Movie Reviews: “The Master” (2012)

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Written & Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix & Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“The Master” follows Freddie Quell, a scoundrel, and the result of brutal military service in WW2. He is lost, alone, and while in a drunken fit, finds himself stumbling onto the boat of one Lancaster Dodd, The Master. Lancaster is an author, a leader and a visionary. He takes the broken Freddie under his wing, studies him, loves him, with hopes to reform him, and document it against the naysayers of his work. What results is a gripping, and emotionally dark film.

Writer/Director PTA, has made some of my favorite films including “There Will Be Blood”, “Magnolia”, “Boogie Nights”, & “Punch-Dunk Love.” He works with great actors and knows how to get the very best performances out of them. This film is a shining example of that statement. To watch “The Master” is to be hypnotized by the world it visits upon you. In small moments we can relate to the characters, but mostly they are bizarre strangers that we gaze upon as if attending a carnival. Its raw barbaric emotion can be uncomfortable, but always remains compelling.

I feel like “The Master” is an instant classic, and a clinic on filmmaking. It doesn’t insult the viewers intelligence by filling in all the gaps. It challenges you to understand its motivations and message.

4.0 out of 4.0 stars.

Film Reviews: “Jack Goes Boating” (2010)

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Directed by and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

This film is about one relationship coming together, and another falling apart. Philip plays Jack, a softhearted, lonely 40 something. His married friends Clyde and Lucy introduce Connie as a prospective date. Jack and Connie hit it off in a shy, cute way. Jack learns how swim, and becomes a chef for┬áConnie. As she puts it, “No one has ever cooked for me before.” Their relationship slowly grows, while Clyde and Lucy pick apart their past infidelities. What I took from this film is that a struggling couple will fall apart faster in the presence of new flourishing love. “Jack Goes Boating” is strange at times in it’s delivery of mellowdrama, but sweet in it’s ideals. People like Connie and Jack just want to find someone genuine and don’t understand the ugly side to love. They devote themselves to not becoming what thier friends have become.

2.5 out of 4.0 stars.