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View Full Version : Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)



Henry Gale
12-14-2014, 04:07 AM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ePEIzc00EQI/VGojl8XaaiI/AAAAAAAAAoc/-oThRb3AkhE/s1600/Inherent%2BVice%2BBanner.jpg

Ah screw it, I can't just post one:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bkzZXF8B7tU/VCn8KxZQyFI/AAAAAAAAAmM/EFNT57Qq4p0/s1600/IV%2BPOSTER%2BHORIZONTAL.png

............... Or two:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OWI1iFLNLm4/VHYldBoeZyI/AAAAAAAAApQ/aR9a7MmbHAo/s1600/IV%2Bnew%2Bbanner.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5vhZQ8HNyPU/VIzWX28dN1I/AAAAAAAAoNI/CTQYW5z2ADs/s1600/inherent_vice_ver4.jpg

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1791528/) / Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherent_Vice_%28film%29)

Henry Gale
12-14-2014, 04:20 AM
Fucking fantastic. Damn.

The fact that, of all of his films, this seems to be the one that might be Anderson's most critically divisive out of the gate is kind of staggering to me. But whatever happened along the way to bump my expectations and enthusiasm a little lower than I would've liked still in its own way managed to do wonders for me once the film actually started before me and the first sequence unfolded as awesomely as it did. I even love most of if not all of his work, but never without my reservations here and there, so it was an even greater surprise that to my eyes and mind this played basically note-perfect throughout. Just mesmerizingly good at times.

I guess you either vibe with it or you don't, find some of it unbelievably hysterical or hysterically unbelievable (or whatever, I don't want to know what you think, person who hates this), but all I know is whatever it is, it was absolutely for me. I will watch it again and again and likely fall a little bit more for it every time. Initiate soundtrack to have it play all over again in my head!

**** / 9.3

eternity
12-14-2014, 09:49 PM
Really funny flick - I don't see how it's in any way divisive yet people I talk to seem to have genuinely hated it. It's a detective movie if the detective is on drugs the whole time and doesn't really understand what's going on around him. Basically The Long Goodbye for the aughts. It overstays its welcome and I can't imagine that it would lose anything from trimming 15 minutes or so, but it's not as hard to understand as people have made it out to be. It's weird, but in a palatable way. It's American Hustle for people who hated American Hustle.

Pop Trash
12-14-2014, 11:10 PM
It's American Hustle for people who hated American Hustle.

haha I didn't hate American Hustle but I'm still perplexed by the love that movie got. I still meet people irl that thought it was great.

Mysterious Dude
12-15-2014, 03:53 AM
I'm going to spend the whole movie looking for Thomas Pynchon's cameo.

Weems
12-15-2014, 03:12 PM
Having really enjoyed the book, I didn't like this, and it's cemented for me that PTA is on track to become perhaps the biggest waste of directorial talent ever. It's just another indifferent viewing experience, however stylish at times. The structure and rhythms, storytelling coherence and intensity - all way off.

Pop Trash
12-15-2014, 06:34 PM
Having really enjoyed the book, I didn't like this, and it's cemented for me that PTA is on track to become perhaps the biggest waste of directorial talent ever. It's just another indifferent viewing experience, however stylish at times. The structure and rhythms, storytelling coherence and intensity - all way off.

What does that even mean? If he's a talented director how is he wasted as a talented director?

Henry Gale
12-15-2014, 07:00 PM
What does that even mean? If he's a talented director how is he wasted as a talented director?

I'm guessing wasted potential of the sorts of stories some would rather have him doing.

But if anyone over time still considers this minor Anderson, then I think that speaks to how truly great a career he really is building for himself.

Weems
12-15-2014, 07:02 PM
What does that even mean? If he's a talented director how is he wasted as a talented director?

