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.
  • First Trailer for the Touching Documentary 'Being Elmo'
    By: Matt Patches Sep 23, 2011
    Do you cry at the movies? Maybe it's because I'm a film-aholic but when a cinematic drama manages to squeeze a few drops of authenticity out of its subject (no easy feet), I'm one to get a little choked up. The end of The Iron Giant gets me every time. For those of you find it difficult to strike up a good cry at the movies, I have something that's guaranteed to have you blowing through a pack of Kleenexes before the credits roll: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. The documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of Kevin Clash, who, as a kid, dreamed of becoming a professional puppeteer and subsequently went on to change the industry forever. After being recruited as a teen, Kevin honed his skills and later befriended Jim Henson, who became his employer, mentor and friend. One of Kevin's many achievements was the creation of Elmo—or rather, the Elmo we know today (the character was originally voiced by another puppeteer). As the doc recounts, the character grew into a worldwide phenomena, becoming a symbol of love and friendship for kids around the world. Oh boy, I'm already tearing up a bit. Check out the first trailer for the film below and head to the film's official site to find out more about this must-see documentary. Source: Indiewire You can contact Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow@Hollywood_com!
  • Horror Fans: The Human Centipede 2 Poster Is Already Scaring Us
    By: Matt Patches Sep 23, 2011
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a person who's in the middle on The Human Centipede franchise. Either you're in, or you're out. Watching a psychotic doctor sew people together from mouth to behind isn't for everyone, yet director Tom Six's bizarre horror series certainly has its core audience. Hollywood mainstream? Maybe not yet—but we're not far off either. Last night, the second installment of the film played at Austin's Fantastic Fest to mixed reactions. Drew at HitFix said, "It's vile, it's graphic, and it's utterly boring after a while." Twitch applauds the craft: "HC2 is a reflexive exercise for Tom Six.  The film uses its antecedent in a novel way that makes for a clever premise brought to nauseating life by a director who understands his audience." Cole Abaius at Film School Rejects thinks its a joke: "It’s a genre film to be certain, but it feels like it was made from a Freshman at NYU Film School who thinks he’s the first person to make a horror movie. It’s the height of pretension and indulgence..." If anything, Human Centipede 2 is a dividing film—and we need those movies, as a litmus test for our own tastes. The violence may not work for you, but for others, it's exactly the kind of film they've been waiting for all their life. Different strokes for different folks. I'm guessing HC2 might be a little too much for me, based solely on the fact that the new poster is already giving me the willies. Then again, maybe I need to watch it just to know. ="font-style:>
  • The Daily Shuffle: Minka Kelly Declined Playboy's Free Plastic Surgery
    By: Matt Patches Sep 23, 2011
    There's a lot of pressure for actresses in Hollywood to look up to snuff and it's no a surprise when someone goes under the knife to make it happen. Even a gorgeous woman like Minka Kelly has experienced the allure of plastic surgery. During an interview with David Letterman on Wednesday's The Late Show, Kelly recounted a moment early in her career where she caught the eye of a Playboy Playmate who wanted to take the Charlie's Angels starlett under her wing. "She said that she could get me a job at this doctor's office in return for plastic surgery which I would need to be a Playboy Playmate." Kelly took the job, but after finding out she needed "lipo, fake breasts, a few veneers," she bailed. For the best. - Us Weekly Not that we have any evidence to corroborate, but we believe Bradley Cooper when he says that "it's easier to date famous people." The Hangover 2 and Limitless actor admitted to Showbiz Spy that, when trying to strike up a relationship with a woman, it's a lot easier if she already knows the ropes. “Connection and chemistry are amazing things and if the other person is used to being in the media, it makes things easier." Since breaking up with high-profile girlfriend Renee Zellwegger back in March, Cooper's been linked to a handful of famous faces, including Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Lopez. The man aims high! - Showbiz Spy Wanda Sykes