Friday, March 8, 2013

MOVIE MOVIE WEEKEND: THE MASTER & BEING FLYNN

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have two movies for your consideration. Both are available on DVD.

The first is The Master (2012, Rated R).


I'm going to tell you right off the bat that I didn't really understand this movie. If it had a point, I don't know what it was. Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) gets out of the Navy after World War II and joins a cult called The Cause, led by The Master (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The Master teaches reincarnation and leads his followers in exercises that are supposed to lead them to some sort of self-realization. The Master's own son tells Freddie Quell that his dad is making up The Cause as he goes along.

Nevertheless, Quell becomes an ardent follower, and develops a close relationship with The Master, though The Master's family warns him that Quell drinks and will cause trouble.

In spite of the failings in this movie, I can tell you three reasons to watch it:

  1. The portrayal of the relationship between Freddie Quell and The Master
  2. Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance
  3. Amy Adams' performance as The Master's wife
Phoenix was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award, Hoffman for Best Supporting Actor, and Adams for Best Supporting Actress. As you probably already know, none of them won. I was most impressed by Amy Adams' quiet intensity. I have loved her since she played the adorable girl in Enchanted, but this is a completely different Amy Adams.

The Master has The Kinda Sorta Janie Junebug Seal of Approval (never before given).

The second movie is Being Flynn (2012, Rated R). I could relate to this movie. It incorporates two of my favorite themes: the inteconnectedness of humankind, and writing the story of your life.


Nick Flynn (Paul Dano), who is in his 20s and jobless, suddenly hears from his father after an 18 year absence. Jonathan Flynn (Robert DeNiro) is being evicted. He requests his son's help in taking his belongings to a storage shed. But soon after, Nick gets a job at a shelter for the homeless, where  Jonathan becomes a regular "guest," confusing Nick and disrupting his life.

Jonathan is an alcoholic with grandiose delusions that he is a brilliant writer. Nick actually has the potential to be a writer, but with his father around, he starts using drugs, and almost ends his career before it can start.

Dano and DeNiro work well together. Being Flynn is based on a true story. I found it interesting and moving. Being Flynn has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

Warning: Neither one of these movies is for children. I wouldn't let younger teens watch them either, and older teens should watch only with parental supervision and a willingness for discussion. If you do not want to hear profanity, see graphic nudity (The Master), or drug use and alcoholism (Being Flynn has both and The Master has a great deal of drinking), then you don't want to see these movies.

On the other hand, if you watch them, you'll see some great performances by excellent actors, and I liked the hopeful outcome of Being Flynn.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

20 comments:

  1. Being Flynn is one we've really wanted to see, so I'm glad to read your reviews.

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    1. I hope you like it. The screenplay is very good.

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  2. The Kind of Sort of Seal of Approval? What is that? A half of a sticker? LOL!

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    1. I don't even know what it is. I guess it means I can't recommend it wholeheartedly.

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  3. The Master??? A movie about me? Now don’t disappoint me, now. The last movie I thought was about me, Moby Dick, turned out to be a movie about a big fish.

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    1. Yes, darling, you are The Master (bater).

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  4. Philip Seymour Hoffman is amazing. He can go from flaming to macho from one movie to the next. Kinda like Sean Penn.

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    1. Yes, he's very talented. I noticed him before he was famous.

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  5. I believe I'll skip the kinda sorta seal of approval.

    Have a super weekend, kiddo.

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    1. I don't blame you for skipping kinda sorta. It's not exactly a hearty endorsement.

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  6. Thanks for this, I am not interested in either movie, but I can just imagine the great performances.

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  7. The kind of sorta... is that like the 1 and a 1/2 a gold star that they give to hotels? Like, it was a clean place to stay after the crime scene tape was removed?

    :) You know I love ya.... and this should be a seal that you give more often. It's like when I see a movie that TOny loves but can't hold my attention. I know it was good, but it just didn't move me because I couldn't relate.

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    1. Maybe kinda sorta will show up again in the future. Elvis Aaron Schwarz likes some things that don't interest me -- like riding motorcycles. He thinks he's going to turn me into a biker chick.

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  8. When I watch a movie I like to relax. Movies like these make me to intense and cant be bothered so I guess I will wait for you next review.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. I hope I have something good for you next week, PAPS.

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  9. Hubby loves Robert DeNiro and likes to watch any move he is in whether it is a good movie or not............

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    Replies
    1. Well, I think this one really is quite good.

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  10. Hi,
    I am following you by email. I cannot see lots of the stuff on my blog, your blog, or anyone's blog. Blogger does not like me, I suppose! No one can tell me wha's wrong because my blog looks complete to others.sigh

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  11. Thanks for the reviews - you have a great way of giving enough info/insight to let me know if I personally would like these movies. I'll take a pass on these two, not my thing. But that's okay because I've still got to watch the Wallflower one. :)

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