Skip’s Quips: Pynchon, ‘Inherent Vice’ and Sloppy Moviemaking

Blog Sketch 082813Paul Thomas Anderson is a good director. Thomas Pynchon is a good writer. But will the film based on his novel Inherent Vice be any good?

That’s what I’m wondering some days after seeing the trailer to the picture, which made the flick look like a bit of a mess. Possibly an amusing mess, but a mess all the same.

I’m not totally happy with those prospects.

I like my movies tight, not sprawling. Frankly, I’m a bit worried that “sprawling” will be a euphemistic description of this film. Other movies in this director’s canon, including Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, were sprawling in an interesting way, meandering with purpose, getting audiences to wonder what would happen next. What I’m concerned about with Inherent Vice is that it will be directionless, muddled – that we’ll be sick of predicting where it’s going by the time we get halfway through it. And that could be a cinematic problem.

Sure, it might be on a par with Anderson’s other projects, in which case I’ll be more than pleased. But I’m cautiously pessimistic here. Not sure that’ll be the case.

We’ll see.