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Author Topic: There Will Be Blood  (Read 3853 times)
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hepcat
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« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2008, 04:56:59 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 07, 2008, 04:52:07 PM

Quote from: hepcat on July 06, 2008, 02:59:12 PM

but the next time i see you, i'm gonna punch you in the forehead so hard that you're gonna forget who you are for 15 minutes.   Tongue

note to self:  avoid hepcat at Origins 2009.

why would you ruin your perfect streak of DOING EXACTLY THAT FOR THE LAST 3 DAMN YEARS!?!

(by the way, i was only teasin' scuba.  i actually like the guy)
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LordMortis
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« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2008, 05:39:59 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on July 07, 2008, 04:49:24 PM

If you want to live life thinking your opinion is the only correct one and the rest of the world can go to hell, and you're comfortable with that, then knock yourself out.

While I have a lot of fun (faux) arguing that one opinion is better than another, I do not think this is really the case.  I don't actually think there are correct opinions.  Opinions don't form judgements of truth.  They form judgements of preferences.  I food critic can tell me all day that I should appreciate strawberry ice cream and I'll feel perfectly comfortable telling him to go to hell while I know that doesn't make he or me correct.

So in this case, I can enjoy that character examinations of TWBB, while saying as a movie it failed me.  At times it bored me into not caring about anything it had to say.  It brought nothing consistently to the table to hold my interest other than an passing slow discovery of characters that never changed.

When I look to a movie critic, I'm looking to find out if I will like a movie.  When a movie critic markets themself to me, they are marketing themself based on telling if they think I will enjoy a movie.  On TV, they show previews and give thumbs and thumbs down and start ratings and they present their findings before the general public has a chance to see the film.  Having them tell me that I need to go all lovefest over the in your face contrast between men of religion and men of materialism doesn't work for me.  While at the same time, I loved things like Tom Bosley hosting That's Hollywood.  It was one of my favorite shows.  That's was movie critics doing criticism right, in my book.  After we've all come together and seen a movie, talking about the craft, the biography, the depth, why it's stood the test of time.  That makes a bit more sense to me.

As a preview of a movie, a critic praising a movie for it's all these things to comprise it's "depth" or whatever without praising it for the kind of things that would keep me interested is a kiss of death for me.  A critic who makes his living giving me that sort of analysis based on a single sitting of a movie that saw a week before I could have seen it is the kind of critic I give no props to.


Edit:

(Reading this, I know it comes off as snippy.  That's not my intent.)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 05:45:04 PM by LordMortis » Logged
Ironrod
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« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2008, 05:55:52 PM »

Quote from: LordMortis on July 07, 2008, 03:17:43 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on July 06, 2008, 02:47:54 PM

It's about the endless dance of conflict and accommodation between two primal forces in American history, as embodied by the protagonists. Religion and naked capitalism are two sides of the same greedy coin. Its musical score and cinematography contribute to the movie's mythic proportions. The ending seemed rushed and overblown to me, but I don't know how else it could have ended. This gripping film about two unstoppable forces that can't be free of one another...

What happens when you get that sort of thing and just don't care?  What happens if you change the word gripping to stagnant?  Though I must admit that I'd debate watching the movie again.  There was lots of good stuff in there, even if the movie fails, IMO.

Then maybe you just aren't the intended audience. Taken at face value, I'm sure that it's boring and pointless. If you appreciate the undercurrents, though, I don't see why you'd call it a stagnant failure. The characters are changeless because their archetypes are eternal. I thought it succeeded brilliantly at what it set out to say...and at turning the book's blatant socialism into something more ambiguous.   
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hepcat
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« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2008, 06:21:51 PM »

LM is right about one thing, it is a matter of opinions at this point.  No one is wrong for disliking the film just as no one is wrong for loving it.  I absolutely loathe Clerks 2 since I thought it was an annoying bit of cliched angst using tired jokes and wrapped in the cloak of indie hipness, but i also understand that many folks around here loved it.  does that make either side any less intelligent or cool?  no. 

...it just means i won't be invited to movie night by many of you.   icon_biggrin
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LordMortis
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« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2008, 06:24:38 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on July 07, 2008, 05:55:52 PM

Then maybe you just aren't the intended audience.


