Written September 16, 2012
Master is a self-indulgent exercise in art for art's sake designed to appeal to critics and Hollywood insiders not the ticket-buying public. There is no plot, no narrative arc-just a series of meaningless, disconnected vignettes. Moviegoers who are expecting an absorbing story and well-drawn characters will be disappointed. The showing we attended displayed no discernible audience reaction during or after the film's ending. One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Written September 17, 2012
Epic! 90% of the film will blow your mind and leave you laughing hysterically. A few slows parts, but the brillance surrounding makes it totally worth the ride. Will linger in your mind continually after walking out of the theater.
Written September 16, 2012
Beautifully shot capturing the postwar period visually in "you are there" color and composition. Music, too...but relentlessly intense as is the film, which is promising for first 1/2 hour. The film, the focus, the "bigger" picture gets swallowed up by the sometimes brilliant performances o its male leads, but--sadly, disappointingly--loses its way in their father son, guru and sycophant, brother, and almost lovers, in this...and the audience is left lost. Not in a productive way. The movie is grossly repetitious, I suppose because it could not find its way out of the force field of these two men. Most important, it is impossible to consider Phoenix's role as that of a seriously mentally disturbed man--even before the PTSD, despite the drinking, so there is little tension really between "master and slave," which it wants to be. Or whatever it wanted to be. Though difficult to tolerate, at times, it's worth seeing.
Written September 22, 2012
In a nutshell, Joaquin Phoenix is the entire entertainment value in this movie. His character development is outstanding!
I also thought, what I'll call "the psychology," of the film is well done. (Exploring the psychology of cult recruitment and a believable examination of a drifter's mind.)
But, the movie itself is disappointing. With a terrific cast and a provocative subject matter, the story could've been so much more, but isn't. The promotions make it seem like it's going to not only be a character study, but also a look at the shady underpinnings of a cult.....it does with Phoenix' character, but it is lacking in every other area.
I think this is the first time I've ever written a response to a movie on this site where I'll suggest that it's OK if you wait for this one to come to cable.
So, 4 out of 4 stars for Phoenix, 2 out of 4 stars for the movie as a whole.
Written September 23, 2012
To start off, this is a movie which you'll either love, or you'll hate. You will either love this movie for it's contents, or despise it for it's length. So, saying that the movie was very long, hence it was bad is somewhat a quick conclusion. The movie is over 2 hours, but that doesn't mean it was bad. No, quite the opposite. The movie being longer makes it better. Why? The movie itself is very beautiful. Looking back at every scene, I just want to go back to the movie theatre, buy another ticket, and just look at the movie again for that art. Sure, if you can't stand long movies, it doesn't matter how good the movie is, because the issue is with length. If you can't stand 2 hours of continuous watching, don't go and see this. However, if you can withstand 2 hours, by all means, go and watch it. It's a little slow, but as I said before, those scenes are just amazing to look at. Now, I won't even go into the actors. The acting in The Master is off-charts, that is without question.10/10