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nickperkins

Homework: Blood vs Boogie

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Boogie Nights (1997)

- currently available for digital rental

 

There Will Be Blood (2007)

- currently streaming on Netflix and available for digital rental

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this is gonna be so heartbreaking!!!!! i really hope one of these gets a second chance, they are both within my 15 favorite movies of all time. i'm gonna be leaning Boogie Nights pre-episode, but I'll see if one of the hosts can convince me otherwise.

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I almost preempted this thread twice, because I couldn't wait to get into the pre-episode discussion. Also, because you didn't know what Re-Animator even was, I felt it would be only just you surrendered your duties this week. :D But, I hesitated.

 

OK. WHYYYYYYY these two? Why? Early PTA versus....Mid PTA? Why not Boogie Nights and Magnolia, for being the late-90s (a final, FINAL farewell to arthouse 90s?) ensemble films that launched his career? I understand why Boogie Nights vs. The Master wouldn't be so hot (The Master just wasn't as popular and would in all likelihood be crushed). This feels like doing E.T. versus Jurassic Park, or Paths of Glory versus Barry Lyndon. Sure, kids and monsters*, period movie with war and palaces. Still doesn't seem like the most natural pairing, unless someone really wants one PTA film in The Canon, and only one.

 

I haven't listened to this week's episode yet (except for the bookends), but I'm already too hung up on next week's.

 

* - But who are the monsters?

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I'm not saying "I drink your milkshake" is the greatest line ever written, but I'm not NOT saying it.

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You know how Amy feels irritated that any gore exploitation movie will be in The Canon after x-ing out The Fly? That's gonna be me for literally 99% of movies after this one. I think vs. episodes should be for two edge cases that might otherwise not get in but one should be in; Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood are, if not quite, very nearly the best films of their entire decades.

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I'm Boogie Nights right now, but both are among my hundred favorite films of all time. I love these films, and I am so sad this is what's happening. We should have been more careful about what we wished for.

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For whatever reason I've completely avoided There Will Be Blood, and I'm realizing now that I don't really enjoy the work of PTA much at all. I recognize the greatness of his body of work, especially the momumental performances he's drawn out of some incredible actors (Hoffman especially, although he was preternaturally gifted) but the dramatic density and gravity of the stuff just isn't to my personal taste.

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While I personally find The Master more compelling than either, both are certainly Canon worthy. I'd probably throw my hat in for There Will Be Blood given how heavily I think Boogie Nights apes off of Altman's Nashville. Look no further than the black cowboy for a superficial homage. The dynamic is wholly reversed where instead of exposing the underbelly of a seemingly harmless industry, you're humanizing one with a thick dogma surrounding it. To digress, TWBB is a near flawless picture that's really much harder to argue against. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first film that Johnny Greenwood scored for PTA and he did tremendous work. The whole oil derrick set piece carries so much momentum thanks to those weird jangling chains and stick percussion backing it.

 

My only real gripe is that Paul Dano playing both brothers adds a little confusion for no reason. It was an on set decision as the actor cast to play his twin dropped out or got sick or something, so it's excusable. Oh, I am kind of sour that it's the only PTA film without a PSH cameo. He would've fit the period effortlessly.

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I've watched Boogie fairly recently, but haven't seen Blood since 2007. I recall enjoying it, but just never felt the urge to go back. It'll be interesting to revisit it this week.

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THERE WILL BE BLOOD is arguably the best movie of the year for one of the best years for movies EVER. It's a masterpiece.

 

BOOGIE NIGHTS.... Honestly, I'm not sure I really "get" BOOGIE NIGHTS. It's certainly an entertaining film but I feel somewhat ambivalent toward it. Definitely will be an interesting rewatch.

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THERE WILL BE BLOOD is my favorite movie of all time. I had the pleasure of seeing it projected on 35mm last month in Chicago. It was incredible. I honestly think that over time it will be one of those movies like VERTIGO and the likes that gets reevaluated by critics and those Sight & Sound/bbc/AFI lists. (This movie didn't crack the latest BBC 100 best American films, but THE DARK KNIGHT did..which I like, but come on..)

 

BOOGIE NIGHTS is probably in my top 25 movies too, but every time it gets brought up with movie people, it's hard not to bring up GOODFELLAS or NASHVILLE and for some I think it makes it hard to view it as its own film, which, I do think it's a beautiful film about family. I can see why pitting these two makes sense, it's his two finest pictures: his best from his Altman-fast paced-flashy camera work era and one from his subdued Kubrickian/coming into his own PTA aesthetic.

 

I just love his work. This episode will be fun and sad. Woohoo!