You got me.  I figured that out after seeing the movie.  And that's pretty much where I'm coming from when I say I'm choosy (maybe ironically snobbish, even?) about how I listen to critics.

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Taken at face value, I'm sure that it's boring and pointless.

Boring for me, yes.  Pointless, no.  The point was unnecessarily part of the boredom and that wasn't so good.

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If you appreciate the undercurrents, though, I don't see why you'd call it a stagnant failure.

As a movie, that I go to see, because I want to get out on a Saturday night and see a movie, it is stagnant.  And it is a failure for me.  If by undercurrents, you mean art, then I got nothing.  I don't know anything about art and I find I don't do well with it when I dive in.  I don't get into peeling layers of the onion to find it's depth if I find the first layer to lacking.

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The characters are changeless because their archetypes are eternal.

I can get that.  Then make the world change more dramatically.  IIRC (and I may not) the world change twiced with our stagnant characters.

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I thought it succeeded brilliantly at what it set out to say...

I suppose that's where I go wrong.  If you choose Ben Stein from Ferris Bueller to tell me the story of Gregor Samsa, he's not likely to succeed brilliantly at telling me anything even if Stein's approach would fit the dryness of the setting.

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and at turning the book's blatant socialism into something more ambiguous.   

You lost me there.  It seemed to me that the movie had a pretty blatant socialist political bent.  Not quite to Steinbeck standards but right up there.  (I never read the book)
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« Reply #45 on: July 07, 2008, 06:31:14 PM »

I wasn't dismissing anybody's right to their opinion - I love horror movies, so I disagree with movie critics *all the time* since most of them simply either don't like horror movies or feel that they must be compared to Citizen Kane rather than to other films in their genre.

I was just pointing out that there are people who dismiss critically acclaimed films because they have this attitude that all critics are snobs who only enjoy artsy movies (I know because my wife is one of them). That attitude drives me nuts, because it implies that critics are somehow out to trick the public into liking bad movies or are somehow intentionally creating a niche for themselves deliberately outside of mass appeal. My only point is that just because you don't agree with critics doesn't somehow make their opinions worthy of dismissal - they are likely watching the movie from a different frame of reference, and from a purely quantitative standpoint, it's probably more informed than yours is.
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hepcat
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« Reply #46 on: July 07, 2008, 07:29:12 PM »

please don't misunderstand my post.  it wasn't directed at anyone at all.  i was simply trying to make it clear that i wasn't actually upset with anyone for not liking the movie.    icon_wink
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« Reply #47 on: July 07, 2008, 08:41:35 PM »

Quote from: LordMortis on July 07, 2008, 06:24:38 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on July 07, 2008, 05:55:52 PM


If you appreciate the undercurrents, though, I don't see why you'd call it a stagnant failure.

As a movie, that I go to see, because I want to get out on a Saturday night and see a movie, it is stagnant.  And it is a failure for me.  If by undercurrents, you mean art, then I got nothing.  I don't know anything about art and I find I don't do well with it when I dive in.  I don't get into peeling layers of the onion to find it's depth if I find the first layer to lacking.

See, I was an English major. I spent four years learning how to deconstruct fiction. While that's certainly not what I want from every movie that I see, I do occasionally enjoy one with layers to peel back. But I agree with you that simply being obscure is just irritating if if the kernel is deliberately unclear, or trite, or just plain wrong. I thought that this movie rewarded the effort. You didn't (shrug).
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« Reply #48 on: July 07, 2008, 08:44:30 PM »

Quote from: LordMortis on July 07, 2008, 06:24:38 PM

You lost me there.  It seemed to me that the movie had a pretty blatant socialist political bent.  Not quite to Steinbeck standards but right up there.  (I never read the book)

The characters representing the government in this movie ranged from absent to ineffective -- just another force for the main players to exploit. A good socialist yarn would've cast the government as savior. (I didn't read the book, either, and don't know if that was its angle).
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LordMortis
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« Reply #49 on: July 07, 2008, 09:06:12 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on July 07, 2008, 08:41:35 PM

See, I was an English major...

