'Ashes of Time'

Paul Thomas Anderson's epic "There Will Be Blood" inevitably loses some impact on the small screen.

Although fans can now scrutinize and savor Daniel Day-Lewis’ every Oscar-winning tic, curse and violent outburst as a turn-of-the-century oilman in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” this epic inevitably loses some impact on the small screen. And, while handsomely packaged, Paramount’s two-disc special edition comes up dry.

The film itself received an excellent widescreen transfer, allowing viewers to re-appreciate Robert Elswit’s Oscar-winning cinematography. And Jonny Greenwood’s eerie score will give even a basic home theater system a real workout.

However, as with most Anderson films on DVD, “Blood” eschews typical bonus features. Instead, there’s a smattering of extras that are interesting but hardly illuminating. A director’s commentary is sorely missed and little time is spent chronicling Day-Lewis’ famously obsessive on-set behavior. There is one brief exception, “Dailies Gone Wild,” which highlights a particularly intense take that ends with Day-Lewis and child actor Dillon Freasier sharing a spirited laugh. After two-and-a-half hours of snarling intensity, it’s amusing to see Day-Lewis/Daniel Plainview crack a very human smile.

Two lengthy deleted scenes that focus on Plainview add little to the storyline and characterizations. Unfortunately, there is no extra footage of Paul Dano’s stellar supporting turn.

Disc Two’s centerpiece is the 1923 documentary short, “The Story of Petroleum,” which details the process of oil drilling in that era. While fascinating to watch once, it’s unlikely to inspire repeat viewings.

The second disc also trumpets the film’s admirable devotion to period realism with a collection of stills and 1920s film footage juxtaposed with shots from the film. However, the DVD declines to open the curtain on Anderson’s filmmaking process.

Other notable DVD releases for the week of April 8:

There Will Be Blood: Two-Disc Collector's Edition

Released April 8. $34.99

Production

Paramount Home Entertainment.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0