#81  
Old 09-22-2012, 06:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
PTA may not have the distinguished career in philosophy that Malick has, but I think Malick has so little content around which to play with abstractly compared to PTA. I think PTA brings enough content to his films that there is room to explore things abstractly, even if he doesn't have the intellectual background that Malick has. I'm not necessarily against what Malick does, but I do think that his best film is his first film and that he hasn't shown a ton of growth since then. This is a problem for me, even if I'm a fan of some of his work. With Badlands he had the content around which to play with abstractly. With Days of Heaven, The New World, and, by the sounds of it, To the Wonder, I really don't think he had that content. These films largely consist of a mishmash of philosophical ramblings set against aesthetically pleasing images and generally uninteresting stories. I forget who said it (maybe Cop?), but he's ultimately kind of a hippy. I understand that he likes to find his films on set, but if you mix that with a bunch of random philosophical ideas conveyed through overwrought narration, there is a danger that you end up with a confused and unengaging film. Sometimes his style works (The Thin Red Line and, to a lesser extent, The Tree of Life) and sometimes it doesn't (Days of Heaven, The New World, possibly To the Wonder). He'll never make another film as good as Badlands, which was so assured and focused.
It's funny, I originally made an aside detailing exactly the point you're getting on, but cut it out of my post for concern of trailing too far off topic (viz. a controversial view of Malick). In the end I think Malick's best film is The Thin Red Line, his greatest mixture of content and abstraction, but the argument I made in the aside is that we can see a rapid decline starting with The New World in how interesting and rewarding his work is. Personally, I really disliked The Tree of Life, and it came at a time right after I had finished a degree in philosophy (with professors that knew him, and having written a thesis on his main topic of interest), so I cannot imagine being more primed or feasibly receptive as a viewer. The point I would then make, though, is that PTA is beginning to enter the same phase in his work if he continues overindulging his eccentricities, i.e. realizing the full abstract manifestation of what originally made his style interesting (though PTA is not beyond redemption). This is not unexpected; as a matter of fact what made PTA so far my favourite working director was that unlike all of his contemporaries, his cinema showed tremendous and interesting growth, and hadn't devolved into the apparently very appealing trap of the meta-asininity of pure concentrated personal style that seems to have destroyed his generation, i.e. Tarantino, Kevin Smith, etc., etc. (in addition to Malick)

However the only difference I wanted to point out -- and the point is certainly not as pretentious as I think it could come across as -- is that despite how excruciatingly horrible and boring The New World and The Tree of Life are on a cinematic level, one still gets the intellectual work of an incredibly talented philosophical mind, and those that I think are prone to being interested in mysticism get a sort of spiritual experience out of watching an occluded cinematic version of a complex philosophy. When PTA enters the same territory he suffers the same cinematic problems as Malick without the intellectualism to save the thing. This is certainly not a slight on his intellect, since Malick could very easily have been one of the top American intellectuals if he had maintained his path.

Last edited by Gordon; 09-22-2012 at 06:53 PM..
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  #82  
Old 09-22-2012, 06:59 PM
Fair points. I haven't read Inherent Vice (which apparently PTA has already written a screenplay for, or at least a first draft), but I'd be interested in hearing what kind of novel it is and what direction it may take his career in.
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  #83  
Old 09-22-2012, 07:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Fair points. I haven't read Inherent Vice (which apparently PTA has already written a screenplay for, or at least a first draft), but I'd be interested in hearing what kind of novel it is and what direction it may take his career in.
It's by far the most accessible work by a master postmodernist. I really liked it and found it extremely accessible, but I gave it to someone to read and they hated it because they couldn't get past the postmodern writing style. While I cannot imagine someone with PTA's incredible talent managing to make a boring or disengaging version of it, I cannot imagine anyone really making it into a masterpiece on the level of TWBB either. It may be an importance bounce back film to The Master in the way Punch-Drunk Love was an important next step after Magnolia.

Last edited by Gordon; 09-22-2012 at 07:17 PM..
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  #84  
Old 09-22-2012, 07:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
My guess is if you were to raise this criticism to an ardent defender of the film, or PTA, the response would be something like "Oh, that's life, people do not fundamentally change, people often have bad habits and obsessions that dominate their personhood from point A to B, and what I am presenting is fundamentally more interesting and more important than anything I have done before because by abstractly studying the fundamental nature of these two characters I am presenting ideas about what it means to be a human being, etc, etc."
Yeah, they could go down that rabbit hole, but I'll point them to his past films and show that being abstract isn't really his style. I like him better when he's focused.

