A Knight’s Tale

As a kid my brother and I had an obsession with knights. We loved everything about them: the armor, the fighting, the glory, all of it. I can still remember some of the imaginary adventures we set out on; the only difference between us and a real knight being our armor was plastic.

Even when not galavanting in the backyard, we “retained” our knighthood. We adorned our rooms with banners and shields (hell at one point my brother had outlet covers that had knights on them). We studied William Marshall, Richard the Lionhearted, and of course King Arthur and his round table of knights.

But perhaps the most illuminating—certainly the most influential—piece of knight media we drew from was the 2001 Heath Ledger led: A Knight’s Tale. Indeed, from the well of information at our disposal we believed this zany romp to be the example of the peak of knightliness.

This movie’s got everything a young knight loving boy could want. You got jousting. You got sword-fighting. You got Princesses. You got a 70’s Rock and Roll soundtrack. You got jousting. And of course, you got some knights.

Join me, as I take a nostalgia induced look at: A Knight’s Tale. Since this movie came out the year I was born, I’m gonna spoil stuff. I figure that abides by the code of Chivalry. Hehe.


I Watched All the (Brosnan) James Bond Bond Movies So You Didn’t Have To

So I did a thing. I, on an desultory whim, decided to watch every and all Pierce Brosnan James Bond movie. And sure there’s only four of them, but watching them back to back to back to back is a harrowing experience. I honestly thought I might not come out with my sanity intact. Luckily I was able to emerge. Like a phoenix. A horribly scarred and changed phoenix.

Okay I might be making these movies seem worse than they actually are but I’m merely dramatizing my very real reaction to them. I had fun laughing at how ridiculous they were but attempting to take them seriously hurt my brain and my heart.

However, there are some qualities in each that are somewhat redeemable, or at the very least acceptable. So, stir you vodka and vermouth, throw in a lime, and join me as I sift through the garbage.

Raging Bull: Fighting Your Demons

I’ve watched plenty of awful shit while being confined to my house. I’ve subjected myself to all four Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, Spencer Confidential, and The Green Hornet (the 2011 one) just to name a few. And while it’s fun to watch the occasional hilariously awful movie, I needed to cleanse my pallet.

In classic pretentious movie connoisseur fashion I turned to Martin Scorsese. And while I was overjoyed to see Taxi Driver back on Netflix, I figured a second post would be unnecessary. And you don’t need me to tell you that The Wolf of Wall street and Goodfellas are fantastic, everyone else already has.

Then I had an epiphany. Well it was less of an epiphany and more of a, “Hey look Raging Bull is on Netflix…any.” So, I was able to satisfy my need to watch a Scorsese film while simultaneously satisfying my need to review something most people won’t immediately recognize.

I’ll try not to spoil much, similar to my last review, as this is a movie that deserves to be seen. As much as I’d like to pick apart every scene that would ultimately be a disservice to you and the movie. Just watch it please.

At Eternity’s Gate: A Painting In Motion

Recently I was asked what the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen was. And while obvious answers like 1917 and Blade Runner: 2049 were on my mind, my immediate response was At Eternity’s Gate. This “biopic”, if you categorize it as such, follows Vincent Van Gogh in the last two productive yet tumultuous years of his life, from leaving Paris in 1888 to his blurred death in 1890.

Never have I been as awestruck or shaken by a movie. To watch At Eternity’s Gate is not only to peer into the magnificent and unrestrained works of Van Gogh, but to catch a glimpse of the troubled mind that paints them. The only way to describe this frenzied movie is the process of painting brought to film. It serves less as a retelling of history but more as a means to delve into the man that is Van Gogh.

Buckle up, dear reader, because in this installment of Matinee Moviegoer we analyze the original archetype of the troubled artist. Headfirst we dive into the artistry of Van Gogh. I will spoil as little as possible as I hope you will watch this movie for yourself. It is a testament to the beauty of the world, and made for those who revel in it’s beauty

Film Noir And The Big Lebowski

Drinking a White Russian in my bathrobe thinking about how this rug really ties the room together

When thinking of The Big Lebowski, one immediately recognizes certain scenes or elements. Roaches and white russians are staples of the character, while lines like “That rug really tied the room together.” and “I’m The Dude, man!” are some of the most iconic in recent history. It’s a wacky absurdist comedy that is as confusing as it is hilarious.

However, I bet there’s one thing that never crosses your mind when thinking about The Big Lebowski. Film Noir. Ladies and Gentlemen find your seats and get comfy because tonight we discuss The Big Lebowski, and analyze how it fits perfectly as a subversion of the noir genre.

