There Will Be Blood (SPOILERS!)

New movies! Old movies! B-movies! Discuss discuss discuss!!!

The black blood of the earth?!?

10
22
39%
9
14
25%
8
7
13%
7
6
11%
6
0
No votes
5
3
5%
if you rate it lower than 5, you suck!
4
7%
 
Total votes : 56

Postby stereosforgeeks on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:45 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:
Ribbons wrote:NEW PREVIEW


Holy shit! That score!

I am so excited for this flick it isn't even funny.


It's my most anticipated flick for sure!
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:30 am

I've watched that trailer a few times now, and I think it's the best one yet ( partly thanks to Greenwood's score... that was his score, wasn't it? )... it combined the best elements from the two trailers we've already seen.

I didn't think the "speech" from the first trailer could be made any better, but watching Day-Lewis saying it within the context of the film, plus the added touch at the end, wow. Another layer added to an already nuanced piece of text.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:18 pm

any (other... :wink: ) SF, Oakland, East Bay Zoners want to meet up at The Castro Theatre tonight for a screening of THERE WILL BE BLOOD?

$9.00 admission and $10.00 at the door for some charity thing-y.

I believe tickets go on sale at 6:30pm (as per usual with the Castro), 1hr. before showtime...I'm getting there at around 6:00pm or so, just in case.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:27 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:any (other... :wink: ) SF, Oakland, East Bay Zoners want to meet up at The Castro Theatre tonight for a screening of THERE WILL BE BLOOD?

$9.00 admission and $10.00 at the door for some charity thing-y.

I believe tickets go on sale at 6:30pm (as per usual with the Castro), 1hr. before showtime...I'm getting there at around 6:00pm or so, just in case.


WHAT!?!?!?! Why is there no screening here!

If only I hadn't rented out my jet for the night!
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Postby Maui on Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:07 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:any (other... :wink: ) SF, Oakland, East Bay Zoners want to meet up at The Castro Theatre tonight for a screening of THERE WILL BE BLOOD?

$9.00 admission and $10.00 at the door for some charity thing-y.

I believe tickets go on sale at 6:30pm (as per usual with the Castro), 1hr. before showtime...I'm getting there at around 6:00pm or so, just in case.


Well, how was it KCBC? :wink: More important, what did you have for dinner beforehand.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:08 pm

Maui wrote:More important, what did you have for dinner beforehand.


even getting there 1/2 hour before doors opened, lined stretched up the block and around into the parking lot. Good thing was that it wasn't $9.00 admission and $10.00 for donation, just the $10.00.

but anyways, after getting my seat (should note here, The Castro Theatre seats 1,407!), went across the street for a couple slices of 'za. Pretty damn good pizza too, and I'm a pizza snob.

then I got a Yoo-Hoo and smoked a thinny. Went to the bathroom, waited 10minutes for a soda, listened to the last 5minutes of the mighty wurlitzer, then PTA spoke for a minute. Tiny, tiny man, kinda stuttered a tad, but he came across really humble and kind.

Maui wrote:Well, how was it KCBC?


I'm going to go out on a critical limb here, as I haven't heard/read/seen any negative word about the film, but...

THERE WILL BE BL...









































AH?

Despite powerful, powerhouse performances from Day-Lewis and Dano (much harder role for Dano, but he handles it with aplomb), despite several dazzling sequences and virtuoso directing throughout (the near wordless opening 15minutes, the LESSONS OF DARKNESS sequence, one particularly amazing tracking shot), despite the three or four (glib) interpretations of the film that I've been able to come up with (and, for this former history major, historical interpretations I agree strongly with), despite a unique and powerful score by Greenwood, despite the often brilliant cinematography...

the film never really cohered into a powerful whole for me. Well, rather, it did, for a good while, but then I thought it lost it's way.

and the ending bludgeons the symbolism/metaphor even more so than DARJEELING LIMITED.

Good film, with astounding individual sequences...but it never told me anything I didn't know already; about the world, about life, about history (manifest destiny, robber barons, and the rise of capitalism in particular).

And when it comes down to it, there isn't a single character who isn't a plot device (Day-Lewis' son) that one can or will empathize with. That's not a deal breaker for me, and I thought that there was one character who despite my ideological differences with I did at least respect, but it was all undone with an ending that mars all that came before it (with regard to that character).

But don't listen to me, see for yourselves, 'cuz debating and discussing this film's going to be a blast...

ETA: the score - reminded me, at times, of 2001 (in fact, the opening of the film kinda homages the introduction and first sequence of 2001) and AKIRA. The AKIRA influence is only for one scene (LESSONS OF DARKNESS) and it's rather awesome.

cinematography - some Malick-ian touches, several gorgeous "magic-hour" vistas. PTA doesn't really rub it in your face though; his framing is so impeccable (bit too classy at times) that you have to scan the entire frame to see a dazzling bit of horizon, but it's there, and it's beautiful.

in my rundown of what makes Mel Gibson's movies kinda obvious to anyone who's seen a couple of them, I mentioned "classic Hollywood mythmaking" as his choice du jour as a director. Well, Anderson's a "real" director, and he makes Mel's pretty fluid editing seem clumsy. There is not, far as I could tell, a single misplaced cut, everything flows seamlessly. Technically, a marvel.
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Postby Maui on Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Maui wrote:More important, what did you have for dinner beforehand.


even getting there 1/2 hour before doors opened, lined stretched up the block and around into the parking lot. Good thing was that it wasn't $9.00 admission and $10.00 for donation, just the $10.00.

but anyways, after getting my seat (should note here, The Castro Theatre seats 1,407!), went across the street for a couple slices of 'za. Pretty damn good pizza too, and I'm a pizza snob.

then I got a Yoo-Hoo and smoked a thinny. Went to the bathroom, waited 10minutes for a soda, listened to the last 5minutes of the mighty wurlitzer, then PTA spoke for a minute. Tiny, tiny man, kinda stuttered a tad, but he came across really humble and kind.

Maui wrote:Well, how was it KCBC?




I'm going to go out on a critical limb here, as I haven't heard/read/seen any negative word about the film, but...

THERE WILL BE BL...









































AH?

Despite powerful, powerhouse performances from Day-Lewis and Dano (much harder role for Dano, but he handles it with aplomb), despite several dazzling sequences and virtuoso directing throughout (the near wordless opening 15minutes, the LESSONS OF DARKNESS sequence, one particularly amazing tracking shot), despite the three or four (glib) interpretations of the film that I've been able to come up with (and, for this former history major, historical interpretations I agree strongly with), despite a unique and powerful score by Greenwood, despite the often brilliant cinematography...

the film never really cohered into a powerful whole for me. Well, rather, it did, for a good while, but then I thought it lost it's way.

and the ending bludgeons the symbolism/metaphor even more so than DARJEELING LIMITED.

Good film, with astounding individual sequences...but it never told me anything I didn't know already; about the world, about life, about history (manifest destiny, robber barons, and the rise of capitalism in particular).

And when it comes down to it, there isn't a single character who isn't a plot device (Day-Lewis' son) that one can or will empathize with. That's not a deal breaker for me, and I thought that there was one character who despite my ideological differences with I did at least respect, but it was all undone with an ending that mars all that came before it (with regard to that character).

But don't listen to me, see for yourselves, 'cuz debating and discussing this film's going to be a blast...

ETA: the score - reminded me, at times, of 2001 (in fact, the opening of the film kinda homages the introduction and first sequence of 2001) and AKIRA. The AKIRA influence is only for one scene (LESSONS OF DARKNESS) and it's rather awesome.

cinematography - some Malick-ian touches, several gorgeous "magic-hour" vistas. PTA doesn't really rub it in your face though; his framing is so impeccable (bit too classy at times) that you have to scan the entire frame to see a dazzling bit of horizon, but it's there, and it's beautiful.

in my rundown of what makes Mel Gibson's movies kinda obvious to anyone who's seen a couple of them, I mentioned "classic Hollywood mythmaking" as his choice du jour as a director. Well, Anderson's a "real" director, and he makes Mel's pretty fluid editing seem clumsy. There is not, far as I could tell, a single misplaced cut, everything flows seamlessly. Technically, a marvel.


Yoohoos, interesting.

Yup, still gonna see this one. Thanks for the 411.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:29 pm

Thanks for the take KCBC. Despite your inability to connect it still seems like a worthwhile venture.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:57 am

Nice review Keepcool, but I'm a bit disheartened by your reaction to the film... my most anticipated film of the year has just been taken down a notch.

Just gonna try to pry s'more outta ya... your criticisms seem to be:

1) The parts are great, but don't form a whole: Nothing to add here, I guess.

2) The film "taught" you nothing you didn't already know: Did you feel this way 'cause you felt that the film was TRYING to "teach" something... like was "MESSAGE!!!" a constant subtitle throughout its run-length?

3) The ending bludgeoned symbolism/metaphor more than The Darjeeling Limited: I haven't seen either film, so could you elaborate somewhat more, without getting spoilery?

Anyhow, it seems that your quibbles might be the sort of things that would bother me as well. It's a shame, 'cause this film was one of the candidates for my annual 10/10 rating that only goes to one or two titles per year.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:00 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:2) The film "taught" you nothing you didn't already know: Did you feel this way 'cause you felt that the film was TRYING to "teach" something... like was "MESSAGE!!!" a constant subtitle throughout its run-length?


no, not at all, actually. More of a character piece, where one could take (or leave) what symbolism/metaphor they will for what that character may (or may not) represent.

but, no, definitely not "preachy", though there was preaching.

and there's quite a few interpretations one could come away with, I reckon...or none at all, if one's so inclined to just view it was a character driven drama.

Pacino86845 wrote:3) The ending bludgeoned symbolism/metaphor more than The Darjeeling Limited: I haven't seen either film, so could you elaborate somewhat more, without getting spoilery?


unfortunately, I don't think I can without spoilers.

Pacino86845 wrote:Anyhow, it seems that your quibbles might be the sort of things that would bother me as well. It's a shame, 'cause this film was one of the candidates for my annual 10/10 rating that only goes to one or two titles per year.


well, as I said, kinda going out on a critical limb here, as EVERYONE seems to have loved it. Of note though, is that there were a decent amount of guffaws throughout the film, laughs I took a part of up to a certain point. But not everyone was laughing (and my chuckles were kinda forced...I got it, but the film, to me, felt serious, and I'd be curious to find out whether Anderson expected laughter during some of those scenes), only about a 1/3 (maybe less) of the theatre stood up and applauded at the end (you would've thought more, if people really loved it, what with the filmmaker present).

