Inherent Vice - SPOILERS!

Started by MacGuffin, October 01, 2014, 02:10:50 PM

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is no one going to mention how weird a certain sex scene was


I've just read that this isn't in the movie too.

Sad, cause it's one of my favorite shots of the trailer.


Yeah, good call. I was questioning that but couldn't remember for sure.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.



first there's a titlecard about where and when it is so no one wonders where and when it is

then, and this is when my memory of the movie starts to be imperfect, somewhere in this "second shot of the damn movie" section, but i think there's a shot of joanna newsom that's a bit sun tinted and her mouth is moving

but there's definitely joanna newsom reading either a big portion or the entire opening paragraph of the book, as v.o., while we see joaquin on the couch in blue light and katherine entering. he's shown me the place and told me when and where it is and he's shown me people and told me who and how they are. so this is great, because i'm getting to right away see harmonies between the book and movie

i'm thinking pta's working too hard a little bit. the goal here is to erase the words and paint the screen. i don't think it's a graceful entry. i'm curious. then katherine leaves, she drives her car away, and joaquin stands watching and vitamin c starts to play and the opening title comes in neon while joaquin walks away up an alley while the shot and music continue and i see ok, ok here it is, right here after an opening that was anyway gonna be tricky for sure, here's where the book and movie created a little patch of cinematic magic

then the rest of me watching the movie was like that basically, that's my microcosmic story i think. the materials are what the book supplies, the movie of it being created, and there exists space between the two, in about every sequence there's — are you familiar with meditation? i'm referring to the gap area in cinematic form. there's plenty of gap area possibility because there's a ton of characters and scenes. i think the movie has meaning one scene at a time

i reread wilder's reaction right now and "It's a slipstream of madcap antics and unbeatable melancholy." is spot on. in a pta way, let's all be serious here for a moment, the guy doesn't have a problem making a movie. did you quote that or make it up? so good. i like this google definition of slipstream: "an assisting force regarded as drawing something along behind something else." a slipstream of madcap antics and unbeatable melancholy -- and all of us who've seen it are dying to see it again

typical pta

max from fearless

I was lucky enough to bag some tickets to the 7pm London screening of Inherent Vice at the Prince Charles off Leicester Sq (thanks for the heads up Drenk!) PTA was in attendance and did a super-short intro about this being the right place to show this type of film and how we were about to see it in 35mm...

random thoughts:

This is Katherine Waterston's movie and Josh Brolin's movie. Their performances are really STRONG and for me they make the film. For me the movie was centred around Shasta's infection/corruption via Golden Fang via Mickey Wolfmann (GF being down and dirty capitalism, stamping out of various cultures and communities, gentrification, a loss of hope, murder, paranoia, a multiple personality disorder culture - nothing is what it seems, everyone has three or four faces but somehow remain faceless, greed, the american way as we now know it) and Bigfoot's struggle to place his flag in the ground and take a stand (how can you fight these forces in the fog?) despite knowing/feeling/carrying the weight of the Golden Fang's influence, gradual domination. Every time Waterson appeared the movie came alive for me.

Joaquin Phoenix as Doc Sportello, didn't quite come off for me. He laid it on too heavy. The flashbacks were cool but I didn't quite believe/feel his melancholy so much as I was constantly being told about it by Joanna Newsom or another side character. Overall, I don't think the voiceover works, especially in the first scene. For me, it hurts Joaquin's performance because we never get a chance to see/feel what he's feeling. She's always interrupting his flow. Also his comic chops/timing were okay but somethings in the way. Something doesn't work.

This is the first ever PTA movie I've ever being slightly bored/restless in. (I left it feeling languid. Is this film too long? Maybe) Is it the dialogue overload? I was hoping, looking for that Love Streams, Cassavetes vibe that Wilder mentioned, but in those movies people are talking about their feelings, their trying to connect or not, here it's just dense dense dense information information information but I felt it was more funny, irreverent, ape shit and digestible when I was reading it in the book, than when I was watching it. Maybe this is down to performances, which maybe aren't up to PTA standards? (Malone delivers, Owen Wilson is Owen Wilson, I liked Newsom, everyone else was ok) or maybe it's because in my mind's eye the book was about a community. It was expansive, freewheeling and alive. You got a taste of characters and their personalities outside of the main narrative, here, characters just appear, talk to Doc, give him some information (or don't) and piss off. Or Newsom tells us a bit about them before the above happens.

It also doesn't help that the movie is mostly interiors, very tight shots, either pushing into a two-shot or handheld singles. It felt SUPER flat and somewhat monotonous after a while. At times I thought I was watching a stage play and was waiting for a cinematic passage, a PTA combination of music, sound (movement) and character. It never really came. If i was pressed, I'd say maybe Doc walking in the street at the start or maybe the scene where Doc wakes up with the dead body, are moments, but not PTA standard moments. But maybe PTA is moving away from that and stripping it right down to the bone...Wanna hear another PTA standards rant?

I thought the use of music was pretty uninspired by his standards too. I don't really recall any really interesting uses of music/score/effects as in everything he's ever done. The use of Minnie Ripperton's song felt so arbitrary, I got a little pissed, I fucking love Minnie, I especially love that song and it felt like it was just thrown into the mix.

