Hands down the best film of at least 2007 – I’ve watched my DVD of this film 5 times now and everytime – I get enraptured by the story, the acting, the choice of how to film certain scenes, the musical choices…. This isn’t a paint by numbers film. This is high cinema – about grand themes – put together in a mesmerizing masterpiece by Paul Thomas Anderson. The behind the scenes extras are well worth it – and a glimpse at how PTA does what he does. An absolute necessity – and is it me – or does this DVD cover look like it was Criterion Inspired?
This is actually a very fun film – now there were some critics that went a bit insane and equated it with E.T. – it ain’t that… but it is a very very fun kid’s film. In the realm of Nessie-esque stories – it is the best. The director, Jay Russell made a film, that nearly everybody ignored (including me) called MY DOG SKIP – that if you actually checked out – was the exception to the shitty dog movie – and is a film that my nephew and I enjoy a lot. No wonder that THE WATER HORSE works where so many films that try the E.T. type of thing fail. You have to get the kid right. And little Alex Etel sells the whole thing.
Here’s a rock solid film that simply wasn’t “big enough” to make a dent in the modern movie goer’s brain pan via a trailer to go see. However, if you checked who directed… Terry George – and realized, oh hey… wait, didn’t he direct HOTEL RWANDA – well, you would’ve gone and seen this. It is totally different, yet absolutely captivating. Joaquin Phoenix is just an actor that I like seeing work – and he does wonderful work here. Don’t miss this film… it’s a story of guilt, obsession and revenge. And it handles the three themes excellently.
This is one of those films that’ll find its audience on Home Video, Cable and that people will enjoy far more – once we’re away from the feelings we have about the world around us today. That said – this is an excellent movie, which isn’t really surprising… Redford is amazing. And Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep’s performances are… uniformly great. But like all of the Iraq films… the public sees enough and hears enough stories from the media… they don’t seem to want to pay for another. Its sad, there’s some really wonderful films that have been coming out on the subject.
I love the run of stuff from Judd Apatow… And this film is funny, but frankly… and maybe it is just me… the Comedy made of parodies of other movies is tired. This isn’t the brilliant type of parody that Mel Brooks did in his best days. Don’t get me wrong, Reilly fucking sells this – and there’s lots of laughs… but rather than ape another film – I’d preferred a film that didn’t take the steps of another. It is a very very good chance you’ll love and enjoy this movie. I’m just not convinced this sort of film, done this way, is appealing to stuffed shirts like me. That said – Reilly rocks!
DiCaprio’s passion project – to me – spends too much time yapping on the problems – and not nearly enough time on the solutions. It’s a problem that most of the Environmental Doom docs have. They spend so much energy explaining why we’re all utterly fucked – don’t get me wrong. I really like this film. It basically tells me, what any environmentally conscious human being knows. And there is a message of hope – but it doesn’t spend its time selling that message as hard as it sells the DOOM. If I may – let me suggest a far better document about the problems facing our world – and the ways to solve them…
In the interest of complete disclosure – I know this filmmaker. His name is Turk Pipkin – and I’ve known him, pretty much, my entire life. He was a street clown – a long time ago here in Austin – working on “The Drag” here in Austin, where my parents were Arts and Craftsmen. However, you might know his work as a writer on NIGHT COURT and as an actor on THE SOPRANOS. His documentary has a simple premise. Turk’s kids began asking scary questions – as a result of watching the news… and Turk decided to seek out the answers by talking to the smartest people on planet Earth and documenting it. The film shows his conversations regarding the toughest issues facing mankind – with 4 Nobel Peace Prize winners – and Nobel Prize winners in Economics, Chemistry, Physiology & Medicine, Physics… oh and another Chemistry genius. The result… absolutely the most hopeful and inspiring film on the big issues facing mankind. In my opinion – it isn’t as “Showy” as THE 11TH HOUR or AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH – there’s no abundance of graphs and cg. Instead, it is brilliance talking to you – in terms you can absolutely grasp. This DVD isn’t out this Tuesday – it has been out. But my recommendation is… Get This One! It has the answers.
A bit too weird for a lot of people – but as odd and as all over the place as Munchausen is… I love it. It’s one of the most richly detailed films of Gilliam’s life and to get to see it on Blu-Ray was magnificent. You pick up on detail lost in the foggy memory of that original theatrical experience… God… nearly 20 years ago. We’re all getting old, but the films are looking better than ever!
I’m in love with Eleanor Powell… my wife knows this. It’s permitted. But goddamn, that woman is not of this earth. In BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936, BROADWAY MELODY OF 1938 and in BORN TO DANCE – she is simply unreal. She’s a figment of a black & white era – she only made 12 films – but nearly everyone agrees – she’s the best female dancer of all time. And a very strong argument has been made – by some of the greatest dancers of all time – that she could be the very best… period. I know to me, she’s the loveliest. Her eyes sparkled, her softness translated from the screen to your eyes. Her dynamism electrifies still to this day. And her dancing. Well, it’s the best. With the issues of the past week, I’ve only watched her 3 films as part of this set. I’ve seen and loved KISMET – as it was one of my mother’s favorites – but the others… I’m looking forward to discovering.
One of those Clone-ophobia films – about the evils of cloning. This isn’t one of the better Arnie films – but even his worst films are entertaining – and this isn’t anywhere near his worst. It is merely ridiculous. But sometimes ridiculous is fun, and this is quite a bit of fun. I’m fond of the future they have here – I like the guns – and I love the whole clone deal. Though THE PRESTIGE is a better take on the material.
Sue me, I liked it.
For $37 you get three truly great Bette Davis films in ALL ABOUT EVE, HUSH…HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE and THE VIRGIN QUEEN. With ALL ABOUT EVE being the very best film of her career (in my opinion). As for PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER and THE NANNY – again – the travails of this week caused me to not get to them. Bette Davis was one of our very best actresses of all time – and there’s at least 3 of her very best films here. Well worth it.
Apparently they decided to buy ads on AICN… Warning – Complete Piece Of Shit – Avoid at all costs – I am totally serious.
Did you love the movie, THE PRESTIGE? Do you love magic? I’m not talking about the rubbish you see from the “sick” magicians of today… but the old school – hard as fuck – contortionsit and mechanical wizards back in the day. I’m talking about folks like Harry Houdini. To many he is merely Tony Curtis… but to a lucky few – he has a shadow caught on celluloid nitrate that has survived the ravages of time. This box set is the middle east oil supply of this week’s column… that’s right, it’s something some would invade over. It’s a real treasure! Here’s what you get: This Kino DVD set includes all of Houdini s suriving films as an actor, rare footage of actual handcuff and straitjacket escapes, and a wealth of historical information. Includes: THE MASTER MYSTERY (1919, 238m, Color Tinted) TERROR ISLAND (1920, 55m, B&W) THE MAN FROM BEYOND (1922, 68m, Color Tinted) HALDANE OF THE SECRET SERVICE (1923, 84m, Color Tinted) THE GRIM GAME (Fragment, 1919, 5m, Color Tinted) - SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE: Filmed records of Houdini escapes (ca. 1907-23) - Audio recording of Houdini speaking (1914) - Excerpts from the NY Censor Board files - Slippery Jim, a 1910 Houdini-inspired comedy - The illusion Metamorphosis performed by Houdini s brother Hardeen and others.
Right up there with THE DAILY SHOW and THE COLBERT REPORT as my favorite stuff on television – the adventures of Jamie and Adam fascinate me with every episode. I love their FILM episodes – but more than that – I just love the crazy Old Wives tales that they prove right or wrong – and I love that you can’t really guess what’s gonna be real and what isn’t. Like that Tesla Earthquake Machine episode that scared the shit out of them. That was classic. Here’s another great set!
I fucking loved this game – and the idea of playing it… in 1080p on my 9ft by 12ft screen is giving the 12 year old version of myself chills – and that fool is still plunking quarters into the machine. The schmuck. The world is so much more badass in the future! Muahahahahahaha
While not a truly great documentary – it pieces together a history of the Bay Area’s contribution to the history of cinema – which goes back a lot further than most would guess. All the principles are interviewed and you actually get your best look at Skywalker Ranch. The story of how it all came to be is fascinating – but the music kinda got on my nerves… but if you love Lucas, Coppola, Lasseter and Zaentz… man, you owe it to yourself to hear this story.
Here’s what they say at AMAZON: A squadron of Japanese soldiers find themselves transported through time to Japan s feudal period...400 years in the past, where rival samurai clans are battling to make their leader the supreme Shogun. The squad leader, Lt. Iba sees this as the perfect opportunity to realize his dream of becoming the ruler of Japan. To achieve this, he teams his troops up with those of Kagatori, a samurai who also aspires to become Shogun, using their high-tech weaponry to rule Japan. Well – doesn’t that sound fun as hell? I thought so – I should have it tomorrow!
Here’s what you get: Scared to Death, White Zombie, Devil Bat, The Ape Man, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, The Terror, The Mysterious Mr. Wong, The Ape, Black Dragons, Human Monster, The Death Kiss, Boys from Brooklyn, The Snake People, The Invisible Ghost, The Gorilla and The Corpse Vanishes!!! OK – the quality of the transfers suck – but what do you expect for $11. There’s several wonderful performances from Karloff and Lugosi there – with the real jewel of the set being WHITE ZOMBIE – which is one of Lugosi’s very bests. Personally – it’s worth it to me for the Hirschfeld portraits of Karloff and Lugosi. They rule.That’s it for this week, which is better than last week – and I’m hoping the same can be said of my life. Next week we’ll be looking at: JUNO, ALIENS VS PREDATOR – REQUIEM, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, PREDATOR (Blu-Ray), INSIDE, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, ALIEN NATION – Ultimate Movie Collection, WOODY WOODPECKER AND FRIENDS CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION VOLUME 2, A PASSAGE TO INDIA (Blu Ray), WAR DANCE, COMMANDO (Blu Ray), BLAST OF SILENCE, LOCH NESS TERROR, THE BACKWOODS, THE MINUS MAN, EMANUELLE COLLECTION, THE CURSE OF LIZZIE BORDEN II – PROM NIGHT, RUNNING WITH ARNOLD and more! See you next week…
April 8, 2008, 5:36 a.m. CST
That's all...just clearing my throat
April 8, 2008, 5:37 a.m. CST
that's why I was clearing my throat
April 8, 2008, 5:39 a.m. CST
That's never stopped you before.
