XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Paul Thomas Anderson => Topic started by: Robyn on October 23, 2017, 09:37:05 PM

Title: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Robyn on October 23, 2017, 09:37:05 PM
there is probably an older thread, but i'm interesting in seeing what everyone thinks a couple of films later.

1. the master
2. there will be blood
3. magnolia
4. punch-drunk love
5. inherent vice
6. boogie nights
7. sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: BigSock on October 23, 2017, 09:42:04 PM
1. There Will Be Blood
2. Boogie Nights
3. Magnolia
4. The Master
5. Punch-Drunk Love
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard 8
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 23, 2017, 09:43:23 PM
Sure.  I'll play.  But my ranking is based on how much i respond to each film.  (It also more or less describes how many times I've seen them.)

1. Boogie Nights
2. Magnolia
3. Punch-Drunk Love
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Master
6. Hard Eight
7. Inherent Vice

I think TWBB may well be his best film--but Boogie Nights will always be my favorite of his films.

[edit]  I just noticed that 1 - 5 on my list happens to match the order in which I first saw these films.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 23, 2017, 10:22:13 PM
1. Magnolia
2. Punch-Drunk Love
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Boogie Nights
5. The Master
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 23, 2017, 11:34:37 PM
I've often wondered if the order in which you see PTA's films has any effect on your ranking of them...  Thoughts?
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lottery on October 23, 2017, 11:56:40 PM
I reckon if you're one of his earlier fans, you're more likely to rank Magnolia higher.

Probably:

1. The Master
2. Punch Drunk Love
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Boogie Nights
5. Inherent Vice
6. Magnolia
7. Sydney

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: polkablues on October 24, 2017, 12:10:19 AM
This is like Sophie's Choice, except instead of forcing me to choose which of my children I would let die, you're asking me to do something hard.

1. Blood
2. Mag
3. Mast
4. Boog
5. Punch
6. Vice
7. Syd
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilder on October 24, 2017, 12:24:28 AM
Even though on a scene-by-scene basis his more recent work may be stronger or more original, there’s still nothing that matches the sheer emotional intensity of Magnolia for me, and I’m sure many of us. It’s like a cathartic tidal wave. His filmography aside, the only other thing that comes close to achieving its feeling is Margaret, in my eyes. So...

Phantom Thread
Magnolia
Boogie Nights
Inherent Vice
There Will Be Blood
The Master
Punch-Drunk Love
Hard Eight

This is becoming increasingly hard. I dig the performance more in TWBB but the filmmaking more in The Master. The sort of beat down regal gentleman vibe of Hard Eight more than Punch-Drunk, but it being his earliest work, by nature it just isn’t as tightly executed and doesn’t have as unique rhythm. I’d probably care for The Master more if he’d done another draft. It was pretty shocking when the version that came out was so close to that early script that leaked. As much as I like it, the story seems a little undercooked to me. But then again, given that it was sort of his first non-adaptation, non filmmaker inspired movie (in the way Hard Eight had Bob le flambeur and Boogie Nights has Goodfellas etc as models) maybe that was to be expected. I don’t know. I like them all. I like everything.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: WorldForgot on October 24, 2017, 03:21:45 AM
1. Inherent Vice (... when I watch this film it's as if all of my feelings about life, and the reverberations of the feelings I've forgotten, have been distilled onto celluloid)
2. There Will Be Blood
3. The Master
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. Magnolia
6. Boogie Nights
7. Hard Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on October 24, 2017, 07:45:52 AM
Well.

1) Magnolia
2) There Will Be Blood
3) Punch Drunk Love
4) Whatever
5) Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Shughes on October 24, 2017, 07:51:13 AM
Ranked:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Master
3. Magnolia
4. Boogie Nights
5. Punch Drunk Love
6. Inherent Vice
7. Sydney

Order I first watched:

1. Boogie Nights (VHS)
2. Sydney (VHS - UK so 'Hard Eight', ratio cropped, etc)
3. Magnolia (DVD)
4. Punch Drunk Love (Cinema)
5. There Will Be Blood (Cinema)
6. The Master (Cinema)
7. Inherent Vice (Cinema)

I'm not sure if the order in which I watched has had an effect on my rankings, but would argue that the format in which I watched had an effect on the impact of each film. Down to the fact that Sydney/Hard Eight was pan and scan VHS and looked like crap. I later re-watched in the correct aspect ratio and liked it a whole lot more. Still at the bottom of my list - but every film on the list is great!
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Sleepless on October 24, 2017, 08:54:53 AM
Based on nothing more than my personal love:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. Magnolia
3. Boogie Nights
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. Sydney
6. Inherent Vice
7. The Master
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Reelist on October 24, 2017, 09:02:47 AM
1. Punch Drunk Love
2. Magnolia
3. Boogie Nights
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Master
6. Hard Eight
7. Inherent Vice


Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: HACKANUT on October 24, 2017, 09:15:25 AM
I'm a very compulsive film watcher, often rewatching the same film many many times because I enjoy living in their worlds. I've lost track of how many times i've seen Pauls movies but I'm gonna try to guess as well.

In order by how compulsively I rewatch each film:

1. The Master (50+)(5 times in theaters)
2. Inherent Vice (50+)(4 times in theaters)
3. Punch Drunk Love (~30)
4. Boogie Nights (~30)
5. There Will Be Blood(~30)
6. Magnolia (~10)
7. Hard Eight (5)

I much prefer post-coke PTA.
but I do think There Will Be Blood and The Master are his most important films, even though I tend to not rewatch Blood nearly as much as the comfort food that is The Master and Inherent Vice.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Reelist on October 24, 2017, 09:35:48 AM
I can never believe someone who says they've seen a movie over 50 times, unless you actually made that movie or you're 4 years old watching "Frozen". My conclusion is that you may have pressed play and had it on in the room 50 times, but you haven't actually sat down and seen the thing front to back that much. That's just too many goddamn times! The only movie I could honestly say I might have watched that much is Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" because it was the first VHS I ever owned so it I played it like clockwork everyday after school.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on October 24, 2017, 10:00:34 AM
Favorites, with guesses as to how many times I've watched them / had them on in the room:

Magnolia (80+)
Boogie Nights (100+)
The Master (7)
Chere Mill Be Blood (15)
Punch-Drunk Love (30)
Hard Eight (35)
Inherent Vice (5)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: modage on October 24, 2017, 10:04:06 AM
Literally can't believe we don't have a thread for this already but...

