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.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review
    By: Matt Patches Oct 18, 2011
    This summer the fourth entry of the successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise On Stranger Tides pillaged the pockets of movie-goers raking in over $1 billion across the globe. Critics weren't exactly on board—our own review called it "as mechanical as the ride from which it is based"—but that didn't stop the masses from boarding ship and helping the movie become one of the highest grossing films of all time. Sadly the movie's leap on to Blu-ray is less-than-worthy of the success in its wake. Not even Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow has enough tricks up his sleeve to make this disc a lively experience. The film itself is as flat and sluggish as theatrical reviews indicate. This time around Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley's swashbuckling couple are out with Sparrow promoted to main character status surrounded by a handful of new two-dimensional characters. We find Captain Jack in the crosshairs of the British Navy who task him with finding the Fountain of Youth or hanging in the gallows. Unhappy with both choices he goes on the run crossing paths with his former flame Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and finding himself strong-armed once again—this time by the wicked pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane). Pirates of the Caribbean is a road movie of sorts with Jack Angelica Blackbeard a whiny priest Philip (Sam Claflin) and a mermaid (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) all tagging along for the ride to the Fountain of Youth. But the films lacks the energy of the first film or the scope of the later two opting for a lot walking and talking in the middle of jungles rather than battling across the high seas or slick choreographed swordfighting. The gang just kind of hangs out and cracks jokes. The dull adventure translates to lackluster special features. The Blu-ray doesn't come with much—the disc more of a vessel for Disney's other upcoming releases and their new Second Screen technology which opens up iPad-only content to play with during the movie—with most of the exciting behind-the-scenes content made exclusive to the pricey 5-disc set. The only real extra is blooper montage which feels overly repetitive even for its short length. Director Rob Marshall teams up with producer John DeLuca to walk us through the movie (I guess Pirates mastermind Jerry Bruckheimer had better things to do?) and the conversation only really picks up 4/5s into the movie when the ensemble converges upon the Fountain. Thanks to some gorgeous location photography and a mega-budget from Disney Pirates 4 looks and sounds stunning on Blu-ray but the magic stops there. Even the bloated second and third entries delivered enough thrills to make them watchable but Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is for only the most hardy of pirates. Even then you may be better off walking the plank. ="font-style:>
  • Seven New Photos from 'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1'
    By: Matt Patches Oct 18, 2011
    I'm not a big fan of the Twilight movies, but find myself eager to check out the latest installment, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. The trailers are selling me—unlike the past films that have tried to turn the franchise into a sweeping romance, heavy drama or action-packed supernatural who-knows-what, director Bill Condon appears to be working all those avenues, while having a boatload of fun doing it. Sure it's romantic, dramatic and thrilling, but the previous trailers have just enough winking to the camera, a tone of gleeful camp (Edward breaks the bed in the heat of passion—incredible), that keeps the movie from looking too serious. I hope I'm right, because I'd love for the series to go out with a bang and make the most of their heartthrob cast. Who knows if Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner have the range to pull off projects other than Twilight—but right now, it doesn't matter. If they can go wild in this final movie, I'll give them the deserved praise. Seven new stills have been released and they're exactly what I hoped for: colorful, cheerful and a little goofy. I want this whole movie to have a "vampire carrying a tree" vibe. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 hits theaters November 18.
