*** Official MATCHSTICK MEN Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Matchstick Men". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

    All HTF member film reviews of "Matchstick Men" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Joe Road

    Joe Road Agent

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    I just saw the movie tonight. I was very hapily surprised. I was shocked to find that the girl who played the 14 year old daughter is actually 24! She nailed the look and manurisms of a 14 year old girl perfectly.
     
  3. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    Are spoilers okay here? I'll block it just in case.


    I liked the movie a lot, but... upon reflection, wasn't Sam Rockwell taking a HUGE risk? If at any time Nicolas Cage had gotten up the nerve to talk to his ex-wife, or even just get curious enough to watch the girl NOT enter the house, then the whole scam would have fallen apart. It just seems like a risk he wouldn't take, the con hangs on too thin a thread.

    I'm glad I didn't see the twist coming, but it's a bit implausible.
     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Martin,
    He had his character nailed pretty solidly. He had long since determined that Roy didn't need any pills to deal with his problems, he had already had the shrink dare him to call his ex wife, so he probably knew really solidly what he would do. Plus, you'll notice the Angela actually suggests he drives (hand motion) when he sits there watching her approach the car. Between the two of them, and her constant talk about how much her mother bad mouths him, they gave him tons of reasons not to ever call her.

    In fact, I'll bet the only time they ever had to get scared was when he was going to try and obtain custody of her. I have to wonder if they truncated their timeline because of that.

    All in all, an outstanding movie with great characters and plot.
     
  5. Clint

    Clint Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed a pretty good plot and IMHO an intelligent film. Not too, too surprised of the ending, but still founded it to be plausible.
     
  6. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Just saw it yesterday and was thoroughly surprised and basically blown away by it. Ridley Scott has underscored that he is indeed one of the best directors of our time. Cage's acting was perfect, and really all of the cast played superbly. I will be surprised if this doesn't win a handful of Oscars. Perhaps a Best Picture nomination isn't very far-fetched either.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Spoilers aren't required for the discussion thread, but just to be safe: Spoilers ahead:







    I had this feeling that Roy was being conned (once you see what he has stashed in the security deposit box in the bank), but once it goes to hell in the airport parking lot (Roy getting hunted down by the "mark", I knew Roy was getting conned. Once Frank moves up the timetable, thus, catching Roy flat-footed, and stuck with the daughter, I knew Roy was the real "mark". But it was still an interesting look at good grifters/characters in action.

    I was also shocked to learn that Allison Lohman turns 24 in the 18th of this month.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I knew who was getting conned as soon as I saw The Grifters. But it didn't make me enjoy Matchstick Men any less. It's beautifully shot, paced and acted, and even if the audience isn't "stung" (which is really hard to do ever since The Sting), it's a treat to watch it all unfold.

     
  9. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Spoilers, also!



    Patrick, maybe I'm just not very attentive to details or as intelligent as you are, but I thought the twist came out of nowhere. I guess I was engrossed in the father/daughter story. Personally, I thought the move up of the timetable, as you put it, was just the screenwriters' ploy to get Angela to tag along on an important con with Roy. In retrospect, of course, it makes different sense, but to be honest, the end took me by surprise. As did the fact that he went with Kathy the supermarket check-out girl, instead of getting back with Heather, which I thought was what was gonna happen once he found out he has no daughter.

    Also, I felt that the final scene between Roy and Angela played somewhat like the final scene between Humbert and Lolita in Lyne's 1997 version of Nabokov's novel (I don't remember if there's a similar scene in the original novel (read it in high school for a project) or Kubrick's version (haven't seen it in a long time, though I have the DVD - of both version, even)).
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Who would of thought that somebody stealing such a large amount of cash from Roy would be the salvation of Roy's life?
     
  11. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Sorry that this is sort of off-topic, but I didn't want to create another of those "when's it coming?" threads in the Software forum. But I just can't wait for the DVD. Any idea when it would be due, approximately? Knowing Ridley, this should be a packed 2-disc set. But knowing Warner, it needs to do extremely well in order for that to happen. The film itself is 2 hours and while we won't get DTS, it still will be enough to just fill one disc with a commentary or two. The other disc should have tons of deleted scenes (again, knowing Ridley), etc. Really hoping here for an exhaustive set. This is my favorite film of 2003 so far.
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    And, this is really the reason I'm willing to let an extremely problematic "sting" go. It's a wonderful character piece, and I like the final outcome.

    Unfortunately, I don't remotely buy the con. How putting Angela in this peril equates to Cage giving his shrink his bank code is beyond me. It's a far reach, at best.
     
  13. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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  14. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Wow, I can't believe there's little to no discussion of this great masterpiece... [​IMG] It is quite sad actually, when a horrible movie like Once Upon a Time in Mexico can generate 3 pages worth of discussion...
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Actually, I think the scam was "on" much earlier, like when Frank sets Roy up with his (illegal) hook-up for the pills, so once Roy was done with the pills, Frank had the fake shrink all ready to go (and the trappings of the doctor's office). It's just that when Roy accidentally knocks his pills into the sink that the timetable is moved up even faster for Frank.

    Frank knew Roy very well, and knew that Roy's obsessive compulsiveness nature was the way to get Roy to behave the way Frank needed to gain access to the safety deposit box.
     
  16. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    I also think that the scam was on earlier in the movie. I think it actually started when Roy freaks out at the couple's house when the lady opens the door to let the dog out. Once Roy said he needed help, that was when Frank set his whole plan in motion. I like how nothing was really revealed until the end. Then again, clues to what is really going on are probably in the movie somwhere. I'll go see it again to see what I missed.

    I loved Roy's scene in the pharmacy. The payoff made me laugh so hard I started coughing.

    BTW, Alison Lohman is really cute!
     
  17. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    The main plot hole that I saw was that the whole thing depended on Roy finding out that he has a daughter, but never speaking to the mother, as she would give the whole thing away. So if Roy hadn't asked the psychologist to call his ex-wife for him, then the plan would not have worked. How could they have possibly predicted that he would ask the psychologist to call for him?
     
  18. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, Roy was a psychological mess when it came to "Angela's mom". Frank knew this. Frank knew of all of Roy's O-C tics and how that paralyzed him in certain situations. One of them was "Angela's mom", so Frank played upon Roy's O-C to trap him within the scam.
     
  20. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    I really enjoyed this film, and I bought the whole con, but I do have to say that after analyzing ADAPTATION last night, I must have still been in hyper observational mode. I had the idea that Roy was being conned from the moment that Frank called for a doctor instead of having Roy call. It's a tribute to the filmmakers, however, that they made me doubt my conclusion a few times.
     

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