365 films in 2016: film 36 (Inherent Vice 2014)

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 20.39.51Inherent Vice is a Paul Thomas Anderson film that went completely under my radar when it released in 2014, so I thought I should make up for that after I saw a few shots from it in a video I was watching. Inherent Vice has a strong musk of fear to it, everyone’s scared or confused or looking for something, being set only a year after the Manson murders everyone is scared of cults and profiled for their long hair and clothes.

Though the theme and setting of Inherent Vice might be interesting it’s story doesn’t quite get up to the same levels, characters feel bland and lifeless with seemingly unclear motives and dragging dialogue, it’s easy to get bored of the film by the second act, which is a problem because this is almost a 3 hour movie, the biggest problem I find with this movie is its pacing, everything takes so long to happen, scenes feel like they take forever to end which is an issue when you don’t care about most of these characters to begin with.

It might sound like Inherent Vice is a bad film but that’s not the case, Joaquin Phoenix does a great job at bringing to life some of the scenes that he’s in, especially his buddy cop like relationship with Josh Brolin as Bigfoot, and as always for a Paul Thomas Anderson film it is shot beautifully and the lighting and sets are beautiful, but no amount of good set design and cinematography can make up for an overly convoluted, slow story. I get that Inherent Vice is supposed to be a story that you can’t describe to someone if they ask what’s it about, and that might have been Anderson’s goal, to make a 100% accurate to-the-book adaptation but that doesn’t make a good film, I still think Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the most interesting filmmakers around today but unfortunately Inherent Vice is not an interesting film, 6/10.

In 2016 i will be watching 365 films (yes, i know there are 366 days this year) and writing about how I felt about them, I decided to do this just because over the last year or so i’ve Sort of pulled away from film and I wanna start to enjoy watching movies again. This will normally be just notes I made or thoughts I have about the film.


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