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Thoughts on "There Will Be Blood" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, January 21, 2008

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Matinee. Unless the subject matter truly grabs you, then a matinee is better despite the fact that you get a long running time for your money (2 1/2 hours).

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I own "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia" on DVD, however, I doubt 'Blood' will be added to P.T. Anderson's collection in my house.

1) This is not exactly climbing out on a limb, but almost certainly, "There Will Be Blood" will capture Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay when they are announced on Tuesday.

2) That being said, although I thought the film was extremely well-made, the subject matter of oil, small-town religion and one man's extreme competitive spirit to drive everyone away from him left me cold. It didn't grab me despite the superb performance by Daniel Day Lewis.

3) Lewis owns this film with a singular intensity, and carries the project on his back across the finish line. Without him, this movie would not have worked as his character, Daniel Planview, is compelling to watch even as he's being a misanthropic bastard for much of the running time.

4) Despite a strong lead actor, a flaw that limited my enjoyment of the film was a script which provided no character to identify with or root for to succeed. This makes for a difficult slog through a 2 1/2 hour film - at least it does for me.

5) You have to admire director P.T. Anderson's ambition with this project, which is on display from the beginning where only a handful of words are spoken for the first 15 minutes of the film. Anderson continues to show nice restraint in letting long silences punctuate the action, and his films are always interesting to watch even if you don't love the subject matter.

All in all, "There Will Be Blood" is worth seeing to discover if you agree with many critics who are hailing this as a "masterpiece." In my mind, it falls short of that lofty goal, but if you're patient and enjoy watching a great actor turning in a fine performance then you should catch it before the Oscar awards are handed out.



  1. Daniel Day Lewis really is a fantastic actor.

  2. And any shots of large penises or scenes with raining frogs?

  3. WhatIgot - Yes - Day Lewis always worth watching and I wish he acted more. No - no shots of either which is probably for the the best - you don't want to repeat yourself unless you have to.

  4. Always was a fan of Lewis ever since In The Name of The Father.

    Shame he doesn't get mentioned more with the elite in his profession.

  5. Miss Ash Says:
  6. How are they going to have the Oscars with this strike?

    I saw 27 dresses this weekend :P

  7. Only for Johnny Depp would I ever go to a theatre, especially for 2.5 hours. But he does turn me on. Bill the Butcher was one of his best roles I think!

  8. Idig - I think the reason is that he doesn't take on many roles. Period. Maybe he has to summon it all up for the ones he does take as he's excellent in everything I've ever seen him in.

    Miss Ash - Not sure about the Oscars as it might go the way of the Golden Globes, which would be a shame. And there was a long line for 27 Dresses at the theater I was at too. I just wasn't in it. Ha.

    UpsetWaitress - Bill the Butcher indeed. He kept that movie pushing forward as well. And since Depp isn't in 'Blood,' I would recommend you skip the theater and maybe rent it sometime because at home the snacks are free & you can always take breaks.

  9. Linda Says:
  10. Sounds like I liked this film more than you did, I'd love to see it again. What did you tink of the soundtrack?

  11. I'll watch this sometime soon as a matinee. I've heard Lewis is great in it, and want to see it on the big screen for that alone.

  12. J7 L7+ Says:
  13. I was the only one in my crew who liked Gangs of New York. But my friends went thinking that it was actually called Gangbangs of New York, so they escape accountability of the common kind on that one.

  14. vivavavoom Says:
  15. well written review. still not one on my list. But we saw Boogie Nights on cable the other night. that is a great movie! really well done. I am probably one of the few that didn't hate magnolia...even the weird frog ending. and you can't beat seeing Tom Cruise actually playing himself. insert L. Ron Hubbard in everytime he says 'cock' and you realize he is not actually acting!!

  16. Gypsy Says:
  17. Gee I thought Daniel Day Lewis must be dead it's been so long since I have even heard his name mentioned. I'm with Minnow, for great acting you must see it on the big screen or you lose a lot of the intensity on the wee one.

    I'm going to see 27 dresses with my daughters tomorrow. Obviously it isn't on your "must see" list but I will no doubt tell you all about it in due time.

  18. Linda - I did like the soundtrack. As for the movie, I admired most of it, enjoyed vast chunks, but overrall, just didn't love it. One irritation (not overriding) was that preacher character has been done exactly the same way about a hundred times before, and I thought it brought nothing new to the table (despite fine acting by the "Little Miss Sunshine" kid).

    Native Minnow - It's worth it for Lewis alone. And smart move on the matinee as you won't be disappointed shelling out for that price.

    J717+ - Ha. Well, if they had that title in their minds then the expectation level was set too high. I liked 'New York' fine, although I didn't think it held up for the entire running time. But Lewis was excellent (again) and what a great opening scene, eh?

    Vivavavoom - Loved "Boogie Nights" - that is one hell of an entertaining movie with standout performances all the way around. I didn't hate "Magnolia" either, and Cruise did the best work he's done in the last 10 years in that one. That Hubbard substitution would be funny as hell.

    Gypsy - I'm happy to read all the reviews on "27 Dresses" out there, I just don't care to see it. Ha. Actually, if I had to see any rom com right now that would probably be it. I think.


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