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katiemac
01-16-2008, 08:34 AM
Has anyone seen this yet? It's one of those films that I'd love to see because it's getting great buzz, and also because Daniel Day-Lewis is fantastic. But it also looks like one of those films that I walk into because it has great buzz and I end up having no idea what's going on.

Anyone read Oil! by Upton Sinclair to know the story?

maestrowork
01-16-2008, 09:16 AM
I am dying to see this, if only to see what the fuss is about. The preview looks good. It hasn't been released around here yet, and I've got a free pass to see it (for the SAG award) but where, oh where?

ChaosTitan
01-17-2008, 04:22 AM
I'm ashamed to admit that the first thing the title makes me think of is Jigsaw (from the Saw films).

I've read "The Jungle," by Upton Sinclair, but not "Oil!".

VeggieChick
01-17-2008, 11:45 AM
I saw TWBB a couple of days ago. Whether you like it or not depends a lot on your expectations and on whether you can get past DDL playing a Texan. I would love to hear what others think about it once it hits the theaters.

maestrowork
01-17-2008, 09:45 PM
I saw TWBB a couple of days ago. Whether you like it or not depends a lot on your expectations and on whether you can get past DDL playing a Texan. I would love to hear what others think about it once it hits the theaters.

If Jude Law can play a Southerner and Cate Blanchett Katherine Hepburn, I can buy DDL as a Texan. He's a fantastic actor. But it seems like the Oscar buzz is limited to Daniel Day-Lewis' performance and perhaps Anderson's direction.

Writer2011
01-17-2008, 10:25 PM
We have a art house theater where I live and they show movies like this. Anyways, that movie starts here tomorrow and it sounds interesting...might have to check it out.

Jcomp
01-18-2008, 03:08 AM
I can buy DDL as a Texan. Hell, I'd buy him as MLK... no make up or effects or anything, I think he could pull it off. He's an amazing actor. I've been waiting to see this, but it refuses to come down to our one "art house" theater in the city. Am I gonna have to make a short hop up to Austin?

Celia Cyanide
01-18-2008, 03:23 AM
If Jude Law can play a Southerner and Cate Blanchett Katherine Hepburn...

Or Bob Dylan, even...

NikeeGoddess
01-18-2008, 05:12 AM
I saw TWBB a couple of days ago. Whether you like it or not depends a lot on your expectations and on whether you can get past DDL playing a Texan. I would love to hear what others think about it once it hits the theaters. yeah, but what did you think. why wait for others to chime in. you saw it first. you go first. be confident that your critique is just as valid as the rest of them. ;)

Spiny Norman
01-20-2008, 11:31 PM
I thought it was a good movie, and definitely worth seeing, but I wasn't blown away by the whole as much as I was blown away by DDL's acting. The score (my GOD, the score), the cinematography, and the direction was all fantastic. But I think the weak part of the film was that it was really all about one character and documenting his descent (or, as someone suggested, not documenting his descent, but showing him revealing more and more of who he really is). While films based heavily upon characters are fine, you usually need more than one for them to bounce off each other, to provide arc and give the movie steam. Without that, a movie will eventually spread itself thin and cinematography and score will become ornamentation around one performance that's been going on for about two hours already.

At the end of this I was well aware I had seen something good, but not something great.

I had a great time, though. But it didn't affect me the same way other movies have. It didn't leave me stunned, and I really, really wanted to be stunned by this.

maestrowork
01-22-2008, 12:33 AM
I thought it was a good movie, and definitely worth seeing, but I wasn't blown away by the whole as much as I was blown away by DDL's acting. The score (my GOD, the score), the cinematography, and the direction was all fantastic. But I think the weak part of the film was that it was really all about one character and documenting his descent (or, as someone suggested, not documenting his descent, but showing him revealing more and more of who he really is). While films based heavily upon characters are fine, you usually need more than one for them to bounce off each other, to provide arc and give the movie steam. Without that, a movie will eventually spread itself thin and cinematography and score will become ornamentation around one performance that's been going on for about two hours already.