1. Magnolia
2. Boogie Nights
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. The Master
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard Eight

I think Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood are locked in a tie for best but Magnolia will always be my favorite.

On my personal list I think I just have to accept that the BOOGIExMAGGIExCHEREMILL Top 3 is probably never changing.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: axxonn on October 24, 2017, 10:34:23 AM
1. Inherent Vice
2. Punch-Drunk Love
3. The Master
4. Magnolia
5. There Will Be Blood
6. Boogie Nights
7. Hard Eight
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Kal on October 24, 2017, 12:03:15 PM
1) Boogie Nights
2) Magnolia
3) There Will Be Blood
4) Punch Drunk Love
5) The Master
6) Hard Eight
7) Inherent Vice

I think as I get older, I don't get to re-watch new things as much as I used to. I'll re-watch older films still over and over again, but I haven't re-watched recent films more than once or twice even if I love them. Maybe Inherent Vice will grow more on me if I watch it more...

#1 is a no brainer for me, #2 and #3 are pretty close.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: RegularKarate on October 24, 2017, 12:24:59 PM
1. Maggie
2. Cherey
3. Punchy
4. Boogie
5. Masty
6. Vicey
7. Sidney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jenkins on October 24, 2017, 01:18:49 PM
Boogie Nights
Inherent Vice
Punch-Drunk Love
Magnolia
Hard Eight
The Master
There Will Be Blood
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 03:51:22 PM
1. Maggie
2. Cherey
3. Punchy
4. Boogie
5. Masty
6. Vicey
7. Sidney

These made me smile, but you gotta help a brother out:  "Cherey"?   I'm not getting the reference...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: polkablues on October 24, 2017, 03:54:38 PM
A history of the best long-running inside joke this board has produced:

http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=10940.msg284554#msg284554
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 03:58:16 PM
As of this posting, here's where the various films have been ranked.   Not sure what it means yet, other than Hard Eight and Inherent Vice seem to rank the lowest most often.  And Magnolia and There Will Be Blood the highest most often...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jenkins on October 24, 2017, 04:06:57 PM
we gotta wait to see TUBA's list, that'll clear things up
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Robyn on October 24, 2017, 04:13:03 PM
at least we agree on calling it cmbb.

7. sydney
7. Hard 8
6. Hard Eight
Quote from: Jeremy Blackman link=topic=13779.msg349690#msg349690
7. Hard Sydney
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 04:26:48 PM
If you award 7-points to a first-place vote, 6-points to a 2nd-place vote...

Again, Magnolia and TWBB seem to be at the top, Hard 8 clearly at the bottom, with Boogie, Punch, Master pretty close in the middle. 

(This Boogie Nights obsessive is rather surprised.  At least it made it to the podium.  Bronze ain't bad, I guess.)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: HACKANUT on October 24, 2017, 05:14:30 PM
I can never believe someone who says they've seen a movie over 50 times, unless you actually made that movie or you're 4 years old watching "Frozen". My conclusion is that you may have pressed play and had it on in the room 50 times, but you haven't actually sat down and seen the thing front to back that much. That's just too many goddamn times! The only movie I could honestly say I might have watched that much is Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" because it was the first VHS I ever owned so it I played it like clockwork everyday after school.

I mean, it is just a guess, but there was a time there when the dvd came out that i watched it about 5 times a week for months. i'm really not exaggerating there. and I have seen it at least 5 times this year alone. The Master is totally the Frozen of my inner 4 year old:)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on October 24, 2017, 05:20:03 PM
I can never believe someone who says they've seen a movie over 50 times, unless you actually made that movie or you're 4 years old watching "Frozen".

I mean, it is just a guess, but there was a time there when the dvd came out that i watched it about 5 times a week for months. i'm really not exaggerating there. and I have seen it at least 5 times this year alone. The Master is totally the Frozen of my inner 4 year old:)

A little off-topic, but I was obsessed with Kubrick and 2001 back in the day and once wrote down every time I'd seen it.  It's always been in a theater (to this day I've never watched it on TV), and the total got up into the low-30s... 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 05, 2017, 06:53:58 PM
Watched Magnolia for the first time in almost 8 years for confirmation and here's mine:

Magnolia
Inherent Vice
Punch-Drunk Love
The Master
There Will Be Blood
Boogie Nights
Hard Eight

"I want you to come in with me, and I want you to stay away from me"
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 05, 2017, 09:44:09 PM
Lists are dumb but allow me to indulge.

The excellent...

There Will Be Blood
The Master
Punch Drunk Love
Boogie Nights

The not as excellent...

Magnolia
Inherent Vice
Hard Eight

(Watching Magnolia now is tough because the melodramatics come off as corny instead of moving. It's overload.)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lottery on November 05, 2017, 10:04:50 PM
(Watching Magnolia now is tough because the melodramatics come off as corny instead of moving. It's overload.)

This definitely could be in the triggering opinions thread but I kinda agree to some extent. It was overwhelming and draining in a good way the first few times I watched it but it doesn't feel as strong as it once was. It's earnest, youthful and ambitious but his later works are more emotionally convincing and powerful to me.
Still pretty great though.

Literally can't believe we don't have a thread for this already but...

Also yeah, that's crazy.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 06, 2017, 10:27:14 AM
On the contrary for me, watching it now after all these years was almost like seeing it anew and from a new perspective; I found it just as powerful, if not more so, than when I saw it in my youth. I saw this flick 9 times during its theatrical run, an unprecedented number of times considering the most I've ever seen a movie in theaters at that point was maybe twice. Last time I saw it was when the blu-ray was released, now I'm 34, have seen at least a thousand other flicks int her interim and still revel at the movie's ambitions, its scope, its innovations, the incredible dialogue, just everything about it is awe-inspiring. I don't ever want to wait such a long time between viewing again. I can recognize people feeling the emotions are over-the-top, especially for some of the characters, but I find that the many emotional breakdowns are well-balanced with the other more level headed characters, not to mentioned earned due to the topics at hand; terminal cancer and child abuse/molestation tend to have that effect. The movie is so personal, wears its heart on its sleeve so blatantly that the filmmaker will probably never feel inclined to plumb those depths again.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: velociraptor on November 06, 2017, 11:38:59 AM
1. The Master
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Punch-Drunk Love
4. Boogie Nights
5. Inherent Vice
6. Magnolia
7. Hard Eight
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: The Ultimate Badass on November 11, 2017, 08:22:13 PM
1. Magnolia
2. Punch-Drunk Love
3. Boogie Nights
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Master
6. Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: eward on November 11, 2017, 09:51:06 PM
1. The Master
2. Phantom Thread
3. Magnolia
4. Punch-Drunk Love
5. Boogie Nights
6. There Will Be Blood
7. Inherent Vice (and I LOVE Inherent Vice)
8. Hard Eight

