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 Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:57 pm

Bandy knows Plainview won't shoot him. He needs him to push the pipeline through. And, unknown to Bandy, Plainview's already decided at that point that's he's going to "drink his milkshake."
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:03 pm

Nordling wrote:Bandy knows Plainview won't shoot him. He needs him to push the pipeline through. And, unknown to Bandy, Plainview's already decided at that point that's he's going to "drink his milkshake."


How did Bandy come to this decision? Plainview had already started towork on his pipeline without Bandys permission and a missing man wouldnt really prevent him from completing it.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:06 pm

Plainview wasn't working on the pipeline. What he and his "brother" were doing was surveying the borders of Bandy's land, marking them with the metal poles so they knew where the boundaries were so they could do the drainage on his oil.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:12 pm

I thought that was lines for the pipe.

Regardless though, bandy's reaction to the whole thing that wasn't very well drawn. I mean, plainview murdered a man on his land, and he's just going to give his gun back and let it slide as long as he goes to a church he doesn't belong to and get baptized. Surely bandy must know how conniving plainview is and that any semblance of sincerity in this regard is just a lie. Bandy is drawn as a religious man in the film and his reaction just stumps me.

Bandy is obviously a man of conviction, being the only one that didn't sell out to plainview. To think that he'd give plainview a pass on murder, AND believe that simply forcing him to get baptized is going to truly redeem him, doesn't make sense to me.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:23 pm

First off, we're not entirely sure they're on Bandy's land. After doing the surveying and going to the beach, Daniel's suspicions about his brother are aroused when he doesn't respond to the "Peachtree Dance" comment. Then we see them in what appears to be a bordello, and Henry asks Daniel for some money. After that, they're in camp, when Daniel wakes Henry and shoots him. We're not sure where they are at that point.

This isn't modern day. This is in the early 20th Century. We don't have forensics, ballistics, DNA evidence... Bandy can in no way prove Daniel killed anyone. Daniel's a wealthy man, and who's going to believe Bandy over Daniel, when he's brought the community so much money? He can suspect, of course. But, Bandy's been consulting with Eli, obviously. That's why he wanted Daniel in that church - for the power and the humiliation. It's possible that Bandy is the last good man in that area - that he really believed that Daniel could be redeemed. And, Bandy knows that without his permission, Daniel can't put up his pipeline. Bandy also knew that Daniel was looking for him, which means he probably talked to his son. So anything that happens to Bandy, people would know. There's a whole lot of reasons Bandy gave him the gun. It made sense to me that he would return it. He returned it to make the point that Bandy knew what happened... and Daniel had to follow that through to the end.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:29 pm

I think you are missing my point.

One might call Bandy's choice intentionally "mysterious" on PTA's part, but there's not any counterbalance there to weigh what makes it mysterious. It's simply undrawn. Had we seen some of bandy, or known a bit about his character before this incident, there might've been a finely drawn line there that one could look at and say, "okay, this choice is kind of mysterious, but knowing what i know about brandy from this other scene, however unrelated it might be, i can see this in his character." The way it is, a viewer is simply not able to read anything into his choice. It's just presented as an illogical choice to me. If Bandy had been consulting Eli give us a hint of that, even a glimpse of them walking down the street together or around the chruch.

I think this is why the film feels alien to me. There often is no sense of logic in it, and it stands out like a sore thumb. Usually, even the WORST movies have an innate sense of logic. I can think of few bad movies I saw in 2007 that baffled me more on a very fundamental level than There Will Be Blood. That's not to say i think TWBB is a bad movie -- I think its pretty impressive and has some of the best scenes of the year, but I feel like I can't connect to it because of these logical issues. Who knows, maybe a second viewing (hopefully this weekend) will dull some of these issues for me, but since I can remember them so clearly, I doubt that.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:37 pm

I'm normally a stickler for logic myself, but I never once felt the movie didn't make logical sense. When Bandy said that Daniel had to go back to the church, the audience started laughing because they knew it was a play of Eli's. I actually had figured Eli had gotten to him when it was first said that Bandy was holding out.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:44 pm

Nordling wrote:I'm normally a stickler for logic myself, but I never once felt the movie didn't make logical sense. When Bandy said that Daniel had to go back to the church, the audience started laughing because they knew it was a play of Eli's. I actually had figured Eli had gotten to him when it was first said that Bandy was holding out.