Because lately it's not being applied to creating great films, in my opinion. Like in tennis, Marcelo Rios was a great talent as far as his technique, peak playing ability, and so forth, but didn't accomplish enough in the major tournaments, just like I find PTA enormously gifted and knowledgeable at the craft of filmmaking, but hampered by a frequent failure to translate that into a satisfying artistic artifact. Or like how Updike could craft a beautiful sentence as easy as breathing, but I find all of his novels too minor and negligible compared to something like Sabbath's Theater or Blood Meridian.

Gittes
01-06-2015, 11:38 PM
Just wanted to pop in quickly and say that this film is magic. I wanted to dive right back in as soon as it was over. Lovely.

"The visualized marijuana fumes are too insistent to be decoration or comic relief; they’re the very medium through which we see what is going on, an implied shared high by which we participate in Doc’s dream and in the midst of which we too wake up."

That quote is from Geoffrey O'Brien's great piece (http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/jan/03/pynchon-blue-shadow-inherent-vice/) on the movie.

number8
01-07-2015, 03:47 PM
The Long Goodbye indeed.

I don't think the plot is that hard to understand as some people claim, especially since there's recap and exposition every 20 minutes or so, but it's clearly deliberately obfuscating itself to achieve that meandering paranoid haze that reflects Doc's journey.

Mainly I felt redundant for getting high before seeing the movie.

number8
01-07-2015, 03:49 PM
Also, wow, did they color-correct and de-grain the shit out of the trailers, or what? There've been so many movies in the past decade trying to approximate 1970s cinema, and I think this might be the most on point one.

Stay Puft
01-08-2015, 11:37 PM
The Varsity was showing this in 70mm, which was pretty cool. Turns out none of it was actually shot on 70mm, though, unlike The Master, which is too bad.

A lot of fun, though. But, like The Master, I left impressed with the film on a technical level (and, once again, with the soundtrack... oh my god, it was brilliant), but ultimately felt it was overlong and the content didn't resonate with me. I guess I sort of agree with Weems on that, but it's still stylish and funny and enjoyable enough.

Pop Trash
01-10-2015, 06:34 AM
I think I enjoyed this but man, Phoenix's mumbling + Anderson/Pynchon's dense dialogue is sure hard as hell to understand. It reminded me of the problems I had with McConaughey + Nolan's exposition in Interstellar. I can't help but wonder if Downey Jr. would have been a better fit.

I'm really gonna have to see this again to fully judge it. Having not read the book, I can't tell if the disjointed (no pun intended) qualities stem from Anderson or Pynchon. Occasionally I found myself not really giving a shit about what was going on up on screen.

There were a lot of walkouts in my theater, which I completely predicted, however I do live in the East Bay which has a high tolerance for drugs and weirdness (not to mention plots about shady California developers). If Berkeley can't handle this, I'm not sure the rest of the country will either.

Ivan Drago
01-10-2015, 08:03 PM
Seeing this tonight. I'm so excited and incredibly nervous all at once.

Mal
01-11-2015, 04:10 AM
Well it sure is a trip. And I almost laughed out hysterically when Benicio Del Toro showed up. Three hour tour.
I definitely agree about this being as good and close as it gets to mimicing 70s cinema. As much as I wasn't totally in love with the film, it still had me in its hands the entire way and I was willing to go down whatever path it took me. I love Phoenix in this film as well.

Pop Trash
01-11-2015, 05:00 AM
Having really enjoyed the book, I didn't like this, and it's cemented for me that PTA is on track to become perhaps the biggest waste of directorial talent ever. It's just another indifferent viewing experience, however stylish at times. The structure and rhythms, storytelling coherence and intensity - all way off.

uh...you realize you gave it five stars right?

Weems
01-11-2015, 02:58 PM
uh...you realize you gave it five stars right?

Weird. I must have accidentally hit a button.

TGM
01-12-2015, 05:14 PM
This was just so weird, and so bizarre, and I loved every single minute of it. And god damn, Josh Brolin is just a genius of an actor. Brilliant comedy on display here, just absolutely brilliant. I totally got Big Lebowski vibes watching this, and even if it's not necessarily being the best well received today, I can definitely see it going on to become quite a cult classic some years down the line.

