Matt Patches
After a few years of working behind the scenes on movies and TV shows (and earning an IMDb page for bragging rights), Movies Editor Matt Patches made a hard right into the world of entertainment journalism. In 2009, Patches became the Associate Movies Editor of, departing in 2010 to go rogue as a writer-for-hire. Patches covered movies and festivals for a number of outlets, including Movieline, MTV NextMovie, CinemaBlend, and Film School Rejects, before joining as Movies Editor in 2011. He proudly names "Groundhog Day" as his favorite movie of all time.
  • Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /media/www/hollywood/Web/releases/20150325105258/vendor/doctrine/common/lib/Doctrine/Common/Annotations/FileCacheReader.php on line 202 Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /media/www/hollywood/Web/releases/20150325105258/vendor/doctrine/common/lib/Doctrine/Common/Annotations/FileCacheReader.php on line 202 Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /media/www/hollywood/Web/releases/20150325105258/vendor/doctrine/common/lib/Doctrine/Common/Annotations/FileCacheReader.php on line 202 Review: 'Fast & Furious 6' Packs the Series' Biggest Action and Most Boring Plot
    By: Matt Patches May 22, 2013
    By now, you know if you're in or out for the Fast & Furious franchise. Director Justin Lin took the wheel for the third installment, Tokyo Drift, and kicked it into high gear with an independent trilogy of films with episode four, Fast & Furious. Now he's back for the sixth entry — finally, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and the rest of the gang are ready to go toe to toe with summer's most ludicirous blockbusters. Fast & Furious 6 is a fantasy film, existing in a world where cars defy the laws of physics and logic is put on the back burner. It's more of the same, cranked up 100 times louder. Fans are going to love it. After stealing millions and falling off the grid in Fast Five, Diesel's Dominic Torreto is recruited by lawman Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to hunt down international criminal/custom car enthusiast Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Employing a team of expert drivers, Shaw is knocking off heists across Europe in hopes of assembling the ultimate weapon to sell off to the highest bidder. And there's a catch: Dominic's thought-to-be-dead lady friend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is part of Shaw's squad. The photographic evidence lights a fire under Dominic, and he gets Brian (Walker) and the rest of the gang back together to put an end to the evil doing. What Lin does with the Avengers-esque setup of the Fast bros as a supersquad is simply astounding. Dominic and Co. travel to London to intercept Shaw and attack his plan like a swarm of fighter pilots in a WWII dogfight. The movie's not about racing anymore — even though there has to be (and is) a racing scene — and Lin pines for a bigger scale with more innovative action by abandoning the backgrounds of his characters and bestowing them with the power to fight crime. Could a roadster actually face off with a tank? Could a team of street drivers suddenly learn how to fight like they're Bruce Lee? Could Vin Diesel zoom off the edge of an elevated highway, fly in the air, land on a moving car, and survive? Fast & Furious 6 doesn't ask "could," it just says "does." The main issue with the film, that even diehard fans might agree with, is that the drama around the few major set pieces is an absolute bore. Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, Fast & Furious 6 feels like four seasons of a CBS procedural, with a bigger stunt budget. The twists and turns are episodic, continually returning to Torreto's homebase to formulate the next plan of attack and try and squeeze comedy out of the ensemble. (Funniest person in the movie? Ludacris as Tej — believe it). By the time Brian traces back through his past to an old nemesis — apparently the Fast franchise has a dense mythology worthy of callbacks — the talky moments feel like breaks for power napping. To keep the momentum, Lin shoots dialogue scenes as if they were chases, swirling camera movements and equally dizzying overacting. Just get to the cars already! To combat superheroes and sci-fi epics, Fast & Furious 6 is even bigger and crazier than before. But it's overload — even with adeptly conceived and executed stunts, the sixth (but not final) entry of Fast is a Porsche souped up with monster truck wheels. Yeah, it looks wild, but it doesn't work. 2/5 What do you think? Tell Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and read more of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! More:7 'Fast' Trailer Moments That Take Series to New HeightsThe 'Fast & Furious 6' Class Photo'Fast 7' Has a Release Date From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • See the Opening Credits to Our Imaginary 'Fast & Furious' TV Show — VIDEO
