Author Topic: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?  (Read 1527 times)

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KJ

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is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« on: March 30, 2018, 05:42:25 AM »
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it's weird to me. he keeps making totally different films, but hasn't disappointed me in any way up to this point. there's always that PTA magic in his films that draw me in, and makes me want to be a part of their worlds. so what i'm going to ask: is there any PTA film that you doesn't like at this point? and if you haven't been disappointed yet, what is it in his films that you keep loving film after film?

Tdog

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2018, 07:56:20 AM »
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Inherent Vice was the first PTA movie where afterwards I wasnt sure if I liked it or not. Ive since seen it about 8 times but it's not my favourite and is definitely his most difficult. The Master got slippery towards the end but IV was slippery and confusing for the entire running time.

KJ

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2018, 08:08:55 AM »
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Inherent Vice was the first PTA movie where afterwards I wasnt sure if I liked it or not. Ive since seen it about 8 times but it's not my favourite and is definitely his most difficult. The Master got slippery towards the end but IV was slippery and confusing for the entire running time.

did you start to to doubt him as a filmmaker? and did phantom thread restore your faith in him?

Sleepless

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2018, 08:26:29 AM »
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I still struggle with The Master. Its probably the one film of his I have a hard time really getting into and appreciating as much as I do his other films. Which is strange because I know most people on here love it. FWIW it happens to be my wife's favorite film of his (although she's really digging PT too) because acting.

did you start to to doubt him as a filmmaker? and did phantom thread restore your faith in him?

Never. PT I'm actually loving more and more and I'm amazed how much he continually surpasses himself. I always thought CM would always be my favorite of his films, and it is probably my favorite of his films. But damn, PT is making a push for the throne.
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KJ

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2018, 08:42:22 AM »
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I still struggle with The Master. Its probably the one film of his I have a hard time really getting into and appreciating as much as I do his other films. Which is strange because I know most people on here love it. FWIW it happens to be my wife's favorite film of his (although she's really digging PT too) because acting.

did you start to to doubt him as a filmmaker? and did phantom thread restore your faith in him?

Never. PT I'm actually loving more and more and I'm amazed how much he continually surpasses himself. I always thought CM would always be my favorite of his films, and it is probably my favorite of his films. But damn, PT is making a push for the throne.

yeah, PTA will be considered one of the greatest Hollywood directors of all time, I think. there is no one like him in this generation of filmmaker. I can't think of any other filmmakers that is pushing the boundaries like he does. just imagine what a filmography he will leave behind if he continue to make movies for 20 more years...

Reelist

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2018, 11:35:55 AM »
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Believe it or not, I was dissapointed in ‘There Will Be Blood’ when I first saw it. First PTA I saw in the theater but I didn’t recognize the PTA I knew from his past works.. It wasn’t until a home viewing that I realized there’s a lot to identify with and laugh about the Daniel Plainview character as long as you pay close attention to him. Initially I just found him to be unlikable and left it at that
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wilberfan

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 11:55:36 AM »
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Well, since you asked...

I've ranted about this here and elsewhere before, but yes, Inherent Vice was a shocking disappointment for me two years ago. It's still inconceivable that I would ever actively dislike a PTA film. 

Essentially I found the characters completely uninvolving and the jokes flat and overplayed.  From what I gather from those who have read the book, it was a faithful and skillful adaptation of the source material, but for me, as a film both story and characters left me cold.  It was hard for me to sit thru the first time, and I've never been able to get thru the film a second time.  (I've tried twice).   I have pledged to go and see it again the next time it's available on the big screen here in L.A., as I think it deserves a second viewing.  (I'm hoping a theater experience with an enthusiastic audience might increase my chances of getting thru it.)

It didn't make me doubt him as a filmmaker (he's way too talented--and proven it over and over again), but I will say that Phantom Thread definitely felt like a return to form to me.  (I'll confess that if Thread had been a dud my faith might have been shaken a bit.)

I've been around long enough to have seen Kubrick's output in 'real time'--that is, as they were produced and released in theaters. I considered him almost godlike during the late 60s and thru the 70s.  I don't hesitate for a moment in calling PTA the most consistently interesting, talented and engaging filmmaker since. 
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KJ

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 12:00:39 PM »
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Believe it or not, I was dissapointed in ‘There Will Be Blood’ when I first saw it. First PTA I saw in the theater but I didn’t recognize the PTA I knew from his past works.. It wasn’t until a home viewing that I realized there’s a lot to identify with and laugh about the Daniel Plainview character as long as you pay close attention to him. Initially I just found him to be unlikable and left it at that

I watched There Will Be Blood back in 2007 when I wasn't a PTA fan, and didn't like it at all. I was 15 back then, so it's probably not surprising that I didn't get it... a year later I became a PTA fan after falling in love with magnolia and punch-drunk love, gave TWBB another chance and it became my favorite movie of all time.

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2018, 12:39:03 PM »
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I wasn't immediately sure what to think about The Master, but after a second theatrical watch I loved it unreservedly.

I was disappointed by Inherent Vice.

If we're talking the opposite: Punch-Drunk Love. My anticipation leading up to it was white hot, and somehow it still exceeded my expectations. I saw it twice on release day. Still my 2nd favorite PTA.
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WorldForgot

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 02:53:41 PM »
+2

  I have pledged to go and see it again the next time it's available on the big screen here in L.A., as I think it deserves a second viewing.  (I'm hoping a theater experience with an enthusiastic audience might increase my chances of getting thru it.)


I've seen it about 14 times in theaters, the last four of those being in the past two years, and although I've noticed a fan-audience is more open to its comedy, it isn't the sort of PTA film that gets people riotous (the way Boogie, PDL, and PT might). It's too ominous and hypnotizing i think. So while the crowd may enter enthusiastically, idk how much you can expect them to spark the vibe if you dont feel it from that first Vitamin C needle drop.

