Author Topic: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!  (Read 37370 times)

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putneyswipe

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2014, 08:04:41 PM »
+2
This was my first time watching a PTA film in theaters and in 70mm no less, it was sort of a tense experience with all the expectations and me having and internal kinship with his other films- it was tough not to sit and think about how others were reacting, whether they liked it, if it was a dud, did it get laughs etc. almost like I was screening one of my own films. Also having read the book multiple times just wondering what where and when and werenít things were there and comparing and all that...

So anyway the STYLE- Inherent Vice made me feel intensely claustrophobic in a way that few other films have- at two and half hours of close-ups and tightly framed two shots of one on one monologues with our hero, I wonder if this was what he was going for? I felt maybe he may have stripped back it too far the point where it feels almost like a mumblecore film with a-list actors or a lower budget TV series, with tight closeups on white walls and intentionally ugly framing that several times cuts off peoples heads- itís not a visually ugly film but it almost feels like the work of a perfectionist deliberately trying to make an imperfect film
Somehow I felt this vibe didnít really jive sometimes with Pynchon's ornate and fluffy, ridiculously self referential dialogue which is EXACTLY transposed here, case in point the Benecio scenes which were mostly unnecessary and only kept in probably because Benecio is Benecio and you canít cut him out right?

Moving on, The voice over, which annoyed the shit out of me in the trailers, actually mostly works here, yes it does have a bit of an expository copy/paste quality and I sometimes wished PT used it in a more cinematic way like the time where sortilege appeared and reappeared in the car, but her casting is inspired and the character adds another interesting dimension that wasnít in the book, which is always a plus too an adaptationÖ

Iíve been listing to Greenwood's Soundtrack a lot this week and itís growing on me too- doesnít strike you in the same way as the last two but it adds to the mood and is an another inspired choice.. I appreciate PTA for not just loading the soundtrack with golden oldies like I feel a lesser director would have done. The pop tunes sometimes seem haphazardly used, they sort of are just kind of sit there, not really adding too or punctuating scenes but they are well-chosen and tasteful

Also thereís no sense of geography in this movie, and that combined with the editing, like the Master, may throw some people off- the scenes flow into each other abruptly which is what I thinkis causing the ďdrug haze/tripĒ vibe everyone is talking about despite the fact that in no way whatsoever is the film overtly ďpsychedelic" or surreal, itís as straightforward as possible considering the source material, this is not Fear and Loathing 2.0, Bunuel is an interesting comparison but its still more straightforward than that, it reminded me a bit of Roger's LSD trip scene in that Mad Men episode, offbeat in a really restrained, relaxed way

But throwaway all the Vegas (felt tacked on in the book to me, too), acid trips and looney tunes (s much as I would have liked to see that stuff), the heart of the book was Doc, Bigfoot, Shasta and itís hard not to say that PTA knocks that out of the park. Iím officially on the Brolin Bandwagon- Bigfoot was the funniest character in the book but Brolinís characterization is so much deeper and funnier and more complicated and just better than Bigfoot in the book, that last scene with Bigfoot eating the weed was like a parody of the last one on one in the Master and I mean that in the best possibleway. Waterston is great as well

and yes Joaquin is a great Doc, You can practically smell him through the screen. And No, RDJ couldnít have pulled it off, Joaquin is already pushing credibility being 39 as is.

In general I would differ a bit from samsong and say The Master is a masterpiece and IV is an interesting diversion

If this is all sounding kind of negative, I really liked the film and I'm looking forward to getting back in that world again even though to seems pt tries so hard to make it unnoticeable. Also trying to distance it from the novel and take it on itís own as a PT anderson picture and all that

ALSO : DOC - great character, one of pynchonís most realized (havenít read much of his stuff but character is not really his strong suit I take it) and probably one of PTAís best too- what does this guy dream about? what kind of music does he listen to.. these are good questions and a good sign that your doing something right

 :yabbse-thumbup:

Gittes

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #76 on: January 08, 2015, 08:11:00 AM »
+1
Marvellous! I'm so excited to see it again. This movie is just spilling over with the most delightful and lovely details. I've been recalling various moments, and laughing, ever since I saw it.

