Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

punch drunk love adam sandler

punch drunk love posterSpoiler free

“Punch-Drunk Love” Is a film by Paul Thomas Anderson. PTA is the man behind other films like “Boogie Nights” and “There Will Be Blood”. His films are very distinctive of his style and are always very original and story driven. Let me see if this makes sense; His stories have more story than the average story. what I mean is that, his movies tend to lack set pieces and anything that is not completely crucial to the story. There is no filler in PTA’s films even though they do sometimes have a slow pace.

“Punch-Drunk Love” stars Adam Sandler which may seem weird at first since this is a very serious film. There are some comedic moments, but this is far from the comedy films that Sandler is known. I have to say that I was very impressed by Sandler’s performance. Many comedic actors venture into drama and fail miserably. Whats worse is when they come back to comedy, but somehow lost the ability to be funny *cough* Jim Carrey *cough*. PTA is one of the those directors like Quentin Tarantino that really knows how to bring out the best performances in his actors. Adam Sandler gives a great performance as Barry Egan, a very complex and interesting character.

punch drunk love piano

Costarring we have Emily Watson who does a sufficient job, but is nothing very noteworthy. The other Co-star I feel the need to mention is Philip Seymour Hoffman who actually has a very small role in the scheme of things. Him and the parent teacher association have worked together on most of his other films, from “Hard Eight” to PTA’s most recent film “The Master” (Which I have yet to be able to see, but hope to very soon.) Philip Seymour Hoffman has somewhat of a small role, but he has a key role in the story. It seemed to me like he was doing a Jack Black philip seymour hoffmanimpression. I’m sure he wasn’t, but it was an amusing thought.

The music is great. The soundtrack consists of some very weird songs, that seem to be little more than compilations of sounds. It’s strange that it works so well, but it really does work perfectly in the scenes that it’s in.

Cinematography in “Punch-Drunk Love” is absolutely beautiful. Each shot in the movie is carefully crafted, the camera movement all has meaning and adds to the scene it’s in, and the lighting is wonderful. The Parent Teacher Association knows how to visually decorate a film. He is a true master of film technique and convention. His films feel like complete experiences. Emotional journeys that have a true purpose.

The story in “Punch-Drunk Love” is great. Very strange, but great. It’s all over the place and it leaves some things unanswered, but it’s really special. Stories are not often as high caliber as they are in “Punch-Drunk Love”

“Punch-Drunk Love” looks sleaker, has a better story, and has better acting than most films. Definitely go out of your way to watch this film. It’s a deep engrossing cinematic experience.

SNOB Film Festival Reviews ~ by Sam

On September 16th and 17th I volunteered at the Somewhat North of Boston (SNOB) Film Festival. This event is in its 10th year, running four days and screening 60 independent films from around the world. I spent most of my time working and watching movies at the Red River Theatre in Concord, NH. It was a great experience, the people running the event were great and I got to meet a lot of writers and directors.

I saw a total of 23 films, mostly shorts, and would like to share my reviews of them over a few blog posts.

29 Reasons To Run

29 Reasons To Run is a comedy about 2 guys who go cross country for a few different reasons (there aren’t 29), meet with friends along the way, and get into various comedic situations.

A simple formula that’s been done before and 29 reasons to run doesn’t really bring anything new to the sub-genre. Even though the actors are only in their 30’s the movie can be boiled down into a mid-life crises movie. The characters experience events such losing their jobs, being framed for embezzlement, a cheating girlfriend, and other events that send them on their journey.

At one point they find themselves at the Grand Canyon when their mini-van breaks down. They have a deep philosophical talk about life, but the whole time I just kept wondering whether they were actually there or if they were just on some rocks and used some establishing shots.

The movie was funny at times and was never really boring, but some lines and jokes felt really forced. One of the main characters seems like he’s trying to impersonate Adam Sandler. The actor overall was nothing great, but not bad except for sometimes seeming really unnatural. I couldn’t really see this movie playing in theatres but I can definitely see it playing on TV. Near the end there are some lame plot twists and an extremely built up joke that falls flat.

The writer, Gary Weeks,  co-stars in the movie, and is a successful actor, writer and filmmaker. He has appeared in several movies and TV shows including roles on Burn Notice, Monk, Wicked Wicked GamesNCIS, Parks and Recreation, All My Children and the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse with Ving Rhames’s.

Alter Ego: Rating 2/10

Alter Ego is about a man in world that has super humans and he kills them for a really vague reason. The movie likes to pretend it is led by a strong narrative but really it just comes off as convoluted and doesn’t make a whole of sense. He is basically a serial killer, who’s target is super humans.

The superhuman concept is completely pointless, it could have been replaced by any other group or minority. (He kills a man who can breath underwater, by drowning him. How does that work?) even though its only 15 minutes long, it feels like half an hour of a very boring confusing mess, centered around a very lacking protagonist who’s main target looks like three different people and I couldn’t tell who was who, but that was most likely because I didn’t care enough to really pay attention to the names. That is a sign that your movie has failed

Cravings: Rating 1/10

This is the type of movie that gives independent films its bad reputation. The stereotype that this movie gives off is what you see when someone is making fun of an art house film. No sound just music over the visuals, which can be done well, just not here.

The movie is 5 minutes long and consists of a model being followed around by these people with pig masks on. I understand it is to represent her “cravings” and how she runs away from them because she’s a model, but that doesn’t really matter. Just having symbolism doesn’t make it a good movie. That’s all it is a woman getting followed around by pig people, nothing else to it. The director should be ashamed for confirming a bad stereotype.

The Dance

The Dance: Rating 8/10

This is an example of how you make a movie that’s sound track is only music and have it be really good. At 8 minutes long it doesn’t really have any down time, but manages to not feel rushed, which is an important but difficult task for a short film.

The plot is simply a man wants to ask a woman to the “the dance” who works in the cubicle on the other side of the room from him. It goes through about a week overall. Each day he does and wears something to get her to realize they have something in common. For instance one day she wears a dress that has cupcakes on it. The next day he wears a cup cake suit and tie and makes her a tin of cupcakes. Unfortunately, the cupcakes get eaten by another co-working.

The entire short is very funny and has a nice ending, where he stops trying to impress her and just acts like himself. He is wearing a puzzle piece shirt with a piece missing. She happens to be wearing a shirt that has the missing puzzle piece on it. This is the day after the dance, so they end up dancing in the office, and it turns out, she liked him all along. Very funny and has good energy to it while pulling off the music only style.