RSS feed for Matt Conti
  • Noah 2014

    Watched 14 Sep, 2014

    Ugh.

    Look if I'm going to be honest here, I'm not the one to review a Darren Aronofsky movie, at least fairly. I don't like him. I don't like what he does. Of all the notable auteurs that tend to be listed on people's "top working directors" lists, I like Aronofsky least. There is only one film of his that I actually like, and it is the least Aronofskyan movie he's ever done (It's The Wrestler in case anyone was…

  • The Drop 2014

    Watched 13 Sep, 2014 8

    More like On the Hardyfront.

    When the best parts of your crime thriller involve Tom Hardy taking care of a pit bull puppy (and I must admit this is the most adorable dog you'll see in a movie all year), you must be messing it up somewhere down the line. This is the same film you've seen a billion times before. Working class characters get caught in a jam, deal with consequences, the weight of their actions drops down on…

  • War of the Worlds 2005

    Added 4

    When 9/11 happened, I was in middle school. I was 13. When the first plane hit, I was just getting settled into second period. At about 9:15, the principal turned on the speaker and delivered the news. But we didn't hear about the planes, because at that point, there wasn't enough information to know about the planes in the first place. All we heard were the buzzwords: "Terrorists" "Attack" "Explosion" So the school was to be evacuated for safety precautions,…

  • Beauty and the Beast 1991

    Watched 30 Aug, 2014 1

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    In which the villagers are portrayed as dumb know nothings and the aristocrats are noble characters. Nothing but bourgeois propaganda!

    ...

    I kid.

    It's hard for me to make arguments in favor of CG animation over traditional animation when this film still looks crisp and fresh 23 years later and something like Shark Tale makes me want to vomit just looking at a screenshot let alone a clip.

    I wish the rental disc I…

  • Bugsy 1991

    Watched 29 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    I almost don't believe the Barry Levinson that made Rain Man made this as well. Rain Man's simple aesthetic worked in its own way, but by contrast the life and world of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel is one of old Hollywood glitz and glamour. Where everything has a romantic tinge to it, and life is a fantasy.

    Yet watch Levinson's Bugsy and you get a film that perfectly catches the delusion of Siegel's life. One…

  • The Prince of Tides 1991

    Watched 28 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    This is not a good movie.

    Much as I would like to, I don't feel compelled to tear this film apart, as it has already mostly faded into obscurity. It's a film that occasionally flirts with complexity (if you took its few good scenes out and made a montage of it you could easily make it all look like a great film) only to fly back down into a simplistic Hallmark romance.

    If you…

  • JFK 1991

    Watched 24 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    There's a certain amount of bullshit you have to deal with if you're a filmmaker taking a historical subject and making a film based around it to get at a bigger thing. Oliver Stone's JFK isn't even about the Kennedy Assassination conspiracy, it's about what it means to even get caught up in investigating one in the first place.

    If All the President's Men is a film about the paranoia involved yet filtered through…

  • The Blair Witch Project 1999

    Watched 23 Aug, 2014 6

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

  • Dances with Wolves 1990

    Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    The problem with "White Man Goes Native" narratives is that most of them, in their attempt to stay on a racially sensitive line, actually end up becoming "White Man's Burden" narratives in portraying the lead as the Great White Savior of the Noble Savages.

    Only a handful of films have been able to avoid this terrible pit of artistic despair. Lawrence of Arabia constructs such a narrative only to immediately deconstruct it. The Mission

  • Coherence 2013

    Watched 21 Aug, 2014

    If you all had told me this was mumblecore, I would have been able to prepare for this film more. I don't know if I'll ever be able to come to terms with my dislike of mumblecore, as my aversion to it is purely for aesthetic reasons. The only exception is Computer Chess, which is kind of subverting mumblecore anyways.

    But I guess I was kind of okay with this? While I really couldn't reconcile with the faux naturalism that…

  • The Godfather: Part III 1990

    Watched 21 Aug, 2014 1

    *Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Few films have the detriment of having to live up to a predecessor's greatness. Fewer films have had to face the ire, or rather the passive aggressive disregard that has been given to The Godfather: Part III. It is a film that has become a footnote in cinema's history compared to the landmarks the first two films in the trilogy had established.

    Yet it's a film whose vices are rarely ever brought to the…

  • Goodfellas 1990

    ★★★★★ Watched 19 Aug, 2014 6

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    "As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster"

    Who didn't at least at one point in their life? It's a life worthy of envy. You're treated like a king until the day you get pinched for life or end up in a ditch. You never really joined because you knew the scary consequences (that and it's essentially a closed club), but you watched from the outside, whether through…