Matt Damon

How ‘Monuments Men’ Went Horribly Wrong

On paper, The Monuments Men sounded unstoppable: A killer ensemble cast (including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Cate Blanchett) backing up co-writer/star George Clooney’s dramatization of how a crew of art historians, artists, and architects saved scores of stolen art in the last days of WWII, a kind of Dirty Dozen by way of Ocean’s 11. This very site put it on our “most anticipated movies of the year” list — not once, but twice. … Read More

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An Appreciation of ‘Rounders’ on Its 15th Birthday

When Rounders hit theaters 15 years ago today, it looked like the next giant hit for mini-major Miramax. The star was Matt Damon, fresh off his Oscar win for Good Will Hunting, and the trailers (showcasing a scene in which his poker savant blind-reads a table of judges’ hands) did their level best to remind viewers of that connection. Damon’s co-star was Edward Norton, still flying high from his 1996 nomination for his film debut, Primal Fear. The female lead, Gretchen Mol, was an unknown, but a Vanity Fair cover that very month asked, “Is she Hollywood’s next ‘It’ Girl?” The supporting cast was loaded with terrific character actors, including John Turturro, Martin Landau, Famke Janssen, and John Malkovich. The director was John Dahl, who’d directed the moody indie fave The Last Seduction. It looked like a surefire hit. And then it was released… and it tanked. … Read More

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The Half-Assed Liberal Politics of Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’

The problem with the new film Elysium is very simple: it doesn’t tell any story worth hearing. It’s written like a child’s paint-by-numbers set. And though it bears some superficial resemblance to District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s much more complex first feature, it’s the kind of thing that could just as easily have been directed by Michael Bay or McG or, for that matter, Chris Columbus. The person at the helm is irrelevant; the parameters were predetermined. In fact, if you listen real hard, you can almost still see the suits in the background saying to the screenwriters: “Hey, can we involve a cute child with cancer, somehow? That’s big on the Internet.” … Read More

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Gorgeous Artwork Inspired by Your Favorite Modern-Classic Movies

Alice X. Zhang is a designer and illustrator with a love for movies, and that affection is clearly displayed in Moments, her upcoming solo show at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn. Zhang’s gorgeous images masterfully capture the essence of such modern classics as Pulp Fiction, There Will Be Blood, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Moonrise Kingdom; here’s a few highlights from the show, which opens Friday and runs through the month. … Read More

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The Extraordinary Liberace Deserves Better Than Textbook Gay Biopic ‘Behind the Candelabra’

“Too much of a good thing is wonderful,” announces Michael Douglas as Liberace as the entertainer, recently deceased, is lifted from a Las Vegas stage, surrounded by feathers, rhinestones, and shimmering lights. It’d be a believable line if Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra, which premieres on HBO this Sunday, were actually any good. Unfortunately, the director’s self-described final film is a standard run-of-the-mill TV biopic: schlocky, formulaic, and cheap. The tackiness could be seen as fitting for a film about Liberace, but the performer would much rather go for diamonds than plastic and glass. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Endearingly Exhaustive 2013 Summer Movie Preview

It’s the first weekend in May, so you know what that means: there’s a new Marvel movie in theaters, and the summer movie season has officially begun. It’s a tricky minefield to navigate, rife with sequels and reboots and sequels and adaptations and sequels, but Flavorwire is here to help: our summer movie guide takes you through the entire season, month by month, spotlighting the films that might be worth seeing (Might! Maybe! No promises!) and delicately averting your eyes from the certain dogs. Take a deep breath and put on your 3D glasses; here we… Read More

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