Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Every Man Needs a Sub Dig Guide
An agitated Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
It doesn't happen often that all elements of what comprises film reach such a high level as with The Master. It brushes with perfection on so many an occasion which left me in complete awe for everyone involved in making this, but mainly because of the three main offenders; Phoenix, Hoffman and Anderson.
Paul Thomas Anderson is unmistakably a unique, powerful and resounding voice in cinema. Whenever he creates, something happens among lovers of film. Whenever he speaks through this wonderful medium I just have to listen. And while not all of his tales are equally impressive, they are always unique in style, content and themes. I find it amazing that a director who has received so much acclaim…
Paul Thomas Anderson is The Master. He is a filmmaker with grand visions, a director whose loyal followers pour over every word and dissect every scene and a writer who explores the failings and extremes of Man. Above all he is a hopelessly inquisitive man always striving forward and never burdened by contemporary fashion. And just like Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic false prophet at the centre of this film, his latest work is his most challenging, dense, contradictory and elusive to date.
Each new Anderson film is accompanied by unrealistic expectation. It would not be hyperbole to suggest he is one of the last truly great American filmmakers still at the peak of their creative powers. Yet with such a…
I'm not sure at this point that I can actually separate the circumstances under which I saw this film with the film itself.
When I got to the theatre, I wasn't expecting to see The Master. I had bought tickets to see Baraka in 70mm; I knew that there was a sneak peek going on that day, but I had assumed it was happening later, after Baraka. It wasn't until I picked up my tickets and the ticket lady asked if I was excited or bummed out, that I found out that I was about to get to see The Master.
Sitting in the audience, I wondered, how crazy would it be if PTA were there?
IT WAS REALLY FUCKING…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Freddie is a bad dog. He keeps running away from home. He stumbles on a new master who loves him very much and tries to teach him to behave. Freddie loves his new master very much too, and tries to learn new tricks for him. Unfortunately, the call of the wild proves too much for Freddie and he runs away again. After a time, he returns to the master he loves so much only to find that his master has made the very difficult realization that Freddie will never be happy on a leash. And so Freddie's master has to let Freddie go. Freddie is sad to leave, but realizes that he can survive in the wild. Freddie is loose, Freddie is happy, Freddie is his own master now.
I find it hard to step back and take a critical look at The Master (or any of Paul Thomas Anderson's films, for that matter). Sometimes, films (or albums, or novels) just resonate with you, and you become emotionally attached to them. Sometimes you latch onto them so tightly that it takes years for the joy of the experience to fade and you can appropriately and fairly judge them. Your mind hears other people's criticisms and works to defend them, however tangential, frivolous, and contradictory those defenses might be. That feeling has not yet faded for Magnolia, so I think I've got a few more years of The Master-worship in me.
The most common complaint…
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is PT Anderson's best film yet. Yes, I think it's even better than There Will Be Blood. It's his most challenging, dense, and assured work to date. It forces you to look inwards in order to connect on an intellectual and emotional level, but it also challenges you to contemplate the entirety of human nature and what drives us. Just like PT Anderson's other films, it's extremely rich thematically, exploring control, power, regret, loneliness, action, belief, and truth. It's dense, but it's rewarding.
To say this film is stunning is a gross understatement. The richness of the picture is something that probably has to be seen on the…
Paul Thomas Anderson delivers once again, drawing fantastic performances out of his cast and telling a masterfully thought-provoking tale of religion's validity, or lack thereof, and man's incessant need to categorize, assign hierarchies, and force itself into structures that would seemingly confirm the falsity that we are somehow anything other than animals.
A heck of a film. The writing and the delivery of the lines are amazing. Unlike so many films these days, it doesn't hold your hand and uses somewhat intelligent phrasing in its dialog.
It's clear: Freddie Quell is an animal. Well, we all are, of course, but if there's a spectrum, Freddie's deeper in the jungle than most. Short-term pleasures guide his behavior, looking for a toxic buzz and sexual encounters much of his life. He's a drifter after the war, which would've given him cause and a direction. Now alone and unable to retain steady employment due to his nature, Freddie climbs aboard a docked ship headed for international waters because the captain on deck may not be up to snuff with taxes, according to the IRS. The Master works brilliantly because of stellar all-around acting, which is a result of Paul Thomas Anderson's vision and writing, including sensible motivations for the…
The most emotionally intense, technically stunning, and thematically brilliant them you will ever see. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams' performances were fantastic, but Joaquin Phoenix's performance was completely on another level.
The Master evokes great beauty, both from its staggering visuals and also from its great acting, but ultimately is a movie that fails to communicate its meaning. The two leads, Hoffman and Phoenix, play off each other brilliantly as polar opposites. Phoenix's character grows through Hoffman's teachings, as he goes from loyal slave to eventually taking control. The movie itself touches on the cult scene and how easy it is to spellbind those in search of more with simple tricks. When Phoenix enters the cult, he isn't in search for more, but instead is a brash and irrational drunk who challenges the Master (Hoffman) in unique ways. The real problem I had with the movie was its trudging pace and confusing message. The two leads are consistently entertaining to watch, but the movie itself doesn't dig into the hard questions behind its characters.
Damn, that was a great film and reminded me why I love PTA! It took me a long time to get around to it since I was really disappointed with There Will Be Blood. That was an interesting and beautiful film to be sure, but it had no emotional resonance for me. In contrast, The Master is like a raw nerve. Such an incredibly poignant and sad film, with the sadness being exacerbated by the tragic death of PSH.
I didn't expect it to be such a beautiful and detailed period piece, but I guess that's why it was filmed in 70mm. Really disappointed that I didn't get the chance to see it in the theatre as I imagine that…
This is the definition of a five star film, absolutely everything is top notch.
P.T. Anderson’s direction is outstanding. His wonderful pacing successfully lays out a tension-filled telling of a cult leader and an outcast, highlighting their master/student relationship through a deep character study. The film is awkward and consuming, and the music both complements and adds to these feelings. The script is fantastically lean, the performances are unbelievably good across the board, and you leave each watch thinking about things like control, submission, guidance, independence, religion, and family.
Hilarious at times, dark at times, but always moving, I am compelled and excited to watch it again and again.
Great dialogue. I also had the pleasure of watching it for the first time after watching a Scientology documentary not a week before.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).