New and noteworthy experiences among home video, games, gadgets and the Web.
‘The Master’ proves to be unforgettable
It’s the end of World War II in “The Master” and sailor Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) hits the road, finally stowing away, drunk, on a party boat under the command of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Seeing that Freddie has been on a bender, Lancaster announces that the younger man is “aberrated,” a disjointed state of being that he seeks to mend by way of his self-styled religion, the Cause. They enter an alternately symbiotic and dramatically dysfunctional relationship, observed from an intimate distance by Lancaster’s all-seeing wife, Peggy (Amy Adams).
Combined with a surprising turn from Adams, “The Master” presents viewers with one of the more potent triads in recent film memory. There’s so much weirdness and beauty in “The Master” that it takes awhile for the notion to sink in that so much acting talent and cinematic artistry has been put to the service of such puny, insufferable characters.
The DVD and Blu-ray include additional scenes and “Let There Be Light,” John Huston’s landmark 1946 documentary about WWII veterans.
Colin Covert says: I’m sorry I can’t re-create the high-wire thrill of seeing “The Master” for the first time, but I’m certain that each repeat viewing will reveal something new.
Also out Tuesday
Movies: “Barbie in the Pink Shoes,” “Chasing Mavericks,” “Chicken With Plums,” “Company of Heroes,” “Escape Fire,” “Holy Motors,” “How to Survive a Plague,” “My Lucky Elephant,” “Scooby-Doo: Mask of the Blue Falcon,” “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2.”
TV: “The Client List” (Season 1), “Law & Order” (Season 12), “Maigret” (full series), “Rocko’s Modern Life” (full series), “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles,” “West Point” (full series).
Blu-ray debuts: “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Joshua Tree,” “Sansho the Bailiff.”
A need for speed?
Sometimes you need a fun, fairly mindless game to pass the time. Games such as “Hill Climb Racing” (free for iOS and Android) were built for those moments.
The game is as standard as they come. Players drive a bumpy buggy across increasingly hilly landscapes and have to keep the car from landing wheels-over-headlights by toying with the gas and brake pedals. Along the way, you can gather fuel and coins to fill up and trick out your vehicle. If you get stuck or land wrong, you have to start again.
Navigating the landscape is harder than you might anticipate, because every divot in the ground can send your car flying. But once you get through the game, the replay value isn’t high — although it can be fun to optimize your ride if you accumulate enough coins to do it.
Plan for the big day
The super-comprehensive app iWedding Deluxe ($5.99 on iTunes) will organize, guide and inspire you on your path toward the big day. It features to-do lists, budgeting assistants, countdowns, guest list organization, shopping information, an RSVP tracker and more. You also can work on your seating plans and keep photos of ideas that inspire you or dresses that you might want to show a salesperson.
ST. Louis Post-Dispatch