I think I'm being harder on this film than usual, but only because when it got things right it was astounding...but I felt it hammered home certain character traits far too stridently and I felt the ending was an utter betrayal to what we had been shown beforehand.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:52 pm

from what I've read so far, pretty darn good interview with Daniel-Day Lewis in The New York Times Magazine.

some THERE WILL BE BLOOD spoilers, so be wary of that.
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:11 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:from what I've read so far, pretty darn good interview with Daniel-Day Lewis in The New York Times Magazine.

some THERE WILL BE BLOOD spoilers, so be wary of that.


Indeed, pretty interesting profile of Day-Lewis there.
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Postby tapehead on Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:23 pm

New scene edited out of the movie, being used as a teaser for the movie. I know it doesn't make any sense, but it still kind of works.

Click on 'Campfire'
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:27 pm

oh, jeez, this may fall into the "why would you reveal you're a halftard" territory...

but I found that yesterday and didn't realize you had to click on the red "campfire" to get it to play.

:oops:
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Postby tapehead on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:29 pm

hehehe - that's why I added the instructions... after waiting about ten minutes, thinking it was loading or something...
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Postby Peven on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:46 pm

this is one of those movies i know i am going to end up going to see alone because no one i know will be interested in seeing it.


if i could i would pre-order the Criterion dvd right now, because you know they will do a special edition 2 dvd set. :D
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:10 pm

I saw this on a screener last night and I agree with everything KCBC wrote above. I respect the hell out of the craft of the film and I thought the performances across the board were fantastic... but everything about it still left me cold.

I know everyone has been saying this looks to be PTA's Malick film, but I see Kubrick more than anything--ESPECIALLY in the end--and I mean that as something of a criticism. If you've read my reactions to other films in the past, you know I'm a Spielberg guy, not a Kurbick one. Sure, I love some of Kubrick's movies and I respect the hell out of them all, but it seemed to me that from word one the guy never wanted to get close to an audience. Everything is always kept distant and incredibly analytical. That just ain't my thing, and that's exactly how this film feels.

I give the film a 7/10, but a much, much more respectful 7/10 than I gave to, say, Live Free or Die Hard. This film has bold ambition, and I think it succeeds on damn near all of its terms. But it never moved me, and that's what I'm looking for.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:55 pm

This movie is going to rule. Cant wait to see it!
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Postby DaleTremont on Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:02 pm

As usual KCBC was pretty much spot on with his review. I don't have anything earth-shattering to add.

I think, like Tommy Lee Jones, Daniel Day Lewis has reached that point in his career where he's been so good for so long, people start to take him for granted. That would be a shame, as he is marvelous in here. Like P.T. Anderson he's technically unmatched in his craft. Every beat, every intonation, every subtlety of accent and of expression- I mean the guy is really in a class of his own. Although just by virtue of his relative new-ness, Paul Dano does stand out in this quite a bit. He nails the theatricality of American Chrisitanity, and keeps you guessing throughout as to whether he's a zealot or a phony.

One might describe the plot as meandering, or if you're more inclined toward generosity, you could say it's a very personal story about a man's life, without any need for your run-of-the-mill narrative structure. I'm not really sure which camp I fall into, but I was never bored. The film keeps you interested throughout by virtue of its score, visuals, and performances, though as others have said, I don't know that it ever really comes together. The ending bothered me because I felt like it belonged in another version of this movie, one where they had a specific direction and goal to make such a strong statement about the character of Daniel Plainview.

Still, I'd give it an 8.5/10. It's absolutely a fascinating film and better than the lion's share of what's out there, even if it has its faults.
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Postby tapehead on Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:22 am

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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:33 am

Absolutely brilliant... until the last 20 minutes. I was totally enthralled to the film. Perfect direction, acting, writing, and the visuals were stunning. But it like a lot of epic movies that center on one personality, I think Anderson went a little over the top toward the end. It reminded me of Goodfellas, which is a fantastic movie until Ray Liotta goes batshit at the end.

I haven't read anyone else's take yet, and I will, but I saw this with my partner and we got into a debate about whether Plainview had any humanity in him at all. My argument was that he did not, and the only signs we see from him of human affection are manipulative and unnatural. My partner on the other hand thought there was goodness in him. I doubt it though.

Both Day-Lewis and Dano deserve some recognition here. Both were brilliant.