  • New in Blu 10.17.11
    By: Matt Patches Oct 18, 2011
    New Releases: Bad Teacher (Columbia Pictures, $24.99) Click here to buy it. A harmless comedy starring people we love. You could do worse! Read our review from this past summer. Batman: Year One (Warner Home Video, $16.99) Click here to buy it. We got a first glimpse of this movie at New York Comic Con and, with DC Animated's track record, plus an amazing source material, this should be one of their best films yet. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (Sony Pictures, $23.99) Click here to buy it. Star Wars: Clone Wars Season Three (Cartoon Network, $39.99) Click here to buy it. Monte Carlo (FOX, $24.99) Click here to buy it. Page One: Inside the New York Times (Magnolia, $22.99) Click here to buy it. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Disney, $28.99) Click here to buy it. Red State (Lions Gate, $19.99) Click here to buy it. If you're a Kevin Smith fan, you've probably A. Already seen this or B. Are eagerly anticipating the film. I thought the film was an interesting experiment for a comedy-centric director, a horror movie that unexpectedly morphs into absolute, action-packed nonsense. Not really my cup of tea, but the passion is there. Catalog Releases: Cape Fear (Universal $13.99) Click here to buy it. An underrated success for the Scorsese/De Niro team. Looks quite spiffy in Blu. The Crow (Lions Gate, $14.99) Click here to buy it. Darkness Falls (Image, $12.49) Click here to buy it. The Guns of Navarone (Sony, $13.99) Click here to buy it. Kuroneko (Criterion, $26.99) Click here to buy it. Little House on the Prairie: The Complete Nine Season Set (Lions Gate, $120.99) Click here to buy it.
  • New 'Adventures of Tintin' Trailer: Adventurous As Any Live-Action Blockbuster
    By: Matt Patches Oct 18, 2011
    The last trailer for Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin sparked a bit of an internal debate here at Is it too violent for an animated film? Is it catering to the wrong audience by taking on a cartoonish appearance? For those of you on my side of the quarrel (that the children who catch Tintin aren't going to be emotionally scarred or negatively impacted by the gunfire and fistfighting), I bring you another, lengthier, high definition trailer of the comic adaptation. The movie, which debuts in the UK October 26 and here in the States on December 21, is based on the classic adventure comics of the same name by Hergé. The movie is essentially a mishmash of three shorelines: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure. With that much source material, you can understand why the movie looks packed to the brim with action. For the film, Spielberg employed the technique of motion capture animation, but unlike Beowulf or A Christmas Carol, the effects are being handled by Producer Peter Jackson's New Zealand studio WETA (the geniuses behind Avatar and Lord of the Rings. The effects here look dazzling, while allowing the performances by Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost all to creep through. ="font-style:>
  • The 'Two and a Half Men' Ashton Kutcher Scorecard: Week Five
    By: Matt Patches Oct 17, 2011
    S9E5: The season may have started on an impressive high note considering the unpredictable talents of Mr. Kutcher, but after last week's episode, we're losing our faith. Gone was the newfound energy, the character twists that were turning Two and a Half Men into a brand new show. Instead, we got same old same old with Walden devolving into a wooden knock-off of Charlie Harper. Can Ashton redeem himself? Can the comedic actor find a consistent groove? There's only one way to find out: The scorecard! Here's the breakdown: One Charlie Sheen Head (1 - 10 Points): Ashton, you were in this episode. Two Charlie Sheen Heads (11 - 20 Points): Ashton, you landed a few jokes, but we can't stop thinking about good ol' Charlie. Three Charlie Sheen Heads (21 - 30 Points): Ashton, you earned tonight's laugh track. Solid. Four Charlie Sheen Heads (31 - 40 Points): Ashton, we're impressed. You've surpassed Sheen-level kookiness. Five Charlie Sheen Heads (41 - 50 Points): Ashton, you're scaring us with classic levels of comedy. Charlie who? That's that, now