Matisse has written 115 reviews for films during 2013.

  • Tarzan of the Apes

    Tarzan of the Apes

    ★★½

    A Century of Cinema Challenge: 1918

    Yet another film seen by only a few in the Letterboxd community, and yet another without any reviews, so another first for me!

    Scott Sidney's Tarzan of the Apes is the first in a long line of Tarzan films, and the one which most closely resembles Edgar Rice Burroughs's novel of the same name. A relatively short film, running only an hour, Tarzan of the Apes recounts the first part of the novel, showing…

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    ★★★★★

    I was a little later than most in getting around to see The Wolf of Wall Street, but within the first 10 minutes, I already knew that it was worth the wait and that all the hype I'd been hearing (especially here on LB) was well deserved. I probably won't go into too much detail since I'm late to the party and don't need to repeat a ton of what's already been said, but the bottom line is that this…

  • Easy Street

    Easy Street

    ★★★★

    A Century of Cinema Challenge: 1917

    Still relatively early in Chaplin's directorial career, Easy Street displays much more surefooted confidence than his directing debut, Caught in the Rain. Here we see Chaplin's Tramp step into the role of a police officer, charged to patrol Easy Street and bring its rough-and-tumble inhabitants under control. Chaplin was truly a master of using environment and setting to enhance his gags and there is plenty of laugh-out-loud humor to be found here, mixed with Chaplin's inexplicable charm and lovable innocence. This simple slapstick comedy is a guaranteed pick-me-up, regardless of your mood. A joy to watch, plain and simple.

  • Cronos

    Cronos

    ★★★½

    Guillermo del Toro's feature-length directorial debut shows the incredible potential of the young filmmaker that would grow and mature into one of the most imaginative and visionary auteurs of the modern era. Anyone who knows me knows that del Toro is one of my absolute favorite filmmakers, and I'll pretty much watch anything that has his name attached to it, be it his own masterpieces such as Pan's Labyrinth or the weaker exhibits he merely produced, such as Don't Be…

  • Civilization

    Civilization

    ★★★

    A Century of Cinema: 1916

    For my 1916 entry for this challenge, my original plan was to watch DW Griffith's Intolerance. But not wanting two Griffith films in a row, and frankly not wanting to sit through Intolerance's three and a half hour runtime this soon after watching The Birth of a Nation, I went with the lesser known Civilization, a film only three others on Letterboxd have seen and which none have reviewed, so I'm the first!

    Civilization is…

  • The Birth of a Nation

    The Birth of a Nation

    ★★★

    A Century of Cinema Challenge: 1915

    Just to make something clear right off the bat: the three stars I give DW Griffith's The Birth of a Nation are earned solely through its technical achievement as being a major pioneer of cinema as we know it today. Griffith was a brilliant, if incredibly misguided, filmmaker, paving the way for modern cinema with techniques that were unheard of in his time, but which filmmakers still use to this day. That being said,…

  • Gertie the Dinosaur

    Gertie the Dinosaur

    ★★★★

    Gertie the Dinosaur is a landmark in cinema history, especially the history of animation. It is the first animated cartoon to ever use keyframe animation, and influenced many later cartoons, especially those of Walt Disney. While very little happens in terms of story, it's cute and charming and serves as more of an example of technical accomplishment than anything else. Winsor McCay was a genius for his time, and without him (and Gertie) we probably wouldn't have all of the beloved cartoons we cherish today.

  • Caught in the Rain

    Caught in the Rain

    ★★★

    A Century of Cinema Challenge: 1914

    Charlie Chaplin's directorial debut suffers from many of the mistakes of first time directors, but still delivers some perfectly timed slapstick. It's a fun little short, plagued by sloppy jump cuts, but still entertaining enough to elicit a few laughs. Chaplin's acting is (unsurprisingly) stronger than his directing here, however, the young director's potential is certainly evident, showing an unsteady but enthusiastic first step into the world of directing. The comedy is a tad inconsistent, and comes in waves, but when it's good it's spot on.

  • Amélie

    Amélie

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #16 of 100

    I should start by saying that I've seen Amelie many times. It's one of my mother's favorite films and I remember watching it for the first time with her on VHS when I couldn't have been more than 9 or 10. It was one of the first DVDs she bought when we got out DVD player and I remember sitting next to her and…

  • Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko

    ★★★★½

    Watched as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #15 of 100

    Despite its angsty reputation due to some of its most die-hard fans, Donnie Darko is still one of the best cult classics of its decade. Ethereal, ambiguous, and haunting, it leads the viewer through a labyrinthine story, which, though you eventually find your way out, has so much that lies unseen down dark corridors that require more than one viewing to explore. I've only…

  • Do the Right Thing

    Do the Right Thing

    ★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #14 of 100

    Spike Lee is still the worst, and he still has a completely backwards sense of justice, but this is still a really good film, no matter how much I hate him as a person. It's just such a visually striking film, and with its cast of colorful characters, it has a delightful touch of the surreal. It's a historically important film as well, so…

  • Super High Me

    Super High Me

    ★★★

    There's not too much to say about Super High Me. Started as a joke turned experiment, comedian Doug Benson abstains from smoking marijuana for 30 days, during which he takes all kinds of tests, physical, intellectual, academic, and psychological, in order to determine weed's lasting effect on the human body. You can probably guess where this is going. He then smokes all day, every day, for 30 days, taking the same tests to see if the results differ any, but…