Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Master

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Price: DVD $29.98 Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay


The Master movie scene

Joaquin Phoenix (l.) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman star in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Moneyball), Joaquin Phoenix (I’m Still Here) and Amy Adams (The Fighter) star in the provocative 2012 drama The Master by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood).

Set in the 1950s, the film centers on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “The Master”—the creator of a stylized “belief system” that catches on with troubled, lost souls—and a young WWII veteran who becomes his right-hand man.

The vet is drifter Freddie Quell (Phoenix) who, while in Northern California, encounters a mysterious movement known as The Cause, which is led by Lancaster Dodd aka “The Master” (Hoffman) and his wife Peggy (Adams). A self-spiritualized movement that, beneath its pleasant veneer, plays out like a Scientology-like cult, The Cause casts a strong spell over Quell, leading to a complex, years-long relationship between Dodd and the addled young man.

Shot in 65mm (a throwback in today’s world of high-definition video), the widescreen film also features Laura Dern (Blue Velvet) and Jesse Plemons (Battleship).

An undeniably cinematic film, as well one that’s thought-provoking and very open to interpretation, The Master received a number of  Academy Award nominations, including Phoenix for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Hoffman for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Adams for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The trio of actors also received Golden Globe nominations for their performances.

Though the R-rated Master was one of 2012’s most talked-about films—man, the critics loved digging into this one and bestowing awards on the principals—its performance at the U.S. box office was relatively restrained. Rolling out to some 880 theater screens beginning in September, 2012, the film has thus far earned $16 million at the domestic box office.

The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD include the following bonus features:

  • Back Beyond: a short piece featuring outtakes and additional scenes edited to music by Johnny Greenwood
  • Unguided Message: an eight-minute short
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Teasers/Trailers
  • Let There Be Light (1946): John Huston’s documentary short about WWII veterans (Blu-ray/DVD combo pack only)

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.