#41  
Old 09-17-2012, 09:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dellamorte dellamore View Post
I have no interest, i have a good enough idea to realize this isn't something i care to see
Then back to the RE5 thread with ya!

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  #42  
Old 09-17-2012, 12:55 PM
Anyone know how much the Scientology angle is played in this film? Reading around the Net, I'm getting conflicting reports.

I also don't know what to make of quotes likes this: "The film is not meant to be enjoyed or entertaining. If that's your intent, you're watching the wrong picture. If, however, you embrace a challenge, reject the notion of absolute good or bad, and go to the movies to feel above all else... this may be up your alley."
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  #43  
Old 09-17-2012, 12:56 PM
PTA is definitely one of my favourite working directors, but I can't bring myself to say too much positive about The Master. Yes, the performances are great, but at the end of the day neither the characters nor the story go anywhere interesting. I always knew there would come a day that PTA would make a bad film, but it was still disappointing to witness.

Although I do have a sneaky suspicion that "pig fuck!" just might become a meme. Or at least win the JoBlo "line of the year".
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  #44  
Old 09-17-2012, 01:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeChar4321 View Post
Anyone know how much the Scientology angle is played in this film? Reading around the Net, I'm getting conflicting reports.
It speaks less to Scientology itself and more to undereducated people making up their own belief systems while lacking the intellectual capacity to comprehend all that it entails. Or something like that.

As far as the film not being there to be enjoyed, that is just semantic bullshit. The argument can be made that a film, for example - about rape - cannot be "enjoyed" or "entertaining", but at the end of the day, the enjoyment for a film fan comes from having seen a good film and and entertainment comes from having spent your invested time on something worthwhile and not from the subject matter itself. I have enjoyed and been entertained by all of PTAs films prior to The Master and by plenty of films by directors like Haneke, Fincher and Von Trier who rarely leave you with exactly a happy feeling about the world or the people in it.
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  #45  
Old 09-17-2012, 01:17 PM
Here is my review of The Master - starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman who give the best performances of their careers! It's a film not for everyone but it's beautiful and complex. The journey taken by Dodd and Quell is unlike anything we have seen check out my full review - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-23y
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  #46  
Old 09-17-2012, 03:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeChar4321 View Post
Anyone know how much the Scientology angle is played in this film? Reading around the Net, I'm getting conflicting reports.
The film isn't about Scientology (i.e., the main point of the film isn't to call out Scientology or make a harsh commentary on it), but it certainly loosely uses its origins as a component of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeChar4321 View Post
I also don't know what to make of quotes likes this: "The film is not meant to be enjoyed or entertaining. If that's your intent, you're watching the wrong picture. If, however, you embrace a challenge, reject the notion of absolute good or bad, and go to the movies to feel above all else... this may be up your alley."
That's just a load of shit. PTA makes films for people to be entertained, while also leaving you with plenty to discuss. If you look at it on a surface level, it's about a guy coming back from the war, drifting around trying to find out what to do with himself, and stumbling upon a cult of sorts where he must decide between maintaining the friendship that this cult provides for him or leaving the cult as he grows suspicious of it. There's a lot more to it than that, but I think one can enjoy it on that level (combined with the cinematography, score, performances, briskly paced first 3/4) just as one can enjoy There Will Be Blood as a story of a brilliant, incredibly tough, strong-willed, greedy man trolling around California stealing oil from religious people. When you combine the interesting and engaging plots (which I think both The Master and There Will Be Blood had) with intellectual stimulation (something both provide in spades), you get maximum enjoyment. Otherwise, you're left either entertained, but unsatisfied (your average summer blockbuster), or just bored (The English Patient).

That's not to say that one has to like The Master. It's hard to deny that it leaves plenty to chew on, but I can understand one not enjoying the overall story.

Last edited by Bourne101; 09-17-2012 at 03:40 PM..
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  #47  
Old 09-17-2012, 03:47 PM
http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/noteb...ons-the-master

This is a great read. It's riddled with spoilers, mind.