    By: Matt Patches May 22, 2013
    With five installments behind it, the opening to Fast & Furious 6 montages us back through the 12 years we've spent with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brain O'Conner (Paul Walker), and the rest of the crew. For fans of the series, it's a nice tribute to the high-octane misadventures that have been speeding across screens for over a decade. For the less acquainted... well, it kind of looks like the opening of a TV series. Which got us thinking: a Fast & Furious TV series sounds like the perfect way to continue the series once it starts slowing down. Drop some hot rod vehicles into a crime-of-the-week format and — ta da! — must-see TV. To prove this brilliant idea, we've created the opening credits. We imagine Diesel, Walker, and Michelle Rodriguez could all return. Maybe a few special guest stars too... Seriously: can we get this show now? Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches | Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @Hollywood_com More:7 'Fast' Trailer Moments That Take Series to New HeightsThe 'Fast & Furious 6' Class Photo'Fast 7' Has a Release Date From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)Which Game of Thrones Actor Looks Least Like His Character? (Vulture)
  • Cannes: Ryan Gosling Only Has 17 Lines in the Bloody 'Only God Forgives'
    By: Matt Patches May 22, 2013
    Philosophical pondering: if your movie stars Ryan Gosling, can it also be considered an art film? Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) makes a compelling case for "hell yes" in his latest Only God Forgives, a slow-burning exploitation film that sends Gosling to Thailand to stir up trouble. He plays Julian, a boxing ring owner seeking revenge against a corrupt cop (Vithaya Pansringarm) who had his brother killed. Pushed by his Cruella de Vil-type mother Crystal (Kristen Scott Thomas), Julian strolls through the underbelly of Bangkok to hunt down the cop and kick his ass.  The ass kicking doesn't go smoothly. If you've seen the posters for Only God Forgives, you know Gosling's face ends up quite busted. It got that way from the character's first encounter with the cop, a ferocious fight scene set in an arena of glowing red and yellow. Refn has always embraced brutality and once again puts his leading man through the ringer.  Outside of the sporadically violent moments — where men cut each other in two and gun themselves down in a fashion that would make John Woo smile — Only God Forgives is a hushed meditation on the awful potential of human instinct. Refn floats through the spectrum of color that drowns Bangkok, relying on slow motion and Gosling's good looks to carry the weight of the movie. It's the definition of a "mood piece." Refn wants us to feel the light, feel the atmosphere, feel the piercing glance of Gosling, and feel the pulsation of composer Cliff Martinez's score. Martinez's work is so essential to the film, it feels as if Refn crafted a movie around the Vangelis-esque soundscape. Like in Drive, the soundtrack's character is the best performance in the film. Depending on your tolerance for gratuitous violence and dreamy meandering, Only God Forgives doesn't offer much in the way of plot or vibrant performances. Gosling — while impressive in his big fight scene — is an observer with only 17 lines (with classics like: "Go."). Thomas is, thankfully, in an entirely different movie, an extravagant character who delivers sultry energy to the somber picture with moments of comedy that sting. The men of Only God Forgives rip each other to shreds scene after scene, but it's Thomas who delivers the strongest punch. Teasing a narrative is Only God Forgives' biggest fault. We see a few scarce details of who Julian is, what he's gone through, and why he's ended up in Bangkok. Yet these are not important. Prioritized are the mesmerizing affects of locking eyes with a beauty or the dread that builds as an assailant slowly pins a person with sharp objects, one limb at a time. The movie has tunnel vision, and while it occasionally breaks — there's a cheeky recurring gag of the cop singing karaoke — that sense of humor and personality never round out Only God Forgives. Instead, Gosling is given his 17 lines and the camera starts rolling. If there were subtext underneath the silence, the brevity may have worked. Only God Forgives arrives in the U.S. on July 19. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches | Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @Hollywood_com More:See the First 'Only God Forgives' TrailerRyan Gosling Got Himself Beat UpRyan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal (the Best Meme Ever) From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)Which Game of Thrones Actor Looks Least Like His Character? (Vulture)