April 8, 2008, 5:47 a.m. CST
by Jerri Blank
P2-Two: P On Me!
April 8, 2008, 5:51 a.m. CST
by I am_NOTREAL
is worth it for the Dylan scenes alone - absolutely hilarious!
April 8, 2008, 5:52 a.m. CST
It comes in one of those crappy cardboard "jewelboxes", much like free screeners come in.
April 8, 2008, 5:59 a.m. CST
by lex romero
That was best film of 2007. Better than TWBB. Travesty that it wasn't up for best film but juno was ffs.
April 8, 2008, 6:04 a.m. CST
Please forgive me if I'm wrong as my understanding of HD is, by my own admission, limited but how can Munchausen on Blu-ray "pick up on detail lost in the fog of that original theatrical experience…"? It's my understanding that 35mm has far greater resolution than 1080p.
April 8, 2008, 6:08 a.m. CST
Totally agree with you on 'The Assassination of Jesse James...' - An absolutely stunning film. I was shocked it didn't pick-up Best Picture and Best Director noms.
April 8, 2008, 6:29 a.m. CST
by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World
No, somehow There Will Be Blood is STILL underrated!!!
April 8, 2008, 6:37 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST
by jimmy rabbitte
As you said about Arnold, "but even his worst films are entertaining."<p> ...well... I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone of "Batman and Robin" <p> Still, you're right about The 6th Day. It had its' moments.
April 8, 2008, 6:44 a.m. CST
And I really hate the guts of the "movie" series (Scary, Epic, Date, Spartans and all this shit). The Beatles scene alone has many laughs more than all these movies put together. And "I halved myself pretty badly" is so absurd that I couldn't help but laugh.
April 8, 2008, 6:52 a.m. CST
by Chippy Fon Toast
has the best tatas in hollywood. I'm desperately hoping that she goes the Heather Graham route and starts showing them in every flick that she releases from now on.
April 8, 2008, 6:52 a.m. CST
His movies aren't that genius.
April 8, 2008, 7:09 a.m. CST
Are we really suppose to believe that you have spent 15 hours watching There Will Be blood? I mean yeah i just don't buy it. Unless you had the DVD three years ago. TWBB just didn't have that must watch again right away, and then 3 more times.
April 8, 2008, 7:14 a.m. CST
P2 stars boobies? That can't be the real DVD cover can it?... Yeah thats the real cover.
April 8, 2008, 7:16 a.m. CST
2 of my all time favorite films. gotta agree though, Jesse James was brilliant and robbed at oscars. I ordered my blu-ray of it and it arrived here in australia today because for some reason they didn't want to release it here. We got crap all blu-ray releases down under! thankfully a lot of them are still region free...
April 8, 2008, 7:17 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
I've long parted ways with Wes, and I don't think we need to mention Paul W.S., and Loni just hasn't stood the test of time, I'd probably be tempted to say Thomas A. Anderson is my favorite Anderson but he prefers to be called "Neo" and is dead now anyway so he probably doesn't count, so I'm going with P.T. as my favorite Anderson.<br><br>It's strange because I feel like his career has gone in the opposite direction of his colleague in Andersonology, Wes. I admired but didn't really love P.T.'s earlier films because I felt like his creative potential was overshadowing the stories and the characters felt like little bugs he was torturing with his magnifying glass, but Punch Drunk Love and Bastard in a Basket feel like much more mature films that have a lot more sympathy for their characters. Whereas I feel like Wes Anderson started out as a guy with heart and skill and has de-evolved into being a film student wanker.<br><br>That's just my thoughts on the various Andersons of cinema. Have a nice day.
April 8, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 7:49 a.m. CST
Peoples problem with TWBB is the skip to the end and Paul Dano inability to age (don't know if that was a choice to show how Plainview saw him or what). What I love about it, is that in the fight to see who's going to be the next great American director (because come on we got way too many foreign guys showing us how its done) PTA comes out on top. Putting the likes of Darren Aronofsky (who still has a chance of being the best) and Richard Kelly (who needs to go study the life and times of Terry Gilliam, and realize that you first need to make a landmark film before you can start acting like Gilliam) in there place. Either way I feel that it deserves much more praise then No Country for Raising Arizona Again Man. <P> Did not know that TWBB had Paul F. Tompkins in it? Wait? I think i did, need to go watch it 4 more times to make sure. How he got to be in that movie, let alone how he's managed to stay around since Mr. Show without resorting to Nickelodean cartoons is astounding. Least funniest guy in showbiz. Well luckily his involvement didn't totally ruin TWBB like he does with everything else.
April 8, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST
Finally! I used to type it into Amazon in the vague hope of finding it, and some soft core porn would always pop up instead. Most disappointingly, it was soft core porn that DIDN'T feature Howard Keel singing Stranger In Paradise. Unforgivable.
April 8, 2008, 8:03 a.m. CST
what is Bastard in a Basket?
April 8, 2008, 8:04 a.m. CST
..this shhiiitt!!!" Do yourself a favor and discover WALK HARD on video. Thank me later.
April 8, 2008, 8:04 a.m. CST
...The Final Countdown (not the song) about an aircraft carrier in the Bermuda Triangle or something that slips back to WWII?...it even had the obligatory guy who falls in love and stays behind and then when the heroes get back to the "present" he's all old but happy...did I dream it?
April 8, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST
With Space Ace out for Blu-Ray, is Dragon's Lair far behind, or is it already out?
April 8, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST
they wanted t destroy it. Like quint/vern/capone said. How the hell can anyone seriously just make a straight forward music biopic now? Dewey cox managed to make an hilarious epitaph for completely overdone music biopics.
April 8, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST
Yes, Dragon's Lair 1 and 2 are on the way. They're being remastered/restored first.
April 8, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST
23rd hour of the 6th day of the third week of 11th month.
April 8, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST
damn, that's why I tune in
April 8, 2008, 8:35 a.m. CST
I loved the storybook quality of this film. Dakota Fanning and Abagail Breslin should study Sarah Polley's role as an example of great child acting. Question... When is Brazil coming out in HiDef?????
April 8, 2008, 8:37 a.m. CST
No Country for Old Men was a superior film in every way Knowles, I'm surprised with your choice.
April 8, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
for There Will Be Blood, in some countries the basket weavers union (BWU) has a lot of lobbying power and got the title changed to There Will Be Blood. True story.
April 8, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST
were awarded for their body of work, and no doubt, No Country is one of their strongest films. (I haven't seen Millers Crossing in years, I have to revisit that). I thought it was good, and like Zodiac, free of the flourishes that generally inhabit their work. But best of the year..??? I haven't seen Blood yet, so I'll see...
April 8, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST
Sounds like the latest from Frank Henenlotter to me.
April 8, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST
Was suprised when The 6th Day actually got a good review from The New Yorker..Its no Total Recall, but a decent Arnie future-fest.
April 8, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST
by Sith Witch
Bastard in a Basket = There Will Be Blood
April 8, 2008, 8:59 a.m. CST
when Uma was young, and unafraid to pose naked....
April 8, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST
of you? You'd be an ideal subject.
April 8, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST
by Sith Witch
April 8, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST
It wasn't great at all. It went down the same road as many of it's predecessors, but like Weirdsville, there were loads of little things about it I really liked. I was entertained and that's all you can expect.
April 8, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST
every scene with the lewis and the preacher guy was comical. i couldnt stop laughing. that movie was so full of itself. NCFOM was vastly superior.
April 8, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST
He said something like that on his corny, Best Week Ever, which my the way I think is ruining comedy, you know, the whole lets make fun of everything, quasi-po-mo cynicism, anyway yeah, Paul (im apparently a comedy legend) Tompkins said, 'who laughs at charlie chaplin in 2007?' - Well, I do dude, and I do not laugh at you, at least not at your joked. Chaplin, along with Keaton, are Cinema Gods..
April 8, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST
love. Every time Harry says he loves a film, I take a drink. Now I'm a fucking alcoholic.
April 8, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST
Lord have mercy on our souls....
April 8, 2008, 10:05 a.m. CST
by Wee Willie
Nobody worth their salt is going to be the next anyone... That's just pretentious filmschool/fanboy talk.
April 8, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST
Thank you. Case in point. I actually just watched one of my first Chaplin films a year ago. The Great Dictator and it was pretty damn funny. As far as Best Week Ever, it used to be really funny back when they still had people like Patton Oswald on it whos cynicism is usually spot on. Paul F. Tompkins jokes are just horrible. The only reason to watch it still is for Doug Benson, who hopefully leave VH1 hell. I mean when one guy on E! has a show a million times better then a collective group, you should give up.
April 8, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST
Well, maybe just in that film, but he better be careful.
April 8, 2008, 10:15 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST
Oh, it just is. End of story.
April 8, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST
Well, I'd given up hope of finding an intelligent person on AICN, but here you are. [P] Couldn't agree more with your thoughts on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (I just didn't see what everyone else seemed to), THERE WILL BE BLOOD, ZODIAC and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. As much as THERE WILL BE BLOOD was fantastic, I still maintain that JESSE JAMES was the best film of last year and, through time, will come to be recognized as a classic work of cinema.
April 8, 2008, 10:22 a.m. CST
I've been visiting this site for about ten years and I still have no idea how to make paragraphs in the message boards. Something about [P]? That didn't seem to work...
