Friday, February 29, 2008

There Will Be Blood. And it is Sweet.

Greed. Betrayal. Family. Oil. Milkshakes. These are the plot elements of Paul Thomas Anderson's ThereTwbb
Will Be Blood.

A film like this is not an easy ride, it doesn't have a smooth beginning, middle or ending. It's a movie that makes you think, and that's what makes it great. It puts you on an uneasy, emotional roller coaster that doesn't stop (for me at least) until days after you finish watching it.

The plot is about miner turned oil man named Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his quest to be the best oil man in the world. Daniel Day-Lewis gives an performance deserving of the shiny gold man he won a few weeks ago. It's easy to see that the man put all his sweat, blood and tears in to this role -- and it pays off.

However, one actor who doesn't give enough credit for his performance is Paul Dano as Eli Sunday. This kid -- whom you may remember as the brother on a vow of silence in Little Miss Sunshine -- plays a faith healer in the local church. His performance and as a stereotypical cast-those-demons-out-now preacher is just simply amazing.

You know what though, if I talk anymore about the movie I'm only going to ruin it for everyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys movies. I had previously thought the No Country For Old Men was the best movie I'd seen of the year and was totally deserving of best picture of the year award, until I seen TWBB.

If you've already seen the movie and want to read my take on some key scenes there's more after the jump.

There are things in this film that I haven't felt during a movie in a long. And thats what makes it so kick ass, it stays with you and makes you think about what greed can do to people. How far it pushes them in to the depths of hunger for money and power.

I feel there are three key scenes in the movie that stand out and really showcase what movie is about.

The first scene happens fairly early in the movie. After setting up his oil rig in Little Boston, Plainfield's son (H.W. Plainfield who is adopted by Daniel from a young age, merely as a cute face to help sell him self as a family man in the oil business) is watching the workers do their thing on a roof, looking down at a massive drill bit burrowing deeper in to the earth, when out of nowhere the oil well erupts we a great force knocking H.W. backwards and subsequently damaging his hearing to the point of total deafness.

As all this is happening, the senior Plainfield rushes to the aide of his son. He does show some humanity by trying to comfort him, and it is obvious that he does love him, but his son is nowhere near as important as the oil and leaves H.W. with one of his employees to watch over him as Plainfield looks over the oil well which is now throwing fire hundreds of feet in to the air.

Now, while all this is happening, the musical score starts off with an off-beat snare drum and one single bass note played over and over again (think Running with the Devil by Van Halen), eventually more and more drums are added until the musical score makes sense. What P.T. Anderson and Johnny Greenwood accomplished with this bit of movie magic is that it made me feel what Daniel Plainfield was feeling. Confusion the slowly gave way to comprehension. That, my friend, is worth the price of admission.

The second important scene occurs after Plainfield sends his son away to a school for the deaf. His method of sending his son to the school is abandoning him on a train with one of his employees.

Some time passes and some other key plot points that I won't go in to happen, but I'll make it short. In order for him to continue with his drilling, he needs permission to lay pipe under the ground of a property of a man whom Daniel snubber during the initial lease agreements. The old man agrees to Plainfield's offer on the condition that he is baptized at the local church run by Eli Sunday.

Plainfield reluctantly agrees, and attends church and is humiliated in front of the church by Eli. Slapping him repeatedly in the face and making him shout out "I abandoned my child!" to the congregation, God and himself.

What happens is that he goes through several emotions during the scene, anger, denial, acceptance and regret for sending his son away. But all that human emotion is pushed down by greed knowing that the deal is complete.

The third and final scene occurs many years after the drilling in Little Boston. Daniel Plainfield is filthy rich, living all alone in a huge mansion, H.W. leaves him as his business partner to start on his own, this infuriates Daniel and leads him to call him an orphan an tells him "You have nothing of me in you, because you're not mine!" H.W. replies to him in sign language, "Thank God."

Emotionally devastated by the departure of his son and his alcohol abuse has caused a once great and powerful man in to a sad shadow of himself.

Eli Sunday shows up unexpectedly, he has become a successful radio preacher but has fallen on hard times. Eli begs Daniel to start drilling under the land where he had previously laid pipe leading to the ocean. Eli says he wants $100,000 from Daniel for bringing him this information

There's a lot of details I'm leaving out, but go see the movie, dammit.

Daniel says that he will as long as he admits that Sunday is a a false prophet and God is a superstition, mirroring what Eli had done to Daniel during his baptism. Eli also goes through the same emotions that Daniel went through as well. Daniel tells him the the land has dried, and Eli is pushed to his lowest point ever.

I won't go in to any more details as I feel this is the best part of the movie. This scene gives us the famous milkshake line.

More then that however, it brings up so many other questions to ponder. Even the notion that Eli might be a homosexual. There's something so devilish about Eli Sunday, I can't put my finger on it, but it's kind of obvious that he's a false prophet when he declares God a superstition for money. I don't think any real man of the cloth would do that, no matter what the situation would be.