Ivan Drago
01-13-2015, 05:16 AM
This was just so weird, and so bizarre, and I loved every single minute of it. And god damn, Josh Brolin is just a genius of an actor. Brilliant comedy on display here, just absolutely brilliant. I totally got Big Lebowski vibes watching this, and even if it's not necessarily being the best well received today, I can definitely see it going on to become quite a cult classic some years down the line.

Agreed.

It's PTA's weakest film for its incoherent story, but his visual style, humor and the acting make it really fun to watch.

Spinal
01-16-2015, 02:49 AM
Never thought I'd say this about a P.T. Anderson movie, but I thought this was straight-up bad. It felt like it was about 4 hours long. The humor didn't land for me. The plot was thoroughly uninvolving. I have no idea what was attractive about this source material.

ledfloyd
01-16-2015, 01:13 PM
I feel like "incoherent story" is kind of a strange criticism for a Pynchon adaptation. Has the guy ever written anything remotely coherent?

Pop Trash
01-16-2015, 09:45 PM
I feel like "incoherent story" is kind of a strange criticism for a Pynchon adaptation. Has the guy ever written anything remotely coherent?

I'm kind of with Mike D'Angelo about these things though. Books and movies work in different ways and these recent po-mo lit adaptations as of late (Cosmopolis, Cloud Atlas, Inherent Vice...hell even On the Road) just haven't translated well to the screen. The beauty in these books is in the language and too often the filmmakers are way too faithful in getting that language on screen either in dialogue or over use of v/o, and it seems clumsy. Once again, this reminds me of why The Shining is one of the best page-to-screen adaptations despite what Stephen King thinks.

ledfloyd
01-16-2015, 10:41 PM
True. Shining is a great adaptation. I actually loved Cosmopolis though.

dreamdead
01-19-2015, 03:06 PM
This one has moments of mad-bonkers brilliance, mostly located in the first third, when the film is most overtly concerned with slapstick. We saw it on Saturday, though, and whole scenes are rapidly fading from view, so I'm worried that it's one of Anderson's most ephemeral films. Some of that is partly by design, but the film, while capturing the mood of the 70s, seems a little too slight.

I found Witherspoon, Brolin, and Hong Chau to be the MVPs, delivering their scenes with intensity and commitment. I especially liked how Chau got to be self-aware of her "Oriental" enigma and morphed in her intentions throughout the film. Phoenix is affable and charming, and Waterston's big scene (which articulated why a bigger name actress wasn't this role) is striking in how she draws out Phoenix's rage; it's an awkward moment for an audience, but feels utterly natural and character-specific.

The rest of the film, though. I don't know. I didn't bond with The Master that much, but it's grown in esteem during reflection. This one seems very much like a transition film to another big project. Sometimes those projects, like Wong's Chungking Express, end up giving birth to their own legacy but I have a harder time seeing it here.

Pop Trash
01-19-2015, 10:15 PM
The rest of the film, though. I don't know. I didn't bond with The Master that much, but it's grown in esteem during reflection. This one seems very much like a transition film to another big project. Sometimes those projects, like Wong's Chungking Express, end up giving birth to their own legacy but I have a harder time seeing it here.

My problem is that PTA was promoting this like his 'fun' film and comparing it to Airplane! and Top Secret!, but I thought it was strangely more of a slog during the second half than The Master or There Will Be Blood. I've accepted the fact that he will never make a film as purely enjoyable for me as Boogie Nights.

Dukefrukem
01-28-2015, 12:52 AM
I think MC knows I am not a PTA fan, but this was great- my favorite since Boogie. I laughed out loud multiple times. Comparisons have already been made, it's The Big Lebowski meets The Long Goodbye. Phoenix dominated this- how was he not nominated?? Throw Cooper out, add Phoenix, throw Redmayne out, add Gyllenhaal. My favorite role for him as far back as I can remember.

number8
02-05-2015, 06:26 PM
Weird article: http://www.theguardian.com/film/shortcuts/2015/feb/03/inherent-vice-walk-outs-paul-thomas-anderson-movie

Ezee E
02-15-2015, 12:28 AM
The sum of everything that's great in this movie (Phoenix, superb techniques, pure 70s art direction and costumes) don't make up for what is one of the most sluggish movies of the year. Besides some of the stuff in the bordello, there really isn't anything that got me to laugh here. I can't say I was ever interested in what was going on.