It's boosted my interest in the film, which has be wilting closer to its release time.
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  #48  
Old 09-17-2012, 03:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
The film isn't about Scientology (i.e., the main point of the film isn't to call out Scientology or make a harsh commentary on it), but it certainly loosely uses its origins as a component of the story.



That's just a load of shit. PTA makes films for people to be entertained, while also leaving you with plenty to discuss. If you look at it on a surface level, it's about a guy coming back from the war, drifting around trying to find out what to do with himself, and stumbling upon a cult of sorts where he must decide between maintaining the friendship that this cult provides for him or leaving the cult as he grows suspicious of it. There's a lot more to it than that, but I think one can enjoy it on that level (combined with the cinematography, score, performances, briskly paced first 3/4) just as one can enjoy There Will Be Blood as a story of a brilliant, incredibly tough, strong-willed, greedy man trolling around California stealing oil from religious people. When you combine the interesting and engaging plots (which I think both The Master and There Will Be Blood had) with intellectual stimulation (something both provide in spades), you get maximum enjoyment. Otherwise, you're left either entertained, but unsatisfied (your average summer blockbuster), or just bored (The English Patient).

That's not to say that one has to like The Master. It's hard to deny that it leaves plenty to chew on, but I can understand one not enjoying the overall story.
This is a fantastic post. I cannot, CANNOT fucking wait to see this film!
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  #49  
Old 09-17-2012, 04:27 PM
I'm gonna check this out in 70mm on Thursday. if I'm gonna see this film for the first time, I might as well see it in the best way possible.
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  #50  
Old 09-17-2012, 04:34 PM
Is this going to do its rounds in 70mm in the UK?

I've heard that Anderson's choice of 70mm for this film is unusual.
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  #51  
Old 09-17-2012, 05:57 PM
Check out the crazy story of how the internet created Paul Thomas Anderson's title for The Master - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-23P
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  #52  
Old 09-17-2012, 07:34 PM
The Master has been the cause of much spilled web-ink for the past few weeks, and rightly so. You'll be hard pressed to find another film this year which has the ability to stimulate the mind and spark up debate as effectively as it can.

Seeing it in 70MM was definitely one of the highlights of my year so far, film wise, and there's no way I can recommend it MORE in that format to whomever has that option. To use a quote from a film that has all kinds of eerie similarities with The Mater;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeLarge View Post
Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!
He might as well be jizzing over Johnny Greenwood's score! As P.T.A. continues to grow, he is becoming more and more to me what, I would wager, Kubrick was to many cinephiles of his time. And the comparisons with those two will just keep on keeping on, because the more I think about The Master, the more I think it fits beautifully within Anderson's ingenious filmography and his themes, which parallel Kubrick's so well.

Here's a great review of the film from Sasha Stone, not favored by many I know - she's opinionated, self-righteous and extremely biased. But, to me, her review hits the spot and makes me think she really got it.

http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/2012...-is-the-grass/

Personally, I can't wait until it comes out this Friday just so I can see it again. It's the kind of film that will beckon you for a second viewing if it grips you in the first place.

So even though I know there's been so much already discussed about The Master, and pretty much every major blog/film site/forum has reviewed it, it's the kind of film that make enthusiasts just want to write about it. After my second swig, I'll write up a review of my own for my practice.

Last edited by DaMovieMan; 09-17-2012 at 07:36 PM..
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  #53  
Old 09-18-2012, 04:37 PM
Not really spoilers, but I might hold off on reading until you've seen the film:

I have another comment with regard to the Scientology aspect of the film. I think the commentary that comes out of it isn't necessarily against Scientology, but rather, maybe against those who oppose it without knowing anything about it. That's not to say that it's pro-Scientology, but rather, pro-discussion between groups. Now that Twitter has become very popular, I encounter people every day criticizing religions or political parties, without backing up their thoughts or trying to engage in a discussion to understand why a certain person is in a certain religion or is affiliated with a certain political party. It just turns into Jeff Wells and Dave Poland bashing random people and then jumping up and down with their fingers in their ears saying "lalalalala" and leads to absolutely no kind of productive discussion. I think The Master definitely comments on this. This is evident in the scene where the guy basically tells Hoffman that everything he's doing is a load of shit. The guy may be right, but he offers little explanation as to his opinion and when Hoffman offers to discuss the religion with him or allow him to take part in one of those therapy-esque sessions, the guy just becomes more hateful until Freddie eventually throws a tomato at him. This kind of closed-minded attitude leads to The Cause becoming louder and more radical (as indicated by Amy Adams' monologue and the subsequent events in the film). So, while I think the depiction of The Cause certainly raises some eyebrows at the methods of Scientology, I think PTA is ultimately more critical of those who bash it without even knowing what the hell it is. By dismissing a group without attempting to discuss their beliefs with them, it just makes that group become more radical.

I don't think that is ultimately what the film is about, but I think it's definitely a point that is trying to be conveyed during a certain portion of the film. I think this makes for a more balanced depiction of Scientology (or just religion in general), rather than an overly critical one. It's kind of ironic in the sense that a lot of people who wanted to see this film were hoping that it provided a scathing commentary on Scientology, when the film is actually quite critical of the very people who were hoping that.

Last edited by Bourne101; 09-18-2012 at 07:01 PM..
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  #54  
Old 09-18-2012, 09:59 PM

Yay. This is actually coming out to my local Regal Cinemas this week. So I'll definitely be checking this out first thing Friday. Can't wait. Looks excellent. I still don't think it'll beat Magnolia. I think Magnolia will remain PTA's masterpiece. But this looks like it could be in There Will Be Blood territory. Maybe even better since I had problems with that movie's ending.
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  #55  
Old 09-18-2012, 10:57 PM
I'll finally be getting to see it this weekend as well. Can't. WAIT.
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  #56  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJoeG View Post
Then back to the RE5 thread with ya!

Okay my interest is piqued enough to check it out when it becomes a redbox rental
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  #57  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dellamorte dellamore View Post
Okay my interest is piqued enough to check it out when it becomes a redbox rental
Smithers always wins them over.
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  #58  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:36 PM
I'm a sucker for whips and chaps
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  #59  
Old 09-19-2012, 04:34 PM

Yes. Its actually playing near me this weekend. I';ll be seeing this shit Friday morning.
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  #60  
Old 09-19-2012, 04:50 PM
Bought my tickets for 11:15 Saturday morning..Cannot wait
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  #61  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:02 PM
So fucking pissed right now. The cineplex site is awful. I have no idea when this movie is coming out in Montreal.
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  #62  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
So fucking pissed right now. The cineplex site is awful. I have no idea when this movie is coming out in Montreal.
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  #63  
Old 09-20-2012, 07:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJoeG View Post
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  #64  
Old 09-20-2012, 07:41 PM
Haha, I hope you get to see it soon, dude. Doesn't look like it's playing in my town this week. But hopefully that'll give me a chance to see Lawless.
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  #65  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan View Post
So fucking pissed right now. The cineplex site is awful. I have no idea when this movie is coming out in Montreal.
That's what you get for living in a socialist hellscape.
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  #66  
Old 09-21-2012, 04:01 PM
I saw this at the Cinerama Dome with a few friends and a few beers. Oddly enough, it's an appropriate film to drink with. I thought it was a very interesting character study about two men in search of a great answer to their lives. It's interesting, but it's like they're looking at the same horizon but they see totally different things. I think the Pick A Point scene was most telling about the characters... Lancaster's point was so much more mundane than Freddie's. He picked a highway. Freddie picked a mountain which is much more mythical and alludes to a great journey that you often hear in myths that eventually leads to ascending a mountain. He's searching for an answer he can't find while Lancaster thinks he already found it.