  • After 'The Hangover Part III,' Ken Jeong Dreams of a Chow Spin-Off
    By: Matt Patches May 21, 2013
    After jumping ship from his track to become a doctor, Ken Jeong hit the comedy world with a bang. Over the past five years, he's escalated from a bit part in Knocked Up into a substantial player on both the big and small screens. This weekend, Jeong appears in The Hangover Part III, and while the marquee will tell you the comedy threequel stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms, its dominated by Jeong. "This is the biggest role I've ever had and I think it's the best thing I've ever done as an actor," Jeong says. "I feel like this role is a culmination of everything I've done." That's true on a comedy level: with a leading role intertwined into the misadventures of the Wolf Pack, Jeong's third outing as gangly crimelord Chow required a bit more pacing. He worked with director Todd Phillips to revive the manic character in a way that would be palatable over the course of an entire movie. "Todd is a great coach. He knows when to give me latitude and do my thing," he says. "He also knows when to rein me in. Having such an expanded part, it was really my first exercise in tracking the whole movie from beginning to end and where I'm at. It's not about maximizing being funny. It's a marathon and not a sprint." The beefed up role also required more physicality than Jeong is used to. In the opening sequence, Chow escapes from the prison where we last saw him in Part II. To escape, the gangster finds himself leaping from the top of a mountain into the ocean — a stunt that required Jeong to jump from a sky high platform into a water tank over and over and over for a full day. "That was the most intense stunt I've ever done. It was also, possibly, the greatest day of my career," Jeong says. As he puts it, Jeong has a "massive fear of heights" (he drops the word "massive" a few more times for emphasis). "I'm the kind of dude who cries on Ferris wheels. No joke — I was with my kid at Disney World on a Ferris wheel, and I was more scared than my kid." To conquer his fears, Jeong worked with Jack Gill, Tom Cruise's stunt coordinator on Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. "I worked with him once a week, being in a harness, 10 feet. Just getting used to that. Then 15 feet. Next week 20 feet. Then 25, 30. And then moving in a harness at those heights," he says. As scared as he was, Jeong admits that being thrust into danger is what he believes an actor's job is all about. "Every actor says, 'Yeah, it was great because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone.' Well, I put my money where my mouth was." Not all stunts come in the same shape and size. At one point, Jeong has to stick his nose in Ed Helms' butt. And not just once. "We know what we're getting into when you sign up for a Hangover movie," Jeong says. "And knowing Todd Phillips so well and knowing the tone of his movies, which I love... I think what we all have in common, we have a love of comedy and a love of mayhem. Deep down inside. Subconsciously. What I love about this group of actors is there is no overlap. No one is a diva. There's no ego. The most grounded group of actors. That's what I'll miss the most." So will Jeong return if The Hangover Part IV stars brewing? He would be there in a heartbeat — and wouldn't mind stepping up his game even more for a solo venture. "I love Chow so much. I'd love to do a Chow spin-off," he says. "I'd love to do anything Chow related. It's so freeing. You can say or do anything." Or maybe a TV spin-off... although weekly doses of Chow is an intimidating notion. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches | Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @Hollywood_com More:'Hangover 3' May Abandon the Formula'Hangover 3' Calamity Continues in New Clips, Posters'Hangover 3' Gets a 'Harry Potter' Makeover From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)Which Game of Thrones Actor Looks Least Like His Character? (Vulture)
  • Cannes: Matt Damon & Michael Douglas Are Fierce, But 'Behind the Candelabra' Is Tame
    By: Matt Patches May 21, 2013
