Have they released a DVD date yet for it?
Have they released a DVD date yet for it?
Movies recently reviewed by RRA:
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Star Trek (2009)
Pain & Gain (2013)
Jurassic Park III (2001)
This week cinephiles down under have been treated to their very first screenings of "The Master" as the film just had its Australian premiere at the Cockatoo Island Film Festival and another screening in 70mm at the Astor Theatre in Melbourne. Paul was on hand for both events (you can see him above with the artistic director for the Cockatoo Film Fest) and participated in a post-film Q&A at the Astor. A reader who was on hand at the latter event sent along a few notes.
After the screening the fan approached Paul and asked about the "Punch-Drunk Love" Blu-ray. and Paul said he's working on it now and will be released "next year." No word yet on if this will be a Criterion release but lets not rule it out.
When asked by the fan if he would ever record a commentary again (since he hasn't done one since "Boogie Nights") he said he might even though he doesn't necessarily enjoy recording them. Sounds like we can probably rule them out for 'PDL' and "The Master" but perhaps down the line.
He also talked about how much he admires what Chris Nolan did with 'The Dark Knight' films, he said "I'm a huge fan of 'The Dark Knight' series, what Chris Nolan did was to combine the highest level of artistry with great commercial success, it's what everyone dreams for, what he did with those films is truly amazing."
Also when asked about if this auditorium was his lecture, and he was the film school professor, what film would he show. He said "Ted", that it was truly hilarious and so well written, one of the funniest/best films he's seen recently. That a film like "Ted" just takes you back to the core of what films are about, enjoyment.
I didn't really understand it.
The problem with watching a movie like "The Master" so late in the game is that by then you've read the reviews seen the trailers and clips, and heard the hyperbole from all sides, so you go in expecting to be either blown away or appalled, when in reality the likelihood of either happening isn't really that high. No, I wasn't "blown away" by my own definition when I saw "The Master", but I can't deny that I was thinking about the movie all the way through, and I've been thinking about it since I saw it. This is the sort of movie that should be put in the dictionary under "thought-provoking".
Joaquin Phoenix stars, of course, as Freddie Quells, a WWII naval veteran who reminds me a lot of Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver". Like Bickle his psyche was horrifically damaged in the war, but we never see exactly what happened to make him so broken (we see in flashbacks that he was more or less normal before the war, so we're pretty sure this isn't what he's always like). He seems to have lost all impulse control, lashing out in anger, wanting to have sex with every woman he meets, shouting at people... he only seems to be able to function in society because he's constantly drunk.
Eventually, he finds himself on the yacht of Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a mysterious religious group called "The Cause". Yes, The Cause is obviously inspired by Scientology, but rather than being an expose, Paul Thomas Anderson uses Scientology's tools to dig deeper in to the mind of Freddie and his relationship with Dodd. Dodd senses a connection with Freddie, and we can sense one after a while, too: they seem like total opposites, but they are two halves of the same coin. While Dodd is suave, collected, and calm most of the time, we still see a seething anger and rage just below the surface that leaks out whenever he is challenged. Freddie, on the other hand, is almost completely at the mercy of his emotions and impulses and can only hold back his anger for so long before it bursts out in violence.
The best scenes in the movie are the scenes where Dodd practices the mental exercises of The Cause on Freddie. One scene of "Processing" becomes almost unbearably intense when Dodd insists that Freddie answer the questions without blinking. Another sequence where Freddie has to walk back and forth between a wall and a window, repeatedly describing each is fascinating because of the different things he comes up with each time, first describing the objects themselves, then what they represent, then what's beyond them. Freddie goes along with these exercises completely, because he is so dedicated to maintaining his relationship with Dodd.
The problem is, since The Cause is devoted to discovering the past lives within one's self, along with purging out the negative (read: most) emotions, Freddie is literally unable to create a real heart-to-heart relationship with Dodd, who treats him less like a friend and more like a misbehaving child. Dodd himself is surrounded by people devoted to him and his teachings, but due to the nature of those teaching cannot truly connect to any of them. He's great at putting on a show and pleasing a crowd, but on a person-to-person level, all he can do is ask questions. Even his relationship with his wife (Amy Adams) seems more base on The Cause than on love.