April 8, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST
In my opinion as is shared by some others here, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is the best film of last year and one of the best I've ever seen. The book is also fantastic. It's an exiciting time to be a film fan...and SK229, very astute observations
April 8, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST
by lex romero
It wasn't really a pretentious choice though, that is how Jesse was assassinated. (or at least how Ford tells it) Personally i loved it as it left it open for interpretations. <br> <br> You see it as jesse letting ford kill him, Ford saw it was jesse testing him and his brother's commitment to him. I like to see it as a man flying too close to the sun. Jesse is seen to envy his previous life, he doesn't like the idea of giving up the life of a criminal. He liked the excitement. I think that's why he kept Ford around, whilst ford was odd, he looked up to him as this great bandit who had adventures. Something jesse still wants. I think when he takes his guns off and turns his back it's for a number of reasons, one being a man trying to push the boundries of his own mortality.
April 8, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST
But none of you bothered to check it out. Too busy with your "milkshakes" and Juno CD soundtracks.
April 8, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
I'm glad you've gotten away from simply saying "this looks GREAT in HD" or "I wish this was in HD" with every single capsule review here, and got back to talking about the movies. HD is nice, but really not relevant to my enjoyment of a film. By the way, condolences for your loss.
April 8, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
I think Walmart fucked up. Just thought I'd let y'all know.
April 8, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST
Seriously...that flick is ESSENTIAL viewing for any movie geek. The last hour is non-stop insanity with thousands of samurai fighting tanks, choppers, and machine guns. One of the most kickass action setpieces in movie history!
April 8, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST
I LOVED Haute Tension and thought Hills Have Eyes remake was intense and had good gore but not a great overall film, anyone seen P2?
April 8, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST
Yo, Harry! No review of SMOKERS? It came out March 24 and is amazing!
April 8, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST
Thoroughly entertaining and well done, with a fine third act...
April 8, 2008, 11:01 a.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST
I think the TheGreatDanton up there would disagree with you. As do I. And most people with good taste.
April 8, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST
He was good in sketches on Mr. Show, but his Best Week Ever comments are awful. Hvaing said that Charlie Chaplin is not funny and anyone who thinks so is under 12, over 80, or functionally retarded.<p><p> I can understand the respect for the waht the man created and his genius, but he was playing to relatively unmedia-sophiticated crowds. Other than SOME of the slapstick stuff, which has universal appeal, there is not much to laugh at.
April 8, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST
What the hell is up with the packaging for TWBB? Has anyone picked it up yet? You slide the discs in and out of a cardboard sleave. Damn things scratch the first time you yank them out. I loved the movie and think it was the best flick of the year, but I think a stink needs to be raised over at Paramount.
April 8, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST
Had like a nothing part in Mr. Show? He maybe had like 5 lines in the whole show.
April 8, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST
Totally fell you about the strains for a depth that it doesn't possess comment. And its probably because everyone has been blowing smoke up their asses since they first hit the scene. I can see that NCFOM and TWBB are very good, very solid movies. But with those and along with like every other movie that was nominated for any Oscar this year everyone was acting like these were the best films ever. Personally I thought 07 overall was weak, I don't see myself revisiting that many movies that came out last year. For some reason movies become cool again in 07, and so critics and douche bags around the office acted like they were so with it because they thought that No Country was good and Juno was heart warming and funnier then anything else in the world. Like a lot of movies that got such high praise in 07 came from a lot of newer directors and everyone is just telling how good they are. It feels like, people like Aronofsky and Kelly got out of film school and were told how good their student film is and then they think they can do anything. The needed to work their way up. At least Fincher had to work in music videos first. And while I didn't think Zodiac was the best film ever its probably the only film that really shows a directors talents. While TWBB had an amazing actor (and a complete idiot Paul F.) compare TWBB to My Left Foot and try to tell me that its even close as too which is the better movie.
April 8, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST
... was awful. Horribly directed. It looked like a movie of the week. And the acting by Nick Nolte was laughable. A terrible, terrible film based on an amazing book. And P2! WTF? P2 was fucking useless. Not one goddamn scare. Sure, there's some gore, but gore isn't enough. Useless!
April 8, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST
I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Very provocative at times and the whole Robert Duvall subplot was heartbreaking. Great punishment for the villain, being stripped down by his own clone before he's dead.
April 8, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST
Good I am glad that someone else brought up how bad that movie really is. Plus I don't think Don Cheadle is that good of an actor. Dude plays Don Cheadle in every movie, just different accents. He's like the black Leonardo DiCaprio.
April 8, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST
by Frank Black
...But There Will Be Blood is far superior filmmaking. Like the other Coen Brothers films, NCFOM was like a Looney Tunes cartoon for a mature audience but There Will Be Blood was absolute perfection. I remember all of the texting and talking teens in the front and how quickly they shut up and didn't say a peep for the entire film! The audience was hypnotized! Blu Ray please! I'm not buying anymore DVDs. Either way, it was an amazing year for movies last year.
April 8, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST
Agreed, Mr. The catholics, wouldn't buy TWBB on anything but Blu-Ray.
April 8, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST
by Darth Macchio
...Eragon (donations for optic surgery appreciated) and then seeing the ad for "The Waterhorse" I have to say....did they hire the same mythological creature for these movies? I haven't seen the Waterhorse...does it speak to the little boy with Rachel Weiz's voice? Waterhorse sands those horns down a bit and poof...it's "Eragon's Dragon" (holy shit that sounded impossibly stupid...did Paolinni say that crap in his book? Is that why he gave his prot that dumbass name of Eragon..and then slyly pronounce it different in the movie...please..donations....I accidentally stepped on my left eye after I plucked them out with a cocktail umbrella during Eragon...that old dude from Blade Runner wants 10g's for a new one!)
April 8, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST
by Frank Black
I can't find a listing for it anywhere...
April 8, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST
I thought it was pretty damn good... not sure if "bag boy" was actually looking to go over the top with his performance but, given the situatiom, it kind of works.
April 8, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST
thompkins was a writer(pretty much all the cast was). He helped write a lot of the best sketches. He's funny but I don't agree with his statement on charlie chaplin, I wonder if the context of him saying that was fucked up.
April 8, 2008, 1:32 p.m. CST
The chaplin thing was something he said on Best Week ever. Making fun of someone like Tom Cruise or the view it think? Well he should stick to writing then. His delivery of jokes is really bad. Watch his comedy central stand up, don't worry about the audience being too loud either you won't hear them.
April 8, 2008, 1:32 p.m. CST
another one comes out this week called Sharkwater. It is about how the ocean's ecosystems are going to shit because of all the shark finning. It is supposed to be really good.
April 8, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST
WASN'T HIS FILMS MADE DURING THE 20'S AND 30'S. BACK THEN,people didn't even have a microwave or pockets, right???
April 8, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST
giving head to an ice cream cone and singing "you can always come in my back door" may be the hottest thing I've seen in a while. Oh, and There Will Be Blood was not only the best film of this last year but I believe it's the best film of this decade so far. That's right. I said it.
April 8, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST
No Country For Old Men was still my favorite of last year. Still, Daniel Day Lewis's performance in There Will Be Blood is one of the best in years.
April 8, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
28 Weeks Later , 300 , 4 Elements , 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, American Gangster , The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford , Atonement , The Edge of Heaven, Away from Her, The Bourne Ultimatum , Brand Upon the Brain! , Eastern Promises , Gone Baby Gone ,Grindhouse , I'm Not There, Inland Empire, Into the Wild , Joshua , The King of Kong , Knocked Up , Michael Clayton, The Mist , My Winnipeg , No Country for Old Men, Once , The Orphanage, Paranoid Park ,Redacted , Rescue Dawn , The Savages , The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Lust Caution, Sicko , Southland Tales, Sunshine , Superbad, There Will Be Blood, Zodiac
April 8, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
April 8, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
3:10 to Yumna, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Black Snake Moan, Charlie Wilson's War, Fido, The Host, Hot Fuzz, Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, Persepolis, Ratatouille, Severance, when these movies make my middling list, yeah it was a good year.
April 8, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST
Jesse James is finally getting some lovin. That movie was fucking incredible. Casey Affleck earned that Oscar for Best Suporting Actor. Moreso I think, than Javier Bardem. And Brad Pitt deserved at least a nomination.
April 8, 2008, 2:28 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
I'm getting really tired of the X film is good because Y film sucks argument. You're not proving your point doing this, especially when you choose superior movies as your Y films. If PTA should go to hell for Punch Drunk Love, where should the makers of Norbit go?
April 8, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST
Brules Rules! ahh Munchausen on blue ray. a young Uma..aahh (sorry pause button)
April 8, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
CHUD is doing a column on overrated films right now, and Punch Drunk Love was one of their picks. Devin Faraci defended it, and I tend to agree with most of the points he made. It's a minor, transitional film from a great filmmaker and although it's probably the least of what he has accomplished it doesn't deserve the hate that's heaped on it for whatever reason. If nothing else, it has the distinction of being the only film I have been able to tolerate Adam Sandler in.
April 8, 2008, 3:18 p.m. CST
get soo much cool dvd stuff over there in the us of a...sigh
April 8, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST
But does Petaluma get a mention? From American Graffiti to Howard the Duck, there've been a lot of movies filmed here.
April 8, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST
I'm getting it.
April 8, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST
Is so wildly overrated, guys. Come on. Does anything actually happen in the movie? I mean, does anyone change in any way? The answer is no. 5 mins after being introduces to each character you know them front to back. There's no mystery. It just beats you over the head for 2 hrs and 40 mins. Jesse James is better for a myriad of reasons (for example, despite having a running time similar to There Will Be Blood, its characters still possess a level of mystery). Nevermind the fact that Day-Lewis (who I love) hams it up in a rather poor John Huston impersonation. I don't know how Anderson did it, but he managed to write characters that are entirely one-note, yet psychologically inconsistent (Plainview as brilliant tactician vs. Plainview as an immature boy). Not only that, he coaxed that mediocre performance out of Day-Lewis, all the while presenting his film like his shit doesn't stink. The more I think about the film, the less I like it.
April 8, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
What the hell...?!
