RSS feed for Matt Conti
  • Fateless 2005

    Watched 27 Mar, 2014

    I think the problem with most Holocaust films is that they try to offer catharsis where there is none (people completely miss the point of Schindler's List when they say it does this). Fateless, meanwhile, condescends by offering no glimpse at catharsis, and just saying "THE WORLD IS SHIT AND SUFFERING". It's the bleak kind of ending that gets peddled around as "truth" by edgy cynics who demand every ending be a downer, but have no functional understanding of storytelling.…

  • Make Way for Tomorrow 1937

    Watched 25 Mar, 2014 1

    A three hanky film if there ever was one. I'm not going to use this film as a podium for my argument against the War on Sentimentality, because this film deserves better than that.

    And Jesus Christ. This film is sad. Not sad in the Hallmark movie way. Sad in the way in which Leo McCarey delivers the COLD HARD TRUTH. It's brutal. In any economic crisis, the first to suffer are the old, and even when they've put so much into their children and livelihood, it's all for nothing. All they can live on is memories.

    Fuck. I'm crying now.

  • Heaven Can Wait 1978

    Watched 24 Mar, 2014 3

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    I liked Here Comes Mr. Jordan better.

    It's definitely a decent throwback to that film, right down to the film's visual style, but it makes 36 year old film feel even older than its 73 year old original. Also, Warren Beatty is totally wrong for this role. Beatty is good when he's playing smarmy guys like Clyde Barrow or Dick Tracy, not likable people like Joe Pendleton.

  • Rushmore 1998

    Watched 22 Mar, 2014 5

    Might be my least favorite Wes Anderson film, as it feels more like a standard 90s school comedy filtered through Anderson's lens. Anderson's portrayal of Max can't stop bordering between satire and humanistic portrayal, and it leaves for an uneven experience. BUT it's still a funny and touching film, and Bill Murray is just the best.

  • The Wind That Shakes The Barley 2006

    Watched 20 Mar, 2014

    I'd really hate to turn this into a thing of adjectives, but any superlative that's synonymous with "powerful" is something I'd attach to this. I'm not quite convinced this is a great film, and it definitely has this air of propaganda to it, but it's a film that just works, and that's enough for me.

  • Bottle Rocket 1996

    Rewatched 20 Mar, 2014

    If independent cinema of the 90s had a recurring theme, it would be the hangout film. While Anderson's feature film debut is far more plot oriented, he takes the time to give his characters breathing room. Like a Jarmusch film, it's the moments in between where the humanity comes out. One part French New Wave update, another part Richard Linklater Americana. It's perhaps the simplest of Wes Anderson films, but he's already pretty good at the start.

  • Bottle Rocket 1994

    Watched 18 Mar, 2014

    Some great directors needed time to build up to their greatness.

    Right out of the gate, Wes Anderson had a unique and concentrated voice. This is why he is currently in the Pantheon of American directors.

  • Run Lola Run 1998

    Watched 14 Mar, 2014

    Who said flashy films couldn't be smart?

    Though seriously. An intelligent film that's just a blast from beginning to end. It's a German film that still can still feel the blast from the Berlin Wall coming down, but it's as if it's all beginning to breathe. The less said about it, the better. I'm kind of pissed it took me so long to see this. I would have loved it even more in my teens.

  • Annie Hall 1977

    Watched 13 Mar, 2014 3

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Because we need the eggs.

    In which Woody Allen both contributes to and deconstructs the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (which is bullshit but that's for another review). What makes Allen's films work is his understanding of comedy as suffering but with time and perspective. If his previous films represented pure comedy, this adds the drama as Allen looks back humorously on how relationships involve a couple building each other up, how it fosters jealousy,…

  • They Came Together 2014

    Watched 20 Jul, 2014

    If you asked me, I would say that David Wain and anyone even tangentially related to his group are some of the funniest people alive. Not only do these people understand comedy, they're willing to take it to new and interesting heights, combining traditional humor with the absurd, and even the surreal. It's so disappointing then that They Came Together is a film with so much comedic dead air. Jokes are definitely being fired, but even from people like Paul…

  • The Counselor 2013

    Rewatched 19 Jul, 2014 2

    Because I'm a reasonable person, and willing to admit I'm wrong every now and then, I love rewatching films I disliked initially to perhaps get a better sense of why I disliked it, and maybe even find out what works. Sometimes I even come out loving the film, cursing my past self for not recognizing the brilliance before.

    There are several films from 2013 that I disliked, some of which had a lot of fans. I ended up making a…

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014

    Watched 12 Jul, 2014 5

    While watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a funny thing happened. In the corner of the frame, I saw the logo for TNT, hovering over their "We Know Drama" motto. It happened because in the back of my mind, I knew that this was the perfect TNT Saturday Night Movie.

    It's the kind of film that won't lose anything once it starts to have regular runs on television. Reeves is a competent director, but he's far more television…