As I was leaving the movie, I heard lots of people commenting on the fact that Dano played his brother and the preacher. For some reason people thought they were the same person (not just the same actor). I was all "huhwha???"
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:54 am

hey, so fuck this tiny text stuff...MASSIVE SPOILERS ABOUND!!!

burlivesleftnut wrote:Absolutely brilliant... until the last 20 minutes. I was totally enthralled to the film. Perfect direction, acting, writing, and the visuals were stunning. But it like a lot of epic movies that center on one personality, I think Anderson went a little over the top toward the end.


unfortunately, it felt like he felt he had to wrap some story elements up, and the film suffered a tad for it. I guess he maybe felt he had to retain whatever it is he took from the source material (first 150pgs. or so - I'm not sure, but I think the book focuses more on DP's "son"), and since he had gone so big, so just balls out epic previously, that he had to end the film with a proverbial bang.

burlivesleftnut wrote:we got into a debate about whether Plainview had any humanity in him at all. My argument was that he did not, and the only signs we see from him of human affection are manipulative and unnatural. My partner on the other hand thought there was goodness in him. I doubt it though.


one of my problems with the film is that I don't think the character of Plainview, as brilliantly as he was played by DDL, really had an arc. I guess one could argue that he was changed by the injury suffered to his ward, by the betrayal and then his outright murder of his "brother"...but I really didn't see it. He felt the same to me from beginning to end.

So I concur with you, but I'd argue with your partner not so much that he's wrong, but that any "goodness" that emanates, that comes from Plainview (adopting the child, taking in his "brother", bringing that po-dunk, dusty town/place to modernity) is self-serving...that speech about him despising his fellow man, I would think, has to be taken at face value.

did you find it funny at all Burl? From what I've gathered while reading up about the film is that the question I asked above, about whether Anderson & DDL were going for black-comedy, has been answered in the affirmative.
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Postby Spifftacular SquirrelGirl on Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:56 am

I just want to point out that it's so unfair that I have to wait another week before even getting a chance to see this film.

Excuse me, I'm going back into my week-long sulk. :?
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Postby Zarles on Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:12 am

Yeah, when does this thing open wide? It's getting Oscar buzz like crazy, so why the fuck aren't theaters releasing it?
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:51 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:did you find it funny at all Burl? From what I've gathered while reading up about the film is that the question I asked above, about whether Anderson & DDL were going for black-comedy, has been answered in the affirmative.


I think it had some darkly humorous moments. Moments when Plainview exposes his blatant misanthropy. Moments when he get's over the top violent with Plainview. But I wouldn't view this as a dark comedy. But who knows. When Eli was getting beaten up and oily mud was being forced into his mouth, I was cracking up and the rest of the audience was stunned.

But the audience did seem to laugh alot during certain parts, like the Baptism scene. But I think that was deliberate on PTA's part.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:32 pm

Cant wait to see this. There Will Be Oscars!! :)
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Postby The Vicar on Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:02 pm

Hasn't opened here yet.
Damn it.
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Postby DaleTremont on Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:37 pm

also MASSIVE SPOILERS

burlivesleftnut wrote:I haven't read anyone else's take yet, and I will, but I saw this with my partner and we got into a debate about whether Plainview had any humanity in him at all. My argument was that he did not, and the only signs we see from him of human affection are manipulative and unnatural. My partner on the other hand thought there was goodness in him. I doubt it though.


Just shows how different interpretations can be. I thought Plainview absolutely had humanity in him to begin with. He takes the child under his wing. Despite his boasts toward the end that it was just to have a sweet face by his side to buy up land, there was a genuine affection and love before it became tainted. Never more evident than that scene on the train when he's alone with the baby and looks down on him, smiling, playing with his hands...there would be no reason at all to put up an act in that moment. Then when H.W. is stuck up on the oil well and afterwards when he's lying on the table, isn't Daniel genuinely afraid for his son's life? And later when he learns he's deaf, genuinely heartbroken? I would argue the disappointment, even to the point of disownment, that he feels can only be so strong when there's a fatherly idenitification- his son's shortcomings are his own.

As I was leaving the movie, I heard lots of people commenting on the fact that Dano played his brother and the preacher. For some reason people thought they were the same person (not just the same actor). I was all "huhwha???"


Really? I thought that was confusing too. I don't understand why Anderson felt the need to use the same actor.
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Postby Ribbons on Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:01 pm

I'm trying to stay out of this thread for the most part for the time being, but I just wanted to ask, to the people who've seen the movie, is "I drink your milkshake!" some sort of quote from it? Because I've seen the phrase written down in some form or another in a couple of places now (Keepcool's custom rank being one of them), and when I googled it I kept getting a bunch of reviews for There Will Be Blood (sadly, none of them mentioned the quote).
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:24 pm

Yes.
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Postby Ribbons on Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:29 pm

Hehe... thanks
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:21 pm

DaleTremont wrote:He takes the child under his wing.


animals will sometimes take care of young that isn't their own either...
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Postby Retardo_Montalban on Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:24 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
DaleTremont wrote:He takes the child under his wing.


animals will sometimes take care of young that isn't their own either...


and that cat loved them twin albino alligators with all her little heart.
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Postby THE KNIGHT on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:12 am

Gotta love when filmmakers take years between projects only to come back out and blow everyone away! Academy doesn't seem to be too PTA friendly so i'll be suprised if he gets a best director nod, he'll most definitely get adapted screenplay...

Congrats to him and DDL, Paul Dano for such great work... These are the types of films we need to support!
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Postby DaleTremont on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:10 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
DaleTremont wrote:He takes the child under his wing.


animals will sometimes take care of young that isn't their own either...


True, but even if that isn't unique to humans, I'd say in this particular case it showed signs of real compassion in him. Again I'd note the train scene to do away with Daniel's claim to have only taken the boy on for business reasons.