April 8, 2008, 5:07 p.m. CST
I really liked Punch Drunk Love but more than that I liked the first time I saw it. A friend and I wnet knowing it was going to be, uh, aggressively quirky. I love you so much I want to smash your face in? Crazy. Anyway, as we're sitting waiting for the film to start, a group of senior citizens come on in. Three older couples. Not totally old. Not grey and senile. More like the just-new-to-the-retirement-community old. Old enough that I thought, Hmm, don't think this is the target audience for this film. Afterward my friend and I sat watching the credits, letting the rest of the crowd clear out. The oldsters walk right by us. The woman at the head of the group turns to her friends and with a sort of older lady Jewish accent says, "I don't know. The man in the paper said it was good!" Maybe you had to be there but the way she said it was funny as hell. On its own it was funny but you could just tell this group had just haaaated the film. Like they were leaving after having had a really bad, really perplexing experience. Now that's entertainment.
April 8, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST
Huh? "Poor John Huston impersonation?" "Mediocre performance?" And then you complain about the character not changing (while being brilliantly revealed to the audience)? All that "character has to change" bullshit they taught you at filmschool is just that, buddy. Bullshit. The characters didn't change in The Big Lebowski and that movie turned out just fine. Read Neil Gaiman's Sandman series to see how brilliantly a character can "not change". Look, I know it takes all sorts. Tastes differ. That's fine. That's great. But I also believe that some films are simply above petty criticisms. If people want to throw rocks at movies like Citizen Kane, On the Waterfront, Lawrence of Arabia, All the President's Men, The Shawshank Redemption or There Will Be Blood, then fuck them, seriously. If it's not your cup of tea, then just respectfully say so and stand aside. In my opinion, if you can't appreciate There Will Be Blood, you simply can't appreciate great cinema.<p> P.S. Great to see some love for Zodiac and The Assassination of Jesse James. Great year for movies.
April 8, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST
At least that would have been my comment if they had put a no frills single DVD with few if any extras. There probably still will be, with another cut, but at least they've done up a full monty two disc from the start.
April 8, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST
Schwarzenegger goes to the optometrist. Exciting.
April 8, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Amen, brother. The character arc police get pretty tiresome after a while. Plainview does have an arc, he just doesn't become a different person over the course of the narrative. Like.. hmm.. real life. And Jinxo... listening to old people comment on films as they leave the theater is one of my favorite pastimes. Recent favorites include the old bitty that said I'm Not There was "too confusing, they should have watched Walk the Line before they started to make it."
April 8, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST
it's flaws, and realied too heavily on Day-Lewis's John Huston impersonation. Which I like, but I liked Clint Eastwood's in White Hunter Black Heart even better. I did like how it addressed religious hypocracy as no better than Plainview's ethos. Overall, very good, with flashes of brilliance, but I think they picked the right Best Picture in No Country.
April 8, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST
by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World
The movie was originally supposed to be something like 4 hours long right? I'm guessing all we got in the 2 hour cut were the establishing shots of fucking wheat fields in the wind, the actual movie itself is on the cutting room harddrive somewhere.
April 8, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST
sings My MilkShake Bring All the Boys to the Yard, in his Plainview overalls.
April 8, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST
April 8, 2008, 5:37 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Billboard Top 40 fo sho
April 8, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST
by George Newman
Are there special features on this disc?
April 8, 2008, 6:28 p.m. CST
or HBO. Watched it through every time caught it.
April 8, 2008, 6:34 p.m. CST
by Thunderbolt Ross
Therefore the movie sucked. Obviously.
April 8, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST
May have to check it out.
April 8, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST
There Will Be Blood. In the same sentence. As Citizen Kane. Magnificent. Citizen Kane is a prime example of why There Will Be Blood is a failure. You spend two hours finding out about Kane, yet he remains a mystery. You never get a hold of him. You watch five minutes of Day-Lewis as Huston and you know exactly who he is. I'm not saying a character must change for a film to be good, but Plainview is entirely one note, and worse yet, you never find out anything worthwhile about him. He's an open book from start to finish. So then, what's the point? And I like how you don't even bother to comment on the woefully inconsistent writing (Plainview as cold, calculating businessman vs. Plainview as childish bully). It's a GLARING problem with the film. Like having a scene in The Godfather Part II with Michael slapping Fredo around like a little bitch. Day-Lewis deserved an Oscar for Gangs of New York, but for There Will Be Blood he was simply over the top, lacking nuance in any way (much like the film).
April 8, 2008, 7:14 p.m. CST
Ok, i'm not surprised...but honestly who was going to watch this? Anyone? Anyone? Please stop trying to save us from a bad-movie like this harry but then give 10,000 BC a greenlight. No huevos. Also..ving rhames called. He's pissed you didnt say his cameo was "Deep fried in chocolate and covered in pussy-juice". yikes.
April 8, 2008, 7:25 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Plainview is one of the most complex characters that I have seen in a film in a long time. You are simply misreading him. You noticed two sides to him? Good for you, you are just beginning to grasp who he is. Yes, he is a shrewd and brilliant businessman, that much is clear from the first fifteen minutes of the film. You dismiss the rest of his character as "childish bully", which indicates to me that you weren't paying attention. Plainview is misanthropic from the beginning, and he states his misanthropy outright in the second act, but he attempts several times over the course of the film to reach out and plug into humanity. When his veneer of normalcy is challenged, he breaks. You can see this in the scenes where the railroad men mention his son and he completely overreacts and flips out. He's not reacting this way because of what the railroad men are saying, he's reacting this way because he has expended so much effort in constructing a dishonest persona for himself, a persona that is essentially a house of cards. He is not a warm and loving family man, but he wants to be, or feels he has to be. The first attempt we see at this is his adoption of H.W. Does he adopt H.W. to further his business interests? Is he looking for a legitimate heir to the empire he plans to build? Does he desire love and a family? The answer isn't simple because guess what, he's a complex character. It's significant that his relationship with H.W. begins to fall apart once H.W. goes deaf. He is a smooth talker, and he loses control when his son is no longer able to hear him. He is suddenly unable to exert the same persuasion over his boy, and unable to deal with this sudden failure, he sends him away. H.W. suddenly represents his own imperfections in his deafness, holding up a mirror to him that says "you do not fit into humanity, you are as cut off as this deaf child". Even at the end, his motivations with H.W. aren't fully resolved. If he's so simple, please explain the exchange he has with his son before the bowling alley scene. I see a deep failure to connect, a wound that he is covering with hostility and pride. Or is he hardening his son for a hard business in the only way he knows how? Or is he expressing long harbored resentment that his son is marrying into the Sunday family? You can read it multiple ways, and you can sense that they all contribute to the performance that Day Lewis is giving. This point is highlighted again by the arrival of his "brother". Here, Plainview lets his guard down, finally able to confide in someone whose connection goes deeper than business, here is someone who shares the same blood. He feels this connection will ultimately be enough to give him that link with normal humanity, a genuine family, everything he lacks. But his hopes are dashed when the real identity of Henry is revealed, and he reacts in the only way that makes sense for his character. And as much as I originally thought that Plainview doesn't change, he does, in a very subtle way. It happens in the baptism scene, where Eli Sunday drains him of his last drops of goodness. Up until this point Plainview is a man motivated by greed and a selfish desire to be normal, but there is a psychological break that occurs in this scene where everything else falls away and all he is left with is his hatred. Up until this scene he is still willing to do altruistic good at times (for instance, the scene where he defends the Sunday daughter) but there is no turning back after the baptism confessional, he is on a path to destruction after that. So forgive me if I call bullshit when you say he's an open book from scene one, because that is the most shallow interpretation of this film I have encountered so far.
April 8, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Yeah, he sounds like him. So?
April 8, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST
Great video and sound, no special features. However, the two disk is also severely lacking in any real depth in the special features and is totally overpriced. They hardly even form enough substantial material to call for a second disk. Hopefully this gets double dipped with way more stuff. I bought the single (read: uber shitty) disk to hold me off til then. The movie itself is excellent.
April 8, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST
Did you actually read that list you wrote? Or did you just copy and paste it from right from Lisa Schwarzbaum nice supple ass? <P> Seriously, think about EVERY single film on that list (decide if you have really seen it, or you are just trying to say its good to impress that special someone, who you need to know that you are hip to be square)and think to yourself. "Do I really care if I ever see that movie again before I die?" <P> Now, I give you one word that ultimatly destroys any concept/argument for 2007 being a good year for movies, Rambo. And if you don't agree then you probably should keep it to yourself unless you want everyone to know that you do not have a penis. And if you are a girl, your obviously ugly.
April 8, 2008, 9:39 p.m. CST
by The Devlinizer
He announced if the following online petition reached one million signatures he'd stop making movies!!! Lets kick his ass!!! Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/ RRH53888/petition.html Source: http://www.1up.com/do/newsStor y?cId=3167288
April 8, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST
hands down...sometimes films don't have to say anything greater than what they show on screen, they are a window that each of us can see ourselves in, and go from there, without being a message about Irag or the earth or religion or anything. Beyond that sometime they can just be entertaining! Weird, I know!
April 8, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST
by Don Lockwood
Why has Harry been going on about how bad things have been for him personally in, well, EVERY article he's written lately?
April 8, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST
by Don Lockwood
Apparently his grandmother died. Regardless of whatever else you may think of the guy, you gotta say you feel for him in this case. Condolences, Harry.
April 8, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST
how leftist movies, made by americans that hate america dont seem to do well.. not everyone is a miserable leftist victim.
April 8, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST
I'm not going to stoop to your level and call you a jack ass or something stupid like that, but you do realize Rambo came out in 2008, right? I'm just sayin...
April 8, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST
Wow! Surprised Harry hadn't already seen this one... under-seen, underrated horror classic and one of the best from Hammer Films.
April 9, 2008, 12:26 a.m. CST
Since being1974 is being I'll just say it...PWNED BEEYATCH!
April 9, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST
that's a little embarassing...ya still got PWNED!!!