is one of the funniest comedians working today, but she recently sat down with Ellen DeGeneres to talk about some pretty serious personal issues. According to Sykes, after a cosmetic breast reduction procedure ("I had real big boobs… Every time I eat … Oh lord. I’d carry a Tide stick everywhere I go,") lab work revealed that the actress had breast cancer. Realizing she wasn't game for the lengthy treatment process, Sykes took the plunge and received a double mastectomy. "I had both breasts removed … because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer." But in true Sykes fashion, she wrapped up her story with an uplifting, funny quip: "I was real hesitant about doing this, because I hate walking. I got a lot of [cancer] walks coming up." - People
  • 'Parks and Recreation' Recap: I'm Leslie Knope
    By: Matt Patches Sep 22, 2011
    S4E1: Tonight's premiere of Parks and Recreation kicked off with a reminder that the show's unlike any other sitcom on TV. Whereas most comedies can jump straight into a new batch of crazy situations and antics, Parks has a story to continue. While the episode gave us a quicky "Previously On..." recap of the Season Three finale's events (which you can get your own refresher course on here ), "I'm Leslie Knope" wasted no time jumping from the end of "Li'l Sebastian" to its own set of hijinks. "I've accrued 128 personal days and I'm using them all now." - Ron This week's cold open saw Ann comforting a still-anxious Leslie as she figures out a way to run for office and secretly date her boss Ben. Unfortunately, they both come to the same realization: It's impossible. Before she can turn to him for advice, Leslie encounters Ron, still in panic mode after his ex-wife ("Tammy 2?" "No, Tammy 1") made a surprise appearance at the office. Racing down the halls, Ron gives Leslie a little heads up that he'll be taking some personal time to escape the clutches of his former flame. And that's there's ground beef in his desk that she should probably throw out. Even when Ron's moving at the speed of light, he's still Ron. When it comes to a Parks and Recreation premiere, knowing all you friends (I mean...characters) are still familiar makes for a great start. "That's a baller move—and I mean that literally" - Tom The tail end of Season Three saw Tom Haverford teaming up with the fast-talking, always-rhyming Jean-Ralphio on a new enterprise: the media conglomerate Entertainment 720. But would Tom really leave forever? Inexplicably (and thankfully), Tom stops by at the beginning of the episode to remind his former co-workers he's got a new gig. At the same time, Leslie discovers that the her countdown clock to break things off with Ben just got a little bit shorter—she's to start her campaign in three weeks. This sends the generally calm and assured bureaucrat into a tizzy, which (in true Parks fashion) is quickly derailed by another concern: someone's e-mailed all the women in the Pawnee government system a picture of their penis. Thank God Tom was around to drop all the terrible puns. When Chris (whose grown quite the set of hair since we last saw him) gets word of the stunt, he moves into action, alerting the team and comforting them with usual poetic wisdom: "If I could go back in time and cut your eyeballs out, I would." - Chris When things die down and the hunt for the sexual organ e-mailer begins, Tom pulls the bumbling Andy aside from his shoe shining duties to make him an offer. Tom wants Andy to work at Entertainment 720. In Parks history, we've learned that Andy is the nicest guy in the world, ready for anything and capable of little to nothing. So, of course, this is the biggest decision of his life. If actor Chris Pratt was hired for any particular reason, I'm pretty sure it's for the face he makes when he's confused and frightened. Comedy gold. When Anne finally gets a look at the infamous penis picture she realizes there's something terribly wrong with the balls and immediately alerts Chris. Chris notes that he too has problems with balls, saying that he always considered testicles to be "the ears of the genital system." Rob Lowe may come out as the victor of quotes this episode. Anne shrugs the odd comment off, telling Chris that the penis appears to have the mumps. Rut roh. Elsewhere, Leslie puts her own problems aside to play damage control, making an appearance on Pawnee's favorite day time talk show host Perd Hapley's live coverage of the scandal. Naturally, Leslie slides in a little pre-campagin banter into her statement. This thrills her backers. This terrifies Leslie. The ticking clock counts down even further: her party wants