Thumbs Down on "The Matador":

Relying on generally good reviews, my wife and I hired a babysitter and went out to see "The Matador" tonight. It was a bad movie. Bad. Bad. Boring. Contrary to reviews, not funny [Update: A couple of guys in the back of the theater laughed heartily every time Pierce Brosnan copulated with a hooker, but those were the only laughs the movie received where we saw it]. Nor suspenseful. With a plot that makes no sense (click below for spoiler). Matchpoint was much better. Brokeback Mountain, though overrated in our opinion, was much better, though not as good as Matchpoint. But by far the best movie we've seen lately is Shrek 2 on DVD. Your mileage may vary.


Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Was it you who recommended King Kong? I saw that movie and didn't get it at all. Mass carnage all around her, and all she cares about is the monkey? How annoying could she be!

I did like Shrek2 though.
1.27.2006 10:11pm
Scott Scheule (mail) (www):
I agree that the ending was somewhat hard to swallow, but other than that you don't know what you're talking about; the acting was very fine and the dialogue snappy and funny.

Shrek 2 sucked.
1.27.2006 10:12pm
"Brokeback Mountain" was the kind of movie that, if it were released to little fanfare and flew under the radar, I would extol it's virtues and overlook its significant drawbacks (an unconvincing love story, an insufferably boring first act, and confused character development).

But given all of the ridiculous raves it's received, I usually end up emphasizing all its problems.
1.27.2006 10:38pm
Wintermute (www):
They've used up all the good plots. I'm back to reading.
1.27.2006 11:30pm
Cyn23 (mail):
Well, it is a matter of opinion, but I personally did enjoy "The Matador." It is a matter of taste, surely, but "bad bad" is too harsh. Good performances, something a bit different in the plot department, and interesting characterizations. Hope Davis again is charming.

As to the humor, again, matter of taste.
1.28.2006 12:13am
Cornellian (mail):
Never heard of The Matador. Match Point isn't here yet, or I'd go see it. Haven't seen King Kong, don't plan to do so. Isn't it just a big ape walking around New York? Brokeback Mountain is the best movie of 2005.
1.28.2006 7:11am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
I highly recomend "Hostel". Outstanding cinemography,thrilling plot, beautiful slovakian scenery, touching story of young love, you won't regret seeing it.
1.28.2006 8:29am
steve k:
I enjoyed The Matador quite a bit. The whole point of the film is how two disparate people, both in trouble, might get together. Match Point, on the other hand, was generic and boring.
1.28.2006 11:58am
Cornellian (mail):
Capote was really good too. Great performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as an author conducting research for a book who has a hard time drawing ethical lines in his quest for literary fame.
1.28.2006 2:21pm
jack (mail):
'walk the line' had some great performances.
1.28.2006 2:49pm
Aaron B (mail):
I think if the Matador was just about 25% more wacky, it would have succeeded. Brosnan was there, but the tone of the rest of the film just wasnt. So it was middling. And that's poison at the movies. By the way, the best movie of 2005, to my mind, remains Grizzly Man. Go rent it.
1.28.2006 4:59pm
Tim DeRoche (mail) (www):
Match Point and Shrek 2? Ugggh.

If you're going to make a movie about infidelity, then you gotta say something new! The suggestion that luck plays a factor in human lives doesn't count as "saying something new".

As for my disgust with the Shrek franchise, I will only say that I find it completely baffling that *anyone* likes those movies...let alone millions of otherwise intelligent adults.
1.28.2006 5:21pm
Regarding Match Point, a friend of mine put it best: "I only stayed out of respect for Woody Allen's career."
1.28.2006 8:20pm
Pierce Brosnan:
I had high hopes for the Matador, but, really, it was awful. Not that it was really that bad -- it just wasted quite a bit of potential. The direction was pretty poor with too many faux-stylish bad Soderberg shots. All the actors performed well enough and the soundtrack was at times inspired (the Cramps) and at times utterly banal (the Jam intro song, some of the overused Mexican pop). The plot and dialogue were both pretty contrived. You could tell the director really labored through NYU Film trying to become one of those clever fellows. The heavy-handed revelation of what went on that night in Mexico was so anti-climactic as to be absurd -- I waited for a punch line to that joke of a scene and received none. The bathos of the dead child was unfortunately portrayed to say the least.
1.28.2006 11:24pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
There aren't enough good roles for actresses now adays. How about a "Brokeback Mountain" for the ladies,with perhaps Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba in
the starring roles?
1.29.2006 3:03pm
I liked Matchpoint. Not a great movie, but considering the slim pickins' of recent years, quite entertaining.
The performance of the brother is itself worth the price of admission.
1.29.2006 6:21pm
Robert Schwartz (mail):
I saw last match point last night. About 15 minutes into what seemed like 6 hours (it was really only about 2:15), I decided I hated it. Problems, many scenes recycle screen cliches, many scenes are excessivley long or do not advance the plot, the protagonist changes from romantic to schemer and back depending on the next plot twist. I thought it was a mess. With about 10 minutes to go, people around me started pulling out their cell-phones and calling their friends to talk about something else.
1.29.2006 11:31pm