beginning leading to his horribly focussed madness and loathing at the end. The scene with Eli beating him, extracting his confession worked because each character turned their intentions on their heads. This is a repeating motif in this film. That Day Lewis is a standout doesn't surprise and yes i wonder if the film would play as well without him. However, it has him and I'm grateful. That he overpowers everyone else on screen is the point of his character, ultimately he is of such strong personality that he wins people over, and ultimately bullies them. We're never meant to like him, we're simply going with him as he decends into hatred and madness.




homersimpson_esq -> RE: There Will Be Blood (4/3/2008 8:12:24 PM)

There Will Be Blood

Every once in a while, a film comes along that defies categorisation, expectation, and belief. A film that so captivates you, takes you up and carries you along, that when it lets you go at the end, you are breathless with excitement and spend the entire closing credits transfixed, with a huge grin on your face. Not because of the subject matter, but because what you have just watched is so special that you feel privileged to have witnessed it. Needless to say, There Will Be Blood, is - for me - one of these few special films. I have raved about numerous films this year, but none has so thrilled me like this film.

From the opening dissonance, we are distinctly aware of the soundtrack: it is a character in its own right, and plays a significant role in the overal emotional impact of the film. Twenty minutes or so of wordless scenes introduce us to the tirelessly ambitious Daniel Plainview. Hacking away at a silver mine, he is wounded but continues regardless. Some years later we find him now at an oil derrick, striking his first oil. It is a significant scene as it places him with the orphaned young baby of his associate - I don't think anyone would confuse this man with Plainview's friend. The next temporal jump takes us to where the majority of the film takes place, when H.W., Plainview's adopted son (although almost never mentioned as such) is now 9 or 10 and forms for Plainview a family package that he exploits as far as he can for his own monetary gain.

Plainview is a name that is both spot on, and ironic. He suggests to the people whose land he wishes to buy that he is plain-speaking; an honest, family man, with their best interests at heart. Behind those baleful, dead eyes however, he is far from in plain view. Not until the end do we see the true Plainview. Alongside Plainview is Eli Sunday. Played wonderfully by Paul Dano, Eli is everything that Plainview hates (which, to be fair, is quite a lot). He is the religious symbol to Plainview's symbol of ambition. Three fluids that mix uneasily permeate this film. Oil, water, and blood.

Taking each individually: Oil runs most obviously through this film. It is what brings the characters together and fuels, quite literally, the cataclysmic battles between Plainview and Sunday. Plainview's associate 'anoints' his son, H.W. with oil in an early scene - a significant proleptic image of H.W.'s adopted father's baptism. Later, Plainview tussles with Sunday, forcing oil into his face in a fit of purest anger, and a rare slip of Plainview's mask (a mask that is removed completely by the end). Oil is what permanently damages H.W.'s hearing, and what drives him and Plainview apart. Finally, it is what Henry, Plainview's 'brother' is buried in.

Water, or specifically holy water, forms the religious aspect of the film. Eli's church, which never receives the 5,000 owed to it, baptises with holy water. It is what irrigates the land and creates a viable community. It bonds together the community through the church, and increases Sunday's power within the community, much to Plainview's disgust. Significantly, it is what Plainview himself is baptised in in one of the film's most powerful scenes.

Finally, blood, or familial connnections are particularly significant within the film. Plainview's only family connections - his 'son' H'W', and his 'brother' Henry - prove false: neither are connected by blood. Plainview is at his most vulnerable with these 'family' members. His thoughts are divided at the most significant time, between the wounded H.W., and the gushing oil derrick. He speaks most openly with Henry about his hatred and loathing for most people, and his desire to be away from everyone. At his most vulnerable during his baptism, he even says he wants to 'get away', not only from the act, but from people in general. Blood, or the thought of a blood connection is Plainview's weakpoint, and having had two family relationships prove false, he then retreats to his own world, as seen at the close of the film.

Plainview is at the end, and throughout the film, a sociopath. He hates everyone, only wishing to further his empire. His relationships turn sour, his friendships meaningless. By the end, he is reduced to a shadow of his former self, living alone in a huge mansion, full of things to do with others, but unused. A bowling alley looks unused, but for Plainview's odd eating habits. His only companion is a butler. The ending of the film is as perfect as it deserves to be. The previous scene with Plainview forcing Sunday into the oil pool is an indicator of what is to come. The mask now completely removed, Plainview is finally in plain view, and we see the hideous monster that previously only hid behind the eyes.