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: RedHawk10 on November 25, 2017, 11:18:51 AM
1. Magnolia
2. The Master
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Boogie Nights
5. Punch Drunk Love
6. Inherent Vice
7. Hard Eight

#1 is in my top ten films of all time, #2-#4 are masterworks, #5 is great, I liked #6, and #7 is decent but I'm not a huge fan of it.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 25, 2017, 12:00:00 PM
After only one viewing of Phantom, (so subject to minor adjustments following additional viewings), mine might now look like this:

1. Boogie Nights
2. Magnolia
3. Punch-Drunk Love
4. Phantom Thread
5. There Will Be Blood
6. The Master
7. Hard Eight
8. Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: martinthewarrior on November 26, 2017, 10:26:50 PM
1. There will be Blood.
2. Inherent Vice.
3. Punch Drunk Love.
4. Boogie Nights.
5 The Master.
6. Magnolia.
7. Hard Eight.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on November 27, 2017, 12:01:36 PM
Love:

1.  Boogie Nights
2.  Punch-Drunk Love

Like:

3.  Hard Eight

Meh:

4.  There Will Be Blood

Dislike:

5.  The Master
6.  Magnolia
7.  Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: ono on November 27, 2017, 12:06:27 PM
 :saywhat:
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on November 27, 2017, 02:11:46 PM
:saywhat:

Issues with PTA's screenwriting; I find it often very unfocused in a way the technical/formal elements aren't. 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 02:18:39 PM
Issues with PTA's screenwriting; I find it often very unfocused in a way the technical/formal elements aren't.

Elaborate...?
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on November 27, 2017, 03:02:26 PM
Take TWBB.  I really like the imaginative blocking, the cinematography, mise-en-scene, etc., but I feel like there's little attention paid to narrative development; I don't find the story interesting, or the exploration of its ostensible themes illuminating (capitalism, etc.).  It's ultimately just monotonous formalism.  And DDL's cartoonishness made it all the more incongruous to me. 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on November 27, 2017, 03:38:05 PM
Take TWBB.  I really like the imaginative blocking, the cinematography, mise-en-scene, etc., but I feel like there's little attention paid to narrative development; I don't find the story interesting, or the exploration of its ostensible themes illuminating (capitalism, etc.).  It's ultimately just monotonous formalism.  And DDL's cartoonishness made it all the more incongruous to me.

There Will Be Blood is not about capitalism. A lot of critics don't know how to describe his movies. But I agree that it is weak if we are looking at it as a comment about capitalism v religion.

I don't even remember how he describes it in the Marc Maron podcast. "It's about oil" or some bullshit. I know it's easy to say that he often writes about family but TWBB is fascinating because Plainview is a family man who is against people and his own family. He is not looking for human shelter. He is dreaming about that house. But he is a family man because H.W lands on him and even if he exploits his "son" he loves him. He is a family man for the people he gives work/money/to. I love the line when he says that they should have bread. And that he would give bread to them.

The ultimate insult is the false brother in law. The ultimate betrayal. He softens us to his past. But it's a lie. Plainview is in tension between his need to be left alone and his need to be surrounded by people. Of course, he wants to control them, too...

And Sunday doesn't want him to take his people away from him. If there is a comment about religion vs capitalism it is that ultimately it doesn't matter if we are talking about oil or God, it is only about power...It is slim. I find Plainview way more fascinating. He is the anti PTA character living in the most PTA character.

I rarely see characters as good in movies living through so many memorable moments.

He is also helped by the fact that he knows when he writes what mood he aims at. And he can direct the hell out of these moods.

You can also see The Master as an incoherent script or a depiction of a fascinating and complex relationship.

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilder on November 27, 2017, 03:44:51 PM
Damn well put.

Wondering if you saw this remark PT made about Phantom Thread that wilberfan linked (SPOILERS EVERYBODY)

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on November 27, 2017, 04:06:03 PM
I saw it and remembered what he said after writing that sentence. I hadn't thought about it in context with Plainview before. I'm very excited for Phantom Thread...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drenk on November 27, 2017, 04:58:22 PM
Well, marriage is definitely a thing that makes Dodd unavailable for Freddy but he also has The Cause to deal with. And his couple with Freddy works outside the logic of marriage (I'm not even sure it is really about sex, I'd even say it works better that a "normal" couple or his marriage because there is no sex) and can't be chained to The Cause...Their short honeymoon is when Freddy is saying that The Cause works! But it doesn't for him. So he leaves.

He is not the master with Freddy, I guess. Nor is Freddy the master. It's a companionship. They need to travel and do things all around the world. The song he sings to him is perfect. That's a toxic way to see marriage and we also see that he is not really the master of his couple but he plays that role for the world—and they are a couple that works in the way that their mariage is strong for The Cause, the extended family, and Freddy fucks everything up. Dodd was beginning to lose interest in The Cause toward the end...But he can't escape. He looks so trapped in that gigantic desk but it's his fault if he can't go away...

(Of course, he's probably gay and I don't think that Freddy is...It was messed up.)

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 27, 2017, 07:09:57 PM
...still revel at the movie's ambitions, its scope, its innovations, the incredible dialogue, just everything about it is awe-inspiring. I don't ever want to wait such a long time between viewing again.

In general, this describes my feelings about Boogie Nights.  I'm deeply fond of Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love, but I've only watched those 5 or 6 times each.  I've seen BN more than 30 (and maybe half of those in the last 5 years or so).
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: ono on November 28, 2017, 07:57:07 PM
One such older thread:

http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=12860.0

As for me:

The Master -- I just love how elliptical he's gotten.  The scene of Freddie falling asleep to Casper and getting a phone call is emblematic of everything I want a film to be.  The final confrontation reminds me a tiny bit of the final Eyes Wide Shut confrontation.  And that final sex scene is just too good.

There Will Be Blood -- the last 20-ish minutes never happened.  A theory I've been working on based on the editing choices made.  If ever you were to point to a film with perfect filmmaking, this would be it.  Everything is just so precise.

Magnolia -- But that did happen.

Punch-Drunk Love -- Best love story.  I wrote an essay about its quirks back in college, thanks to a lot of people's observations here.  It helped foster my film love in so many ways.

