Friday, September 30, 2011
Director: Joe Dante
Movie: Charles S. Haas
Set near the end o the Cold War era, this is a strange little movie. Jon Goodman plays a Hollywood wannabe hotshot who is making sci-fi pictures. I say "wannabe" because although he thinks he's better than Hitchcock he really only succeeds at making 50s era-style silly sci-fi movies. His latest creation, "Mant", is about to play in a small town.A young teen boy widly devours everything sci-fi, so he is excited as can be that the famous director of these movies is coming to his city. From there, things get goofy.
Matinee is a sort of treasure. I'd generally have never picked it up but it's kind of a cute love letter of sorts to the eras gone by. I'd love to sit in a theater with a movie in Smell-O-Vision, Shock-O-Vision, Scare-O-Rama, or anything like that. But obviously those things were never meant to catch on which is why we're mostly done with that dumb stuff today (well, maybe 3D can be classified the same way much of the time).
The movie is strange because there are multiple layers of reality going on simultaneously. It's nothing deep like Inception, just that there is the reality of the movie plot, the character's in the movie theater plot, and the overarching Cold War scare. It's silly and cute.
Strangely though the whole movie seems to be parodying the fact that people were scared at all for these events. Sure, ducking and covering wouldn't have done any good but still, there was certainly a legitimate reason for people to be scared out of their minds at times. Well, I suppose it was a nice message for the time anyway. Overall the movie is nice PG fare with a fun sci-fi twist. Besides, Mant is a hilarious movie and worth watching all by itself.