Yeah could just be a forrest for the trees type of thing.

Anyway I have enjoyed discussing the film with you this afternoon. Upon my second viewing I will try to think about some of the things we have discussed and maybe it will help with problems I have been having.

I should actually try to finish this application before I leave for the night.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:52 pm

Heh, sorry to keep you from that. I could talk about this movie for hours.
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What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby MadCapsule on Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:20 am

I saw There Will Be Blood last Sunday. I thought it was fantastic.

I love me some Daniel Day Lewis rockin' a crazy dialect!
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Postby Nordling on Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:57 pm

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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:22 am

I don't mean to derail any discussion that may be going on in this thread, but I figured some people would get a kick out of this and it's about all I have to contribute at this point, so...

idrinkyourmilkshake.com

and

"I Drink Your Milkshake": A Guide to Proper Usage
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Postby bamf on Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:11 am

Ribbons wrote:I don't mean to derail any discussion that may be going on in this thread, but I figured some people would get a kick out of this and it's about all I have to contribute at this point, so...

idrinkyourmilkshake.com

and

"I Drink Your Milkshake": A Guide to Proper Usage


This just seems perfect for a D Day Lewis Sock Hop SNL sketch. Curtain call reprisal!
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Postby Brit Pop on Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:56 am

I Spit On Your Grave!

I Thumb Through Your Magazines!

I Bury You Underground!

I Drink Your Milkshake!

... great phrases that will stand the test of time. TWBB was a brilliant movie - although it was about three quarters through before I decided that Daniel was one of the nastiest creatures on the planet.

as much as this film was great, i felt a bit dirty afterwards due to some of the monsters within... particularly Eli.

Could someone PM me with a description of the last five minutes of the film?

Either I fell asleep in the cinema... or the copy I got hold of corrupted near the end - use whichever sounds more believable!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:58 am

BP, you can find the script here...
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:02 pm

heh, well, I suppose it was inevitable...

There Will Be Milkshakes!
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:06 pm

Holy shit I want to see this so bad. It comes out the week of my birthday so I might drag everyone I know along.
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Postby tapehead on Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:24 pm

Opens here in three days... I think I get to see a preview session in the next day or two. It's 'most anticipated' film for me in the last year (as you can see by my posts earlier in the thread).
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Postby Ribbons on Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:02 am

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.


I think Daniel is fundamentally a selfish person. The only time he ever truly loves his adopted son and adopted brother is when he sees them as extensions of himself, but he will not sacrifice his own interests for either of their sakes. He seems conflicted and then, very briefly, remorseful about the way he shipped H.W. away, but ultimately he allows nothing to stand between him and his success.
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Postby bamf on Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:09 am

I think the motivation for divorcing himself from H.W. stemmed from him being scammed by the kin impersonator. Since there was no blood relation between him and H.W., I would like to think he pushed him away afraid that he one day would have to kill him for betrayal. It backfires on Daniel, and he ultimately uses the secret against himself and in turn, still creates another competitor. Yet that is why the last line resonates so well with me. "I'm Finished!" he exclaims. Daniel is done with the need to win, vesting the corrupt preacher and those that thought they could keep his oil away from him. Now done, he need not worry about H.W. ever again. Sad really.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:39 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 parts of it were supposed to be funny, although I'm not sure I thought of it as a comedy, exactly. Do you remember which parts struck you as humorous? The music cue at the ending definitely gave off a whiff of black humor, although whether it was written (by Anderson) with that in mind or was inspired after the fact by Day-Lewis' performance, I don't know. And the scene where Plainview goes to one of Eli's sermons and calls it a "goddamn hell of a show" struck me as comedic as well.
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Postby bamf on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:40 pm

Ribbons wrote:
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 parts of it were supposed to be funny, although I'm not sure I thought of it as a comedy, exactly. Do you remember which parts struck you as humorous? The music cue at the ending definitely gave off a whiff of black humor, although if it was written with that in mind or was inspired by Day-Lewis' performance I don't know. And the scene where Plainview goes to one of Eli's sermons and calls it a "goddamn hell of a show" struck me as comedic as well.


When Daniel is being baptized there is this beat where he says "Yes, I do." It's understated but f'ing hilarious to me.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:41 pm

PTA's said in interviews that he meant much of the film to be funny. He was hoping people would laugh towards the end, especially.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:46 pm

Nordling wrote:PTA's said in interviews that he meant much of the film to be funny. He was hoping people would laugh towards the end, especially.