April 9, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST
Yeah that was the point of the joke. That Rambo came out in 2008 not 2007. And since Rambo is the best movie in a long time owning all movies that came out in 2007. Wait sorry it PWNED all movies of 2007.
April 9, 2008, 1:48 a.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
I saw like 100 movies in 2007, those were my favorites. This causes you to rebuttle with a random Rambo reference why?
April 9, 2008, 4:04 a.m. CST
April 9, 2008, 4:06 a.m. CST
about as perfect a film to come out of the studio system since the 70's. Arguably the best character study ever put to the screen. That isn't hubris either. Day Lewis's performance is so complete and raw and Plainview's complex emotions so transparent to the audience that its probably the best performance to come around since Brando was at his peak. I literally had an hours long conversation last night with a friend simply about Daniel's motivations for sending away H. W. You typically can't talk that deeply about an entire film let alone a single moment. And Anderson doesn't waste a frame. Seeing it again tonight on DVD he picks precisely the right moments to let the raw humanity of the characters expressions do the talking and when to showcase the vast landscape encompassing them. So much of what makes the camerawork brilliant is what isn't in the frame. When It won best cinematography I initially disagreed with the choice but now I think it may have even been better than even the excellent Jesse James. The deliberateness of Elswits camera is just a force to be reckoned with possibly trumping even Jesse James's lush period mid west.
April 9, 2008, 4:33 a.m. CST
and your own shallowness and inability to detect nuance than it does hte character. If you think all he is is a jerk you aren't looking hard enough. What makes the character so brilliant is how all of his pathos, self loathing, and patheticness is lying just under a granite hardened surface. He's cold and calculating while simultaneously compeltely childish. He's developed his sense of business and work ethic like a samurai might sharpen a katana blade. Unfortunately he's done this completely at the expense of his own human growth. His hatred for the insignificant life of the average man leads and his need to transcend it has resulted in a lifelong attempt to make himself a god, to be incomparable to the common man, but to do it he had to trade his humanity. He makes himself powerful so he can, in fact, lash out like a errant child with a machine gun when confronted with opposition. It's quicker and more to the point than being an adult. But he is still a man, and the need for a human connection can never fully be relieved. He hopes to raise H. W. as someone as perfect as he is, someone who can share his place at the top. When H.W. is crippled he realizes he will never be the person Daniel had always hoped to have by his side. His handicap will always be a divide, an imperfection. Unable to cope witht hat, Daniel sends him away rather than confront H.W. as a different being than the one he had always envisioned. The only place where I disagree with Gwai Lo is in the baptism scene. I believe it's actually the scene before, when he realizes his brother is dead and that his last excuse to teather himself to the human race at large is gone forever and his hatred is all he has left, he is now truly alone in the world. Not only that, but to get to that point he had been scammed ruefully and in the most invasive way possible, leading him to take a human life. That is where I believe the switch to monster is. The baptism scene I think actually resuscitates his last drop of humanity, forced to confront his true love of H.W. which he had tried to sever. Earlier Daniel says that he left school because he "doesn't like to explain himself". This is because he doesn't like to face his own transgressions. When Eli forces that on him he is forced to reconsider his treatment of H.W. and bring him back. His treatment of H.W. at the end of the film is due to his incredible sense of sadness that his son is leaving him and doesn't need him anymore. Unable to cope with these feelings of vulnerability. Daniel makes the insane assessment that his son must be betraying him, this in order to trun his sadness, an emotion he has no experience in handling, into hatred, a realm in which he is far more comfortable. It's also interesting that he tells H.W. that there is "none of me in you" right after saying that H.W. has been building his hatred for him "piece by piece", which is EXACTLY how Daniel described himself in his drunken rant earlier. It's clear that Daniel is talking into a mirror in that moment and not really H.W.
April 9, 2008, 4:43 a.m. CST
Doesn't work any better on dvd unfortunately. Dewey Cox has cult classic written all over it - quite funny with a really piece of comic acting by John C. Reilly (not just trying to 'act funny").
April 9, 2008, 7:27 a.m. CST
April 9, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST
It's called subtext.
April 9, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST
Munchausen has an audio commentary by Gilliam and Charles McKeown and a 3 part documentary on the making of the film.
April 9, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST
Wow I couldn't have put it better myself. Daniel Plainview is an instant classic cinematic icon. Right up there with the Godfather, Scarface, and Taxidriver.
April 9, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST
What I was trying to say is that I was so disappointed with pretty much every movie I saw last year save for a few on your list: Sunshine, Superbad, TWBB, The Host, Hot Fuzz, Joshua, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Redacted, Grindhouse and Rattattoo. And movies like Juno, Knocked Up, 300, Inland Empire, Into the Wild, The Mist, Eastern Promises, NCFOM, The Orphanage, American Gangster, and The Boring Ultimatum were just so over blown and there was really nothing that spectacular about them. Solid movies yes (minus Juno and Knocked Up) anything special, no. And it just seemed that every movie I kept seeing last year, everyone and there mother and Gwai Lo were shitting there pants about their excellence and that they’re all cinematic achievements. I saw them… went MEH could've waited for DVD. A few of them I did wait for DVD. And then along comes Rambo in 08.<P> People mocked it and wanted to pretended that Rocky Balboa just didn't happen. Trying to make Sly look like an asshole. AGAIN people just jumping on the band wagon as to what’s good without actually knowing. And what does Rambo do? Fucking deliver. Sly was like, action movies these days are made for and by pussy's, and he made probably the most violent movie I've ever seen, and I watch a lot of Takeshi's Castle Miike stuff. Sly's movie was so bad ass it put anything that falls under the Hostel wannbe category to shame. And Sly didn't sit around and tell magazines how great his movie is, how the cast got along so well, and that its so great to work with such a talented director and how everyone pussy smells like roses. He pretty much was a frustrated washed up old man. I can just imagine him sitting in the theater watching the Boring Series Number 2, shaking his head going what happened to movies. Action movies are not meant to win Oscars. Left the film and was like fuck Hollywoodland and all its bullshit I am going to show these kids how its done. BAM Rambo. Rambo was scarier then Javier Bardem and would eat Matt Damon. He would abort both Juno's and Izzies babies with his knife. He would drown Plainview in a pool of oil. He would take on Xerxes army, the Russian mob, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe when they are playing bad guys all by himself. Finally he would shove Richard Kelly's head up his own ass. And wouldn’t have to hear a god damn word of praise for it.
April 9, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST
Say what you will about Daniel Plainview. But its no where near as great as Christy Brown. Though I do wish Bono would take a lesson in humility from his twin brother DDL.
April 9, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST
Wasn't that supposed to be coming out. I love that friggin' movie!
April 9, 2008, 9:44 a.m. CST
they were not good. If it were anyone other than Day Lewis (who i love btw), people would be talking about how hammy and overacted those scenes were. And the preacher guy isn't much of an actor. He couldn't keep up with Lewis, and has no screen presence at all. OVERRATED
April 9, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST
First, if you didn't think that Planview changed in any way over the course of the film, then I don't know what to tell you. <p> Secondly, for those that think having a character change or have an arc is a) cliche b) lame or c) something that they only "teach in film school", then you are...wrong. <p> The greatest movies, those movies that people will remember forever, have their characters change. They can be subtle changes, unexpected changes, small changes, like There Will Be Blood or they can be larger changes. It's called storytelling. It's why we tell stories in the first place. It's why we watch stories. A character goes through an ordeal, a struggle, and comes out of it at the end different. It happens in life, it happens in art. Period.
April 9, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST
A movie doesn't need conflict. That's something they teach you in film school.
April 9, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST
Zodiac was last year's best film. Sorry, it's true. TWBB has it cult yeah, but who the hell said PTA is the next Kubrick? Hmm...judging from his previous films, I thought he was the next Scorsese...or the next Altman...maybe in his next film he can be annointed as the next Albert Pyun.
April 9, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST
Theater of the Absurd doesn't have characters change. But that's the whole point.
April 9, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST
What movies are you watching?
April 9, 2008, 10:10 a.m. CST
I agree with you. Day-Lewis's characterization of Christy Brown is better than Daniel Planview. But I think people forget the remarkable moments of subtlety in TWBB and tend to remember the "I drink your milkshake" moments.
April 9, 2008, 10:14 a.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
All those teenagers who loved Shawshank Redemption when it came out probably aren't teenagers anymore, unless they've got the same age defying powers as Paul Dano's character in that other "teen flick" There Will Be Blood.<br><br>But I'm glad you'll leave us youth to feast on Day-Lewis's big slice of ham and Hollywood mediocrity while you study real cinema in private. Your wisdom as which movies are actually good would probably be lost on us.
April 9, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST
Harry, you so crazy
April 9, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST
Good post. I agree with what you say on character change, but I do think that in a lot of movies it comes across as forced and trite. But as you said, a good storyteller finds ways to make it work. I also don't feel that it's mandatory, much the same way that you don't HAVE to use the three- act structure when writing. There are great stories out there that do bend the rules. As to the extent of Plainview's change, we'll be talking about that for years to come. He's a fascinating character.
April 9, 2008, 12:02 p.m. CST
that was perhaps Daniel Day-Lewis's best performance since My Left Foot, and I don't think he even got nominated for it. Brilliant piece of acting. Very different from Cutting or Plainview but no less intense and much more vulnerable.
April 9, 2008, 2 p.m. CST
Oh God, please don't let America get on the Climate Change band wagon too. American's heed my advice (I am not sure how much climate change has affected politics over there yet) do not vote in anyone who feels strongly about "green issues". They will fuck you over in the name of CC, charge you a fortune in taxes to prevent it, then not actually attempt to do anything about it. Pisses me right off over here in the UK. They increase driving charges regularly to encourage us to take public transport, where there is no public transport to take, and where there is....they put the cost up. Thieving bastard politicians, I hate every last one of them.
April 9, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST
the Christy Brown character, I'm down with that. I think they are both brilliant and I think both have a place in the cinematic pantheon of greatness.