Boogie Nights -- It's only listed 5th because he's made 4 better films.  Not that it isn't great.

Hard Eight -- It's only listed 6th because he's made 5 better films.  And everyone had to start somewhere.

I still haven't seen Inherent Vice or Junun.  IV, because I promised myself I'd read it first, but it is such a slog to read.  Lame excuse, I know.  I own IV.  Will probably watch them all again before Phantom Thread.  Just the other day, I listened to the first Boogie Nights commentary all over again for the 50th time.  Like catching up with an old friend.  Listened to the Hard Eight one a couple months ago.  They make me bummed PTA doesn't do commentaries anymore.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 08:20:36 PM
Just the other day, I listened to the first Boogie Nights commentary all over again for the 50th time.  Like catching up with an old friend.  Listened to the Hard Eight one a couple months ago.  They make me bummed PTA doesn't do commentaries anymore.

You used the phrase "...the first Boogie Nights commentary".  Was there a second?  :shock:   Oh, wait.  You probably meant that was his first?  Has he really not done once since?  THAT is tragic...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: ono on November 28, 2017, 08:34:03 PM
There are two Boogie Nights commentary tracks, yeah.  One is more interviews with the actors that play along with the movie.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 08:43:53 PM
There are two Boogie Nights commentary tracks, yeah.  One is more interviews with the actors that play along with the movie.

That's right!  I remember Cheedle and Moore in the second one...
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 28, 2017, 09:24:19 PM
TWBB may not be primarily about capitalism, but capitalism, and its tussle with religion, certainly is a driving force throughout, as is porn in Boogie, Dianetics in Master, gambling in Sydney, etc. PTA's films are character driven and whatever themes arise are mainly due to the characters' personalities and interactions within that setting. I know people say they understand the plot elements of IV, that the story is easy to follow if you pay attention, but I find that untrue, particularly if you haven't read the book. The story is simply too elusive and he does not seem interested in it. It's all about the characters being thrust into situations and a yearning for ideals passed by. The movie perfectly bottles the spirit of Pynchon's themes.

I remember he said in one interviewer that he likes to go for the saddest happiest ending possible, and that's one of the magic touches I connect to most in his films. Like Dirk returning to porn, he's back in his element, but what a sad place to be after the successes he experienced, or Freddie flashing to the image of himself laying down with the sand sculpture after everything he was taught throughout The Master, Doc riding down a foggy road with his old lady, after spending the entire movie worried about her safety, even though they're not back together. Every ending, with maybe the exception of Punch-Drunk, is tinged with a bittersweet flavor that fits perfectly with all that preceded. 
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 28, 2017, 09:44:26 PM
I remember he said in one interviewer that he likes to go for the saddest happiest ending possible, and that's one of the magic touches I connect to most in his films. Like Dirk returning to porn, he's back in his element, but what a sad place to be after the successes he experienced, or Freddie flashing to the image of himself laying down with the sand sculpture after everything he was taught throughout The Master, Doc riding down a foggy road with his old lady, after spending the entire movie worried about her safety, even though they're not back together. Every ending, with maybe the exception of Punch-Drunk, is tinged with a bittersweet flavor that fits perfectly with all that preceded.

Yes.  I've occasionally heard someone describe the ending of Boogie Nights as "happy", but I could never agree with that.  It was gratifying to see them all back together (and safe? but for how long?) but just look at Maggie's blank expression in her vanity mirror, despite Jack's "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world"...or Rollergirl lost in a daydream, looking out of the GED classroom.

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 28, 2017, 09:47:34 PM

Yes.  I've occasionally heard someone describe the ending of Boogie Nights as "happy", but I could never agree with that.  It was gratifying to see them all back together (and safe? but for how long?) but just look at Maggie's blank expression in her vanity mirror, despite Jack's "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world"...or Rollergirl lost in a daydream, looking out of the GED classroom.



Yeah, Jack's final walk through the house with Michael Penn's downer melody says it all, especially when he passes Little Bill's portrait.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Punch Drunk Hate on November 28, 2017, 10:56:23 PM
Isn't it ironic that what is consider the darker and more depressing film(Magnolia) has a more hopeful ending then what is considered by many to be a joyful 70's romp(Boogie Nights)? Not that those characters have that much better, though you could see them changing for the better, while the Boogie Night characters are stacked in a hole they cannot dig out of. Even the more hopeful conclusions(Reed and Buck) have a bittersweetness, knowing Reed stupidity and Buck stealing the money from the armed robber at the donut shop.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jviness02 on November 29, 2017, 01:26:20 PM
We can talk about religion and capitalism all day long, but all you really need to know about There Will Be Blood is in the man's own description of the film he gives to Marc Maron: It's a Tom and Jerry episode. Ultimately what makes PTA such a great artist is his interest in character over anything else. Yes, there are themes that the two men represent, but at it's heart it's a cat and mouse game between two cunning individuals and if the film doesn't work on that basic level, it doesn't work on any higher level. PTA understands and appreciates the basics and uses them as roots to deeper and richer aspects of his work, unlike, for example, The Revenant, which never tried to understand the basic aspect of it's revengw story and simply tried to make it richer and deeper without the understanding of the story's basic roots and it lead to a lot of mumbo jumbo. It was a bit of a mess. For lack of a better word, I don't think PTA "over-thinks" himself. It's why Paul Dano described him as making movies straight from his balls, versus straight from intellect.

Oh and my rankings:

1. The Master
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Boogie Nights
4. Punch Drunk Love
5. Magnolia
6. Inherent Vice
7. Sydney

I'd give 1-6 A's and Sydney a solid B+.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on November 29, 2017, 08:18:36 PM

Yes.  I've occasionally heard someone describe the ending of Boogie Nights as "happy", but I could never agree with that.  It was gratifying to see them all back together (and safe? but for how long?) but just look at Maggie's blank expression in her vanity mirror, despite Jack's "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world"...or Rollergirl lost in a daydream, looking out of the GED classroom.

Yeah, Jack's final walk through the house with Michael Penn's downer melody says it all, especially when he passes Little Bill's portrait.

