Wednesday, December 26, 2007

There Will Be Whining

I just got back from There Will Be Blood and it's still sinking in. See, P.T. Anderson movies aren't the sort that you can (or at least should) have a fully developed opinion of the second you walk out of the theater. I'm totally suspicious of "masterpiece!" reviews from any critics about any film that they've written within a day of the screening. And from my limited experience with other film critics I can tell you that they usually are. Which means that all reviews are suspect. I wish that I were joking. My apologies if that offends anyone.

Instant overstatements we can blame on the "first!" thing with the self-employed and the deadline thing with the corporate worker bees but it amounts to the same thing: rushed opinion-making. My point is this: There Will Be Blood isn't Enchanted... or, even um Rescue Dawn (which, unless I missed something, is a pretty bare bones and straightforward war drama). Ambitious movies are meant to be grappled with, not flushed out of your system before any nutrients have entered the bloodstream. I still find my opinion of Magnolia shifting slightly on occasion and that came out eight Decembers ago.

This is why I always bitch about awards entities throwing prizes around the second they're done with their last screening. That said, I'm going to have to be a hypocrite and start giving out awards this weekend on account of ... it's almost 2008. Arrrrgh. The year got away from me. The dreaded December deluge defeated me ...again.

21 comments:

Gustavo Cruz said...

Ok. But is it good, great, average, bad? Give us a preview of your opinion, PLEASE! I'm dying to know what you think of the movie!!

Deborah said...

I agree 100% about rushed reviews. Unless a movie is just stinky-bad, I avoid writing a review the next day (although I did exactly that this week, and I'm confident it was the right review).

whip-smart said...

So... I take it you didn't like it?

NATHANIEL R said...

no i did. i did. i just need time to process.

the ending i have to grapple with.

Rob said...

I took 3 weeks to let "There Will Be Blood" sink in before writing my review, and saw it again today to discover my thoughts on it were exactly the same.

While I agree with your general sentiment, sometimes you do know instantly when a film blows you away.

Anonymous said...

Advise? See the movie again.

(Haven't seen it, but I'm sure I am gonna buy 2 tickets when it opens here)

-cal roth

adam k. said...

I remember knowing instantly that Thelma & Louise was a keeper... but my opinion of it only grew over time. Dancer in the Dark and Moulin Rouge!, however, took a while to take in. And yeah, PTA movies are really tough to crack.

I'm hoping, though, that this one sticks. Two years without an A is depressing... maybe you're just getting cantankerous in your old age, Nat? ; )

i am shiva said...

I stopped reading There Will Be Blood reviews the moment those Citizen Kane comparisons started.

I desperately want to like this movie, but if I go in overhyped...

JA said...

"sometimes you do know instantly when a film blows you away."

Yup. That about sums it up for me here. LOVED every single frame, ESPECIALLY the ending.

NATHANIEL R said...

well yeah. sometimes but the thing is if the movie is difficult in anyway (and what PTA movie isn't?) it's nice to let it settle.

NATHANIEL R said...

i realize though that this post reads as if I did not like it. Which is completely not the case. I just want to think on it until the weekend to see how deep the love goes... but i stand by the notion that people are too quick to call movies "masterpieces" even though that might apply to any picture, including this one, that you hear it about.

time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I never used to understand what people meant by letting it 'settle' before reviewing, but when thinking about the movies out this year, i completely agree. Especially when its not an easy one to stomach.

If this year will be known as anything (besides bizarre endings), it will be the year of the auteurs.

JA said...

A agree, Nat, I'll be thinking it over for a long time. Hell, when I got up this morning I was playing out a bunch of it in my head in the shower. But I still walked out of it yesterday with my jaw on the floor.

JA said...

Make that "I agree"

Catherine said...

So, are the FB awards this weekend then?

Ray said...

I think it's a good idea to let it sink in a little bit.

I know that the first time I saw "No Country For Old Men" I was a bit dazed, and missed so much of the various levels in it. When I saw it a second time, I knew that it was a new classic.

What a terrific year we've enjoyed at the theater this year!!

www.therecshow.com

Anonymous said...

I may be in the minority , but I don't think this was a great year for movies. Many of the movies that were hyped up were dissapointments for me.

Enchanted
Eastern Promises
Rescue Dawn
Hairspray
Juno
Knocked Up
Superbad
Ratatouille
Michael Clayton
Into the Wild

The only movies that I really enjoyed this year were No Country, Zodiac and Stardust ( it was a lot of fun).

There are still some unseen

There will be blood, but will all this masterpiece talk = There Will be dissapointments.
Gone Baby Gone
Atonement=looks dull, but we'll see
3:10 to Yuma
Sweeney Todd=Looks like typical Burton, but we'll see

adam k. said...

Hmm I remember when Nat loved Dancer in the Dark so much that he COULDN'T TALK ABOUT IT or even see anything else for a really long time. Maybe this is like that? (crosses fingers)

Anyway, I don't wanna put any more pressure on this movie, since it has plenty on it anyway. I just really really wanna love it.

Alison Flynn said...

I saw TWBB last night. My first impression is that I loved it, but I too am still absorbing the film and many things about it. And I may even need to watch it again. So I understand exactly how you feel about needing to take time to think about it and let it sink in before writing your review. I'm looking forward to reading it when it's written.

Alison Flynn said...

Oh, and to I am shiva: ignore the comparisons to Citizen Kane. While there are similar themes, this is its own movie and should be judged as such. The worst thing that they could have done was start comparing it to other films. It's its own thing. And as it's own thing it's great.

NATHANIEL R said...

omg i'd totally forgotten about that. yeah DiTD was an A all the way for me. I could barely stand up when it ended.

in 2008 i'm going to see all movies in existence until I find another A ;) but more on that later.