Matisse has written 24 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2013.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • Capote

    Capote

    ★★★★

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

    #12 of 100

    Capote is a surprisingly impressive film. Biopics are hard to do correctly, and there are a lot of bad biopics out there, but Capote isn't one of them. Despite a bit of a slow drag in the first act, Bennet Miller manages to create a compelling and stirring portrayal of Truman Capote's struggle to write the novel that would bring him true fame, but…

  • Being John Malkovich

    Being John Malkovich

    ★★★★

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

    #11 of 100

    Being John Malkovich is probably one of the most original concepts I've seen in a while. Its premise is genius, to put it simply, but the struggle with any genius premise is making it work on a technical level. And Spike Jonze does a pretty damn good job of making this film work. It's quirky, surreal, and really funny, but what I think makes…

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    ★★★★

    I wanted to rewatch and review The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before seeing the much anticipated sequel, but alas, I didn't have the opportunity. It's gonna make the flow of this review a little weird, but so be it. I enjoyed The Desolation of Smaug far more than its predecessor. This could be due to the fact that on a technical standpoint it's a far better film, but I think what really clenched it for me is that I've finally…

  • Pianissimo

    Pianissimo

    ★★★★

    A fun little experimental stop-motion film. It blends music, color, and even a little world building. The opposite of pretentious experimental film, it doesn't take itself seriously and just has fun for fun's sake. Check it out on YouTube.

  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★★

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

    #5 of 100

    All Aliens has in common with its predecessor is the setting, protagonist, and antagonist(s). Other than that, the films are worlds apart. While Alien is a perfectly executed, incredibly effective horror film, Aliens throws subtlety to the winds and just goes balls-to-the-wall 80's action movie. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't at all a bad thing. It just makes the two hard to…

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall

    ★★★★

    It's been a really long time since I've watched a James Bond film. Probably the last time before this that I saw one was when Casino Royale came out. But I was raised on the Sean Connery Bond films, so it's safe to say that James Bond is a pretty big part of my childhood.

    I didn't go see Skyfall in theaters, because I never saw Quantum of Solace because of how terrible it supposedly is, but I kept telling…

  • Fargo

    Fargo

    ★★★★

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

    #3 of 100

    The Coen brothers know their way around a movie, plain and simple. I haven't seen their entire filmography, but I have yet to see one of their films that I haven't enjoyed immensely, and Fargo is no exception. A tight script, a well constructed story, simple yet effective cinematography, and outstanding performances all around. Fargo isn't the kind of film that has a whole…

  • The Truman Show

    The Truman Show

    ★★★★

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

    #2 of 100

    The Truman Show is just one of the million movies everyone else has seen that I hadn't, but something particularly interesting happened when I was watching this film I've been hearing about for years. I realized about 15 minutes in that the town of Seahaven looked insanely familiar. Then I realized that it was actually Seaside, Florida which is a little more than an…

  • American Psycho

    American Psycho

    ★★★★

    American Psycho is a perfectly succinct examination of misogyny, American materialism, and insanity viewed through the eyes of true psychopath, Patrick Bateman. Stylistically, this is an incredible film. It perfectly juxtaposes the artificiality and sterility of Bateman's everyday life and career as a Wall Street investment banker with the dark, gruesome, egocentric mind that lurks underneath. Mary Harron creates this thin, translucent veneer of artificiality that covers the scenes in which Bateman interacts with others that feels so fake, it…