MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “MATCHSTICK MEN”

1:01 – The smell of pipe smoke is very comforting to me, probably because my grandfather smoked one as long as I knew him.

1:02 – Nicolas Cage just started 17 sentences but only ended one. This is too high a ratio.

1:05 – Anyone remember the commercials for those answering machine message tapes with the phrase “Nobody’s home” sung to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? There was also the rapping “Wait for the beep…” I loved these.

1:10 – What the hell airport is this supposed to be that Cage just parked his car and there are no others cars in sight? Unless it’s the Poughkeepsie County airstrip, I’m not buying it.

1:17 – I miss drive-in restaurants. They were really beginning to disappear when I was a kid, but I loved driving up, ordering over the voice box and having the food brought to us. Didn’t quite live up to the “American Graffiti” ideal, but still a unique experience.

1:20 – Anyone else want to just bombard Nicolas Cage’s voice mail with messages simply saying, “Put the bunny back in the box”? No? Just me?

1:22 – Cage’s characters favorite expletive is “pygmies”. Pygmies? How did the writers arrive at this one, I wonder? I will give them points for originality.

1:25 – I love Brendan Fraser’s cameo in “Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy”. “It’s sugar isn’t it? I”M IN THE PLACEBO GROUP!”

1:27 – Of all the controversial issues being discussed these days, how come no one has put forward a Constitutional amendment banning the wearing of shorts by those above a certain age? These are the issues that really hit home with voters.

1:29 – Is the “swinger/Rat Pack” look still cool? I’m about has hip to fashion as a cobblestone so I have no idea.

1:33 – The guy Sam Rockwell and Cage were trying to con just got shot in the belly. Thanks to Harvey Keitel and “Reservoir Dogs”, we know though, that it takes a long time to die from a belly wound. Just make sure you don’t give the dying guy your real name.

1:35 – The dead guys’ bleeding body is probably going to make a horrible mess on Nicolas Cage’s beloved carpet. It’ll take more than some Lysol to get out that much blood, trust me.

1:37 – We haven’t seen Alison Lohman’s mom for the entire movie and I’m starting to think she must be related to Vera from “Cheers”.

1:39 – There’s a whole lot of beeping in this scene and I’m thinking of two things: 1) R2-D2 is apparently having some sort of seizure; 2) The whole “Birth” sequence from “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life”. “This is the machine that goes ‘Ping’.”

1:41 – I’ve now seen the bare ass of Nicholas Cage. Viewing the rest of the movie may be difficult as I’m now psychosomatically blind.

1:45 – Carpet stores are such sad places. Interestingly, the set for this one looks just like the set used for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s store in “Punch-Drunk Love”.

1:47 – Astroturf is the work of the devil. I’m just trying to find the Biblical proof of this. Give me time.

1:49 – This is the first time the movie has felt like it’s dragging a bit. That’s unfortunate considering the quick pace it has kept up until now.

1:52 – I’ve finally figured out what all the interiors in this movie remind me of: Mr. Brady’s study. Who the hell designed these and how badly do they need to get out of the ’70s?

PARTING THOUGHTS – A very cool, jazzy movie. Sam Rockwell was excellent in a flashy if underdeveloped role and Nicolas Cage was very good. Right up until the last ten minutes or so the movie moved right along and then it fell apart a little, but considering how solid it was up until then, I’m willing to forgive.

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Chris Thilk has an easier time remembering lines from movies he hasn’t seen in five years than he does the birthdays of people close to him. For his column this is actually a good thing. He is easily scared by snakes, low-clearance bridges and the rantings of weblog writers.




Posted on March 11, 2004 in Features by
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