I think the character arc was there it was just a bit harder to catch because it wasn't a "good man who becomes bad". it was "a bad man trying to be good who loses out to himself and stays bad."

If that makes any sense.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:28 pm

DaleTremont wrote:I think the character arc was there it was just a bit harder to catch because it wasn't a "good man who becomes bad". it was "a bad man trying to be good who loses out to himself and stays bad."

If that makes any sense.


it does.

but I don't think he ever tried to "be good"...one act, of taking the child, led to all the other points you mentioned above. And since you only mention the one act, which led to the other points you mentioned w/r/t Daniel's relationship with his "son"?

that's not an arc, it's a device, which is what I think I mentioned in my review.

but I guess one was supposed to feel that cold, that sense of detachment - meta, in its own way.
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Postby bamf on Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:57 am

Writing about There Will Be Blood feels like a worthless task to me. Once you have seen it for yourself, it is easy to understand why it will be considered the best film of 2007. This film is a watershed moment in Paul Thomas Anderson’s career. This magnum opus of art and cinema will leave the patient theater goers spell bound from his creation. Will the average film patron be able to handle a two hour and forty five minute run time? I say yes, all because of one Daniel Day-Lewis.

Day-Lewis is why this film is great. The script alone is a fine work of structure and movement, however if the lead is wrong it could all easily fall in upon its self. Day-Lewis creates such a rich, compelling, charming and ferocious character that any screen time spent away from him makes me feel like an addict wanting another fix. His is the greatest performance of this year, the past ten years and possibly the past two decades. I have been combing over my DVD library, studying over past Academy nominees lists and generally raking over my memory trying to fill the question I left the theater with. Has anyone ever been better than this? When I consider what a great performance entails I look to the transformation born on screen. It is rare to find a performance that transcends just the words on page. Day-Lewis is larger then life on screen—he is the bellows on white hot coals devastating what you once thought he was capable of. That is to say, we know he is one of the greats of our day; he just lets Daniel Plainview tell you exactly why. While I like his role as The Butcher in Scorcese’s Gangs of New York, Plainview is so much more. The Butcher fell short for me because it felt too much like a gimmick. It was something to chew on, but meager just the same. If in any award show this year another actor is chosen over Day-Lewis they should be well minded enough to say the man’s name, and leave the trophy on the stage.

There is plenty left to be said about this cultural allegory of the world we live in today. Maybe ten years ago we wouldn’t think twice about seeing oil gushing, spilling across the Earth. Today though, I think we see a finite product going to waste first, and then the consideration of environmental damage second. Oil is the drug we are addicted too; and while a pyre of petroleum burns over the night sky I cannot help but feel anxious and uneasy, as if watching a stoner on screen lose his pot down a drainage grate.

In Anderson’s film I see a conflict of capitalistic ideals with similar ends. On one hand we have Daniel Plainview on a feverish pace to obtain the prize, while God’s man Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) is in the business of acquiring souls. The quiet irony of these two is how both endeavors decussate towards the same means, wealth. As cynical as it may be, I find truth in the notion that opportunity can bring the dregs out of any Earthly person be it Mother, sinner, or nun.

I find a great deal to think about after leaving a film like this. This year has had its share of enigmatic tales that said one thing, but meant another. I see echoes of our public psyche being reflected back in the stories of the day. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford reminds me of the fatalistic mind set our culture has moved closer towards with its rich imagery of death. War is here, the planet is dying, and never could there be a finer time to go into debt because we will not be around to pay it! Anderson gives a stellar portrayal of the check this nation wrote over a century ago for oil, and now it’s time for it to clear the bank. In Daniel Plainview’s last words of the picture I found all sorts of ways to read into its possible double meaning. Oil is done, if we aren’t well weaned off it in the next ten years I would be somewhat shocked. Keep in mind though, with alternative energy comes alternative resources, and when the world moves its standard there will be blood again.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:11 am

bamf wrote:decussate


you would think that word would at least have an X in it...
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby bamf on Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:13 am

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
bamf wrote:decussate


you would think that word would at least have an X in it...


Only if ESPN got a hold of it 8)
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Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:11 pm

`Blood' is a breakthrough for Anderson
By JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer
January 3, 2008

NEW YORK - In the last conversation Paul Thomas Anderson had with Robert Altman, his friend and mentor told him: "I think this film is something different for you."

"It was so sweet," Anderson recently recalled. "He had no reason to base it on anything except just a feeling."

Altman died in November 2006, a month before Anderson planned to show him a rough cut of "There Will Be Blood."

But Altman's hunch turned out to be accurate.

Anderson's new movie stands apart from his first four films — "Sydney" (aka "Hard Eight"), "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and "Punch-Drunk Love." And it's been hailed as one of the best films of the year and a remarkable advancement for a maturing auteur.

"Your paranoia becomes `What ... does that mean? Does that mean at the expense of the other films this is something else?'" the 37-year-old writer-director said. "But I'd be lying if I didn't say that every time you go to make a film, you're desperate to either do it better than you did it last time or to not repeat yourself."

