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Over / Under: The Boondock Saints

The Boondock Saints

For an introduction to this weekly retrospective column titled Over / Under written by Matt Goldberg, please visit the first post in the series.

The Boondock Saints is a cult movie for people that crowd around crappy movies. It's like they passed by all the good cult movies and staked out a claim on a piss-poor imitation that should have been forgotten in the dust-bin of Tarantino imitators. When people mention Pulp Fiction-wannabees, Boondock Saints should be Exhibit A. And yes, it came out in 1999, but it was actually picked up in 1997 by, who else, Miramax. There's hardly anything that isn't derivative, sloppy, and half-baked in Troy Duffy's first and only film.

 Posted May 3 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

Over / Under: Down with Love

Down with Love

For an introduction to this weekly retrospective column titled Over / Under written by Matt Goldberg, please visit the first post in the series.

At first glance, Down with Love may seem like nothing more than a lighthearted spoof of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson screwball romantic comedies like Lover Come Back, Pillow Talk, and Send Me No Flowers; and it's certainly invoking those classic films. But Down with Love is also a strange but wonderful amalgam of parody, tribute, and farce.

 Posted April 26 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

Over / Under: American Beauty

American Beauty

For an introduction to this weekly retrospective column titled Over / Under written by Matt Goldberg, please visit the first post in the series.

When I saw American Beauty in 1999, I thought it was one of the greatest films ever made and wholly deserving of its Best Picture Oscar. Granted, I hadn't seen Fight Club or any of the other great films that came out in '99. Also, I was only 15. What's your excuse?

Looking back on American Beauty, I can still say that two aspects hold up very well: Conrad Hall's gorgeous cinematography and Kevin Spacey's performance. Oh, and Allison Janney's performance is probably the most over-looked greatness in the film.

 Posted April 19 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

Over / Under: BASEketball

BASEketball

For an introduction to this weekly retrospective column titled Over / Under written by Matt Goldberg, please visit the first post in the series.

After last week's overwhelmingly positive response to my column on Forrest Gump, I am so pleased to actually recommend a film rather than just trash one you love for no good reason.

BASEketball is a spoof from the genius that was David Zucker. Zucker was responsible the greatest spoof of all time, Airplane!, before deciding to embrace the anti-renaissance of spoof films that were Parts 3 and 4 of the Scary Movie franchise. But BASEketball was something different.

 Posted April 12 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

Over / Under: Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump

For an introduction to this weekly retrospective column titled Over / Under written by Matt Goldberg, please visit the first post in the series.

"Stupid is as stupid does."

This oft-repeated rhetorical comeback could not be truer when applied to the film Forrest Gump. I've made enemies out of friends and feuds from family when trying to explain that not only is this film sentimental garbage, but it's a complete misunderstanding of its source material which instead comes to an unnerving conclusion.

 Posted March 29 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

Over / Under: Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous LiaisonsFor an introduction to the weekly retrospective column Over / Under written by Matt Goldberg, please visit the first post in the series.

I doubt I'll get a lot of hate mail on this one, but I have to share my shock when I started looking up the awards tally for Stephen Frears' 1988 period-piece Dangerous Liaisons. I was surprised that while the film was shown a lot of love in most categories, there was hardly any love for John Malkovich who, looking over his body of work, gave one of the best performances of his career in this film.

The year is Rococo, France. I'm not sure when that is exactly, but there's clearly no television and so the aristocracy, who don't have anything to occupy their time, decide to play cruel games of manipulation and soul-crushing. The two featured players are the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and Vicomte S├ębastien de Valmont (Malkovich).

 Posted February 17 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

Over / Under: James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant PeachOver / Under is a new weekly column that looks back at films of the not-too-distant past and sees how time has treated them. Which films are over-rated and which are under-rated? What's mandatory viewing that isn't so mandatory? What cinema cult should you join or which should you avoid? I'm sure this column will piss a lot of people off so before that happens, I'd like to start with a positive review…

Henry Selick's The Nightmare Before Christmas (yes, Tim Burton's stamp is unmistakable, but he didn't direct it) is deemed a classic and rightly so. The songs are fantastic, the design is sublime, and it doesn't overstay its welcome. But the best aspect is the stop-motion animation.

 Posted February 10 in Film Retrospect, Opinions | Comments

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