(aka 'Just Desserts' or 'Punchdrunk Knuckle Love' or 'Untitled P.T. Anderson Project' or 'The X-4 Project')

directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

USA 2002

During the press conference in Cannes after the screening of "Magnolia", Paul Thomas Anderson was asked, what his next project would be. The answer: "I'm gonna make a 80 minute comedy with Adam Sandler". Everyone laughed, but once he actually did, he had the last laugh.

To Paul Thomas Anderson, it was impossible to follow up on "Magnolia". It was the most complex narrative he ever had written and in structure an advancement to both "Boogie Nights" and "Hard Eight". He felt trapped, he felt that he had reached a dead end, he felt stereotyped by the press as "the boy wonder who makes complex collective narratives". So in order to get away from the stereotype, to get some artistic creativity and freedom, Paul Thomas Anderson destroyed the path he was walking and made himself a new one with the help of friend Adam Sandler. Adam and Paul were close friends and had for some time been discussing a project together. Especially Adam Sandler would like to do serious acting and the timing was perfect for Paul Thomas Anderson.

Where the three former films all had fancy montages, he devised the mise-en-scene with cinematographer Robert Elswit to be deep compositions, attacking the integrity of the frame and the conventions of space. Using a special stock that is very sensitive to light, Elswit shot most of the film underexposed to give shadows more room to play. The cinematography and special composition in "Punch Drunk Love" is nothing less than stunning: And possible some of the most original and best cinematography to come out of Hollywood in years (Look at the grabs to view how Elswit and Anderson composed in space). It is also the first film by Paul Thomas Anderson, where he actively uses colors as here: Especially Blue and Red are worth a close examination.

The story is deceptive simple. Barry is sociophob and suffers from a few other emotional disorders as well, which he tries to keep at bay, when not being harassed by his seven sisters. One day he meets Lena and he falls in love. Now he just has to accept the emotion and win Lena's heart.

Once again, Paul Thomas Anderson demonstrates what great director he is. Alone that he manages to keep Sandler under control should say it all, but it is far more interesting to look at how wonderful he makes Emily Watson appear. Also the sequences where he uses overlapping dialogue are so free and natural. He was rightfully awarded for his efforts in Cannes, where he received the "Best Director" award.
out of

Henrik Sylow


Theatrical Release: 19 May 2002 (Cannes Film Festival) (premiere)

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DVD Review: Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC

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Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:35:03

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.58 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes



Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital English, 6.1 DTS English, 5.1 Dolby Digital French
Subtitles English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• 12 page art booklet
• 3 Theatrical trailers
• Deleted scenes
• Mattress Man commercial
• 12 Scopitones
• Additional artwork by Jeremy Blake

DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
Custom Case (2 Disc)

Chapters 22


Comments While the Superbit DVD as always is perfect in sound and vision, especially the DTS track is nothing less than amazing, this DVD is simply to weak. As a 2 Disc SE, one would expect more than 3 trailers, a 14 minute featurette and a few deleted scenes to fill out an entire DVD. Where we have grown accustomed to warm and intelligent audio commentaries from PTA, we get nothing here.

Get the single Disc edition, which is the exact same as Disc 1 and save $10, unless you want everything this Superbit DVD has to offer.

 - Henrik Sylow


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Region 1 - NTSC



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