This might be the first movie in a long time to completely underwhelm my heavy expectations.

PTA has not captured magic since There Will Be Blood.

ciaoelor
02-15-2015, 03:10 AM
PTA has not captured magic since Punch-Drunk Love. (at least in terms of visuals)

Raiders
02-15-2015, 03:21 AM
(at least in terms of visuals)

Waaaaah...? I'll take the visuals in his latest films over the self-conscious indulgence of that one.

Ivan Drago
02-15-2015, 04:45 AM
The polarizing reactions to this from my friends, and the low ratings I'm seeing for it on here are like a stab to the heart.

I understand why you guys didn't like it, don't get me wrong. It has flaws, and is PTA's weakest film. But as a huge PTA fan, I can't help but worry if he's on the decline in his career.

transmogrifier
02-21-2015, 02:34 PM
66/100


Weirdly both dense and inconsequential; the plot keeps Doc tumbling around and creating some impressive comic mileage that sustains the film even as you are forced to pay attention to keep up with the "Why?" Once you realize there is no real why, you can relax and enjoy Phoenix's performance. Without him (and Brolin; the rest of the cast are basically glorified cameos), the whole thing could have collapsed in on itself.

Gittes
04-04-2015, 03:01 PM
I originally provided these thoughts on another forum, but I figured I might as well repost them here. Just some scattered impressions and bits of praise following my viewings of the film earlier this year:


Marvellous! I'm so excited to see it again. This movie is just spilling over with the most delightful and lovely details. I've been recalling various moments, and laughing, ever since I saw it.

My thoughts are nowhere near organized, but for starters, I love Joaquin Phoenix here: effortlessly suave, competent, formidable, and yet also totally spacey and seemingly obtuse. The way he saunters into certain scenes (meeting Sloane Wolfmann, for instance) is just super hilarious and really endearing. It's great to have someone like Phoenix at the centre of this movie, and I think his comedic sensibilities really shine here.

Every encounter feels like an exciting, absorbing, standalone attraction that leaves you wanting more from a particular character or moment. I love Jena Malone's scene, for instance. There's something totally enrapturing about her presence in this movie; the dialogue, the expressions she makes, etc. There's just something compelling and compulsively watchable about her. The way she flashes those bright, enormous teeth? That's like a small but potent dollop of off kilter energy being dropped into a cinematic soup already brimming with so much delirium and fascination.

Sublime, ecstatic, makes-you-want-to-weep-because-they're-so-good moments? So many. When things start taking off in Dr. Blatnoyd's office and Denis walks in with that steering wheel...oh, man.

Anyway, I'll arbitrarily cut my rambling short.

What an enormous pleasure to start the New Year off with a new PTA film.

_____________________________

I saw this for the second time today. A pretty packed theatre for this Friday afternoon screening. The crowd was really receptive to the humour. Doc/Joaquin drew so many laughs. Bigfoot and Doc's last scene probably elicited the most laughter...there was someone in the audience who was in hysterics over that moment (understandably so; it's superb, and Brolin and Phoenix are so funny there). My first viewing earlier this week was around noon, and it was a more sparsely occupied theatre; that crowd was also fairly receptive to the humour, but the positive reactions were definitely more pronounced today. It was great to be there amidst a crowd that seemed to be on the same wavelength as the film and totally enjoying the ride, etc. Very fun.

This movie is really such a remarkable, dense package. It's teeming with all manner of frivolity and strangeness, but it also sustains this tremendous sense of nostalgia and melancholy via matters both personal and cultural. I hope I can make it out to the theatre for a third viewing soon, as I'm pretty smitten.