Taxi Driver, Joker, and the Study of a Lonely Loner

Hello, and welcome to the show! I’m your gracious host, The Matinee Moviegoer. In today’s installment, we will be discussing Joker and Taxi Driver. More specifically, we will be discussing the archetype of the outcast protagonist, or as I like to call them, the lonely loners.

Me wearing a homemade Taxi Driver jacket

WARNING: Taxi Driver contains racism, antisemitism, misogyny, and extreme violence. I am in no way endorsing any of this, I am simply recognizing that these elements contribute to fleshing out a character

As we all know by now, Joker was a massive success not only for superhero movies, but for small budget “artisan” flicks in general. It’s stellar cinematography places you in a depressing and visceral urban environment that is in itself characterized through the mountains of trash, oozing smoke, and bat-shit crazy citizens. The score is unsettling and beautiful, much like Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the titular character. Joker is an intriguing character study, and it’s success is reflected in It’s leading man winning an Oscar.

Upon first viewing Joker is nothing short of mesmerizing, as a superhero/character study movie like this has never happened before (or at least hasn’t been pulled of with this much success). However after a second viewing I began to question my initial perception of Joker. Sure, the beats still hit, but they certainly didn’t resonate nearly as much as they did during the first sitting. It began to feel much more shallow than I initially had believed it to be.

Obviously, this could be chalked up to the law of marginal utility, that being the more you watch something the less benefit you receive from watching it. However that wasn’t the case. After sinking my teeth into it I began to recognize the reason certain elements and scenes felt so empty. The reason being that Joker stands on the shoulders of a giant. Joker wouldn’t be the movie it is if not for the 1976 masterpiece, Taxi Driver.

Surfs Up: Better Than You Remember

Welcome all to This Matinee preview event! I am you’re gracious host Jesse Westburg A.K.A The Matinee Moviegoer A.K.A Mom. I hope you successfully smuggled in your snacks and found a seat because today were taking stroll down memory lane to nostalgia park. We’re gonna be talking about Surfs Up.

before Surf’s Up

This 2007 animated film stars Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder, Jeff Bridges, and the enduring Zoey Deschanel. Directed by Chris Buck and Ash Brannon-two established directors/animators who between them share credit for other animated classics like Tarzan, Pocahontas, Toy story 1 & 2, and Frozen-This film was Sony’s second animated feature and was nominated for best animated picture at the 80th Academy Awards. It’s wet, it’s wild, and it’s foundation lies on the premise that Penguins pioneered surfing (and that you as the audience just rolls with it).

Surfs up is a damn good time I’m just gonna say it. While not held in the same regard as animated classics like the Lion King or The Incredibles, it’s an absolute blast in it’s own right. And don’t worry I’m here to tell you why

BONUS: don’t just take my word for it, see what the voice of Cody himself had to say about Surfs Up

The Prelude

Welcome to Matinee Moviegoer, a blog where content isn’t so much “fire,” but more like the gentle warmth from an overpriced bag of popcorn. It’s peaceful and probably not the best for you, but halfway through you figure, “I may as well finish it.”

You see, I want this place to feel like a matinee showing. At a matinee: the ticket cost is less, there are no lines for concessions, and there’s always plenty of seats. While maybe not as exciting as the Blockbusters, there’s a charm to the relaxed nature of a daytime showing. It’s not fancy. It’s friendly.

I imagine this place can be like that. I want everyone who likes movies to be able to come here, read some cheeky post, and leave with a smile or a smirk of some sorts. I just want all the casuals and cinema freaks to know this is a place where you can kick back and relax. A place where you can sit wherever you want with a box of junior mints in one hand and a greasy half-live chicken leg in the other.

On a less analogical note, I’m going to be posting a few type of things, all obviously having to do with Cinema. They Include: (and are subject to change)

  • Movie Reviews– can range from detailed analysis to quick thoughts
  • Movie News– I’ll be lending my two cents on whatever hot tea is spilled in Hollywood
  • Variety hour– I might find inspiration to not necessarily talk about a movie, but a person, aspect of film, or some history. It’ll be fun don’t even worry.

I figure I’ll stick with a main topic, that being movies. But much like The Fast and The Furious franchise, my content may evolve. And in my opinion, on both accounts that’s not a bad thing. With a topic as broad as movies there’s no way I won’t eventually try new things. No matter how much my format changes the heart of my blog will always be cinema, and my objective views of it.

Also cars. I’ll rob a bank and drive out a building and stuff too. M-maybe even *scoffs* I don’t know, go to Tokyo. But still I’d like, be drifting cars so it’s definitely still the same.

Look I know my goals are lofty and mostly undefined, but I’m gonna be figuring this out as I go along. Just know dear reader you’re in for some lukewarm movie churro content. It’s gonna be sick.