'Matchstick Men' [BD]
(Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce McGill, Bruce Altman, et al / Blu ray / PG-13 / (2003) 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: First time on Blu ray! A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.
Blu ray Verdict: In 'Matchstick Men,' Nicholas Cage plays a con man so obsessive/compulsive in nature that he makes Jack Nicholson in 'As Good as it Gets' look like Oscar Madison in comparison. Fastidious to the core, Roy Waller freaks out at the first sign of dust, dirt or bacteria invading his personal environment, so much so that he keeps his place not merely immaculate but almost hermetically sealed off from the outside world. Somehow, even with this crippling neurosis plaguing his every waking moment, Roy has managed to eke out a pretty decent living as a shyster, ripping off gullible common folk with his partner, Frank, played wonderfully by the gifted Sam Rockwell.
One day, into Roy's life strolls Angela, the 14-year old daughter he never knew he had. Suddenly, Roy is confronted with the need to reexamine both his life and his priorities and to make some crucial decisions about just how this strange young person should fit into the overall scheme of his existence.
Written by Nicholas and Ted Griffin and directed by Ridley Scott, 'Matchstick Men' provides a stylish, clever and witty psychological riff on the old scam artist scenario, featuring fine performances by Cage, Rockwell and Alison Lohman, as well as an intriguing visual style by Scott, cameraman John Mathieson and editor Dody Dorn which often approximates Roy's mental and emotional state. Cage once again indulges in those nervous tics that seem to have become his actor's stock-in-trade of late, but he does manage to tamp them down long enough to allow a real character of flesh-and-blood to shine through the potentially distracting surface.
Alison Lohman, so brilliant in 'White Oleander' last year, makes Angela into a multi-faceted teenager who runs the gamut from immensely likable to slightly irritating – just about right for a character her age. Rockwell practically steals the show as Frank, the con man to the core who may be a bit better at his job than even Roy himself realizes. Hans Zimmer has provided a humdinger of a musical score, one reminiscent of some of Nina Rota's work for Fellini back in the early '60's. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
- TRICKS OF THE TRADE: MAKING MATCHSTICK MEN – Follow the Director through an intimate day-to-day account of the filmmaking process
- Part I: Preproduction
- Part II: Production
- Part III: Postproduction
- Commentary by Director / Producer Ridley Scott, Writer Nicholas Griffin and Writer / Producer Ted Griffin
Own it on Blu-ray Digital HD October 13th, 2015!