THE MASTER -- the much-talked-about, would-be artistic blockbuster that disappointed at the box-office -- hits the street on DVD and Blu-ray this coming week, where film buffs can get their fill, maybe for a second time, while the hoi polloi (if it can be convinced to take a chance) watches, curls up its nose and then scratches its collective head. Not enough "action."
Scientology by name, the movie -- written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (shown at left) -- drops enough hints and uses enough techniques similar to that cult so that most media-friendly folk will soon under-stand what kind of game the titular "Master" (played oh-so-well by Philip Seymour Hoffman, below) is running and upon what it is based. The movie might just as easily have been titled The Pupil (or maybe The Disciple) as it concentrates more on the character of the hugely problemed man (a most interesting performance by Joaquin Phoenix, further below) who, by chance, comes into the sphere of this master and finds himself growing attached to and led by this charismatic charlatan, even as the supposed master is being seduced by the charms of his not-quite protégé.
Laura Dern in which the master and his "philosophy" are unmasked rather thoroughly, if subtly.
Amy Adams, above, left, with Jesse Plemons, center, as his son and Ambyr Childers as his daughter, at right, above. Then there's that utterly bizarre scene in which some supposedly vital writings are removed from a cave in the desert, below. And...? Don't ask, dummy. That's simply it.
The Weinstein Company, hits the street on DVD and Blu-ray this coming Tuesday, February 26.