on with the third round of the Ashton Kutcher Two and a Half Men scorecard! "A Giant Cat Holding Churro" 1. "This is not historically accurate. Medieval bakers did not dress like Chef Boyardee" Points:  2 Two and a Half Men may have a new star front and center in its ads, but that doesn't mean Ashton's going to be in the spotlight of every episode. This time around, he was a supporting character through and through, alley-ooping jokes to Alan who finds himself struggling to make his relationship with Lyndsey work. After a sexless night in, Alan joins Walden, who's spending his evening learning to drink (aka sniffing whiskey). The two stumble upon a soft core porn that stars a vaguely familiar lady named Cinnamon. Yup, it's Lyndsey—and while Alan does his freak out thing, Walden casually heads upstairs to blow off some steam. Personally, I like Ashton/Walden when he's in full clown mode, so consider me underwhelmed by more of the deadpan, lovestruck act. Let's hope Walden gets back with Bridget sooner than later—maybe he'll come alive. 2. "I already know how to have sex. How do you make buttermilk biscuits? That's the real mystery." Points:  5 For being a self-made billionaire, Walden really has no attention span for anyone or anything. One minute he'll be talking relationships with Alan, the next he'll be blurting out new life goals he conjured up after watching Skinemax movies. For me, Two and a Half Men suffers from its Alan-centric episodes (I can only take too much whining and self-depricating jabs), so Walden's odd foray into cooking, at the least, mellowed the scene out. Maybe deadpan Walden does serve a purpose, but if they're going to keep that side of the character around, the show should pair them up more often. It's like the episodes have to be about one character or another. Pair them up! 3. "Berta is making my head into a dream catcher!" Points:  5 The prayer I had at the beginning of the episode is later answered in an obvious, but admittedly enjoyable fashion. Alan returns from spilling his darkest secrets to Lyndsey to find Walden and Berta in outer space, thanks to the redheaded maid's "secret brownie recipe."  I have a special place in my heart for Dude, Where's My Car? and watching Ashton flex his pot humor muscles tickled my funny bone. The funniest joke of the episode was just watching Walden repeat the word "Snapple" over and over and over again. Simple, maybe a little cheap, but very funny. 4. "Alan, have a brownie! They're mmm mmm good." Points:  7 OK, this is the Ashton I permanently want on the show. Walden scarfs down a few more pot brownies and comes up with an ingenious idea to make Alan happy: Throw a party with a Malibu College volleyball team! The oddest part is that Ashton plays this version of the character like a younger, hipper version of Jeff Bridges' The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Maybe that's sacrilege, but walking around with big sunglasses, free flowing shirts and a half-awake swagger, I couldn't help be reminded of the end all be all of stoner characters. He's just cool. Plus, he convinces six gorgeous co-eds to cover Alan with whipped cream, so he's good friend too. 5. "Are you having some sort of party in there?" "No, it's just a bunch of stoned girls dancing." Points: 4 The episode ends with Lyndsey arriving at Walden's doorstep, and the party animal being just aware enough to conceal Alan by throwing him off the edge of the deck. Ashton carries this episode with physical comedy, an aspect of the show has really worked in his favor in the past. Loose the mumbling, introvert Walden—I like the one that robot walks back and forth while high out of his mind, while still coming off as the most charming guy in the room. Walden manages to fend off Lyndsey for another day, but Alan, in true Alan fashion, screws it all up. Well, at least Walden probably got some action. Total Points: 23 - Three Charlie Sheen Heads! OK, Ashton. You have me back for a little while longer. While the blank stares and mumbling one-liners continue to pop up, a lively Walden appeared on tonight's episode and helped realize Ashton's full potential on Men. The show is strongest when Alan and Walden are paired together—and tonight was the evidence.