This is without question the finest film this year. Possibly of the last few years. Others have criticised it, but I hope I have answered some of those criticisms. As for my usual 'Overall', there is no need as for The Acting, The Look, The Sound, The Story, and the Success of Intent, they are all 10/10, and so the overall score is:

100%




The REAL Bozz -> RE: There Will Be Blood (4/3/2008 10:19:06 PM)

This was a brilliant film. To be honest I thought that, although I love Anderson, I'd be bored to tears. I'd heard the running time was long and the subject matter was not my idea of a great story but was I ever wrong. Great performences all around. I don't know who the actor was who played the kid but he was a great little talent and really highlighted how the like's of Watson and Radclife are glorified leads in the school play in terms of talent. Day Lewis I hear came under some critisisim for over acting, I don't agree. He really is a tremendous talent and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to acting. I have to ask was I alone in feeling like I was watching a Final Destination film where some of the death scenes are concerned. I won't spoil anything but those of you who have seen the film will surely know the scenes I mean. Finally the final meeting bewteen Plainview and his son was heartbreaking and I hope he never meant what he said to him. Amazing film.




brokenking -> A geninue masterpiece (4/3/2008 10:38:09 PM)

I don't think is film is in anyway a difficult viewing experience. Every element of the this film fits perfectly, if there are any flaws and I'm wary of calling them that, its the the church sermons because I found those so comedical. But this too worked in the films favour as it showed who Daniel Plainviews had to deal with in his quest.




homersimpson_esq -> RE: A geninue masterpiece (4/3/2008 10:51:30 PM)

I do have one question: Does anyone have any idea - any lip-readers among us perhaps - what Plainview says to HW after HW is deafened, and the sound is faded out so we can't hear what he says?




lipton village -> Classic (5/3/2008 1:44:56 AM)

This is the real classic of 2008. Enjoyed ' no country for old men' but it's not for me the classic people are calling it. It's an intense experience watching this movie. Darkly black humour exploring the dark corners of the human pyche. A great movie,brillantly directed. This is the film that should have got the best picture award, that's my opinion. A masterpiece that will be seen as the one that got away at the 2008 oscars, in the years to come. As for Day Lewis. Fantastic, should have got it for Bill the butcher in gangs of NY as well. It's different, it's squirky, it's excellent.




nc_jj -> (5/3/2008 4:39:54 AM)

sublime




nc_jj -> (5/3/2008 4:39:58 AM)

sublime




MartinBlank76 -> RE: There Will Be Blood (5/3/2008 8:21:01 AM)

I dont know if it says more about the quality of the films that I have seen so far this year in the cinema that this is only the sixth best for me or the fact that though I adore PTA and was ready to adore this I just feel it fell short and was a very good but not great film.

The main problem for me is that the story and the characters though always interesting and involving never really meant that much to me. I didnt overly care what happened to any of them and so therefore I felt detached, like I was viewing this from afar with a grudging respect and admiration but not love.

I can see the Kubrick links (especially with Jonny Greenwoods mesmerising score which at times reminded me a lot of The Shining) and I have loved Kubrick since I was a nipper and this is definitely the best impersonation of him I have seen anyone do, though thats not meant to be disrespectful to Anderson who is a wonderful filmmaker in his own right.

I just felt an overall feeling of satisfaction but nothing more, a feeling that I had watched something that been constructed by the head and not the heart.

As for the acting, for me Day-Lewis was memorable and gave a towering performance but it contained no surprises for me. It was exactly like what I thought he would do. Solid, excellent work that ticked all the boxes but left me with the feeling of, 'Its another grandstanding day lewis role'. With the fact that other than Dano no one else is given much of character to work with in the film (Ciaran Hinds was totally wasted) it did feel like the Daniel Day Lewis show. Nothing wrong with that you might say but I would have preferred the film to have made more of his conflict with the sublime Paul Dano who for me with his performance and character was the stand out aspect of the film.

I am looking forward to watching this again and hopefully it will be a film that will improve with repeated watches as I am still digesting it today as I write this and will continue to do so while I pretend to work today. I just hoped for that little bit more that would have made it the classic I so hoped it would be. Dont wait another 5 years to follow it up Paul!

7.8/10




Lydia_H -> RE: There Will Be Blood (6/3/2008 1:59:21 AM)

quote:


 ( i found resorting to the introduction of a "brother" mid-way tedious, extranious, and hammering the point home too unsubtly )


I agree with that, this was maybe the weakest element of the film and script.

quote:

With regard the shooting style - Anderson is a very unique film-maker, with a very melodious and meticulous style. I found his ability - in Punch Drunk Love - to shoot a film as though from the point of view of it's lead character, ie someone with Asberger's syndrom - or something similar - both fascinating, and horribly irritating, ultimately to the detriment of my enjoyment of the piece. The distancing that you refer to, I think is quite deliberate - he distances both himself, and the audience from Plainview at very specific moments - such as the return of his son. He does not allow us to enjoy his company, or take part in whatever humanity he possesses. The only time in that scene that we are close-up is when his son slaps him. We are close to the boy, we want to see him attack his father for doing this to him. The film is filled with such moments, distancing us from him and then bringing us leeringly close to his madness.


I've been pretty indifferent to Anderson so maybe I'm not too familiar with his style. I did think he had his weaknesses though, Boogie Nights for example suffers from similar problems to TWBB - weak direction. Haven't seen Punch Drunk Love and I can't remember much of Magnolia ...

Plainview may as well have been a quirky supporting character to a generic narrator, kind of like Bill Cutting to Amsterdam in Gangs of New York. Attention is always needlessly drifting away from him. So maybe it is deliberate and Anderson doesn't want us close to Plainview at times, but this is only damaging to the film imo. It never seems like a intimate, laboured or consistant performance from Day-Lewis because he is only allowed to perform in dribs and drabs.

Thinking about it, Plainview wasn't really that much of a progression from Cutting.




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