Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There Will Be Blood



A great movie with an equally great title. Ash and I watched it last night after avoiding it for quite some time. Like "Hotel Rwanda" and "Crash" for others, this was just one of those movies you order from Netflix that you know is going to be good, but that is just too heavy to pop in the old DVD player after a long day at work.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson will pretty much get a lifetime coolness pass from me for making "Boogie Nights", but "There Will Be Blood" solidifies my theory about PTA's work. He either makes easy-to-follow fare like "Boogie Nights" and "Hard Eight" or head-scratching works of high-minded storytelling like "Magnolia." "There Will Be Blood" falls squarely in the second category.
In this solid review by Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post she distills his genius thus:
Paul Thomas Anderson becomes California's certified cinematic poet laureate with "There Will Be Blood," his masterful account of the state's oil boom at the turn of the century.
On the heels of Anderson's previous films "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia," both of which chronicled the recent history and culture of Los Angeles and its environs, Anderson has now joined the ranks of such definitive California writers as Nathanael West and Joan Didion in crafting his own personal and potent version of the state's creation myth. If "There Will Be Blood" represents a reach back into time for a filmmaker whose canvas has always been contemporary, it is also unquestionably an ambitious leap forward, proving that Anderson is an artist of virtually unlimited range and confidence.

(Also as a bonus I learned the words "sanguinary", "febrile" and "mendacity" by reading this review.)
As it was released at nearly the same time with a very similar tone and style, I expected to compare "There Will Be Blood" with the Coen Brothers' masterpiece "No Country For Old Men." Luckily, they stand on their own as separate visions.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Three songs to chill to

MGMT - Electric Feel
I have to thank my friend Zack Sampsel for introducing me to this song. Since I downloaded it, I've never gotten tired of it no matter how many times I played it...which believe me was a lot. There's just something intoxicating about the beat that just doesn't quit.



The Stranglers - Golden Brown

This is an old favorite, but I've been happy to rediscover it lately. Like "Electric Feel" it has a very hypnotic beat that draws you in the whole time. I sometimes catching myself thinking about listening to this song when I'm not listening to this song.

Jamie Foxx (feat. T-Pain) - Blame It
If I've a JAM lately it's been this one. This one had me at "hello." I don't listen to this song when I'm doing any kind of work. It would feel wrong to me. This song is like someone set the definition of the word "weekend" to music. (Also, Ron Howard is in the video for this for no apparent reason...party bonus!)