Quote:
The problem, to be frank, is that PTA is not, in my view, an interesting enough intellectual to make a film which is completely consumed by some sort of abstract intellectual fascination (think: his claim that the movie is somehow about time travel). The only guy that can really get away with it is Malick, who has as distinguished a career in philosophy/academia as humanly possible, and even then he needs at least a little bit of content around which to play with abstractly.
I agree with this. I never took Anderson to be an intellectual filmmaker, and it'd be a mistake if that's how he sees himself. He's a very emotional filmmaker and that has always been his strength for me. He's better when he knows what he wants. Judging by the cut scenes that have floated online or snippets of moments in the trailers, it seems like he shot more than he needed. Maybe it's a sign that he wasn't sure what he wanted and captured as much footage as possible. I remember a couple of script reviews saying it felt unfinished, like a rough draft. And that's how I feel about the film. The film has gems, but it also feels a tad underdeveloped. Maybe he put his faith that everything would fix itself as he shot it, but I think the film would have benefitted from another pass on the script. Maybe this could have benefitted from having another writer help with the process? I know PTA cherishes being a writer/director, but there's no shame in collaborating. It worked for Kubrick.
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  #85  
Old 09-23-2012, 12:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cop No. 633 View Post

Judging by the cut scenes that have floated online or snippets of moments in the trailers, it seems like he shot more than he needed. Maybe it's a sign that he wasn't sure what he wanted and captured as much footage as possible. I remember a couple of script reviews saying it felt unfinished, like a rough draft. And that's how I feel about the film. The film has gems, but it also feels a tad underdeveloped. Maybe he put his faith that everything would fix itself as he shot it, but I think the film would have benefitted from another pass on the script. Maybe this could have benefitted from having another writer help with the process?
I totally agree with this.

In my opinion (which is all it is), I think taking the existing concept of The Master, and tweaking it to one of the following stories, would've helped immensely:

1. The story is about Freddie, the drifter. And ONE of his stops is at The Cause. But it's one of a bunch, and maybe the short time he spends with them causes him to change/alter his behavior for the rest of the film, and what he does with his life.

2. The story is about Dodd, from his POV. Basically, the movie would begin the same as it does (the opening scene is on the boat, and he meets Freddie.) The "story" could've been how Dodd is somewhat influenced/changed/impacted by Freddie, and changes in The Cause reflect this new relationship.


Had the story gone in a direction like that, you would actually have some kind of arc and/or growth of everyone. At the end of the day, the movie starts and ends with Freddie and Dodd not changing or growing at all. Freddie may have "tried" with some of the tests The Cause put him through, but because he was so whacked out, we (as the viewer) couldn't really tell if anything was getting through to him.

It somewhat reminded of "Up in the Air," and how Clooney's character got the rug pulled from under him at the end, and basically went back to his life from the beginning of the movie. HOWEVER, what made that work and The Master not work is that we spent two hours with Clooney, as he was forced to care about others, as well as learn about himself and what he really wants. The journey of the film may have ended back where it started, but we went through a bunch of things to get there. And even with that, Clooney still made some redeemable moves for the people he cared about. In The Master, there was none of that. Again, maybe if they didn't have Freddie so out there, and we could tell his personality was getting better (or even worse), there would be some kind of arc.

But I just didn't see it.
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  #86  
Old 09-23-2012, 02:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
It's funny, I originally made an aside detailing exactly the point you're getting on, but cut it out of my post for concern of trailing too far off topic (viz. a controversial view of Malick). In the end I think Malick's best film is The Thin Red Line, his greatest mixture of content and abstraction, but the argument I made in the aside is that we can see a rapid decline starting with The New World in how interesting and rewarding his work is. Personally, I really disliked The Tree of Life, and it came at a time right after I had finished a degree in philosophy (with professors that knew him, and having written a thesis on his main topic of interest), so I cannot imagine being more primed or feasibly receptive as a viewer. The point I would then make, though, is that PTA is beginning to enter the same phase in his work if he continues overindulging his eccentricities, i.e. realizing the full abstract manifestation of what originally made his style interesting (though PTA is not beyond redemption). This is not unexpected; as a matter of fact what made PTA so far my favourite working director was that unlike all of his contemporaries, his cinema showed tremendous and interesting growth, and hadn't devolved into the apparently very appealing trap of the meta-asininity of pure concentrated personal style that seems to have destroyed his generation, i.e. Tarantino, Kevin Smith, etc., etc. (in addition to Malick)

However the only difference I wanted to point out -- and the point is certainly not as pretentious as I think it could come across as -- is that despite how excruciatingly horrible and boring The New World and The Tree of Life are on a cinematic level, one still gets the intellectual work of an incredibly talented philosophical mind, and those that I think are prone to being interested in mysticism get a sort of spiritual experience out of watching an occluded cinematic version of a complex philosophy. When PTA enters the same territory he suffers the same cinematic problems as Malick without the intellectualism to save the thing. This is certainly not a slight on his intellect, since Malick could very easily have been one of the top American intellectuals if he had maintained his path.
Speaking only for myself of course and my own experience of PTA's films as compared to Malick's films, I fail to see how you can compare the two. Their movies are so vastly different in terms of style, content and the overall process of filmmaking, it's baffling that you somehow seem to imply that PTA, with this latest movie, is reaching for the same intellectual levels of Malick as far as abstract eccentricities are concerned.

