Saturday, February 02, 2008

Spoiler alert: There was blood

Observant fans of this blog will notice the inordinate number of entries that I've posted between the hours of midnight and 4 AM. This is due to terrible sleep habits formed at school after years of late-night essays. Over the last few days, however, I've taken a stand. I'm going to bed early (by my standards) between midnight and 1 AM, and thus I've actually been waking up at a reasonable hour. The downside? Mornings are boring. Seriously, after breakfast and Sportscentre, there's nothing to do until the afternoon. I find myself just sitting around or idly watching TV. Keep in mind that this isn't far removed from what I do later in the day, but at least later in the day there's more interesting shows to watch.

Case in point: I might've stayed up to write a review of There Will Be Blood last night, were I not so exhausted. Part of the blame also falls on the film itself, which lulled me into a state of stupor. I wanted to like it, I really did. Day-Lewis was excellent, the unheralded Paul Dano was excellent, it was well-shot, had an interesting premise and parts of the film were quite tremendous. But it seemed like the whole thing just built and built and never totally paid off. I think PT Anderson has a problem with endings. The overrated Boogie Nights kept on going and going until I wanted to kill myself. Magnolia I enjoyed, but the frog downpour ending was pretty bizarre. Punch-Drunk Love ended properly, I guess, but the movie was atrocious. I'm not sure what kind of coda would've been appropriate for There Will Be Blood, but after even after the film stretches itself out to the limit of patience, the actual ending portion in 1927 seems oddly rushed, in a way. The ending, in and of itself, was pretty awesome --- the whole movie is Day-Lewis verbally and physically owning people, so naturally it saves his biggest triumph for the conclusion. Anderson could've saved Jonny Greenwood the trouble of making a score and just used Sharon, Lois & Bram's "I Am Slowly Going Crazy" given where Plainview eventually ends up. Day-Lewis's Daniel Plainview character is one of the more interesting creations in recent modern performances. I found it funny that he sounded like J. Peterman from Seinfeld; my friend Matt thought he sounded more like Ron Burgundy. I might propose a crossover between the two films, but it would just be disturbing when Plainview threatens to cut Brick's throat.

I've developed a snort laugh. This is terrible. I laugh all the time, and now I'll have to worry about not sounding like a twit when I do so. It only seems to crop up when I'm laughing at a pun or clever turn of phrase, which isn't much of a salve since those are the kinds of jokes I'm most amused by.

You know you watch too much Lost're talking to your mother on the day of the season premiere, and she mentions she's working on a sewing project that involves stitching 48 patterns. 4, 8 --- two of the numbers!


Bastian said...

"never paid off" ? I walked away from There Will Be Blood thinking it was by far the best flick of the year -- and I LOVED No Country for Old Men. The last line of TWBB might be one of the greatest last lines in movie history. The ending was fantastic and I felt it completely lived up to the rest of the film. And Punk Drunk Love was atrocious? Also, the frogs at the end of Magnolia and even final lines in TWBB had biblical ties, so maybe the pastor's kid in me just really enjoyed them. Perhaps I'm also just a bigger PT Anderson fan than you are. I loved Punch Drunk Love. Anyway, we can debate this more during the ball season. See you there, Gus.

Chad Nevett said...

The ending is exactly what it needed to be as it demonstrates how capitalism/greed ultimately triumphs over family and religion (not only that, but defines each as a tool of capitalism/greed, subjugating them further). A little heavy-handed, perhaps, but key to the main theme of the film.