This afternoon I had the opportunity to sit and watch the upcoming release of The Master on Blu-ray. I must say, it's been such a long time since I have been mesmerized by a film from start to finish. All of that is achieved by the remarkable, outstanding performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's essentially the story of down-and-out war veteran Freddie Quell (Phoenix), recently discharged from the Navy and attempting to re-establish his life in post WWII America. Freddie happens to stumble upon Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), a charismatic evangelist cult leader who lures the drunken sailor into becoming a guinea pig for his Processing techniques. The Blu-ray transfer is exceptional with its sharp, detailed picture that is free of any noise or artifacts. Image retains a very realistic look thanks to its warm colors and natural skin notes. Certainly, home theater enthusiasts who demand the best from Blu-ray will be very pleased with its the crystal-clear imagery. There's not much to rave about the film's audio quality, which while clear and distinctive for its duration, remains mostly "front heavy." Fortunately, the wonderful, textured score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood is superbly translated throughout the film. The Master is going to be one of those films that will be "hit" or "miss" with its audiences. While Phoenix and Hoffman give what I feel to be one of the best performances of their careers, the story itself is quite dark in its dealings with human psychology. I found myself enjoying the film for its characters rather than a story itself. It is my hope that Joaquin Phoenix wins the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in this film. It is one of the most remarkable performances I have seen from an actor in quite a long time. For that reason alone, The Master is worthy of a rental. Those who share my opinion that this movie is brilliant, will no doubt have already preordered their purchase. Screen captures directly from the Blu-ray. Click for larger image.