My thoughts are nowhere near organized, but for starters, I love Joaquin Phoenix here: effortlessly suave, competent, formidable, and yet also totally spacey and seemingly obtuse. The way he saunters into certain scenes (meeting Sloane Wolfmann, for instance) is just super hilarious and really endearing. It's great to have someone like Phoenix at the centre of this movie, and I think his comedic sensibilities really shine here.

Every encounter feels like an exciting, absorbing, standalone attraction that leaves you wanting more from a particular character or moment. I love Jena Malone's scene, for instance. There's something totally enrapturing about her presence in this movie; the dialogue, the expressions she makes, etc. There's just something compelling and compulsively watchable about her. The way she flashes those bright, enormous teeth? That's like a small but potent dollop of off kilter energy being dropped into a cinematic soup already brimming with so much delirium and fascination.

Sublime, ecstatic, makes-you-want-to-weep-because-they're-so-good moments? So many. When things start taking off in Dr. Blatnoyd's office and Denis walks in with that steering wheel...oh, man.

Anyway, I'll arbitrarily cut my rambling short.

What an enormous pleasure to start the New Year off with a new PTA film.

Gittes

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #77 on: January 08, 2015, 08:48:10 AM »
+1
Oh, and I finally checked out some of the trailers and commercials that I deliberately avoided. They're nice, but I have to say, I'm glad that I decided to not watch any of them prior to viewing the film itself. My reaction was basically: "They showed that moment? Really? And that one?!" For example, I had a visceral reaction to Doc getting knocked out early on, and I'm not sure that would have happened had I been keen on checking out all of the promotional media.

The final shot of the film even shows up in one of the commercials. I know that context is everything, but still, I don't want the last shot rattling around my head in some abstracted, predigested form. The same applies to so much of what we see in the actual film. Especially in a movie like this, it's a real joy to be swept along from moment to moment, and I gleaned so much enjoyment from the sheer variety of details big and small.

In other words, I'm more certain than ever that I need to change my anticipatory habits. Ha...this probably sounds excessive to some of you, but yeah. I'm very ambivalent when it comes to movie trailers. I appreciate the form (there's no way I'm throwing that very rich and great history under the bus), but the tendency to overexpose is a problem. This is never going to happen, but sometimes I think about how great it would be if we only got a poster and that's all. The goods are unveiled once you're in the theatre. Of course, this is a problematic business strategy to say the least. Plus, I can do my best to engineer that kind of experience through sheer will (that's not necessarily easy, though).

Our first glimpse of The Master, which mostly consisted of footage that does not appear in the film, was a great example of how to approach a trailer. The first TWBB teaser that PTA uploaded onto YouTube was wonderful, as well (one of the best). Also, I think the Jurassic Park teaser is probably the high water mark for trailers that conceal a lot (i.e., no shots from the movie) and yet remain totally riveting:


Axolotl

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2015, 02:52:42 PM »
+6
alright. I can't say anything serious or insightful about the movie itself right now. So I'm gonna ramble.

Do you know what's the hardest thing to do in fiction? Creating a good person. Not a person who does good things but someone who'll trudge through the sewage of human intentions, wants, needs, duplicity, selfishness and be relied upon to do the right thing. You know how hard it is to do that honestly in fiction? To achieve actual grace? Cloudy said Doc is an angel walking the earth and he's right. This movie feels so much to me like There Will Be Blood because it's the exact opposite of There Will Be Blood and something that's so much harder to do.

