There is a reason I usually limit my online rentals to the hillybilly-cannibal/zombie genre and There Will Be Blood starring the uber-actor Daniel Day Lewis is one of those reasons. Zombies are ususally good for an hour and a half, I know what I'm getting, and unless I get suckered in by the pretty box to re-watching one of those SciFi channel retreads, I come away reasonably satisfied. Once in awhile, to get my wife to sit down and watch a movie with me, and considering the fact that her tastes are several magnitudes more refined than mine, I rent a heavily Oscar nominated effort, or worse yet, a Lite Romantic Comedy. What I was hoping for was a film that had enough pointless violence to amuse me (hey, there was blood in the title) and an emotionally engaging character study sophisticated enough to make her think I care.
What I got was an eternity of Daniel Day-Lewis as a wacked out construction worker, endlessly chewing the bleakest scenery in western North America. OK, I get it. He has inner demons. An all consuming ambition. He's not a people person. I just wish he wouldn't take all day letting the demons out. What did he do to prepare for this one? Wear wool trousers 24/7 and shave with a shovel? Somewhere around 3 or 4 hours into this expedition, where the high point was a guy getting conked on the head (to be fair, it was a fatal conk) with various pieces of industrial equipment, she turned to me and said (direct quote time):
"Well, I'm certainly learning a lot about oil drilling."
Uh oh. About 5 hours in I looked over and she was asleep. By this time I had too much invested to back out, although the fingernails on the chalkboard score had me wishing I was deaf like the poor kid who was caught in the gusher blast. She woke up about 6 1/2 hours in, fell back asleep about 8 hours in and woke up about 10 hours in for the exciting 4 hour conclusion. (Direct quote time):
"The great thing about this film is that everytime I woke up I didn't feel like I missed anything."
So my advice is if you are really interested in oil drilling you can catch up in a half an hour on the Discovery Channel and, if brutal naked ambition is your thing, watch Survivor.