There Will Be Blood (2007)

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Released 12-Aug-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Featurette-15 Minutes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 151:59
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (68:25) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis
Martin Stringer
Matthew Braden Stringer
Jacob Stringer
Joseph Mussey
Barry Del Sherman
Harrison Taylor
Stockton Taylor
Paul F. Tompkins
Dillon Freasier
Case ?
RPI ? Music Jonny Greenwood


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Czech
Hungarian
Hebrew
Slovak
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I went into this film not really knowing what to expect, as I had not really read much press on it. I knew that it had won two Oscars, one for Daniel Day Lewis as Best Actor and one for cinematography (Robert Elswit), along with another six nominations including Best Film. I knew it was an historical epic set in the late 1800s, early 1900s United States oil fields. I expected a high quality film and was not disappointed. This is an exceptionally well made picture, featuring excellent acting, wonderful cinematography and an excellent and challenging score by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. I would say however that it is also one of the bleakest films I have seen recently, leaving you feeling very little optimism about the human condition.

    The story follows the life and oil prospecting career of Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day Lewis) whom we are introduced to in a stunning opening sequence set in 1898 and the following years. Initially we see him mining, searching for gold despite the dangers faced by a man in a pit on his own in the middle of nowhere. The opening sequence includes no dialogue for 15 to 20 minutes, which draws you into a harsh and alien world punctuated only by the challenging, angular music and the on-screen action. As Plainview's career develops, his team grows to include a number of men, one of whom has a young baby with him. Due to an accident, the father is killed. Plainview decides to unofficially adopt the young boy, whom he names H.W. (Dillon Freasier).

    The main narrative of the film really kicks off with a young man paying Plainview a visit, offering to sell information about an oil field in California which no-one is aware of. After agreeing to a deal, he tells Plainview of oil "lying on the surface" around his family's ranch. Plainview sets off to investigate with H.W., posing as quail hunters to allay the family's suspicions. Plainview quickly realises that the story is true and sets about buying up leases for the ranch and surrounding properties. In order to do this he must agree to a deal with Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), son of the ranch owner and local revivalist preacher. The dysfunctional relationship which forms between the two men drives the rest of the movie as they fight for control of the community and the oil. Ciaran Hinds also appears as Plainview's business associate Fletcher.

    The music is a huge part of this film and seems to have divided viewers into two camps: lovers and haters. I felt it was a stunning achievement in scoring which added significantly to the film, and was a big part of the film's atmosphere and otherworldly mesmeric feel. This combined with the wonderfully shot alien landscapes of California's desert areas created an incredibly powerful environment for the story to play out in. The acting by the whole cast is fantastic, especially Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano as the main protagonists.

    The bleakness of the story makes this a film to watch and appreciate rather than one that could be considered enjoyable. My only real criticism of it as a film is that it is perhaps about 15 minutes too long considering the slow pace at which the story moves.

    So, in summary an excellent, mesmerising artistic achievement, which is recommended as a viewing experience but which will certainly alienate some audiences due to the bleakness of the story.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail is excellent.

    The colour was excellent, doing a great job of reproducing the washed out landscapes of the film.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English and English for the hearing impaired, plus Czech, Hungarian, Hebrew and Slovak. The English ones were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 68:25 but it is not noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent despite a lower than normal bitrate for a 5.1 track.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 descriptive audio soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s, and Czech and Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks encoded at 384 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.

    The score by Jonny Greenwood is stunning and comes across wonderfully well in this transfer.

    The surround speakers were used regularly for explosions, spurting oil, and music.

    The subwoofer was also well used for explosions and gushing oil, along with adding bass to the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Strangely for such a long film, there are only eight chapter stops.

Menu

    The menu was still and silent, but strangely it fitted in with the atmosphere of the film.

15 Minutes (15:40)

    16x9 enhanced and sporting a 5.1 soundtrack at a higher bitrate than the film itself. This extra is a large selection of pictures from the era covered by the film. Other items that inspirated the look of the film are interspersed with snippets of footage, which shows the influence the images had on the production design. Whilst interesting, it probably goes on a bit too long.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    In Region 1, there are two SD versions of this film. The most comparable to ours is the one-disc edition, which includes no extras at all. The two-disc edition also includes another film from the same era The Story of Petroleum, some deleted scenes, outtakes and trailers. There is no local equivalent to the two-disc edition. A local Blu-ray release is also available.

Summary

    A stunning and mesmerising film experience, however bleak the story.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    Our release has one extra, which is one more than the equivalent Region 1 edition.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Terrible Film - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
re: Terrible Film - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.)