The Bad Guys have won out as they always do. Even though things appear to be better than ever, there's still that nagging feeling that something's been taken away from us, that there's been a progressive narrowing down of choices. Things fall apart because that's the nature of things, that's how we define fucking Time itself, Time is the direction in which entropy increases. Second law of thermodynamics, it's built into the fabric of Universe itself, it's the universe's inherent vice. So it's the easy to luxuriate in it to look at our worst tendencies and point out."See? That's how we are." What's harder is to try to  search for a way to find a "parenthesis of light", to not allow unstoppable forces of history to dictate at least our time on earth, to "find a dimensionless coefficient for yourself" within history's own unstoppable spiral, as Pynchon sez in GR. That's hard, hard to do, hard to make people appreciate.

What I'm getting is that this film is the Paradiso to TWBB's Inferno in PTA's own little comedy of a troubled century in the furthest place on earth people could escape to (which makes The Master Purgatorio I guess, I haven't thought it through but that seems appropriate). Everyone will always be drawn to the inferno, but to those of us who'd like to think they're in the know will know Paradiso's where it's at. And that's alright, it can be our little esoteric secret.

03

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #79 on: January 09, 2015, 04:54:26 PM »
0
^^^ GREAT REVIEW;
mine coming soon;;

Gittes

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2015, 09:18:16 PM »
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I saw this for the second time today. A pretty packed theatre for this Friday afternoon screening. The crowd was really receptive to the humour. Doc/Joaquin drew so many laughs. Bigfoot and Doc's last scene probably elicited the most laughter...there was someone in the audience who was in hysterics over that moment (understandably so; it's superb, and Brolin and Phoenix are so funny there). My first viewing earlier this week was around noon, and it was a more sparsely occupied theatre; that crowd was also fairly receptive to the humour, but the positive reactions were definitely more pronounced today. It was great to be there amidst a crowd that seemed to be on the same wavelength as the film and totally enjoying the ride, etc. Very fun.

This movie is really such a remarkable, dense package. It's teeming with all manner of frivolity and strangeness, but it also sustains this tremendous sense of nostalgia and melancholy via matters both personal and cultural. I hope I can make it out to the theatre for a third viewing soon, as I'm pretty smitten.

I feel like I could pick any given moment and really start gushing about it. As mentioned in that Vice interview that was posted yesterday, it feels like you're being given privileged access to an array of clandestine conversations of varying flavours and intensities. It's so great. For instance, that conversation between Doc and Coy in the house in Topanga Canyon is probably one of the most spellbinding and incredible passages that PTA has ever registered to film. Every element is perfectly calibrated. That scene really stood out to me today...I was in awe.

Another stray observation: Brolin is a master of physical comedy in the scene where Bigfoot's wife chews out Doc over the phone.

Also: Jade's "PS -- Beware the Golden Fang!" line is spectacular, as is the transition it prompts from the letter to that pier that's absolutely shrouded in fog. Great line delivery by Hong Chau, who is such a lovely presence in this film. I love her "Spotted Dick" ramble, too, and when she asks Doc if she can get a ride home with him, etc.

One more: that bit where Clancy Charlock has her great line about regret, and then Doc ambles back into his office, Minnie Riperton's "Les Fleur" starts playing, Doc starts cleaning up, etc.? Magic.

Korova

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #81 on: January 11, 2015, 03:30:28 PM »
+2
So Inherent Vice now controls my life, I watch scenes from it all the time... Anyway, I just wanna talk a bit about the music in the movie. I absolutely adore it and I really think that Anderson and Greenwood outdid themselves with this. (sorry for rambling a bit)
In a way to me it feels very much like Vertigo (which I consider to be very high praise) in that virtually every bit of Greenwood's score is filled with a yearning for something I can't really put into words. I'm talking in particular about Shasta's themes and the "Golden Fang".
For example, watching the party scene just about kills me emotionally. The whole conversation between Coy and Doc is fantastic until Coy says the words "Shasta Fay... Shasta Fay", the music ("Golden Fang") swells and Doc does his facial contortions and then it breaks my heart. It doesn't stop there, so we get the Last Pizza Supper and Jade talking about the Golden Fang, which makes everything together maybe the most Pynchon-like scene in the film. It combines the heartrending intensity and beauty of Pynchon's prose (here translated into film and music) with his all-surrounding paranoia. And those are always my favourite parts of Pynchon's books also.
Another wonderful bit is the music cue in the beginning when Shasta is almost crying and 'LŤge is talking about her complex face expression and there comes the first "Shasta" theme (so much longing again).
The film is just filled with gems like those. A funnier scene is the Chick Planet transition to Bigfoot's big entrance with the "Simba" song. The editing is wonderful here, it just goes with the music. I don't know where Anderson got the idea for putting that song with that scene. It really shouldn't work, but it does so well and it makes Bigfoot's entrance spectacular.
Gittes already mentioned the Minnie Riperton song, but that really is magic and I get why Anderson was in tears over that idea.
I can't contain the beauty of this movie. And it really gets better with every viewing.