I dunno. I wanna see this again in a couple of months time, but I hate to say it, this movie although fun, never really resonated for me. Sure, it doesn't feel like anything out at the moment, it's obviously it's own thing, but it also never really moved me, or touched me, or shocked me, or fully engaged me, or made me feel ambivalent the way a PTA film does. Whereas reading the novel, I was genuinely touched and moved and it stayed with me for days afterwards. I had no burning desire to see it immediately again, and that's the way I've felt with every PTA film until now. I'm a bit sad, bummed out, disappointed and confused....for me, this isn't typical PTA. It's something else...

random shots:

The scene with Josh Brolin getting pancakes is lovely (this is when the movie started moving for me) and the sex scene towards the end is great. I loved the exchange between Doc and the Golden Fang 'family/workers' collecting the dope.

This is the first PTA movie, where a character says the title.

I can't believe WB are putting this out. I just can't believe it.

I loved the first shot of Newsom talking, with the sun bitting her cheeks.

The poster with a huge Waterstone is totally appropriate. She owns IV with Brolin.


My advice: see it a second time before fully deciding. The thing with PTA films (in the past decade especially) is that they're basically always ahead of his audience. You keep waiting for those PTA 'things' you expect from him and he keeps finding other ways to surprise you instead of giving you the things you were expecting. Upon first view, it's always a little disappointing, in the long run it's infinitely more satisfying and what keeps him the filmmaker of his generation. 

The one thought I had during my viewing(s) was that if PTA had cast Robert Downey Jr., even with the exact same script, it would be a much more accessible film. RDJ has comic timing that would've made this more audience friendly while still not watering down the weirdness, Joaquin kinda takes it to a different place. He's good and a few of the big moments (the picture reaction, obvs) he shines, but in the moment to moment, he's definitely more mumbly than hilarious. Which works for this version of the film, but it's one that's gonna be a tough sell for most people (as usual). Though after TWBB I was convinced it was his least accessible film to mainstream audiences but that still managed to strike a nerve so who knows.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


Quote from: modage on November 20, 2014, 04:20:35 PM
My advice: see it a second time before fully deciding. The thing with PTA films (in the past decade especially)


max from fearless [20|Nov 03:21 PM]:   i think 1 viewing is bullshit to truly get to grips with a movie, but those are my first impressions

is what i mean by typical pta. it's a bit "special consideration" and i think way more people deserve it than just the tried/true types, but i also think pta deserves it


technically pbh says the title in hard eight. and the master, well...


i think max's review summarizes how i feel about the film, but i'm basically waiting to see it a second time to form an opinion.

max from fearless

I just wanted to clarify that these are my first first impressions and one viewing is nothing when trying to get to grips with any movie, let alone a PTA flick. I will be seeing this again and writing again. But you must understand, I walked around London in the cold arse of the night, for god knows how long, broken up, thinking something was wrong with me for feeling the way I felt. But I'm cool with both saying that this is how I feel NOW but that I NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN and hang around with movie in my dressing gown and slippers and get it alone, by itself and try to make out with it. Then i'll know where I stand.......but this is fine for now...

Modage - I also felt Robert Downey Jr. would've made a more accessible, more comical, cool and overwhelmed, in the moment Doc. It's not that I thought Joaquin wasn't good, something just felt off and I couldn't connect with him. And yes there are moments where he does shine. When he sees the photo. Snorting Martin Short's coke. Hanging with Shasta. That sex scene. I just felt Brolin and Waterston took it to that NEXT level. Brolin eating pancakes. His run in with Adrian Prussia. His phone calls. The scene where his son pours his drink, fucking great! His final showdown with Doc, smoking the joint and his meltdown/agression/one-up-manship - brought back memories of Plainview and Eli. And Waterston she was gangbusters in every scene she was in....Also liked Hong Chau, just her saying "pussy eating/eater" gave me the whirlies...More movies with pussy eating please.

max from fearless

Quote from: modage on November 20, 2014, 04:20:35 PM
You keep waiting for those PTA 'things' you expect from him and he keeps finding other ways to surprise you instead of giving you the things you were expecting. Upon first view, it's always a little disappointing, in the long run it's infinitely more satisfying and what keeps him the filmmaker of his generation.

PS. Agreed. Real talk.

The tone of the sequence where Joaquin walks alongside the boat in The Master before he jumps in, totally headfucked me in the cinema first time around. The sound mix as the music goes from score to source. The shot of the boat sailing away towards the bridge with the score (is the shot a reference to Lady From Shanghai?) the whole sequence is an absolute hypnotic gem, but it deeply unsettled me on first viewing, it still kinda does, in ways none of his other films did. I mean it's a guy getting onto a boat...but it isn't...fuck...all i know is it's PTA...


Quote from: modage on October 07, 2014, 07:27:49 AM
Yeah no Penn and no Kevin J. O'Connor!

Also no Anders Holm or the actor they cast as Glenn Charlock.

There's a couple shots in the trailer not in the film too.
Anders Holm is credited as like Police Officer #2 but I don't think you can ever see him onscreen.

Glenn is actually laying dead next to Doc so technically he is onscreen.

They updated the end credits which previously credited Radiohead on "Spooks" to be Jonny & two other dudes.

And other observations from viewing #4 tonight.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

max from fearless


The rest of the script is...somewhere?