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Matchstick Men poorly packaged

The Film:

Matchstick Men focuses on Roy’s (Nicholas Cage) obsessive compulsive personality and his less-than-glamorous life of crime. Roy seeks the help of Dr. Klein to work through some issues that are slowly beginning to affect his work. After a speedy search by his therapist, Roy’s life is changed with the sudden introduction of his daughter Angela (Alison Lohman).

She eagerly wants to be part of her father’s business, adding a feminine touch to their well-organized routine. At first, Roy is quite hesitant, but Angela’s persistence wins in the end. Roy relents and shows the teen the tricks of the trade.

The trio, which includes Roy’s partner-in-crime Frank (Sam Rockwell), begins working on a large heist. Matchstick Men doesn’t take the time to contribute anything new to the classic caper formula of a shady character with a straight-headed partner and an unexpected twist (the lost daughter).

Hidden is a higher moral of self-fulfillment. The film sets its goals high, but in the long run fumbles. Its few “surprises” are woefully expected.

What we said then:

Matchstick Men is a large helping of USA’s Monk. However, instead of using his nervous tics to solve crimes, Roy is committing them.

The film boasts stellar performances and good direction, but a sporadic script keeps it from being anything better than average.

From the start, the viewer is pulled into Roy’s world and explores every aspect of his unusual condition, something not even the Golden Globe-winning series Monk could pull off.

But the long running time and unfocused second half nearly destroy everything that sets this movie apart from other flicks.

Ultimately, the movie ditches thought-provoking for tongue-in-cheek.

The filmmaking takes a turn for the worst as Scott tries to show Roy’s distorted perception through eccentric lenses and rough jump cuts that unintentionally distract the viewers rather than engage them. (Sept. 11, 2003).

The DVD:

The disc is rather skimpy on special features, with commentaries, trailers and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The lackluster features are the same on either widescreen or full-screen versions of the DVD. The only bright spot is a day-by-day account of the filmmaking process narrated by director Ridley Scott.

The scene-specific commentary, featuring the director and the film’s writers, is dry and sleep-inducing, leaving consumers no reason to purchase the disc.

Warner Bros. has failed to package the film with any worthy supplements, which makes Matchstick Men an especially hard sell.

Contact Pablo Saldana