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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray]




(Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)


Review by Gary Tooze






Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:38:25.746

Disc Size: 48,606,797,725 bytes

Feature Size: 40,161,970,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.07 Mbps / VC-1 Video / 1080p / 23.976 fps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release Date: June 3rd, 2008

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3210 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3210 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dBh

English SDH, English, French, Spanish, none

• The Story Of Petroleum (25:37) - 4:3 in HD
• '15 minutes' Slideshow (15:33) in HD

• Two deleted scenes, Fishing (6:13) and Haircut/Interrupted Hymn (3:13)
• Dailies Gone Wild (Outtake) (2:46)

Blu-ray Trailers




The Film:

From its opening scene, There Will Be Blood announces itself as an heir to 2001: A Space Odyssey. With a soundtrack shriek that’s pure Kubrick, the camera fades up on an untamed landscape, where lone prospector Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis) chips away in a hole. He’s driven by the equivalent of 2001’s monolith—in this case, oil: the substance that will inform everything he does, and that will make him wealthy to a point where wealth becomes his only interest.

Black gold eventually pours from the ground, of course, and when it does, a fellow prospector’s child is immediately baptized with it; Anderson spatters the lens with oil, too, initiating us into Plainview’s faith. Blood may tip its hat to John Ford and notions of collective ambition, but at bottom it’s a story of individual obsession—and may inspire a similar obsession in viewers. This is the most original and compelling Western in a year of Westerns: so new, so bleached of conventional beauty and so alienating (thanks in part to a nerve-jangling score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood) that it might as well be set on Mars.

The movie alludes to Days of Heaven, Giant, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Citizen Kane, but it’s every inch a P.T. Anderson film. Blood is not a departure from his style (as some have suggested) but a refinement, seizing on the notions of family and commerce that ran through Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999) and reworking them on a different plane. Anderson pares down Upton Sinclair’s 1926 muckraking novel Oil! to an archetypal, even operatic tale of greed and competition, culminating in an ending that’s as much a shock to the system as the frogs in

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE


Paul Thomas Anderson has been striving to make a masterpiece ever since he first exploded onto the American movie scene 10 years ago with his insanely ambitious second feature, Boogie Nights. Replete with showy camera moves and performance tics (borrowed from Scorsese and Altman, respectively), this ostensible portrait of the ’70s porn industry, while wildly entertaining, was in essence little more than a nonstop series of attention-grabbing set pieces. His hyperactive follow-up, Magnolia, gathered even more terrific actors and set off emotional crises at an even more frantic and furious pace. Even Punch-Drunk Love, the goofy romantic comedy he made with Adam Sandler, fairly pulsed with PTA’s unmistakable need to assault the viewer with evidence of his genius. “I get a bit giddy,” I wrote some years ago, “imagining what Anderson might accomplish one day if/when he finally calms the f--k down.” It’s a pleasure to report that the wait is over. His latest effort, the magnificent oil-baron epic There Will Be Blood, firmly and thrillingly demonstrates what switching to cinematic decaf can do.

Excerpt from Mike D'Angelo at the Las Vegas Weekly located HERE




Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.


I suppose the big question is "Does it look that much better?" compared to the SD edition (Reviewed HERE) which almost set a new standard for SD image quality. I suppose 'that much' is going to boil down to a personal preference but it does look far better in 1080P resolution, IMO. This is apparent in all the expected areas - colors, contrast and detail. Black levels can be quite deep and rich. The image does look quite brilliant at times and you may find yourself occasionally swooning at the grandeur of the 'scapes' that are very painterly. Kudos to Robert Elswit's cinematography. There is still some minor noise in monochromatic blackness - of which there is a fair amount in the film and it does lean slightly towards 'blue'. But to get back to the point of whether it is worth a double-dip - I'd might have said 'it depends on your system', but I personally was blown away - more so after each viewing so I am biased. I'm guessing I've seen it 1/2 dozen times since my first review. It just gets better and better each time. It's a film you can't seem to look away from and that can be exemplified due to the greatly improved resolution factor on the Blu-ray. No disappointments here - this looks quite magnificent in all visual categories.    




















Audio & Music: The TrueHD audio option was even more pronounced than the crisp 5.1 channel of the SD. There are some dramatic separations and I jumped a few times with oil gushers exploding from the rear speakers. The soundtrack, including "Pärt: Fratres for Cello and Piano" and Brahms' "Violin Concerto" was beautifully clean and tight. Radiohead's music impressed Anderson enough that he requested guitarist Jonny Greenwood's compose the score for There Will Be Blood. Greenwood later said to Entertainment Weekly: "I think it was about not necessarily just making period music, which very traditionally you would do. But because they were traditional orchestral sounds, I suppose that's what we hoped was a little unsettling, even though you know all the sounds you're hearing are coming from very old technology. You can just do things with the classical orchestra that do unsettle you, that are sort of slightly wrong, that have some kind of undercurrent that's slightly sinister". Fabulous. The dialogue is supported by subtitles available in English, English (SDH), French or Spanish in a white font with a black border. Like all Paramount discs this is region FREE Blu-ray.




Extras: Duplicated from the SD, but now in HD! - The Story Of Petroleum is a vintage featurette (1923-7) created by the U.S. Bureau of Mines in collaboration with the Sinclair Oil Company as a promotional film. It runs almost 30 minutes and is, admittedly, very interesting for background of There Will Be Blood - putting its historical significance in a more direct context. There is a 15 minute slideshow (aptly entitled '15 Minutes' and also in HD) with very old mining/prospecting/oil-boom photos interspersed with some newer ones from the film. The deleted scenes and Outtakes (found on the SD) are also here under 'Extras'. 




Bottom line: If you were as enamored with the film as I have grown to be - then this is an easy decision and I must say that I'm grateful to have it in my possession looking this strong. It's an amazing piece of cinema to revisit. Most friends were pretty over-the-moon about the film - especially Day-Lewis' intense performance. This film doesn't seem to let go of you and many Blu-ray libraries won't be complete without it. For those that indulge - there will be no disappointment. This is a must-own.

Gary Tooze
June 3rd, 2008

Re-capped May, 2014




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About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze