Author

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 UGO.com, 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 Hollywood.com as Movies Editor in 2011. He proudly names "Groundhog Day" as his favorite movie of all time.
  • Exclusive 'Arthur Christmas' Clip: Take a Ride on Santa's Sleigh
    By: Matt Patches November 04, 2011 1:14pm EST
    I had a chance to see the first 20 minutes of Aardman Animations' (the geniuses behind Wallace and Gromit and the underrated Flushed Away) new film Arthur Christmas and can say that it most definitely lives up to the studios past work. Unlike most cartoons, Aardman's films have always had a strong sense of character and a respect for their creations that comes alive on the screen. Not to mention a tremendous amount of wit—their sense of humor is on par with any British comedy aimed at adults. Arthur Christmas continues that trend, and while I've only seen the opening of the movie, the experience, combined with this whimsical new clip, has me eager to see the rest. Check out this exclusive look at a scene in which the bumbling Arthur (James McAvoy) takes flight with his GrandSanta (Bill Nighy) for the very first time. Keep in mind, when you catch it in theaters, this sleigh ride will be in 3D!
  • A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas Review
    By: Matt Patches November 04, 2011 12:45pm EST
    When James Cameron changed the landscape of 3D stereoscopic filmmaking with his groundbreaking blockbuster Avatar I'm sure he still had misgivings about the final product. He couldn't include a scene in which eggs are thrown towards camera. There was no moment where Jake smokes marijuana and blows it off screen. Not a single character pleasured themselves and released out into the audience. Maybe in the sequel. Thankfully for those looking for that immersive corporeal experience there is A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas a foul hilarious and surprisingly heartwarming holiday experience that utilizes its eye-popping technology to take gross out humor to a new level. If you're not already on board with the previous stoner antics of Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) from White Castle and Escape from Guantanamo Bay it's safe to say that 3D Christmas won't be roping you back into the series but for fans the movie steps up the franchise's game. Writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg take the three years since the last film into consideration putting the duo on opposite ends of the maturity spectrum only to have them reunite for a zany Christmas adventure. The results are rather touching. We pick up with Harold now a suit-wearing Wall Street type bending over backwards to make Christmas perfect for his ball-busting father-in-law (Danny Trejo). Adding to the stress are his wife Maria who is anxious to have a baby despite the couple's inability to do so and his next door neighbor Todd (Tom Lennon) who would do anything to be Harold's best friend. Kumar is his antithesis—burnt out baked and broken up over the termination of his relationship with Vanessa. When a mysterious package addressed to Harold lands on Kumar's door (he hasn't lived there in years) the medical school dropout takes a ride to his former cohort's white picket fence house. The package is exactly what you'd expect: an enormous joint. Admitting he doesn't smoke any more Harold throws the weed away—only to see it magically return and burn down his father-in-law's Christmas tree. Like its predecessors Harold & Kumar 3D takes off from its wacky catalyst and shoots directly (and without regret) into outer space. Without hesitation Harold and Kumar's quest for a Christmas tree takes them from a terrifying tree yard run by RZA a coked-out Christmas party thrown by the teenage kids of New York's deadliest gangster and a holiday stage show starring—you guessed it—Neil Patrick Harris. The movie piles on gags and inside jokes (the movie winks at the camera with Star Trek and White House cracks) but few fall short thanks to their clever execution and two characters Cho and Penn help us give a damn about. Even in its lamest moments—Todd's baby finding her way into a variety of drugs is one of the movie's running gags—Harold & Kumar 3D still pops. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson squeezes every bit of silliness out the movie's various scenarios adding a dash of nostalgia for fans and making the entry worthy of the original. Even Harris outdoes himself (and the man road a unicorn in movie #2) riffing off his own homosexuality which we learn is really just a play to get more woman to take their clothes off. Obviously. If the traditional holiday classics haven't been quite your style Harold & Kumar 3D is a more-than-worthy addition to the Christmas movie pantheon delivering on warm and fuzzy friendship cliches while filtering it through bathroom humor and bong water. By the time Harold and Kumar trip and turn themselves into claymation you'll either be cackling with laughter or on the way out of the theater. Me? I was high on it.
  • Hans Zimmer Wants Your Voice for the 'Dark Knight Rises' Soundtrack
    By: Matt Patches November 04, 2011 10:27am EST
    At the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, the director of Tron Legacy created a unique opportunity for those in attendance of their panel. Thanks to a series of scattered microphones throughout the room, the SDCC audience was recorded chanting a series of phrases that were then placed into the finished film's "Game Grid" sequence. How do you make a screaming stadium sound real? Record a room full of eager movie buffs ready to do as you say! Crowdsourcing audio was a way of getting fans excited to be part of a cinematic event while simultaneously catering to the movie's needs. A rather brilliant move—and one composer Hans Zimmer plans to replicate for the upcoming comic book movie, The Dark Knight Rises. How is Zimmer planning on getting that many people into one space? Simple. He doesn't. You can record the audio from the comfort of your own home! Moviepilot tipped me off to the unique experience that Zimmer is currently organizing through Ujam.com. Here are the Academy Award-winning composer's own words: We need to hear your voices! Now and Loud! We are creating the sound of a worldwide chant. Everyone come and be part of it. It's easy: There is no such thing as out-of-tune, no timing we can't fix later. If you mumble, growl, scream or whisper, it's all good. Make it yours. If you only get halfway through, no problem! Do it alone, bring your friends, but do it with energy and commitment.Let your voice be heard and be a part of our adventure!" A worldwide chant? Who knows how this fits in to the grand scheme of The Dark Knight Rises, but if Zimmer's asking everyone from around the world to take part in his orchestration, you know the creative team is thinking big for this one. Perhaps the Bane and the League of Shadow spend their time reciting this poetry when they're not breaking Batman in two?  Head over to UJam's Batman-centric page for all the details. The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters (and your voice makes its big screen debut!) on July 20, 2012 ="font-style:>
  • Christmas Movies for Every Personality
    By: Matt Patches November 04, 2011 8:22am EST
    How quickly holidays come and go. Even before the lights completely dim on our moldy jack-o-lanterns, it's Christmas time. This weekend marks the opening of 2011's first holiday movie: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. It may not be the most straightforward, obvious way of rejoicing the wintery celebration, but heck, for a niche group of people—a group I'll classify as the perpetually-baked medical students of the world—it'll be there cup of egg nog. And that's the real magic of Christmas movies. Every individual has the perfect film to represent them. So, for all the people you know who can't stomach another year of squeaky clean It's a Wonderful Life or the memorable moment bombardment of A Christmas Story, here are a few skewed holiday suggestions: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation A Christmas Movie for the Overzealous House-Decorating Father Distracting a devoted Dad from adorning his home with bright lights and animatronic Santas can be a difficult task—even for a 90-minute movie. But, like all addicts, the easiest way to get him to pay attention is to feed his carnal desire for ornament. At the least, two seconds of Clark Griswold's own quest for holiday glory should spur the guy into a competitive fury and make Christmas Vacation his go-to movie of the season (even if it's more of a glove slap across the face than an enjoyable cinematic experience). The Polar Express A Christmas Movie for the Shy Kid Who Sits Quietly in the Corner, Staring Blankly at People from Across the Room Maybe they're baffled over the fervor children muster over chocolate, Santa and toys, or maybe they're just so doped up on Ritalin they don't even realize it's a holiday, but there's always one kid at a Christmas party who stands apart from the group. For them, director Robert Zemeckis crafted a special Christmas movie: The Polar Express. The film teaches young people that soulless children can enjoy the holidays, even if they look and act like real life versions of The Sims. Bad Santa A Christmas Movie for the Sex-Driven Boozehound Who Always Spikes the Hot Chocolate This year, instead of chastising that one person in your life who continually reeks of bourbon, consider enjoying their company with a viewing of Bad Santa. You'll think the Billy Bob Thorton movie is a hilarious, twisted take on a Christmas fable, while your tipsy acquaintance will have a have a self-reflexive epiphany that will cause them to rethink their whole life. Everyone wins. A Christmas miracle. The Nightmare Before Christmas A Christmas Movie for the Disgruntled Teen Who Couldn't Care Less About Christmas Movies  If you know someone who refuses to indulge in bold red and green Christmas sweaters because the knitted wear doesn't properly represent "the darkness that haunts their soul," it's best not to try and strong-arm them into enjoying the holiday. Instead, offer up up a movie that plays to both crowds. Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas isn't quite a Christmas movie, isn't quite a Halloween movie, but is highly recognizable to anyone who's walked into a Hot Topic. The Holiday A Christmas Movie for the Hopelessly Single Person Who Needs a Distraction from Fruit Cake No one should be alone during the holidays, even the person who has spent the last decade being alone on the holidays. But thanks to the white-people-problems screenwriting knack of Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated), there is hope. The Holiday was scientifically designed to make any person weep with tears of joy at the prospect of holiday-infused romance. For viewing, sweatpants aren't an option, they're required. Black Christmas A Christmas Movie for the Heavy-Breather with a Knife Obsession Remember: You would sleep with a crossbow too if you thought they were coming to get you. If weaponry tickles his or her fancy, the 1974 slasher/Christmas flick Black Christmas is the perfect avenue to rope that person in to the holiday hoopla. Just remind them that picking off co-eds one by one at a Christmas party isn't very fun for the co-eds. Fred Claus A Christmas Movie for the Too-Cool-for-School Bro Who Thinks Everything's "Money" "If Vince Vaughn doesn't think Christmas is cool, it can't be possibly be cool," says the guy who has never seen Fred Claus. Little does he realize the lessons everyone's favorite swinger learns over the course of this magical holiday movie. After twelves months of inflating his head with pick-up lines and hair grease, the Vaughn-driven Santa movie should help bring him back down to Earth. At least until New Year's. Jack Frost A Christmas Movie for Evangelical Reincarnationists Christmas may be steeped in religious imagery, but that doesn't mean it has to box out any particular ideology. That's why they invented movies! Bring the people who won't accept death as man's final moment into the festivities with the Michael Keaton classic Jack Frost. If a subpar father can return to this planet by inhabiting a snowman, truly, anything is possible. Jingle All the Way A Christmas Movie for People Who Laugh Whenever Arnold Schwarzenegger Falls Down Hey, whatever floats your boat. ="font-style:>
  • 'Parks and Recreation' Recap: End of the World
    By: Matt Patches November 03, 2011 5:48pm EST
    S4E6: Now that a week's gone by, I can honestly say that I'm so-so on this season of Parks and Recreation. There have been some highs, but there have been some lows, and when you love a show this much, the lows feel practically subterranean. So imagine how delighted I was to see an episode that kicks off in the vein of the previous episodes then evolves into one of the more touching half hours the show has ever known. Surprise, surprise! "Keep your pants on, I mean keep your pants on...guuurl! I mean I like your pants." - Leslie Turns out, Pawnee has its very own Harold Camping in the form of Herb Scafer, who arrives at Leslie's door one day to preach the arrival of Zorp, a being returning to Earth to melt the faces off the world population and turn them into fuel. No big deal. Leslie recruits Chris, Ben and Ann to tag along with her to Herb's apocalyptic park camp out, allowing the Parks and Rec team to field press questions and keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, Shauna (the reporter Leslie's always pitching headlines to) arrives with more on her mind then just the end of the world. She's taken a fancy to Ben, and her inquires to his singledom spur Leslie to go into a jealous rage. After a few so-so episodes that I felt never really utilized the characters we know and love, this is exactly the kind of storyline I was hoping to see. Not playing Office-style Pam and Jim games with Leslie and Ben, but placing them in grounded, awkward situations post-inner office romance. Suddenly, everything Leslie put on the backburner in order to maintain a political career bubbles to the surface—and she jumps into action. Manic action. The kind of action that involves kidnapping Ben and driving him to an abandoned gas station supposedly owned by Mick Jagger. "I am a party scientist. Welcome to my laboratory." - Tom Last week saw the bankruptcy of Tom's media conglomerate/time-waster Entertainment 720. My reaction: good riddance. While I'm a big fan of the delusional Tom and Jean-Ralphio's antics, the endless pile of money they had at their disposable was making their stories pointless—and this episode starts that way. They're going to throw a party, a big party, and like the past few through-lines, it's all about extravagance. The "End of the World" party has tiger cages, moon bounces, a shrimp cocktail wall and bubble balls. The end all be all of shindigs. Thankfully, the Parks and Rec writers throw one last curveball into E720's conclusion: the return of Tom's ex-girlfriend Lucy. Or really, the return of everything that made Tom a great character. Lately, he's been a total dork, but instantly as Lucy steps on screen for the first time, Tom's heart melts—and so do ours. Lucy returns to grad school, but momentarily, there's hope for Tom to have a bright future. Bravo, Aziz Ansari. Your best episode yet this season. "Looks like this Siberian husky is Russian...off to jail." - Andy Even if repetition is the key to good marriage (says Andy), April decides to inject their love life with a bit of spontaneity. After discovering her hubby has a secret bucket list, the duo decides to throw caution to the wind and execute the dream, running around town fulfilling Andy's wishes, little (hold $1000 in cash!) to middle (be an action star!) to big (go on a road trip). Like I mentioned, I've found this season on a whole to be a little thin in the character department, relying more on the residents of Pawnee's eccentricities rather than focusing on what makes them special and human. This episode really brings April and Andy out of their shells, making them less crazy and more crazy in love. When faced with a 30 hour trip to Andy's bucket list destination, the two take a moment to really profess their love...then steal April's Dad's car. Today it was announced that April and Andy's Grand Canyon road trip will be chronicled in a series of webisodes, but even the short drive to the middle of the canyon was satisfying. April puts it perfectly: "I'm trying to find a way to be annoyed by it, but I'm coming up empty." "If it makes you feel any better Leslie, we'll all be dead in 20 minutes!" - Herb "Yes, it does make me feel better, Herb." - Leslie After making a fool of herself in front of Ben, Leslie seeks guidance from the grandmaster of wisdom, Ron Swanson. He tells her he wants nothing to do with her personal problems, but it's the umpteenth time he's been there for his co-worker and he once again sets her on the right track. He reminds Leslie that she chose a political career over Ben, and she has to live with that decision. I think it's safe to call Ron a softy now. Leslie heads from the park grounds to Ben's house, where she finally lays down the law (mostly so she can hear it herself): "The romantic part of our relationship is over." Leslie's the only one who ends the episode without the loving embrace of her companion, a guy she obviously loves, and for a 22-minute sitcom, that's a hard beat to sell. But that's Parks and Recreation at its finest.
  • First Look at Bill Murray as FDR in 'Hyde Park on the Hudson'
    By: Matt Patches November 03, 2011 12:21pm EST
    Director Roger Mitchell spent an entire year trying to court the reclusive Bill Murray into starring in his FDR biopic Hyde Park on the Hudson. The actor, notorious for his unresponsiveness to script inquiries and studio calls, eventually got back to him. In text form. "Yes, I'll do it." And do it he did, as USA Today gives us a sneak peek into the making of the film and our first look at Murray in character. The movie chronicles King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's 1939 visit to Roosevelt's home in upstate New York, a time when the President was knee deep in an affair with his cousin Daisy (played in the film by Laura Linney). Murray sure looks the part in this first snapshot, and according to the article, he went to great lengths to study Roosevelt as well as polio victims to further embody the political figure. He may not like returning phone calls, but when he's on, he's on. Hyde Park on the Hudson should arrive in theaters sometime in 2012.
  • Ryan Reynolds Takes Denzel Washington Captive in 'Safe House' Trailer
    By: Matt Patches November 03, 2011 11:12am EST
    Yesterday saw the premiere of the first Safe House poster—a simple look at a rather smug Denzel Washington. Today we have the first trailer for the film, which continues Washington's smirking but injects gritty camerawork, explosions, gunfire, intrigue and Ryan Reynolds into the mix. The trailer doesn't give us too much spoilery information on what to expect from Safe House—the action kicks off in a CIA Safe House in South Africa before exploding into a full on chase between the government, a befuddled Reynolds and the maybe-bad-guy Washington—but the gritty style A-List ensemble cast (including Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleason) make it slick enough to get one excited. For me, this kind of movie is Denzel's bread and butter—and it's feeling a bit tired. He's been making them for years (mostly with director Tony Scott) and each time comes off just good enough that I think "OK, I guess I'd watch that again." I know he's capable of amazing work, like Malcolm X and Training Day, but we haven't seen that actor in a while. What I do know he can do is make firing pistols badass, and he does it again in Safe House. Check out the trailer in HD over at Apple. Safe House hits theaters February 10, 2012. ="font-style:>
  • Exclusive 'Muppets' Clip: Jason Segel and Walter Break In
    By: Matt Patches November 03, 2011 9:48am EST
    It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights and it's finally time for The Muppets to hit theaters. After months of top-notch spoof trailers and viral videos, we're finally getting a peek at what to expect from the latest outing from our favorite gang of walking, talking animals (and monsters). In this exclusive clip from the movie, Gary (Jason Segel), his Muppet-wannabe roommate Walter and Mary (Amy Adams), arrive at the gated doorstep of Kermit the Frog's mansion. Unfortunately there's no doorbell, so they have to find another option… The Muppets arrives November 23. ="font-style:>
  • Tower Heist Review
    By: Matt Patches November 03, 2011 8:10am EST
    Did Hollywood have anything to do with the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street movement? The whole thing seems a little bit convenient. Last month saw the behind-the-meltdown docudrama Margin Call and the sci-fi metaphor In Time. Now we have Tower Heist a comedy that pits the blue collar staff of the Trump Tower against a thieving Bernie Madoff-esque tenant. The movie's an Ocean's 11 for the 99% with a sense of timeliness that makes the simple plotting and wisecracking that much more effective. Ben Stiller stars as Josh Kovacs overseer of all the goings-on at the Tower. He wakes up before dawn and heads home after sunset spending his day catering to the occupants of the ritzy apartment complex and managing his eclectic crew—including former Burger King cook Enrique (Michael Peña) Jamaican maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe) and his slacker brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck). The crew's greatest concern is multi-billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) the penthouse resident Tower board member and thanks to attention paid trusted friend of Josh. Trusted...until the FBI busts Shaw for stealing millions including the Tower employees' pensions. Like all good tower heists Josh's titular harebrained scheme is prompted by a drunken night out with lead investigator Claire (Téa Leoni) who tips the irked manager off to Shaw's hidden stash: a possible