The scruffy Anderson speaks passionately about film and can discuss movie history with authority. When he began directing in his early 20s, he was seen as an L.A.-bred cinematic phenom who quickly became a star in the '90s independent film scene, specializing in movies set in his native San Fernando Valley.

With large ensemble casts, ever-moving cameras, memorable music and lengthy running times, Anderson established a bold style. This, combined with realistically flawed, often desperate characters, made Anderson not just a film-geek hero, but a sought-after talent.

Anderson's previous films all had notable autobiographical elements, but for "There Will Be Blood," he sought to expand outside of himself and began the script as a loose adaptation of Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel "Oil!"

The director used roughly the first 100 pages of Sinclair's book and drew on other sources, particularly Margaret Leslie Davis' 1998 biography of oil tycoon Edward Doheny, "The Dark Side of Fortune."

"The benefits of the adaptation was that it helped me do things that my natural instincts wouldn't lead me to do," said Anderson, who acknowledged that, if left to his own devices, he's more liable to "spin off the rails a bit more."

"It was like collaborating with somebody," he said.

The result is a film about the fictional Daniel Plainview, an obsessed turn-of-the-century oil man, brought to life by Daniel Day-Lewis in a titanic performance.

"It was a fully imagined, fully understood world that Paul had already created on the page for me, therefore it was that world, in its entirety, that unleashed a curiosity that can take you, you don't know where," said Day-Lewis.

For a film that's winning raves, it had inauspicious beginnings. Production was postponed for two years to raise financing, and only after shooting began was Paul Dano cast in the supporting role.

"Quite honestly, after all that time, Daniel and I were like caged animals in the starting gate," said Anderson. "And the gate opened and we just fell flat on our faces."

Shooting in the desert of Marfa, Texas, they had to recover quickly.

"We built these sets and we were out there in costumes with cameras and everybody was standing around," Anderson said. "It's a little like, `What else are you going to do?'"

The themes in "There Will Be Blood" aren't what fans of Anderson are accustomed to. It largely deals with the heartless, indomitable will of big business in America.

Anderson, who watched John Huston's "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" (1948) repeatedly while writing "There Will Be Blood," acknowledged those ideas came out of negative thoughts about what he called the "boys network" of business today.

"It's fun thinking about that stuff: shadowy organizations, underhanded deals, investment banking — I don't know," laughed Anderson. "I like Daniel Plainview — a lot, and that makes it personal. He's mad and I know it and I don't want to really be hanging out with him a lot. He's great. I understand what he's going through; I understand where he's coming from."

What Anderson recognizes in Plainview is his single-mindedness in pursuit. Anderson has a reputation for fighting passionately for his films and has previously battled with studios.

His first film "Sydney" (1996) was taken away from him by the production company, Rysher Entertainment. The company changed the title to "Hard Eight" and cut it considerably. It was submitted to the Cannes Film Festival, but Anderson also sent his own cut, titled "Sydney," which the festival selected.

There were also disputes over the length of 1997's "Boogie Nights" (156 minutes) and 1999's "Magnolia" (188 minutes). But Anderson, who received a screenwriting Oscar nomination for both movies, says he now can see the point about their length.

"`Magnolia' needed it, and I certainly wish I could take 15 or 20 minutes out of that film," he said. "I don't miss scenes at all the way that I used to miss them when I was younger making a film. It's actually quite fun to get rid of them now."

"There Will Be Blood" still clocks in at 158 minutes, but Anderson said there was no friction with the studios (Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films) except for what he called "the YouTube Incident of 2007."

While editing the movie last summer, Anderson decided to enliven things by cutting a trailer, which he posted on YouTube. The simplicity of the process — not dealing with the studio or the Motion Picture Association of America — was "like a filmmaker's fantasy."

"And the studio went nuts," he said, smiling about his mischief. "We put it up on Friday and I remember they called on Saturday morning at 6 a.m.: `Do you know there's this thing on YouTube?' I said, `Yeah, we put it there.' They were like, `What the hell are you doing? Are you mad?'"

The trailer's warm reception pacified the executives, Anderson said, and ever since "There Will Be Blood" has rode a wave of good publicity and honors, including a Golden Globe nomination for best drama.

The whole experience reminds Anderson — who has a child with his partner, "Saturday Night Live" cast member Maya Rudolph — of the crazed mining of Daniel Plainview.

"You feel like a bottom feeder at the bottom of this dark tunnel, chipping away at something that you're not quite sure is there and even if it is there, you're not quite sure what it's worth," he said. "I can completely relate to that fever and insanity that happens and takes over."
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:19 am

MASTERPIECE. The best film of 2007. The best film of the Aughts.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:17 pm

I can't shake this movie. I'm in awe.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:21 pm

Nordling wrote:MASTERPIECE. The best film of 2007. The best film of the Aughts.


wow, that's some pretty high praise. I'm hoping to see it this weekend, can't wait to see if I agree with you.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:37 pm

DaleTremont wrote:also MASSIVE SPOILERS

burlivesleftnut wrote:I haven't read anyone else's take yet, and I will, but I saw this with my partner and we got into a debate about whether Plainview had any humanity in him at all. My argument was that he did not, and the only signs we see from him of human affection are manipulative and unnatural. My partner on the other hand thought there was goodness in him. I doubt it though.


