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The Master [Blu-ray]

Philip Seymour Hoffman , Joaquin Phoenix , Paul Thomas Anderson    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Master [Blu-ray] + Boogie Nights [Blu-ray] [1998] [Region Free] + There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Rami Malek
  • Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Mar 2013
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,011 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Paul Thomas Anderson's closely observed character study represents a reverse image of its predecessor, There Will Be Blood, in which a prospector (Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis) and his protégé (Paul Dano) engaged in an epic battle of wills.

In this more tonally consistent effort, the acolyte takes center stage. Gaunt, tightly wound, and eerily reminiscent of Montgomery Clift, Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, an ex-naval officer suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. Since World War II, he's had difficulty holding down a job due to his hot temper and affinity for paint thinner-spiked potions, but the charismatic Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman in a more subtle, but equally skillful turn) finds him irresistible as a project, a surrogate son--maybe even the shadow self that he normally keeps hidden (Dodd shares Quell's propensity for the occasional splenetic outburst).

Lancaster welcomes him to join the Cause, a movement that recalls Scientology by way of Freud, since he focuses on the elimination of past trauma through a pseudo-psychoanalytic exercise called processing. If he provides Quell with a surrogate family, much like Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights, his loyal wife (Amy Adams) and cynical son (Jesse Plemons) seem more skeptical.

While participating in their rituals, Quell sails with the group from San Francisco to Pennsylvania, but it's hard to tell whether he really believes or whether he's just going through the motions. The lack of clear-cut conclusions will leave some viewers cold, but you've never seen a performance--simultaneously riveting and repellent--like Phoenix's before. -- Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic cinema, unforgettable acting 1 May 2013
The mid-range star rating for this film is, for me, a glowing endorsement that it's worth a look. In an age where the inoffensive, forgettable or mediocre will guarantee positive reviews, something that divides opinion has got to be worth a look.

For me, The Master is an incredible film - far, far better all round than the director's previous work, There Will Be Blood. The cinematography is stunning from the first shot to the last and the acting performances are nothing short of extraordinary.

Plus, though the story doesn't necessarily have all the answers, there is no question that you'll be thinking about the meaning long after the final credits. A film that makes you think and debate - got to be a good thing.

That said, I think the overall meaning of The Master is fairly clear - and it's summed up in the final scene.

One thing is for sure - how The Master didn't end up sweeping the Oscars is an injustice. The two leads are nothing short of amazing and Joaquin Phoenix delivers a mesmerising performance. Never mind this year, it is acting worthy of an Oscar in any year in recent memory.

And that quality is (very nearly) matched by every other lead.

Sure, for some, The Master won't be to their taste, which is fine, but I found it worked brilliantly both as a film in its own right and as a work of art.

Brilliant stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MAN IS NOT AN ANIMAL 3 May 2013
By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a WWII vet with anger management issues. He is obsessed with sex (more than the rest of us) and loves his drink. After numerous altercations, Freddie ends up as a stowaway on the yacht of The Master, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd is also a hot head who likes his drink and previously had an altercation with Freddie, one that he can't remember, while he can recall past lives. He believes Freddie's familiar face must be from one of them.

Dodd is a cult leader of a movement called "The Cause" which gets it name from the fact that if they used "Scientology" they would get sued. The fact that Hollywood would make what is unmistakably an anti-Scientology film is remarkable in itself.

Freddie is a wild cannon who threatens to derail the movement with his violent tendencies and lust. The Master sees him as a work in progress, one that he must conquer in order to justify his ideas to himself. His family doesn't see it that way. Good acting but the film seemed to be either poorly edited, or written, as the plot lacked proper direction and flow in relationship to the theme...which I am sure it had one if not a dozen of them.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, masturbation, full frontal nudity.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Joaquin Phoenix stars as Freddie Quell who is a World War II vet who has served in the merchant navy too. Whilst on active duty he developed a penchant for making magic hooch type mixes to get through the stress and monotony of war. On his return Stateside it is clear that he has been traumatised by his experiences. He has to attend classes for what is now called `post traumatic stress disorder' or PTSD, and it is all a bit basic, so he leaves.