Watching a movies like this, makes me want to be creative. It makes me
wish that I was a director and famous writer. Anything. I think when a
movie can do this to someone, it gives me hope that good movies do
still get made and for every Norbit, I Know Who Killed Me, Mr. Brooks, there's going to be movies like No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. That makes me hopeful and that makes me remember why I love movies in the first place.

In closing, I can't think of a more perfect movie. When I was watching the Oscars the other night, I was quite excited the No Country For Old Men won for best picture. However, after watching There Will Be Blood, I'm recasting my vote.

Go see this movie now, you will not be disappointed.

There will never be a better time.

There will not be a post like this, on this day, for another four years. Today is leap day, and it only comes once every four years.

I just wanted to post something for the sake of being quirky, witty and cool.

So happy birthday all you leaplings -- you need it!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Some Other Blues

Recently, I decided I'd treat myself for my birthday and order me up some new headphones. Some of you may know I've been a long time supporter of Grado, and my beloved SR-60's have been doing the job quite well for the past 5+ years. And they're still working fine, audio quality is better then when I first bought them. The only problem is the mini-jack has worn out due to a tragic accident that occurred nearly 4 years ago. [1]

The problem is extremely frustrating and annoying, the slightest movement causes an iPod to pause or lose one ear until I wiggle back in to place.

So as of today, I'm rocking the SR-80s. And I have to say that I'm still a lover of Mr. Grado, in the audio sense. It's not physical or anything like that. Well, there was that one time in Mexico.

(Some time later, after awaking from his fond memories of Mr. Grado running in the sand.)

Where was I? Oh yes. The SR-80s are quite amazing. Every bit as good as my 60s. I can't give a full review as they haven't broken in yet, but as of right now they totally worth the price of admission.

I've been listening to some classics like old Queens of the Stone Age, Green Day (the good Green Day), Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Kojima Mayumi and John Coltrane. My God, John Coltrane sounds amazing on these things, on the entire Love Supreme album it's like I'm in McCoy Tyner's piano. Fucking amazing.

All this talk about headphones and HI-FI has made me want to build a headphone pre-amp. It looks easy, and the super-cool-totally-diy-geeky thing about it is that it fits inside a Altoids tin, it looks absolutely too cool for school, but I'm no soldering and electronics genius; but if I have to I can solder.

I'm sure a lot of people who read my blog are geeky like me, so here's the link if anyone wants to build it. [2]

[1] Read all about the sad story of my headphones here plus there's monster trucks!

[2] I used the image above without permission, but I figured since I'm linking back to original site, and I'm hosting the picture they won't mind. If the original authors mind, let me know and I'll fix it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's the little things.

A few minutes ago, I was sitting on my couch enjoying a wonderful episode of Blue's Clues -- My life has become a non-stop stream of Blue's Clues, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Yo Gabba Gabba and The Backyardigans. -- when my 14-month old daughter came up to me and tried to close the lid on my laptop.

This is something she does, quite frequently and it's cute and annoying at the same time. I don't mind it very much, half the time she closes and lays her head down on it like she sleeping and then proceeds to crack up. I do mind however when she tries to touch and bang on the screen like there's invisible mosquitoes that only she can see. The smudges drive me crazy and the idea of crack puts me in stage 4 panic attack. My solution for today was to put the MacBook Pro on my head.

Yes. On my head. Like a tribal woman carrying fruit back to her hut.

Her response was fantastic. She looked at me smiled and turned around. Cute and effective.

The thing is I sense a huge amount of pity in her smile. Almost as if she was saying "That's a good daddy, I'm gonna go to intelligent people now."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I just...

I just bought a Dyson. Yay for me, boo-hoo for my wallet.

Friday, February 22, 2008


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Is it worth it?

I'm really debating on whether or not I should play Assassins Creed or not. I heard that it was kind of shitty, but some say it was OK.

I also heard it takes forever for the game to get started, and that's something I just can't stand. I want to turn on and go, a la Guitar Hero, or even COD4 is pretty snappy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

11 + 6 = Not Enough

So, last night I took two Percogesics and I knocked out from around 11:30pm until noon the next day. I stood up for about an hour and a half, and ended up sleeping from 1:30pm until 7:00pm.

I still feel like shit.

Back to my roots.

Well, I've done did again.

I've switched blogging platforms again! Back to where I started at, sort of.

When I first started I used Movable Type 2.12. Then I upgraded to the horrible 3.0 and that ended up blowing out my database, so then I switched to WordPress, which was great, but my web host didn't really click to well with WP. Then I switched over to, that wasn't very successful. Now, I'm back at the beginning TypePad.

Man, do I love it. TypeLists, mobile posts, an iPhone optimized page, I love it. Really I do.

Oh yeah, for my birthday I caught the following: Bronchitis, a sinus infection, a ear infection and a slight touch of pneumonia. Hooray!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

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.flickr-frame { float: right; text-align: center; margin-left: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

Totally lame