April 9, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST
You're right. Often character changes aren't earned or believeable. But that's more the fault of the writer than the concept itself. <p> also, you're right. Films don't necessarily need the main character to change in any way. But that's because filmmakers have different artistic goals. A lot of these other types of films aren't interested in entertaining, telling a narrative story, or causing catharsis. For my money, the movies I want to see (and rewatch) have those qualities.
April 9, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Did you ever maybe stop to consider that other people watching films also have brains in their heads and, gasp, enjoyed the movies I listed for reasons other than armchair criticism? It was an exceptional year for movies, I'm not the only one saying this by a long shot, and it has nothing to do with being trendy. I have been a movie geek for my whole life, thanks to my dad, and this year was noticeably better than most other years. Your assessment that there is "nothing really spectacular" about most of the movies I listed is a subjective opinion. For the record, the first list I posted were movies I rated 8/10 or higher on IMDB. The second list were films I rated 7/10. The other 55 movies or so I saw last year were rated 6/10 or lower, and that's still a high ratio of good to bad! But like the guy who claimed Daniel Day Lewis was one note, the burden of proof is on you. Because the general public's views and the critical consensus is closer to my assessment (that all the films I listed are "good") than it is to yours (that most of the films I listed suck and everyone must be participating in some charade because movies suddenly became cool this year, whatever that means.) So I'm not sure why I'm even dignifying this (or completely argument free conjecture like "TWBB is soulless") with a response, because they don't deserve one. I have watched several of the films on my list more than once, and will probably watch almost all of them more than once at some point in my life, not that I think rewatchability has anything to do with a film's quality (however excellent, I have no need to watch 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days again for example, it got it's very well made point across the first time.) And as for Rambo, again, why are you even bringing it up? It's a 2008 film, and yes it was entertaining and the second best Rambo film after First Blood, but what is it doing in your argument?
April 9, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
That's how I feel on these AICN talkbacks sometimes. Honestly the cynicism here is so out of control that I wonder why people who hate movies so much hang out on a movie website all day. This isn't directed at anyone particular, I'm just wondering where all the vitriol and negativity comes from. There was a Blade Runner talkback recently where half the people in there were basically calling it a piece of shit. Personally, I'm glad that there are still people out there that got as excited as I did at the level of quality on display in 2007, because I like discussing films with other intelligent people, rather than reading a hundred people call something stupid or overrated with no argument to back it up.
April 9, 2008, 4:05 p.m. CST
Mine froze around 1h13m. Anyone else have that problem or did I get a bum disc?
April 9, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST
I've got the complete Space:1999 and Invasion UFO on the way, whoo hooo.
April 9, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST
Ummm... no. It's not a layer change when it freezes both the picture and your player indefinately. Keep your snide comments to yourself.
April 9, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST
And to those saying Plainview does not go through changes, are you kidding?! By the end of the movie he's a raving murderer who has no ties to the human race at all. At the start of the film he adopts another man's child even though he could have left the baby with someone else. A scene of subtlety was how, when on the train, he takes gentle amusement as the young boy plays with his moustache. Though he's somewhat cold and driven at the start, there's a definite progression from a man who is capable of humanity and kindness to a man who has none.
April 9, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST
Whilst the cinematography and some of the acting was faultless I felt the music was intentionally obstructive. Almost as if PTA were challenging us to relax, i didnt feel it necessary. also whilst dd lewis initially was mesmerising i felt the third act he did got a little ott.. I also felt the ending rushed, eliah's slide to sinner incompletley realised. Yeah i get that there were a product of each other and both were destroyed BUT i did feel it was an unsatisfactory ending after the length of time leading up to it.. I would be really interested to hear any of your comments guys!!unforgettable YES but without some big flaws...
April 9, 2008, 6:27 p.m. CST
I've only seen it once in theaters but I was also a little disappointed with the ending.
April 9, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST
I think your hot pockets are ready. It's people like you that give talkbackers a bad name
April 9, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST
cheers mate. i did truly love the film just want to chat about certain points to see if i missed anything... I dont think anyone can realisticaly review twwb after just one sitting...
April 9, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST
And I didn't have a problem with that. For those who claim that they felt some scenes were laughable, I felt that way too, but I thought it was inkeeping with the tone of the film. I think thats why some people are comparing him to Kubrick with this film, because it reminded me of "Clockwork Orange", being a dark film portraying the cruel side of a character and human nature, but there is something ridiculous about it. The final scene where he says "I'm done", and it cuts to black and classical symphony music, it totally reminded me of "Clockwork"...in a good way.
April 9, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST
I can appreciate all of those reasons you cited. And when I saw Clockwork Orange, I felt the ending completely worked. It wasn't particularly the comedy that threw me off, it was just for me I didn't feel they earned that final confrontation. Like you said Dalbatron, it felt tacked on somehow. Everything was there, but I don't know, I felt like the pieces before were missing. Granted I need to watch the film again but that was my initial impression.
April 9, 2008, 7:50 p.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
It really bugs me too that people come on here just to say that every movie beyond a couple of indisputable classics is "total shit" and get into a bunch of namecalling and goofy threats. It's fine not to like a movie, but I think as talkbackers we should strive to put the TALK back in talkback and articulate our feelings like adults. Posts such as "This film was shit. End of story." really aren't the end of any story I want to hear. And enough blowjob talk already. I can't stand witty rebuttals such as this:<br><br>"You were too busy sucking Michael Mann's hairy balls and working the shaft of his washed-up cock to realize he was cumming mediocre Hollywood shit all over your face, fucktard."<br><br>I mean, this is the interent, right? Not prison. In prison the biggest toughest guy gets to boss everybody around, but here all we have is our words so there's no use trying to intimidate other people into sharing your opinion through abuse. I think we know how to discuss film on the basis artistic merit, stuff like plot development, acting, music, visuals, etc so if you can't do that then you aren't really ready to talkback, go join a heckleback or a punchback or something.<br><br>So thanks to all you guys who try to discuss films on artistic merit and can actually acknowledge that a good movie can still be made in this modern day and age despite Kurosawa and Kubrick being dead.<br><br>Cheers
April 9, 2008, 8:08 p.m. CST
Yeah the ending is very kubrick which is not a bad thing. I had read that pta wanted the bowling alley to be competley white as a homage to kubrick so i guess the ending would suit eh?
April 9, 2008, 9:50 p.m. CST
I posted earlier about how my brand new, single disc version of TWBB completely froze my player... I'm now reading that this is happening to a LOT of people that are buying it. It's mostly due to the cardboard(?!) packaging. Simply pulling it out of the slot can damage the disc. Just thought I'd warn everyone... I've been to Best Buy twice today just to get a disc that doesn't come pre-scratched.
April 9, 2008, 10:19 p.m. CST
by Mace Tofu
if you bought a HD DVD player from them. The rebate is good for $50 off a amazon purchase and the offer is good 'till '09. Limit 10 rebates per person. Details for the rebate was sent to my eMail from Amazon.
April 9, 2008, 10:37 p.m. CST
by lucky slevin
or not. but what are your thoughts on legalization though mr knowles? anyone here thinks he burns it down
April 9, 2008, 11:27 p.m. CST
There will be blood.. How can I explain it. It isn't a movie. There is no end. And there is no paint by numbers Hollywood story to follow. I hate the fucking high on the horse critics who call it high art and intellectual cinema. Really it's not it's more like a honest look at the life of a man with an obsession, who is nothing more than that, and obbsession that he will do anything to get control over. Two poeple get in the way and they pay for it. People want to read into it deeper. Look for hidden meaning. Really it's a man who's empty- he has no life he doesn't fuck he doesn't have friends the only thing he has in life is his oil. He has a son who's not his and by the films end he disowns the boy. some might say this was the only true act of love he ever shown the boy. Seeing as he sent the boy off too a nut house after the boy lost his hearing, and didn't come back for the boy till someone spoke ill of Mr Plainview for what he had done. I couldnt trick myself into watching this more than twice. It's not bad but being a "Movie Fanatic" You want something in there that makes it feel a little less like a look at someone lifeless life. This is what happens when you let your obsession control you. you lose self identity. And Plainview love the boy... But the obsession was stronger. Just like some folks become drug addicts and die, and never go back to the ones they love. Fuck the Label "High Cinema" It's just a lifeless film about a lifeless man. Best film of the year the one that entertained was "No Country" and "John Rambo"
April 10, 2008, 1:37 a.m. CST
First off I think you fail to see the cynicism throughout my post's. Which is fine I deal with it all my life, people take shit I say WAY to seriously. In my bringing up Rambo in a argument about 2007 films, I feel like you did not read my whole post. But long story short, I feel that 07 was just filled with all these films that got all this hype. See I saw a change in people I know when it came to films. Usually they are like? Whats that? Never heard of it? Hahahah gay cowboys. When it came to "AWARD" caliber films. THIS year you can't say the words No Country For Old Man, Juno, There Will Be Blood, Knocked Up, Brad Pits movie with out some dumbass going OH YEAH I HEAR THATS A GOOD MOVIE! OR THATS A GOOD MOVIE! And then you ask them what they thought of it and they tell you that they haven't seen it. And when they tell you they have seen it, you ask them things like, "Oh yeah what did you think of Barton Fink?" and they would say "Barton who? You dumb, the dude abides!" <P> I am just saying that what happen this year, is like what happens to a band you like when they sell out. You know that underground band that all of the sudden has a billboard top 100 hit. And ALL of the sudden everyone is trying to tell you about this AWESOME! new band, when all the while you've been listening to them for the past five years. Thats what I feel happen to good movies this year. AND because of that, actual good movies got put by the way side because they didn't have OSCAR sent about them. Movies like Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Host, Perfume, and Joshua. <P> I guess it just pisses me off that people don't consider who the director of a film is 90% of the time. And I myself am a movie geek because of my dad and he taught me to enjoy big dumb man movies, such as Rambo. And for however good movies were in 07, 08 has been much more rewarding. Like 07 was just full of yuppie films, films that people see and afterward they feel smarter because it was an "art" film. 08 looks to go back to the geeks. Like Southland Tales is the perfect example of 07 films. A movie that acts like its so smart and better then everything else when in all actuality is fucking retarded and just a mess. While Rambo (which I've decided is the best Rambo, seriously go back and watch First Blood now that you've seen Rambo) was just a fucking bad ass movie. A movie that people all of the sudden were too good to see because it looks stupid. I don't know if any of that made sense, its like 2 in the morning and I've been working since 7 in the AM. Either way Juno and Knocked Up are fucking horrible and void of anything funny and if you can't agree with that, then we sir are on TWO different wavelengths.