    "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!" Liberace's mantra seeped into every aspect of the legendary piano player's life, from his stage productions, to his home decorating, to his romantic life out of the paparazzi's cunning eyes. As Steven Soderbergh's upcoming HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra discerns, that extravagance was ultimately the root of severe tragedy — an engrossing downward spiral recreated by two of Hollywood's strongest performers. Matt Damon stars as Scott Thorson, a dog trainer-turned-Liberace love interest at the young age of 18. A testament to his agelessness and subtly, 42-year-old Damon miraculously pulls of the time traveling act, sporting a moppet do and a grin of innocence. He's hypnotized by the musical stylings of Liberace, and when they meet, the larger-than-life star finds himself equally entranced. Michael Douglas is an unexpected choice for Liberace. Throughout his career he's been more of a dapper everyman than a chameleon, but in Behind the Candelabra, he disappears behind the fabulous guise of Liberace. With a particular speech inflection and Liberace's revolving door of looks (costumes, wigs, and the eventual facelift makeover), Douglas is able to direct his confidence and charm through a new filter. Soderbergh's approach is particularly reserved and Douglas follows suit. Liberace's ambition and lifestyle may have been grand, but in the film, the relationship between the singer and his young ward is intimate, wistful, and loving. Until it becomes nightmarishly bitter. As rousing as Douglas is, Behind the Candelabra is told through Damon's eyes, giving the actor the meatiest part. It's a sweeping role for Damon, similar to the arc of films like Goodfellas or Boogie Nights. In his early days with Liberace, Scott is wide-eyed. The champagne, the chats in the hot tub, joining "Lee" at his shows and watching from backstage — the rich and famous luxuries come in like a storm and Scott couldn't be happier. When the movie rolls into the '80s, years of Liberace's demands finally take their toll on the now-directionless Scott. A lifestyle reboot courtesy of plastic surgery and crash dieting crack the romantic duo, sending Liberace looking for a replacement. Those expecting a campy gay romp may be disappointed by Behind the Candelabra, less in line with Soderbergh's Magic Mike style than his Oscar-winning work on Erin Brokovich. In front of the candelabra was the glitz; behind it are a handful of characters who helped shape the comfortable world in which Liberace lived. Much of the drama takes place in Liberace's diamond-encrusted mansion amid a harem of chiseled man servants. While Sodebergh is restrained in his directorial choices, he does take advantage of the comedic opportunities of shooting in a home where everything sparkles. Rob Lowe shows up halfway through to provide his reconstructive services to Liberace. Clearly he's gone under the knife himself — Lowe scrunches up his face, spits out words with a pucker, and steal scenes left and right. Soderbergh has proclaimed that Behind the Candelabra will be his final film and it plays as a soft grace note. The film — which premieres this Sunday, May 26th on HBO — is a tame biopic of outwardly flamboyant subject matter, a choice that serves the honest portrayals of the two leads. There are subjects that feel underrepresented because of the focus; the "is he?/isn't he?" questions that plagued Liberace throughout his career involved a sizable amount of string pulling. It's touched upon in Behind the Candelabra, but Soderbergh's camera always returns to the musician's growing tension with Scott. Perhaps a biopic for another day. Behind the Candelabra debuted at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and buzz is already pointing to Damon and Douglas as contenders for the fest's Best Actor award. Can they both win? You can never have enough of a good thing. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches | Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @Hollywood_com More:Go 'Behind the Candelabra' in First TrailerCannes: 'The Past' Boasts Some of the Year's Best PerformancesDamon and Douglas Say 'Behind the Candelabra' Respects Liberace From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)Which Game of Thrones Actor Looks Least Like His Character? (Vulture)
  • Cannes: Takashi Miike's 'Shield of Straw' Solidifies 'Mark Wahlberg Thriller' as a Genre
    By: Matt Patches May 20, 2013
    There's a new tradition in Hollywood: every January, Mark Wahlberg puts out an action thriller where he enforces the law against terrorists/drug lords/meanies. Contraband and Broken City are the latest entries in trend, but after the 2013 Cannes Film Festival debut of Takashi Miike's Shield of Straw, we're ready to bump up the "Mark Wahlberg Thriller" to full-on genre, even if they take place entirely without Mark Whalberg.  Just how did Miike, the prolific director behind Audition and 13 Assassins, make a Wahlberg movie without the star? Everything about the story seems like something that Boston's favorite son would do in his January movie.  