Movie Discussion: Inherent Vice
Warning! This entire discussion contains spoilers for Inherent Vice.
In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson, Thomas Pynchon
Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson
Release Year: 2015
Scott Hardie | November 1, 2015
Wow, was that prediction accurate or what? I just saw the film and can attest that the trailer's tone is highly misleading, playing it up as a lively misadventure when the film is slow and deliberate and emotionally muted. I'm glad that I saw this movie, but I wish it had been the movie that was advertised. That one might have been really something.
Supposedly, Joaquin Phoenix's look in this movie is based on Neil Young at the time, and I can see the resemblance. But I can't escape the feeling that he resembles another oddball character.
Normally I'm a sucker for mid-century Los Angeles-based mysteries, as Chinatown and L.A. Confidential are two of my all-time favorite movies, and I even like minor titles in the genre such as The Black Dahlia. The mystery and the setting are both serviceable here, but the very high bar set by Paul Thomas Anderson's previous films made my expectations for this one impossible to live up to. Maybe if I see it a second time someday, I'll like it more.
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Scott Hardie | December 6, 2014
That's a great trailer, but does it strike anybody else as one of those trailers that picks the few moments of levity out of a serious film to misrepresent it as a comedy?
I don't know what to expect here, other than that Paul Thomas Anderson calling the shots will make it unpredictable. I disliked some of Pynchon's earlier novels, so I didn't bother to learn anything about Inherent Vice when it came out, and now I suppose I'm primed to see the film adaptation knowing nothing but what's in the trailer. Here's hoping for something good.