Posts Tagged ‘There Will Be Blood’

Minute Movie Review – No Country for Old Men

Donnerstag, Februar 21st, 2008

Review:

Like “There Will Be Blood“, “No Country for Old Men” has been a critical and award favourite – maybe even more so. Unlike “There Will Be Blood”, it actually lives up to the hype. The story of a man who finds two million dollar on a murder scene and subsequently is hunted by several people who don’t think it belongs to him is uncompromisingly realistic. Brilliantly shot, with great acting (especially by “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar nominee Javier Bardem) and a hauntingly sparse score (what a relief!), the movie deviates so far from the typical Hollywood conventions that more than once I felt myself wondering what would be next. In the end, this movie is a true masterpiece, with few discernible flaws and much to teach today’s filmmakers – especially Paul Thomas Anderson.

Random Observations:

No Country for Old Men at imdb.com

Lucky me got to see this movie in a sneak preview today. Which means that I got to see it before it’s actual German release. Which means that I got to see it before the Oscar ceremony on Sunday. Which means that I am no longer ruling for Atonement to win.

Did I mention that the movie is a true masterpiece?

I had last seen Josh Brolin in “Into the Blue”. Amazing that somebody who was in such a crappy movie actually managed to star in this one. Of course, he needed to convince Robert Rodriguez to shoot an audition tape for him which Quentin Tarantino directed to convince the Coen brothers that he could indeed do it.

The movie actually got a fair number of laughs when I saw it. While not conventionally funny, there are some scenes that are so bitterly realistic yet absurd, that one can do little but laugh.

Minute Movie Review – There Will Be Blood

Mittwoch, Februar 20th, 2008

Review:

“There Will Be Blood! The glowing praise from critics everywhere! Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance the best of the decade! This is the movie to watch!” To say that I was excited to see this movie would be an understatement. And then this: A complete let-down. Sure, Day-Lewis performance was decent enough, but he barely had a chance to really show his skills. The movie is two and a half hours long and after one hour you start to wonder whether anything actually happens. The movie tells two stories in the connection to turn-of-the-century oil business, that would each carry their own movie, but seem horribly mangled here. And while the absence of a real plot may be excusable by the acting, cinematography and so on, the headache-inducing score ruined the movie 30 minutes in. Seriously, I don’t see what all the fuzz is about – while the movie is not really bad, it’s also not really great.

Random Observations:

There Will Be Blood at imdb.com

The score was composed by Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood. It includes air-raid sirens (in 1898…) and a lot of other noise that is just annoying. Sure, the score for such a movie should not be easy listening, but when it continually distracts from the movie, it just gets annoying. Plus, for the 20 odd least dark minutes of the movie, it is haunting and foreshadowing. You continually expect some disaster that never occurs. In future, Greenwood should stick to making pop music and devising clever marketing schemes and Paul Thomas Anderson (screen-writer and director of this movie) should get somebody who knows how to make film music to score his films.

While there was nothing wrong with Day-Lewis performance, I felt that he was easily upstaged in many scenes by Paul Dano. Although the fact that he was cast for two roles certainly was confusing.

All criticism aside: the last scene of the film is great. If I didn’t have a headache worthy of a battalion of drunken marines by that point, it might actually have redeemed the movie.

I often wonder whether I am the only one that is annoyed when a movie starts showing the year (or location) on screen, but just stops somewhere in the middle. There were certainly more breaks towards the end that should have prompted a new caption.

Golden Globes vergeben

Dienstag, Januar 15th, 2008

Am gestrigen Sonntag wurden in Los Angeles die Golden Globes verliehen. Dieser von der HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) vergebene Preis gilt schon seit einiger Zeit als nahezu bedeutungslos (die HFPA hat gerade mal 100 Mitglieder, ist also keine wirkliche Vertretung der ausländischen Journalisten in Hollywood) und die Zeiten als die Globes als optimale Indikatoren für die Oscars galten sind wohl auch vorbei. Aber dank dem Autorenstreik wurde alles noch ein bisschen unwichtiger: Statt der üblichen dreistündigen Show gab es nur eine halbstündige Pressekonferenz – ohne Stars, ohne Glanz, ohne Glamour.

Das Ergebnis war dann auch nicht sonderlich glamourös – kein Film konnte mehr als zwei Auszeichnungen davon tragen. Gewinner der Auszeichnungen als beste Filme waren “Abbitte” bei Dramen und “Sweeney Todd – Der teuflische Barbier aus der Fleet Street” bei Komödien und Musicals. Dieser gewann auch den Award für den längsten Filmtitel sowie Johnny Depp die Auszeichnung als bester Schauspieler, während bei den Dramen hier Daniel Day-Lewis für “There Will Be Blood” (deutscher Titel noch nicht bekannt?) geehrt wurde. Bei den Damen wurden Julie Christie (“An Ihrer Seite“) sowie Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en rose“) ausgezeichnet. Als bester Animationsfilm wurde unverständlicherweise “Ratatouille” (dafür gibt es noch nicht mal einen Link…) ausgezeichnet, wo doch jeder weiß, dass der Simpsons Film um Längen besser war. Eine vollständige Liste der Gewinner kann beispielsweise hier (auf Englisch) oder hier (auf Deutsch) eingesehen werden.

Neben Auszeichnungen für Filme gibt es auch noch Golden Globes für Fernsehsendungen und -schauspieler, aber wer da gewonnen hat interessiert ja nun wirklich niemanden.

My Top Movies of 2007

Mittwoch, Januar 9th, 2008

For a long time, I have been a reader of the website of the A.V. Club. As far as popular culture is concerned, there is no site on the great world wide interweb that I like more. And now for the third year running, they have asked readers to submit their Top Five Movies of the past year, which I of course dutifully did. I also wrote some short comments about those movies and since I feel disinclined to just let them get lost in the internetz and I also like reusing things to make it appear that I am creative or something like that, they are now also posted here. So here are my personal favourite movies of 2007:

1. Atonement

In a wonderful adaptation of a brilliant novel, Joe Wright almost manages to tell a better story than Ian McEwan. Beautifully shot and excellently acted (especially by Saoirse Ronan), the movie is a true gem. Combined with the great story and the surprisingly fitting soundtrack/score, this is easily the best film I’ve seen in 2007.

2. Gone Baby Gone

Ben Affleck should never have tried acting. He belongs behind the camera and he demonstrates it with his directorial debut. A good movie is made great by the twist at the end that makes a typical thriller into a morality tale, which makes you wonder what you would have done.

3. The Simpsons Movie

After 18 years, the Simpsons moved to the big screen and they did so in a fashion that surprised everybody. For 90 minutes, this movie is just pure brilliant entertainment. Maybe there were more meaningful movies in 2007, but there wasn’t a funnier one.

4. The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson makes another movie that is so typically Wes Anderson that after 10 minutes you start to wonder whether he can only make one kind of movie. But you’ll soon stop, because the typically melodramatic comedy of Anderson, combined with beautiful imagery, great acting and music leaves you wanting more. It’s not The Royal Tenenbaums, but it’s still a brilliant movie.

5. Juno

I haven’t actually seen Juno, because it hasn’t yet been released in the backwater country where I live (it’s called Germany). But what I’ve heard is so great, that I’m sure I will love this movie. People might say that it was Ellen Page’s breakthrough performance, but everybody who has seen her in Hard Candy knows that she knows what she is doing.

I’d love to say something about how great a year 2007 was, but due to the fact that studios insist on releasing movies months later in Germany, I haven’t yet seen many hyped movies, such as There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men. But considering that I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to movies that are released here in February, 2007 must have been a great year.