Movie Review: There Will Be Blood (2007)

Whenever I find myself watching a critically acclaimed movie, I get a bit nervous. Because of the acclaim and the hype around it, I get scared that I might be the one asshole that doesn’t like it. I mean, everyone has opinions and we should respect that, sure. But I like liking things. And if I don’t like the thing that I hope to like, it’s both disappointing and disheartening. This movie was one of those hyped up movies… so what did I think? Well, let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen, might wanna call a medic, because… “There Will Be Blood”.

Set during the early 20th century, the story follows prospector Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he deals with trying to drill up oil, raise his son (Dillon Freasier), and try to handle his less than friendly relationship with a local preacher (Paul Dano). It’s a movie about family and legacy and greed and what this kind of rough life does to a man. And damn, this plot was electrifying. I mean, it’s a slow burn, but I was never bored throughout any of it. They weave a narrative that is complex and layered, but still very easy to comprehend. Great stuff.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, nuanced, and very interesting. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, the prospector with the oil and the son and the troubles, oh my. While he at first can seem like a very calm, polite, and reasonable man, we get to see throughout that there are some darker sides too him, especially after certain things happen to him. And Day-Lewis is absolutely amazing in the role. Paul Dano plays Eli, a preacher that Plainview strikes up a bit of a friendship with, even if it’s not always portrayed as the friendliest of friendships. Eli is also one of those who kind of sees himself in a somewhat high regard, as the emissary of god, which is quite an interesting contrast to Plainview. And Dano is great in the role. We also of course get supporting work from people like Dillon Freasier, Ciarán Hinds, David Willis, Kevin J. O’Connor, David Warshofsky, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Jonny Greenwood, and it was really good. It takes a lot of cues from old school scores in the way it builds grandeur and emotion, which works incredibly well for the movie’s pretty unique tone. It also just sounds great, with plenty of strings leading the charge. Good stuff.

Based on a novel by Upton Sinclair, “There Will Be Blood” was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and I think he did a great job. The direction had a way of keeping me on edge the entire time, even when there wasn’t anything really suspenseful going on. Damn fine direction. And the cinematography by Robert Elswit is pretty damn good too.

This movie (as you probably got from the intro) has been incredibly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 93/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #158 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (Day-Lewis) and Best Cinematography. It also got an additional 6 nominations in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound Editing.

I am so glad to say that I agree with the hype for “There Will Be Blood”. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, and great writing/directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “There Will Be Blood” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “There Will Be Blood” is now completed.

All of a sudden I want a milkshake.

Movie Review: Van Helsing (2004)

The Month of Spooks continues. And what’s this? An adventure movie featuring classic monsters? That’s cool. I mean, how could it possibly go wrong?

Ladies and gentlemen… “Van Helsing”.

The story follows legendary monster hunter Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) as he travels to Transylvania with a friar named Carl (David Wenham). Why are they traveling to Transylvania? Obviously they’re traveling there to kill Dracula (Richard Roxburgh). So now we have our adventure plot featuring classic monsters. And is it any good? No… it’s bad. There’s no point in the plot where I’m even remotely interested in what is happening. They have a fun idea that could make for a fun little easy-breezy adventure plot. But it somehow manages to be both paper-thin and convoluted at the same time. It’s also duller than dishwater, fucking boring. And the tone is inconsistent, at best. The plot here is bad. I’m not gonna try to put it in a more elaborate way… it’s bad.

The characters have motivations (sort of)… but I never found myself giving a single shit about any of them. Hugh Jackman plays the titular Van Helsing, monster hunter extraordinaire. He has an okay motivation for what he does (sort of), but it never plays into the plot in any significant way, so I could never care about it. And Hugh Jackman… I love Hugh Jackman, but he’s not very good in this. Kate Beckinsale plays a woman that Van Helsing runs into pretty early on, and she’s somehow important to it all because she’s related to some big shot person. It was mentioned like twice and it was so poorly delivered that it never stuck to my mind. She’s supposed to be a badass lady, which is something I like seeing in a movie… but here she comes off as more of a lucky idiot, an idiot savant as it’s usually called. And her attempt at an accent here? Nope, no good. Beckinsale is bad in this. David Wenham plays Carl, the friar that is joining Van Helsing on this journey. He’s meant as a comic relief, but he never really says anything funny. Wenham is… okay in the role. Richard Roxburgh plays Dracula in this and his performance is awful… but in the right way. The performance has more ham than a Christmas buffet, and it made me laugh. It doesn’t really give the movie any points, but it at least made some scenes easier to get through than others. There are talented actors in this, but none of them are particularly good in it.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri and it is pretty good. Here’s why it doesn’t work though… the overall quality of everything else is so low that this epic and booming score doesn’t quite match up with what’s happening on screen. It just feels off.