I feel like I could pick any given moment and really start gushing about it. As mentioned in that Vice interview that was posted yesterday, it feels like you're being given privileged access to an array of clandestine conversations of varying flavours and intensities. It's so great. For instance, that conversation between Doc and Coy in the house in Topanga Canyon is probably one of the most spellbinding and incredible passages that PTA has ever registered to film. Every element is perfectly calibrated. That scene really stood out to me today...I was in awe.

Another stray observation: Brolin is a master of physical comedy in the scene where Bigfoot's wife chews out Doc over the phone.

Also: Jade's "PS -- Beware the Golden Fang!" line is spectacular, as is the transition it prompts from the letter to that pier that's absolutely shrouded in fog. Great line delivery by Hong Chau, who is such a lovely presence in this film. I love her "Spotted Dick" ramble, too, and when she asks Doc if she can get a ride home with him, etc.

One more: that bit where Clancy Charlock has her great line about regret, and then Doc ambles back into his office, Minnie Riperton's "Les Fleur" starts playing, Doc starts cleaning up, etc.? Magic.

Gittes
04-04-2015, 03:17 PM
(at least in terms of visuals)

I just want to back you up in your praise of one of the most sublime movies ever made, even though I disagree with your main point (PTA's output remains a consistent fount of magic, visual and otherwise). PDL is superior to IV but both are enchanting, sui generis pieces of filmmaking.

Grouchy
04-18-2015, 10:45 PM
I didn't realize I hadn't said anything about this strange little film.

I am not even sure if I liked it or not. I stopped caring about the plot very early on, and although that's not altogether unusual for a convoluted noir, I also stopped caring about the characters and eventually asked myself why I was even watching it. Then there came a genuinely brilliant scene like the spanking one and it sort of justified the absurd running time. I would never commit to watching it again, but I can't say it's bad. Just a movie that defies criticism - how can you blame it for being as weird as it obviously wants to be?

DavidSeven
09-01-2015, 07:10 PM
Arguably Anderson's most georgously mounted film but easily his most painfully dull. There's great texture here. I wish, however, my praise could extend beyond the film's formal elements. Visually intriguing as it is, there's a sinking feeling here that Anderson is becoming further removed from being the "total package" director who once knew how to meld form, substance and entertainment. This story becomes increasingly uninvolving as the novelty of the film's vibe wears off, and the plot inspires the most emphatic "who cares?" of Anderson's entire career. At least The Master, heavily flawed as it was, still resonated to some degree. I guess the question now is if Anderson has slipped fully into a post-Rumble Fish Coppola phase, or if he still has a Coen-like resurgence left in him allowing him to recapture the magic behind his Boogie Nights-to-TWBB work.

Peng
05-31-2020, 02:55 PM
Slight score upgrade on rewatch from 6/10, after having read (and loved) the book in between, but mostly from just comprehending the story better rather than appreciating the film more on its own. On a scene-by-scene basis, PTA adapts this pretty faithfully with such visual panache that it at least is always a mild surface pleasure, but he doesn't conceive those scenes to string together as a cinematic whole; it feels like a masterful translation rather than a masterful film, thus losing a lot of Pynchon's digressive charm that's inherent to his writing because there's no ambition to have a visual/cinematic equivalence of that onscreen (and also why it leaves me and many others so nonplussed with the story on first watch).

And for a faithful adaptation that lifts book lines whole into voiceovers, PTA botches the last scene -- I don't mind the addition of another person, but Pynchon's deep-rooted, haunting melancholy there results from both the scene's internal thought and changing landscapes, and it's a baffling choice to have just close-up of actors doing the work without Joanna Newsom's voiceover for once, which doesn't feel enough. He does nail the two absolutely lovely, crucial passages from the book though, which pluck some emotional throughline late in the film: a postcard prompting a flashback to that lost day with the Ouija board, and the tail end of Owen Wilson's storyline. 7/10