Just to clarify for those who perhaps didn't hear this, the point you made about PTA's comment on "time travel". Here is what he said, when asked what was the impulse to make a movie about a cult during the disoriented times immediately succeeding WWII:

Quote:
I don't consider that we're dealing with a cult. The area of the story, after the war, is like food and drink to me in terms of an opportunity for a lot of good stuff to tell a story. There's a mix of a tremendous amount of optimism, but an incredibly large body count behind you and how can you feel really great about being victorious about something with so much death around. That creates situations where people wanna talk about past lives and they wanna talk about what happens after you die. Those kinds of ideas that the Master's putting forward is that time travel is possible, you know, accessing the things that have happened to you in past lives is possible. Those are great ideas, hopeful ideas, stuff that was fascinating to me to write a story around.
I'll let that speak for itself, but would like to point out the emphasis on story and ask you to think how Malick would answer a similar question about one of his films and how many times he'd use the word story. Suffice it to say that shrinking all of that into a "claim that the movie is somehow about time travel" is slightly unjust. Personally I think he's talking about the character of the Master in that particular instance because it's a follow up to the thought that people wanna talk about past lives and what happens when you die, which is what Dodd brings up in the film.

When talking about the film as a whole in that press conference he does mention the term "time travel" more than a few times, but he's talking about that specific period of American history. The film is not about time travel, it's meant to (hopefully) evoke a sense of time travel to the 50s and how people really felt at that time. People like Freddie who've been to the war vs. psuedo-intellectuals like Dodd who fished out war veterans like Freddie in order to "help" them find their way.

The bottom line: PTA is growing as a filmmaker but, perhaps, not in the way you want him to. You say that "PTA is beginning to enter the same phase in his work if he continues overindulging his eccentricities, i.e. realizing the full abstract manifestation of what originally made his style interesting" like it's a bad thing but all that really means is that his stories will have less answers with untidy conclusions if he continues down this path. Any way you look at it, that's closer to life than a neatly packaged story. The problem I'm having is that you are putting him in the same sphere of current filmmakers who are overindulging in style over content (Tarantino, Kevin Smith and, on a whole different level, Malick) whereas, if Anderson is overindulging in anything it's his content and not his style (except use of music to a certain degree)

"abstract" is being used as a negative term by you, Cop and whoever else found the movie a little "all over the place" when, in actuality, the fact that the Master is a little more abstract than his previous films is a direct sign of growth for PTA. And no, this is nowhere near the levels of Malick's abstract cinema. You can just look at the characters to see what I'm saying. Why does the acting always shine in PTA's films, whereas it seems to play second fiddle to cinematography and camera movement in Malick's?

The conventions of plot and character arc are used as the basis of what constitutes a good cinematic experience here, and to me, that's a narrow minded way of looking at the medium. Why The Master is getting rave reviews and awards from critics is because those same conventions are manipulated in a way so as not to overpower the fascinating themes that present themselves in a story of a beginning and an end of a very specific type of relationship between two people.

Unlike Malick's films which concentrate on the interior turmoil a person undergoes regarding life's tragic moments (colonialism pitted against love in The New World, understanding loss and upbringing in Tree of Life or love and faith in To The Wonder), The Master shows, in very exterior fashion, the consequences of understanding one's position in a world which experienced a force of evil, i.e. war. Whether Freddie's and Dodd's lives are somehow changed in the end (and even with seeing the film only once I think the answer is yes, they most certainly have) is up to the viewer to conclude and there's nothing wrong with that. Like a number of legendary masters, PTA encapsulates a certain time period (in this case post-WWII) to say something about the human condition and he uses two three-dimensional and layered characters to tell his story. There's plenty there for a powerful, raw and visceral cinematic experience without the comfort of knowing how/if Freddie changed by the end of the film and other familiar conventions.

