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Posts Tagged ‘The Master’

My 10 Favorite Films of 2012

February 13, 2013 2 comments

As Cheech Marin says in Ghostbusters II, “Well… better late than never.” It has taken me much longer to compile my top ten list of favorite films for 2012 than I originally anticipated. A combination of laziness, missing a couple movies here and there, and more laziness led me to this tardiness, but I think I’ve finally landed on a list of movies that I’m happy with.

I can’t quite gauge the general feeling most people have about the films from 2012. I’ve heard many praise it as a year of thought-provoking indie films and fun, substantive blockbusters. I’ve heard others condemn it as an utter borefest full of bloated, self-indulgent art films and overblown, idiotic popcorn tripe. I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle. I certainly didn’t get to every movie that came out last year, but I definitely saw more than most people get to. It was a year like most– some good, some bad. Many were forgettable and a couple were brilliant. I think that’s a pretty constant trend.

My list this year differs somewhat from last year. My 10 Favorite Films of 2011 were relatively low-profile. Sure, Midnight in Paris was a surprise hit and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had a lot of buzz, but most of my favorites were little seen. To my surprise, I picked several popular hits this Read more…

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Megan Ellison is Good for Movies, I Promise

October 18, 2012 3 comments

It’s well-known by this point how difficult it is to produce an original story with major movie studios. If it isn’t a sequel, a comic book, or part of a long standing franchise, they want no part. So why when a rich, ambitious, creative young producer with balls to spare comes along would someone criticize him/her for financing original, thought-provoking movies?

Sharon Waxman of the entertainment news site The Wrap wrote a very direct and rather outrageous piece entitled “Why Well-Meaning Billionaires Like Megan Ellison May Ruin The Movie Business.” Jesus. For any of you who don’t know, Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, is a film producer and financier who has been making a serious splash on the Hollywood scene as of late. Her company, Annapurna Pictures, is still in its infancy, but it’s been putting out interesting fare thus far and has many new and exciting projects on the horizon from top-notch directors and writers.

Waxman seems to think, however, that Ellison’s funding of films like The Master  is bad idea. With a budget of $35 million, she writes that The Master will not make money and is therefore a failure. She similarly criticizes the approximately $45 million budget of the upcoming Kathryn Bigelow film Zero Dark Thirty, a portrayal of Osama Bin Laden’s assassination. “Spending so much on these arthouse films almost guarantees they will be money losers, and that is bad for the movie business altogether […] Certainly no established movie studio is going to choose to make movies with these filmmakers at those prices, which also is not a healthy Read more…

My Thoughts on ‘The Master’

September 16, 2012 2 comments

I had the absolute privilege of seeing Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master in a stunning 70mm film format at The Landmark movie theater in Los Angeles this evening. The film opened this weekend in only four theaters nationwide, but don’t worry, it will be spreading in the weeks to come (although finding a 70mm theater might be harder than you think).

I’ve been excited for this one for a good long while, although I’m excited anytime Anderson puts out a film. His last feature, There Will Be Blood, was released five long years ago and Punch Drunk Love came out five years before that, so a PTA film is a rare and wonderful treat. His style is distinctive but also fluid, something that The Master epitomizes because it feels precisely like a Paul Thomas Anderson movie while simultaneously existing in a unique class of its own. Although his films have always been intelligent above all else, they also all possess a crowd-pleasing quality (well, pleasing for some crowds– not everyone delights as much as I do at Daniel Day-Lewis’ savagery in There Will Be Blood  Read more…

The Trailer for P.T. Anderson’s Latest Film, ‘The Master’, is Amazing!

May 21, 2012 1 comment


This is stating the obvious, but Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest directors working today. Although he has only made five features so far, each one has been distinct and fascinating. I struggle with coming up with a favorite of his films. Magnolia (named after a street not far from me) is a triumph in so many ways, with its blend of humor and tragedy and coincidence… or are there coincidences? With There Will Be Blood, Anderson took a departure from the multi-storyline format of some of his previous films and focused the narrative on Daniel Day-Lewis’ superb portrayal of Daniel Plainview, resulting in one of the most impressive character studies ever. However, his most watchable movie for me is probably still his second feature, Boogie Nights— a hilarious/poignant/tragic look at a young porn star named Dirk Diggler, who reaches heights he only imagined in the ’70s but then it all crumbles for him in the ’80s (which is similar to Henry Hill’s fall from the top in Scorsese’s GoodFellas).

He may not be prolific, but Paul Thomas Anderson (or PTA) continues to make one remarkable film after Read more…