I saw 'There Will Be Blood' yesterday......

....was very underwhelmed. And what has that got to do with crime fiction? Everything has got to do with crime fiction except the things that turn out to let us down. Hamlet without a murder would have been a narrative with MacCaullay Culkin and Hannah Montana, and that would be a crime worse than the original, but of a different sort, which brings me back to the reason I climbed this soapbox. (Warning: spoilers ahead, except the film is so confused by it's own script it doesn't matter, and I don't mean surprising, I don't even mean confusing. I meant and mean confused.) They built this up and I was expecting something masterful. The only thing there was Day-Lewis who is undeniably a great actor, but there were so many questions left unanswered, and holes in the storyline, it was as if they had decided to rework a script with possibilities and quit in the middle of revisions. Is the evangelist his own brother? Is the kid a kid, or a certificate of deposit? Do I give a rat's ass?
But I may be one of the only people who didn't like "Boogie Nights' which was by the same guy, right? He did manage to accomplish the impossible and make porn boring on the first viewing, though.Histrionics can not make up for good solid storylines. For the same reason, I don't like James Joyce like I am supposed to, since I took the requisite brainwashing courses in the university. Like the short story about the girl who might or might not have taken the ship for the New World....he didn't sell a modern story, it was a lotto ticket. Come to think of it, maybe that is modern fiction. Powerball, did you get entertained or screwed? And they are comparing 'Blood' to 'Citizen Kane'? I don't even think 'Citizen Kane' was 'Citizen Kane.' And I love experimental film. I don't think everything has to be cut-and-dried rote, formulaic, but fucking hit me with something. I thought the remake of 'The Omen' had more cinematic possibilities, even when you know the nanny is going to hang herself and exactly what she's going to say. At least the drop was longer and more balletic. Sure, we all want to watch a radio evangelist get bludgeoned to death with a bowling pin. He deserved it, but I'd have appreciated it, even enjoyed it, so much more with a little more clear cut motivation. It's the god damned movies, oral tradition, stories around a campfire, the last 35 seconds of the Superbowl, and the world waits for the Grand Guignol. I don't want to wait for Godot. If he ain't got a weapon, who cares anyway? What's he going to do bore me to death as if the last two hours weren't close enough to dying already? Oh, here he comes...wait a minute, I stand corrected. He's carrying a bowling bag. God knows what terror lurks. I'm going to try to hit the rest room before the crowd. Meet you in the parking lot. Yes, I am departing, which reminds me of a better film by far. I wonder if there's a copy of 'The Departed' at Blockbuster.
Okay, I'm almost finished. Let me reiterate, loved Day-Lewis, and you can't win 'em all. Even Jack Nicholson and Brando had their Missouri Breakdown, Marlon had several, but it gets under my skin to read people who pass for film critics saying this will be remembered as one of the great movies of the next hundred years. If you want bowling finales, I'd go with 'The Big Lebowski, or even 'Kingpins.' But I'm all about messages, moral clarity, and the meaning of life.

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