The performances by Phoenix and Hoffman are predictably great... neither of these actors are prone to giving bad performances, and they inhabit the characters completely. Amy Adams is fantastic as Hoffman's wife, so unlike any other role she's played, and often seeming more devoted to and believing more in The Cause than Hoffman himself. Anderson's direction wisely focuses on the characters, and rather than use the 70mm photography to create grandiose imagery (although there is a little of that) he instead uses it to gaze deeply into their faces. There's a sequence near the end of the film where the camera cuts back and forth between Freddie and Dodd, and we are reminded again of the complete contrast between their characters simply by looking at their faces: Dodd's puffy, well-groomed, with a constant smirk that hides his resentment and anger, while Freddie's face is deeply lined and sunk in, with big, expressive eyes and a demeanor that can't hide what he is thinking. In this scene Dodd delivers a lecture on what it means to follow a Master... but that's not what the movie is really about at all. The movie is about the need in each of us to find a true relationship... a true friend. Freddie thought he had that with a girl from his hometown, but he lost that when he had to go to war. He wanted to get that with Dodd, but Dodd wouldn't let him in... preferring to use him as a tool to experiment The Cause on. By the end he may have finally found one, and if it seems a bit inexplicable... well, then, that's sometimes how it works, isn't it?
I dunno... he certainly seemed to have greater impulse control, had more normal converations, etc.
And as far as the "child-girlfriend" thing goes, we don't really know how old Freddie is supposed to be (Just because Joaquin Phoenix is 30-something doesn't mean his character is. Remember, the part was written with Jeremy Renner in mind, and Renner's even older than Phoenix). We can surmise that there's at least an 8-9 year gap between the flashback scenes and the storyline proper. In 1940s-era America, a 20-something courting a teenager wouldn't have been considered quite that unusual (although the way he goes about it would probably be).
I'd also argue that the man who visits her mother at the end of the film is also different than the man we see in between... He is, again, less impulsive and more tactful in his behavior. Freddie's been changed by his experiences with Lancaster Dodd and The Cause, not that The Cause fixed him, but he realized that he needed to find a connection with somebody, and his failure to do so with Dodd reminded him of what he had before the War.
Renner looks younger than Phoenix even though he's actually older IMO.
I pretty much loved this, a directing and acting showcase. Not a big fan of PHX or PSH, but they were magnificent here, as was Adams. Hoping for three acting noms, as well as BP, BD, Screenplay, and Cinny.
FYC Oscar consideration, Miss Sally Field, as Mary Todd Lincoln
I am officially the last person on AD to see The Master.
I just didn't really like it. This is coming from someone who really loves PTA's last two films (although I do think I need to revisit both and see Boogie Nights/Magnolia). I just couldn't get Freddie or what PTA was really going for here. The narrative just didn't come together for me. Looking through this thread it seems like some people found this boring, which isn't the case for me. I just couldn't find a foothold in this film for me to engage with. I found Pheonix to be such a mixed bag, he was so natural in some scenes (the first Processing scene with PSH stands out for me as his best), but in others he was such a caricature. On the flip side Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were very very strong, I wish that they were the arc of the film.
I feel so conflicted because I really wanted to like this film (which I should add is gorgeous). But I'm actual open to giving this a repeat viewing (oddly enough).
I won't see it till it's released on DVD, so I'll most certainly be the last.
The more I think about it, I am more challenged by this film and really want to see it again. I still can't say I liked it, but since I saw it last night I seem less bothered by the film as a whole and my only issue is Pheonix's performance.
This was amazing. A true masterpiece. Very uncomfortable to sit through. Not meant to entertain. Meant to be dwelled upon and analyzed. The acting is phenomenal from everyone. This is the kind of movies that should not be discussed in term of oscars. It doesn't care and the people who like it don't care as well.
I give it 7/10, its is flawed, ideas are brought up and touched upon yet never developed. However I cannot fault the acting here, Ive never been a Joaquin Phoenix fan but he is astonishing in this performance, and I really don't get the 'mannered' or 'broad' criticisms, there wasnt one aspect of the performance that felt false, and that processing scene is for my money the best acted scene of the year. He really shouldnt miss out on a nomination atleast.