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Tags: amy adams, audio, joaquin phoenix, laura dern, philip seymour hoffman, reivew, spill, spill.com, the master
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I agree with a lot of what was said and this review sounded like the dinner conversation we had after watching it, but I don't want to watch it again.
___SPOILER DISCUSSION BELOW____
I kind of agree with Kevin M. though - all the guy wanted was to get laid - I don't know if that made him an addict, because he didn't seem to get any, but if the great Paul Anderson is so great, he wouldn't have ended the movie with that scene if that wasn't an important change for the character.
Joaquin Phoenix didn't come off like a sex-addict??
We must have watched different movies, because I feel like that was central to his character, and they established it several times!
HE FUCKED HIS AUNT FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!!!
by the way a little late I do like Brian. I just said that just in case people didn't know him by name
If you talk about this movie again can you please bring up the soundtrack. I was a little bummed that you didn't it's once again composed by Johnny Greenwood (as was There Will Be Blood). It was unique and great. Hopefully this time around it will be up for an oscar when There Will Be Blood came out he got jipped. Anyways if you get another chance please talk about the soundtrack.
There is only one Master and that is MANOS!
smh at some of you guys. i really dread coming to this site now. i have been trying to ignore the constant jabs thrown by the fans but damn its hard.
You have one guy (Fatality) trying to masquerade a jab at the foundation of the site as "constructive criticism." Where in the hell did you get your education? do you even know what those words mean? There was nothing constructive about what you said. It is funny that you choose to make this comment about a movie that you seemed to like. Why didn't you say this when they talked about movies like precious, the help, and the dozen other movies that deal with more serious issues than fucking scientology and/or cults.?
So with all due respect fuck off.
Then you have people like BLU calling co host review style cookie cutter. His style wasn't cookie cutter when you were laughing along with him on the other reviews. It is only when movie that you clearly like is discussed that you choose to comment about the review style.
Anything intellectual that you had to say about this movie was lost after that point for me.
@ Francis N. Chicago III, I'm glad that you saw the humor in Hoffman's character. Because of all the heavy dramatic weight of the film's performances it seems that many don't recognize the humor of its characters. Many PTA films find and uncanny balance of drama and hilarity, especially Boogie Nights, which I actually consider to be the best comedies of the last few generation while still maintaining its dramatic arcs. Hoffman's few outbursts in this film reminded reminded me a lot of his character from Punch Drunk Love, who would scream when confronted will the most minor insult.
Fatality, the entire point of the site is comedic reviews. That is all they have EVER done. There's a difference between constructive criticism and completely unrealistic expectations. It is completely unrealistic, and borderline stupid to expect them to do a non-comedic review.
@ Lawrence Louis: Can it not be just about these people? It's not a narrative movie in the traditional sense and I agree that it does meander but the more I think of it the more OK I'm with that prospect. I guess maybe that's just me. It is clearly what the movie wanted to do and I think it was the perfect way to go with. Anderson is a filmmaker that I cannot say isn't sure of what he wants. The "story", if it can be called that, was just their relationship and how it ends in a sad and beautiful way. I think it works, regardless of meandering. Still, your points are pretty good. And if this was a Hollywood movie it wouldn't have worked. But I just can't see it go any other way. Particularly due to it being filled with themes and allegories to a number of interpretations. PTA films are crazy on how well they are made and how intricate they can be with all sorts allusions.
Btw, you pretty much described my positive feelings towards the movie. Scary on how it mirrors mine. And on the score, I think for the most part, I agree. A matinee would be sufficient for casual viewers. Personally, I'd go full price but I'm a masochist.
"The Master" should have been called "A Beautiful and Dramatic Meandering". That is precisely what it was.
Phoenix's portrayal of a man who was growing increasingly insane, and increasingly enslaved by alcoholism, was the most believable performance that I have seen about a person, on his path to self-destruction, in recent memory. There was something both fearsome and pitiful about his character. Your heart really goes out to him, but you see why everyone would really be apprehensive about wanting to help him, given how much of a danger he is to himself and those around him.
Hoffman had such a commanding presence on screen, to where it was easy to fathom that if a person was in a state of emotional despair and/or wasn't critical minded, how such a person could easily fall for his pseudo-scientific drivel. His character oozed charisma, and what I loved about the performance is he kept you guessing as to whether he was really trying to help Phoenix's character, or merely exploiting him. Also, there was some ambiguity as to whether he actually believed in his own mumbo jumbo.
Of course, one should not forget the stellar performance of Amy Adams. She played the matriarch of "The Cause" in a way that really illustrated her utter devotion to her husband, and her sensitivities towards his struggles, but at the same time she exuded a fierceness that few actresses can pull off.
And of course the cinematography was some of the best I have seen this year. Anderson knows how to use the screen as a vivid canvas, and though I did not see this movie in 70mm, it still was gorgeous to look at. Anderson has a tendency to remain on one shot for a long time before going to another angle, and though that would normally be irritating if any other director did it, Anderson's tracking and excellent use of color, made this film a feast for the eyes.
So with all the positives why do I describe this film as more aptly titled "A Beautiful and Dramatic Meandering"? The problem with this film is that, while aesthetically superb and outstandingly acted, the story seemed to go nowhere. It doesn't matter how pretty a movie is or how well acted the movie is, if both the cinematography and acting are not subsumed in a story that goes somewhere, the audience will come out bored. There seemed to be no build up, no climax, and no resolution to "The Master". It just seemed to be perpetual cycle of Phoenix's volatile personality exploding into a violent episode, followed by Hoffman subduing Phoenix's anger and then toying with his psyche, and then Phoenix, after a period of emotional tranquility, lapsing again into his rage. Then the cycle repeats. After awhile, this gets old. Amy Adams' character, near the end of the film, commenting on the incorrigible insanity of Phoenix's character, asks Hoffman "what is the point". I, and most people, came out of the movie theatre saying the exact same thing about the movie.
For the visuals and excellent performances, I will give this movie a low matinee. It deserves a theatrical viewing for the visuals alone. But I can't give it a higher rating, because the story was aimless.
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