DDL too.

I think it was on Charlie Rose where he said he found the character hysterical...
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Postby Nordling on Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:38 am

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Postby Ribbons on Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:04 am



When I saw the movie I thought he was saying "I told you I would beat you," but listening to that clip, I'm pretty sure he actually says "I told you I would EAT you." Dayum!
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Postby LeFlambeur on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:29 pm

I finally got to see this seriously unsettling film today, and am still unsure of what to make of it. I don’t have a lot to add on top of what has already been said, but here was my initial reaction.

There Will Be Blood draws us into the ambitions of a ruthless capitalist oil baron only to corrode our sympathies through a series of grand guignol outbursts and revelations. Throughout the film, our disposition towards the main character is being toyed with. One of the more ingenious aspects of the film comes from the theatricality of Day-Lewis’ performance, which serves as a clever red herring. What I initially attributed to excessive acting, was actually his character’s conscious behavior designed to fake decency and conceal himself from the world. Concurrently, the film works to exaggerate his humanity so it is later able to continually shock the audience with the depths of his hatred and cruelty. At the end, when he severs his last anchor to humanity (and what remains of our sympathy), he disowns his son, admitting that he did not take him for any benevolent reasons, but simply to further his own ends.

Earlier, in one of the film’s pivotal scenes, Plainsview professes a deep misanthropy “I see the worst in people. I don't need to look past seeing them to get all I need. I want to rule and never, ever explain myself. I've built my hatreds up over the years, little by little...I can't keep doing this on my own with these... ‘people,’" he says with a chuckle. One of the film’s weaknesses is that it never gets at the origins of his sociopathy. Outside of a general feeling that everyone is out to screw him, we never learn of any incidents leading to his temperament, and we are only left to assume that his condition is innate. Which is banal to the purposes of character study, though I suspect this film aims more toward allegory or black comedy.

TWBB pits the religion of greed versus the greed of religion. Because this doesn’t really play well as comedy, I just felt as though the film was rubbing our noses in some of the foulest aspects of the American character embodied in these two deranged archetypes. PTA is captivated by his central creation Plainsview, who is rarely out of sight in the film. The movie is adapted from the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, but lacking is Sinclair’s populist bent. Here the general populace is little considered. The film seems to consent to their being pawns in Daniel and Eli’s power struggle.

On a strictly visual level, PTA’s direction is characteristically skilled. Less characteristic is the absence of the directorial pyrotechnics found laden throughout his previous work, but plenty does burn. I sat in awe of the film’s apocalyptic central set piece of the burning oil rig. Here the film came alive like nowhere else. The gravity of disaster being perfectly underscored by PTA’s elegant tracking shots. For all the movie’s biblical allusions and epic flourishes, I felt a void in it. It seemed to lack any penetrating metaphysical sensibility that ennobled Terrence Malick’s Badlands, or even the Coen‘s more recent No Country for Old Men.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:32 pm

Very nice review LeFlambeur. Interesting thoughts and insights.

I desperately want to see this film again.
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Postby LeFlambeur on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:34 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Very nice review LeFlambeur. Interesting thoughts and insights.


Thanks man.

Leckomaniac wrote:I desperately want to see this film again.


I don't know if I'll end up seeing this again, but it is different enough from PTA's previous work to suggest growth, so whatever he makes next, I'm there.
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Postby Vegeta on Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:15 pm

Just came back from a matinee of There Will be Blood. The score, look, acting, and direction were top notch. Check that... stellar! There is nothing in this film I didn't care for. Really the only thing that makes me not give There will be Blood a 9 or 10 is the story.
Granted the story was good, but not great. The characters were rich and interesting, but with the exception of Daniel's son, not a one was likeable. It's hard to sit through a 2 1/2 hour film and not like the characters at all. Granted, I did find some humor in them on occasion, but mostly they were loathsome. Daniel Plainview was a blackhole of greed and lust for capitol and power over all those around them. That way he could properly scorn them as the scum he believed they were. Below him. Eli, was power hungry for the respect the church gave him. It was his way to gain sway over people to believe in him, regardless if he knew he was exploiting them as well. Hard people to want to get to know for 2 1/2 hours is all I can think.
Also, I found the end scene, while powerful, to be somewhat puzzling... what was Daniel's motavation in that last scene. Pride? Pure hatred of those he considers below him? Arrogance? I'll have to think some more about it to come up with a reason, but suffice to say I think Daniel enjoyed it, that's for sure.

