The Master (2012)

Well I knew this movie would be weird. It’s by P. T. Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood), and this is his latest project. Which snatched up a very hermitted Joaquin Phoenix after his recent (failed?) stunt to “fool the world” into believing he was a born again rapper. While Casey Affleck filmed it all. I haven’t seen the movie yet (although I’ve heard it’s… something), but I will see it soon. Puffy is apparently in it, and apparently Puffy’s not pleased.

The Master is about Scientology in from what I gathered to be the mid 1940’s or so. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the mock El Ron Hubbard without ever dropping the words Scientology or it’s creator’s actual real name. But it is no question that is the environment in which the story takes place.  It IS merely an environment though.  Don’t think you are about to see a movie about Scientology, probably something you’re too scared to even investigate because of “what you’ve heard”.  P. T. wouldn’t waste his time with your poppycock fears, he’s got more to say than that… I’m just not sure I always want to hear it.

This time I did.  Like Radiohead, P. T. is one of those entities that has survived long enough for me not to trust myself with my own opinion.  I Must keep checking back in.  Like a lot of worthy art, this movie is about what it means to be a human being.  How fucked up we are and how that’s ultimately Ok and With Punishment.  The struggles it takes to be a human being. The ways human beings try to heal and fix other human beings. The question of whether we are to be distinguished from animals.  Are we something more?  Says who?  El Ron (who I respect)?  And ultimately asks and answers the question of can misguided humans be saved? It says, no… but who’s saving who anyway?  It criticizes those who claim to save… Scientifically (all you Scientists!!!)… others that are made of the same flesh and blood, same atoms and Energy Fields.

People need help.  But let’s not forget you do too.  I do.  We all do.

Don’t offer help without first realizing you are just as poor.

So you got a suit on. But you’re lying.  Worst off to yourself… and it comes around.  Praise to those brave enough to sleep with the dead dog.

You still eat shit, but you’ve covered it with the gravy of sacrifice. And that’s what people tell me life is all about once they all start eating the same gravy.

Am I off topic here?

If you’ve seen a P. T. Anderson movie before you know they aren’t like the rest of them. There is an original formula here and perhaps maybe one of those types of art that inspires by making people want to understand it. Terminator 2 is art… but you know exactly why.   P. T. will make you figure it out… and it’s in there where his unphased spirits are dancing around my cerebral fire.

Paul Thomas Anderson

I hate Magnolia. I love Punch Drunk Love. Boogie Nights is cool because it’s about porn. Roller Girl is cool. William H. Macy is cool when he shoots his wife for being a bitch (IT’S A MOVIE, THAT’s WHERE WE”RE SUPPOSED TO SHOOT PEOPLE) . But I still don’t know if I LIKE that movie. There Will Be Blood… I… I… I just don’t know… I need to see it again.

Point being… before seeing this movie I would not have even called myself a P. T. Anderson fan.  Most people are drooling if they’re into him, and I’ve never met anyone who likes P. T. Anderson and hates Magnolia as much as I do. That movie sucks.  But I had to go see this movie because I gots respect for the man. The acting is always good (can not deny Daniel D. Lewis in There Will Be Blood). And the camera work is always really, really good. Like lens choice and color correction/color scheme type stuff.  These both hit the mark. Joaquin Phoenix’s (not so) big return is spectacular. That man acts in scenes in this movie that earn him Double Rainbow Oscars for Decades.  Seriously.  But this is because he is a psychopath in real life too. Or just awesome and misunderstood, like me.  Anyways, Joaquin.. I don’t care. You ruled my world.

Phillip is always good. So I will see anything he is in. He is convincing in character, and that is the true job of an actor. Many actors are good because they are cute and can Entertain doing one thing (Clint Eastwood, and yes my older friends even Robert Redford are guilty here). Phillip Seymore Hoffman can Fucking Act.  Pay the man.

In conclusion… P. T. Anderson movies are just really, really weird. Sometimes good. And mostly really, really weird. You want to see Joaquin Phoenix masturbate into the ocean, fingerbang a sandwoman , and walk back and forth trying to tell the difference between a wall and a window… go see The Master.  Half the time I had no real idea what was going on… but I could Think about it. For those of you who enjoy such challenges… keep enjoying art like The Master.

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One thought on “The Master (2012)

  1. Good review. Not P.T. Anderson’s best, but definitely a flick that enthralled me from start-to-finish, even though I don’t necessarily have an idea what it was trying to answer about it’s themes and messages. Still, features two of the best performances all-year from Phoenix and Hoffman.

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