RSS feed for Matt Conti
  • Intolerable Cruelty

    Intolerable Cruelty 2003

    Watched 28 Jan, 2016 1

    The Coens at their most underrated; a screwball comedy worthy of McCarey, Hawks, and Wilder. Features some of their strongest playfulness with tropes, this one eagerly attacking the cynical nature of the very structure of most romantic comedies. Clooney brings one of his best performances, channeling the Cary Grant persona that's always been deep down the reason he's popular and Catherine Zeta-Jones gives Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl a run for her money.

    If this is the Coens at their worst then just give them a place in the Pantheon already.

  • The Chickening

    The Chickening 2015

    Watched 26 Jan, 2016

    I see shit like this on Youtube at 3 in the morning when I can't sleep all the time.

  • Chimes at Midnight

    Chimes at Midnight 1965

    Watched 23 Jan, 2016

    Seen on a restoration print in theaters. It was cool to sit underneath a giant screen with Welles rotund face suspended over me and his soothing baritone voice booming over the speakers and vibrating my torso.

    Hard not to see why this is Welles favorite film of his own oeuvre, since it revisits everything Welles ever touched upon in his films from Shakespeare, to patriarchal roles, to frayed male friendships, to dying legacies, to playing exaggerated versions of himself. Not…

  • A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year 2014

    Watched 24 Jan, 2016

    At this point I must admit I just don't care for JC Chandor or his didactic approach to filmmaking. I'm not sure whether I realized this around the multiple points where characters actually say the words "As you know" followed by exposition points or when characters explained to each other how the other person is feeling in a way that could only be done if they had already read the script. Or perhaps it was the point where Oscar Isaac…

  • Trumbo

    Trumbo 2015

    Watched 22 Jan, 2016 1

    Far and away one of the worst films of 2015. Reduces one of the most conflicted periods of Hollywood to mere awards fare tedium. Trumbo himself was an interesting man but even when put under the spotlight here he comes off as nothing more than an idealist doing the right thing, his worst flaws being that he might have overworked himself and put strain on his family. Cranston's nomination for his performance here is frustrating. He is a good actor,…

  • Everly

    Everly 2015

    Watched 21 Jan, 2016

    Racist and despite its protestations by having a "strong female character" at its center, rather misogynistic.

    Which I'd be able to look past if there was anything in this that was worth watching. Unfortunately it can't even rise to the basest of B movie pleasures.

  • The Revenant

    The Revenant 2015

    Watched 17 Jan, 2016

    In college I was blessed with a great professor that wasn't just great at teaching within the boundaries of the classroom, but was also a fantastic mentor outside of it. For most of my 4.5 years I stuck close to him, attempting to get the most out of his wisdom that didn't just feed me information but also encouraged critical thought. Perhaps the best thing he ever taught me was the "So what?" principle. The premise was simple: Any work…

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

    Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip 2015

    Watched 15 Jan, 2016 4

    John Waters is in this.

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight 2015

    Watched 29 Dec, 2015 1

    I think Quentin Tarantino might be the only canonical filmmaker that has become more and more juvenile as they get older. Most directors would have dropped the adolescent act at this point. QT just seems to intensify it.

    Not much I can add that Jake Cole or Armond White (yes, that Armond White) haven't already gone into detail about. I was similarly disappointed in Django Unchained but at least that film's gleeful violence was fun in spite of its troubling…

  • Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

    Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension 2015

    Watched 22 Dec, 2015

    One of the things I loved about the first Paranormal Activity was how its horror was more focused on displaying the deteriorating psyche of its characters. The found footage aspect allowed for a sense of naturalism not really seen in many horror films. The characters actually started to lose their sanity in a way that seemed believable, and made the atmosphere all the more frightening.

    Absolutely none of the sequels understood this, so they resorted to carnival scares over horror…

  • Cop Car

    Cop Car 2015

    Watched 21 Dec, 2015

    Could have been a great film, but sadly can't even rise to be a memorable B movie. Watts is a good director, and his premise here leads to an interesting and dark take on childhood innocence (or lack thereof) being shattered by the cruelty of the world they live in indifferent to the idea of their naivety, but it's all a lot of posturing before its final tense set piece, and once that's over it barely has a leg to stand on. It's more of a short film stretched out to feature length.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    Watched 17 Dec, 2015 3

    Fuller and more coherent thoughts to come at a rewatch*, but at first glance: Not bad, Abrams.

    This isn't a great film. It's missing the cinematic spiritualism of the original trilogy, and perhaps that's something sadly only Lucas can ever really bring to this series, which makes this end up as something closer to a Hollywood sanctioned fan film than what made Star Wars the cultural phenomenon it was (and still is, albeit to a lesser extent). But as pure…