“There Will Be Blood” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 5
“Well, I’m not gonna give them oil prices. I’ll give them quail prices.”
It’s been a long time coming to see this film.
It’s a very handsome looking movie, with sweeping vistas in sepia tones placing you squarely in the turn-of-the-century Old West.
It’s got an oddly interesting, yet anachronistic soundtrack from Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood.
It’s got scene-chewing, larger-than-life exhibits from stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano.
When it comes down to it, though, I’m not sure really how much I enjoyed it. It might be just the cynical, hypocritical nature of its characters, or the mean spirit that permeates the picture. I can see why it’s well regarded, and it’s made well, but I’m not sure it fulfilled me or particularly impressed me in any one area.
There are certainly some interesting character dynamics – fathers and sons, in particular. Despite its renown, maybe it’s just not a movie for me. I liked it, but not as much as I would have hoped to. At least now I can say I’ve seen it for myself.
There Will Be Blood was at the time of this review at #158 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #315 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
There Will Be Blood vs. Blood Diamond
It’s fitting that Blood Diamond would be the first to go up against There Will Be Blood. It’s an easy win for Daniel Plainview over the rather plain and average performances from Leo DiCaprio and company.
There Will Be Blood vs. Saw
I’m a really big fan of the original Saw. Its twist is so well hidden in plain sight, and it used its low budget and mostly “one-room” set to its advantage in a big way. It’s going to win for its mold-breaking qualities over Blood.
There Will Be Blood vs. Multiplicity
Multiplicity is a lesser-known sci-fi, high-concept comedy with multiples of Michael Keaton. This is actually a film that could probably be remade rather well today with modern effect techniques. It’s always exciting to see actors who can pull this off, and this is one that works really well. I’m giving the match to Multiplicity.
There Will Be Blood vs. Firestarter
Firestarter isn’t the greatest of films, or even Stephen King’s stories, so it’s not going to win here.
There Will Be Blood vs. American Hustle
I was pretty entertained in the theater seeing American Hustle. It wasn’t nearly as good as David O. Russell’s previous film, Silver Linings Playbook, but it had some really great moments, and a wildly talented cast. It’ll win over Blood.
There Will Be Blood vs. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
The Final Fantasy film was a technical demo, essentially. It was Square taking a shot to say, “Hey. CG can do this.” It’s still deeply in the uncanny valley, and the story’s kind of a mess. Blood will win here, for sure.
There Will Be Blood vs. John Carter
The infamous disaster of John Carter might have cost Disney a pretty penny, but I think they’ll bounce back just fine with their Marvel and Star Wars films for the foreseeable future. As to whether it’s better than There Will Be Blood – no, it’s not. It tried very hard and failed, but it did try.
There Will Be Blood vs. Heathers
Dark, subversive, funny, sexy, warped, and completely unpredictable, Heathers stands out as a unique film the likes of which you just don’t see much like anymore. Everyone should see Heathers and discover what a gem it is. It takes the match.
There Will Be Blood vs. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
I recall very little that’s memorable about the Bridget Jones sequel, so I’m going to give the nod to Blood.
There Will Be Blood vs. Ip Man
I recently saw Ip Man for the first time at the behest of my Flickchart partner Jeremy. It’s a pretty good martial-arts adventure-drama – a little cheesy at times, and the story a little flat, but it’s fun. I could go either way on this, but I think I enjoyed Ip Man more than There Will Be Blood overall, so it will win this final battle.
There Will Be Blood is now ranked #562 out of 1366 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next week I’ll be watching His Girl Friday, Persona, and Le Samurai. Why don’t you take a look at the other films I’ve ranked in the challenge thus far.