April 10, 2008, 3:44 a.m. CST
when? at the end? by then i just didnt care anymore. lets see, why did this movie suck. let me count the ways. it was as slow as my grandpa's bowel movements. there was no character development, ther was no journey for these characters... daniel was an ass at the beginning, he was an ass at the end. the preacher was a fake at the beginning he was a fake at the end. nothing fucking happens. it had the most annoying "horror movie" soundtrack ever.
April 10, 2008, 3:48 a.m. CST
was excellent until the clever "no ending" ending. how can something be "best picture" when 9 out of 10 people who rent it come back to me and say they hated it?
April 10, 2008, 3:56 a.m. CST
sucked a bag of dicks. whether you like fast or slow zombies isnt the issue. the issue is that this movie breaks the rules big time. the last time i checked, zombies cant crawl up walls or jump around like the "vampires" in I am Legend. nor do you become a zombie by catching a cold. nor do you retain a dislike for meat just because you were a vegan before you die. fuck. this. movie. it was "inspired by" romero's film? INO. save yourself some money and watch NOTLD, DAWN, DAY, LAND of the Dead or the DAWN remake again. Fido, Shaun of the dead, Return of the Living Dead... are all better than this tripe.
April 10, 2008, 4:01 a.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
I get what you're saying, but I still don't really agree, and certainly don't think what you're saying applies to me. I take film pretty seriously, and I want to get into the industry. But I don't privilege art films over popcorn entertainment, as you can see I have stuff like Inland Empire and Brand Upon the Brain on the same list as 300, Superbad and Grindhouse, and I have films that strike a great balance between the two like Zodiac or Sunshine. I find the whole notion that there are two dichotomous categories, art films and entertaining films, to be very misleading and constrictive. It's not helping anyone. At the beginning of 2007 I started compiling lists of everything I'd seen, broken into a "Best of" list and a "Seen" list. My initial list that I posted is comprised of most of the titles from the "Best of" list (I left off a couple that no one has heard of, like the Man From London, and a couple I'm ashamed to have on there, like Live Free or Die Hard. There, I admit it.) The fact that I just started doing this in 2007 is a coincedence, but I could provide pretty comprehensive lists of my favorite films from any given year. And even though I watched about 100 films released in 2007 over the year, I watched at least double that of older films. I just got back from a double bill of Alphaville and Hiroshima Mon Amour. The next thing I watch will probably be AVP-R. I'll give anything a chance, and I'm not a pretentious armchair critic. I can tell you what films I'm looking forward to in 2009, because I track my favorite directors and keep tabs on what they're working on. Bottom line, I love film, and I thought this year was one of the best in a long time. 2008 looks like it will also be an amazing year, but I'm not sure how you can conclude that it is already more rewarding simply because of Rambo. We are still basically in the dregs of the movie year, January/February/March are always mostly shit, and the only noteworthy movies I can think of off the top of my head so far are Cloverfield, Rambo, In Bruges, and maybe Be Kind Rewind. The latter 2 I haven't seen, and the first two will probably get nudged to the very bottom of my Best of list come December. Rambo was great fun, and I appreciate the chance to see people getting liquified by machine guns, but I guess I don't hold it as highly as you do because what little story there was seemed like an obligation so we could get to the viscera. Which is fine, I guess, but First Blood had a pretty compelling story in my opinion. Now, I knew Southland Tales would probably be the most controversial thing I put on that list. For the record, it's at the bottom, and ranks as an 8/10. I watched it twice, and the first time I gave it 6/10. It's a mess, it's pretentious, it's riddled with flaws and at first it seemed like it made very little sense at all. But in the end I admire its ambition and scope, and I actually did follow almost everything that was going on in it when I watched it a second time. I don't have three hours to kill so I won't explain in this talkback, but the narrative is pretty straightforward when you manage to look past all the stimuli you're being bombarded with. It's one of the most interesting failures I've ever seen, and it's definitely an original piece of work that comes from a definite voice. I'm not surprised that it's generally hated, but at the same time I think it's unfair to dismiss it completely. I'm not going to make myself sound like an idiot by saying it's deep, or that it has anything apt to say about the current political climate in America, or whatever the Donnie Darkoites are saying to justify why they like it. I'll just say that by the end of the film, when the zeppelin is floating over Los Angeles with fireworks going off, people killing eachother in the streets and and time travel paradoxes coming together to blow up the universe, I decided I was kind of digging it. Better to fail spectacularly than to just fail, I guess. As for Juno and Knocked Up, I'm way more inclined to defend Knocked Up. Apatow's brand of humor just hits my sweet spot, and there's really nothing more that I can say besides that. Because it's not the paint by numbers plot or the cinematography or anything like that, it's the fact that Knocked Up made me laugh continually both times I watched it. I love 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Freaks and Geeks, and Pineapple Express looks like a fucking gas. It's just my type of humor, and humor is probably the most subjective thing around. Some people think Wedding Crashers is funny, I didn't laugh once. Some people like Adam Sandler movies or Will Ferrel yelling, not really my thing. "I googled murder!" makes me laugh. As for Juno, it was cute. Ellen Page was good. It had heart. The dialog was very overwritten. In the end, 7/10, good enough for a runner up status. Clearly the biggest bullshit nomination for Best Picture and Best Director, but it didn't actually take either of those home so I guess I can live with that. Oh, and Perfume was great, but like Lives of Others and many other films popping up on people's Best Of lists, this was a 2006 release for me. Anyway, I can fully defend any of my picks, although sometimes I feel like I'm just wasting my breath in these AICN talkbacks. It's lame when you put a lot of time and effort into the analysis of a movie and the responses you get are "whatever guy, that shit was retarded." But if you want examples of my film criticism, I submitted 13 reviews for the Vancouver Film Festival in September that you can probably find by searching for my name. Cheers.
April 10, 2008, 7:49 a.m. CST
sometimes i look at people and i see nothing worth liking
April 10, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST
i mean, tarantino's dogs is another cult classic but not even kill bill can top jules and vincent. that should've been one of the first films to be released on hi-def. i don't even know where the 2-disc anniversary set is.
April 10, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST
gangs of new york..with there will be blood in close second.
April 10, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST
switched perspectives, to show more of Eli's decent, than the paralells in the two characters would have been better delivered. Now that you pointed it out, I think that was the issue I had with the third act. It was all about Plainview and increasingly lacking in supporrting characters as lense or context for his character.
April 10, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST
Have you seen My Left foot?
April 10, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST
Why, did you lose it? Hyuk hyuk hyuk.
April 10, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST
The packaging to both editions of the dvd are terrible! They're just cardboard sleeves that scratch the disc every time it goes in or out. The package is bullshit. here's an address I got to complain about it to paramount if anyone else is disgruntled PHE_CustomerService@Paramount.com
April 10, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST
I will admit that I went to see it in theaters and enjoyed it. I think me and you are more on the level then we realize. I just may like popcorn movies a little higher then you. I like art movies, but I never feel like watching them more then once. Like that movie Inland Empire, took me 5 hours to watch. Not because I didn’t get it but because I kept falling asleep. Which is usually my problem with “art” films, that they just don’t hold my ADHD attention span. I see now that you aren’t just some pretentious yuppie, and I still don’t agree with you but I feel like I am alone in my fight against movies from 2007. As far as Rambo goes, man that movie is just iconic and like as good as art/award movies were last year if you put them in a list of best art/award movies none of them will be as high as Rambo would be on a list of popcorn/action movies, if that makes sense. And I just feel that we are giving 07 a bigger applause then it really deserves, and I think that’s mainly due to the lack of a bunch of really good movies in one year in the past 2-3 years. I am probably just jaded due to the constant bombardment of wanting to compare, e.g. Anton Chigurh is the craziest villain since Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Just shit like that kept happening to every movie last year, and yeah as it does all the time it was just so much over kill in 07. I am not trying to be some douche bag, your gay TB’s, I mean I may be sometimes if I am feeling lazy or I am bullshitting. But I do put a lot of time analyzing films I watch and my only outlet for discussion is here, and I know what your saying about wasting your breath. Maybe if AICN ever updates they can have a section for movies by title, like just the title and then there can be discussion on that movie only? That would also require AICN to update there search engine. As for Southland Tales, yeah I know what you mean, it’s a train wreck of a movie. But probably one of the most amazing train wrecks you’ve ever seen. Almost beautiful in its catastrophe. That and he was aiming for Dr. Strangelove but ended up in recent Barry Levinson territory. But whatever. I stand firm on my stance that Knocked up is not funny and has everyone fooled. I like superbad, freaks and geeks, 40 and even Cable Guy as much if not more then the next guy. But Knocked up the only time I laughed was the dinner scene where the girls were getting pissed about guy talk, because that was the only realistic aspect of that movie. I think what ruined it for me was the WHOA WE ARE ON SHROOMS scene, actors pretending to do substances and then the director trying to make it seem like we are too is always horrible. But hey you say you want to get into the business, I would like to as well but I got no fucking clue how. And I may be getting to old to start going to film school. I’ve been trying to write a script but I feel like I need some lessons. What are your ambitions? Do you live in Canada? OH Yeah one more then about Judd Apatow, I mean I really like his work save for Knocked Juno, and when he said that The Last Detail (which has probably the worlds gayest movie poster) was his favorite movie, just saw it and its an amazing film. Very funny. I like to watch a lot of old movies too, trying to play catch up and all, and I probably spend more time watching older movies then new ones. I got a bunch on my DVR I need to go through, I live in an area that believes that if a movie isn’t in the top ten at the box office then it doesn’t exist and shouldn’t be played in cinemas. One last thing and then I should get back to work….Inland Empire, that movie man I got into a big debate about it with some guy over at IMDB and he was telling me how he’s seen it 10 times are something. How do you feel about that? I don’t know how someone can A) Have that amount of free time B) Why would you want to watch that movie more then once let alone at all? Watching Lynch films I feel half the time he’s the emperor with no clothes, I mean that movie was just like a test.
