Daniel Day-Lewis gives another unforgettable performance in "THERE WILL BE BLOOD," possibly Director Paul Thomas-Anderson's best film so far. Based, "loosely" on the novel "Oil," by Upton Sinclair, Anderson deserts most of that framework early on and heads off into unpredictable, often complicated, but accessible sub-plots.
Lewis stars as Daniel Plainview, a man driven by his quest to find oil and the excesses that come along with such a find. From the dazzling opening sequence and throughout most of the film, it's hard to take one's eye away from the screen. Anderson has crafted his film in a refreshing manner, always making the viewer feel as if part of something really big. It doesn't take long at all to realize that Plainview's obsession will not cease and that's also part of the message, arguably, to the film. There's no "conquering" the American dream. No matter the wealth Plainview's accomplishments, hard work and trickery, achieve, he always thirsts for more. It does take quite a while, however, for the viewer to feel a really strong opinion of his character. One can't help but admire his tenacity, passion, and surprising concern for his son, at least for a little while, until his truly darker side comes out about two hours into the 2 hour, 40 minute film.
Having viewed "THERE WILL BE BLOOD" in theaters first, it left this reviewer, due to its seemingly abrupt ending, with the same kind of anger and disappointment that "NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN" also managed to. However, upon receiving the review copy earlier than release, in the mail, it was impossible not to rush to play the film from the beginning all over again. Sure, its ending is arguably flawed, but it's still a great film!
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this release, with 16:9 enhancement. The film's setting has an inherently subdued color scheme, however, colors are solid and detail is impressive throughout. Contrast is decent, however, darker scenes lack the kind of superior detail found on many PARAMOUNT dvd releases, due to less than impressive blacks and grays.
PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Surrounds kick in with great impact for a "few" sequences, but, separation effects are focused on the front speakers for the majority of the film. The great score is well complimented through all speakers. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. There are long passages with little dialogue, and the overall fidelity of the natural elements is surprisingly, most impressive during these more quiet passages.
PARAMOUNT has provided both a single disc presentation and the "2 disc Collector's Edition." The "Collector's edition" offers a segment on the 2nd disc, "15 Minutes," compiled of stills, and behind-the-scenes footage of the film's production.
There is a brief "deleted scenes" section, a teaser and theatrical trailer for the film, as well as a silent short film from the '20s, "The Story of Petroleum."