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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

June 05, 2008

My Review Of There Will Be Blood


—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at June 5, 2008 08:21 AM


Posted by: Slappy at June 5, 2008 08:40 AM

You probably made the error of watching it with the sound and picture set to "off." Don't worry, this has happened to the best of us (not me). This time, recalibrate the device and set the sound and picture to "on." I'm sure you'll have a much more pleasant and fulfilling experience instead of one completely out of lockstep with most of the civilized arty-smarties like myself.

Dogs are taking over!

- R

Posted by: Robert T at June 5, 2008 09:02 AM

Dogs are taking over!

Dogs are taking over. This is nothing to joke about.

I did think the score was great.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 5, 2008 09:26 AM

Dogs have taken over. Unfortunately, the pit bulls and Rottweilers, not the golden retrievers.
Bite bite, not lick lick.
As your nanny probably told you, breeding is everything. For God, for Country and for Yale, go you bulldogs.

Posted by: donescobar at June 5, 2008 10:25 AM

Hey, I have a rottie and all she does is lick lick lick. And try to sit on the cat. Which is the funnest game EVER!

Posted by: David Grenier at June 5, 2008 10:30 AM

You've probably appeased your rottie.But watch out: Today the cat, tomorrow the world.

Posted by: donescobar at June 5, 2008 10:36 AM

My review of TWBB: Meh.

Posted by: darrelplant at June 5, 2008 11:31 AM

You liked it that much?

Posted by: John Caruso at June 5, 2008 12:17 PM

There wasn't enough kung fu.

Posted by: buermann at June 5, 2008 02:32 PM

There was kung fu in it? Damn, I should have gone to see it.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at June 5, 2008 03:13 PM

Effusive in your ennui, I see. I agree.

Posted by: Steve Jones at June 5, 2008 04:24 PM

I am so glad you suffered through it so I don't have to. I was just yesterday that I was over at my Netflix queue and couldn't remember whether this was the title (it is not) of the accoladed movie with the bad haircut. Or was it the poorly coiffed movie with the accolades? Anyhow, at least I know what _not_ to order.

Posted by: bluestate leftist at June 5, 2008 05:45 PM

I can't claim that I suffered through it. It was okay, and even pretty good in parts -- particularly the music. It just wasn't the unspeakably great masterpiece that reviews had led me to expect.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 5, 2008 06:36 PM

The "speakably" great masterpiece, at least for many in my generation (old folks), is "Casablanca." Kids shaped by WW II.
What is it for the kids shaped by Vietnam? Is a "masterpiece" still possible?

Posted by: donescobar at June 5, 2008 07:22 PM

"Eh" pretty much sums it up.

Apparently a lot of people found Plainview's misanthropy to be disturbing and moving, but as a fellow misanthrope my reaction was pretty much, "Yeah, so?"

About the score: It's fun to listen to, and goes well with the scenery, but it keeps building up to these chaotic crescendos, and, along with the title, that tricked me into thinking that the movie itself would build to some inevitable crescendo.

It doesn't.

I sat through the whole damn thing saying, "Is this the scene with the blood? No? Well, surely this must be the scene with the blood."

It was distracting.

Posted by: Christopher at June 5, 2008 09:03 PM

My friends call this English Patient Syndrome, when the critics and their hangers-on proclaim "this is the greatest movie in the history of cinema for, like, EVAH" when they mean "this flick does not totally suck".

On a completely unrelated note, I see Barack Obama's going to be your next president.

Posted by: RobWeaver at June 6, 2008 01:35 AM
The "speakably" great masterpiece, at least for many in my generation (old folks), is "Casablanca."

In the words of our host, "eh" to Casablanca.

I never got the hoopla. And I "like" Citizen Kane (it's watchable), but really, is it all that great?

I'd rather watch something complicated with dialogue that catches fire. Like "The Big Sleep" or a simple/complex story like "Blood Simple". Then there's "The Bicycle Thief" to teach us about moral relativism. And "The Battle of Algiers" to teach us about war and politics.

Posted by: Labiche at June 6, 2008 08:50 AM

With that kind of mastery of brevity, you really need to get in on the "Bush in Six Words" discussion, inspired by Hemingway:
or originally here, if you plan to be in Utah:
(some day I'll figure out hyperlinks)

Posted by: Whistler Blue at June 6, 2008 12:35 PM

My grand and completely accurate review of Jonathan Schwarz.


Posted by: AlanSmithee at June 9, 2008 12:58 PM