April 10, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST
After more than two hours of unbelievable suspense and foreboding, things just explode. For me, it was the perfect pay-off. Almost as if Plainview finally declared himself a God. Loved it.
April 10, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST
Did it come out this month or not? It's a great movie.
April 10, 2008, 1:43 p.m. CST
HDTV rip to avi and back out to DVD. Looks great, less filling. I'd still buy an official release with some Dekker commentary.
April 10, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Inland Empire is still sinking in, and I saw it almost a year ago. I bought it on DVD but haven't revisited it yet, because I admit it's a very daunting viewing experience. I think it may be David Lynch's most personal work, and the hardest to fathom since Eraserhead. I thought it was a more difficult and demanding watch than my favorite Lynch movies (Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, the Elephant Man) but it is definitely the quintessential Lynch film that would answer all questions for anyone asking "Who is David Lynch?" At the same time, it made no sense. I can theorize about Mulholland Drive, I think I know what happened. The first 2/3rds of the movie is Naomi Watt's fantasy dream, and then she wakes up and her life sucks. You can make no such claims about Inland Empire, it's as esoteric and nonsensical as it can possibly be. That's not a problem though, at some point you just have to sit back and let the weirdness wash over you. It's almost as if Lynch is saying "this means nothing so stop trying to figure it out", in the typical Bunuelian/avant garde fashion that he started his career with. He mocks attempts at understanding with scenes like the rabbit sitcom. At the same time it seems he's striving for something very pure and unpretentious, I am sure that to him it's just a movie about a woman in trouble. He has this ability to cull images from our collective subconcious, to drag out these archetypes and images that exist somewhere deep in my brain before I even see them. I don't know how he does it, but it gives you that creepy deja vu feeling while you're watching the movie. I also think he really took digital filmmaking to the next level. The cinematography is stripped down, bare, grainy, murky, but fantastic. Until now digital filmmaking has fallen into two strains. Number one, you get a straightforward documentary style amateur look, a la Open Water or the Blair Witch Project. Or, you get the type of digital filmmaking that is indistinguishable from film on purpose, a la Superman Returns. Inland Empire really does something new, it looks like a student film created by a master craftsman. Lynch does a few things with the camera that I didn't think possible, and almost the entire movie would have been unachievable with film. He treats digital as a medium unto itself, and the results are highly experimental and groundbreaking. By the end of the movie I was shifting in my seat, and more than a little perplexed, but from a purely critical and artistic standpoint I think it is his most accomplished work. And I'm so glad someone still has the balls to make art that personal, so willfully obtuse. Watching it 10 times is a bit of a stretch, but now that I own it it may be a good time to revisit it in the comfort of my own home with the benefit of a pause button. As for my film ambitions, I'm basically doing whatever I can. I had a pretty decent job but I quit recently to pursue my writing until I run out of money. I have written two feature length screenplays, a couple short screenplays, and I have a number of treatments and more ideas than I can write down. So far by biggest brush with success has been writing a treatment for a DC Comics property that my friend (who was a contestant on On the Lot) has pitched to Warner Brothers. If that gets picked up I may end up writing the rest of it (it's a web serial.) I'm seriously considering walking to Werner Herzog's house in Los Angeles to convince him to make my German sci-fi epic. (See if you can find the story about Herzog walking from Germany to Paris to convince Lotte Eisner not to die if you haven't heard of the man's respect for walking.) I actually think this idea is less crazy than it sounds, because I could get my roommate (who is interested in being a documentary filmmaker) to film the whole strange trip and we could have a decent documentary by the end. But yeah, so far I have made nothing from my writing, and I only have another month or two before the well runs dry (although my tax return should be arriving to save the proverbial day.) The only way to get better at screenwriting is to immerse yourself in it. Read as many screenplays as possible, read some of the important tomes on the subject (David Trottier's "Screenwriter's Bible" and Robert McKee's "Story" are a good place to start), register an account at TriggerStreet.com and participate in the forums/reviewing process, see if you can find people with similar aspirations to workshop with you where you live. All this stuff will help you to be a better writer, but in the end it comes down to whether or not you have decent stories to tell. No one can really teach that. Good luck, and glad we could come to some agreement without resorting to calling eachother fags or whatever.
April 10, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
I'm from Vancouver, just realized I didn't mention that. Might make the walk to LA more or less impressive.
April 10, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST
90% of people not knowing who directed the movie, when it's more like 90% not knowing who wrote the screenplay. The fucking backbone of the film. For me I don't think it takes talent to point a camera at something. It takes talent to put life into the thing the camera points at. You can argue where that comes from forever, but good films don't just happen. I thought the music was too strong for the film. I saw myself in Plainview, but thats because I am a lifeless man who survives on his obsession. I wasn't trouble by the mirror the film held up but I wasn't impressed by it either. I know that how i choose to live now I could easily forgo for a child if I had too care for one, and Plainview inability too do the same didn't upset me. No two alike. Not ever. I have seen those with out obsessive drives neglect children as well, so the film didn't upset me there either. Maybe this film impresses a world full of people with no ambition, and there in lies my fault with the film on the whole as far as my view goes. I know who Plainview is. He is me and really I bored to tears with my own story. why in the fuck would i choose to look at someone who lives pretty much the same as I currently do. Oh yeah And I will Drink the milkshake only difference is once I have it. I will settle down and build a family of my own. and if need be forgo this childish "gotta show em all" bullshit forever for my children.
April 10, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
As much as I disagree with your assessment of TWBB, I agree that most screenwriters don't get enough credit. I disagree with you about directors, as there is much more to good direction than just point and shoot, but there should be a lot more emphasis placed on the writer when it comes to recognizing good films. At the end of the day, everyone involved in production helps to make a good film great, but often the writer falls by the wayside by the time a film is released. On the flipside, there are plenty of good scripts that have been turned into shitty films, which is usually when people start looking to who wrote the damn thing. No respect, I tells ya.
April 10, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST
It does take talent to simply place a camera in front of something. It DOES take talent to make that certain something LOOK good through lighting, framing, etc. Learn a little about the art before you knock it.
April 10, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
People underestimate how much talent it takes just to get dozens/hundreds/thousands of people to cooperate and do what you want. How much skill it takes to finesse good performances from actors, to make sure their demands are met, to keep huge egos in check and keep to a schedule. To have enough foresight to realize what you will need in the editing studio, or to create a coherent visual story from a bunch of words on a page. There is a reason why most of the best directors write most of their own material, because it's hard to translate someone else's vision into your own. Most directors are point and shoot directors, true, but that's why the great ones are so easy to spot and appreciate.
April 10, 2008, 5:15 p.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Spending 12-16 hours on a set every day, often separated from your loved ones by geography, often without weekends and days off, running yourself ragged for months or years and then having some jackass on AICN saying your shit is all retarded. Directing isn't an easy job, if you want to do it right.
April 10, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST
Very well put.
April 11, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST
...I saw parts of Plainview in certain people I know as well, not myself, but people I'm close to, and I've seen him in many I'm not close to as well. I think Plainview exists in many people, but maybe without his full dedication to his pursuit. Thats part of what I love about the movie. It shows the path that it leads to, and the madness in it, and in where it ends.
April 11, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST
Redford = Typical Hollywood Liberal
April 11, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST
by Dr Gregory House
One of the great five word reviews of all-time.
April 11, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST
Sad movie, but great performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly, and a satisfying resolution to the story.
April 12, 2008, 8:19 p.m. CST
they'll only stock it for a few weeks, then POOF! DVDs go bye bye.
April 12, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST
Sir Harry, you said you watched Justice League: New Frontier five times & now There Will Be Blood five times, personally I thought Justice League blew, but I have higher hopes for Blood.
April 14, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST
Harry, can you put up a blurb about this after you watch it? Ket us know what you thought? Thanks oh and I was very dissapointed in JLNF...I had high hopes and found it to be...boring and overly bloody which it didnt really need imho. Anyways, let us know about Gi Samurai.
April 14, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST
by I Dunno
All of the ads are about the two guys fighting in Iraq, trying to survive or whatever. Now I haven't seen it but everything I read about it says that part is like 20 minutes and the rest of it is people sitting around arguing. But hey, they have to sell the movie I guess.<p>And the scene in Walk hard where Jenna Fischer rubs her feet on that guy's face, I would give $10,000 dollars to be that guy. Is that wrong?</p>
April 15, 2008, 2:27 a.m. CST
by Jackie Boy
One of my favorite comedies of the past 5 years and my favorite Apatow produced film of 2007. Shits all over the theatrical cut, and I loved that motherfucker too.
April 16, 2008, 5:34 a.m. CST
by Red Dawn Don
Dewey = Wet. Cox = Cocks. Dewey Cox = Wet Cocks. Walk Hard = An Erection. In case anyone missed the play on words. Weird seeing little kids asking mom to buy this DVD at the local Wal-Mart. Just an observation.
April 23, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST
by Jack the Lad
Robert Towne said something similar, can't remember the exact wording but it was along the lines of "In a way, directing isn't a hard job - you can just point and shoot if you want - but it's a very hard job to do WELL." I liked NCFOM, TWBB, ZODIAC, and ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES a lot. I'm particularly glad that AOJJ seems to have a lot of fans. In fact, 2007 might even kick 1999's ass as US cinema's most recent watershed year.