It’s all been leading up to this. After revisiting his feature filmography up to this point, it is finally time to review Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film: Inherent Vice, based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name. Pynchon’s work has been considered unadaptable up to this point, as evidenced by the fact that no one has really tried in the last 50 years. But Paul Thomas Anderson isn’t just anyone. The filmmaker has embraced the challenge, describing his movie as a mixture of a classic noir, an Airplane!-style slapstick, and a Cheech and Chong-era stoner comedy. Does he hit that high? Or does Inherent Vice fall all over itself in a bad trip, man?
I haven’t seen Inherent Vice yet (god-willing I will have seen it by the time you are reading this), but I hope it signals a new direction for Paul Thomas Anderson, not because I am tired of his examination of the darkness in solitary men, but because he has so perfectly examined this in his previous three films. Punch-Drunk Love‘s Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) has a boiling rage that is finally ameliorated when he finds another person with whom to share his life. There Will Be Blood‘s Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) tries to do the same, but his overwhelming greed is too much to bear. But what of the two main characters in The Master? Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) battle the same darkness as these other men, but head-on. Is the outlook for them any better than that for Daniel Plainview?
If you’ve come here looking for a review of the new Godzilla movie, then you don’t know me at all. I am a refined critic of excellent taste who would never stoop so low as to cover big-budget CGI-fest trash. Jk lol. I’m planning on turning my critical brain off for Godzilla; I just want to enjoy it. So instead I bring you this – a review of my more typical art house fare: The Immigrant, co-written and directed by James Gray (We Own the Night) and starring Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises).