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The Master Revealed

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 16:29 UK time, Tuesday, 6 November 2012

There's a new film just out that is making headlines and causing quite a lot of controversy - Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'. I can now reveal the sinister truth about the inspiration for the central character in the movie...

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Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.



  • Comment number 1.

    This is hilarious. Thank you.

  • Comment number 2.

    If this is not an example of either irony or sarcasm or both; then I am really looking forward to the review of the next Star Wars film. In 3-D!


  • Comment number 3.

    I snorted biscuit out of my nose, thanks Mark.

  • Comment number 4.

    I can't believe it! Its so obvious. Sandler
    is the 'Godfather' of Hollywood! Its so obvious how he keeps getting the greenlight for pretty much all the films he develops. Kack & Shill? Obviously the work of a mass manipulator. He makes Robert Evans seem like a saint.

  • Comment number 5.

    Are you sure it's not Jim Carey, or Nicolas Cage?

  • Comment number 6.

    I haven't laughed so much in ages; it really brightened my day! Agree totally on both points; Sandler is a festering sore on the backside of modern cinema, and yes, PT Anderson is arguably the best director around, and the fact that he only makes films now and then means that The Master will be a true event. I have no doubt that the film will be the year's best. I can't say the same for Sandler's next opus....

  • Comment number 7.

    Your blog was really funny, which is more than Adam Sandler ever managed to be. He just SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With out a doubt the most SMUG nauseating presence ever put on the big screen. And thats me being polite.

  • Comment number 8.

    I saw PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE on Film4 the other day. Great film, great performance. Though I had to wonder if Sandler was attempting to do an impression of something between Pee Wee Herman and Forest Gump. Nor did I see the point of Emily Watson's American accent; it was so faint I don't know why she bothered (very much like how she was in EQUILIBRIUM). However good PDL is, it certainly does NOT excuse or explain the vast majority of Sandler's other work which is at best pure excrement.

  • Comment number 9.

    The only Adam Sandler movie i've ever seen is Punch Drunk Love, so as far as i'm concerned he's an interesting actor. Roger Ebert summed it up best when he said "he's a talented actor, the problem is he keeps making Adam Sandler movies"

    As for The Master, i've already resolved to see the film and will avoid the reviews, but when will it be released? According to IMDB it's already opened and i've not even seen a trailer.

  • Comment number 10.

    Bravo Mark, bravo.

  • Comment number 11.

    Ugh, talking about 'The Master' is like spitting in my face. I've been waiting about 12 months to see it, and it's not showing anywhere near me!

    Also, i would be careful what you say Mark, Sandlerman's has many spies.

  • Comment number 12.

    The blog was funny and while I totally agree that Sandler films such as ‘Grown Ups’ ‘Jack and Jill’ and ‘Just Go With It’ embody everything that is wrong with cinema today, It’s more than a little off the mark to say he has no talent. His earlier films ‘Waterboy’, ‘The Wedding Singer’ and ‘Big Daddy’ are actually pretty decent comedies , not to mention his more subdued and sombre performances in ‘Punch Drunk Love’ ‘Funny People’ and ‘Reign Over Me’. He does have talent but for some reason he has preferred more recently to put out the type of films that even Uwe Boll would scoff at, my personal reading is that he has concocted a Joaquin Pheonix/’I’m Still Here’ type hoax to take a scathing, sardonic look at the current state of the film industry in the age of the ‘multiplex cinema’ generation or more likely he’s just lazy.

    We must demand more from our mainstream entertainment, if the ‘Talent’ can get away with lazy scripts they will continue to do so.

  • Comment number 13.

    Adam Sandler is very, very rich.

  • Comment number 14.

    Haven't seen a PTA film I didn't love, so can't wait to see this.

  • Comment number 15.

    Can't believe you kept a straight face, but as you did you'll be in line for a part in the next Adam Sandler movie as you're one of the 1% of people who could keep a straight face on set for one of his movies. For the other 99% if they didn't laugh at how bad it was they'd cry.

  • Comment number 16.

    Like the previous comment, I absolutely cannot believe you managed to keep a straight face. Utterly brilliant deadpan comedy, my good Doctor. I wish I was that capable of maintaining a poker face.

    (Was I the only one who was expecting Mark Kermode to say he was the inspiration at the start though?)

  • Comment number 17.

    I am a kind of Genius yet have managed to convence everyone around me that I have no actual telent.

  • Comment number 18.

    This is why i like the film funny people. A great sense of irony shrouds the entire film and placing sandler as the centre was, I reckon, purposeful for this reason. All his friends laughing behind his back applauding him with dumbstruck expressions. It's Judd Apatows best film, even though the drama of it is to vainglorious for it's own good.
    It's not nice to mock someone but i'm convinced that he's a terrible person. I have a theroy that he pays people to have around incase he wants to kick or give a 'purple nurple'.

  • Comment number 19.

    Excellent work Sir. One thing though, Adam is way too nice to be threatening, but agreed that he is totally blind in script quality (apart from Happy Gilmore and Punch Drunk Love).

  • Comment number 20.

    You are a naughty boy, Mr Kermode. Love the poe faced delivery in your video. More importantly, it's good to see this side of YOU every now and then. Having said that, all publicity is good publicity .... and Mr Adam Sandler may well be chuckling all the way to the bank. He is without doubt an exceptionally thick-skinned young man and is very successful. Not a bad combination to rack up some serious wealth.

  • Comment number 21.

    funniest post ever ... although I have to say Billy Madison is a great film

  • Comment number 22.

    I could never understand the attraction of the films made by, Adam Sandler - for the life of me i can't: i find it crass, puerile nonsense. It took me a while to get round to watching PTA's "Punch-Drunk Love", because of the mere fact that Sandler would quickly start to grate on me, and would essentially begin to insult an intelligent movie. In the end the film was okay - forgettable, and the only thing notable on Sandler's infantile body of work. Still, he has his fan base, and sure can lure in the masses.

    Nice piece of irreverent humor from yourself, Mark - for a moment there i thought you were actually going to waffle on about scientology.

  • Comment number 23.

    I thought you were going to say that it was actually about you!

    Consider the evidence: your dogmatic views; your insistence that other people are always wrong; your zealously devoted fans; your esoteric writings, which although seem to be about film criticism are actually - to those with a talent for sniffing out such gnostic wisdom - coded attempts at mind manipulation to bring yet more innocent sheep under your lupine sway; your part in the attempted assassination of Werner Herzog.

    The final damning piece of evidence is that you clearly love the film: why wouldn't you? After all, you are a mere mortal, and which mortal would be able to refuse enjoying a film about themselves, even if they didn't recognise it as such?

    The Master=Mark Kermode

  • Comment number 24.

    This is truly awful but judging by the above comments your sycophantic fanbase seems oblivious to this fact. Maybe it is you who are The Master.

    Stick to the film criticism please.

  • Comment number 25.

    I actually did LOL at Sandlertology......

  • Comment number 26.

    C'mon Mark, I know you liked him in Punch Drunk Love, you've said so before. And he was charming in Spanglish. But it ends there.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hey Mark
    We get you dont like Adam Sandler, but in your Heart of hearts you know you are going a little overboard with the hate. I'll give you that films like Happy Gilmore and the Waterboy are not to everyones taste, but the one film you never mention is The Wedding Singer. Surely Drew Barrymore's cute little nose can warm even your cold critics heart? Dont you think Sandler deserves even a little credit for his performance? After all there are not many romantic comedies that both men and women can enjoy (theres an idea for a good list!).

  • Comment number 28.

    Okay Mark, is it possible to get a proper review now? I am really looking forward to this film and it would be nice to get a serious review from you. I also completely disagree with you about Adam Sandler, even though most of his output is absolute garbage.

  • Comment number 29.

    Why is Jonathan Woss getting another Film show? WHY? WHY!!!!!
    Surely it's time for Mark to get a full show to himself on primetime TV instead of being shoved to the margins on the web, or thrown titbits on the Culture show!
    You'd think with the amount of airheaded product pushing film shows we have to ignore (otherwise I'd kick the tv in) there'd be room for someone who isn't
    a) Wossy b) Mark Cousins ( his "story of film" while deeply insightful, was the best aid to insomnia I've ever come across)
    Come on BBC, you splurge hours upon hours of Strictly upon us, surely thee's room for a decent Film review show on TV?

  • Comment number 30.

    This is very good...It's a little excessive but I think that's partly why it works. Personally I think Sandler is talented. In the past he has created comedy with a certain charm, that's often absurd or just plane idiotic but with a pleasant air of warmth and cynicism. The shame is that this really seems to be purely history now...

  • Comment number 31.

    Genius! Nice one Dr K.
    The Tom Cruise bit in particular was inspired.
    So ... hold on. Rob Schneider was sent into the future to destroy Judge Dredd right? Therefore Sandler is the Hollywood equivalent of Skynet and MUST BE DESTROYED!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    I thought it was going to be Michael Bay, but well played.

  • Comment number 33.

    This is hands down the greatest blog ever. Sandler is the most irritating and talentless person in history, never has there been anybody so useless in their field and been so successful. I've sadly seen a few of his movies simply because someone else wanted to see it and I have never once laughed, even Rob Schneider had The Benchwarmers which is partially enjoyable. The problem with Sandler is that his always playing the same role, slightly dim, lazy but somehow reasonably well off and somehow a hit with the ladies, why anybody thinks they can relate to this is beyond me. Cinema is a documentation of our time, centuries from now people are going to look back and thinking ‘what where they on’? If you don’t believe me listen to William Goldman, he wrote a great article about actors of our generation in Premier back in 2000 (and why Sandler might be ours and what that says about us) but the last laugh is on us because we’ve made him rich and famous, ‘shame on us, shame on us’!

