Matisse has written 16 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2013.

  • Cronos

    Cronos

    ★★★½

    Guillermo del Toro's feature-length directorial debut shows the incredible potential of the young filmmaker that would grow and mature into one of the most imaginative and visionary auteurs of the modern era. Anyone who knows me knows that del Toro is one of my absolute favorite filmmakers, and I'll pretty much watch anything that has his name attached to it, be it his own masterpieces such as Pan's Labyrinth or the weaker exhibits he merely produced, such as Don't Be…

  • Rushmore

    Rushmore

    ★★★½

    Watched as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #9 of 100

    Wes Anderson, you hipster. I've always has a love/hate relationship with Wes Anderson's films. This has to do with the fact that my mood at the time of viewing totally determines whether I love or hate them, and this goes for ones I've seen more than once too. I have to be in a completely whimsical, playful mood to appreciate Anderson's quirky style of…

  • Hold Me While I'm Naked

    Hold Me While I'm Naked

    ★★★½

    George Kuchar is a weird one. My only previous exposure to Kuchar is his film, Cult of Cubicles, which is pretty offputting. Hold Me While I'm Naked is probably just as weird, but with a much shorter runtime, I actually enjoyed this one. There's some very relatable material, as a young filmmaker, and I understand a lot of the struggles that this film expresses. There's still a ton of the weird nudity and sexuality that Kuchar was obsessed with, but in small doses, it's pretty effective.

    Overall, Hold Me While I'm Naked is a fun little example of experimental filmmaking. Worth a watch.

  • Cosmopolis

    Cosmopolis

    ★★★½

    Film #4 of my Cronenberg Compensation Challenge.

    David Cronenberg's most recent film, Cosmopolis is a weighty neon odyssey that drags its audience along for the ride. Following a multi-billionaire on a simple journey to get a haircut in his soundproofed stretch limo, Cosmopolis details the protagonist's interactions with a slew of characters that slowly but surely turn his life upside down and drag him into the midst of an existential crisis. This film is beautifully, if eccentrically, shot and is…

  • Crash

    Crash

    ★★★½

    Film #2 of my Cronenberg Compensation Challenge.

    To say that Crash is a weird film is a severe understatement. Chronicling the lives of a small group of people who receive sexual excitement viewing and recreating car crashes, it takes controversial to a whole new level. This is the type of film that in the hands of a less capable director would be almost unwatchable. I'm still trying to work out whether I liked it or not. On a technical level,…

  • 13 Assassins

    13 Assassins

    ★★★½

    Watched this as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #1 of 100

    Samurai/ninja films of the last decade or so have left a lot to be desired, focusing on over exaggerated, slo-mo, leaping from roof to roof fight scenes rather than an interesting story. Granted I haven't seen all the samurai films of the past decade, but 13 Assassins is one of the best I've seen. The first act is slow but deliberately paced, however…

  • Grabbers

    Grabbers

    ★★★½

    I'm not gonna lie, when I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something to watch and saw Grabbers, I thought it was one of those Asylum-esque terrible horror movies with the worst CGI in the world and actors they picked up off the streets or out of their dying careers (*cough cough Tara Reid cough cough Carmen Electra cough cough*). But I was in the mood to watch something terrible and potentially hilarious, so I decided to give it a…

  • Blue Caprice

    Blue Caprice

    ★★★½

    Alexandre Moors's feature length directorial debut, Blue Caprice, is an intense character study of the two perpetrators of the Beltway Sniper Attacks of 2002, John Muhammad and Lee Malvo. The actual killings are not a major part of the film, being presented montage-style toward the end of the film. This is a story about the characters first and foremost, and how their psychology caused their actions. It's about one man's vendetta against the world and how he shapes and corrupts…

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★½

    I'm probably gonna be pretty unpopular for not giving Die Hard the perfect 5 star rating that everyone else gives it, but trust me, it's not because it isn't great, it's just more a matter of personal taste. I've never been a huge fan of action films in general. It's just not a genre that gets me pumped up, and that's probably because I've seen a lot of really bad action movies. And I'm not talking about action movies that…

  • Tumbleweed!

    Tumbleweed!

    ★★★½

    A delightful little mockumentary, Tumbleweed! tells the history of tumbleweeds, and one tumbleweed that tumbles at an exceptionally slower rate than the others, and is teased because of it. It's a very simple, succinct film, but contains a surprising amount of detail.

    The cinematography is almost soothing, with many slow tracking shots of the dessert and an abandoned western town with tumbleweeds meandering their way through. The "historical archive" footage is done very convincingly in a 16mm black and white…

  • Ringu

    Ringu

    ★★★½

    As a young boy, after the 2003 release of The Ring, I remember always hearing from people that it was a day at the beach compared Hideo Nakata's Ringu. I never ended up having the opportunity to see either, so when I was presented with an opportunity to see Ringu on the big screen, I figured I would be a fool not to take it. While I didn't leave the theater even remotely scared (which disappointed me considering how I…

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    ★★★½

    Robert Weine's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is not only the foundation for the German Expressionist movement, but also is arguably the first horror film ever made. While it may not stand up to our definitions of horror films today, when it was released almost a century ago, it was undeniably a tale of psychological terror.

    While I wasn't particularly captivated by the storytelling or pacing, the set pieces and makeup are excellent. The surrealist style sets and chiaroscuro lighting typical…