- Friday,December 28,2007
There Will Be Blood is "one of the most wholly original American movies ever made," writes TIME magazine's Richard Schickel in his review of the film. He calls Daniel Day-Lewis's performance "genius (and I use that word advisedly)," and points in particular to the film's "astonishing" last scene as an example of the actor's unparalleled performance. The film's ending, Schickel writes, "contains what I—resistant as I am to superlatives—consider to be the most explosive and unforgettable 10 or 15 minutes of screen acting I have ever witnessed."Thursday,December 27,2007
"American cinema produced one flat-out masterpiece this year—Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood," says CNN's Tom Charity, who also calls the film "extraordinary" in his review of the year on screen. The writer was less charitable with some of the year's other artistic efforts, though he does compliment The Wire, proposing that most of the attempts at high-art movies in 2007 "don't measure up to the best TV series: The Wire, Deadwood, and The Sopranos, for example."Thursday,December 27,2007
The Boston Herald's James Verniere writes that the year's best movie music was Jonny Greenwood's "entire, diabolically mesmerizing score for There Will Be Blood." In a separate article, he names the "insanely brilliant" film among the year's best as well.Tuesday,December 25,2007
Of all the efforts at big-scale movie storytelling over the past several months, writes J. Hoberman in the Village Voice, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood is "the one that packs the strongest movie-movie wallop." He continues: "This is truly a work of symphonic aspirations and masterful execution. Anderson's superb filmmaking is complemented throughout by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's excellent score—at once modernist and rhapsodic, full of discordant excitements, outer-space siren trills, and the rumble of distant thunder ... There's hardly a dull moment."Tuesday,December 25,2007
MTV's Kurt Loder says that Jonny Greenwood's score for There Will Be Blood is among the "wonderful" parts of Paul Thomas Anderson's new film. Loder calls Anderson's decision to hire Greenwood an "audacious" one, and one that paid off, with the end result an outstanding work independent of the film for which it was written: "The music is an orchestral wash of beautifully harmonized melodies spiked with thoroughly modern dissonance, and while it's a jarring accompaniment for some of the imagery, it stands on its own as a series of superbly astringent compositions."Saturday,December 22,2007
New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden both rate Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood at the top of their lists of favorite films of the year. Dargis writes that it was one of the two films of 2007 that "matter most to me, that dug in the deepest and rearranged my own givens ... that shook up my world in the best possible way." And Holden compares There Will Be Blood to three classic American films, while recognizing that the director has created something entirely new as well. Anderson's film, Holden writes, "suggests a fusion of East of Eden, Giant, and Citizen Kane with the Hollywood finery ripped to shreds."Saturday,December 22,2007
"Spellbinding" says CBS Sunday Morning's film critic David Edelstein of Tim Burton's film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. "Sondheim, our greatest living theatrical composer and lyricist," Edelstein says, "has never been so deliciously served."Journal Topics: FilmReviewsTelevisionSaturday,December 22,2007
Joshua Redman's Back East is number one on New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff's list of the best CDs of 2007. Summing up the record, Ratliff writes: "Here Mr. Redman compresses his goals, leaves distractions behind and makes the most agile and personal record of his career." Back East makes fellow Times critic Nate Chinen's best-of list as well. Redman, Chinen writes, "has never sounded more at ease than he does here," and the performance by Joshua's father, late saxophonist Dewey Redman, in his last studio recording, "raises stakes as well as hairs."Thursday,December 20,2007
Tim Burton, in adapting Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd for the big screen, has done so "with a bravura visual style thrillingly in touch with the timelessly depraved delights of Grand Guignol," says the Washington Post. Burton's adaptation of Sweeney Todd will prove to be "the brilliant singing splatterfest that finally gives [Sondheim] a stab at cinematic immortality."Thursday,December 20,2007
The joining of director Tim Burton with Stephen Sondheim's songs and lyrics in the new film adaptation of Sweeney Todd is "the perfect marriage of maker and material," says the perfect-ten PopMatters review. They have come together to create "the best film of 2007. It is an outright masterpiece, a work of bravura craftsmanship by a man whose been preparing for this creative moment all his directorial life."Thursday,December 20,2007
Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood and the Sweeney Todd film soundtrack have both made the list of the Allmusic’s favorite soundtracks from 2007. "Greenwood’s tense, coiled score mirrors the eerie emotional undercurrent to the film, pulling suppressed feelings to the surface, often with an almost operatic sense of drama," says Allmusic. "This is magnificently unsettling music, whether it's used within the film or heard on its own terms—either way, it's impossible to forget after it's been heard."Thursday,December 20,2007
The Baltimore Sun calls Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd "ineluctably involving," pointing to the lead actors, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, for their ability to "bring superhuman intensity to the fallible creatures in a gory fable." The Sun gives the film an A- and credits Depp for filling Sweeney with "a spectral intensity from the outset. And when he clicks with Bonham Carter's Mrs. Lovett as a potential mate ... an aberrant electricity leaps out between them."
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