After the body of an eight-year-old is found in a storm drain, Tokyo police trace the murder back to known pedeophile Kunihide Kiyomaru (Tatsuya Fujiwara). What starts as a manhunt escalates to all out war when the girl's wealthy grandfather offers a reward of one billion yen to anyone who can kill the criminal. When the offer drives Kiyomaru to turn himself in, Lieutenant Mekari (Takao Osawa — in the Mark Wahlberg role) and a handful of security agents are forced to offer him protection as they transfer him from one jail to another. The only thing that stands in their way? Every person in the entire country, it seems. Shield of Straw is ludicrous, but Miike — a director who has never shied away from any genre or style — sinks his teeth into the ticking clock adventure. The first 30 minutes move swiftly to the tune of beating drums and violins. It nears the line of spoofing the Mark Wahlberg genre, until Miike concocts a number of shootouts, chase scenes, and explosives set pieces to get the pressure cooker rattling. Adding an extra twist to the rather out-of-place Cannes selection is a complicated morality question: everyone around the police wants to kill Kiyomaru. Not surprising, considering he rapes and murders children. Unlike most of Mr. Wahlberg's action pictures here in the States, where the people being blown away are faceless goons we're told are evil and deserve it, the adversaries Mekari faces are, in some ways, justified in their violent actions. They don't want the police to deliver Kiyomaru unscathed. If they can slice his head off or waste him away in machine gun fire and get a billion yen in the process — money that could potentially save their own lives — why wouldn't they? And so they do, and it's a tricky situation throughout the film. Despite flaws in logic and a latter half that spins in circles, the underlying message is provocative. When Miike switches into action mode, it's a blast worthy of Hollywood's blockbusters. So next January, when Mark Wahlberg arrives with yet another shoot'em up picture, know that there are others working from blueprints and innovating along the way. Who knows? Perhaps Miike will one day bring his stylings to American shores and proves there's a Mark Wahlberg gem to be made in the Mark Wahlberg genre. Or more likely: Mark Wahlberg's Shield of Straw remake — coming January 2016! Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatchesFollow on Twitter @Hollywood_com More:Cannes: Robin Wright Predicts Our DemiseCannes: Sex, Sex, Sex, and More SexThe 6 Most Unintentionally Funny Mark Wahlberg GIFs From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Cannes: The 'Heli' Moment That Is Just Waiting to Go Viral
    By: Matt Patches May 19, 2013
    No film festival is complete without a polarizing entry. For the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, that movie is Heli. Audiences leaving Amat Escalante's latest film earlier this week let out a collective sigh after witnessing the director's brutal portrayal of Mexico. The film follows twentysomething Heli (Armando Espitia) as he's thrust into his home's terrifying underbelly. His tween sister Estela (Andrea Vergara) and her 17-year-old boyfriend Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacio) inadvertently put Heli and his family in the crosshairs of drug dealing thugs after stealing a few kilos of cocaine. With no remorse, the violent criminals execute their revenge. It's not pretty. Heli never breaches the surface while tackling ideas of male identity and the ripple of effects of trauma, but Escalante's film works on a purely visceral level. He's a provocateur, composing beautiful shot after beautiful shot only to fill them with shocking imagery. Heli is not for the faint of heart. Although once the film hits American shores, one particular moment may strike a nerve with the Internet in the same phenomenon fashion that helped Lars von Trier's Antichrist become a recognizable title. When Heli, Estela, and Beto are captured by the drug dealers, they're hauled away to be properly beaten to mush. It's here Escalante steers his plodding film straight into the pits of hell — a whiplash to the audience. Heli and Beto are taken to a living room/torture chamber, complete with ceiling hooks, flogging paddles, and a Nintendo Wii. The pain is inflicted in a frighteningly casual manner — Beto is chained up to hang in the middle of room as both young adults and kids watch. After 30 smacks to the back, Escalante plays his wild card: the cronies dowse Beto's penis with gas and light it on fire. In a lengthy, unflinching shot, we see it burn to a crisp. That ends up being just the tip of the iceberg for Heli, which delves into the psychological damage that goes with witnessing such an act. There's little connective tissue to what Heli experiences before and after his capture, and that's the film's greatest fault. When you drop that bomb halfway through a movie, it's hard to build on. Unlike 2012's Miss Bala, another examination of the cartel culture in Mexico that saw trauma birth compliance, Escalante theorizes that the same experience cultivates violence. So, yes, things don't slow down post-manhood burning. Having a singular scene define a movie has its pros and cons. For Heli, it could be the buzzworthy talking point that makes it a success across the globe. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More:Cannes: 'The Past' Boasts the Best Performances of 2013Cannes: Hear the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis'Alec Baldwin's 5 (Vulgar) Hollywood Life Lessons From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Cannes: Alec Baldwin's 'Seduced and Abandoned' Provides 5 Hollywood Life Lessons