This movie was directed by Stephen Sommers and he did a meh job. It feels so bland and uninteresting that nothing about what I was seeing interested me. The action too has a sever lack of tension… and impact… and fun… it’s fucking boring. There’s also an overload of shitty CG. And to those giving the “Well, it was the early 2000s” argument”: The final “Lord of the Rings” movie came out the year before and the CG in that looks amazing. There was also an overload of it. Sure, there were a few props, costumes, and sets that looked pretty good, but they rarely got as much focus as the terrible computer effects.

This movie hasn’t been particularly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 23% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 35/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars (Wut?). And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

“Van Helsing” is bad… just bad. It has a bad plot, bad characters, bad performances, okay music, and bad directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Van Helsing” is a 4,32/10. I didn’t like it and I would recommend skipping it.

My review of “Van Helsing” is now completed.

*Annoyed groan*

Series Review: The Beast (2009)

patrick-swayze-patrik-sueyzi

Hello and welcome back to this corpse known as “Series Reviews” where as the title states, I review TV series. I wanna do more of these, it’s just that it takes a while to finish a season of a show (or an entire show) and I am also really lazy and dumb and I am sorry, please forgive me. With that out of the way, let’s review a short-lived show.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Beast”.

“The Beast” follows veteran FBI agent Charles Barker (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P) as he unwillingly takes on a new and young partner named Ellis Dove (Travis Fimmel). Thing is though that he doesn’t know that Ellis was recruited as a sort of double agent to investigate Barker and his activities. You see, Barker isn’t your typical by-the-books agent, he does everything his way and is suspected of some shady shit. So throughout the show we get to see both how these two solve cases as the undercover agents that they are, but we also see Ellis question his loyalties. And while we have seen similar things before, maybe this show could still do it in an original way. But it didn’t. While the plot offers a few pretty decent twists throughout, it never really feels original or even that engaging. I didn’t completely hate, I mean like I said, there were a few decent twists every now and then. It was also pretty entertaining to see how our heroes would solve these cases every episode. However I feel like the episodes could be a little slow at times. There are so much potential for the plot to be something truly great, but there are almost an equal amount of stuff holding it back which is a shame.

What really helps the show stand out a little more is Patrick Swayze. And I’m not saying that simply becuase I have been a fan of him for a long time, I am saying it because he was legitimately good in this show. This is most definitely the most rugged and dark I have ever seen him. While he isn’t the typical “Charming Mr. Swayze” in this show, he still has some charm to him in the show. Not gonna lie, this might be the best performance I have ever seen form the guy, and I fucking loved him in “Ghost”. Next up is Travis Fimmel who I know stars in the show “Vikings” which I will see at some point. He will also be in the upcoming “Warcraft” movie which is kind of fun. Anyway, how was he in the show? Eh, he was fine. He never really impressed me, but he was also never bad. He was good enough. I did however really like how well he and Swayze played off of eachother. They had pretty good chemistry. Every other actor were pretty good in the show too. Also, Lou Diamond Phillips showed up in an episode. Fun to see that guy still get work.

The music was done by a man named W.G. Snuffy Walden (Pffffft, hahahaha!). And it was decent. Nothing I haven’t really heard before, but it was also not bad. It was good, it worked for the show, that’s it. Although I did really like the opening theme, that I thought was really good.

While I haven’t really truly praised the show for anything yet, let’s give it some props. The cinematography for the show was really good. It gave the show a dark and gritty look that really benefited it. I also really liked some of the writing in the show, it was really well done. The parts I liked were either smart & insightful or darkly funny. And the action in the show was pretty good too I suppose.

The show actually got some pretty good reviews over it’s short run but never really had a lot of watchers. But overall it got pretty mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 59% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“The Beast” is a show that had tons of potential to be great, but never really reached those heights. It had an okay plot, good characters/acting, decent music, good directing & cinematography, good action and some pretty solid writing at times. Although the show moves a little slowly at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Beast” is a 7,98/10. While not great, it’s still worth a watch.
Worth a Watch

Review for “The Beast” is completed.

I miss Patrick Swayze…