Move Review: There Will Be Blood!

Just a quick review on this one.  It was nominated for a bunch of awards and I had wanted to see it for some time, but didn’t get the chance until this weekend.

It is a very deliberately paced and honestly told story of a oil-man in Southern California.  It goes through the trials and tribulations of drilling a well and brining it to market, with all the blood and gore that such an undertaking can often entail.  The grittiness of the story and the brutal honest of the film-making are a testament to the inspiration of the story, Oil! by Upton Sinclair.

It was only when I became aware of the originator of this story that I finally “got it”.  To be honest, I burst out laughing when I saw at the end of the movie where the story had began.

I won’t go into any spoilers, but I will say that There Will Be Blood! is not a normal dramatic movie.  Those waiting for a particular act that exists in most movies will be left waiting a long time in this one.  That is because this is not a normal dramatic movie.  It is a two-and-a-half-hour parable.

And when you watch it like one, it makes a whole lot more sense and serves its purpose nicely.

NOTE: the book and the movie are only loosely related, as this review reveals.

It should also be noted that I was reminded to write this review by the Southpark last night [Episode Whatever Where Cartman Gets His Ass Kicked By A Girl (Wendy)] which ended an epic struggle with an homage to the movie.  Nicely done, gents.

Advertisements

Movie Review: Pineapple Express

As someone in the target demographic for this movie, I’m was hoping to enjoy it a good deal more than I did.

Even going to the Inwood Theatre here in Dallas couldn’t save my movie experience, and that includes chilling on couches and drinking a cocktail.   I can certainly see how some people (i.e. young teens) will think this movie is cool simple for the subject matter.  I can understand that, but as a more grizzled veteran of the scene I didn’t really see much to spark interest in his movie.

Sub-plots got discarded, nothing really ever came together, and much like the waste of time that was “The Happening”, every retarded theory put forth by the protagonists turned out to be not only exactly correct, but later corroborated by other characters.

This was a movie that couldn’t quite ever find it’s own level of reality.  Was it a real world they lived in?  Or some comic version where people get executed multiple times and keep coming back?  If it’s the latter, why not use that as a comic device?  If the former, why does Red live forever?

I dunno about this one.  I didn’t even read much hype but I’m officially done with the Apatow/Rogen genre.  Guys, take a couple years off, write a real screenplay that you actually thought about and then film that.

Movie Review: Gonzo: HST on the Screen

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)

Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and some nudity.

Not to mention a few subversive themes, some seriously whacked out thoughts and a cultural revolution that failed….mostly.

Overall I really enjoyed the re-mix/documentary. It’s not like HST hasn’t been covered before in film. Heck, Bill Murray covered him in 1980, and there’s Johnny Depps now evidently spastic portrayal of Thompson in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. So he is no stranger to the film (or even comic book treatment) and as such has officially reached cultural icon status. This status was further cemented with his totally predicted and threatened for 20+ year suicide. When your son calls your suicide a touching family moment, you know you’re talking about a special breed of cat.

Ultimately the thing I found most worthwhile about the documentary was the live footage of Hunter doing his thing. It does, quite obviously, expose Depp’s portrayal a wee bit over the top. Thompson, the man, kept most of his meltdowns on the inside and the fact that most people felt he could hold his drugs like no other makes the floppy and stumbling performance of Depp seem overly comical.

He most certainly was a victim of his own success and his story demonstrates how difficult it is to stay consistent as an outsider when the first signs of success quickly propel one to the center of the circle. When one’s main gift is to tear apart the system from the outside, once one is firmly implanted in the middle, there’s naught left to do but party.

Which he did. Until he died.

—-

Rating : 7.8 out of 10 for documentaries. It was a bit slow at times, although that could have been my fault. In a strange twist of fate, this was the first movie I saw with mind unaltered in years.

—-

Trailer