DVD Review – There Will Be Blood

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Movie: 6 stars out of 5. Brilliant
DVD Quality: Flawless
Sound: Be prepared for huge transitions from silence to bursts of sound, but then again, you’ve seen the film, right?
Extras: 50/50.
While it’s no secret that Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood was among my favorite films of 2007 and repeat viewings don’t change that opinion. Paul Thomas Anderson has turned in a wide screen epic masterpiece for the new century. TWBB and Andrew Dominick’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (you just KNEW I was going to work that one in here, didn’t you?) are a magnificent 1-2 punch for 2007 which was overall, one of the strongest years in recent memory, IMHO.
As for the DVD, the transfer is gorgeous. Needless to say, the film is presented in widescreen, enhanced for 16×9 TVs and on my 50″ Sony, it looks gorgeous. The 5.1 sound is great, with Johnny Greenwood’s stark and painfully appropriate score ringing through as clear as a bell.

As far as the extras go, it’s a mixed bag, really. The 15 minute featurette “Pics, research, etc.” is pretty cool, with a mixture of archival photos and brief snippis from the film that were inspired by the snapshots. Also included are two deleted scenes, the teaser and the trailer and something referred to as “Dailies Gone Wild,” which as far as I can tell is just a take of a scene where Daniel Day Lewis and Dillon Freasier crack up at the end. The most substantial extra is a 20+ minute silent movie from 1923 called The Story of Petroleum, set to new music by Greenwood. While the film is kind of interesting in an historical context, the new music by Greenwood doesn’t really fit the material.
I was disappointed to see that there were no commentaries in this “special” collector’s edition. I knew there wouldn’t be any from Daniel Day Lewis, as he’s famous for not being comfortable discussing his craft and that’s perfectly reasonable. That said, I would have loved to have, say, Anderson with cinematographer Robert Elswit discussing the visuals of the film or Greenwood and editor Dylan Tichenor. I can only hope that they’re saving them for the Criterion release that we all hope is coming!
All in all, this is a brilliant film and if this is what’s out there, that’s what you get. It can be found for about $25 and for what you get, that’s a bargain in my book.

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There WIll Be Blood
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