Every aspect of production is top notch from the acting to the camera work to the score. One aspect of the film I haven't really seen discussed is Lancaster Dodd's repressed homosexuality. I think he fell in love with Freddie, but he could never come to admit it until their last scene together. I first picked up on it in the scene after Lancaster meets Freddie. His wife Peggy is so threatened by the encounter, that she masturbates Lancaster. It's interesting because of how fast the scene goes by. It makes more sense when you recognize that Peggy is aware of Lancaster's "urges" and this is her way of making them go away. I think this is the biggest reason why Peggy didn't want Freddie around. It wasn't simply because he was an alcoholic. Also, there's the fact that Freddie inspired Lancaster to write. As somebody who writes, I can tell you that when I meet or fall for the right girl, they can inspire me in the same way. Falling in love has an infectious quality when it comes to creativity. Then there's the phone call in the movie theater where Lancaster sounds more like a rejected lover than a mentor/father figure like you would expect. This interpretation made the final scene between them much more touching. Freddie clearly wasn't gay (see the scene where Lancaster is singing and all Freddie can think about is naked women), and he wasn't a true follower of the Cause. He only stayed because he loved Lancaster but not in the same way Lancaster loved him.
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  #67  
Old 09-21-2012, 04:12 PM

Great write up Cop. I was sorta thinking the same thing in regards to Dodd and you articulated it better than I could.

This was a fantastic film. My favorite of the year so far(with two of the best performances of the year). Its a shame that PSH & Joaquin cant both win Oscars for Best Actor.

10/10

Spoiler:
PIG FUCK!
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  #68  
Old 09-21-2012, 04:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cop No. 633 View Post
Every aspect of production is top notch from the acting to the camera work to the score. One aspect of the film I haven't really seen discussed is Lancaster Dodd's repressed homosexuality. I think he fell in love with Freddie, but he could never come to admit it until their last scene together. I first picked up on it in the scene after Lancaster meets Freddie. His wife Peggy is so threatened by the encounter, that she masturbates Lancaster. It's interesting because of how fast the scene goes by. It makes more sense when you recognize that Peggy is aware of Lancaster's "urges" and this is her way of making them go away. I think this is the biggest reason why Peggy didn't want Freddie around. It wasn't simply because he was an alcoholic. Also, there's the fact that Freddie inspired Lancaster to write. As somebody who writes, I can tell you that when I meet or fall for the right girl, they can inspire me in the same way. Falling in love has an infectious quality when it comes to creativity. Then there's the phone call in the movie theater where Lancaster sounds more like a rejected lover than a mentor/father figure like you would expect. This interpretation made the final scene between them much more touching. Freddie clearly wasn't gay (see the scene where Lancaster is singing and all Freddie can think about is naked women), and he wasn't a true follower of the Cause. He only stayed because he loved Lancaster but not in the same way Lancaster loved him.
Great thoughts. I really want to see this again soon to pick up on other instances where this is apparent. Off the top of my head, one I can think of is when Freddie comes back from jail and Dodd hugs him to the point where they fall over and start playing around. Freddie was caught slightly off-gaurd and then likely just played along because he just likes to mess around, but Dodd likely had other intentions. I listened to an interview with Hoffman where he said that Joaquin had no idea that was coming and that Hoffman and PTA had secretly planned for it to happen. It makes sense, given that Freddie probably had little idea that the hug would go that far, whereas Dodd, either consciously or subconsciously, wanted it to happen.
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  #69  
Old 09-21-2012, 09:29 PM

the part where Dodd "processes" Freddie for the 1st time was unreal. Just fantastic acting all around and I hope Joaquin gets an Oscar for it.
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  #70  
Old 09-21-2012, 09:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
the part where Dodd "processes" Freddie for the 1st time was unreal. Just fantastic acting all around and I hope Joaquin gets an Oscar for it.
So good. When Freddie slaps himself to stay focused... that was some Raging Bull level shit. I also hope that he wins an Oscar for it and I think he just might.

