There Will Be Blood

JASON VS DAN

Jason says:

Wow. I wish I knew what to say about this movie without giving anything away, considering it’s still relatively new and so I can’t spoil it (according to my ownblood.jpg statute of spoiler limitations). Plus, I don’t want to spoil it. I want everybody to go see it for themselves, and understand how awesome this is. I’ll tell you something: I don’t envy the members of the Academy this year because they have to choose between There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men.
This is one of those films that I want to see a bunch of times with people who haven’t seen it before. It evokes reactions. I bet watching somebody watching this would be nearly as cool as actually watching the film. I hope that made sense. It also strikes me as a film where it’s easy to catch something new each time. So I’ll probably grab it when it hits DVD (Of course, then a newer, better two-disc edition will come out and I’ll feel like a moron for buying the first version). Some of the more awesome components of this film:

  • The performances: Daniel Day-Lewis owns this film. He’s amazing. Paul Dano, who is better known as Dwayne from Little Miss Sunshine, is amazing in dual roles. And Paul Thomas Anderson’s script and direction are fantastic. I would give anything to work with him (see: Boogie Nights, Magnolia).
  • The music (by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead) is perfect.
  • There’s no dialogue for the first 11 minutes. That takes balls.

Some people may find this film boring. I would use the word “stark” personally. I like the starkness. But if you’re the kind of person who loves direct-to-video American Pie sequels, you might not appreciate it. That’s your issue, not mine. I suppose the one word to describe this film is “captivating”. Its 2:30 runtime feels long at times, but I dare you to pull your eyes from the screen.

Grade: 95

Dan says:

There Will Be Blood was an incredible film, and never misses a chance to keep you glued to the screen. At times the visuals have you locked, at other times you can’t stop thinking about the music, and at all times Daniel Day Lewis demands your attention. There are no likable characters, which for the most part is fine, but it may stop some from gaining satisfaction in any of the outcomes, but this movie isn’t really about satisfying you, its more about following the type of person it would take to manipulate small godfearing towns out of their riches.

Daniel Plainview, oil tycoon and father, has everything and nothing at the same time, and watching his sad lonely life in the face of hugeblood2.jpg success is something that will haunt you for days to come following your first watch. His son is not really his. It’s questionable whether his brother is truly family or just another bloodsucker. Women are nowhere to be seen in his wild west town. Daniel Plainview a quiet, methodical man who spends more time thinking than he does talking, but when he has something to say, you had better believe that it’s memorable.

His life seems hopeless at times, as communication between him and his son breaks down, you realize the patience and sadness that comes to parents with disabled children, alongside the mental toll it can take. I’ve seen murder, betrayal, religious corruption, and greed in films before, but this unique father-son dynamic sets the film apart in my mind, as I’ve never seen anything like it before in cinemas.

Although the running time is over 2 and a half hours, it flies by as the tension and pacing build to a fantastic crescendo. Daniel Day Lewis starts with threats, kills with a reason, then loses it completely. You see him lose everything, humiliated, and shaken to the core. The last scene is set in a large mansion, where Daniel has been wasting away for years, drunk at all times. It is powerful and unique, but at the same time feels incredibly disconnected from the rest of the film, which mostly takes place in small shacks or outdoors. The dialogue at this part goes off the deep end and has become the source for many-a-milkshake joke since it’s release. You get an idea for the master plan he never spoke about, the true reason why he faced little to no competition along the way, nor wanted to make deals with any other oilmen.

TWBB is a must see in theaters, the overpowering soundtrack gives in an edge that I don’t think will be properly reflected in a home entertainment scenerio. A true American epic, memorable in every way, twisted by a controversial end, check it out while you still can.

Grade: 93

Final Grade: 94

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4 Responses to “There Will Be Blood”

  1. You gave it a 95 but it doesn’t show on the AllTimeHigh list – I suppose that means that you’re updating the list manually; I’m not too familiar with WordPress, do they not allow any server-side code or similar tools so that you can manage these things automatically?

    On a more substantive note, I agree that the film’s score is perfect; the whole time I watched it, I kept thinking – this sounds a lot like Penderecki, but isn’t a mere imitation; the music intelligently uses ideas and techniques from Penderecki. Sure enough, when I looked online, Johnny Greenwood names Penderecki explicitly as an influence. The Shining is the only film that immediately comes to mind in which Penderecki was used extensively, so you could compare the two soundtracks fruitfully. Add to that the fact that the shot of the bowling alley, when it is first shown in a brief, silent cut, is very evocative of the Overlook Hotel (for me at least).

  2. metblack85 Says:

    Yes, unfortunately we update the list manually, and I am responsible for forgetting.

    The gods have doomed my family by sending me to them.

    Great feedback, I’m sure the author will be getting back to you

  3. Hey, thanks for the feedback. I can’t say I’m too familiar with Penderecki, but I did love the music in the Shining. He’s also, according to imdb.com, largely responsible for the music in Lynch’s Inland Empire, a completely messed up movie (I’m not a Lynch fan) with creepy music that befits it. I liked his stuff in that. Also, good call with the bowling alley parallel. I see it now that you mention it, and I like the analogy a lot.

  4. I didn’t know that Lynch used Penderecki for Inland Empire – I’ve been meaning to rent that sometime, and this knowledge will finally force me to get around to it. While this is off-topic, I have to confess that I am a Lynch fan of sorts; the only real reservation I have about applauding his work, however, is being potentially associated with some of his other fans, many of whom only find interest in his work due to its strangeness, as if that were enough on its own. It’s not merely the non-linearity, etc, that makes Lynch a great director, nor is it the occasional scenes of disturbing violence and so forth.

    They showed Wild At Heart at a theater in my area recently, and, being fond of the film, I attended, only to find that the audience ruined it for me. I believe half the people merely showed up to laugh at the film’s strangeness and revel in the persona of Lynch as the mad mastermind, for they laughed at inappropriate times – they laughed even at the most violent moments, and I don’t believe Lynch’s film laughs with them. If it did, I wouldn’t have such a high regard for him as a director.

    Nice site, by the way.

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