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Matt has written 125 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Memory: The Origins of Alien

    Memory: The Origins of Alien

    ★★½

    The project of the new documentary Memory: The Origins of Alien is a bit like the Nostromo’s mission, minus the aliens eating everyone: It exhumes this ancient site in an attempt to learn these forgotten secrets about this creature and bring them back to our society. As moviemaking documentaries go, it’s a little uneven — it’s not even the best doc about the making of Alien. But at times it did make my chest burst with warm feelings for a time not that long ago, when this kind of making-of film was much more common.

    Full review at ScreenCrush.

  • It Chapter Two

    It Chapter Two

    ★★½

    IT ... is long.

    Full review at ScreenCrush.

  • The Beach Bum

    The Beach Bum

    ★★½

    Not quite my cup of hemp oil, but the soundtrack might be the only one of 2019 that can hold a candle to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

  • The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

    The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

    ★★½

    My children were not amused by this film. I’m proud their critical faculties are developing so quickly and so perceptively.

  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    ★★½

    Maybe the platonic ideal of an airplane movie — so simple in construction and easy to follow that you could understand what was going on even if you left your seat to go to the bathroom for 15 minutes, or got distracted by the terrible ice cream the flight attendant served you. (Only an airline could fuck up ice cream. How do you fuck up ice cream?!? Honey with ginger? Just give me goddamn vanilla! And I don’t even like…

  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★½

    Doing this as an actual musical does give it a little bit of unusual flavor for a rock biopic. Taron has a really good voice, and the middle portions where Elton’s so far gone on drugs he’s stumbling from one disconnected scene to another is maybe the best excuse anyone’s ever come up with for biopicitis, the affliction that boils a person’s life only down to its most momentous days and on-the-nose conversations. 

    And yet even with all of that…

  • Men in Black 3

    Men in Black 3

    ★★½

    I cannot believe I have seen this movie twice.

  • Terminator Salvation

    Terminator Salvation

    ★★½

    A chilling glimpse into the post-apocalyptic future of 2018, a year so bleak Christian Bale can no longer raise his voice above a gruff whisper.

    Y’know, this isn’t terribly directed. Visually, it has its moments. The long takes really bring you inside the chaos of a firefight with a bunch of cranky cyborgs. Sure, it’s impossible to square these versions of the characters with the ones in previous movies, but that’s pretty much par for the course in Terminatorland.

    I…

  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★★½

    There’s a reason within the movie to call it The Dead Don’t Die but I’m still bummed this movie isn’t titled The Walking Deadpan.

  • The Perfection

    The Perfection

    ★★½

    I declare this film’s title ... inaccurate.

  • X-Men: The Last Stand

    X-Men: The Last Stand

    ★★½

    A not-terrible adaptation of Joss Whedon’s first Astonishing X-Men arc mixed with the dirt-worst adaptation possible of “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” Overall, it’s better than its reputation. There are worthwhile bits in here; McKellen gives one of his better performances as Magneto, the Danger Room sequence is a series highlight, Kelsey Grammer’s Beast looks and feels like he stepped right out of a Marvel comic, and I like the way Rogue’s arc plays out.

    But yeah, the Dark Phoenix stuff,…

  • The Wolverine

    The Wolverine

    ★★½

    This movie has a worse identity crisis than its hairy title character. It starts as a gritty drama about a grief-stricken man with a couple nifty sword-on-claw fights. Then somewhere along the way it mutates into a generic CGI action movie with Jackman fighting a hissing snake lady and a giant metal robot. It needed to be either 60 percent smaller or 40 percent bigger. The Wolverine was okay when it came out. In a world where Logan exists, and explores a lot of the same ideas in a much more refined and less compromised way, it’s basically superfluous.