Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012: Week 39: The Master

The Master

Genre: Drama

Main Players: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams 

General Gist:   A troubled WWII veteran comes home from the war and gets caught up in a cult like group called The Cause. 

Tiff's Take: 
Wow.  Where do you even start with a movie like this one?  I hadn't really heard anything about this movie until about two weeks before it came out.  I heard it was going to be an award winner so I thought I better go see it.  Also, my cousin, who's in film school (and obviously much more knowledgeable and cultured in movies then this accountant) said that it was good but warned me that it was weird.  Weird movies don't scare me.  I like a good, solid, weird movie.  This one took weird to a whole other level.

So I'm a little torn with this one. 

The downside of this movie:
  • It was weird to the point of uncomfortable.  There were some uncomfortable scenes and Joaquin's character was just sort of creepy.  It made me feel a little yucky.
  • It was confusing.  You know when you're reading a poem and it doesn't make much sense and you have to dissect every word to find the meaning?  That's what this movie was like but I don't feel like I found the meaning in the end.
  • Any story about a cult/religious group/organization that is controlling in any way is unsettling to me.  It scares me and I don't like it.  Period.     
The upside of this movie:
  • What amazing acting!  Joaquin Phoenix was a completely different person in this movie.  I would be shocked if he isn't nominated for an Oscar.  And both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were fantastic.  Amy Adams definitely branched out with this role.
  • Even though I'm not the most creative or artistic person and tend to be more logical, I could still appreciate the artistry in this movie.  Whether I liked it or not.  I can't tell you specifically what it was that made it good but I can tell you that it was extremely well done.  In the opinion of the average layman of course.
So did I like it?  Well, I'm glad I saw it but I don't think I'd want to see it again.

Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Deb's Take:
 I stuggled with this review for many of the reason's Tiff mentioned above.  I am not a totally uncreative thinker, in fact, I have always been a little far fetched in my symbolic thinking, you'll notice I didn't say super intelligent or a master of symbolic thinking, only...far fetched.  So during half of this movie I sat and really tried to analyze the symbolism that obviously I felt must have been taking place, (as I was so totally lost I couldn't imagine any other reason for it).  By the second half of the movie I decided I was intellectually challenged and maybe the last scene of the movie would just sum everything up for me.  WELL...that was a big NO.  Instead, the first words out of my mouth when the movie was done were "I so didn't get that..at all!".   Oh, I got the main concept, that was very apparent, but the storytelling was crazy weird.  SOO...all that being said I went to the following website for "The Master" and read the Synopsis (a very detailed account of the movie and it's scenes.)   AH HA!!  Light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here is the deal, I missed a couple things in the movie, a few points that I took at face value and after reading the synopsis realize the story makes a little (very little) more sense to me.   I feel the movie didn't do that wonderful of a job getting their point across in some of the scenes.  Like for instance...1.) he was dreaming when he was in the movie theatre?!?  REALLY?  so didn't get that!  2.) I know the whole teachings were suppose to do something for his insanity/drunkened/wierd self, but...what were they teaching?  read the synopsis and you will understand a little more. 3.) The support characters always just seemed so random...again, read the synopsis...that guy he beat up was the editor of the book?   Just a few of my "OHHH I get it" moments. It kind of felt like a movie that was a book and the director didn't have enough time for all the details so he just hoped everyone who went would have read the book to fill in the blanks.

I guess what I am saying is, I like a movie was deeper meaning, but I think this movie did a poor job at getting the point across.  Too many details were left out that made the movie seem chopping and disconnected (Disconnected in a movie is a killer for me).    Tiff did mention the acting was amazing. Amazingly weird...but I will give the movie that, these actors did weird very well.

Deb's Rate: Don't bother...read the synopsis, you'll get more out of it.

Preview: Not sure what's in store this week but our mom's in town so we'll have company!

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