All the Scientologists had better brace themselves: Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” has been moved up to a release date of September 14th. It was supposed to come out on October 12th. No reason given for the switch, but I’d guess that with all the talk about Tom Cruise and Scientology, and former members coming out of the woodwork, The Weinstein Company figured ‘better bring it now.’ This is also right after L. Ron Hubbard’s grandson denounced his memory, other Hubbards have split the group, a mysterious death has occurred (the son of the missing leader of the cult, Alexander Jentzsch), plus lots of coverage everywhere.
No matter what anyone says, “The Master” clearly deals with a fictional sci fi writer played by Philip Seymour Hoffman who develops a “belief system” similar to Scientology. It’s quickly labeled as a cult. Also, Hoffman’s character is criticized for “making it up as he goes along.” Joaquin Phoenix plays a drifter who becomes enamored of Hoffman, then turns on him. There are high expectations here for Hoffman, Phoenix, Anderson and the film. This should open the floodgates for more horror stories and give the Village Voice’s Tony Ortega reams to write about. I can’t wait.