    By: Matt Patches May 19, 2013
    At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, director James Toback and actor Alec Baldwin arrived with a team of cameramen set to chronicle their attempt to find financing for a new film project. One year later, the finished product Seduced and Abandoned debuts at Cannes, and the sardonic effort is a mixed bag. The duo are naturally entertaining as they traverse the French Riviera, pitching their concept to production companies and yacht-riding billionaires. Peppered throughout are interviews with recognizable talent who are either waxing poetic on the sad state of the entertainment industry or are being courted by Toback and Baldwin to star in the proposed film, a $25 million riff on Last Tango in Paris set in Iraq. Martin Scorsese, Jessica Chastain, Ryan Gosling, Francis Ford Coppola, and every studio exec in town appear in the film, and they're insightful in a totally-inside-baseball way. For those outside the Hollywood scene, Seduced and Abandoned may make little to no sense. With little context into what it actually takes to get a major film project off the ground and an echoed point that anything between $5 million and $100 million stands little chance of being made, the documentary's appeal to non-biz folks is mostly for the sightseeing tour of Cannes. Even that's hard to enjoy — perhaps because of its off-the-cuff nature, the technical qualities of Seduced and Abandoned are often rough and jarring. HBO picked up the film for airing later this year, and if there's one reason to tune in, it's for Baldwin's vulgar musings. The man can turn a profane phrase like no other. Seduced and Abandoned is chock full of Baldwin one-liners. To give you a taste, here are a few of the winners: 1. While explaining to Toback that he's had the unpleasant experience of working with clueless directors, Baldwin drops this metaphor on why you still have to listen to what they say: "Sidestepping a director is like sidestepping the birth canal when you're coming out of your mother." 2. Baldwin is blunt about success in Hollywood: "The way you make it is by being a really selfish motherf**ker." 3. A romantic at heart, Baldwin says of the laborious process of courting investors, "The movie biz is like the worst lover. You go back and back hoping to recreate the magic." 4. Considered by many of their potential backers as a "TV actor," Baldwin has a moment of sarcastic self-examination: "I'm going to reenter filmmaking as a career." 5. And circling back to his varied relationships with directors, Baldwin says of the legendary Woody Allen, "[He] has more talent in a toenail clipping than most of those motherf**kers have in their whole bodies." So if anything, Seduced and Abandoned taught us Baldwin's favorite swear word. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More:Cannes: Hear the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis'Cannes: Why an American Shouldn't Direct 'Fifty Shades'Cannes: Emma Watson Rules in 'Bling Ring' From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Cannes: Hear the Songs Covered in T-Bone Burnett's 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Soundtrack
    By: Matt Patches May 18, 2013
    You never know exactly what you're going to get from a Joel and Ethan Coen film, but more often than not, it's unexpectedly sublime. They're masters of the craft, melding writing, performance, camera work, and soundtrack into one perfectly packaged storytelling experience. Their 2013 Cannes Film Festival debut Inside Llewyn Davis is no exception. The film time travels back to 1961 New York City, when folk music was emerging as a favorite of youth culture. Every frame of Llewyn Davis feels authentic — forget 3D, when the titular character walks the streets of the Coens' recreated Lower East Side — it feels like you could reach out and touch it. Add on amazing performances and a wry script and you have another modern classic in the making. Like their 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coens' recruited T-Bone Burnett to curate their selection of folk cover songs. Everyone cast has their moment in the sun, including leading man Oscar Issac, and costars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, and Adam Driver. As the soulful music fills the screen, the Coens compliment it with blooming light and a grit that today only exists in memories of New York. For a taste of what's in store for the Dec. 20, 2013 release, here's a few of the numbers that made the final cut of the film. Imagine them with the musical stylings of the above ensemble and you get an idea of why we're swooning over Inside Llewyn Davis. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatchesFollow @Hollywood_com More:6 Reasons 'Inside Llewyn Davis Is Quintessential Coen Bros.A First Look at 'Llewyn Davis' From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Cannes: Robin Wright in 'The Congress' Predicts Your Inevitable Demise
