DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce Altman, Bruce McGill, Jenny O’Hara
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Studio: Warner Brothers
Buy on Amazon.com
I wanted to see this movie in theaters but I never got a chance to. I think this is Ridley Scott’s Catch Me If You Can movie. Catch Me If you Can and Matchstick Men are similar in style, and both films are about Con artists. I really liked this film, it took awhile to sink in but I enjoyed it a lot.
Matchstick Men is about an obsessive compulsive/ agoraphobe named Roy (Nicolas Cage) who’s a con artist. He works with Frank (Sam Rockwell) and they do small con jobs together. Sometimes Roy doesn’t bother going to “work” and just cleans up his house all day. Eventually, they decide to pull off a big swindle but then unexpectedly Roy’s long lost 14 year old daughter Angela (Alison Lohman) shows up. She finds out what he does for a living and wants to learn the tricks of the trade if you will.
I really like movies about con artists because they are fun to watch and there’s always an element of surprise in the picture. The acting is another key part of this movie. Nicolas Cage was awesome as the agoraphobe Con, and his mannerisms were funny. I loved when his daughter was doing something he wasn’t normal to, and he would go “uh, uh, uh..” Sam Rockwell was just as good as Cage, and Alison Lohman was a cutie. I was shocked to see that she was 22/23 when making this movie, and not 14 like her character is supposed to be. You’ll definitely see her in a lot more movies because she played Angela really well, and is a good actress. I liked the way the movie was shot, and how it looked. Sometimes it felt like there wasn’t any saturation to the color on the screen, and just felt stylish to me. It’s hard to review this without spoiling stuff so I’ll try my best to not be too specific in this next sentence. I kind of felt cheated with the way the movie ended, and didn’t expect what was going to happen. Maybe that’s what made the movie so much better for me, after it sunk in after awhile. I also felt pissed off after seeing it too because I didn’t like the way it ended, but after thinking about it seemed more appropriate and a more effective way of ending the movie. I’m glad they did it that way they did though.
It may look like there isn’t a lot of extras on this disc but the “Tricks of the Trade” featurette was an awesome, in-depth movie making behind the scenes look of the movie. All three of them total to be about an hour and half. The first part was Pre-Production and it showed Ridley Scott, the writers, etc. gearing up for the movie; scouting out shooting locations, costume fitting, casting, etc. There’s actually some funny things said in these featurettes, mostly from writer/producer Ted Griffin. One thing I was laughing out loud for was when he was complaining that the one movie he gets to work with Ridley Scott (where as he shot in Morocco, Spain, other International countries in the past) he gets to film in fucking San Fernando Valley in California haha.
Part II: Production showed behind the scenes footage of filming. Ridley was sort of infamous for having tirades on the set and they showed one time during the filming of Matchstick, when the camera crapped out. Man, was Ridley pissed haha. I would have been too if the actors gave a great performance and the camera stops filming. It’s understandable to flip out. I notice everyone on this movie smoked a buttload of Cigars. I knew Ridley Scott did but man, everyone seemed to smoking them haha. But Production was great to watch because it showed how everything is done and in detail.
Part III: Post Production was more about editing and scoring the film. Hans Zimmer’s score had to be the right style for the movie because it could have made the film into more of a drama or more of a comedy. The score ended up being more of a comedy, and most of the tracks sound like 70’s game show tunes. The soundtrack comes with the DVD if you buy the Special Edition DVD/CD set. The score fits the movie well, and the big band/ lounge singing also adds to the film as well. Hearing Bobby Darin in a movie is always cool! Continuing on with the post-production feature, Ridley Scott said something funny that I immediately started cracking up. He said Hans Zimmer has been a good collaborator with him over the years and they don’t hide anything from each other. He said usually Hans says I didn’t like this scene or it didn’t work, and Ridley usually replies fuck you, I don’t like your score! Hahaha, I just thought that was hilarious to hear. Part III also shows the filmmakers showing their movie to test screenings and trying to figure out the crowd’s reaction to it. The featurette ended with the cast and crew dancing and doing funny things on camera.
This DVD was a real hoot to watch, and the behind the scenes featurettes were as well. If you like movies like Catch Me If You Can, and con artist movies with a little bit of a twist, than go out and check out Matchstick Men. If you like Hans Zimmer and the score to the film too, get the DVD/CD special edition!
– Audio Commentary With Director/Producer Ridley Scott, Writer Nicholas Griffin, and Writer/Producer Ted Griffin
– Tricks of the Trade Featurettes: Part I- Pre-Production, Part II- Production, Part III- Post-Production
– Theatrical Trailer
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: “Kid in the House” “Lottery Larceny” “Roy’s Number”
Rating: Rated PG-13
Running Time: 116 minutes