Writing dialogue and elementary level cliffhanger plots for porno spoofs which he shot in his younger years, it's easy to see how he brings that same wit and the skill to keep the viewer hooked even when the characters are talking about something as inconsequential as cigarettes or hookers, of course this time with more polish and focus.The characters are very richly written.
A soft-hearted story about the importance of mentorship, of having an experienced elder friend to show you the ropes in life. A valuable insight into the development of PTA as the director highly involved with humanistic principles in his characters and his pictures that he has become today. Also the blood spilled in the film is the sign of American (gun) culture and the way stories are told in American cinema.
4.5/5 - A synchronization of camera movements and actor/character dynamics culminating and converging into a vortex where two people are bonded forever inside the cinematic space. In other words, it had me by the balls straight from the get go, and it never let up for even a single microsecond.
Damn, PTA knocked it out of the park on his first movie. Philip Baker Hall is the coolest mofo, John C Reilly can really act, Gwyneth is nowhere near as annoying as usual, Sam Jackson is as skeezy as always and Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the middle of the film (could watch a film based on his character) Fantastic debut.
Sucks you right in; shows PTA could do simple and straightforward just as well as his gnarly messy later epics. Philip Baker Hall is grand but I found myself most impressed by Gwyneth Paltrow. It might have been interesting to see someone else in the Sam Jackson role, only because while he is good, he is inevitably always Sam Jackson. PTA's Dad is in the movie line next to John C. Reilly's flaming pants.
The film that launched the career of one of todays great directors. Paul Thomas Anderson utilises a quite unique kind of humble minimalism to his filmmaking which lets this very talented cast produce some fine acting and memorable scenes. Also of special mention are the hilarious inclusion of some velcro shoes and Philip Seymour Hoffman's brief portrayal of an asshole showoff at the craps table. Check it out!
3.5/5 Few of cinema's great directors had the ideal directorial debut. Paul Thomas Anderson is ONE of the great filmmakers and "Hard Eight" is not a perfect debut but it doesn't need to be either. From here to "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia", the evolution of PTA is quite astonishing.