    By: Matt Patches May 18, 2013
    How to describe The Congress? It's like Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop set in Hollywood. It's like a Ralph Bakshi adaptation of Sardi's wall art. It's like The Matrix meets Who Framed Roger Rabbit meets Being John Malkovich meets Enter the Void. Basically, it's wonderfully indescribable. The latest film from Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) adapts Stanislaw Lem's The Futurlogical Congress into a ferocious dissection of mass media, celebrity, and the role of technology in our daily lives. The movie stars House of Cards actress Robin Wright as "Robin Wright," an actress fondly remembered for her roles in movies like Princess Bride and all but "washed up" thanks to a career of lousy choices. But a new offer is on the table for Robin — Miramount Studios wants to buy her image for the next 20 years. With state of the art scanning technology, studio executive Jeff Green (Danny Huston) can capture a range of Robin's facial features and reprocess them into new performances. Princess Bride-era Robin Wright can return and once again wow audiences in movies of every color... as long as real Robin Wright signs on the dotted line, promising to never act again. With motion capture animation and actor resurrection already a thing (see: the super duper creepy Audrey Hepburn chocolate commercial from last year), the opening moments of The Congress are all too real and all too disturbing. Robin is strong-armed into signing the deal — and with today's legal loopholes, who wouldn't be? — finding herself in the middle of a sensor dome ready to capture her smiles, frowns, and everything in-between. If there was any doubt that Wright continues to be one of the best working actresses in Hollywood (as the diabolical Miramount would make you think), The Congress works her every muscle for a truly profound turn. Case in point: Twenty years after selling her image, Robin is summoned by Miramount to re-up her contraction. But now, Miramount is located in a slice of the world that lives in a Matrix-esque cartoon proxy universe forcing Wright to go under the guise of animated avatar. Believe it or not, The Congress gets crazier. Folman previously used 2D animation to realize the horrors of war in Waltz with Bashir, but the style loosens up for The Congress, a spectacle of hallucinogenic imagery and sardonic interpretations of famous faces. In this future, the likenesses of celebrities are no longer being used to churn out blockbusters. Now they can be extracted into drinks, foods, smells, feelings. Green doesn't want Robin to sign on for more movies. He wants her to become a milkshake. In the world of The Congress, we see Pablo Picasso walking arm and arm with Beyonce. Tom Cruise and John Wayne down drinks at a bar. And Robin Wright is just another in an army of Robin Wrights — people admire her, so they become her. The Congress is a blunt film. Folman has a clear disdain for the current direction of the mainstream and the audiences who willingly digest the factory-produced fluff. It feels autobiographical for Wright too, combating a lifetime of objectification over her looks and discriminating process of picking projects (in the movie, she states that she'll never do a science fiction picture which is true based on her resume.) The movie has a heart — Robin's main goal is rip through the glossy clutter of the animated universe to find her son, Aaron (Kodi Smit-McPhee) — but every conversation, every profession, and every elegant word spoken by Robin's cartoon cohort Dylan (Jon Hamm) speaks to a bigger picture. In short: we're indulging to the point of self-destruction. But hey, if looking like Grace Jones as our brains are slowly fried into oblivion sounds like a silver lining, don't sweat it. Like last year's Cloud Atlas, The Congress is  epic science fiction for the thinking crowd. It's big, bold, and beautiful, with somber tunes from composer Max Richter and an overdose of imagination. It's a movie about how we watch that must be watched. So watch it — if only to prove to the bigwigs in Hollywood that Robin Wright has still got it. [Photo Credit: Sony Pictures] Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More:Watch the First Trailer for 'The Congress'Should Hollywood Resurrect Dead Celebrities?See the Full Cannes Film Festival Lineup