Matinee Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2009
A feel-good, have-fun, don't-take-it-too-seriously, William-Castle kind of movie.
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2009
Cast: John Goodman, Cathy Moriarty, Kellie Martin, Simon Fenton, Omri Katz, Lisa Jakub, Jesse Lee Soffer, Lucinda Jenney, James Villemaire, Robert Picardo, Jesse White, Dick Miller, John Sayles, David Clennon, Lucy Butler, Naomi Watts, Joey Fatone

Director: Joe Dante

Summary: Aging movie producer Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman) screens his latest schlock-licious B-movie -- filled with atomic blasts and human mutation -- and gets the attention of teen horror-flick buff Gene Loomis (Simon Fenton), all while the Cuban Missile Crisis intensifies.

My Thoughts: "John Goodman is great as Lawrence Woolsey. I liked how there was a film inside the film. Really takes you back to the good old monster flicks when there was always some giant insect dooming you. The film really gives you an insight on what a big production films use to be in the early 60's. Wish it was still such a big deal, maybe more people would take themselves to the theater instead downloading them or streaming them for free on numerous sites. Kind of makes me wanna be part of that era where a scare was so easy to give. In our day it's hard to be scared by anything in any film made. In the end, it's was a charming movie that I am sure the whole family will enjoy."
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2007
A good visit to 1961 small-town America childhood, mixed with the fear of atomic missiles approaching. John Goodman is a good showman, who puts on a hilariously unforgettable Saturday Matinee. Well done!
Super Reviewer
July 13, 2007
John Goodman is easily the best thing about this Joe Dante film, which features his usual affectionate mix of B-movie homage and teenage coming of age. Not bad but very forgettable.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2006
Very boring and slow.
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2011
a funny, innocent, and kindhearted film with a funny way to express itself from a nucular bomb that's about to hit them in a few days. A
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2010
John Goodman as William Castle? Directed by Joe Dante? FUCK yes!
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2008
This movie is a love story. It's about the first time we all fell in love with cinema, the first time we were terrified by a film but couldn't stop watching, that first date at the cinema, and how, no matter what else was going on in the world, movies were always there for us.
In fact it's such a sweet movie, I now forgive Joe Dante for Looney Tunes.
½ November 10, 2014
im a joe dante fan, and id never gotten to seeing this one of his, its fun and enjoyable, especially if you're familiar with those cheesy 50s sci fi films, goodman and moriarty are both good, tho i wish dick miller and john sayles had more scenes, the kids did good jobs too
½ September 23, 2013
Rewatching a fun movie starring John Goodman as a character based on real life schlock horror film maker William Castle. A mix of serious themes, coming of age comedy, and period parody. Contains some great lines and a fine performance by John Goodman.
July 15, 2010
A great little homage/love-letter to the sci-fi and horror gimmick films of the late 50's and early 60's. So much fun, I'm glad I finally got around to checking this one out, it's well worth a look and holds up rather well.

Great stuff, give it a rental!
½ July 8, 2010
Thoroughly enjoyable period comedy with plenty of the standard Joe Dante in-jokes that are prevalent in his films. John Goodman is, as always, great in his role as a William Castle-esque maker of monster films/spectacle.
January 3, 2009
What can I say? Joe Dante makes the kind of movies I like. This one deals with the joy of attending Saturday movie matinees, specifically B-level creature features. Set during the Cuban missile crisis, and starring John Goodman as a filmmaker and innovative promoter of his new feature, MANT--"Part Man, Part Ant!" Get the popcorn and enjoy.
December 3, 2008
Neat Bill Castle angle, and I like a film that wears a love for cinema nostalgia on its sleeve. I could have done without the whole 'weren't people dumb back now' vibe.
½ February 19, 2008
John Goodman as a movie promoter is premiering his latest horror masterpiece in Key West,the only problem is that its showing the same weekend as the Cuban missile crisis.The movie within a movie-Mant-Half Man-Half Ant-All Terror!!!! is hilarious.A good natured, nostalgic funny flick directed by Joe Dante.
½ December 30, 2007
A great comedy/drama that both pays homage to William Castle and his awesome movie gimmicks...AND portrays the very real fear of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in a small Florida town. One of director Joe Dante's best.
June 19, 2007
Too over the top and lame for me. John Goodman rode his Rosanne popularity to the fullest didn't he?
½ December 30, 2006
Missile Crisis, Schmissle Crisis -- the coming-of-age, early 60's after-school-special will keep. This movie is worth seeing as a tribute to great 60's gimmick filmmaker William Castle. Goodman is very likeable as larger-than-life director Lawrence Woolsey and his film within a film ( Part man, Part insect -- All terror ... MANT ! ) is almost as good as the real Castle's work.
½ May 30, 2015
Matinee is possibly Joe (Gremlins, The Burbs) Dante's least known film, which is a shame because it's great, a wonderful coming of age, nostalgia piece set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, its both a funny, sweet love letter to old b-movies and a kind of parody, sometimes tone is a problem, after the mostly grounded first two thirds the final act swing into an out and out teen adventure type movie, with it's peril and action, is a bit jarring, but it's so well made, so smart and lovely that it's easy to just go along with some of the more unbelievable stuff. It's also got an incredibly bitter and tragic sting hidden underneath it, hinting at the real life horror to come in this chaotic period of American history, if you pick up on it, you'll never hear "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in the same way again. Chilling.
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