Leslie to announce her candidacy in a few days time. "Look what I have...I got you an L-shaped eclair!" - Ben Why can't all shows be as nice as Parks and Recreation ? Leslie's biggest problem is finding a way to break up with Ben so there secret relationship doesn't blow up in her face. But she can't, because he's too damn nice . "He bought me an eclair!" With a little digging, Ben and Chris soon discover the penis picture was sent by one of my favorite recurring characters, Sewage Joe, Pawnee's chauvinistic waste management man. Now we know Joe's e-mail address: stinkmaster69@alumni.sarahlawrencecollege.edu. Sarah Lawrence? When word gets out that Anne diagnosed the mysterious penis picture for mumps, her e-mail box becomes a dumping ground for wiener photos, with every male government official looking for medical answers. Chris astutely assess the situation: ""Your inbox is LITERALLY...filled with penises." Later, Leslie attempts to break-up with Ben over a nice meal and a few glasses of wine. When Ben reveals he's bought her a gift, Leslie loses her cool and bolts for the door. Where does she go? Where else—the middle of nowhere a.k.a. Ron Swanson's cabin. It's only been a few days since we've seen Ron depart from the office, but he's already grown a full mountain man beard. All too appropriate for the lover of bacon, whiskey and rifles. "I'd really like to shoot a gun right now" - Leslie "Fishing it is" - Ron Back in the office, Tom is still hanging out pimping Entertainment 720, complete with Haverford-branded shwag like Rubix cubes with Tom's face on them, fireplace bellows and sound effect key chains. I have a feeling Tom's time at Entertainment 720 may not be lasting too long. To put an end to the penis picture sending, Chris calls an impromptu meeting to explain to the city officials that Anne will not be analyzing their dong shots for mumps. I love every member of the Parks cast, but the pinnacle of the show is the forum scenes, when all of Pawnee's wackiest come out to play. "Let's say I was watching a lot of women's golf and I've had some wine..." Priceless. Ron's defining quality is that he hates everyone on the planet and just wants to live his life in peace. That attitude makes Ron the best advice-giver on the show, as he as to buckle up against everything he loathes to help his real friends. We get another tender moment in this episode, when Ron reveals how he lost one of his toes in a nail gun fight with his brother. Ron explains that if he had gone straight to the hospital the day he lost his toe, maybe the doctor could have done something. Maybe they shouldn't be running away from their problems. "You only have nine toes?" - Leslie "I have the toes I have." - Ron April didn't have too much to do this episode with Ron gone, but she flies in at the nick of time for her husband to help him sort out Tom's offer. Andy wants to be a rockstar, but he knows it might not be possible...at least for three or four more years. But April, in an unsually sweet turn, sets a mandate: "One year from now, Andy Dwyer won't be a shoe shinist." I'm glad to see April evolving as a character—Aubrey Plaza can do more than mope and this season, she's already proving it. Tom and Leslie return to the office to find everyone in the main hub. It's time for action. Tom announces that Leslie will be running for office and she'll need a new assistant. Enter: Andy, who is thrilled to have an exciting new job (although I'll miss his shoe shining cubby hole, complete with Mouse Rat CD display). After business is taken care of, Tom returns to his office. April wonders if she should find Tammy 1, but Tom already knows—she'll find him. "She has the tracking ability and the body odor of a blood hound." Now, it's Leslie's turn. Sitting Ben down for the big talk, Ben makes the first move, handing (and opening for her) the box he originally gave her as a present. Inside is a "Knope 2012." Yup, as if their relationship couldn't get any more adorable/sweet/awwwwww-worthy. The episode ends with Leslie's announcement (which she's apparently been giving in her sleep all week): "I am Leslie Knope, and I am running for city council." "Hello Tammy" - Ron "Ronald" - Tammy 1 "That's enough small talk" - Ron Sometimes end credit bumpers are just a cap on a fantastic reoccurring gag. Sometimes, they're the beginnings of a whole new arc. The premiere bumper introduces us to actress Patricia Clarkson's Tammy 1, who arrives in Tom's office to deliver him an IRS audit. Everything Tammy 1 does and says is intimidating—even to Ron. "Why is your mustache trembling?" I can already tell it's going to be a wicked fun season.