Bringing Malick into this whole debate is all kinds of confusing because now I have the need to defend his cinema but this is not the place to do it. Makes me sad to hear that people think that he's somehow "in the decline" starting with The New World, when it's perfectly plausible to think that he has grown into a unique cinematic voice which is the complete opposite of "excruciatingly boring and horrible".
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  #87  
Old 09-23-2012, 06:09 PM
Some spoilers I guess.

Does everyone else feel like Quell never really bought into the "cause". He had a loyalty/admiration for Dodd and liked the attention that Dodd gave to him. Even the way he attacked detractors and critics seemed to be motivated by his respect for Dodd and as his own violent tendencies. Dodd and the rest of followers might have existed on the fringes of society but they still were held responsible to societal order, the cause and it's procedures were just a way to tame their neurosis, Quell was beholden only to his impulses, he was his own Master.

I found the motorcycle scene particularly interesting. When Dodd says "pick a spot drive to it then come back"(or something along those lines.) He is summarizing his philosophy, it's arbitrary but structured, Quell just takes off.
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  #88  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:33 AM
THE MASTER



There has been a lot of hype that the film The Master is a complete mimic of the Scientology organaization.
There are a few moments that are similar to the tone of Scientology,but it could be any organization
that promises and promotes self healing,reincarnation and a variety of other concepts of the soul
and spirit.

The film focuses on the tempermental alcoholic Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) who is traumatized from the horrors
of World War II and Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a philosophical movement known as The Cause.
Dodd is able reach that place within Freddie military analysts couldnt.It's his approach an open armed welcoming
as he invites him to his daughter's wedding aboard his yacht.He reveals to Dodd some of the things that has shaped him.
Dodd wants Quell to control himself and often scolds him
as if Quell is a child.Quell has respect for Dodd and The Cause and at times defends it.

Phoenix and Hoffman are mesmerizing in their scenes together,and it is two of the finest performances
i have seen this year.To watch Phoenix as Quell try to hold back from his vises but see it creep back in various sequences
is amusing and hypnotic.
The two are like night and day and it's what makes the film so watchable that and the stunning look of the film.
Amy Adams as Lancaster's wife Peggy Dodd is also good,at first welcoming Quell until she thinks he is diverting her
husbands focus,revealing herself as cold and controlling.

In the end i had hoped for more of a defining and confrontational conclusion.I wanted to
know more about The Cause.
The Master is a very good film with minor flaws.It left me with the question: Is a person better off left alone to wallow in his
or her own vises,or controlled by someone who is obviously a charlatan?
Scale of 1-10 an 8
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  #89  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:53 PM
I'm checking this out tonight!

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  #90  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:51 PM
I loved it but I don't know why . . . here PTA has created an ambitious, ambiguous, and incredible Kubrickian masterpiece that I truly won't be able to understand until a couple of more viewings.

I did love one thing though that I haven't seen anyone mention. Freddy's last name - "Quell". Two things - to quell something is to suppress it. The Cause and Lancaster Dodd try to suppress Freddy's inherent self-destructive, explosive, and unpredictable nature. And also, like a bird, (quail, of course) - Freddy is constantly on the move - whether he's fleeing from a job where he just exploded on a customer or following Master around, he's like a bird - on the move.

Again, I loved it - but PTA is my favorite filmmaker in the world at the moment, and Joaquin Phoenix and PSH are master thespians who deliver performances both worthy of the Oscar.

I'll be back with a more in depth review upon seeing it again.
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  #91  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakinsrise View Post
THE MASTER

I'd pay a lot of money to have this framed and on my wall. So sick.
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  #92  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerk Shapiro View Post
I loved it but I don't know why . . . here PTA has created an ambitious, ambiguous, and incredible Kubrickian masterpiece that I truly won't be able to understand until a couple of more viewings.
Precisely my feelings as well. I want to write a review, but I need to soak this film in. My brother really wants to see it, so I'll take another viewing with him and get my bearings together.

EDIT: The more I thought about, the more I really wanted to write my thoughts as soon as possible. Here's the review!

The essence and familiarity of control; there’s always an inherent need to know where our lives are going, and where they have always been. Men and women always have a path situated for their lives, and they are determine to follow that path until it leads to happiness or accomplished. But, there are always those “lost souls”, men and women who don’t have a certain path to follow on their own. They are the “sheep”, and in most cases need a “shepherd” to bring them into the clearing. But, what if that same “shepherd” seems to have a grand idea of where the path lies, but the lone “sheep” is at crossroads on what can be believed to be true, or possibly false. This is director Paul Thomas Anderson’s question in his latest film The Master, a character study of a lost, wandering World War Two veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who comes under a wing of a boisterous intellectual (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that seems to have a discover a new belief known simply as “The Cause”.

After the Kubrickian-like masterpiece of There Will Be Blood, Thomas decides to take that grand epic of his previous films into more contained quarters. The sweeping camerawork and soundtrack is still used in spectacular effect, but Thomas utilizes his tricks to focus on two different, yet somewhat similar individuals. One is Phoenix’s Freddie Quell, an alcoholic, broken man trying to find his place after the war. Much like Daniel Day Lewis’s Oscar-winning turn in Blood, Phoenix certainly takes a cue from Lewis, creating a character all of his own. The actor is recognizable, but the character that he develops is a different breed entirely. Prone to violence and a lack of manners, Quell is an outsider and degenerate in the most pure sense. But, Anderson takes the time to show why this man has developed cracks in his shell, with one spectacular sequence opposite Seymour’s calm and persuasive Lancaster Dodd. It’s there that the viewer sees Quell at his weakest, and Anderson seems to make a statement that despite Quell’s ferocity and immaturity, he’s simply a man looking for a connection.

Lancaster Dodd is that “connection”, and Hoffman’s Dodd is one of those thinkers that believe what he says, as well as getting others to believe as well. He is methodical, nurturing, and believed to be something of a “higher-than-thou” leader. But, as everyone is, Dodd is human. He can’t sustain criticism from others that disprove his own beliefs, and resort to Quell-like outbursts when backed into corner concerning his philosophies. It’s there that the relationship between Quell and Dodd blooms, despite coming from opposite paths. Quell needs Dodd as there’s a place for him in the world, and Dodd uses Quell as his pet, a man that he believes could be the source towards showing his philosophic teachings and therapies could truly work.

The remaining cast plays to more of a background effect to Phoenix’s and Hoffman’s proceedings, but certainly make their mark when needed, Amy Adams in particular. Adams plays Dodd’s wife Peggy, sort of the “Lady Macbeth” in the relationship. Peggy wants to ensure that Dodd is kept on the clear, simple path that he’s been striving for, not jumping toward the beaten path that Quell seems to slowly envelope onto Dodd. She breathes contempt and control when she can onto Lancaster, and Adams nails every scene where she is given that chance.

The Master certainly has the look, sound and feel that 2007’s Blood oozed, but Anderson doesn’t want to replicate that. He’s more interested in going less straight forward that he did with Blood, and sort of brings a dreamlike quality that helps, but somewhat hinders the film as the story draws to the close. Not to say that it is a glaring flaw, but if there’s any faults that come within Anderson’s script, which is a take (but surprisingly never a lambasting) on the belief of Scientology, it is the rushed conflict that begins to bubble in the middle act. But, with such good acting within these faults, that’s a very small complaint on this reviewer’s part. He still has that Kubrickian eye behind the camera that is a joy to behold, always in control and methodical in a given scene.

If you’re a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous work, then deciding on whether or not you should see The Master is simply no question. It’s a tremendous film that involves the viewer with high caliber acting, impeccable direction, another wonderful soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood, and a deep, thoughtful story that only slips in certain aspects, but for the most part is always in control.

Control is a funny thing, but Anderson’s film presents a thoughtful idea on how that very idea of control can shape the paths and destinies of the intellect on the set path, as well the vagrants on the beaten.

9/10

Last edited by Mr.HyDe807; 09-26-2012 at 04:38 PM..
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  #93  
Old 09-25-2012, 01:30 PM
Here is a cool piece on PTA and everything that's gone into making the film. Talks about Hubbard, Cruise, his views on scientology, and much more - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-28y
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  #94  
Old 09-26-2012, 02:08 PM

Freddie Quell is hands down my favorite character of 2012. Just wanted to add that.
I'll probably be doing a double feature this weekend with Looper first and then rewatching The Master
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  #95  
Old 09-26-2012, 05:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
I'd pay a lot of money to have this framed and on my wall. So sick.
My thoughts exactly
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  #96  
Old 09-29-2012, 07:00 PM
9/10 I loved it. Don't know if I can reccomend it to the average movie goer but this is the type of film i love, it was perfect, I'm speechless on the quality of the performances.
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  #97  
Old 09-30-2012, 01:11 AM
Seen it twice now.

It's without a doubt the film of the year for me.

Still trying to figure out a way to gather all of my thoughts into a cohesive sort of review, but for now I'll just say that I was completely awe-inspired by the film. The performances, the atmosphere, the themes, the characters...there's just so much to wrap my head around.

A very high 9/10 for now.

Last edited by Reckoner; 10-03-2012 at 11:30 AM..
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  #98  
Old 09-30-2012, 12:43 PM
No offense to anyone who might be living in Calgary, but I can't believe that fucking Calgary has not one, not two, but THREE screenings of this film and Montreal has zero, nada, zilch, nothing. Feels like someone at eOne is playing a cruel joke.

I'm so bitter
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  #99  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:28 AM
So I just saw this and I honestly dont know how I feel about it.

It is a good movie, and it was very entertaining, but at the end.. I dont know, I kind of just walked out. When I walked out of There WIll Be Blood, I was in complete awe of what I saw. this movie didnt give me that awe, or did it.. im not even sure!!!

I know I will be thinking about this movie for the next week or so, remembering the subtle nuances of every aspect of it, especially the acting. The acting in this movie was top fucking notch.

I am not a religious person by any stretch, I just enjoy PTA movies, so the religious aspect of the movie has no bearing on my thoughts on it.

There were several scenes that you could sit and watch in an acting class to see how it is done, scenes with PSH and Joaquin Phoenix, just pure genius

Phoenix seems like a guy that I dont know if I would want to work with.. he seems way intense.. way method, I havent worked with many method actors in my day, but it is a process that i'm not the biggest fan of. And you can tell Phoenix is method all the way (Especially the stories you hear about him on set)

But ya.. it was a really good movie with acting that is at the very top of the art form. The story is great, and the characters are quite easy to watch and fleshed out, but i just, as it is right now less than 2 hours since i saw it, im just still trying to wrap my head around it!
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  #100  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNet View Post
So I just saw this and I honestly dont know how I feel about it.

It is a good movie, and it was very entertaining, but at the end.. I dont know, I kind of just walked out. When I walked out of There WIll Be Blood, I was in complete awe of what I saw. this movie didnt give me that awe, or did it.. im not even sure!!!

I know I will be thinking about this movie for the next week or so, remembering the subtle nuances of every aspect of it, especially the acting. The acting in this movie was top fucking notch.

I am not a religious person by any stretch, I just enjoy PTA movies, so the religious aspect of the movie has no bearing on my thoughts on it.

There were several scenes that you could sit and watch in an acting class to see how it is done, scenes with PSH and Joaquin Phoenix, just pure genius

Phoenix seems like a guy that I dont know if I would want to work with.. he seems way intense.. way method, I havent worked with many method actors in my day, but it is a process that i'm not the biggest fan of. And you can tell Phoenix is method all the way (Especially the stories you hear about him on set)

But ya.. it was a really good movie with acting that is at the very top of the art form. The story is great, and the characters are quite easy to watch and fleshed out, but i just, as it is right now less than 2 hours since i saw it, im just still trying to wrap my head around it!
I pretty much felt the same way after seeing it and after the movie fully soaked in after a couple of days I wanted to go see it again..This time I will be going with out the wife though because she thought that it was complete and utter garbage
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  #101  
Old 10-07-2012, 01:39 AM
Freddie's actions seem to center around his history with women, and I have not seen this noted anywhere. Lining up what we learn about Freddie and women in a linear history we see that Freddie has a Mom in a mental institute and is brought up by an Aunt who is much older but treats him as a sex object. His one affection to a female is to a 16 year old while he appears to be some ten years older. She wants to go on an European trip which Freddy first tells her not to leave on, but then decides to join the navy and let her go on with her life. Is this a recognition of his limitation as a man to allow her a normal life?

Early we see Freddy exposed to the naked woman on the beach, the woman of sand whom he pretends to have sex with an expression of aggression. He walks away past a sailor masturbating into the ocean (ocean often a symbol of the living of life). At the party, he views the women all as sex objects as shown by his seeing them nude. He relates to those women he contacts at the Cause only sexually. He leaves the Cause to find his 16 year old, but she is gone. He returns for a final farewell to the Master. At the end of the movie he is tucked under the arm of the same woman of sand seen in the earlier scene before he met the Master.

I see this movie a story of a flawed Freddy trying to bury his pain of difference, a difference he recognizes early but hopes to change when he meets the Master. He faces his failure to change by the time he drives away on the motorcycle, then finally drifts back to the woman of sand, away from the rest of the world, after a final goodbye to the Master. Note that flash towards the end of Freddy in a helmet with the ocean behind him, the helmet (alcohol, aggression) trying to protect him from the life he is experiencing, that grimace on his face.
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  #102  
Old 10-07-2012, 05:51 PM
Been listening to the OST on a loop while studying. It definitely rivals Greenwood's work on There Will Be Blood.

Last edited by Bourne101; 10-07-2012 at 05:54 PM..
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  #103  
Old 10-07-2012, 05:52 PM
The Sesame Street executives won't let me watch R-rated films, so sadly, I can't watch The Master. But, I'm glad you guys like it.
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  #104  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:12 PM
PTA also knows how to insert humor in the most tense scenes. The "brother from another mother" bit is an example of that in There Will Be Blood. The best example in The Master is in the middle of the processing scene when Dodd asks Freddie if he's unpredictable and Freddie rips a big one.
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  #105  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:28 PM
I think I liked the performances over anything else in this movie. After one scene with each of the characters, you forget that you're watching Phoenix, Hoffman, and Adams, and instead you get sucked in with these characters and their situations. The theme of master and servant, particularly in religion, didn't really get a hold of me and the movie's message didn't come through to me as well as it did with There Will Be Blood. I've got no problem with criticizing organized religion - no matter how big or small, and I think this movie does set out to do that a little. In the end, however, I think its the performances that stand out beyond anything else. As usual with PTA movies, at least for me, I think it'll take some repeat viewings and discussion for me to get a better understanding of its message.

8/10
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  #106  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
I think I liked the performances over anything else in this movie. After one scene with each of the characters, you forget that you're watching Phoenix, Hoffman, and Adams, and instead you get sucked in with these characters and their situations. The theme of master and servant, particularly in religion, didn't really get a hold of me and the movie's message didn't come through to me as well as it did with There Will Be Blood. I've got no problem with criticizing organized religion - no matter how big or small, and I think this movie does set out to do that a little. In the end, however, I think its the performances that stand out beyond anything else. As usual with PTA movies, at least for me, I think it'll take some repeat viewings and discussion for me to get a better understanding of its message.

8/10

I agree that the performances are the best thing about the movie. Unfortunately, I thought they were pretty much the only good thing about the movie. Well besides the cinematography. It's a great looking movie. But I didn't get sucked into the story. I actually found the movie to be incredibly dull for the most part, save for a handful of scenes. And the only reason why I found those scenes to be mesmerizing are because of the acting. Phoenix and Hoffman are both outstanding in the movie. There's no denying that. But I couldn't get into either character. To me this was the most disappointing movie of the year. I had high expectations for this movie but it was a major letdown to me. It's the first PTA movie that I can not actually recommend. I think if the characters felt more complete and were better written, I might have been able to get into this movie. But this movie never really digs deep into any of these characters. Not even Freddie despite the fact that he's the movie's protagonist. It all felt hollow to me. And the pacing is so sluggish and slow. Big disappointment for me.

5/10
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  #107  
Old 10-13-2012, 08:13 PM
I just signed up on this site today to post about The Master. I believe P.T. Anderson to be the best filmmaker of this generation and Philip S. Hoffman the greatest actor. Their work together over the past 15 years or so rival any director/actor collaboration in movie history, imo.

Fist of all, the technical aspects of this film blew me away. The art direction and wardrobe in particular, were amazing. The clothes must have all been specially made because they were so incredibly detailed to that era. The cinematography was beautiful, as usual, but what makes him so great is the performances he squeezes out of his actors. The Master is no different. The only problem I had was with Amy Adams. Not her performance, necessarily, but why is she in EVERY fucking movie? I'm sick of her already.

As with all P.T. Anderson's movies, the conflict is internal. I agree that this and his last film, There Will Be Blood, were obviously influenced by Stanley Kubrick (imo the greatest filmmaker of all time) and that is not a bad thing. I have to disagree with some of the posts here about the story. I didn't find it dull at all. This movie is about control and domination.

During the war the Navy was in control of Quell. He is reduced to fucking a pile of sand in front of his shipmates, who sit by numbly watching what is basically an act of violence. At first I was a little offended by this opening sequence because I am a Navy veteran and nobody ever jerked off in front of each other when I was onboard ship. Now, I think this is less a swipe at the military than just a device to characterize Quell.

It's interesting that there's been discussion about Dodd being a closeted homosexual and that he is really sexually attracted to Quell. This is exactly what I thought about Daniel Plainview in TWBB, but I didn't think so in this movie. I felt the sexual motivations were based more in S&M than homosexuality. This is evident by the relationship between Dodd and his wife, Peggy. She is the one who is in control of the whole operation because she is in total control of her husband. The hand-job scene is a good example of this. She gets him off sexually as a means of control. Also, I'm not convinced that the scene prior, when Dodd sings (fucking stellar acting by PSH) that Quell is hallucinating that the women are naked. This scene was VERY Kubrickian. I'm not dismissing the argument, because there is a lot of sexual tension between Quell and Dodd, but its not what I came away with at the time.