  • NYCC 2011: Behind-the-Scenes of the Insane 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'
    By: Matt Patches Oct 17, 2011
    When I heard a follow-up to the 2007 superhero flick Ghost Rider was going into production, I echoed a sentiment most people had: "Did they see the first one?" The movie, starring Nic Cage as the demon with a heart of gold, was lazy, simple and dull, with all the elements properly transitioned from comic to screen, but without any flair or life. One would expect more of the same. But one quickly realizes you can never get "more of the same" from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the mad men behind Gamer and the Crank films, and the new directing team for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. A behind-the-scenes sneak peak of their semi-sequel reveals that, even with Nic Cage resuming his role as stuntman-turned-soul-collector Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider 2 is closer to Crank than the previous installment. The video is as high octane as the actual movie, showing off the directing duo's penchant for elaborate camera stunts (which they man themselves). In one shot, Taylor conducts a firry explosion, executed using practical gasoline bombs. In another sequence, Neveldine is pulled by a motorcycle while wearing roller skates, just to get the perfect angle of the bike. As if he needed to one up himself, the footage follows Neveldine's first stunt with another: flying off the edge of a cliff (thanks to some elaborate wire work), holding the camera tight as a stunt man flies backward with him. Even Nic Cage appears to have gotten in on the death defying filmmaking, visibly thrown forty feet into the air on the Romanian set. The practical effects employed by the team turn Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance a grungier, visceral comic book movie—a far cry from the rest of the Marvel big screen efforts, including the original Ghost Rider. During the panel Neveldine and Taylor were very clear on why the first movie wasn't their cup of tea: Johnny Blaze is a guy whose superpower involves sucking out your soul and having you relive your life in flashes. That shouldn't be pretty, it should be terrifying. And the movie takes every possible avenue to go darker. Ghost Rider's skull is now charred and black, his bike a compact cycle for maximum stunt movement, his jacket a bubbling layer tar over his flaming flesh. Naturally, the question was raised if the movie would be rated R, to which Taylor responded, "We know it was always going to be a PG-13 movie. We drop f-bombs, we have a high body count, but we found ways to get around it." Neveldine clarified: "Here's the thing to know about the MPAA. You can burn as many people as you want." The most exciting prospect for the new Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance might be the collaboration between the Crank filmmakers and Nicolas Cage. Apparently they first pursued him for a role in Crank, but the movie was too finge to get him on board. Thankfully, it worked out, and when asked what Cage is like in real life, both men had opinions. "He's like a Crank film," says Taylor. "Nicolas Cage can actually piss fire. No CG need," added Neveldine. As one final treat, the NYCC audience was presented with a 3D version of the previously-released trailer. The movie was post-converted but conceived as a 3D movie, to allow Neveldine and Talyor more freedom for practical effects and energetic camera work. The results work, even during fast-motion action scenes with bikes speeding around open freeways. Neveldine and Talyor have taken full advantage of Ghost Rider's flaming chain whip, which pops off the screen and into your face. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance looks like a major improvement from the last movie—but only time will tell. The movie hits theaters February 17 and you can check back soon for an exclusive interview with Neveldine and Taylor!
  • Aaron Eckhart Brings Beach Boy Dennis Wilson to Screen in 'The Drummer'
    By: Matt Patches Oct 17, 2011
    Aaron Eckhart may be best known for his work as Harvey Dent in the blockbuster titan The Dark Knight, but he's also one of the best dramatic talents in the biz—reserved, nuanced and criminally overlooked. Heck, he's even compelling amidst a fury of CG alien destruction in fluff like Battle: Los Angeles. I have no doubt Eckhart will one day be taking the stage to receive his Academy Award. It's just a matter of when. If rumblings on his latest project turn out to manifest themselves, that time could be sooner than later. Variety reports that Eckhart is lining up to play the late Dennis Wilson, drummer for The Beach Boys who later went solo for the 1977 album Pacific Ocean Blue. The movie will chronicle the last six year's of Wilson's life, a time where the artist was abusing alcohol and dealing juggling relationships that ended tragically when Wilson drowned in the ocean. The movie, running with the title, The Drummer, will also feature re-recorded versions of Pacific Ocean Blue featuring Eckhart. The man can sing, apparently. If The Drummer pans out, it could finally be the meaty performance Eckhart needs to breakout. Dennis Wilson's situation sounds a little like The Wrestler, swapping headlocks and turnbuckles for recording studios and surf tunes. Mickey Rourke's performance in that film put him back on the fast track and The Drummer could do the same for the dashing actor. His quieter movie,s like the brilliant Rabbit Hole fail to attract awards folks—maybe injecting a little rock and roll into the equation is just what he needs.
  • NYCC 2011: New 'Total Recall' Footage Teases Flying Cars, Cat Fights and Robots
    By: Matt Patches Oct 16, 2011
    After showing off some shiny 3D footage for Underworld Awakening, the fourth entry in his vampire/werewolf action series, producer Len Wiseman appeared a second time on the New York Comic Con jumbotron to introduce exclusive footage from his next directorial project, Total Recall. The movie is a semi-remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi flick of the same name, but even after the first snippets of footage, the two films don't appear to share much other than a title and a loose, mind-bending scenario. The first round of footage was an extended version of the preview that played at SDCC (while Total Recall was still well into production). Colin Farrell plays Doug Quaid, who arrives at the brothel-esque Rekall center to have fake memories implanted into his brain—the ultimate form of escapism. McClane (Star Trek actor John Cho, sporting a wild, bleached blonde do) runs the facility and personally assists Farrell with the process. But Rekall comes with one warning: You're not allowed to implant a memory that's actually true. Well, you can guess what happens next. Quaid's request to "become" a spy is denied when the machine goes haywire, due to a detection of truth. Before McClane can get answers out of Quaid, the Rekall center is infiltrated by a dozen robot and human police looking to bring Quaid down. The action sequence wowed audiences at San Diego, thanks to a wild series of gliding camera moves that follow Quaid has his inner killer turns on and beats the living daylights out of his opponents. Evidently, there's no CG trickery here—the filmmakers used the same techniques you see when a cam flies across the football field in an NFL game! As far as I know, everything after this zippy camera move was new. The extended version of the scene sees Quaid escaping the Rekall Center through a duct and out into the open air of a futuristic metropolis. Then a sizzle reel of flashy imagery kicked in: Quaid running through a rainy, Blade Runner-esque slum; more of the flying cars and squeaky clean future city life; a vicious cat fight between Kate Beckinsale's Lori and Jessica Biel's Melina (which should bring smiles to those who know the original film); a vehicular crash/action scene atop a skyscraper/tower; and the meatiest of the shots, a quick dialogue between Quaid and Bryan Cranston's Vilos Cohaagen. Cohaagan was jabbing Quaid with a few threatening words, but they were barely audible over the screams Cranston received for just showing up. Remakes will always make fans of the original nervous, but Total Recall may have enough imagination up its sleeve to make it feel like its own movie. Farrell isn't playing Ah-nuld (thankfully), and as we know from his diverse career, is fully capable of standing up and being the man. The brief shots of action we caught at the presentation made Farrell look like, for lack of a better phrase, a total badass, even amongst the movie's big scope. This movie may not take us to Mars, but from the quick reel of footage, it should end up taking us to enough other crazy places to make up for it.
  • NYCC 2011: The First 3D Trailer for 'Underworld Evolution'
    By: Matt Patches Oct 16, 2011
    The Underworld movies are one of those franchises whose existence is a tad inexplicable. Even though the quality of each entry continually teeters between "good" and "passable," we're always eagerly awaiting the next installment. Thanks to the perfect balance of guns, good looking ladies and over-the-top action, the Underworld movies don't have to be particularly innovative or inspired—they just have to deliver. Sony/Screen Gems gave us a sneak peak at the next chapter, Underworld Awakening, which sees the return of Kate Beckinsale's character Selene entering a future in which humans are hunting both vampires and lycans. We got our first taste for the movie at San Diego Comic-Con, but we had a chance to preview the upcoming 3D trailer that should start running in theaters soon! The expansive spot reveals a very Children of Men-esque dystopian landscape, where the humans are experimenting on vampires and werewolves in order to discover better ways to destroy them. Selene bursts out of a liquid-filled hibernation chamber visibly perturbed—which doesn't not mean good things for the many armored cronies standing in her way. She slices and dices with blades and ninja stars, taking down humans, lycans and anything that tries to kill her first. Here's a strange comparison: The crux of the story looks similar to Transporter 2, Selene tasked with the protection of a young girl test subject everyone's looking to kill. The girl has incomparable powers, capable of ripping a guy's head in two and growling really, really loud (OK, maybe that last one's not that big a deal, but still, scary). Keeping her alive is no easy task, as Selene encounters another of the human's experiments in the finale of the trailer. A giant wolfbeast (Selene's words: "twice the size of any Lycan!") attacks in a confined space and our vampire heroine uses every acrobatic move in the book to escape death. The action looks faithful to previous entries while utilizing 3D much like Resident Evil: Afterlife—lots of jumping towards camera, throwing objects at the audience and evolving the hokey aspects of stereoscopic imagery into a thrilling experience. Underworld knows it can get away with pretty much anything (it's about vampires fighting werewolves for Pete's sake!) and throws even more insanity into the fourth entry. I imagine it won't make a lick of sense, but I'm fully prepared (and pumped) to spend 90 minutes this January indulging on some slick, silly popcorn cinema.