Tdog

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 03:04:35 PM »
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Inherent Vice was the first PTA movie where afterwards I wasnt sure if I liked it or not. Ive since seen it about 8 times but it's not my favourite and is definitely his most difficult. The Master got slippery towards the end but IV was slippery and confusing for the entire running time.

did you start to to doubt him as a filmmaker? and did phantom thread restore your faith in him?

Not doubt him per say because 1) It wasn't PTA's material; none of the characters, plot/story was his and 2) I think he was overly precious with said material because of his respect for Pynchon.

My issue with the film is that the entire thing is just long twisting conversations with the camera pushing in, nearly every scene is just Doc sitting and talking. This would be fine a few times but unfortunately it's the majority of the running time. The few times when the movie really takes off is when the music kicks in and helps things truck along better (Can's Vitamin C, the entire Martin Short sequence). I think the movie needed to be shorter and needed more up tempo moments.

I also wonder how Dylan Tichenor would have put it together??????


wilberfan

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 03:41:11 PM »
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I also wonder how Dylan Tichenor would have put it together??????


Man, I had that exact thought awhile back.  I wonder what he thinks of the film?
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eward

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2018, 05:31:00 PM »
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Not exactly disappointed, but I must say, Inherent Vice was the one I felt decidedly less sure of until at least my second viewing months after the first NYFF screening. Which I guess is to say that I knew that I loved it, but I just wasn't sure how I loved it. Certainly not in the immediate and gushing way I love his other films (even The Master, which took two viewings to really kick in, as well, and now holds fast to the number one spot.) I don't necessarily disagree with the criticisms lobbed at the film, they just don't hinder the experience for me, and now, with Phantom Thread having come and gone, some of Vice's more generally head-scratchy stylistic choices, which seemed to leave many cold upon release, feel much more adventurous and inspired and experimental in retrospect. I think time will be very kind to it.

Another question might be: are there any PTA films that don't hold up quite as well for you now? There Will Be Blood, though I think it's great, doesn't have quite the same impact for me now as it did upon its release. Why is that? Not really sure. Perhaps because its "greatness" feels the most, hmm, obvious/pat in the canon? Feels that way to me, anyhow. Not as much mystery as the others, particularly the ones that followed it. Perhaps it's also because it's just sort of considered his default masterpiece at this point and I maybe resent it a tad for that.
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wilberfan

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2018, 05:49:59 PM »
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Another question might be: are there any PTA films that don't hold up quite as well for you now?

Quite the opposite, actually.

With the release of Thread, I had the opportunity to revisit almost all of his other films on the big screen with an appreciative audience.  As many times as I've seen Boogie Nights, I was a bit concerned that I might be bored, but the screening in January was one of my favorite of all my multiple dozens of viewings.  (I think part of what made it more fun than usual was that I had people on either side of me that had never seen it.  In a way, I got to see it 'fresh' thru their eyes--but with my built-in appreciation of the film.)  Same with TWBB, Hard Eight, Magnolia...I was pleasantly surprised at how well they've held up for me over the years and many multiple viewings.  It's made me eager to see again the 2 films that weren't shown:  The Master, and IV.
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csage97

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Re: is there any PTA film that has disappointed you?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 01:21:35 PM »
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I still struggle with The Master. Its probably the one film of his I have a hard time really getting into and appreciating as much as I do his other films. Which is strange because I know most people on here love it. FWIW it happens to be my wife's favorite film of his (although she's really digging PT too) because acting.

Me too. The acting is top-notch (Joaquin Phoenix's performance might be my favourite of all time), but the story seems stretched too thin for its runtime. The concept is a really great idea, but the film feels too open-ended, vague, directionless, other than exploring this relationship between these three characters. It doesn't feel that the film is saying much in the end (which can be fine, but here it's stretched too thin). Great performances though and wonderful cinematography.

My issue with the film is that the entire thing is just long twisting conversations with the camera pushing in, nearly every scene is just Doc sitting and talking. This would be fine a few times but unfortunately it's the majority of the running time. The few times when the movie really takes off is when the music kicks in and helps things truck along better (Can's Vitamin C, the entire Martin Short sequence). I think the movie needed to be shorter and needed more up tempo moments.

I also wonder how Dylan Tichenor would have put it together??????

I think you hit the nail on the head for me here. I've posted before about how Inherent Vice doesn't feel "open" and "sprawling" enough like the book ... and it really all comes down to the long conversations. I expected more camera movement. There were visual opportunities to follow Doc down hallways, along the LA freeways (the freeway references are copious in the book), down the beach, around the Gordita beach neighbourhoods ,etc., and PTA just didn't capture this IMO. It's something in the book that just isn't in the film, so in this sense, I never walk away from the film getting what I get from the book. I still really like the film, but thought he should've done it differently. I know everyone says it's a faithful adaptation, and it does stay true to the plot of the source material (albeit it puts more emphasis on Doc and Shasta's relationship), but I ultimately don't think it totally captures the sprawling, twisting, loose feel of a Pynchon novel that I love so much, because much of what we see on screen is so static (i.e., people sitting and talking, sometimes with very slow push-ins which aren't really enough). Honestly, if he had done things visually and movement-wise like Boogie Nights or Magnolia, it would've been amazing. Ironically, the director best fit to bring that visual splendor to the film moved away from it and gave us something very different.

PTA says that he finds actors to be the most interesting thing about a film, and he loves just filming good acting (and that he also remembers the mood of a film but not the plot). Over the last year or so, I've come to open up more to appreciating this perspective and how this plays out in films. But I kind wish he'd focus just a little more on plot and story lately. Just personal taste, I guess.

 

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