At the end of this I was well aware I had seen something good, but not something great.

I had a great time, though. But it didn't affect me the same way other movies have. It didn't leave me stunned, and I really, really wanted to be stunned by this.


I agree totally. I think Daniel Day-Lewis was exceptional and he probably will win the Oscar for it. But I also agree that the film is heavily character-driven and less so plot-wise. Nothing wrong with that, but it feels more like a Daniel Plainview biopic than a story about oil. The first half of the film was fascinating and moved along really well. But by the second half it seemed to have lost steam, and there was way too much ambiguity to hold my interest. By the end it just got rather absurd and you don't really get a good sense instead just chalking up as greed and corruption finally eating a man up. I like the way they slowly revealed more and more about the character, but like you said, there needed to be more than one character to bounce things off. This is pretty much a one-man show. OK, Eli is a good counter-character, but even he is peripheral. This reminds me of The Aviator but without Katherine Hepburn to balance things out.

And I'm surprised by the lack of female presence (again, whoever are up on the screen are peripheral at best). It's fair to say that it's a men's film. It's a very good film, just not great (imho). But I think DDL is exceptional.

III
01-22-2008, 12:37 AM
I'm gonna try to see this tonight. Too sick over the weekend.

III
01-22-2008, 07:08 PM
****SPOILERS*****

Okay, I stayed out late last night and saw TWBB. Wow. I actually lowered my expectations a little based on this thread, but I was utterly engrossed throughout the entire film.

• What fantastic storytelling. Did you notice not a single word was spoken in the first reel of the film? Anderson can tell more story with a 20 second clip than most directors can in 20 minutes.
• Like Spiny said – THE SCORE! It’s hard to even describe how effective the score was. It was bold and otherworldly and made me feel like I was experiencing something I hadn’t experienced in a movie before.
• I drink your milkshake!
• Ray, I thought the second half of the movie was even better than the first. I didn’t see it as DDL being corrupted by greed so much as tiny cracks finally forming in that life of greed. As he was stared in the face with bogus miracles, yet was helpless to heal his son; as he was confronted with the possibility of a partner in his brother; the few things that might have given his life any meaning at all were poised on the edge of a knife and while Daniel only showed hairline fractures of humanity, he was forced to face it, if only for a moment in the baptism scene. The rest of the movie after he killed his brother was about him murdering the humanity in himself which hurt him by its lost possibility. Oh, and a great revenge scene to cap it all off.
• No matter how many times the twin plot device is used (Paul & Eli) it still catches me off guard every time.
• Perfectly acted, directed, paced, and filmed.

In my mind, I couldn’t help but compare this to four other recent movies:
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
No Country for Old Men
American Gangster
We Own The night

While each of those other movies had fantastic cinematography, a distinct pacing, brilliant acting, and a poignant story none of them have really stuck with me the way I know TWBB will. I think TWBB stands head and shoulders above these other sagas.

maestrowork
01-22-2008, 07:26 PM
Jay, I don't disagree with you. I get all that fractures and slow descent to madness stuff. But like I said, it felt more like a one-man show without a lot of other characters to play off of DDL. The stuff with Henry was actually predictable. I think HW is a great, 3-dimensional character, something really shows Daniel's humanity, but HW also doesn't have enough screen time -- and suddenly he's 25 and getting married, and then a brief scene and he's gone. I'd have loved to see more interactions between the two after they time jumped 20 years -- and see how exactly did their relationship fell apart.

Again, I think it's a fascinating character study, but it needs a bit more - I feel. Personally I do think the pacing is a bit off in the second half. The first half, however, is great and I agree with the first 20 minutes. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

III
01-23-2008, 12:53 AM
***** SPOILERS *******

I actually liked the 20 year jump. It reminded me of classics like The Godfather saga and Citizen Kane (for some reason). I'm wondering if there was more footage of that 20 years that ended up on the editing room floor since the movie was so long.

