Wednesday, July 1, 2009

There Will Be Blood Review

If you'll recall, when I reviewed Prototype I talked a little about good storytelling. There Will Be Blood is an example of very poor storytelling.

Everyone who's had a literature class, even a high school one, has be told about how characters are supposed to grow, how there's conflict and resolution. There Will Be Blood has NONE of these things. Characters couldn't be more static, there's so little plot that I'm hard pressed to explain it, and there's no resolution. The movie just sort of ends.

I guess you'd say the movie is about a man named Daniel Plainview. At the beginning of the movie, Daniel's mining silver all by his lonesome. Somehow, he makes a little money at it, starts hiring people, and becomes an oil man. He adopts a son, too. I'm mentioning that because the movie makes it seem like that might be important to the plot, although I don't think it actually is.

When Daniel's business is booming, he buys a ton of land near New Boston, California. A lot happens to him after that... his son goes deaf, he meets his half-brother, he has a run-in with the Church of the Third Revelation. I wouldn't call any of it a story, though. Many years later, after his son runs out on him, the movie ends with Daniel bitter and alone in his private bowling alley.

So what's the point? I'm tempted to say that there isn't one. But there is... I'm sure, if you've read anything else on this movie, you've surely heard that it's absolutely adored by critics. Most critics aren't just liberals, they're fringe-left liberals, who hate things like religion and capitalism. They adore this movie because both the leader of the church and our entrepreneuring Daniel are depicted as greedy, deceitful, and slightly crazy. This is the only point that I could see... that Hollyweird thinks capitalists and Christians are crazy, dangerous, evil people. Daniel and Eli begin the movie that way, and the movie ends with them that way, bludgeoning the audience with that message.

On a side note, this movie did give rise to the whole "I drink your milkshake" internet meme. That does make it better than Twilight.

If you like movies with plot, character development, and good acting (or at least a car chase or explosion), avoid this movie. If you often find yourself thinking that capitalism and religion are ruining society and the only way to save it is "free-thinking" via socialist conformity, then feel free to take a break from blogging about how every bad thing in the world is Bush's fault, watch this tripe, nod sagely at its "message," then tell all your friends how much you loved it because it's "artistic." Personally, I'm not moonbat enough to think There Will Be Blood was anything more than garbage.

Final Score: F

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