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Matt has written 241 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

    Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

    ★★★½

    The art of commerce — impressively comprehensive for a documentary of this sort, with tons of interviews and archival footage, original sketches. If you want to know the origins of He-Man, this is a very good place to find it. It is kind of amusing, though, how much of the origins of He-Man are “Yeah we needed to sell a shit-ton of toys to kids, and we decided this macho barbarian guy in space would work.”

  • Gemini Man

    Gemini Man

    ★★★½

    GEMINI MAN is about coming to grips with your mortality, confronting a doppelgänger of yourself, doing wacky things with 3D frame rate, and Will Smith kicking someone in the face with a motorcycle. 

    Obviously, I liked it.

    Full review at ScreenCrush.

  • Screwball

    Screwball

    ★★★½

    Billy Corben excels at particular type of documentary: Heavy on storytelling, focused on eccentric characters, rooted in Florida Man lunacy, and drowning in drugs. So the story of the Biogenesis steroid scandal is as in his wheelhouse as an 87 mile an hour fastball is in A-Rod’s. The conceit of using children to play the subjects in re-enactments is very funny — and certainly true to their behavior.

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★½

    Big fan of this franchise’s continuing commitment to horrifying and emotionally devastating adults through the medium of folksy children’s entertainment. Toy Story: Making adults recognize the fleeting nature of mortality and the meaninglessness of existence since 1995!

  • The Addams Family

    The Addams Family

    ★★★½

    This might not be as good as the pinball game it inspired, but it’s still very solid. Christina Ricci became a star on the basis of the movie, and rightfully so, but I don’t think I appreciated how funny and weird Christopher Lloyd is as Fester/Gordon. I’m not sure I even realized that was Doc Brown until the sequel came out.

  • The Beast Within: Making 'Alien'

    The Beast Within: Making 'Alien'

    ★★★½

    “This is always stronger than everything else,” Ridley Scott says, pointing at his brain. Yup.

  • Hustlers

    Hustlers

    ★★★½

    The best little detail: The repeated shots of the window that reads APPROVED on the credit card machine filling the entire frame, as if the line of ill-gotten credit itself is endorsing these women’s activities.

  • Looper

    Looper

    ★★★½

    First time rewatching this since it came out. I like it better when it’s about a man confronting his younger self (and vice versa) and less when it becomes The Terminator meets the thought experiment about killing telekinetic Hitler as a baby. Still, credit to Joseph Gordon-Levitt for being a better Bruce Willis than Bruce Willis.

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★½

    Welp, there goes my plan to pivot from film criticism to lighthouse keeping. Now what?!?

    Full review at ScreenCrush.

  • Notting Hill

    Notting Hill

    ★★★½

    Every great star has a signature move. John Travolta dances. Brad Pitt is always eating something onscreen. Tom Cruise runs really fast. Julia Roberts’ signature move is called “the cryle,” where she fights back tears through a pained smile. The cryle has a few variations, but Roberts most commonly uses it in emotional scenes to show characters desperately trying to hold things together while on the verge of a breakdown. Her voice trembles and her eyes begin to water, but…

  • The Running Man

    The Running Man

    ★★★½

    Deepfakes were invented 30 years ago in a movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger enters a Murder Game Show and strangles a hockey-themed American Gladiator of Death and then quips “He was a real pain in the neck.”

    Movies are just the best, guys.

  • The Matrix Reloaded

    The Matrix Reloaded

    ★★★½

    “No point. Old men like me don’t bother with making points. There’s no point.”

    It’s funny how retro this future looks now. Everything is dependent on hard wires; there’s no wifi for The Matrix. And the Wachowskis’ ambitions push up against the limits of digital effects’ abilities in 2003. The CGI parts of the “Burly Brawl” looks pretty shrimpy compared to what would be possible just a few years later.

    In the abstract, I respect the ambition, the scope, the…