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Matthew has written 6 reviews for films during 2019.

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★½

    Almost three hours long and yet not a word of explanation—or even a joke—about why grown-up Bill is a foot shorter than he should be. A fairly limp sequel that stays afloat due mainly to a couple of inspired set pieces (the bleachers was a stand out) and Bill Hader’s foul-mouthed shtick. And I’m not sure what to think about the decision to leave intact the various jarring, unironic slurs that reportedly appear in the book, something Brian talks about

  • Skate Kitchen

    Skate Kitchen

    ★★★★

    Coming as no surprise to anyone who’s seen The Wolfpack, Crystal Moselle’s naturalistic shooting style and ease with young performers find her equally as capable with dramatic storytelling as with documentary filmmaking. Here she expands her own prior short film—featuring an existing skate crew with no acting experience but a whole lot of Instagram followers—into a coming-of-age tale set in and around the skate parks and rental accommodations of Manhattan.

    Highlights for me: Rachelle Vinberg’s unselfconscious central performance (she’s skated…

  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    ★½

    “In December 2017, it was announced Joe Johnston would direct a month of reshoots written by Tom McCarthy, with Hallström agreeing to Johnston receiving co-directing credit.” I didn’t read this till afterwards, but it’s no surprise at all. While the visual effects and production design are right up there, the rest of this endeavour is so earnest as to be completely devoid of substance and personality. Ten minutes later my kids were back to discussing Alita from two weeks prior.

  • Mortal Engines

    Mortal Engines

    ★★½

    This reportedly lost the studio $150 million, which is entirely attributable to the producers not appending A Star Wars Story to the end of its title. It’s not great, in the same way recent secondary tales from the SWU haven’t been great; a potentially interesting world full of good and evil and ships that fly and shoot, but which inevitably falls back on clichéd story points and character arcs. Most of the effects work is pretty good (i.e. not immediately…

  • Fyre

    Fyre

    ★★★

    What a mess. Definite opportunity for Seth MacFarlane to play Billy in the inevitable biopic though eh.

  • Game Night

    Game Night

    ★★½

    Brazenly steals its only visual flourishes from Edgar Wright, and struggles (for me) to balance tone. There were a couple of inspired moments and some very well delivered lines, but I spent a good deal of it wishing I was rewatching The Game, a film these characters who claim to “love movies” would surely have referenced at some point during their game night.