  • Indie Seen: 'Weekend,' the Year's Most Authentic Romance
    By: Matt Patches Sep 22, 2011
    In Indie Seen, we take a look at the smaller (but just as fantastic) films making their way into theaters alongside the big Hollywood tentpoles. Movies  Even in our progressive world, where gay couples can live openly, marry one another and adopt children, the film industry has a difficult time portraying gay relationships as simply "relationships." You don't see mainstream films with gay couples unless their homosexuality is directly acknowledged. That, for one reason or another, it's a big deal that they're gay. Even indies can't seem to bring it up without making it a thing—to the point where gay drama is becoming a low-budget cliche So when a movie takes a subdued approach to portraying a gay relationship, depicting it simply and honestly, that bond automatically feels a thousand times more refreshing, exhilarating and tangible. That's what Weekend achieves, a new movie by British filmmaker Andrew Haigh that follows two men who find themselves caught in a romantic whirlwind over the course of (you guessed it) one weekend. The movie centers on Russell (Tom Cullen), a mellow, introverted lifeguard who we quickly learn is disinterested in discussing his sex life with friends. One night, while flying solo at a bar, Russell meets Glen (Chris New), and a night of small talk and drinking leads the two gentlemen back to Russell's place. While the next morning reveals a few ulterior motives (Glen wants Russell to chronicle the previous night's encounter on tape for an art project), through morning conversation, both men find quickly themselves entranced by one another. While Russell has trepidations over engaging sexually with Glen and Glen struggles with his own commitment issues, neither character arc deals explicitly with gay issues. They're the bumps in the road of any budding relationship, especially one that sparks as brightly as the instant connection between Weekend's two leads. Like Before Sunset or Once, Haigh shoots the action simply, relying on his characters realistic actions to stoke the fire of intimacy. The two leads have chemistry—you wouldn't be able to sit there and watch them snort cocaine, play Guess Who and make out if they didn't—and it gives us a reason to invest in Weekend's simple story. After attending a screening of the film at South by Southwest Festival (where it won the Emerging Visions Audience Award) I realized that Weekend wasn't just a great movie, but an important one. Weekend is relatable through and through, from the adorable moments of watching two people hesitantly fall for each other to the gut-wrenching experience of seeing two new lovers faced with big, last-minute decisions (early in the film you discover Glen is set to go overseas for school). There's no angle. These are just two guys who fell in love. And it's convincing. There are great films, great art, great people out there in the world helping set the equality bar where it needs to be, but Weekend doesn't feel like that film. It's not political. Instead, the movie feels one step ahead of the curve. Not only can we live in a place where everyone's equal, but we can live in a place where everything's the norm, where experiences are shared across all types of people, no matter the differences. I doubt anyone, no matter what their feelings on homosexuality, could watch Weekend and walk away not empathizing with what Russell and Glen endure in their short time together. Weekend might be a small film recounting an intimate relationship, but it speaks to the grandest of ideas. Weekend is currently in limited release. You can find out how to see the movie by heading to the movie's website. You can contact Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow@Hollywood_com!