Someone left this beautiful paragraph as part of a comment a few years ago:

Quote
Sometimes I think of this scene, and the way Burt Reynolds takes us through it. The way the soft, evening light leaks into the windows of the house. The way the camera hugs his back and never lets Jack leave the frame, though others pass in and out. The way the camera lingers on Little Bill Thompson's portrait, hung on the wall where he took his life. The way the mournful musical suite from the imageless opening returns, hovering just low enough in the mix. And I think, God, what a fucking film.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: eward on November 29, 2017, 08:32:38 PM
That comment left me momentarily misty-eyed, for sure.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: d on December 16, 2017, 03:26:08 PM
I've been reading the forums for some time now but only decided to register recently. This is not my first post but let me share my list as a formal hello. PTA is definately my favourite living filmmaker.

Absolutely adore:
1. The Master (probably my all time fav, definitely in my top3)
2. Inherent Vice (would never undestand why IV is so underrated even among PTA fans; as a whole it may not be perfect but individual scenes, lines, cinematography, acting, use of music all feel so great)

Love
3. Magnolia
4. Boogie Nights (I love it, it's fun to watch, some great scenes but just feels too long and repetitive in the last act... and I kinda hate the Dirk Diggler fake home videos)
5. Punch-Drunk Love


Respect:
6. TWBB (yeah, it's my IV; I absolutely understand why even not big PTA fans consider it one of the best movies ever but I just don't get it, I would really like to love it but I just can't, which is strange considering how much more I love The Master and IV than his (still great) eariler work.
7. Hard Eight

I can't imagine Phantom Thread is better than The Master but judging from your opinions I believe it may rank just below The Master or Vice.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on December 20, 2017, 08:09:48 PM
Phantom Urges: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Films Ranked

https://www.slantmagazine.com/features/article/phantom-urges-paul-thomas-andersons-films-ranked

(Well, I must say, his rankings are about as upside-down and inside-out from my rankings as you can get...)

Another ranking from Indiewire.  (This includes things like "Junun".)

Paul Thomas Anderson Movies Ranked from Worst to Best
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/paul-thomas-anderson-movies-ranked-worst-best-boogie-nights-there-will-be-blood-phantom-thread-1201910078/

A third set of rankings, this time from The Wrap:
https://www.thewrap.com/paul-thomas-anderson-movies-ranked-worst-best-boogie-nights-magnolia-there-will-be-blood/

Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jenkins on August 28, 2019, 03:39:03 AM
Boogie Nights
Inherent Vice
Punch-Drunk Love
Magnolia
Hard Eight
The Master
There Will Be Blood

i watched TWBB after not having seen it in years. i believe the above list is still accurate from the top three. it might be that The Master and Magnolia could switch. i would have to rewatch them both to be sure and idk when ill do that, probably not before i rewatch Hard Eight which i somehow like more than  pta fans who stick to its original title. i think the world is funny in a general sense

the first 15min of TWBB are spiritual. the pan up as he drags himself across the rocks is melodramatic but besides that. i think the entire score is melodramatic btw. no mystery in it at all. it’s this movie’s physical textures which i consider holy. DDL’s performance. the live train station. the derricks. the physical textures like i said. but i can never become involved with Daniel as others can. it’s just woa buddy stuff. and the whole narrative revolves around him, innit the only pta narrative that revolves around only one person.  i simply think that out of all pta’s movies TWBB is a beautiful portrait of the least amount of human complexities. nothing gets tangled up in the movie, it all points to Daniel

Dano doesn’t bother me btw. i think his acting talents fit well inside the idea of Paul Sunday. complimentary. Dano doesn’t bother me, just to mention

that’s not to ruffle anybody here. just still my least favorite pta movie. personal perspective. in terms of which pta movie i would most to watch, it’s boogie or inherent, that’s personal taste
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Gold Trumpet on August 28, 2019, 08:10:32 AM
There Will Be Blood
The Master
Punch-Drunk Love
Boogie Nights
Phantom Thread
Magnolia
Inherent Vice
Hard Eight
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jenkins on August 28, 2019, 05:44:26 PM
I remember he said in one interviewer that he likes to go for the saddest happiest ending possible, and that's one of the magic touches I connect to most in his films.

i'm like really into that quote

TWBB's narrative clear as day, the next day i think about the psychological elements of this very-alive movie, in which each character behaves according to an active personality

the psychology of Daniel is the spine of the movie

the final conversation between Daniel/HW is echoed by the final conversation between Phil/Joa in The Master. HW is being reasonable by wanting to draw the line between relationship and business. but Daniel mentions that business has been first for him the whole while. they  become rivals in a sad scene that does not surprise us, Daniel having mentioned that this is how he is

in the final scene there was no reason to expect Daniel and Paul to become one. we easily accept that Daniel is not a religious person, and can celebrate what Paul has to yell. melodrama ingrained in the narrative, like the fake brother as well. how easily the killing of the fake brother is absorbed by the narrative logic, totally understandable

the story that further expresses the friction between business and personal is with the man from Standard Oil. how clear it is in their first conversation that Daniel has misread the intentions of the Standard Oil man's statement. the Standard Oil man frankly does not care whether Daniel is a good father or not, he's only talking business, and mentions the son as a good idea for retirement. but here the conversation detaches from business, since Daniel takes the comment as a judgment against his moral character. he immediately says a crazy thing that the Standard Oil man identifies as crazy by acting natural and being genuinely unaware of the inner turmoil taking place inside of Daniel. the next time they see each other Daniel embarrasses himself the whole while, covering his head with a napkin and walking over to the table.  the Standard Oil man keeps acting perfectly natural and respectable, since he truly doesn't even know what in the fuck is going on. what's cool about this moment is how obviously wrong Daniel is behaving. he's so misguided and trapped inside himself. very human. this scene is complex in a way that's demonstrated

it is true that from Daniel HW could learn what being not human looks like. how will HW do in Mexico? i wish him luck in the indifferent world of business! the absence of love in the heart of Daniel is the quality that differentiates this movie from any other PTA movie, which is actually obvious since PTA is a romantic. in this way the movie is uncharacteristic of his personality, exactly as PTA wanted it to be. he made a good movie in a surprising way. that is exciting. i'm thinking about it the day after watching it and that's a good sign too. so even my least favorite PTA movie is a juicy movie
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Jaimeen on October 06, 2019, 09:10:04 AM
1. The Master
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Phantom Thread
4. Punch Drunk Love
5. Inherent Vice
6. Magnolia
7. Hard Eight
8. Boogie Nights

I'm one of those guys who thinks PTA has only gotten better with time.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Lempwick on October 06, 2019, 09:13:37 AM
1.  Boogie Nights

