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updated: 2/28/2013 3:46 PM

Oscar nominees propel 'The Master'

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  • A troubled World War II vet (Joaquin Phoenix, left) is drawn to the controlling leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of a group called the Cause in "The Master."

    A troubled World War II vet (Joaquin Phoenix, left) is drawn to the controlling leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of a group called the Cause in "The Master."


"The Master"
Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were all nominated for Academy Awards for their terrific performances in this well-written and well-directed film.

World War II has ended, and ex-naval officer Freddie Quell (Phoenix) is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. He is a loner, has a temper and drinks too much. After a bender, he stows away on a boat and meets the owner: Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), a Scientology-styled mystic/guru whose group is called the Cause. The Cause shows its followers how they can achieve perfection and Quell falls under the spell of Dodd and his wife Peggy (Adams).

This is a complex film that touches on issues of religion, psychiatry, fear, delusion, rage and control. "The Master" is intense, dark and one of the best films of the year.

"Holy Motors"
This adult-themed film features an excellent performance by Denis Lavant as Monsieur Oscar, a wealthy banker who travels around Paris in a limousine driven by Celine (Edith Scob). Everything takes place over a single day, when Oscar has a series of nine appointments. It is fascinating to observe as he transforms himself at each stop. In the end, this French art-house film is a wild mixture of reality, mythology, emotion, symbolism and much more.

"The Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together"
Three shows make up this program, and the sketches still hold up today. The featured stars are Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Van Dyke, Roddy McDowall and Bernadette Peters. Bonus features include a parody of "Sunset Boulevard" and Carol's Q&A with the audience. "The Carol Burnett Show" ran for 11 years and had a large and loyal following.

"The Eagles Farewell Tour Live From Melbourne"
The Eagles have sold millions of records. This two-disc set includes 30 songs and is presented as a documentary of their 2004 concert in Australia. Fans will enjoy hits like "Take It Easy," "Hotel California," "Desperado," "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and more.

Available Next Week
"Baseball: The Golden Age of America's Game"
"Hit & Miss"
"Peter Gunn: Season One"
"Schindler's List: 20th Anniversary Edition"
"The Intouchables"
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2"
"Wreck-It Ralph"
"Yellow Brick Road and Beyond"

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