  • Comment number 34.

    Buster Keaton would be proud of that performance. Hope I can catch the film when it comes out

  • Comment number 35.

    Ha haa! You've given voice to the silent millions of us who thought we were somehow odd because we found Adam Sandler terminally unfunny. Now the cat is out of the bag and it's just a matter of time before we rise up as one to remove him from his position of power as the most nauseating "comedic" actor in Hollywood who isn't Tyler Perry. Mind you he (Sandler) was good in Funny People.

  • Comment number 36.


  • Comment number 37.

    That made me laugh almost as much as the 3d alert you put in about 'the Great Gatsby'. I cannot wait to see this film. Hoffman and Anderson are always interesting from 'Sydney' to 'Punch Drunk Love'. I wacthed 'the Wedding Singer' again while ago - the only Sandler film I laughed at - and realized that all the funny bits had almost nothing to do with Adam Sandler. I'm also still shocked that Sandler got away with appearing in the most plaguristic film ever made, namely 'Reign Over Me', which is essentially 'The Fisher King' with, god forbid, Adam Sandler.

  • Comment number 38.

    I haven't got a massive problem with Sandler, he's done a few alright things but I would never say I'm a fan of his. However, Kevin James is completely useless and has never done anything worth mentioning, yet he seems to get leading roles on a consistent basis. I know he isn't in the biggest films going, but he is still fairly mainstream.

  • Comment number 39.

    Perhaps you could mention this to the Editor of Empire, who felt it was justified to put The Wedding Singer up in the classic movie moment section in last months edition. Was he drunk, or bribed?!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    Ah, but just why has Sandler so much power in Hollywood? Tell you why: he's a genius, and only the truly good and great of the movie industry fully understand this. His comedy is so brilliant, so sublimely magnificent, that it takes a higher intelligence to appreciate it. A mere mortal like you, Kermode, will never comprehend the subtle creative excellence of his work.

  • Comment number 41.

    @ #32. eyeqew: Same, I wanted to see Kermode snap, snarl and sink his fangs at the first smell of that name (at the end of the faux-serious monologue): Michael Bay! Sandler was too innocuous: I always assumed there was a crowd much like for "Family Guy" that love that "In yer face!" humor which explains the the popularity of both. Some love it, some don't.

    So where is the review? Why are people interested in this film? Does the narrative know what to do with it's subject?

  • Comment number 42.

    However enraged the followers of L. Ron might be at the content of The Master, just wait until they hear that you've likened him to Adam Sandler.

    Very brave of you to take the heat off of Paul Thomas Anderson.

  • Comment number 43.

    Sandler does have competition for least funny - and highest paid - comedian in the form of Will Ferrell.

    True both have at lest one film of some merit to their name (Puch Drunk Love & Anchorman) but more often than not the sight of their name on a poster serves only as a warning to run fast in the other direction.

  • Comment number 44.

    I was expecting this to be a Michael Bay joke :P Very dry and witty, though I can't bring myself to laugh. Why? Because Paul Thomas Anderson loves Adam Sandler films. And that can drive a man to despair.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    This follows in the fine Hollywood tradition - think of Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell.......

  • Comment number 47.

    ......and Steve Carell and Ben Stiller......

  • Comment number 48.

    ....and the King of the Heap - Woody Allen

  • Comment number 49.

    This video blog reminds me of Red Letter Media's review of 'Jack and Jill'

    What starts off as a really daft comedic review of a ghastly film, gradually becomes something poignant and also quite terrifying. It's a long video, but it's really worth watching.

  • Comment number 50.

    I saw There Will Be Blood a few years ago and loved it, so I wanted to see more movies from the same director so next I watched Punch Drunk Love because it had Adam Sandler on the poster so I thought it would be good... but it actually sucked.
    I almost gave up on PTA but decided to give his movies another chance so I watched Magnolia, and I seriously think it's one of the best movies ever made (only falls behind films such as 2001 and Citizen Kane).
    The Master was great, not as great as Magnolia, but still a Master-piece.

  • Comment number 51.

    Can't ignore this any more. Mark constantly berates Simon in relation to his mispronunciation of Ind"ah"na Jones, and somehow he is allowed to say Adam S"awh"ndler over and over again. It's Sandler. Come on now!

  • Comment number 52.

    I've consistently loathed any part I've seen of any film with the Sandler in (had never lasted through a whole one). But Dr K would keep wittering on about 'Punch Drunk Love', so steeled myself and set to watching it . . . absolutely amazing film! Clearly the PTA positive is so powerful as to outweigh the huge Sandleresque negatives, and Doktorr K is proved irritatingly right again. Insufferable.


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