After a succession of down at heel jobs and increasingly erratic behaviour, he stowaways on board the boat of charismatic cult leader, Philip Seymour-Hoffman playing Lancaster Dodd or `The Master'. He has some loyal followers who believe in his theories of time travel regress therapy. It is not long before Quell falls under the thrall of The Master, but as things develop so do the real basis for the relationship and all, as ever, is not what it seems.

To say any more would indeed be a plot spoiler. This is essentially a character study of two people and the main leads both take their character studies to the enth degree making even Mr Day-Lewis seem a bit tardy by comparison when he wears his false beard. The central performances are quite rightly at the heart of this and it is their performances that make this so engrossing. It is also brilliantly framed in nigh on every shot, with use of interesting camera angles.

Writer and director Paul Thomas-Anderson (`There Will Be Blood' and `Boogie Nights') has made a thought provoking and stylish study of the human spirit. This was Academy nominated, but got a no show. I was bemused by it at first as Quell was a bit unlikable and yet I wanted to see what happened to him. This is also a film about, essentially these two men and so is far from a rollicking adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good film that could have been a great one 5 Feb 2014
By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER
By the end of this worthily if wearyingly impressive film, I was beginning to get restless.
The great Philip Seymour Hoffman (now so tragically gone from us) adds to his gallery of mesmerising performances as the titular Master, with the always worth watching Amy Adams as his pregnant wife, who more and more appears to be the `power behind the throne`. Both are terrific.
Joaquin Phoenix here looks like a half-starved cross between Montgomery Clift after his accident and a shorter, more mannered Daniel Day Lewis (coincidentally the star of maverick director Paul Thomas Anderson`s previous film, the far more coherent There Will Be Blood). Don`t get me wrong, Phoenix is a man champing at the bit - he`s Brando, Clift & Dean here, you name it - but his loping, twitchy take on Freddie Quell, ex-soldier on the loose, gets wearing, and I`m not sure it isn`t merely a fascinating character in search of a better film, better script, and a better reason for existing.
The wonderful Laura Dern is wasted in a too-small role of a follower of the cult set up by the Master (which, despite denials, looks like a disguised Scientology) and too many of the characters are either left stranded by the director or given plenty to do but with too little reason for their actions.
It`s one of those `loaded` films where I can`t help thinking that one vital ingredient is missing: real life. This is a story that needed to be told, but it could have been either much more visceral and less like an American art-film wanting to please, or a more open-ended, Altman-like ramble, which might have given Phoenix, Hoffman, Adams et al more room to let rip.
That said, Hoffman is superb, Adams is near-perfect, and Phoenix is, despite my above concerns, brilliant. I just can`t help wondering: to what purpose?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
This is one of my favourite films, by my favourite director! Can't wait for Inherent Vice!
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars no plot!
I get what most people are saying, and completely understand why they say it. But that's why I loved The Master - it literally is a character study of Quell and Master and their... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Craig Baxter
1.0 out of 5 stars not sure why this did well at Cannes
Published 15 days ago by P. GOODMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service
Good price and quick delivery, thanks.
Published 1 month ago by ANTHONY SEEGER
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Strange, uneven film redeemed by a astonishing central performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman
Published 2 months ago by Richard Ewbank
2.0 out of 5 stars Overblown
Hoped for much more from this, given the team's pedigree. Got the popcorn going, invited folk around, settled in for what should have been a classic, but oh it goes on. Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. J. Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
Arrived promptly. Good condition. Very happy. However, I can't comment on the actual film as this was a gift so I haven't watched it myself.
Published 4 months ago by rosec
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and Enigmatic
My husband and I barely understood this film. We watched it to the end, but it was a wasted evening. The only saving grace was the acting of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dorothy Baker
2.0 out of 5 stars strange religions
Magnificently shot, expertly acted, the post-war period lovingly recreated -- yet entirely uninvolving. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dominic Swayne
4.0 out of 5 stars The Master
Excellent, offbeat movie with superb performances all round. A real testament to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's talent.Would definitely recommend.
Published 4 months ago by jimimckillop
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