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The Master


You all know this is an art film, because it can be summed up in one word: BORING. Yeah, art films (or art house films, as they are known in the States) are great, but not all of them are. Some are just downright slow and non-engaging, which is primarily the reason this film is released by Fox Searchlight and not any major studio.

"What the hell? This isn't Fox Searchlight, dumbass."

From the title alone, you’d probably think that Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman would be playing master and apprentice (I don’t know who plays what, you take your pick) in some Magic: The Gathering-type fantasy story. No, sorry. The Master is about a cult. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the cult leader, who they call “Master”, and that’s where they get the title from.

Fat guy and naked chicks? Totally a cult.

Like the saying goes, behind every great man is a woman, and behind the master is his wife, played by Amy Adams. By the way, this film has three out of four Oscar nominations for acting, for Phoenix, Hoffman, and Adams.

"Don't we have a shot of the three of us closer together?"

This film’s claim to fame (for Filipinos, at least) occurs somewhere in the beginning, where Joaquin Phoenix’s drunken character stumbles across some cabbage farm (in California, I think), and we hear the longest sequence of Filipino ever spoken on a Hollywood silver screen. And when I say “Filipino”, I mean “Tagalog”. That’s right. Phoenix lands smack in the middle of a Filipino farming community, and he is booted out with a string of curse words in our own mother tongue. Fantastic.

"Putang ina mo, Joaquin Phoenix! Hayop ka!"

Original rating: 7.0 / 10
Filipino farmhands sequence: + 0.2
No sex: - 0.05
That guy from The Pacific not speaking in an annoying drawl: + 0.1
Paul Thomas Anderson directing: + 0.1
Final rating: 7.35 / 10

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