Vegeta gives There Will Be Blood four punches (or 8 out of 10 on this scale):
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Postby tapehead on Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:33 am

I'm still waiting for '...Blood' to get a release here in February, but I have noticed Mori on the mainsite linking to Bloody Disgusting's rumour regarding PT Anderson's next movie.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:52 am

with his jaundiced, cynical worldview and mastery of form?

hope that pans out...
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Postby tapehead on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:54 pm

Eh, now the main site and BD have retracted and redacted, so NEVERMIND - 'cept for the part where PT reportedly replied to the rumour 'News to me. I thought I just made a horror film....'
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Postby Zarles on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:55 pm

I'm sure my puny little popcorn fart of a brain won't be able to say much about it that you all haven't already, but what I will say is that TWBB thoroughly knocked me on my ass. This truly is PTA's breakthrough, and for me, it's made him a true contender for being one of the greatest directors of his generation. I do have to say that in terms of pure watchability, I almost prefer No Country For Old Men over this, but as for sheer scope, scale, texture, and depth, TWBB absolutely prevails. Cinematography, direction, storytelling, tone - everything is exactly where it should be and more.

Acting-wise, DDL has rarely been better. I'm always overwhelmed by actors that can truly morph themselves, body and soul, into the character they're portraying, and there are few that can successfully pull it off each and every time. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of these chameleons, and there were moments in this movie where he physically scared me, intimidated me, MADE me not want to even look at him anymore out of a very real fear of what he was going to do next. The baptism scene was one of these, but the capper for me was the bowling alley massacre. It was God vs. the Devil, but guess what? They were both corrupt, and what they were battling each other for was barely more than the need to continue their corruption, if only of themselves. Ironically, I felt that the bowling alley scene felt very much like a Coen Bros. piece, and yes, I found it very humorous. The milkshake analogy, the chase around the room with the bowling pin, and the incredibly apt and fitting final line - 'I'm finished!' Humor doesn't get much blacker than that.

As for the Paul Dano dual role, call me a blind dummy, but I didn't realize that Paul was being played by Paul Dano. At all. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, or maybe Dano's acting was just that good, but when the credits rolled and Paul Dano was listed as playing both roles, I about shit. That final conversation between Daniel and Eli makes SO much more sense now that I've realized it.

I gotta re-read this thread to fully flesh out a few sequences of this film in my head, but for now, I give it a 9/10. It's going to be an all-out, knockdown, drag-out street brawl between There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men to determine which film will walk away with Best Picture (and probably Best Direction, as well), but personally, I couldn't care less who wins. I'm just happy that I'm around to see two truly master class works doing that kind of battle.
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Postby Ribbons on Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:05 pm

Zarles wrote:As for the Paul Dano dual role, call me a blind dummy, but I didn't realize that Paul was being played by Paul Dano. At all. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, or maybe Dano's acting was just that good, but when the credits rolled and Paul Dano was listed as playing both roles, I about shit. That final conversation between Daniel and Eli makes SO much more sense now that I've realized it.


Thanks for reminding me about that, I meant to ask if anybody here thought there was a symbolic point to both brothers being played by Dano, or if Anderson did it for some other reason or no reason. It did stand out to me -- and at first when "Eli" came walking up to Daniel and H.W. I thought it was the same kid.

Anyway, nice review Zarles, glad you enjoyed it.
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Postby Zarles on Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:18 pm

Thanks, Ribbons, but I think I'm confused. I think what I'm trying to say is that I didn't realize Paul Dano was playing two characters at all. I realize it now, but when I walked out of the theater, all I kept thinking about was that dual credit. I kept asking myself, 'Who the hell else did he play?'

For a moment, I thought he had played the role of Henry Brands, the man who lied about being Plainview's brother, but I ruled that out because he looked nothing like him. No make-up is that good. Now that I realize that the person who first approached Plainview at the beginning of the movie about the oil on his property was NOT the same person that was beaten to death at the end, I get it.

I'm embarrassed to say so, but I think the reason for my missing this is because I stepped out to take a wizz during the scene where Paul was showing Plainview the map of his property after they made the initial deal for $500. I'd have to see it again to be sure, but I think there was something in that short bit I missed that explained it.

