Thursday, September 18, 2003

Matchstick Men

This afternoon, on a matinee, I watched Matchstick Men. This movie is an adaptation of Eric Garcia's book, Matchstick Men.

Two things contributed to Matchstick Men being September's movie (my ninth movie in a theater): Eric Garcia and Ridley Scott.

Eric Garcia occasionally posts on the USENET newsgroup misc.writing.screenplays, a newsgroup I dip into every now and then when I want to see how writers write when they're procrastinating. Eric has clout in the group because he's published, and his novel was made into a movie. He got good buzz. Eric's on-line demeanor is engaging and friendly, and he welcomes all correspondence to his e-mail.

When I heard a book of his was going to be a movie, I bought it. I devoured the book in two evenings. It was splendid! A very fast paced book, the twists and turns were stunning, and by the end of it, well...let's just say I thought it was a very brave ending!

Ridley Scott is the famous director, of course. He's the man behind the vision of such films as Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Blade Runner, and Alien.

Ridley Scott's movies are gorgeous. I'm not enough of a film student to able to dissect exactly why, but I'm enough of a movie fan to know that I very much like how puts a movie together. Ridley's DVD commentary on Alien was the first DVD commentary I ever listened to.

In a recent article, Ridley was joking that "I'm old, but I can still beat the pants off any 22-year old tennis pro", referring to today's younger directors. It then occurred to me that I haven't seen a Ridley Scott movie in the theater since perhaps Thelma & Louise. I have seen Alien and Blade Runner in college, but I missed his modern spectacles Black Hawk Down and Gladiator. Knowing the story line for Matchstick Men, I was eager to see what he'd do with it. Guess what? He did the story pretty well!

It's a movie to definitely go see. You'll see a "tone" that is uniquely and unmistakably Ridley Scott. You'll see some very showy (and to me, very cool) editing by Dody Dorn. Nicolas Cage gives an eye-popping performance. And screen writers Nicholas Griffin and Ted Griffin do all right by Eric Garcia.

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