porgy

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #82 on: January 11, 2015, 03:47:38 PM »
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saw it again yesterday, liked it  lot more the second time.  all i could think about though was: that sex scene, still awkward, and: the sound at Lincoln Center for NYFF was absolutely terrible.

Knocho Pytsh

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #83 on: January 11, 2015, 06:11:31 PM »
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After a third viewing, Iím convinced this is his best film yet. Not a single scene runs too long or feels weak. I feel like the two that will garner the most discussion are the sex scene with Shasta and Bigfootís final meeting with Doc. The former is electrifying and the latter is so poignant that I almost want to shed a tear for Bigfoot myself. As big of an asshole as he is, I canít help but feel bad for him. As the sixties come to a close and Doc must come to terms with what has changed and what lies ahead, we see that Bigfoot has witnessed the evaporation of the country's conservative ideals for a long time now. Even though thereís a striking polarity in their views of the world, theyíre both insignificant compared to the ever changing direction of American history and its implications. It makes me reflect on my own life and the space of history I occupy and if Iím as aware or unaware of the changing political landscape as these characters are. With that said, this isnít really a political film, as none of his films really are. You know youíve seen something special when it opens the door for such self-reflection without even really trying to.

Most importantly, itís hilarious, but not in the same way its inspirations are. The humor is mostly in the dialogue. Each of the three times Iíve watched it, Iím always the only person who laughs at Doc when he covertly tries to shush Sauncho in the restaurant when their waitress brings the tequila zombies. Or just about every exchange he has with Dr. Blatnoyd and Dr. Threeply. Everything that isnít laugh-out-loud funny is just fascinating to watch. I smile ear-to-ear when I hear Hopeís joyous shout when Coy arrives home. These people havenít even been on screen for more than 10 minutes. How does he do this?

We were blessed to know that this project was next in mind after The Master, but what now? Every film he makes is better than the last. Heís established himself so solidly at such a young age. What could possibly be next?

jenkins

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #84 on: January 11, 2015, 06:39:04 PM »
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i agree with everyone whose opinions are nourished from this narrative's relation to its point in time, i myself find nourishing information there, and also i think that's one of the easier things to do with a historical piece. you can put a story together much easier if you can see its future. like, pta predicted in boogie nights that all of you movie people would become corrupted by home media. the master and there will be blood seem obvious. i like it all i'm not complaining, or rather i'm complaining while liking it, but anyway i think this and everything else would be a lot more interesting if it confronted the challenges of right now. i can't help but think -- this is my personal opinion -- that avoiding an examination of the space and time in which you live is really an artist choosing the easy over the hard

i'd like the above to be considered an aside. good to hear back from people seeing the movie and its time period is an essential piece in understanding the movie, agreed
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Gittes

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #85 on: January 11, 2015, 10:13:32 PM »
+1
For example, watching the party scene just about kills me emotionally. The whole conversation between Coy and Doc is fantastic until Coy says the words "Shasta Fay... Shasta Fay", the music ("Golden Fang") swells and Doc does his facial contortions and then it breaks my heart.

I already mentioned my admiration of this scene in a previous post, but yeah, we're definitely in agreement. Otherworldly levels of greatness.

Most importantly, itís hilarious, but not in the same way its inspirations are. The humor is mostly in the dialogue. Each of the three times Iíve watched it, Iím always the only person who laughs at Doc when he covertly tries to shush Sauncho in the restaurant when their waitress brings the tequila zombies.

There were laughs at that part during both of the screenings I attended. I really love that bit, too. Anthony Lane's review reminded me of another stellar bit of comedy, which occurs in the same scene, and which makes me laugh just thinking about it:

Quote from:
Indeed, anyone who prizes the book for its treasure chest of jokes will be gratified by how many of them survive onscreen, including the advice dished out by the waitress at a seafood restaurant, as she takes orders for drinks (ďYouíre going to want to get good and fucked up before this mealĒ).

Hilarious. Sauncho's nonchalant, affirmative response ("that's for sure!"), which is tossed off so casually by Benicio del Toro, makes this moment even funnier.

Also, I haven't checked out a lot of the reviews yet, but surely someone has already noted one of the more bizarre, incidental (?) connections between The Master and Inherent Vice. Both films see Joaquin Phoenix incorporating toilets into enormous acts of aggression. In The Master, Freddie absolutely eviscerates the toilet in the prison. In Inherent Vice, Doc finds defensive recourse in the porcelain lid of a nearby toilet, which he then slams into Puck Beaverton's head during the film's most brutal scene. I can't recall if that's in Pynchon's book or not. Anyway, for whatever reason, this little connection came to mind while I was in the shower.

Speaking of that scene...Keith Jardine is quite terrifying as Puck Beaverton! When he walks into the room and says, "Do I know you?", there's a significant atmospheric change; it's like this threatening pall is suddenly cast over the whole scene, and you start feeling worried for Doc, etc. Oh, and those brief moments after Doc escapes and he's waiting for Puck to return? Super tense. The resulting eruption of violence feels as shocking as Shasta and Doc's sex scene (although, of course, for totally different reasons). I admire the way the film has these totally unexpected ruptures of intense violence and sexuality; the impact of both of these scenes derives in part from the fact that they feel at odds with the tone and concerns of the film up to that point. Amazing scenes, the both of them, but Shasta and Doc's scene is obviously the more substantial and intriguing example (plus, what a showcase for Katherine Waterston, whose monologue is unforgettably delivered).

AntiDumbFrogQuestion

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #86 on: January 13, 2015, 10:08:23 PM »
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First viewing Reactions:

PROS - Casting! Cinematography! Jokes! Music! The Golden Fang building sequence! Children who have no problem interacting with drugs!

CONS - Cramped shots...the whole movie I wanted to get up and STRETCH because of how tight everything was. Some people are calling it "intimate", and I know there's a method to the madness, but again, this is my "first viewing" reaction.
            Needed some closed captioning, although Altman would've been proud!

THINGS THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN THAT I WAS EXPECTING -  Let's just say I wish I hadn't read the book or seen some of the promos. After digging Hong Chau, i wouldn't have minded a scene of Jordan Christian Hearn going down on her in the back of Doc's car! They teased it, and cut it. PTA has his reasons, but DAMN!   I'm glad to have this interpretation of the book, although I would've loved a full-fledged, mini-series-esque version with all the details and side-stories in place. But then...uh, well, that's why there's a book in the first place.

I'll see it again. Every odd-numbered PTA movie leaves me cold at first, thinking about how little sense it made to movie, or leaving me emotionally confused. Like I think too much about them. Then the even-numbered ones I just connect with effortlessly. That's right, sandwomen are my cup o' tea!
 In any case, I say keep up the swell work, Mr. Anderson.

Kellen

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #87 on: January 13, 2015, 11:47:02 PM »
+1
Brolin fucking killed it.

Sleepless

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2015, 09:51:17 AM »
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Would anyone happen to have a copy of the screenplay they could send me? Much appreciated :)

modage

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Re: Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!
« Reply #89 on: January 20, 2015, 10:27:16 AM »
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Yeah, seconded. Weirdly, all the other Oscar contenders screenplays have been readily available online for a while but no IV.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

 

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