RSS feed for Matt Conti
  • Whiplash 2014

    Watched 06 Jan, 2015 2

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    People who find that the film is endorsing Fletcher's methods are missing the clear signs that Andrew is desperate for acceptance and masculine recognition. From his rude behavior at the dinner table to attacking Fletcher for being dismissed, it's entirely necessary to understand that our protagonist here isn't someone the film wants to succeed but change. In that very essence, the film's ending is a tragedy, born out of Andrew's full submission to Fletcher's ways in spite of his own…

  • The Theory of Everything 2014

    Watched 16 Dec, 2014

    This is not a very good movie, but somewhere in the second half the characters began to hint at a complexity that had been absent in the youthful grace of the first half. Feelings get complicated, the conflict becomes a little more heated, and it all becomes a bit thematically grander. In the final scene, where Redmayne and Jones look out on their children, reminding them of their own youth and how far they had come, I felt oddly moved.…

  • The Imitation Game 2014

    Watched 18 Jan, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I'm completely fine with changing/ignoring details to make for a better story. Art is not beholden to historical truth, only emotional truths. The problem with The Imitation Game is that it trades Turing's really complex and interesting life for a boring and regressive by the numbers biopic.

    Turing was, by all accounts, an utter asshole. Yet Tyldum has Cumberbatch soften that portrayal, always making sure that even when Turing is being short with someone else, he's always autistically naive rather…

  • Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special 2015

    Watched 15 Feb, 2015

    Overlong, mostly unfunny, filled with scattershot jokes of which only a few work, scapegoat cameos, self promotion pandering, and Bill Murray saving the day.

    In other words, a typical SNL episode.

  • Taken 3 2014

    Watched 13 Feb, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The problem with recasting Xander Berkeley with Dougray Scott is that Scott is such a devious looking individual that I know immediately he's probably the bad guy. For a film that keeps trying to hide the motivations behind the framed murder, it's pretty obvious to figure out when you have Dougray Scott wearing his "I'm totally not a villain, guys. I swear this time." face. Meanwhile, Xander Berkeley has such a normal schlub look to him that I at least…

  • A Page of Madness 1926

    Watched 01 Feb, 2015

    Not a mind is free
    All jailed in insanity
    But few have the keys

  • Love Is Strange 2014

    Watched 08 Jan, 2015

    Really surprised no one has made a "Make Gay for Tomorrow" joke yet. Come on, film community. You're usually quick about things like this.

  • Teenage 2013

    Watched 19 Nov, 2014

    A strange film essay observing the history of adolescence in the first half of the 20th century. It occasionally touches on some rather compelling stuff, and even captures that universal feeling of angsty rebellion in some points, but it's far too fleeting, tonally jumping, and POV switching in order to really matter out of its insular viewing experience (and the footage shot and edited to look like stock footage is really unconvincing).

  • Particle Fever 2013

    Watched 17 Nov, 2014

    There is something great about a documentary where the fascination isn't in the topic itself, but rather the people who are interested in it.

    The magic of Particle Fever comes from following a bunch o' nerds doing really nerdy things. Yet the optimism of the documentary is so infectious it's enough for one to regain hope that humanity is headed somewhere good. The fact that after only a couple thousand years living on this rock we've managed to achieve so…

  • As Good as It Gets 1997

    Watched 19 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Coming off of Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News on the Best Picture Project, this one plays more disappointingly average than I'd expect from James L. Brooks. His other films are marked by really careful characterization and this one is just up in your face about who everyone is as people that it's just a journey to it's telegraphed finish line.

    All that said, Jack Nicholson is the fucking man.

  • The Full Monty 1997

    Watched 19 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    In the wake of British working class films of the 90s, The Full Monty is kind of an outlier considering it's a completely straightforward comedy. Not much to dissect here (at least of interest) but it's a pretty funny film about a bunch of guys getting their mojo back.

    I wonder how well this premise would play today with women in the lead instead.