  • Moneyball Review
    By: Matt Patches Sep 22, 2011
    Moneyball is a movie about baseball...but it's not a sports movie. Grouping the latest film from star Brad Pitt with heartwarming Americana it-all-comes-down-to-the-big-game films doesn't quite make sense—no matter how much Pitt looks like Kevin Costner or Robert Redford. Moneyball is an underdog tale of a different kind one that questions the enchantment of the game rather than embraces it. While a film driven by sports statistics and business may sound drab Moneyball manages to discover its own unique sentimentality thanks to strong performances and a restrained style. We pick up with Billy Beane (Pitt) GM for the Oakland A's after yet another disastrous season. Surrounded by aging scouts convinced of their ability to hone in on a player's intangible skills the keen manager grapples with the loss of his best players a recruiting budget dwarfed by his competitors and no solution in sight. After all baseball is a game of the coin—buy the talent buy the wins buy the championship. Wheeling and dealing across the country Beane realizes the A's need a new strategy or they'll be forever at the bottom. He finds that innovation in Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) a statistics wiz who introduces Beane to the baseball equivalent of counting cards: the theory of sabermetrics. Thankfully watching and enjoying Moneyball doesn't require an extensive background in math as Beane allows the stuffy subdued Brand do the number-crunching. Much like writer Aaron Sorkin's Oscar-winning The Social Network the script (co-written with Schindler's List and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo writer Steve Zallian) pulls back the curtain on a complicated process but makes it easily digestible and more importantly emotional. Beane puts his job and reputation on the line for Brand's theory which boils down to the idea that all you need to win a baseball game is runs. Who needs star players when MLB rejects can make it to home base? Pitt's depiction of the real life Beane isn't a showy star performance—but it's one of his best to date. The character is reserved and hushed; he explodes when the gravity of his situation hits a boiling point but quickly pulls himself back into professional mode. In order for Beane to enact Brand's plan he has to de-romanticize a game that means everything to him. Beane goes to great lengths to remind himself that baseball can't be fun—he doesn't watch the games he commands his team to hear the sorrow-filled silence of a loss and he emphasizes that no matter how many games he wins the only one that matters is the last. Beane keeps this light and cool with his co-workers but underneath—where Pitt shines—he struggles. While Moneyball is Pitt's show his ensemble of co-stars deliver equally impressive work. Hill plays against type keeping his usual fast-talking humor in his back pocket and letting the larger-than-life Pitt properly wow him. Philip Seymour Hoffman appears briefly as the A's manager Art Howe who butts heads with Beane over the direction of the team. What could have been a surface-level villainous role is elevated by Hoffman who makes the old school way of thinking sound perfectly reasonable. The film directed by the Oscar-nominated Bennett Miller (Capote) is slow and methodical paving the way for exhilarating moments between Pitt and Hill as they juggle phone calls fire off statistics educate their players and compile the misfit team. Miller intertwines flashbacks of Beane's early career and real life footage into the main narrative capitalizing on a variety of filmmaking techniques that organically stem from Beane's perspectives. This isn't squeaky clean Hollywood filmmaking but it's slick. Mychael Danna's score stands out as a thrilling companion to the visuals ethereal tunes that add a touch of humanity to a bookish drama. Moneyball isn't this year's Field of Dreams or The Natural or Little Big League but it is great drama. Compelling and sweet the film takes a relatively unknown aspect of a well-known sport and turns it into something grand. Baseball's always made for a great life metaphor but Moneyball shows us one we've never seen before.
  • Killer Elite Review
    By: Matt Patches Sep 21, 2011
    Currently Jason Statham is the reigning king of the run-around-and-shoot-things-until-something-explodes genre. He doesn't have a great deal of range but he doesn't need to—pile a few insane action set pieces around him and let his clenched teeth beady eyes and grunting do the rest. At its worst he can deliver purposefully over-the-top ADD-ridden circuses like Crank. At his best stylistic surface-level heist flicks like The Bank Job. Statham's latest movie Killer Elite manages to squander his potential in favor of being boldly drab choosing political intrigue and hammy espionage devoid of intensity over anything remotely fun. The picture introduces us to Statham's Danny a mercenary in cahoots with a ragtag team of killers: Hunter (Robert De Niro) Meier (Aden Young) and Davies (Dominic Purcell). After a fumbled mission in which Danny takes down a nameless suit in front of his horrified son the bald gunman leaves his less-than-legal lifestyle behind and heads back to his honey Anne (Chuck's Yvonne Strahovski) in Australia. A