matt has written 419 reviews for films rated ★★ .

  • Army of the Dead

    Army of the Dead

    ★★

    An absolutely blatant ALIENS ripoff that somehow has barely any good parts. Given that it's Snyder this is of course wildly bloated, but also given that it's Snyder it's shockingly dull, surprisingly cheap and crummy-looking (he's serving as his own DP but shoots everything in this generic televisual shallow focus), and almost entirely bereft of his splashy tableaux. Didn't have a high bar, still a real disappointment.

  • Solace

    Solace

    ★★

    Initially conceived as a sequel to SEVEN but with the added contrivance of psychic powers, then actually filmed as some DTV junk food over a decade later, with predictable but not completely ruinous results.

    Discussed on Episode 61 of The Suspense is Killing Us.

  • City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold

    City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold

    ★★

    Lots of "jokes" about Billy Crystal boning a) his wife or b) potentially another dude.

  • Red Dot

    Red Dot

    ★★

    I accidentally ruined this for myself by figuring out the mystery/twist about five minutes in, including most of broad circumstances, but even if I hadn't it's pretty blandly plotted, light on suspense, and perfunctorily executed.

  • Silent Rage

    Silent Rage

    ★★

    Your reminder that there are nearly zero good Chuck Norris movies.

  • Coming 2 America

    Coming 2 America

    ★★

    Drains all the texture and thorny Black Americana out of the original in favor of callbacks and cheap gags. There's so little meat on its clothesline narrative, with none of the older film's sweetness added to this one's relatively tame depiction of aspiration nor frankness added to this toothless story of reverse assimilation. Ugly too, replacing the wintry New York locations with soundstages and green screens, shot like a sitcom. Really disappointing from Brewer.

  • The Reckoning

    The Reckoning

    ★★

    About what you'd expect from a guy who directed a bunch of Game of Thrones and then saw THE WITCH.

  • Willy's Wonderland

    Willy's Wonderland

    ★★

    It's hard to think of this as anything other than a goof, although the endless scenes of Cage silently scrubbing bathrooms or exuberantly playing pinball have their charms. It's just that there isn't really a movie around them.

  • Rifkin's Festival

    Rifkin's Festival

    ★★

    Look Woody if you're not gonna cut it out altogether then at least stop making movies out of unpublished short stories you wrote in the mid-70's.

  • The Wanting Mare

    The Wanting Mare

    ★★

    I"m sorry but this narrative's obliqueness is excruciatingly self-conscious and amateurish, and the much-hyped VFX work looks bad (the compositing is especially crummy).

  • Deadline

    Deadline

    ★★

    Some of the shock vignettes here are pretty fun -- I won't spoil those -- but most of them reflect the hack writer main character's biggest problem, which is also the movie's: the guy sucks, both as a person and as an artist. That mostly derails anything this might be trying to say about just what kind of supposedly terrible person creates and/or consumes such allegedly socially deleterious horror stuff, but who cares anyway since that's a stupid thing to be about.

  • Malabimba

    Malabimba

    ★★

    More notorious than actually even slightly interesting, this is a typically contradictory Italian Eurocore porn, very gauche and heavy on gothic atmosphere, simultaneously prurient and puritanical, with female sexuality literally depicted as evil and dangerous.