Just shows how different interpretations can be. I thought Plainview absolutely had humanity in him to begin with. He takes the child under his wing. Despite his boasts toward the end that it was just to have a sweet face by his side to buy up land, there was a genuine affection and love before it became tainted. Never more evident than that scene on the train when he's alone with the baby and looks down on him, smiling, playing with his hands...there would be no reason at all to put up an act in that moment. Then when H.W. is stuck up on the oil well and afterwards when he's lying on the table, isn't Daniel genuinely afraid for his son's life? And later when he learns he's deaf, genuinely heartbroken? I would argue the disappointment, even to the point of disownment, that he feels can only be so strong when there's a fatherly idenitification- his son's shortcomings are his own.


See Dale what you describe basically ruined the film for me. You see all these moments of what seems to be genuine affection for the kid despite the dubious arrangement of how he was "adopted." The moment the son gets injured, Daniels reaction to it fly counter to what we have seen his interactions with the son had been so far in the movie. It totally took me out of the moment and made me question whether anderson had a clear path for his character. I know Daniel was cold and manipulative and that had been presented to us, but not to his son. All his son wanted at the moment was to be held by his father, but Daniel has to leave him.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:50 pm

There's a variety of ways you can take how Daniel treats his son, especially in the latter scenes of the film. I took it as Daniel's twisted sense of familial love, to make H.W. hate him so much that it would serve as the impetus of his success, to fill him with the hate that he himself carries. You can also take it as Daniel pushing H.W. away from him because of his failures as a father. I think he genuinely loved H.W. in the beginning, but it grew warped as he became more and more of a misanthrope. There's no question that he used H.W. to show the masses that he had their best interests at heart, even though he didn't.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:57 pm

Nordling wrote:There's a variety of ways you can take how Daniel treats his son, especially in the latter scenes of the film. I took it as Daniel's twisted sense of familial love, to make H.W. hate him so much that it would serve as the impetus of his success, to fill him with the hate that he himself carries. You can also take it as Daniel pushing H.W. away from him because of his failures as a father. I think he genuinely loved H.W. in the beginning, but it grew warped as he became more and more of a misanthrope. There's no question that he used H.W. to show the masses that he had their best interests at heart, even though he didn't.


What happened was just so abrupt though. I understand that those are ways you can take their relationship but that oen moment was a like a hairpin turn of an event not a gradual one.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:07 pm

Also, H.W. at that point was the only person he had any sort of connection with. Look at how they were together when they first get to the Sunday ranch. They share thoughts, feelings; there's no denying that they are close.

Then, he's struck deaf. They can't communicate. H.W. was Daniel's only touchstone in the world. It is the first crack in his sanity - or at least the first evident one. When Daniel's "brother" makes it on the scene, at last, someone to confide in, which culminates in the scene where Daniel confesses that he hates most people. He doesn't pass the smell factor, but Daniel's so hungry for some sort of human interaction that he overlooks it. when H.W. reads the diary, and realizes that the brother's a fraud, he tries to kill him. Notice the fire goes to the brother's bed. So he sends H.W., the only person he's ever loved, away. Later, when Daniel realizes he's been betrayed by his "brother", it sends him reeling.

In the church, he does what Eli says so he can lay the pipeline... but he does have one genuine moment of true catharsis. "I ABANDONED MY SON!" And so he calls H.W. back to him, but the damage has been done. H.W. still has a seed of resentment in his heart, and Daniel is past the point of healing with him. They struggle to communicate, but in the scene in the restaurant, Daniel uses H.W. as a showpiece with the Standard Oil crew. And it doesn't work. Not like it did. The oil people have Daniel's number - okay, he suckered the townspeople, but a shark knows a shark when he sees one. And H.W. develops a friendship with the little Sunday girl, further making his break away from Daniel.

Finally, he marries her, and his severance from Daniel is complete. What happens next may be subject to interpretation - Daniel, who still loves his son, makes his son hate him to give him the iimpetus to succeed, to spite Daniel. "This makes you my COMPETITOR!" Or, Daniel at this point genuinely despises his son, which would pretty much make him a monster. I hold with the former view. Daniel has now pushed all people who mattered away from him. He has gotten what he wished for.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:15 pm

Ok so you get to the "gusher" scene. This is the one that Plainview had been chasing all his life, while damaging his derrick and seriously injuring his adoptive son H. W. Plainview seems to care about his son, and puts himself at risk to haul the boy away from the accident site, but he is also crucially interested in the gusher. H. W. clings to his father in panic as Plainview pulls himself away to tend to the fire at the derrick.

After that scene an assistant makes a comment about the day they had just been through with the son, etc.. and Plainview responds enthusiastically that they are now millionaires and to cheer up it was a good day. Now this is not something that a man with a harmed son would do given what had just occured. Nor does this assistants comment even make Plainview return to his son! He even showed regret during this exchange, but still manages to continue contemplating the fire and not his son. It was if Anderson was screaming in our face "hey this guy is evil! he doesnt even care about his son!" This action is not comprehensible to us at this point in the film after the heartfelt exchanges we have seen the two share. I would have also thought the assistant would have made a comment at such a remark, but they both go on as if nothing shameful was said.

