Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Every Man Needs a Sub Dig Guide
A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual (Lancaster Dodd) known as "the Master" whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter (Freddie Quell) who becomes his right-hand man. After returning from the Second World War, having witnessed many horrors, Dodd creates a faith-based organization in an attempt to provide meaning to his life. He becomes known as "The Master". Freddie, his right-hand man, a former drifter, drifts through a series of PTSD-driven breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear the emotions. He becomes deeply involved with them, and begins to question both the belief system and The Master as the organization grows and gains a fervent following.
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.
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…
I'm still amazed at this entire film, especially the two lead performances. All of the smaller roles are also impeccably cast, even the faces of Freddie's fellow vets are perfectly stretched, shellshocked, and menacing.
I was struck by some of Dodd's lofty theories and realized that he is speaking in grand cosmic parable and much of what he says is in some way true: basically, he states that all man's suffering comes from his selfishness and the overstretching of his natural animal instincts. If Jesus came today, he would have to speak and carry himself like a scientist for anyone to pay him attention.
Dodd is the main show and Freddie documents both as photographer and guinea pig. Without Freddie, Dodd can not display his craft. Dodd & Peggy are two halves of the same coin and clearly choreograph their every move as a couple, even staging disagreements between themselves with good cop/bad cop tactics.
Of course it just gets better. Possibly the greatest film of the decade so far. Will Inherent Vice be too good?
Even after multiple rewatches, "The Master" still holds up as an impeccably crafted masterpiece
The Master is so much worse than I remembered. It never goes more than surface deep of its characters or subject, it fails to justify its tedious pace, it shouts and slams doors and growls at its viewers without really saying what it is shouting and slamming and growling about. Paul Thomas Anderson has always been pretentious, but his magic has come from him harnessing his pretentiousness to create incredible but human stories and works of mesmerising beauty. His pretentiousness was his strength in his quest to aim higher. This time it has caused him to fall. An almighty, devastating fall.
A note on the viewing: Viewed in HD from a 4K mastered Blu-ray. The 65mm cinematography looks nothing short of amazing in HD, though occasionally there are moments of slight stability issues.
About two hours into the film, one of the characters says: "This is all a bit pointless." It was the first time in a while my attention was fully with the film. Throughout, I tried to get into the film, but when I tried to reach out to it, I met emptiness. There is nothing there: it is not a character drama, it is not a film about religion, or faith, or sects or anything really. The Master tells the story of a WWII veteran coming back to the US (Freddie Quell played by Joaquin Phoenix), suffering from PTSD. He drinks and has violent outbursts, but at some point he meets The Master (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an enigmatic figure that…
I generally love PT Anderson films, but this has to be the least of his. It feels stale and dull. Yeah, top notch acting, but little else. The Scientology thing was not as biting as it could be and most of the time you're just putting up with an asshole Phoenix. Meh.
For me, Paul Thomas Anderson can sometimes bounce around for me in terms of quality. I wasn’t a huge fan of There Will Be Blood, outside of the fantastic performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. I thought Punch Drunk Love was a mess. Magnolia had strengths and weaknesses, uneven throughout. Boogie Nights is probably his best effort, for me. The Master would be my second choice.
At first, The Master starts off as a rather directionless tale of a directionless soldier, Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix). It seems as though the film never gets on its feet really until Freddie meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a man who seems to give him the promise of purpose. Lancaster could be seen…
The first movie by Paul Thomas Anderson that I don't like. I have no idea what this movie was trying to be, but it clearly failed, at least in my eyes. The acting by PSH and Joaquin Phoenix is great, and the supporting cast is pretty good too, but their acting is in vain. There is no plot in this film. It feels empty. The characters don't change during the course of the movie. I admire PTA. The movie looks great and it has some nice ideas, but it's badly executed.
Greater discussions about structure and "getting it" can be had, but honestly this is one of the most visually stunning films I've ever seen.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- Eyes Wide Shut
- Speed Racer
- Marie Antoinette
- Spring Breakers
Peeping Tom, Night of the Hunter and a whole host of older films were ignored or given bad reviews upon…