There will be blood...is that a reference to the "blood" that drove the oil mining communities 100 years ago, the blood being oil. Well I'm not too sure about that and I make no great claim to have completely understood this film or its intentions, however I do recognise and appreciate good acting and a great script and this film has both.
Whether or not you totally understand the "why" of this movie you cannot fail to be utterly memorized by Daniel Day-Lewis's performance as Daniel Plainview. A man who starts out with the most honest of intentions, but who becomes corrupted and ultimately disillusioned with what he has created. Day-Lewis has made 4 movies since 1997 and you can see why as each performance takes so much out of him he needs a few years to recover between parts.
However for a true model of corruption look at Paul Danos' depiction of Eli Sunday. A self styled man of God whose sole motivation appears to be the gathering of wealth in the name of religion; a man who is willing to "do a Judas" and denounce god as "superstition" in order to get his hands on the money.
Wonderful performances from both actors and Day-Lewis's Oscar was fully deserved.
But what about the substance of the movie itself. Is it or will it eventually become one of the greats ? There is no doubt that it is a serious movie for serious movie watchers. I am a serious movie goer, my wife is not and she went to bed after 90 mins unable to get to grips with the "lack of plot" and "where is this film going." I would not dare say that she didn't have the intellect to stay with the movie for its 150 minutes (not if I know what's good for me), and even if I did it would not be true and would be an insult to other movie goers who also didn't get on with the movie. This movie is not for everyone, and for all those who saw the greatness it in, there will many who didn't get the point. I fall somewhere in between.
As a historical depiction of the oil boom in America 100 years ago and one mans part in it, then this movie scores 10/10. As a study in how money and power corrupts 10/10. As a movie that has the ability to hold the common man gripped to the very end 6/10 or perhaps even lower and this is probably why it didn't win the Best Film Oscar and "No Country for Old Men" did.
The Hi Def transfer left a lot to be desired in my opinion. The whole film had a graininess about it which meant it was little better than upscaled standard DVD. However colours and blacks were solid enough even if the edges were on the hazy side. There is little point in reviewing the soundtrack because this isn't a movie that is intended to test your 5.1 set up. However there is a standard Dolby 5.1 and lossless PCM audio track to choose from.
There will no doubt be considerable debate amongst movie snobs that anyone who doesn't think "There will be Blood" is a classic movie is talking out of the top of their head and doesn't understand what a great movie is. I would be careful about going down that line because ultimately it is the paying public that decides what flops and what thrives. "There will be Blood" is a movie for purists and is probably best viewed twice to start to understand its message. It will create as much debate as classics like "Taxi Driver" which is a film I hated and could never see the point of, but which in many peoples opinions is one of the greatest movies of all time.
A great set of actors, a superb script and an excellent director should make a movie that will stand the test of time. Let's see.