Last edited by Bourne101; 09-21-2012 at 09:57 PM..
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  #71  
Old 09-22-2012, 12:26 AM
I finally got to see this film! It was in itself a reason I was happy to be in the US for the time being, and not in France. And...it left me rather cold. On first viewing at least it comes across as the best film humanly possible given a mediocre script. Everything is done, on a technical level, with unbelievable professionalism -- Joaquin Phoenix is I think every bit as good as DDL was in There Will Be Blood, albeit in a completely opposite role -- but the story just does not really seem to ever connect in the way that I think is necessary to have truly personal, emotional, raw, powerful, transcendent cinema. Unlike others I had no problem at all with the pacing, I never really got bored, but I never really got invested either. I wouldn't describe it as compelling, but I wouldn't really describe it as a film which lasts either.

The best scene, and the one that was truly remarkable, was no doubt the Dodd/Freddie processing scene.
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  #72  
Old 09-22-2012, 09:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
The best scene, and the one that was truly remarkable, was no doubt the Dodd/Freddie processing scene.
The one on the boat, no blinking? That is definitely one of the best scenes, Phoenix' pent up anxiety, Hoffman's subtle reactions, the psychological elements .. it's a wonderful scene.

It's hard for me to say whether it's the best scene though because another one I love just as much is the scene where Dodd gets confronted by that random dude.

Spoiler:
Excuse me? Excuse me? As Hoffman keeps talking over him until he finally acknowledges and the war of words begins, with Freddie as spectator looking in disbelief/amusement/confusion. All culminating in PIG FUCK! and a tomato. Brilliant


As far as Dodd's repressed homosexuality...I think that's left more up to interpretation though your thoughts on it Cop are pretty convincing.

Spoiler:
From what I remember, I have to see it again, but Peggy didn't jack off Dodd because of Freddie, but because she suspected him of sleeping around with another girl, Laura Dern's character I believe. Could be wrong though


When I saw it, I definitely saw the father/mentor figure in Dodd moreso than the repressed homosexual.
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  #73  
Old 09-22-2012, 09:59 AM
I really hate to write this, but I was VERY disappointed with the film. Like....shockingly disappointed. And even worse, the sold out audience I was with felt it too. It's been awhile since I've been in a packed theater and you could FEEL the audience was not digging it. At all.

The best way I can describe it is this: The movie was remarkably made except for the most important element: A story. There was absolutely no story, no growth, not even any real change with the characters. And here's the thing: You don't necessarily have to have a "plot" or "growth" per se. I can name a bunch movies that were great that technically didn't have a story, or even plot.

If you think about it, here's the full summary of the story:

Freddie, a very mentally unstable war veteran, drifts around, spends some time with an upcoming cult, then leaves to continue drifting around. That's literally your story. If you started watching 11 minutes in, or 87 minutes in, you didn't miss any growth or change. And stretching that out for over 2 hours is just not going to cut it.

Also, regarding The Master/Dodd: His story had the same problems as Freddie: We get no growth of his public stature, nor of his personality. We can't really tell if this cult is making him rich/famous/publically lauded or celebrated/etc. We get tiny snippets (the book/school at the end), but every answer to every question gives you the same answer: "Uh...you know, I don't really know."

This movie very much seemed to suffer the same pitfalls as "The Tree of Life." It was more about "watching a bunch of scenes" vs. a continuous story. Also, we knew next to nothing about the characters. We get that Freddie was damaged in the war and had a bad upbringing. But what was it that made him THAT crazy? He wasn't quirky, he was certifiable. And there's really no strong answer why. Why was Dodd's newly married daughted DTF throughout the movie, only to say at dinner "He scares me?" And you have something like Dodd getting arrested, and it lives and dies in 5 minutes. It doesn't seem to affect or change the rest of his journey.

Like I said, everything EXCEPT the story was incredibly well done. The acting, cinematography, score, etc. That was all great. But man, it just sucks to admit this did NOT do it for me at all. And mind you, I'm a huge PTA fan. Both Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, in my opinion, are masterpieces. And my reaction to The Master was NOT "Oh, it just isn't as good as his other movies." An hour in, I just knew this wasn't clicking for me, and I was scuffling to get to the ending.

5/10
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  #74  
Old 09-22-2012, 10:08 AM
I see the film as a character piece, and if I measure it solely as such, then it's a perfect film. But if I were to look at it as anything more than that then it's no where near perfection.