Damn bladder! :lol:
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Postby Ribbons on Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:05 pm

Zarles wrote:I'm embarrassed to say so, but I think the reason for my missing this is because I stepped out to take a wizz during the scene where Paul was showing Plainview the map of his property after they made the initial deal for $500. I'd have to see it again to be sure, but I think there was something in that short bit I missed that explained it.


Not really, I think he might have made a reference to having a brother named Eli, but he doesn't say "he's my identical twin" or anything like that. That's why when Eli first came walking up to Daniel I was all:

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I can't think of any reason for it story-wise, but I dunno. Maybe they just shot the scene with Paul on the fly, so they figured it'd be more "expedient" to use Dano as the broseph instead of casting somebody else? One of life's many mysteries.
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Postby Zarles on Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:36 pm

Well, if there was any mention that he had a brother, I missed it. That's what led to my confusion. In my opinion, that was one of the film's only flaws.
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Postby buster00 on Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:23 pm

Ribbons wrote:I don't mean to derail any discussion that may be going on in this thread, but I figured some people would get a kick out of this and it's about all I have to contribute at this point, so...

idrinkyourmilkshake.com

and

"I Drink Your Milkshake": A Guide to Proper Usage


I can not stop giggling about this milkshake silliness over the last few days.
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Postby Zarles on Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:45 pm

I DRINK IT UP!

I can't say enough about the soundtrack, either. Wow.
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Postby Nordling on Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:45 am

Eli talks about Paul during the scene after Daniel fights him in the mud, and Daniel talks about Paul at the end. Originally Eli was to be played by another actor, but apparently PTA didn't like his performance at all so he asked Paul Dano to take over both roles. It wasn't originally scripted that they were twins.

And yes, Paul and Eli are twins. One isn't a figment of the other's imagination, there's no FIGHT CLUBesque twist going on. Paul and Eli are brothers.
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Postby Vegeta on Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:40 am

Doesn't Daniel tell Eli he paid Paul $10,000.00 for the information on the oil find. As I recall he originally paid Paul $500.00 for the information. It is my assumption Daniel told Eli this lie to compound Eli's folly and shame...
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:57 am

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Nordling wrote:PTA's said in interviews that he meant much of the film to be funny. He was hoping people would laugh towards the end, especially.


DDL too.

I think it was on Charlie Rose where he said he found the character hysterical...


Ok, glad to see that this was meant to be a comedy of sorts. The first half is a pretty disturbing film. But when Daniel first meets Tilford and goes batshit crazy, saying "I'm going to slit your throat." Tilford responds with something like "Wait...we were having a normal, rational conversation and now you're saying something about slitting my throat?!? What the hell is wrong with you????" And it occured to me that Plainview is an absurd, laughable character. That everything up to that point had seemed compelling b/c Plainview had only been interacting with absurd, laughable characters. When suddenly contrasted with a real person, he became just a kook who yelled a lot.

Which honestly killed the rest of the movie for me. Every scene became a variation of Plainview going "Oooh, someone is talking to me. Time to act as irrational as humanly possible until they leave or die."
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Postby Fried Gold on Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:26 pm

Anybody know why this is apparently only getting a somewhat limited release in the UK - Cineworld, Vue & Odeon chains are all London only. Empire aren't showing at all.
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:15 am

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Postby tapehead on Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:39 pm

(...There will be Spoilers)

Plainview is a Misanthropist, fired by a hateful ambition, an individual who has judged Man and found them wanting. Eli is an opportunist, clinging to and wanting to own the Greatest source of power he has seen in his life, fear of the apocalypse, the third revelation of God returning to Earth to judge Man.

There will be Blood is a Modernist tragedy of two men who realise they are present at the birth of an (Oil) Empire, but who come to also see too late that their pre-Corporate autocracies of Money and Religion, are empty and corrupted unless fortified with blood ties. Plainview's story dominates as that of the Father who fails his chosen sons, Eli's provides counterpoint, as the believer (if only in himself) seduced by greater power.

It adheres to the Shakespearian form, It's forebears are Macbeth, Citizen Kane, and Sierra Madre. It's stark and violent, matched by a complex and dissonant soundtrack that taunts and teases with horror-movie glissandos, and at times seems maddeningly at odds with what we see.

