The Master (2012)

Joaquin Phoenix is the central focus of this film, messed up lip and all. A half hour into the film, I still had no idea what it was about. We got the back story for Joaquin's character, and we heard a brief rorschach test that indicates an unhealthy obsession with sex, but we don't have any direction for him or any significant emotional motivation (aside form the aforementioned obsession with sex). We can tell that Joaquin has decided to drop a bunch of weight for this role, and he looks unhealthy. He looks quite a bit like Billy Bob at this point.

We finally roll around to Philip Seymour Hoffman's character as what we can only assume is the title character as master of the ship that Joaquin will work on. I guess they decided that "Master and Commander" was taken, so they would shorten it and make it more hip - kind of like when they took the "Wizard of Oz" title and shortened it to that awesome spectacle, "The Wiz." Well, we are to assume that... at first.

As time progresses, it becomes fairly obvious that the intent of the Master to psychologically dominate our hero, Freddie (the aforementioned Joaquin) as well as all of the others he has come in contact with.  Yes, it's a good old-fashioned cult movie! No, not a cult movie like Rocky Horror Picture Show, I mean a cult movie like Rosemary's Baby. Eventually, there are intricate sexual turns and twists, but I never really found the movie all that engaging. That's surprising, as there are scenes with much breasts, but this thing really drags.

I noticed that the actors seem to be trying really hard to put in good performances. The directing appears to have been devised exclusively to give them that opportunity, and subsequently the opportunity to win an Oscar for this movie that basically no one should bother seeing.

A friend and I went through the Wikipedia list of movies that won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and we compared some of the movies that came out that didn't win. We saw a pattern - we agreed with the decisions up to a point, and that point was far too many years ago, but we noticed that crap factory artsy movies started winning against movies that actually entertained. This is the kind of movie that the Academy would praise and the average person would waste their money to see.



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