Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Matchstick Men

Yesterday's post about Ridley Scott made me uncrack open the cellophane on my Matchstick Men DVD last night, a film I hadn't seen since it played at Venice in 2003 and which I remember enjoying enormously. In many ways, a forgotten Scott movie, it's by no means a classic, but Scott's supreme skill shines through, the script is cutely knowing, and the performance by one particular cast member is quite remarkable. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil, but when I saw it in Venice this particular person wasn't familiar, which made the ending all the more surprising. I'm not convinced the film will have quite the same impact on newcomers but it remains a fine, engaging work from one of our most accomplished filmmakers.

11 comments:

Gerard said...

I really dug Matchstick Men, and prefer it over many of Scott's larger and more widely-praised efforts *cough*Gladiator*cough*. I like his little films. But these days, he seems to be bashing out a Crowe-starrer a year; I'd rather he took his time with some real pet projects (megabudget or otherwise) and gave us something great again. I sense a Ridley/Russell backlash shan't be far off should he actually go through with the flat-out ridiculous idea of having Crowe play both the Sheriff and Robin Hood in Nottingham...

Seeing Body of Lies on Thursday when it opens. I'm surprisingly unexcited for it, but there's nothing else interesting out this week I've not already seen. Could be good. Me like the Di Caprio...

Mark Salisbury said...

I'm with you regarding Gladiator. Didn't get the love myself.

I wish he'd slow down too. But he's 71 and you gotta admire the man's output which puts most other filmmakers to shame.

Gerard said...

Cripes, he's 71? I get the rapidity.

And Gladiator was a cool enough period action film, but, like Oscars? Awards? Really?

J.D. said...

I really dug AMERICAN GANGSTER even if it did feel like Ridley was cribbing off of Scorsese and Coppola a little bit... with a dash of THE FRENCH CONNECTION for good measure. Still, a solid film.

Mark Salisbury said...

It's more than solid. It's incredibly slick and well crafted but as I said here at the time, I'd seen it all before.

Matt J said...

But doesn't Cage's tic-filled perfprmance put you off a touch?

Sam Rockwell is sublime as usual.

Mark Salisbury said...

I've seen worse from him. And at least this character was meant to have his problems...

Matt J said...

Just found a great interview with Ridley:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcoERYpWEz0

It's Mark Lawson's interview, being in the UK you've probably seen it?

Mark Salisbury said...

Yep, Ridley comes out with some great stuff in it.

Matt J said...

The BEE GEES instead of THE DUELLISTS? !!
http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_7477

Mark Salisbury said...

Fascinating. Thanks for pointing it out.