2.  Punch-Drunk Love




3.  Hard Eight




4.  There Will Be Blood
5.  Phantom Thread


6.  The Master

7.  Magnolia / Inherent Vice
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: pynchonikon on October 06, 2019, 04:38:31 PM
1.The Master (my first PTA will always have a special place in my heart, and after multiple viewings the "slow boat to China" scene still makes me want to cry)
2.TWBB (the first time i admired it more than i liked it, it was the second time that i realised how much i actually love it and so on)
3.Inherent Vice (his film that i have seen the most times, one of my favorites of this decade, a movie that looks like nothing else out there)
4.Phantom Thread
5.Boogie Nights
6.Magnolia (as much i sympathize the characters and the story, i can't deny that i find it way more ambitious than it had the right to be)
7.PDL
8.Hard Eight
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Convael on October 10, 2019, 10:12:13 AM
1. There Will Be Blood (Still amazes me and shocks me and feels almost like a religious experience, still feels like it was made by aliens and an alien went into the body of DDL. I don't know why but this movie feels so incredibly freakish and alive and important to me)
2. Magnolia (I love the film but it might partly be nostalgia--I love the Jon Brion score and the PTA acting crew all at their best. I rewatched it recently and thought it would make me cringe but it just made me elated)
3. Boogie Nights (Still feels like such a pure expression of a young filmmaker making the most heartfelt, fun movie he possibly can. If I ever want to introduce someone to PTA I'll show them this)
4. Punch-Drunk Love (IMO by far his best use of set design, sound effects, colors, costumes. All the stuff other people have said about it feeling one of a kind and Sandler's performance. I think the ending is quite weak though but that might just be because it doesn't have the gut punch of, say, Magnolia)
5. The Master (I never got it. Master feels so artificial to me and so off--he never felt anything close to a real person, and if you look at him as just a character he's not even particularly interesting. That character feels more than anything else to me like a great actor playing a "type" of character that was never fully embodied or I just never got. Joaquin is obviously super impressive but I never cared about Freddie. I think this film has the worst music of the JG films.)
6. Phantom Thread (Has THE BEST JG music by far. The score is so lush and epic and bewildering and still fits a small film. Vicky Krieps is phenomenal but other than that it's what...an older, grumpy silver-haired man getting soft and falling in love with a hot young girl and he likes her because...she challenges him? That's one of the biggest cliches in storytelling and adding on the Munchausen syndrome doesn't make it interesting)
7. Inherent Vice (Totally baffling to me. Not funny, dull, nothing noteworthy about the performances (other than Brolin). I think Joaquin was 100% miscast. This film is not worthy of PTA or Pynchon)
8. Hard Eight (A solid movie, and I'd rather watch it than Inherent Vice, but because it was so early/cheap I don't think it's fair to compare it with all the others)

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but one of the things that I loved the most about the earlier films was their sense of surprise, in a way that you're seeing something you've never seen in a movie before or everything is unexpected. I hate watching a film (and Nolan, though he's incredible, is super guilty of this, especially with dialogue) and feeling like I know exactly what a character is going to say next, or where the story is going, because to me it just feels sort of lazy and like the filmmaker isn't really trying. Whereas with films like Magnolia and Boogie Nights, even though they get the most flack for ripping off Scorsese/Altman/others, there wasn't a single moment where I wasn't totally enraptured and wondering wtf the next amazing thing would be. Even these little surprising moments like Daniel Plainview walking ahead of HW and then pausing to let him catch up, or just the ways the camera moves in Boogie Nights and makes you go "woah, I had no idea you could do that in a movie." I'm mainly really surprised at how many people like Inherent Vice. It's cool to see such varied opinions/reactions
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: Drill on October 10, 2019, 03:15:36 PM
Punch-Drunk Love

The Master

Hard Eight (aged far better than the rest of his 90s work, plus better predicted the filmmaker he ultimately became.)

Phantom Thread (Good, but first half drags too long and the ending is too rushed. Plus, I don't care at all about the Bechdel Test though but fuck, the female characters really didn't talk about anything other than Reynolds.)

Inherent Vice (way too faithful to Pynchon's words, though my real gripe is he care way too much on Shasta, who isn't even a character. A lot of great stuff though)

Boogie Nights (Fun but not much "there" there. Realized last time how one note a character Amber is. "I miss my son! Now let me do or say something that shows why I don't have my son!" Every scene she's in plays that exact same beat.)

There Will Be Blood (Eh. Just a pretty perfunctory misanthrope tale. It's all very predictable. His worst dialogue. Too in awe of DDL and lets him almost swallow the whole film.)

Magnolia (Awful. A 3 hour 3rd act. The heavy handed bible verses. Linda and Claudia are bother horrible cliches. Too much Fiona Apple "the world is bullshit!" crap.)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on April 29, 2020, 01:46:23 PM
Quibble we will (that's part of the fun), but I enjoyed this ranking.  I didn't object to his low-end, he caught me by surprise with his top pick, and I would only do some minor shuffling here and there with the rest.  I enjoyed his enthusiasm for all of the films.

Every Paul Thomas Anderson Movie Ranked from, uh, “Least Best” to “Most Best”
BY GREGORY LAWRENCE      APRIL 28, 2020

Paul Thomas Anderson has made eight films, and none of them are bad. Such a track record immediately puts Anderson in rarefied air. How many other directors can boast eight in a row with no misses? Kurosawa? Hitchcock? Scorsese? Anderson belongs to this company and thensome, his work bursting at the seams with emotion, invention, and a palpable love of the game.

Anderson’s pure enthusiasm for cinema at times results in films and flourishes that wear their influences on their sleeves — the aforementioned Scorsese, Kubrick, Altman — but it’s clear Anderson is no pastiche player. While running through his filmography, you can see the maestro figure out how to codify, crystallize, and synthesize all the tools at his disposal into a brand new style. And then, exactly halfway through his run, he reinvented himself and did it all over again, his back half of films feeling demonstrably different than his front half, the result of an artist continually interested in growing, maturing, figuring things out. Will he start a brand new “style” with film nine?

