“The Master” filled with great performances, but man is it weird. Mitt sticks foot in mouth, again. And bizarre end to football’s Holy War game

I’m one of those people willing to watch any Paul Thomas Anderson movie, partly because he’s occasionally brilliant (“Boogie Nights”) and also because most of his films star Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is almost always fantastic in front of the camera.

So I was pretty excited to see their new collaboration that just came out, “The Master,” about a quasi-cult leader (Hoffman) who after World War II begins a quest to win over converts and finds as his loyal deputy a troubled young man played by Joaquin Phoenix.
After seeing it over the weekend, I had two immediate thoughts:
A. Joaquin Phoenix is absolutely getting an Oscar nomination; he was fantastic and moving and emotional and just all kinds of brilliant.
2.  I have no idea what to make of this movie.

Seriously, I sat in the theater pretty stunned after it ended, because I’m not sure what I just saw. The film was all kinds of weird.

There were scenes of real power, as Hoffman collects acolytes, including his wife (played by the terrific Amy Adams ), and gives great speeches. But the movie sort of meandered all over the place; without giving away too much, you’re never quite sure whether Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman’s character) really has a powerful hold on his flock, or if they’re just sheep dying to be led.

Still, I’d recommend seeing this film just for Phoenix. He is so expressive in every scene, and he completely nails his character. Up till now I thought he was just an OK actor with one amazing performance in him (“Walk the Line.”) But he was fabulous in “The Master,” outshining even the great Hoffman.

Go see it. And if you figure out what it’s about, shoot me a message, will ya?

**Oh Mitt, Mitt, Mitt. You just can’t seem to go more than a day or two without having some embarrassing statement come out. Monday the Internet sorta blew up with this video (above) of you talking at a fundraiser about how you’re going to win this election.
Here’s the money quote:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
Romney went on: “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

What an idiotic, cold-hearted thing for him to say. I don’t think this cost him the election; I think last week’s knee-jerk Libya response was worse. But man, he just has no clue about how Americans live. For more Internet pundits reaction to this Mitt video, click here.

**Finally today, check out the bizarre end to the Utah-BYU college football game (dubbed “The Holy War”) Saturday night. The game ended three times, with fans rushing the field three times as well. The second time the Utah fans rushed prematurely, it almost cost them the win.
Once again fans, a reminder: You are NOT part of the game. Stay off the damn field.
Thank you.

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