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Matinee Blu-ray Review


“Matinee” is a fun Joe Dante film.

Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis in Key West, Florida, “Matinee” is a sort of an ensemble piece that revolves around a group of kids (namely Gene, Sandra, Stan and Sherry) and a film producer Lawrence Woolsey who is showing his latest creature feature Mant! in town. Naturally, the 4 kids end up seeing the film, but this is no usual moviegoing experience as things do not go as planned (especially with the threat of war looming over them).

“Matinee” is the type of movie that would never get made today. It has a rather niche story, it doesn’t have a specific demographic, and the movie is kind of all over the place from a genre perspective in that it’s a part coming-of-age story, part 50’s and 60’s creature feature homage, part nostalgic period piece, part kid adventure, and part family drama. It’s actually a rather weird movie if you think about it, but I admire the fact that it doesn’t look or tonally feel like many movies in the past 25 years. It FEELS fresh despite being set in the past. Does the film come off as cluttered at times? Perhaps, but the inclusion of several engaging, chaotic and busy subplots is part of the appeal. I could have done without the storyline involving Harvey, however, as it felt like a tacked on conflict.

As ambitious as the story is, “Matinee” works best (for me at least) when it focuses on the cigar smoking Lawrence Woolsey played by John Goodman. Goodman is clearly having a blast here playing the talkative William Castle esque producer/showman of gimmicky and schlocky monster movies. He’s so good, in fact, that you are left wishing this film was a William Castle biopic instead at times.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The use of color in this film really shines in hi-def. An exquisite transfer all around.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? I wish I could say the audio was also great, but it’s a bit soft for my liking.

Extras: “Matinee” trailer, still gallery, 2 1/2 minutes of deleted/extended scenes, a collection of behind the scenes footage, a “vintage” making of featurette that sells the movie, the self-explanatory half-hour “Paranoia In Ant Vision: Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film” (which provides some fascinating insight about the original story of “Matinee”), “Lights! Camera Reunion! An Interview With DP John Hora,” “The Monster Mix: An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey,” “Making A Monster Theatre: An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler,” “Out of the Bunker: An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub,” “Master of the Matinee: Interview With Joe Dante,” “The Leading Lady: An Interview With Cathy Moriarty,” “MANTastic: The Making Of A Mant” (a 25 minute featurette about the movie within the movie), and last, but not least is the main attraction of the extras- an uninterrupted stand-alone version of “Mant!” with an intro by Joe Dante (this is the kind of extras people LOVE).

January 1, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. One of my all time favorites

    Comment by Carl Breaux | January 1, 2018 | Reply

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