From his incisive screenplays, his virtuoso camerawork, his unparalleled understanding of the primal relationship between “image” and “sound,” and his truly remarkable guidance with actors, Anderson proves time and time again what a pure film director he is. With all this in mind, here are Paul Thomas Anderson’s movies ranked from, well, let’s call it “least best” to “most best.” Camera pushes in, Jon Brion‘s score swells, and here we go…

8. Inherent Vice
I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder at a movie I didn’t fully understand than Inherent Vice, what I might consider Anderson’s purest comedy. But I don’t think “comprehension” is on the film’s mind. Anderson had quite the task ahead of him when adapting Thomas Pynchon‘s novel — even though his book was considered one of his most accessible, Pynchon still has a deserved reputation for “not being accessible.” And Anderson’s screenplay, audaciously and respectfully, gives us pretty much no anchor to the specific world and wackadoo flourishes therein. Joaquin Phoenix plays Doc Sportello, a shaggy, stoned, burned-out private detective on a new case he understands maybe 2% more than his audience. The details of the case, and subsequently Anderson’s plot, involve land developers, missing persons, and drug smuggling — but they all come second to this film’s wonderful usage of texture, vibe, and comic imagination. Phoenix is delightfully endearing as a man trying his best continually finding new ends of the rope, and his supporting cast has the most fun possible getting in his way. Martin Short is more untethered than usual, Katherine Waterston simply commands the screen, and Josh Brolin truly shines as the deadpan comedy MVP. While regular Anderson DP Robert Elswit has toned down many of his hyperkinetic “Andersonisms,” what he does capture strikes with its delicious color palette and surprisingly grainy stock. If you ever wanted The Big Lebowski to be 10 times sillier, 10 times grimier, and 10 times harder to understand, Inherent Vice is your new favorite midnight movie.

7. Hard Eight
The first of Anderson’s hard eight, Hard Eight is a movie that loves being a movie. It’s assured in every facet of its construction and composition, showing surprising patience that even rivals some of Anderson’s later work, let alone the work of a first-time feature filmmaker. But it’s also eager to flex. Anderson and Elswitt’s visual collaboration begins in full force, with pushes and inserts and incredible Las Vegas backdrops all over the damn place. Anderson and Jon Brion’s sonic collaboration (alongside co-composer Michael Penn) also gets its start, yielding a score with genuine menace and tantalizing invention. And Anderson the writer is clearly in love with his actors saying cool-ass “movie dialogue.” Luckily, his actors are all down to clown, and more importantly, down to sell it without hard-selling it — you can feel their eagerness to play in this new talent’s sandbox even as their performances lock in impressively lived-in, authentic zones. Philip Baker Hall owns the picture as Sydney (Anderson’s original title), a consummate professional at the business of Las Vegas living. He takes a down-on-his-luck John C. Reilly (stellar) under his wing, mentoring him into something resembling an independent man, and a helluva gambler. But when a genre plot starts cooking (more than halfway through the thing! such patience!), involving soul-hardened prostitute Gwyneth Paltrow and tough-talking casino security Samuel L. Jackson, everything about Sydney’s well-measured world threatens to unravel. The aim and scope of this film is designedly minor, and its depiction (and at times icky male gaze camerawork) of women is too stuck in “movie-world” to earn the nuanced evolution it needs, but Hard Eight still offers tons of cinematic panache and joy. Hot take: Anderson does Tarantino better than Tarantino here.

6. The Master
Containing some of the best performances Anderson will ever yield, The Master is a captivating, inscrutable, demanding-to-be-scrutinized film that yields richer rewards and more questions upon each watch. The elevator pitch version of the film is: Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of Anderson’s best muses, is an L. Ron Hubbard surrogate, the leader of a Scientology-esque cult. Joaquin Phoenix is an adrift, troubled Navy vet looking for direction. And Phoenix joins Hoffman’s crew, resulting in the psychological examinations of both. But to boil it down to such palatable essentials would be to ignore the film’s primal, uncontrollable muckraking, its aimless-feeling aims (a merit, not a fault!). Phoenix’s physical unpredictability here is matched only by his emotional volatility. His performance is commandingly watchable; the fact that he won the Oscar for Joker over this drives me cuckoo. He serves as the perfect foil for Hoffman, so eager to retain his buttoned-up humanity, but so clearly tickled by Phoenix’s animalistic id. These two titans clash and waver, struggling to define what makes a self a self, struggling to either keep their inherent capacities for rage contained or unleashed. And through it all, Amy Adams sneakily steals the picture, her Peggy Dodd begins perhaps the only one who truly understands how to capture and retain power. The craft on this film staggers, with unreal 70mm photography from Mihai Mălaimare Jr. and sparse, chilling, woodwind-focused music from Jonny Greenwood. The Master will make you feel all kinds of unsettled after watching. You won’t be sure why. But you’ll know you need to find out.

5. Magnolia
An American epic, a sprawling dive into the deep end, a flurry of tones and flourishes, an absolute monster flex. Magnolia feels weirdly contemporary and clearly defined by 1999, the peerless cinematic year from which it sprung, marked by its bravura insistences that something new must eat everything old. Anderson’s work here is like if Rube Goldberg got to control a shopping mall: Every single cinematic toy and device is given time to shine despite its first-blush counter-intuition. But wouldn’t you know it, it all makes sense when put together as a puzzle. But it’s not an intellectual exercise; in fact, Magnolia is arguably Anderson’s most sentimental movie, a work that cuts its own heart out and wears it on both its sleeves and its pants for good measure. To narrow down the scope of Magnolia into a logline feels unhelpful, but my best stab is this: A series of Americans try their best. From John C. Reilly and Melora Walters‘ desperate attempts at connection beyond past sins, to Julianne Moore‘s desperate insistence to be seen and noticed, to Tom Cruise‘s desperate attempts to hide his inherent traumas and pains behind toxic bravado, to the other 18,000 incredible actors doing incredible, incredible work, Magnolia is a film of yearning, of grabbing something you can see desperately but just can’t quite touch. By the time the film stops in its tracks for a surprising musical number, in which every character sings a line from a heartbreaking Aimee Mann tune, not only will you already be swept away by the film’s designs to even register this as self-indulgent, you will be crying too hard to care.

4. Phantom Thread
A twisted, self-contained, thrilling, and dare I say loving chamber drama of the highest quality material. Phantom Thread is the perfect love story for filmgoers who hate love stories, a romantic comedy radiating with kinky energy, a warning of and love letter to obsessions gone amok. Daniel Day-Lewis is the beyond fastidious dressmaker, a craftsman who makes sterling pieces for his sterling clientele because of the stubborn way he arranges every detail of his life. And Vicky Krieps is the woman who’s gonna fuck it all up. First seen working as a restaurant server, Day-Lewis is smitten with her from the moment she takes his very odd breakfast order. Krieps, smitten right back, happily inhabits his oddly incubated world. And the two subsequently tango and wrestle for control, power, order or chaos — all the while facing brittle pieces of uncomfortable truths from the always-professional Lesley Manville, Day-Lewis’ sister (the absolute MVP of the film; I love every damn second of her don’t give a heck attitude). The thing I love most about this film, even on rewatch, is how unpredictable yet inevitable the narrative thread takes us. Even if you think you know where it’s going, you simply do not until it gets there. And once it does, boy howdy will you have a sticky smile on your face. Bonus points on this gem: No DP is formally credited, because Anderson just kinda did it himself! And it looks stunning! Unreal talent, this guy!