decent setup with above-average action segues quickly into Killer Elite's floundering plot: Danny receives word a year later (or a few months? A perfect timeline/logic isn't the movie's priority) that Hunter has been kidnapped by the Sheikh of Oman and in order to get him back he'll have to slip back into his old assassin ways to knock off three members of an elite British military force (the SAS) who reportedly killed the Sheikh's son. After a lengthy heart-to-heart with the imprisoned Hunter Danny accepts the mission and reteams with Meier and Davies to eliminate the ex-SAS operatives. Not often do you beg a film to dumb itself down and get to the fistfighting but Killer Elite's so caught up in the "real life" of the SAS the veteran masterminds known as "The Feather Men" (a table full of grandpas who puppeteer the military squad with "back in my day" anecdotes) and their involvement with Oman politics that it never allows itself to unfold as a slick thriller. Clive Owen does his best to shake the film to life as the only youthful member of the The Feather Men: a one-eyed obsessive badass sworn to protect the targeted SAS members. Thankfully he makes for an excellent antagonist to Statham's loyal killer. In the very few moments they share together Killer Elite wakes up—you've seen a moment of it in the trailer where Statham fights Owen while tied to a chair—but even then the fact that they're having the skirmish doesn't click with the rest of the film. The performances are Killer Elite's saving grace. While De Niro gives a masterclass in phoning it in (there's literally a scene in which he runs off with a briefcase of money) everyone else appears to be trying their best to make the dense material something worth watching. Dominic Purcell is the stand-out his mutton chopped womanizing renegade giving a handful of scenes a necessary comic edge. Director Gary McKendry nails the scenes where Statham's team plans and prepares with witty banter but when it comes to action and interweaving the story's many perspectives the film becomes a muddled mess. Killer Elite is the definition of average—which feels especially unsatisfying when you realize the talent involved. De Niro and Owen are Oscar-nomianted actors. Statham's been set on fire while headbutting an AK-47-toting gangster. The real mystery of this film is why this didn't amount to something watchable.
  • MindFood: Is It Wrong to Cheer for Violence in Movies?
    By: Matt Patches Sep 21, 2011
    Beware of minor spoilers for last weekend's Straw Dogs below. I saw the recent Straw Dogs remake—which hit theaters this past weekend—on a rainy night, with a packed theater and director Rod Lurie in attendance. Before the movie began, Lurie roused the theater by declaring that New York was "the best place to watch a movie." I couldn't disagree—and neither could the audience, who applauded the roof off as the lights dimmed and the picture flickered on screen. The movie is a solid retelling of its 1971 counterpart, a grim look at what happens when people are pushed to their limits and forced to act out violently. If you've read the reviews, you're probably aware that James Marsden and Kate Bosworth play a couple who find themselves mentally tortured by the wife's ex-boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård). The tension between the trio escalates and, by the end, Skarsgård and his bully are delivered a bloody beating by an animalistic Marsden. In the original, these moments were terrifying, ugly and ambiguous—are our hero's actions admirable or equally sick?—but the modernized version presents itself in a different light. When Marsden blasts a few bolts into an offenders hand with a nail gun or snaps a bear trap on Skarsgård's head…the crowd doesn't close their eyes and squirm. They go wild. I admit, I found the experience disturbing. Straw Dogs isn't Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan—the movie paints its characters with realism, with flaws and with an instinctual thirst for carnage. In a moment where Skarsgård forcefully rapes Bosworth's character, the movie demands to be taken seriously. Then, without warning, it goes into Home Alone-mode. I don't believe this was a mistake. Straw Dogs asks us to root for James Marsden's violent comeback—and that's when things got weird. People seemed perfectly comfortable boarding that train. My views of cinematic violence were forever shaken after watching Michael Haneke's 1998 film Funny Games (which he remade shot-for-shot with Naomi Watts in 2007, for those who prefer English over German with subtitles). The movie plays like a warped version of your standard home invasion flick (think The Strangers), but with a set of rules that allow it to go from gritty realism to fourth-wall-breaking fantasy in a matter of seconds. The intruders are sadistic and brutal to the family they toy with, and while Haneke hints at the possibility that the mother, father, son trio have a chance of survival…they don't. Throughout the film, the malicious duo makes reference to the fact that we're watching a movie and that, perhaps, they should make the slaughtering of their victims more enjoyable for the audience. In one scene, Paul unties the mother, realizing it will "make things much more fun. The dumb suffer in unspectacular