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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 (94 customer reviews)
Price: 7.85 & 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]
Price For All Three: 19.85

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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 (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,507 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

Product Description

Paul Thomas Anderson writes and directs this Academy Award-nominated drama about a US Navy veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who seeks salvation in the company of a charismatic cult leader. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Freddie Quell, a troubled drifter who arrives home to post-WWII America shaken, disillusioned and fearful of the future. A raging alcoholic, Quell cannot begin to make sense of his deeply-rooted inner torment, let alone surmount it. When he meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the 'master' of a cult called The Cause, an intense and ambiguous relationship develops between the two men. But do Dodd's teachings hold the power to turn Quell's life around?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master is a masterpiece. 24 Mar 2013
A real piece of film created for once, this is a challenging but richly rewarding film. Fantastically directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, some of the best acting you're likely to see by Joaquin Phoenix, Phil Hoffman and Amy Adams and one of the best scores ever by Jonny Greenwood. This film DEMANDS more than one watch, there is so much going on the film and its utterly great. Buy, watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd Film 23 Feb 2014
I really tried with this film, and to be fair the acting by the two main characters was superb, but it did not get to where it was going for me and was quite dark , I gave up 3/4 way through.
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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that warrants responses 18 Nov 2012
(dir Paul Thomas Anderson/143 mins)

This is a spoiler-free review.

Rarely does a film arrive so wet with critical saliva, though, like marmite, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is dark, distinctive and divisive. Some will hail it as genius, some will leave the cinema wishing they'd stayed home and watched Boogie Nights on DVD. Either way it is sure to provoke a reaction. Personally, I loved everything about it (although the same sadly cannot be said for marmite).

Yet, I can't recommend it. I simply can't. I could never confidently look a friend in the eye and assure them that this is worth seeing. I couldn't even tell them what it was about, let alone its genre. There's no `Well, if you liked this film, you'll be sure to like The Master' analogy to be made here because it defies comparison, eludes classification and is like no other film I've ever seen because Anderson makes no attempt to befriend his audience. Such a rebellious approach can be alienating, but it also proves exciting and rewarding as a viewer, because seldom do directors dare to make origami out of the rulebook in such a thrilling way. His narrative is fractured and drifting, as aimless as Freddie Quell (a career best performance from a superbly contorted Joaquin Phoenix). The ever excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd, the eponymous and charismatic Master; whose subtle, seamless seduction of Quell and the other members he recruits to his Cause mirrors Anderson's relationship with us as an audience. Arguably, it is he who is the true Master here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars PSH does PSH
Following Hoffman's demise, I fancied catching up on this rather elusive work. It's a bit difficult to define what didn't work, whether it was the original book or the screenplay... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Cameron
1.0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible rubbish - but superbly filmed
The only reason I dragged on to the half way mark in this bizarre and incomprehensible film was the superb post war design to the film. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Door Peeper
1.0 out of 5 stars 8640 seconds of mind numbing tedium that you will never get back.
One hundred and forty four long, long, long, minutes which I will never be able to get back. This film is full of pointless and unlikeable characters that babble on about precisely... Read more
Published 29 days ago by R. Sturrock
2.0 out of 5 stars weird
Didn't really enjoy this movie although I watched it all the way through. Odd story line and a bit too disjointed for my taste.
Published 29 days ago by Ruthie
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent dvd
deep, reflective, dark. First rate production. The actors are superb and it is with regret that this is one of the last films with philip in
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Christopher J. Wright
1.0 out of 5 stars Over Long and Heavy Handed
This was the lowest rated film ever screened over nine years at our film society and I agree with the audience. Joaquin Phoenix is a disaster mumbling and gurning throughout. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nigel
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Grows in the mind after watching it. Superb film. If you haven't yet, watch this as soons as you can.
Published 1 month ago by Scribe Zero
1.0 out of 5 stars pointless - but well played
this is the most pointless movie I have ever seen. With all respect, and with all my good will, I cannot find a credible clue in this whole plot, which fades away mid way the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by F. Panin
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Brother overthrown
Very interesting story of two men who need each other. One is the articulate control type, the other a free agent without direction. Read more
Published 2 months ago by W. Rodick
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent acting, important questions, tedious film. Too long & too...
If you have seen Joaquin Phoenix playing parts ranging from the villainous Roman Emperor Commodus in 'Gladiator' to the Country Music singer Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line' you know... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Legal Vampire
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