Matisse has written 15 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ during 2013.

  • Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko


    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…

  • Julien Donkey-Boy

    Julien Donkey-Boy


    There's something about Harmony Korine's films that captivate and mesmerize me from the first shot to the last. It's the way that he shows us, through a visceral and grime-stained eye, the beauty in the ugly, the order in the chaos, and the significant in the insignificant. This is what makes Korine one of my favorite filmmakers and why I'm thankful every day that I was introduced to his work.

    Julien Donkey-Boy is one of his least accessible films, and…

  • WALL·E



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

    #4 of 100

    I was 15 when WALL.E came out, and my angsty teenage self said, "No, I don't wanna see that. That movie's for kids. I don't wanna watch no kid's movie." Well somehow (I can't remember the exact circumstances), it ended up being forced down my throat, and stupid teenage me finally opened up a little bit and let WALL.E into my heart. Since then,…

  • Oldboy



    With the release of Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy, I decided to watch Chan-wook Park's original today. I've heard all the hype this film has gotten over the years and after viewing it, I can say that the hype is well deserved. Oldboy tells the story of Oh Dae-Su, a businessman who is imprisoned for 15 years without knowing why or who his captors are. At the end of the 15 years, he is released for an unknown reason and…

  • Chungking Express

    Chungking Express


    I made the mistake of watching Chungking Express in the lounge of my dorm instead of just in my room because I wanted to watch it on a big screen. Unfortunately, I was beset by people who weren't really interested in watching the movie, but were just rather looking for an excuse to be social. So I definitely missed a lot of the nuance of this film and even some of the dialogue, but regardless, I was incredibly moved by…

  • Rashomon



    Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon is a study of the subjectivity of truth and man's selfish nature to lie. While the plot of this film is relatively simple (the account of a murder from 4 different perspectives), the way it's told is rather complex, but manages to be ambiguous rather than confusing. Much like Citizen Kane, it tells its story through a series of flashbacks (or in this case, a series of flashbacks within a flashback), which was unorthodox at the time,…

  • Jaws



    The 1970's were a great decade for movies, especially thrillers and horror movies. You have Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Ridley Scott's Alien, and of course Steven Spielberg's Jaws. Jaws is almost a perfect film in my opinion. From its iconic opening shot to its iconic final shot, it's the epitome of a well executed film and established the paradigm of the summer blockbuster. There's so much I love about this film, but I'll start by mentioning the one thing…

  • Predator



    Despite my general aversion to action films (as stated in my Die Hard review), I loved Predator. This is most likely due to the fact that this is just as much a creature film as it is an action film, and I love creature films like you wouldn't believe. And this is one of the best. Most people always compare Predator to Alien, for the sole reason that Alien vs. Predator is thing, and that aggravates me, because they're such…

  • The Departed

    The Departed


    The Departed is an intricate story of corruption and brutality and one man's struggle to stay pure and moral in the midst of it all. Martin Scorsese has always been an incredibly skilled and talented filmmaker, a master in his craft, and this film is an excellent showcasing of his ability. Did he deserve his Oscar for this? Yes. Usually I disagree with the Academy. I think it's a flawed system. But they hit the nail on the head with…

  • The Act of Killing

    The Act of Killing


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Wow, what an incredibly effective film. It's very rare to get the kind of perspective that The Act of Killing provides. It tells the story of the murder of millions of supposed "communists" in Sumatra after the military overthrow of the government in the 1960's. However, instead of telling this story from the neutral perspective of simple hindsight, it is told from the perspective of several of the most prevalent killers, most notably Anwar Congo, an executioner who murdered more…

  • The Exterminating Angel

    The Exterminating Angel


    Luis Bunuel's existential masterpiece, The Exterminating Angel, tells the story of a score of wealthy members of society, who, after a lavish dinner party, discover that they are unable to leave the room they are in. Their artificial politeness and high class etiquette proceed to fall away they longer they are trapped, revealing the more cruel, animalistic, and savage aspects of human nature. This film is exceedingly intricate and is not something that can be viewed passively. Its premise is…

  • Rosemary's Baby

    Rosemary's Baby


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This is a really really great film. There's no other way around it. Rosemary's Baby is such an intricate film. Every little detail means something, and going back and thinking about certain things that seemed meaningless at the time, I now see how they fall into place. It could be as simple as John Cassavetes's facial expression when Rosemary tells Guy that she's pregnant, or the way a shot of Minnie is framed. Polanski pays attention to every single little…