...I thought that this movie rewarded the effort. You didn't (shrug).

I was an Englsh major as well and disliked a lot of the force feeding then.

On the other hand, I could still enjoy deconstrucing it (if that's what I'm doing) without loving it.

But it comes down to your conclusion.  The payoff wasn't good enough for me to fawn over like I would for other movies... Other movies that many others would "meh" to.  The last movie I got all gaga over was Wristcutters:  A Love Story, also a movie introduced to me by critics, so what do I know?  I got gaga enough to go out and get the short story it was based on and fall totally fall for the author of the orignal story as well.
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« Reply #50 on: July 08, 2008, 02:26:02 AM »

Quote from: LordMortis on July 07, 2008, 09:06:12 PM

The payoff wasn't good enough for me to fawn over like I would for other movies... Other movies that many others would "meh" to.  The last movie I got all gaga over was Wristcutters:  A Love Story, also a movie introduced to me by critics, so what do I know?  I got gaga enough to go out and get the short story it was based on and fall totally fall for the author of the orignal story as well.

I didn't mean to fawn. I liked TWBB -- even thought it was great. I'll probably see it again someday. But it didn't change my life or make me want to see everything else by that director or read the book or anything radical like that; I'd say it had less impact on me than Pan's Labyrinth, another recent literary movie that unaccountably hit the big time. I just moved Wristcutters up from #239 to #7 in our queue based on your recommendation.
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PR_GMR
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« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2008, 02:52:17 AM »

Quote
there will be blood is an instant american classic.

Ditto.

And to Ceekay's 'SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING' comment: You know, in general, it's considered a marker of great cinematic talent to be able to develop character and tell a story without dialogue. See 'Wall-E', for example.
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« Reply #52 on: July 08, 2008, 03:17:44 AM »

I've been thinking some about this movie and art in general as I believe this is a movie that primarily attempts to be art rather than be entertaining or make a point.  I think I'm too much of a realist to care about art and symbolism.  I consider myself to be a scientist, but even within the realm of science I get bored by theoretical work, theoretical physics in particular.  I'm not interested in knowledge for knowledge's sake, I care about the application of that knowledge.  Now I can appreciate that others do that work because some day their efforts will likely lead to useful applications even if decades down the road.

I think that translates to art.  I enjoy music, paintings, whatever insofar as it gives me personal sensory pleasure.  I can appreciate a good painting of a waterfall, but when someone rubs their paint-soaked butt across canvas and then says it symbolizes the struggles of the human condition or somesuch I'm instantly repulsed.  The picture itself is aesthetically unpleasing and the symbolic value is worthless.

Now apply this to TWBB.  It fails spectacularly on a pure entertainment level.  I also don't see any intellectual value without resorting to interpreting symbolism.  I think Ironrod said that one of the symbols or themes of the movie is the struggle of capitalism vs. religion in America.  My reaction is "So what?".  I had the very same reaction all throughout high school and college English/literature classes.  Okay, so X really means Y, now tell me why I should care.  But that was always left out.  There's no application of the knowledge that X = Y, not to mention no justification for why Y was disguised as X in the first place.  Thus TWBB is a horrible movie to me.

My nature won't allow me to accept high-minded culture as worthwhile.  If I want entertainment, I'll pick something that aims to entertain.  If I want intellectual stimulation, I'll pick a direct avenue and avoid the symbols.  I'll never enjoy the so-called literary classics, I'll never enjoy movies like TWBB and 2001, and I'll never enjoy spending more time in an art museum than it takes for a quick walkthrough.  You can pity me, but it would be a waste because I'm better off this way.  icon_wink
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« Reply #53 on: July 08, 2008, 12:16:32 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on July 08, 2008, 02:26:02 AM

I just moved Wristcutters up from #239 to #7 in our queue based on your recommendation.

Well, I guess you be able to come back and say WTF? and know that I have no taste in movies for certain. 