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I like There Will Be Blood more -- for a while it was my favorite movie of all time -- but I think I will be voting for Boogie Nights because of how it uses so many young actors so beautifully who would go on to define mainstream cinema in the 2000s. It's a one-stop shop to get PSH, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Luis Guzman etc. into the canon. And yes, Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the all-time great performances, but there are 11 or 12 perfect characters in Boogie Nights, which keeps the movie's length from being punishing -- whenever you would get bored, Alfred Molina or Thomas Jane or Philip Baker Hall stop in to ratchet back up the amazingness.

 

TWBB is really, oppressively male, which is the point, but Boogie Nights is a story that could have easily been solely about masculinity and instead gives Rollergirl and Julianne Moore real interiority. We need stories which deconstruct masculinity (and, again, TWBB is one of the best) but it doesn't have to be every fucking film.

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This is gonna hurt, but I must admit I have a lot more fun watching Boogie Nights

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This is gonna hurt, but I must admit I have a lot more fun watching Boogie Nights

 

FUN?!? /s

 

There is something to be said about P.T.A. kind of going off the rails with Important Artistic Dramas for a while until Inherent Vice. Which isn't to say that those were bad, but after The Master I would've had a hard time bringing myself to anticipate yet another Big Important Drama, so Vice came at the right time.

 

In any case, I was all about There Will Be Blood when it came out, and I'm a little worried that it won't shine as bright years later. On the other hand I'm pretty confident that I'll love Boogie Nights the same or more. So I'm with you: I can see Boogie Nights winning my vote.

 

We need stories which deconstruct masculinity (and, again, TWBB is one of the best) but it doesn't have to be every fucking film.

 

Preach.

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it's hard not to bring up GOODFELLAS or NASHVILLE

 

Actually, the last scene from Boogie Nights always reminds me of the last scene in Raging Bull.

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While I personally find The Master more compelling than either, both are certainly Canon worthy. I'd probably throw my hat in for There Will Be Blood given how heavily I think Boogie Nights apes off of Altman's Nashville.

Well, Boogie Nights is so clearly living in its 70s setting that even a lot of the camera techniques are being used like they would in a film from that period. So, for it to emulate Nashville seems justified.

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Well, Boogie Nights is so clearly living in its 70s setting that even a lot of the camera techniques are being used like they would in a film from that period. So, for it to emulate Nashville seems justified.

 

 

amen, I think PTA is a very smart guy and knew what he was doing; I don't think he was just being a mimic. That's just me.

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There Will Be Blood is hands down PTA's opus, the Great American Film if there ever was one. The myth of rugged individualism in the land of the free. Daniel Plainview has to be one of the most nuanced and sympathetic portrayals of the Mad Randian ever put to film, more Ahab than Gordon Gekko. Hoping Danny boy gets a fair trial and isn't written off solely as a face for the corrupting powers of Greed and the evils of Capitalism.

 

 

w/r/t Boogie Nights: goddamn if that Jesse's Girl scene ain't amazing

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Well, Boogie Nights is so clearly living in its 70s setting that even a lot of the camera techniques are being used like they would in a film from that period. So, for it to emulate Nashville seems justified.

 

PTA also aped off of Altman's The Long Goodbye for Inherent Vice. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing necessarily. The 70s were the height of American Cinema and Altman was one of the people at the forefront. The Master is just as heavily steeped in New Hollywood without borrowing too heavily from any one predecessor.

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Part of me's like "There Will Be Blood's the better movie, and is almost certainly the one that will get in" and the other part's like "I need everything Philip Seymour Hoffman did with PTA to be in the canon."

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I watched yesterday night Boogie Nights again. Call me hyperbolic, but this is a goddamn masterpiece, if there ever was one. I'm dreading now to have to watch There Will Be Blood tonight. For one, because too much perfection can be painful, but also because I'm scared to find of having to formulate a phrase like "Boogie Nights is the lesser film, because....".

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I watched "There Will Be Blood" for the first time last night and I have to completely discredit myself and my opinions:

 

The movie left me completely cold. I get that the directing is perfect, the acting amazing, the cinematography beautiful, the writing full of important themes and very artistic - but I don't care about anything in the movie. Sadly, there were moments where I even found DDL's performance to be almost a parody of his acting (maybe because I have seen the parodies of his performance first?).

 

The story and the characters - to me - are just not very engaging. I need a minimum of sympathy for the characters to be interested in a movie, and there's just nothing there for me. I don't even find them particularly fascinating. Those people are so completely separate from my world and I have no way to relate to any of them (aside from H.W.).

 

And I felt very obviously and annoyingly manipulated by the music. It was near perfect in conveying a permanent feel of dread - but I knew very well WHY I felt uncomfortable and I didn't feel the movie earned this, particularly in the first act.

 

OK, now people can make fun of me...

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It will take a strong argument to get me off Boogie Nights, but I'm willing to be swayed. Let the fun begin.

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