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devincf

Episode 85: BOOGIE NIGHTS vs TWBB

Which PTA masterpiece gets in?  

342 members have voted

  1. 1. Which PTA masterpiece gets in?

    • BOOGIE NIGHTS
      156
    • THERE WILL BE BLOOD
      186


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But as other people he is still riffing. He will never stop riffing on other filmakers which is fine with me as he is (usually) such a great filmaker. He has no intention of not riffing on other filmakers.

 

Sure but to a much lesser extent. He uses a similar style of filmmaking in Magnolia, but I think he does a lot more there to make it feel like his own in that movie than in Boogie Nights. Everything from Punch Drunk Love and on feels like it is more of his own on the filmmaking side (especially PDL and The Master).

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For me, "Boogie Nights" is the wildly entertaining work of a young filmmaker who is in the process of discovering who he is, and it carries the DNA of many other films and filmmakers, whereas "There Will Be Blood" is a unique and controlled work of art by a filmmaker who has fully found his voice. So I went with "There Will Be Blood."

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This was a true Sophie's Choice, but I'm going Boogie Nights. It's just a more impressive movie to me, in that it is truly hilarious while being incredibly moving. For sending John C. Reilly on a different career trajectory alone it would be Canon worthy.

 

TWBB was a masterpiece and important and has two incredible acting performances (and Paul F. Tompkins!) but Boogie Nights has one of the greatest ensemble casts I have ever seen, all on top of their game. That Alfred Molina scene, the scene where they're recording You Got the Touch, the Donut scene... I just have to go with my gut, and my gut says Boogie Nights.

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I have nothing much to add to the impassioned arguments here. Great writing, everyone; I'm enjoying the responses.

 

I just want to say that what's been sticking in my head since watching TWBB last week is the scene when Daniel beats Eli and is holding him down against the ground. The way he speaks (not yells) almost gently, "I'm going to bury you, Eli" and pushes his face into the mud -- not too forcefully, perhaps like a father would to a son -- I found it very affecting, for some reason. It would have been easy to play that scene angry and loud, and the way Lewis is using his voice and his body, to me, felt almost affectionate. Am I crazy for thinking that?

 

In a lot of ways, I think Daniel feels some kind of paternal connection to Eli. Plainview doesn't feel for anyone unless he's in competition with them; this is why he wants to insist that his grown up son is going against him when he wants to have his own company in Mexico. He can't love him as an equal. But Eli has challenged Daniel the most, both in his own capacity and as a representative of God, the ultimate competitor for Plainview. Who could be more worthy of his love? Eli sees his own father as a weak, useless man. So it's no mistake that, like the prodigal son, Eli leaves to find his fortune and comes back to Daniel's home, to humble himself and ask for help. Eli sees a surrogate father figure in Plainview, whether he realizes it or not.

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Everyone seems to be saying that Boogie Nights is the more rewatchable of the two, but not for me. I watch There Will Be Blood a lot.

 

Watching it this time, I kept thinking about an alternate universe version of There Will Be Blood. One where P.T. Anderson has been replaced by Paul W.S. Anderson, the script is rewritten by the writing staff of General Hospital, and the entire soundtrack is a repeating 10-second loop of pig noises. BUT, even though everything else is worse, somehow Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano still give the same performances. Would this hypothetical movie still be canon-worthy?

 

I think it would. To me, those performances are so undeniably great that they would elevate any movie to canon status. What makes There Will Be Blood incredible is that those performances are the centerpiece of a film that fires on all cylinders from start to finish. Two of the great performances of all time in one of the most beautiful, rich films ever made.

 

PS, I'm also in the camp that would have had a harder time if it were Magnolia vs. There Will Be Blood.

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If There Will Be Blood wins, it'll be the first time the audience goes completely against both hosts.

 

Didn't they both hate Blade Runner?

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There Will Be Blood voters have further delayed Philip Seymour Hoffman's entry into the Canon. Monsters

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I can't vote because I haven't seen There Will Be Blood, but I'm jazzed you both read the comments. Love you guys, love the show. One thing re: Dirk's mother, I think that's actually a very common dynamic that occurs in real life where a mother will hate her son's girlfriends and there definitely is an edge of jealousy to it over being 'replaced' in a way. From what I have observed, it seems to be the eldest son [especially if he is the eldest child] that gets the brunt of it. Perhaps because he was the first one to come along and completely realign her life's priorities, and in essence she gives everything in her life away for this new male creature. And then some dirty whore who isn't good enough for her little boy, and doesn't realize how incredible he is [even if he isn't] is just going to come riding in and steal him away from her? Fuck that!

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There Will Be Blood voters have further delayed Philip Seymour Hoffman's entry into the Canon. Monsters

Eeeexactly. Way to shit on the grave of a cinematic legend. I hope you're proud of yourselves.

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This match up also raises an important question in the PTA relm: John Brion Vs. Jonny Greenwood

 

Personally for these films I think Greenwood takes the cake, but there is something to be said about the work both of these musicians have done with PTA.

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I don't think Punch Drunk Love is PTA's best movie but I think the score is one of the most brilliant of all time.

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Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood are top tier PTA. While neither are my absolute favorites (I'm one of those Punch Drunk Love people), both show off his ability to juggle larger themes with nuanced human interaction flawlessly. I lean slightly more towards Boogie Nights, mainly for pacing and character reasons. Also will emphasize: just because something is more of a crowdpleaser doesn't mean it's any less worthy of being in The Canon than one that's apparently harder to make.

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I don't know if anyone's brought this up yet, but upon rewatching Boogie Nights, I noticed/loved how the movie pivots at the turn of the decade. Literally at the NYE party, WHM hits his limit, shoots his wife, shoots himself, bam. 80s. All the characters start their downward spiral. So good.

 

Also, Scotty and his affronted look own this movie.

 

I love love love Paul Dano, but I'm going Boogie Nights 100% here.

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I love There Will Be Blood. It's every bit as transcendent, intelligent and ingenious as Devin argues.

 

But I find myself in a peculiar position. Just now, five seconds ago, I voted against it. Why?

 

Well, I find the majority vote is falling into that trap that comedy, as a genre, is somehow inferior, less truthful or less meaningful than a stone cold drama. It's like the IMDB "Best 250" chart; barely any comedies on the list, but more self-serious dramas than you can shake a stick at.

 

Can't help it. I am compelled to root for the underdog.

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I don't know if anyone's brought this up yet, but upon rewatching Boogie Nights, I noticed/loved how the movie pivots at the turn of the decade. Literally at the NYE party, WHM hits his limit, shoots his wife, shoots himself, bam. 80s. All the characters start their downward spiral. So good.

I think it's hard to not notice this, given that there's a title card immediately after the murder-suicide.

 

I actually think that bit of editing is way too on the nose, and feels too obviously "UH OH HERE COME THE 80s".

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I just gotta say that it isn't particularly often that Ms. Nicholson's often quite curious opinions and my own coalesce but she absolutely perfectly encapsulated my difficult feelings about THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

 

At any rate, it was sorta swell to see you guys "harmoniously agree" for once in an episode and you both couldn't be more correct about this admittedly cruel showdown: BOOGIE NIGHTS simply needs to be inducted into The Canon, no matter what.

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Holy shit, what a sophie's choice of an episode. There Will Be Blood is an absolute American classic, no denying that, but Boogie Nights kick-started the career of one of the best American directors of all time. Also, the fact that Boogie Nights has a ton of thematic depth, career-best performances from many different actors/actresses, and is ALSO entertaining and infinitely re-watchable shows just how good it is. BOOGIE NIGHTS ALL THE WAY!

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I remember the first time I saw There Will Be Blood, it was playing on the big screen at my friend's bachelor pad. Everyone was either passed out on the floor or waking up to puke and pass out again, it was one of those nights. I never liked drinking, and that night that was worth something: I was awake. It must've been 3 a.m. when Daniel Plainview yelled "I drink your milkshake!" and bashed in Eli Sunday's head with a bowling pin. I sat across the room on that seedy, pasty couch, jaw on the floor, eyes red and half-open, and thought three things:

 

"What the fuck just happened?"

"Somebody hit play again."

"I feel different."

 

I felt like I'd just touched The Monolith. There Will Be Blood is one of the formative experiences of my love for film. I have to vote it in.

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I think it's hard to not notice this, given that there's a title card immediately after the murder-suicide.

 

I actually think that bit of editing is way too on the nose, and feels too obviously "UH OH HERE COME THE 80s".

Wasn't cocaine a huge problem in the 80s? Definitely makes me reconsider what Amy said, which makes the conflict more about the times and their changing, rather than just drugs.

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This match up also raises an important question in the PTA relm: John Brion Vs. Jonny Greenwood

 

Personally for these films I think Greenwood takes the cake, but there is something to be said about the work both of these musicians have done with PTA.

 

I'm glad someone else is brought down to the music. There Will Be Blood is a more masterful film in regards to its music than Boogie Nights. I feel that the films use music in their own ways that is respective to the films but TWBB is unique in its musical qualities compared to Boogie Nights. Boogie Nights spends its music points much like a Martin Scorsese film rather than being its own thing like TWBB. It is less a complaint and more an observation that Boogie Nights imitates something rather than being individual like TWBB.

 

Greenwood takes the cake and the vote.

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Wasn't cocaine a huge problem in the 80s? Definitely makes me reconsider what Amy said, which makes the conflict more about the times and their changing, rather than just drugs.

For whatever reason, people like to split up pop culture eras into decades, when we know it's really not like that at all. Disco's biggest mainstream hits were in the 80s. Cocaine never went away, either, but crack cocaine certainly was widespread in the 1980s. The notion of it being an "epidemic" doesn't paint an accurate picture because it implies that urban drug use wasn't a problem before. I think the bigger conflict in Boogie was less about drugs (I mean, obviously Dirk had a problem) and more about how the porn industry changed. Honestly the film could have gotten much darker, if it wanted to get into the early 80s AIDS crisis.

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