Geeky Cinephile Musings…
I don't pontificate, I blather.

I’m going to show some restraint.

In honor of PT Anderson, I must say fuck every other fucking word.  Apologies in advance and fuck you and your priggishness.


Written By: PT Anderson (Screenplay) / Thomas Pynchon (Book)

Directed By: PT Anderson

Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Joanna Newsome, Katherine Waterston, Hong Chau, Benecio Del Toro, Reese Witherspoon

First Impression: YES!! The new PT Anderson film is actually playing in Durham!! Now, I’ve heard it’s a bit inaccessible and has a meandering plot…at two and a half hours…is this gonna be tedious in anywayohfuckitit’sthenewPTAnderson!!!

Final Impression:

What has two fucking thumbs and fucking LOVES THIS FILM?!?!?

This film geek right here.

In the words of the immortal Kate Bush…Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, UNBELIEVABLE!!! I am SO glad directors like PT Anderson exist.  You may have already read my mini-review about The Imitation Game and how my overall feeling is that it is a solid film—excellent in all ways, but safe as houses and therefore has zero fucking balls? Well, this is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered.  Leave it to Anderson to not just shoot the film on 35mm, throw in a star-studded cast and great costumes, and rest on his laurels.  This man is a fucking WORKHORSE.  He always gives 3000%, and Inherent Vice is no fucking exception.  The script is razor sharp, the cast is SOO on point (Phoenix I’ll get to in a second), the cinematography is intimate and hand-held (completely unlike anything the king of wide shots has done in the past), the whole tone of the film is arrestingly-golden-1970’s-Venice-getting-slowly-invaded-by-fog, and to top it off, he somehow manages to achieve JUST the right balance of light and dark.  For the most part I’d call this a comedy (it is, after all, fucking HILARIOUS), but there are some exceedingly dark moments, and the timing is always such that just when things are getting really black, a puff of levity returns.

Puff? Get it?!? Ho ho!

Yeah, yeah, don’t quit my day job, right?

But let’s keep going, because quite frankly I’m in the mood to gush.

I will assert, right here, right now, that Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in this film deserves the Oscar over every other male actor I’ve seen thus far, with the possible exception of Keaton in Birdman—that would be a tough one to call.  It’s just so refreshing to see him play someone so guileless and unguarded—normally he’s a ball of tense, nervous, seething, mumbling angst.  This is a Phoenix that is downright charming.  As an actor, I am declaring that the work he does in this film is far more difficult than what Redmayne does in TTOE as Hawking, because—let’s face it, folks—physical morphings impress the average moviegoer more than character development.  Indeed, it sometimes takes the place of character development.  It’s obvious, and being non-actors, they cannot see the work that goes into a flawless, grounded, immersed performance.  Fuck, that’s why it’s great acting—you can’t SEE it! But as an actor, I’m pulling the trick hat open, pulling the fucking bunny out, and saying that physicality is a crutch sometimes.  I am not saying Redmayne is a one-trick pony by any means in his portrayal of Hawking, but I AM saying that his performance does not hold a candle emotionally to Phoenix’s, and the latter’s choices are so remarkably unexpected…and sadly, he will more than likely be rather brushed over this awards season, as he was for The Master…and Walk the Line…but I digress.

No, on second thought, I cannot keep this up—this “mini review” is turning into one of my regular blogs—but I’ll leave you with a few more bits that I enjoyed, as well as one negative note (Yes! I actually have a criticism of this film! Shocker!).


Any scene involving Brolin and a frozen banana

Heck, any scene involving Brolin, period

Hong Chau’s character, Jade, and the various Pussy Special offerings

Benecio del Toro…but that’s true of any film he’s in, isn’t it?

Martin Short Martin Short Martin Short pulling his pants down oh my god

“But..officer…this is a Mercedes.  It’s only one color!”

SLIGHT SPOILER NEXT! Skip to the “Overall” section if you’re freaky about that sort of thing.

The only weak point for me (and this is minimal, trust me) is the nude scene with Shasta (Waterston) and Doc (Phoenix).  Her monologue takes WAY too fucking long for what she’s trying to accomplish.  This scene is crucial because, to me,  it’s an example of the loss of the innocence of the hippie culture to the darkness of capitalism and control, so I am in no way saying cut it completely, but really—she’s talking at the speed of frigid molasses, and her entire speech could have been cut down by about 3 minutes, and she still would be able to goad him into essentially raping her.

Overall: C’mon, this isn’t brain surgery.  I think you know by now what I think.  Here’s a fun fact though—two sets of couples walked out on this film.  One of them was sitting next to me.  The girl was fucking MISERABLE the entire time she was sitting there, and she was constantly checking her phone (love that glow in the darkness!), while her date was laughing his head off.  Eventually she must have kicked him in the balls hard enough, because they left with only thirty minutes to spare.

I will be seeing it multiple times.

God bless fucking America.


Other mini reviews are linked above, except for this one:

The Judge

2 Responses to “I’m going to show some restraint.”

  1. […] I cannot believe that The Theory of Everything was nominated for Best Picture, but not Inherent Vice. […]

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