The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 158 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’Connor, Ciaran Hinds, Dillon Freasier
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Music by: Jonny Greenwood
Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Region Code: Not indicated
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 3, 2008
"If you ain’t careful you can lose it all"
A sprawling epic of family, faith, power and oil, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is set on the incendiary frontier of California’s turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon. When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that there’s a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier), to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But even as the well raises all of their fortunes, nothing will remain the same as conflicts escalate and every human value – love, hope, community, belief, ambition and even the bond between father and son – is imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.
There will be blood is a powerful film that portrays life during the early days of the California petroleum boom. It depicts the struggles of silver mining as well as the inherent dangers that came along with it. The early days of oil drilling were similarly dangerous and as evidenced in the film many fell victim to accidents. I read that this was a violent movie. After watching it I wouldn’t say that it contained heavy violence but I would describe it as graphic in it‘s depiction. At just over two and a half hours and I felt that it was too long. I found myself thinking at times that certain scenes could easily have been omitted. Don‘t mistake that for boredom though. This was not a boring film by any means. Day-Lewis won an Academy Award for his role and it wasn‘t hard to see why. I also appreciated the performances turned in my Dillon Freasier as H.W. and Paul Dano as Eli Sunday.
I believe that There will be blood is an interesting film from a historical perspective as it does a superb job in providing what I would a call a realistic depiction of what life must have been like during those days in American History. The strong performances by the cast lent support to the story’s telling which is always a positive.
The rating is for violence, and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
There will be blood comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video with an average bitrate of 29 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1audio that has an average bitrate of 3.3 mbps.
I reviewed the DVD release of TWBB earlier this year and looking back at my notes I was pleased to find that my overall impressions were similar. Of course there are some differences. Here are my comments from that review:
I really enjoyed this film from a technical perspective. The audio and video presentations were well balanced relative to one another and were a perfect fit for the subject matter. The audio was cleanly reproduced with a crisp dynamic signature that truly brought home the films driving elements with terse realism. This played hand and hand with the excellently delivered detail which created a very believable sonic presence as the sounds of trains, metal against rock, the swooshing of oil erupting in a geyser, and creaking/breaking timbers. This was also the case with dialogue although at times it lacked to crispness associated with the best sound mixes I have heard. The surround were used to great effect to deliver ambience and room filling spatial effects. The subwoofer channel was used only on occasion for deep sub bass but those occasions were memorable. The 2.35:1 video as not very vibrant in terms of color. This was done intentionally to depict the period clothing worn by the cast as well as to set the mood for the subject matter. Colors appeared quite natural with fine textures and good tonal delineation. Contrast levels were very good as was shadow detail. Blacks were dark but not inky and overall image detail was excellent throughout. I suspect that most will be very pleased with this audio/video presentation.
The opening moments of this high definition presentation worried me. I wasn’t seeing the clarity and fine detail that I was expecting. The scene in the silver mine and as Daniel sits beside the fire in the dark looked rather flat. I breathed a sigh of relief once things switched to the following day when Daniel was preparing to use dynamite down in the mine. The image was bathed in bright sunlight which revealed lots of fine detail in the dry rocky landscape. Like the DVD contrast levels are excellent (perhaps a tad on the hot side) which gives the image a dynamic and punchy appearance. I Compared the same scene on both and there is no question that the Blu-ray disc delivers a more vibrant and stark image. The same was true of resolution. The Blu-ray disc delivered sharp and cleanly resolved video. I was able to see the fabric weave in the linen shirts and dresses worn by the cast. Texture in the wood that made up the period buildings and oil derricks as well as the within the various landscapes exhibited the “looking through a window” effect. The period clothing worn by the cast and locations used in the film don’t offer a broad color palette. The various shades of gray, brown, pale blue, and greens were reproduced quite well and looked great. I thought that skin tones looked superb. The various complexions and differing tonal qualities of the cast came across with defining realism. Another area where this presentation excelled over the DVD was in its reproduction of blacks. They looked good on the DVD but here they looked great. They were deep and inky with plenty of dynamic range. Scenes that contained light and dark elements looked stunning at times. Shadow detail was on par with the DVD in that it was very good at revealing varying levels of visible structure and objects in low light and dark backgrounds. Grain was present but never intrusive. The only exception could be in Chapter 4 (54:00) after the body of a worker is pulled from the oil well as they stand around the opening. The bluish night sky in the background looked excessively grainy. This lasted for only a few seconds and only if you were looking for it.
This film is not such that it would require an overly active surround mix. I do think that surround activity is important to supplement the onscreen elements to create a stable and believable atmosphere in the room during the film. This Dolby TrueHD audio mix does exactly that. It combines the right amount of discrete and ambient detail mixed at varying levels so that sounds are rarely localizable. I appreciated how the music score was handled within the mix. It uses the violin quite a bit along with various percussion pieces to deliver a deliberate and apropos addition to the film. A great example of how this was implemented is in Chapter 4 during the oil fire. Listen to rhythmic tone of the violin and accompaniment as it drives the tension within this scene. This track relies on the front three channels to deliver the bulk of its data. I felt that this was appropriate for the most part but that on occasion it could have been a bit more aggressive. Low frequency detail is present but not regularly. It definitely had better extension, and reached further into the room here than on the lossy Dolby Digital mix on the DVD. This could be felt during the oil geyser eruptions and first train sequence in the film. Dialogue reproduction was very good although not with the crystal clear sonics and texture of the better lossless audio tracks that I have heard.
The Bonus features are slightly above average and offer two trailers, 2 deleted scenes and a segment entitled ‘15 Minutes’ that looks at the film through a series of cut ins that mix in real life photographs of miners, oil men etc. from the period and similar scenes from the film that depict them. Lastly there is a B/W silent film entitled “The Story of Petroleum” that chronicles the 1920’s oil business. All of the supplements here are presented in high definition. Paramount used a very basic menu layout with this release. While I am not a fan of menus that are difficult to navigate or too layered I would like to see a bit more interactivity.
* For those who may not notice it Paramount has included a interchangeable cover sleeve with TWBB. One side has Daniel standing in front of the oil derrick and the other features a head shot (taken from one of the DVD release covers). I thought this was a nice perk and worth mentioning.*
- (HD)15 Minutes - Pics ,research, etc. from the film
- (HD)Trailers - Teaser and Theatrical
- (HD)3 Deleted Scenes
- (HD)The Story of Petroleum
I appreciated There will be blood. I didn‘t think that it was a terrific film but I thought that it told it‘s story extremely well through great acting and the use of excellent visuals. I suspect that viewers will find it to be entertaining in that regard as well. Paramount has done a terrific job with this release from a technical perspective as it looks and sounds great. My feeling is that this one is worth the cost of an upgrade from the standard DVD. Recommended.
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