fashion." Haneke's film is a clear comment on our enjoyment of on-screen violence, a reminder that the horrific acts we often cheer for, laugh at, gasp and giggle in shock over aren't that far out of the realm of possibility. When that idea is planted in your head, it's hard to shake—especially with recent movies gravitating towards realism.The recent remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street provided plenty of grounded backstory for Freddy (a child molester), who has a penchant for slicing up teenagers in their seemingly real dreams. And as bizarre as the premise of stitching people's mouths to people's anuses may sound, Human Centipede takes itself pretty darn seriously. The line between what's horrific entertainment and what's just plain horrifying has blurred. Oddly, it doesn't seem to be fazing that many people. Conversation over the depiction of violence has been going on for decades—every week there's a new parents group pointing fingers and reminding us to think of the children. We often brush them off because they approach it with obnoxious damnation, but they're not all wrong. Will there (or should there) ever be a line drawn? People didn't question the sadistic outburst of James Marsden at the end of Straw Dogs—they applauded. Was this the "fun" kind of violence or has shock and terror lost all meaning? Witnessing violence on screen is important to understanding violence in the real world, but no longer does there seem to be a difference between cartoonish mayhem and grisly acts. I know that, sometime in the near future, I will see a silly horror movie involving an over-the-top serial killer with an oversized blade who lops off the heads of bubbly blondes and my reaction will be one of uproarious laughter as gallons of blood geyser out of their necks. That seems OK to me, because the movie acknowledges through performance, camera, music, etc. that the movie is ridiculous—like a live action Roadrunner and Coyote short. Unfortunately, Straw Dogs, like a lot of movies today, doesn't see a difference. In turn, the audiences don't either. As I left the theater that night, the crowd was thoroughly jazzed. They loved the part where a guy got shot in the back of the head with a shotgun. I saw something similar that night on the local news. You can contact Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow@Hollywood_com!
  • Exclusive: Inspiring, Explosive 'Machine Gun Preacher' TV Spot
    By: Matt Patches Sep 20, 2011
    If the new TV spot for Machine Gun Preacher is any indication, star Gerard Butler has combined his two greatest abilities—dramatic intensity and action star heroism—into a singular character. The movie tells the true story of Sam Childers, who went from drug dealing biker gang member to God-inspired freedom fighter. Childers traveled to Sudan where he fought back against kidnappers looking to turn children into soldiers. Watch the short trailer below, which features the empowering sounds of Soulsavers' "Revival" as well as a few choice shots of Butler delivering. Machine Gun Preacher hits limited theaters this weekend. You can contact Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow@Hollywood_com!
  • Dicaprio Tries to Rouse Us in First Trailer for Eastwood's 'J. Edgar'
    By: Matt Patches Sep 20, 2011
    "When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. Society unwilling to learn to from the past is doomed. We must never forget our history. We must never lower our guard. The first trailer for Clint Eastwood and Leonardo Dicaprio's new movie J. Edgar is nothing less than serious. A bold serious, because, like Eastwood's recent directorial efforts—Hereafter, Invictus, Gran Torino—the short spot goes to great lengths to stress the importance of the story it's telling. The movie doesn't appear to ask for your interest, it demands it. J. Edgar chronicles the life of the famed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who ran the government agency for over 50 years. While Hoover commanded the FBI with great diligence, it's well-known that the man was full of secrets of his own—some which could have ruined his reputation. The man's life sounds like a thrilling story, but even with powerhouse acting talent like Dicaprio, The Social Network's Armie Hammer, Judi Dench and trailer no-shows Ed Westwick, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney and Stephen Root, Eastwood's film doesn't appear to have the resonance necessary for a sprawling biopic. What's the emotional through-line here? I felt the same way about Hereafter and Invictus. On the surface, they're great dramatic tales—but underneath, they're hollow. I hope J. Edgar is a surprise. The film's already being touted as an awards contender, but the buzz could easily fizz out when the movie fails to live up to that hype (see the lifespan of Hereafter as evidence). But I'm a man who thinks Dicaprio can do no wrong, so I'm ready and willing for his Hoover—who he plays from sprite young enforcer to elderly, broken man—to sweep me up and win me over. Check out the first trailer from the movie below (or watch it in HD at Apple) and see if you catch any indication that J. Edgar will be a great film that I may have missed: You can contact Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow@Hollywood_com!