3. Boogie Nights
Goodfellas but with porn? Yes, and no. Boogie Nights unquestionably prays to the altar of Scorsese, from its “rags-to-riches-to-paranoid-corruption-of-the-human-soul” narrative, to its splendid camerawork (long takes in clubs, whip-pans and push-ins, etc.), to its epic, empathetic examination of folks we typically look at with disdain. But like the best cinema-makers who clearly love cinema, Anderson takes these touchstones as diving boards, not the whole pool. Mark Wahlberg, giving unquestionably his best performance to date, stars as “Dirk Diggler,” really Eddie Adams, a young man blessed with a “huge gift” who becomes the country’s biggest pornographic sensation under the tutelage of master filmmaker Burt Reynolds and a found family of performers and crew-members like Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and more. Anderson loves these characters deeply, to their raw nerves and souls, giving each performer ample opportunity to explore He also loves the business of filmmaking, pornographic and otherwise, inviting his audience to submerge themselves in the beautiful, optimistic, romantic, poetic facets of the craft and relationships forged (goodness, Hoffman is great at playing low-status in this). So when Anderson (and Macy, no spoilers) flip the switch into darkness, it feels less like a fun or exhilarating lightning bolt, and more like a painful, agonizing descent into a world these folks don’t deserve (that “Sister Christian” sequence, I mean, my God). Boogie Nights is a movie thrilled to be here, an exuberant work that demands to be appreciated by its creator. No qualms here.

2. There Will Be Blood
In 2007, Anderson flipped into his “back four” filmmaking mode with a fearsome, fierce, slow-burn bang. Gone were the shiny, saturated, kinetic camera moves, ensemble casts of familiar faces, and even general sense of “love” and “optimism.” In its place: Elswit still behind the camera, still shooting the hell out of it, but with an obviously “stiller” sense of pace. A cast anchored by a bonafide screen acting legend (Daniel Day-Lewis) and supported by actors who’ve never worked with Anderson. And an overview of the human race I would call “fucking bleak.” With all of this change in his typical belt of tools, Anderson made an all-timer movie, one we’ll dissect and debate for decades to come. There Will Be Blood, from Upton Sinclair‘s novel Oil!, stars Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview, who will likely be the best character Anderson will ever create. He’s an oil man, possessing a deep mustache and an instantly iconic vocal inflection. If the characters in Anderson’s previous films represent everything good about America’s id, Plainview is the snarling underbelly embedded in this nation’s DNA. He’s greedy, callous, consuming, powerful. Throughout the film, we see his single-minded worldview get tested, by his partner and son H.W. (Dillon Freasier) and by Eli Sunday (Paul Dano, also playing his twin brother), who both tries to take the moral high road with Plainview and then tries to chuck him in the muck when he needs to. And what is the inevitable conclusion for Plainview’s journey, his crises of conscience? I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say this: Anderson’s ending here is probably the best ending he’ll ever craft, an utterly gut-punching sequence full of delirious, delicious dialogue and abrupt, irreversible actions. And it ain’t exactly “nice.” In 2007, this film lost Best Picture to No Country for Old Men — you ask me, those two titles should’ve been switched.

1. Punch-Drunk Love
“I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.”

This line of dialogue, spoken near the narrative conclusion of Punch-Drunk Love by Adam Sandler, sums up what’s going on with every captivating Anderson protagonist. Sandler’s Barry Egan, Plainview, Diggler — all of these and more are powered by a beyond-strong love (of a person, of consuming whatever’s in front of them, of fucking, etc.) that gives them beyond-strong, nearly super powers. This line could also be applied to Anderson’s success as a filmmaker — he loves his subjects, his worlds, his language of cinema so deeply that he can’t help but render them with unmatched strength. For this clear, powerful, career-spanning thesis statement — and for like 18,000 other reasons — Punch-Drunk Love remains my favorite Anderson picture. An absolutely perfect object, this is.

Sandler’s Barry is the inverse of his Uncut Gems character — a constantly beaten-down man who takes every blow dealt with him and internalizes it into emotionally self-facing admissions of defeat. Random crying episodes, pet obsessions with harebrained-seeming ideas, a group of sisters eager to emotionally terrorize him, desperate calls to phone sex hotlines — Barry needs a life vest, fast. And he finds one in the form of Emily Watson as Lena, a sweet, quiet, empathetic, and odd person herself. As the two realize that what they’ve been missing is each other, their love blooms into thrilling, unique sweetness — even as Philip Seymour Hoffman, giving an absolutely titanic performance as a mattress-sales-man-cum-phone-sex-hotline-owner-cum-criminal, closes his grip on Sandler in genuinely shocking moments of genre and violence. But while the forms of darkness will always threaten, love can, and will, give us strength, give us the tools to move forward, give us the tools to live.

And that’s that, Mattress Man.

Source (https://collider.com/best-paul-thomas-anderson-movies-ranked/#inherent-vice)
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: kingfan011 on April 29, 2020, 01:59:01 PM
I have this feeling that Phantom Thread is one of those films that will keep rising in estimation in years to come. I feel like that unlike something like The Master or Inherent Vice that's one that someone can discover and more easily get very passionate about.
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: wilberfan on April 29, 2020, 02:58:29 PM
I think you're absolutely correct.  I've always felt that all of his films--but especially the "back four" (at this point) improve with time and rewatches.  My disdain-to-agnosticism about Inherent Vice is probably a prime example.

But having said that, I recently completed a Big Screen Rewatch over the past couple of years of all eight films, and I must say even the front four got better--which I would have doubted was possible for me.   
Title: Re: how would you rank his films so far?
Post by: jviness02 on April 29, 2020, 06:29:31 PM
I rewatched all of his films during the quarantine and have solidified new rankings for myself:

1. The Master
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Phantom Thread
4. Punch Drunk Love
5. Boogie Nights
6. Inherent Vice
7. Magnolia
8. Hard Eight

I would give 1-7 all 10/10. Hard Eight is still a solid 7.5ish.