Quote from: ScubaV on July 08, 2008, 03:17:44 AM

Now apply this to TWBB.  It fails spectacularly on a pure entertainment level.  I also don't see any intellectual value without resorting to interpreting symbolism.  I think Ironrod said that one of the symbols or themes of the movie is the struggle of capitalism vs. religion in America.  My reaction is "So what?".  I had the very same reaction all throughout high school and college English/literature classes.  Okay, so X really means Y, now tell me why I should care.  But that was always left out.  There's no application of the knowledge that X = Y, not to mention no justification for why Y was disguised as X in the first place.  Thus TWBB is a horrible movie to me.

I didn't even see it as symbolism.  It seemed more straight forward and in your face than that.  It was exemplification.  But I'm with you on the sentiment.  I love symbolism and I love "getting it" but when the ability to enjoy something is wholey ruined by an "I don't get it" experience then I tend to "meh", often whether I get it or not.

Quote
My nature won't allow me to accept high-minded culture as worthwhile.  If I want entertainment, I'll pick something that aims to entertain.  If I want intellectual stimulation, I'll pick a direct avenue and avoid the symbols.  I'll never enjoy the so-called literary classics, I'll never enjoy movies like TWBB and 2001, and I'll never enjoy spending more time in an art museum than it takes for a quick walkthrough.  You can pity me, but it would be a waste because I'm better off this way.  icon_wink

I don't pity you, but I know I love it when I get the whole package.  It's like watching Looney Tunes and getting the adult jokes and still laughing at the refrigerator falling on the huge meaty guy.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 12:31:41 PM by LordMortis » Logged
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« Reply #54 on: July 08, 2008, 12:29:03 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on July 06, 2008, 04:17:49 AM

Quote from: ATB on June 26, 2008, 03:21:56 AM

watched it tonight. This movie sucks.

DDL was great though.

I'll rent this then, this means I will probably like it.

Wait. I thought we shockingly agreed on lots of things. I think you'll hate it. 10 CK dollars says you do. 
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« Reply #55 on: July 08, 2008, 03:22:46 PM »

Quote from: ScubaV on July 08, 2008, 03:17:44 AM

I'll never enjoy the so-called literary classics, I'll never enjoy movies like TWBB and 2001, and I'll never enjoy spending more time in an art museum than it takes for a quick walkthrough.  You can pity me, but it would be a waste because I'm better off this way.  icon_wink

Believe it or not, I can understand your perspective, for I feel the same way about poetry. I have never had the patience to unravel those compact pieces of encoded symbolism and allusion. When forced to do so in the classroom, the payoff was never worth the effort for a literal guy like myself. If the poet has something worth saying -- just say it. Why be deliberately clever and obscure? Yet, I do enjoy teasing apart literary fiction, as I've said. I actually spent four years getting an education that isn't good for anything else. I guess our tolerance levels are just set differently. I do, however, expect literary puzzles to keep me entertained (something poetry virtually never does). TWBB succeeded for me as an entertaining story with deeper layers. Some viewers will agree. Many obviously won't. Oh well.

BTW, this is not meant to denigrate anybody who writes or enjoys poetry. My inability to appreciate it is a personal shortcoming.
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« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2008, 04:26:33 PM »

Quote from: LordMortis on July 08, 2008, 12:16:32 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on July 08, 2008, 02:26:02 AM

I just moved Wristcutters up from #239 to #7 in our queue based on your recommendation.

Well, I guess you be able to come back and say WTF? and know that I have no taste in movies for certain. 

On the contrary: Eight tentacles up for Wristcutters. Among the best romantic comedies I've ever seen.
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« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2008, 04:38:33 PM »

Watched this last week.

Pretty good.  I enjoyed it.  Kind of left me unsatisfied at the end, but it was interesting.  Kind of depressing.  Wouldn't say I loved it.  Better than Magnolia, better than Gangs of New York, so maybe they are all making progress...
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« Reply #58 on: August 05, 2008, 04:42:52 PM »

Quote from: kratz on August 05, 2008, 04:38:33 PM

Watched this last week.

Pretty good.  I enjoyed it.  Kind of left me unsatisfied at the end, but it was interesting.  Kind of depressing.  Wouldn't say I loved it.  Better than Magnolia, better than Gangs of New York, so maybe they are all making progress...

but Gangs of New York had DiCaprio getting the crap kicked out of him.  how could that not be a good time?
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