Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, “The Master”, is the story of two men.
One (Joaquin Phoenix) is an aimless, barely functional alcoholic, who is clearly not in control of his own behavior. His sanity is tentative at best. The other (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is an author and the leader of a small spiritual movement. He’s achieved a level of success and notoriety, but it’s clear that his “teachings” may be baseless, unfounded psycho-babble.
The movie revolves around the period when their lives intersect. Each of the men provide a much-needed counterpoint for the other. One gets a structure and a path to follow. A Master. The other receives a devoted follower, and a challenging student; one who may provide the ultimate test of his methodologies.
It’s a challenging, artistic, engrossing film. Like its titular character, “The Master” is captivating, intriguing, and enigmatic. Extremely thought-provoking. And when the credits roll, it may leave audiences wondering whether it was profound… or just full of hot air.
With this weekend’s release of “The Expendables 2” and “ParaNorman”, the summer movie season is pretty much over. One weekend remains in August, and those movies wont have much room to run before school is back in session.
Nope, the season of the big blockbuster is behind us. It’s time to look ahead to the fall.
Not to despair, though, the fall brings sharp movies for the thinking movie fan. Movies which may have more selective box office appeal, but which may be some of the best movies all year.
So click through to take a look at the first part of this year’s fall preview. Today we’ll look at the last week of August, plus September, and then we’ll come back tomorrow with October and the first week of November. Together they’ll take us right up to the start of the Holiday movie season, and the November 9th release of Skyfall!
By 2008, I had completely soured on M Night. “The Lady in the Water” was that bad. I honestly had no expectations of him any more, and no anticipation of his future projects. If he was atop my favorite working directors list in 2002, he was nowhere near it in 2008.
What if “The Lady in the Water” were an aberration? I mean, you take that movie out, and the guy’s filmography was awesome. Three great flicks and one ok one. So maybe he just had one wild idea and he whiffed on it. I mean, even if it sucked, it was still…. unique. What if now he was pissed off over being called a hack, and this movie was his return to form? With a vengeance?
In the summer of 2004, M Night Shyamalan was the hottest Director in the World. His name was selling tickets to the extent where the promo poster for that summer’s “The Village” has essentially NOTHING on it except his name. “M Night Shyamalan’s The Village”, some wooden planks, a stripe of paint. In those days, that was all his movies would need. It opened with a $50 million dollar weekend.
Welcome to “Hollywood Mysteries”, my essay series about things that BAFFLE me in movies and tv. No, I’m not going to be writing about the Black Dahlia, or Bob Crane or George Reeves, or that kind of Hollywood Mystery. I’m going to write about crazy production decisions, no brainers that got fumbled, people who lost their fastballs suddenly, that sort of thing.