Sunday, January 27, 2008

There Will Be Rambo

There Will Be Blood
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano

Paul Thomas Anderson's (Boogie Nights) turn of the century epic about an oil man has Oscar predictors in a frenzy. The legendary Daniel Day-Lewis (who rarely comes out of retirement) deemed it worthy, and he brings the heat in this one. Adopting a slightly ridiculous manner of speech, he goes over the edge to bring us his portrayal of Daniel Plainview, the oil tycoon who makes any sacrifice to be the best at what he does. Naturally, he does a really good job, so he's probably going to win the Best Actor award against some pretty decent competition this year. If you've seen DDL in Gangs of New York, you know the kind of wild-eyed craziness he can bring to a role, and this is kind of similar in that regard.

Paul Dano was enjoyable to watch also. You may remember him as "Klitz" in The Girl Next Door or Dwayne (the kid who rarely spoke) in Little Miss Sunshine. I think this may be a career-defining job for the guy, getting to act opposite a legend and holding his own without a problem.

In my opinion, No Country For Old Men was a much better movie than There Will Be Blood. Maybe I just didn't "get it," but I can't for the life of me figure out why people are touting this as the best picture of the year. Obviously DDL's performance should be taken into account, but that's gotta be the only reason people are goin' crazy about it.

I will say that There Will Be Blood has the best catchphrase line I've heard in a long time. CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT. "I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!" Before I saw the movie, I heard about this quote sweeping the online realms, so I was looking forward to during the entire movie. It finally came at the very end, and it didn't let me down. The line is used in such a demonstrative way; it's superbly funny. It's already spawned websites ( and I'm guessing it won't be long until the T-Shirts hit. If you aren't ever going to watch the movie, check out the clip below to see it in context (and no, I sadly did not create this picture to the right).

Overall, I definitely wouldn't recommend seeing this movie in the theater. Jared seems to think it's a dark comedy instead of a drama, and I tend to agree with him.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Sylvester Stallone

This was the most brutal film I can ever remember watching. Unlike the later films in the series which seemed to be violent just for violence's sake, this movie returns to its roots in First Blood and actually has something relevant to say. The violence is SO intense and realistic, and Stallone takes this as an opportunity to inform the world of real-life atrocities that are taking place in Burma. I can see why the movie used to be titled Rambo: To Hell and Back.

Surprisingly (to some), the plot is pretty reasonable and not nearly as ridiculous as some movies in its genre. I think Stallone was trying to make people uncomfortable - we all went in expecting gruesome violence as a kind of joke, a means to an end for a childhood hero. Well, he gave us violence - in excess. At times, the movie catered to our ridiculous notions of over-the-top action, giving us the satisfying feeling we sought when we entered the theater. But for most of the film, the laughs were kind of uneasy because of the knowledge he presents very early on that these types of things are actually happening in the world right now.

I really admire Stallone for taking this tactic with his movie. After the success of Rocky Balboa, people thought he was just cashing in on his franchise to make a quick buck. Stallone really put some time into writing this, and figured out a way to make everyone happy: action junkies and cinephiles alike. From what I've heard, he hasn't completely put the character to rest yet - although the ending to Rambo would be a good one if necessary. But I think we may see Rambo one more time on the big screen if Stallone has his way. Only time will tell. Until next time...


Boze said...

Richt on on the Rambo post... if only DDL would have played opposite Sly in Rambo

patrick said...

Daniel-Day Lewis' takes well to the overbearing, violent father-figure role -- he also did this in Gangs of New York.