This brings me to another point in the film that I think doesnt make narrative sense. Eli Sunday confronts Plainview in public, asking for the money Plainview owes to his church. Plainview surprises the audience by physically attacking the preacher, accusing him of not having exerted his healing powers on H. W.'s behalf. This could have been understandable the moment after it happened but this event takes place well wfter his temper should have cooled. People dont seem to have any real reaction to this event and Plainview seems to be above the law. I understand he brought them oil and money and revitalized their town, but no one makes any real gestures. A better example is when after having found Plainview murdered his brother Bandy gives him his gun back! What sane rational person would do that. A murder even goes unnoticed among the townspeople.

These events dislodged me from connecting from the film despite it being a technical marvel on most fronts.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:36 pm

stereosforgeeks wrote:Ok so you get to the "gusher" scene. This is the one that Plainview had been chasing all his life, while damaging his derrick and seriously injuring his adoptive son H. W. Plainview seems to care about his son, and puts himself at risk to haul the boy away from the accident site, but he is also crucially interested in the gusher. H. W. clings to his father in panic as Plainview pulls himself away to tend to the fire at the derrick.


At that point, Daniel had no idea his son was deaf permanently. He thought he was in shock. There's no visible injuries to him. Also, it would have been against his nature, the nature we have seen so far in the film, for Daniel to abandon the well because his son was in distress. There's thousands of dollars literally burning away into the atmosphere. Daniel is nowhere near the perfect father; we've already seen him use H.W. to his advantage in town meetings. But that doesn't mean he doesn't love him. At this point in the film, Daniel's conflicted, to say the least.

stereosforgeeks wrote:After that scene an assistant makes a comment about the day they had just been through with the son, etc.. and Plainview responds enthusiastically that they are now millionaires and to cheer up it was a good day. Now this is not something that a man with a harmed son would do given what had just occured. Nor does this assistants comment even make Plainview return to his son! He even showed regret during this exchange, but still manages to continue contemplating the fire and not his son. It was if Anderson was screaming in our face "hey this guy is evil! he doesnt even care about his son!" This action is not comprehensible to us at this point in the film after the heartfelt exchanges we have seen the two share. I would have also thought the assistant would have made a comment at such a remark, but they both go on as if nothing shameful was said.


See above. They have no idea that H.W. is permanently injured. And again, to ignore the well in favor of his son is not in his nature.

stereosforgeeks wrote:This brings me to another point in the film that I think doesnt make narrative sense. Eli Sunday confronts Plainview in public, asking for the money Plainview owes to his church. Plainview surprises the audience by physically attacking the preacher, accusing him of not having exerted his healing powers on H. W.'s behalf. This could have been understandable the moment after it happened but this event takes place well wfter his temper should have cooled. People dont seem to have any real reaction to this event and Plainview seems to be above the law. I understand he brought them oil and money and revitalized their town, but no one makes any real gestures.


That's the thing... Daniel's temper never cools. He holds grudges. And at that point in Daniel and Eli's relationship, he knows Eli's full of shit. "Goddamn helluva show!" He has pegged Eli as weak. Plus, it didn't happen in the middle of town, it happened among Daniel and his men. Eli was probably too embarrassed to do anything about it. As far as the townspeople are concerned, do you think they're going to stop the gravy train because of one man? Doesn't work like that.

As far as Daniel's outburst, that's in his nature too. He doesn't behave like ordinary people. It wasn't anger at Eli's inability to "heal" H.W. as it was a battle of wills. Daniel has Eli's number and he's not going to take any crap off him. It's also obvious that Daniel doesn't believe in religion. Daniel doesn't cool; he broods, and then it comes out in violence.

stereosforgeeks wrote:A better example is when after having found Plainview murdered his brother Bandy gives him his gun back! What sane rational person would do that. A murder even goes unnoticed among the townspeople.


It's never made complicit that Bandy knows Daniel killed his brother. He never says. Besides, Eli trades in secrets. He's not above using manipulation to get his power. And what good would it do Bandy or Eli to have Daniel arrested? The money flow stops. Eli wants Daniel humiliated, and he wants to be the one to do it. Eli's making his play. Whether Bandy's a true believer or not is to be debated, but he never saw a body. All he could go on was supposition. But greed is taking hold here as well. Bandy knows that when the pipeline goes through he's going to get paid too. It's blackmail, plain and simple.

stereosforgeeks wrote:These events dislodged me from connecting from the film despite it being a technical marvel on most fronts.


Who would want to connect with Daniel Plainview? He's a madman. What's fascinating is that you can see the human being underneath, slowly corrupted until there's nothing left but a monster.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:54 pm

The problem with your reasoning is that Plainview acknowledges that his son isn't going to be "allright." Yes I can see that he is conflicted about his son at that point in time, but it feels a little too revealing. I wanted something more gradual.

Your right about it being in front of the men, which would make sense and yeah it was just a physical assault. I was more looking for a reaction than something actually occuring because of it.

On the Bandy front, Plainview is sleeping next to a freshly dug grave. I can understand him not turning in Plainview, but to give him his gun back as quick as he did just seemed ridiculous.

I'm not saying i needed to emotionally connect with Plainview to appreciate the film but rather these events dislodged me from the reality they were trying to sell.
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