The Master

The Master

DVD - 2013
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A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post-World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master unfolds the journey of a naval veteran who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future, until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
Publisher: [United States] : EOne Films, 2013.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (144 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Nov 29, 2018

Not the most enjoyable film ever, but an impressive study of cult experience. Hoffman’s Hubbard look-alike was charming and charismatic whilst being the biggest creep among many. Phoenix’s character was scary and repellent, but served to remind that these were not faceless zombies: They were individualized zombies, each with their own set of problems. You might say that the darkest insight the film brings is the difference between these twilight zone societies and normalcy, i.e. little twists of degree rather than kind. . .more regimented on the one hand, less desperate to identify groups of enemies on the other. Fortunately, the charms of normalcy these days are such that wacko cults hardly get a look in. Who would be terrified of being ostracized by society that no sane person would join? Food for thought. Don’t forget to destroy Carthage, now.

Jul 06, 2018

The time and expense making this incredibly offensive film could have been better spent on wigs for Maxine Waters along with Mensa qualifying tests for her, to establish the lowest bar for someone liberals consider to be human; and corsets for Michael Moore to wear in his starring role in the remake of Peter Pan, with little Chuckie Shumer as Tinker Bell.

May 02, 2018

Slow and boring, or deep and rich? Or victim of Scientologist down votes? I don't judge anyone who holds either of the first two opinions, because there's good reason for either view. This film is a mash of gorgeous and telling scenes, rather than a completely successful whole. Just don't call it inaccurate. The Master (Philip Seymour Hoffman, IMO his best performance) is not literally L. Ron Hubbard, but Scientology and dozens of other real self-help cults formed in ways similar to those depicted in the film. They had similar charismatic leaders, and aided and then controlled and damaged troubled people in similar ways. If you generally stick to films with a straightforward stories and sympathetic characters, this is probably not for you. But if you like character studies and great acting, give it a shot. [The attached video will give you some idea. No, the film is not all swearing and confrontations, but it is emotional.]

Jun 09, 2016

This movie kind of feels like it has a secret and it hints at it, but never quite gives you enough info to figure out what it's going for. I've seen it twice now, and I liked it more the 2nd time, but it remains a frustrating film.

Apr 04, 2016

I had such high hopes for this movie, but it just didn't deliver. Hoffman's performance may be the only reason to sit through this film.

mcmurray777 Feb 06, 2016

Not easy to view, The Master is over two hours long. Difficult to sit through and understand, but if you watch the "extras" after you watch the movie, you'll have a better understanding. So, prepare to spend more than four hours on this. Even better, watch the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief before you see The Master to fully comprehend what is happening. Lots of things were cut to get the movie down to 138 minutes.

Joaquin Phoenix plays a sex-obsessed, alcoholic WWII vet suffering from what we now call PTSD who somehow begins an association with Philip Seymore Hoffman's character, a leader of a movement called The Cause. This is obviously based on L. Ron Hubbard and his Dianetics phase.

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, son of Ernie Anderson of Ghoulardi fame.

An extra (at least on the Blu-ray copy) worth watching is a 1946 documentary on the treatment of soldiers returning from WWII suffering from "shell shock."

Sep 21, 2015

I expected so much more from the likes of these actors. I have appreciated all of them in other movies but this was a real stinker. The movie opens with Phoenix masturbating after having intercourse with a woman sand castle... there was NO point to this scene. The movie was depressing and bizarre and unfortunately we watched way too much of it waiting for something entertaining and/or intelligent to happen. After an hour we couldn't take the torture and finally shut it off. Hopefully this was not Hoffman's last movie. What a waste of time.

Sep 07, 2015

This movie is not “lightly entertaining”; if you are looking for fluff…forget about this. This is a story that unfolds slowly. There is no “action” blood or gore, just pure drama. The acting by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix is extraordinary. The characters are complex, deeply flawed and realistic. Humanity is desperately looking for redemption. We continue to have faith that what seems “too good to be true” is true. Gurus draw into their web, naïve, blind seekers willing to place their faith and finances in their hands. It illustrates beautifully that one shred of hope humanity has for salvation, if only we believe strongly enough we won’t be disappointed or scammed. PSH’s character really does believe in what he spends his waking hours trying to accomplish on the nickel of wealthy benefactors. This is a study of human frailty, flaws and vulnerability.

Aug 24, 2015

Don’t bother with this movie. This is such a strange, bizarre and very long movie. The performances are good but it’s just a movie not worth watching.

Aug 17, 2015

I am a PT Anderson superfan, and incredibly fascinated by Scientology and its origins, but I just could not get into this movie. The performances (especially Hoffman) are amazing, but all together it was just odd and boring and blech.

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Aug 26, 2014

BloomFree thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

mozifox Apr 14, 2014

mozifox thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Aug 05, 2014

Pages of quotes from IMDb ... This quote sums up the film's hohum message: Lancaster Dodd: If you figure a way to live without serving a master, any master, then let the rest of us know, will you? For you'd be the first person in the history of the world.

aaa5756 Jul 23, 2013

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
― Albert Einstein


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Jul 06, 2013

Sexual Content: Brief nudity and a couple of sexual situations.


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