I also liked the fact that it was basically a one man show. It emphasized the disconnect between Plainview and the rest of the world and made the rare interactions with Eli that much more cathartic. I also loved the fact that Plainview wasn't given to random explosions of violence (against his workers for example) which made his focused anger (against the other oil execs for example) more poigniant. But I see what you're saying about having someone to play off of. The scenes with Plainview and Eli were the most powerful. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!

So you wanna come over and see the bowling alley in my basement?

maestrowork
01-23-2008, 01:06 AM
No, but I will drink your milkshake with a straw across the friggin room!

...yes, I'm finished.


(p.s. I really love the scenes between Eli and Plainview. The baptism scene is hilarious and just awesome. They play off of each other so well, because they're more or less the same -- both are ruthless opportunists with Plainview using capitalism while Eli uses religion as their paths of deceit. And that's why I think the second half is off... Eli disappeared, really -- until the baptism scene -- and suddenly he's back at the end -- after 20 years (and Eli looks like he's still 20). Just feels off to me)

III
01-23-2008, 01:17 AM
Yeah, Eli aged really well. Maybe that was his spiritual conundrum - he sold his soul to the devil to maintain his greasy complexion.

I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!

I don't know why that line gives me so much pleasure. It's inexplicable.

Spiny Norman
01-23-2008, 01:47 AM
I feel that this movie didn't affect me the way that No Country did - I walked out of the theater across an empty parking lot at two in the morning and found myself talking like a hick. It was like having something inside your head hit with a hammer, like a string in a piano, and it just kept reverberating, shaking every part of you up.

However, I have been thinking about TWBB all this time. I do think I want to see it again. I still didn't feel as immersed as I did in No Country, though.

III
01-23-2008, 01:53 AM
I felt very immersed in No Country right up to the end, but that ending just let all the wind out of my sails. I think I'll enjoy it even better next time I watch it, knowing what the ending is like.

And honestly, I still had a bad taste in my mouth from The Three Burials of Malchiades Estrada, which was just a bummer of an experience, and it was unfortunate that No Country shared TLJ in a similar role along with a similar milieu, which lessened my enjoyment on some level.

maestrowork
01-23-2008, 01:58 AM
Same here. I know what the Coen brothers are trying to say, but the ending didn't jell with me and I suddenly lost track of who the protagonists are and why I should care. Perhaps it just didn't mesh with my sensibility, and I think I'm very open-minded when it comes to movies. I went to see Norbit, after all. ;) I got really mad at The Departed last year because of the ending (I mean up until the very last scene)...

If I only judge by my own gut reactions and the lingering effects on me, I'd say #1: Atonement (I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks) and #2: TWBB (I'm still thinking about it even though I saw it this weekend). I like movies that makes you think, makes you reflect on yourself, and makes you want to see it again just to catch everything you didn't the first time around.

III
01-23-2008, 02:22 AM
You're gonna talk me into seeing Atonement.

maestrowork
01-23-2008, 02:23 AM
You're gonna talk me into seeing Atonement.

Take your wife, and you will have some great sex afterwards. I guarantee you.

Spiny Norman
01-23-2008, 02:27 AM
Having read the book, I knew it was coming. When you know it's coming TLJ's speech hits you like a freight train.

Such defeat.

III
01-23-2008, 02:28 AM
Take your wife, and you will have some great sex afterwards. I guarantee you.

Forget afterwards, guarantee me during. But yeah, I probably will set it as our next date movie.

maestrowork
01-23-2008, 02:28 AM
How's that for a feel-good movie? LOL.

III
01-23-2008, 02:32 AM
I think TWBB should have been called "I Drink Your Milkshake".

maestrowork
01-23-2008, 02:37 AM
And the Oscar goes to:

I Drink Your Milkshake.