9/10
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  #75  
Old 09-22-2012, 11:05 AM
Does Phoenix make any other faces than the one in the trailer? I guess he is calling that acting. He should go back to rap.
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  #76  
Old 09-22-2012, 11:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jig Saw 123 View Post
I see the film as a character piece, and if I measure it solely as such, then it's a perfect film. But if I were to look at it as anything more than that then it's no where near perfection.

9/10
Yeah, I definitely feel like the expectations game failed me as a viewer, and I imagine other people might feel the same. I think There Will Be Blood is the best film of the last 25 years and probably sits right outside a top 10 list if I could ever figure one out. I sort of felt like, given PTA's seeming ability to grow better each time around, this was going to be his defining masterpiece, TWBB but even better. This really did the movie no favors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbman32 View Post
I really hate to write this, but I was VERY disappointed with the film. Like....shockingly disappointed. And even worse, the sold out audience I was with felt it too. It's been awhile since I've been in a packed theater and you could FEEL the audience was not digging it. At all.

The best way I can describe it is this: The movie was remarkably made except for the most important element: A story. There was absolutely no story, no growth, not even any real change with the characters. And here's the thing: You don't necessarily have to have a "plot" or "growth" per se. I can name a bunch movies that were great that technically didn't have a story, or even plot.
Yeah, we seem to be on exactly the same vibe, and this seems to be a rather common vibe, even among avowed PTA fans. My theater was the exact same way. The "abstractness" of the film certainly wasn't my problem with it. The problem was that when one approaches the world one can be abstract, but it is still always about some sort of mental content. Where this film didn't grab me was not in its manipulation of the content via its cinematic presentation -- its abstract nature, its pacing, etc. -- but in the fundamental content it was presenting.

Last edited by Gordon; 09-22-2012 at 11:48 AM..
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  #77  
Old 09-22-2012, 03:35 PM
I think the problem with the film is that the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts. The film feels like a collection of scenes, but it doesn't feel like it builds to a satisfying crescendo. It never reaches that operatic level of astonishment and unity that There Will Be Blood reaches or even Boogie Nights. It's strange because the film sets you up with a very epic feeling and scope, but it ends rather quietly. The acting carries the story more than it should. It feels as though Freddie never truly gets to see the truth about Lancaster in a more direct manner. It's almost as if he sees it through the eyes of others like Kevin J. O'Connor's reaction to the second book, or Val's assessment of his father. We never see Freddie reacting to it or figuring out that Lancaster is a fraud for himself. And it almost seems like he doesn't care either way because he simply enjoys his company. It dilutes the drama a bit.

Also, it's odd that Freddie never comes off as a true believer of the Cause because that could have created more conflict. For example, Freddie remains an alcoholic throughout the film, but it would have been interesting if maybe the Cause had cured him temporarily until he relapses. I think the solution was simple: Freddie's character needed a better arc. The narrative wanders because he is lost in his own story. That's probably why I gravitated more towards Phillip Seymour Hoffman's performance because I felt his character had more layers.

Last edited by Cop No. 633; 09-22-2012 at 04:19 PM..
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  #78  
Old 09-22-2012, 04:36 PM
Seeing this tonight
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  #79  
Old 09-22-2012, 04:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cop No. 633 View Post
I think the problem with the film is that the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts. The film feels like a collection of scenes, but it doesn't feel like it builds to a satisfying crescendo. It never reaches that operatic level of astonishment and unity that There Will Be Blood reaches or even Boogie Nights. It's strange because the film sets you up with a very epic feeling and scope, but it ends rather quietly. The acting carries the story more than it should.

I think the solution was simple: Freddie's character needed a better arc. The narrative wanders because he is lost in his own story. That's probably why I gravitated more towards Phillip Seymour Hoffman's performance because I felt his character had more layers.
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."

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.
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  #80  
Old 09-22-2012, 06:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
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.
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.

Last edited by Bourne101; 09-22-2012 at 06:10 PM..
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