I lived in Hollywood and have experiences around Scientology. Some of which were storied told to me by friends, others were things I witnessed. I find the whole thing extremely creepy and downright scary. I don't know if this movie is directly attacking Scientology or not, but one this is for sure, they own Hollywood. Look at the classifieds in the back of any acting trade paper. There are always ads saying something to the effect: Come and meet 'so and so' casting director...Meet and greet with 'so and so' actor...Actors workshop with 'so and so' director. They are always sponsored by The Church of Scientology. Hollywood is a place where is it easy to prey on the desperate and that is exactly what I think is going on. BTW Steve Martin's 'Bowfinger' is a more devastating critique of Scientology than 'The Master'

Anyway I think I really like this site. Some of the posts in this thread are thoughtful and intelligent.

LATER SKATERS
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  #108  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:46 PM
Saw this a couple weeks ago, but I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to review it until now.

Overall, I was very pleased with it. Hoffman and Phoenix were every bit as good as advertised, though I honestly don't get the Raging Bull comparisons. Amy Adams did a nice job as well. The cinematography and score were first-rate as well. I don't have too much else to add other than to say it was an excellently-made character piece and worthy of acting and writing nominations, but perhaps not Best Picture.


8.5/10
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  #109  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:35 PM
I need to work my way back through this thread, I'm hovering around an 8 right now.
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  #110  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:41 AM
I really liked it and felt like the major character development was in that Dodd taught Freddie how to connect with people. It was really twisted but Freddie finally interacted with a woman in a way that was about more than just getting off, as it was when he was humping the sand sculpture. The first part of the movie, he's looking to bang anyone and then when he starts connecting with the group, he resists Dodd's daughter's advances. That 16 year old girl was someone who genuinely cared about him, but she was leaving and it freaked Freddie out because of his abandonment issues, so he decides to fly the coop in a bigger show. Through it all, he learns to fit in for the first time, unlike when he was in the service and having people give him dirty looks and toss stuff at him for being such a creep. He knows what it's like to connect to people and he's left with that woman at the end and is doing more than just humping. And although it's still creepy because he's just lifting Dodd's schtick, but only we know that. What matters is that at the same time at least he's paying attention to someone other than himself.

Last edited by The Postmaster General; 10-18-2012 at 02:44 AM..
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  #111  
Old 10-18-2012, 10:21 AM

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fil...-phoenix#page2

Great interview with Joaquin Phoenix conducted by Elvis Mitchell.
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  #112  
Old 10-19-2012, 08:37 PM
This sort of had the opposite effect on me as "There Will Be Blood" did. Whereas with that film I thought the ending totally made the film and everything leading up to it had been good but nothing special, with this film I was totally riveted to most of it but the ending left me rather cold.

It's kind of odd how Anderson has gone from being Altmanesque to Kubrickian over the last 10 years.
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  #113  
Old 10-22-2012, 01:49 PM
The more I think about it, the more I feel The Master may be my favorite PTA film yet. For me it is his most fascinating film, and i'm itching to see it again the more I think about it.
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  #114  
Old 10-26-2012, 09:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY-SW...ailpage#t=890s

Hahahaha

15:13- "You piece of shit"

Last edited by Bourne101; 10-26-2012 at 10:05 PM..
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  #115  
Old 11-06-2012, 05:19 PM
Hilarious video blog by Mark Kermode about The Master:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markkermo..._revealed.html
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  #116  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:07 PM
Now that some time has passed I'm pretty confident this will end up as my favorite/#1 movie of the year, I know there's still a fair share coming out but I don't think I'll see anything better than this.
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  #117  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:22 PM
This is one I think about daily. TWBB was the same way for me, though no matter how many viewings of The Master or how much I grow to love it, it can't top TWBB, personally.
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  #118  
Old 11-18-2012, 04:52 PM
Finally, kakow.
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  #119  
Old 11-27-2012, 12:45 AM
You know, I was thinking a lot about the films of this year today, and I kept coming back upon The Master. I'd like to see it again sometime soon and give it a 2nd chance and a fair shake. My memories of it are fleeting. I don't know if this will happen in the cinema or at home, but I think the talent involved is certainly deserving of further rumination.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 11-27-2012 at 10:26 AM..
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  #120  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
You know, I was thinking a lot about the films of this year today, and I kept coming back upon The Master. I'd like to see it again sometime soon and give it a 2nd chance and a fair shake. My memories of it are fleeting. I don't know if this will happen in the cinema or at home, but I think the talent involved is certainly deserving of further rumination.
I find myself feeling the same way. I came out of the theater thinking to myself that it was in some ways a good movie, but in the end the experience was just rather flaccid; it didn't do anything for me. At the same time, though I didn't hate it, I had this feeling of God, I don't want to ever see this movie again. Now I find myself interested in giving it another shot when I am in the right frame of mind. It is a film that I really want to like.
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