There Will Be Blood

The new and the good


Things happen in order, without even the courtesy of a cheap TMZ thrill of relating it to a real person
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Reported on 22nd of September, 2015

I can’t believe I’ve never written about this overrated piece of shit, the film that furthermore sent Mr. Paul Thomas Andersen into a critical circle-jerk of what a good doody you made→takes shit→what a good doody you made→takes shit→etc. That may be a human centipede, with the head connected to the tail. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.

There Will Be Blood

4 January 2008 @ The AMC Santa Monica 7


-$35.00 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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This film has one positive: that it created the title for a fairly decent episode of Psych, aka ‘There Might Be Blood’. Otherwise, a silly, uninsightful film, utterly lacking in wit and fucking long. I was going to include this bit about 2001 in the CHAPPiE piece, but it seems more appropriate here. Mr. Stanley Kubrick is a okay filmmaker. That’s it. He is also a visionary. This is not relevant to his being an okay filmmaker, as one can be one, both or neither. Some of Mr. Kubrick’s films are tolerable, some good, most bad. They are all, for better or worse, doing something new.

This is not, for me, necessarily entertaining, good or even filmic. 2001 remains possibly the most overrated film of all time for this reason. It does something that no one had done before. Great, all kudos. It is an accomplishment. People got all excited the first time they saw it, as did I, and, no doubt egged on by its lazy vagueness, read all kinds of shit into it, as did I. This is fine, even cute when you’re fourteen. Someone should make a movie about that kid. It would, by the law of large numbers, be a better film than 2001.

You have to rely on people's taste, which is often times what other people tell them it is. It is not, inexplicably, what I tell them it is.

Unfortunately, and I just saw both (not the movie about the kid, that doesn’t exist yet, 2001 and 2010, back to back) and stand by the following: 2010 is a better movie. It’s not that great, and has an awkward amount of voiceover. But it does straight up movie stuff, like redeem HAL as a character, create genuine tension and even, God forbid, have an earned message of peace. The number of films with that last one can be counted on one hand. Full Metal Jacket and Paths of Glory are not on that hand. It is a complete movie, with an ending, not the embarrassment of the classic cop-out ‘what does it all mean means I don’t have to commit to saying’.

Ah, Inception.

Originality is wonderful, but it is also a cheat. There is very little difference in Mr. Kubrick’s pursuit than that of the effects guys of Jurassic Park III. The new is easy. The good, which involves juxtaposition, character, awareness of human behavior, insight and so on, is nebulous. Permeable. When you make something new, it is easy to see that you have. Being easy to see, many will congratulate you. When you make something good, there is no yardstick, and you have to rely on people’s taste, which is often times what other people tell them it is. It is not, inexplicably, what I tell them it is.

There is further the risk that if you actually unironically like something, you are required by society to hate it. Pleasure, with all its nebulousness, is to be feared, in the way that comedy, the hardest of all genres, remains critically ignored. It is here that we can mourn that the early Mr. Paul Thomas Anderson, who was, well, funny.

I always think I saw this at the Aero, because that's where I saw the much better trailer. Why can't people just accept that this is the Swordfish of art films? Remembering the trailer fondly is not the same.

I always think I saw this at the Aero, because that’s where I saw the much better trailer. Why can’t people just accept that this is the Swordfish of art films? Remembering the trailer fondly is not the same.

There is a matter of taste here too, as I’m disinclined to Nihilism. Even so, There Will Be Blood is just poorly made. No Country for Old Man is equally detestable from that score (i.e. bad things happen to good people is insight!) and yet contains actual filmmaking imagination. Characters, some great single lines and moments, and yes, gags.

There Will Be Blood is Mr. Thomas Anderson’s venture, and I have grave doubts that he will return, into the visionary. From a film perspective, seemingly unfair to apply to, um, films, here is our synopsis: Mr. Day-Lewis is in a hole for a bit. Then he’s still in a hole. Then he finds a kid, then he finds some oil. Then he starts ripping off John Huston, I mean acting. Then someone dies in a bowling alley, to show that death is bad. I mean, when you put in that way, how could it not be two and a half hours long?

I wish I could say more about the one-note film with the soundtrack to match, but that’s really all that happens. And I wouldn’t mind, as the synopsis is no less inconsequential in something like Pulp Fiction. What’s missing, besides even the slightest hint of wit, is choice. With that removed, there’s no conflict, and without that, no drama. The lack of conflict is in no way aided (abetted?) by the fact that there isn’t more than one character, and not much more than a caricature at that. Mr. Thomas Anderson offers no insight, nor Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis no in, into human behavior or history or context. There Will Be Blood is nothing more than a biopic of a non-existent character: things happen in order, without even the courtesy of a cheap TMZ thrill of relating it to a real person.

There is, and this is for many perfectly acceptable, a willingness to show things unseen: cool old oil wells and unpleasant characters in holes. It is new, and it is confident, which one would expect from Mr. Thomas Anderson, a willingness to leave the camera on. It is the film he wanted to make. I am told that my tone, fine, my very existence, is defined by its irony. Many times I am not being ironic, as when I enjoy good camp, or straight up action, genre or horror. Though I may come off that way. So when I say that I give the kudos to the film for its originality, I really, really mean it.

The Take

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Profits!
Usually I say, I got nothing, if I like a film, but it has been thankfully long enough that I don’t remember a single meritorious thing from this tiresome beast.
$0.00
No wait, the trailer was pretty good. Nice font.
$1.00
Total Profits
$1.00
Losses!
The fact that people were so young that didn’t know that this was nothing more that a John Huston imitation at its worst. I blame the audience.
$1.00
Here’s the great thing about my daring you to watch it again. You won’t be a theater thrilled at seeing the new PT Anderson film. It’ll be on tape. Let’s subtract 10¢ for every minute left before you switch to Scandal reruns, and we get…
$35.00
Total Losses
$36.00

-$35.00

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