It's also very funny - whether it's because Anderson manages to make us emphasize with this irredeemable man, to see Plainview's regrets and failures as he feels them, or whether it's because we are immersed into this desert of ambition and greed long enough that it seems a shock what a monster Plainview is, and how until the end, he rejects humanity as surely as he rejects the son that makes him human, leaving him wanting only to perform one last reveal for his 'brother' Eli.
I finished the film laughing hard at bloody murder and still wondering what the third revelation might really be.

9/10
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Postby Vegeta on Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:12 pm

Good review, I felt much the same, however you put it much more eloquently.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:48 am

In a word: superb.

Simplified, yes, it's the age-old story about good vs bad and the manipulation and abuse of ordinary folk in the face of ruthless and avaricious people like Daniel Plainview. However, I thought it also showed how people like Plainview - for better or worse - helped forge the transition from the Old Frontier into the New Frontier ie. modern capitalist America at the dawn of a new century. A precursor to the oncoming Guilded Age and how it was shaped and formed.
However, that maybe just me.

Overriding all this though, this film for me is about the moral disintegration of the soul and mind through a rapacious greed that verges not only on the power-crazy but a zealotry bordering on insanity. Plainview didn't just come across to me as a bad man, though bad he certainly was. No, beneath that that rottenness lay a morally sick man, devoid of empathy (even to his own son) and removed from ordinary feelings and emotions, save one; the overwhelming need to achieve what he wants through any means possible; make no mistake, this man is brutalised and contemptious but also desperate as well. A man who wants to succeed at any price, personal and otherwise, but ultimately who has nothing. And doesn't even know it.

The movie in some ways reminded just a little of Giant and James Dean's character Jett Rink. However, it most definitely has affinities to Von Stroheim's silent masterpiece Greed (do watch this film if you get the chance). It shares with it, I think, some definitive themes. Like McTeague (the lead character in Greed) Plainview is destroyed fundamentally by himself - not just corrupted by his naked greed, hunger and ambition, but driven to such extremity and unsoundness of mind that he doesn't even realise it, even in the final denoument of the movie where he's bereft of anything at all. Conscience, even or true guilt of anything he's done.

I must say I was really impressed by Anderson's unflinching eye and his even take on the picture as a whole. Even Eli's preacher man wasn't excluded from the general damnation. Here was somebody I thought who in his own subtler way was just as insidious as Plainview. All that preacher talk, all that righteousness, all that Jesus talk of forgiveness, repentence and redemption. Surely that too, I thought, was hiding a healthy dose of hypocrisy, power and egotism? Here was a character of questionable motives and methods also. (And a word for Paul Dano's performance here. Baby faced he may've looked, but he brought a brevity to the part that was all the more impressive considering who he was playing opposite too).

Needless to say, Day Lewis bestrides the movie like a colossus. It's an extraordinary visceral, raw and tangible performance, in that respect on a par IMO with De Niro in Raging Bull or even (though no, not quite) Brando in Last Tango In Paris (which for me is one of the top 5 best male screen performances I've ever seen). This is a performance I actually felt as opposed to watched, so real, so embedded was the actor into the character. I never doubted the talent of Day Lewis and here he doesn't fail. It's a powerhouse portayal.

A fine movie then, though not a happy one or even a comforting one to watch. Unspolit by any compromised ending (thank God) it left me with just the right impressions I had experienced throughout it; a sense of human nature wilting and rotting from the inside in the face of God and blood and oil and earth.

9/10.
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Postby tapehead on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:43 am

On reading your excellent review Hollywood babs, I saw this
HollywoodBabylon wrote:Giant and James Dean's character Jett Rink.


So I'm like 'Oh Yeah, Of Fucking course it is!' I haven't watch this movie since I was young but there's such strong comparisons there even beyond the similarities of subject matter. But then I get to;

HollywoodBabylon wrote: However, it most definitely has affinities to Von Stroheim's silent masterpiece Greed (do watch this film if you get the chance).


And although until I'd seen it I steered clear of reviews, this is the second time since then I've heard someone bring up the Von Stroheim movie. I've never seen it, I'm going to have to. It took me a good week or two to get my head together on the subject after watching TWBB - I found it difficult to actually be articulate on the subject without sounding as hateful and twisted a fucker as ol' Plainview himself, such empathy I'd developed for him in the course of viewing.
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Postby TonyWilson on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:55 am

IT'S NOT FUCKING SHOWING IN DERBY AT ALL!!!!!!!!AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!!!!!!!!

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :x :x :x :x :x :x :x






























:(
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