There Will Be Blood

The Flash (2014) s06e04 – There Will Be Blood

It’s a big sad episode, with all the men going through their pre-Crisis sads about Barry (Grant Gustin) dying in just six weeks. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) is sad so he steals the super-cure they’re supposed to be stealing to save villain Sendhil Ramamurthy, who is stunningly bad at the acting thing. They clearly hired him because he’s a hot dude, not because he can convincingly blather pseudo-scientific superhero show dialogue. To himself, of course. He talks to himself all the time. If Ramamurthy were better, it could be a great hammy villain. But he’s not.

So then it turns out Hartley Sawyer is sad too. Iris (Candice Patton) finds out because she does nothing this episode except go visit her friends. No one in Central City calls, texts, or e-mails. They go visit. Makes sense for Gustin, since he can run super-fast, but presumably Patton took a Lyft or something? Anyway, she checks in on Sawyer but he’s in a weird mood. Turns out he’s just sad about Gustin. Jesse L. Martin goes to talk to Sawyer, which affects Martin, so he and Gustin have a big hug scene at the end of the episode only it’s not one of those great Gustin and Martin hug scenes because 1) there’s no “Dad” and 2) it’s just Crisis. Who gives a shit? DC does one every few years… Arrowverse is overdue.

But seriously, the show’s dealt with impending, observed future death so many times, it’s not really surprising Gustin’s so nonplus. Though, just because it’s “The Flash,” he’s inevitably going to have to have a breakdown episode. Patton hasn’t had one either. She and Danielle Panabaker are just there to keep the boys functioning this episode.

On the only real plus side… liking Tom Cavanagh now. The tease of Cavanagh last episode wasn’t enough, you need full Cavanagh. The multi-dimensional adventurer thing is fine. He still gets to the fun stuff.

The Gustin and Valdes stuff is exhausting. Six weeks to Crisis. Can’t come soon enough.

There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)

There Will Be Blood. I don’t know where to start. Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance is biggest thing in the film–it’s the film, after all. Without Day-Lewis, the film’s not possible. Director Anderson gives Day-Lewis some quiet at the beginning of the picture to establish himself; there’s nothing to do but stare as the music comes up, as Robert Elswit’s photography contains the carefully executed action. Day-Lewis transfixes and never lets go.

But Blood is, beneath all its epic trappings, just a character study. It’s such an intense character study, Anderson is more than willing to let the narrative take a back seat to Day-Lewis’s performance. While the setting and the script are all meticulous, their details are background. Day-Lewis exists in front of them, directly in between the viewer and the story.

At the same time, Anderson goes out of his way with the grandiosity. Between Elswit’s photography, Jonny Greenwood’s music and Jack Fisk’s production design, every moment of Blood has audiovisual impact. Anderson and Elswit do these incredibly complex tracking shots from time to time; they’re breathtaking filmmaking but they never betray the film’s focus. The viewer’s attention is on Day-Lewis.

Anderson’s concentration–the way he forces the viewer to pay attention–mirrors Day-Lewis’s concentration. Just the time he loses that concentration is when Anderson forces the viewer to start re-evaluating things.

Great support from Paul Dano, Dillon Freasier and Ciarán Hinds.

It’s a brilliant film. Every moment’s absolutely perfect.

4/4★★★★

CREDITS

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson; screenplay by Anderson, based on a novel by Upton Sinclair; director of photography, Robert Elswit; edited by Dylan Tichenor; music by Jonny Greenwood; production designer, Jack Fisk; produced by JoAnne Sellar, Anderson and Daniel Lupi; released by Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage.

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis (Daniel Plainview), Paul Dano (Eli Sunday), Kevin J. O’Connor (Henry), Ciarán Hinds (Fletcher) and Dillon Freasier (HW).


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