  • NYCC 2011: 'The Avengers' New Footage and Panel Highlights
    By: Matt Patches Oct 15, 2011
    Last week saw the trailer debut for the biggest superhero movie to date: Marvel's The Avengers. In 24 hours, it was downloaded 10 million times—the fanbase is rabid and rightfully so. The scope is big, the action intense and the A-listers a plenty. Avengers is the movie to beat in 2012. So you know expectations were high at New York Comic Con when President of Marvel Kevin Feige assembled his cast and touted brand new footage of the Iron Man/Thor/Captain America/Hulk team-up. Could it live up to the hype? Absolutely. The new scene from the film opens in a Middle Eastern-looking town, following a young girl as she races through the streets and into a house. She finds a woman and begs for her help—she needs a doctor. Thankfully, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) aka The Hulk stands right behind her, ready to snap into nerdy medical action. Banner accompanies the girl to help her sickly father, quickly realizing that the request may be more than it seems. The girl jumps out the window and Banner turns back to the door, blocked by Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). There have been two big worries post-Avengers trailer: Ruffalo stacking up to former-Hulks Ed Norton, Eric Bana and Bruce Bixby and if Johansson was just there to look pretty and kick goons. The scene clears all of it up: the two share some playful banter on S.H.I.E.L.D's careful tracking of Banner as he "avoided" society. Romanoff needs Bruce's help–the Tesseract (last seen in Captain America), is in the hands of a baddie (who we know is Loki, of Thor) What followed was an assemblage of new shots: Stark Tower at the heart of New York City, shots of Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in action. This is what I wanted to see from the first trailer. Perhaps its the difference between my computer and the big screen, but finally the movie looks BIG. The footage capped off with another soon-to-be-classic Tony Stark moment. Captain America: "Is everything a joke to you?" Iron Man: "Funny things are." And just as a tease, the two and Banner are examining Loki's staff. Who knows what's really going to go down in The Avengers, but this new footage was reassuring that director Joss Whedon is taking a character-first approach. But don't fret—there should be plenty of explosions too. On hand for the panel were a few surprise guests: Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Tom Hiddelston (Loki) and Cobie Smulders. Here are the highlights:Mark Ruffalo called The Hulk, "his generation's Hamlet." That is, "everyone gets a chance to play the part."Ruffalo also coined a phrase with the group: Ruffalalize. Basically, Ruffalo bringing the goods.Clark Gregg sang the Avengers theme song (check back soon for video)!Apparently every woman on the planet now loves Tom Hiddelston. Makes sense—he's charming as hell and gun ho about Avengers. He teased a few of his battles and got everyone in the room pumped for his battle with The Hulk.The cast hung out a lot on set. One memorable moment: Chris Evans mass texted everyone to go out on the town one evening, with the simple message "Assemble."Oh, and Kevin Feige basically confirmed an after-credits scene for Avengers. They already have ideas for the next movie!And that's that. Now we wait, impatiently, for the next slew of footage!