eight-figure sum hidden somewhere in his apartment. In pursuing the American dream of revenge Josh recruits his slighted co-workers along with distraught former-millionaire Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick) and Josh's childhood friend-turned-thief Slide (Eddie Murphy). Together the motley crew concocts a plan to retrieve what's rightfully theirs—all while sinking Shaw in the process. Tower Heist isn't as slick or intricate as the Ocean movies but its straightforward take on the crime genre is strengthened by Stiller Murphy and the rest of the cast's ability to inject ridiculous humor into sympathetic characters. When Josh realizes his decade spent commanding the operations of the Tower were for naught he wigs out marching up to the top floor to beat the crap out of Shaw's priceless convertible (it was owned by Steve McQueen in case you were wondering why anyone would keep an antique car on the top floor of a building). Not entirely realistic but relatable which sums up every over-the-top satisfying scenario these characters find themselves throughout the film. Most importantly Tower Heist delivers on the funny. Playing the straight man is an art and Stiller's one of the masters (although you'd never know it from his Night at the Museum shtick or wackier roles like Zoolander) riffing off his co-stars while giving them ample time to be complete weirdos. The movie is being touted as a comeback for Murphy but he wisely steps into a supporting role delivering on his character's manic charm while never trying to steal the spotlight. The one who really steals the show is Broderick whose clueless neurotic Fitzhugh can't help relapsing mid-heist into memories of luxurious trips to Greece. Credit goes to director Brett Ratner who cranked out three Rush Hour movies and an X-Men threequel while never really nailing down what it takes to make a group dynamic work. Here he pulls it off finding the right beats to make Tower Heist funny and thrilling. There are moments during the actual heist scene set during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade that cause quite a stir—a rarity in today's run-of-the-mill thrill rides. Tower Heist is the definition of a cinematic softball avoiding risky choices and utilizing each actor to their previously known (and successful) traits without feeling lazy. As the holidays roll in and families look for something they all can enjoy Tower Heist delivers a little something for everyone. Except maybe Bernie Madoff. ="font-style:>
  • Bond 23 Is Officially 'Skyfall,' Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes Confirmed
    By: Matt Patches November 03, 2011 5:30am EST
    If you've been following the development of Bond 23, most of what went down at this morning's press conference (an tradition for every James Bond flick ramping up for production), but who doesn't love confirmations? All these months of Internet speculation finally pay off! Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli introduced director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Revolutionary Road), and the eclectic ensemble cast, including Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, returning as Bond and M respectively, and series newcomers Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bernice Malohe, Ben Whishaw and Albert Finney. The biggest reveal of the morning was the film's mysterious title: Skyfall. The press conference wouldn't have been a success unless we walked away with something to continue speculating about. Also confirmed were Bardem as the film's villain (which we heard was a lock last month) and Naomie Harris, as a field agent named Eve (a rumor that started trickling out in July). According to Harris, Eve will be featured in many an action set piece, and may have a surprise hidden up her sleeve. Fresh faced Malohe will play Severin, a “glamorous, enigmatic character," while Fiennes and Whishaw's characters are still unknown. A little tidbit for movie buffs: Roger Deakins, the esteemed cinematographer behind True Grit, and No Country for Old Men and Mendes own Revolutionary Road, will shoot the film. Pretty much a guarantee the movie will look pretty. Few other details were revealed, as the creative team is keeping the secrets behind Bond 23 close to their chest. But there was one juicy piece of info that weaseled its way out: Skyfall will be a stand alone adventure, not directly tied tot he QUANTUM plot set up in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. I don't know if I 100% believe that, but for now, take the producers' word for it. Skyfall is scheduled to hit theaters October 26, 2012 in the UK and November 9 in the US. Source: via Playlist ="font-style:>