Matt Romary's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Bloodsport
Bloodsport (1988)
59 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

This is a tricky one for me. How do you rank a movie that you loved because of how bad it was?

Bloodsport was Jean-Claude Van Damme's breakout film. It is basically Enter the Dragon (or Mortal Combat for my millennial readers) done on a low-budget in the heart of the eighties -- complete with ethnic stereo types that include an African fighter who hops around on all fours like a monkey, a training sequence set to perfectly cheesy 80's music, and one of the worst chase scenes ever put to celluloid.

The director of this movie is Newt Arnold, also known as the "Man in Shower" in the Goonies... literally. He has done virtually nothing else of significance according to Rotten Tomatoes. Hint: he is the one with the eye patch... of course.

This movie is about the existence of a greater power, the perception of reality, and grown men beating the shit out of each other. Actually, it is only about grown men beating the shit out of each other. Kumite! Kumite! Kumite!

Spice World
Spice World (1998)
59 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

There is a real argument to be made for the quality of this movie. There is some kind of Monty Python-esque thing going on here. I genuinely laughed out loud a few times. It doesn't take itself seriously. It knows exactly what it is. It is a satire about themselves, the music industry, and pop culture in general. Plus, there are some surprisingly authentic and tender moments in the movie. It also doesn't hurt that there are some seriously impressive cameos.

Everything in Spice World means something much deeper than what appears on the surface. Every time I thought to myself, "...ok this is getting ridiculous," I paused. Why are there aliens visiting these girls while they are trying to take a group piss in the woods? Why is there a photographer crawling out of their toilet? Why is there a montage of them dressing up as each other? I encourage you to watch this movie and when you start to think to yourself, "why," (which will happen about twice every scene) don't just roll your eyes and shake your head. Really ask yourself, what are they trying to say?

Overall, am I going to start telling everyone they have to go watch it? Yes, actually. Well, maybe not everyone, but definitely those willing to give it a second or even first chance. I think there is real merit to this film. There isn't much out there that takes a satirical look at celebrity and the music industry in as interesting and entertaining of a way as Spice World. Wow, I can't believe I just wrote that.

The Shape of Water
59 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Much like Pan's Labyrinth, The Shape of Water combines the fantasy world of monsters with the real world of humans in a dark, dramatic, and beautiful way. It is about the romance between a mute cleaning lady and a magical water creature being held in the government facility that she tends to. Think Beauty and the Beast for adults.

There were a few things that stood out to me. First and foremost was the performance of Sally Hawkins. She displays a wide range of emotion without saying a single word (well, besides one moment where she fantasizes in song). She brings a complexity and depth to her character that elevates this film in a powerful way.

As expected in a del Toro film, it was aesthetically stunning. Not only was the central "monster" something to behold, but the entire film is gorgeous. Every frame of every scene makes full use of light, location, movement, and sound in way that will suck you into the simultaneously dark and whimsical mind of Guillermo Del Toro.

I have no critiques on the crafting of this film. Del Toro is referred to as a master because he is. My only justification for rating this a 3.5 instead of a 4 is that it isn't one of these movies that I haven't been able to get out of my head days after viewing. I watched it, I liked it, and I didn't think much else about it. While it was a unique take on a classic story, it was still just a classic story and as a result - a bit predictable.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Let me start off by saying that I do understand the position of a shocking number of fans who didn't enjoy it. I do! There is a lot of hard to believe sort of spiritual moments in this movie. There is also a lot of childish puppet aliens and one liners throughout. For those who wanted a more raw, realistic, Dark Knight type vibe -- this movie probably felt a little cheesy and ridiculous.

I, however, LOVED it for these exact reasons. One of the things that makes Star Wars such a beloved franchise is that it is the ultimate viewing experience for parent and child, old generation and new to share together. They explore the harsh realities of war, aging, relationships, and religion -- the themes and moments from the movies that make them ageless -- while at the same time having all of the fun of an epic adventure through a fictional galaxy filled with aliens, spaceships, and laser blasters.

Mark Hamill crushed it as a conflicted and aging Luke. Adam Driver crushed it as Kylo Ren struggling with his path down the dark side. Carrie Fisher crushed it as the embodiment of wisdom and grace. Everyone in this movie crushed it, well except perhaps one character who almost ruined the entire movie for my wife, but that was her opinion. Check out our podcast for more on that.

Overall, I loved it. I emerged from a theater full of cheering fans with a massive smile on my face.

That's what it's all about.

El Camino Christmas
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It doesn't work as a Christmas movie, it doesn't work as a cops & robbers movie, it doesn't work as an ensemble comedy - it just doesn't work. The trailer was enticing and Netflix has earned my trust, so the wife and I gave it a shot. I mean heck, it is a Christmas comedy by Netflix starring a bunch of actors who we like - what could be bad?

It has more cliché characters, jokes, "twists," and resolutions than I previously thought was possible in a single 90 minute movie. Every person in this film has about as much depth as a puddle. The main character's motivation is to find his father, which you will figure out in the first act of the movie because, well, there is only one option. Nothing happens in the development of this story that you won't see coming from a mile away... except the ending, which is so bad, so cheesy, and so happy, that it's the only thing I can say I was actually surprised by.

I haven't seen a single movie by David E. Talbert, but judging his movies by the cover, it seems like he is a hard-working, formulaic, light-hearted comedy kinda guy. He has continued to find work over the years and I'm sure has many fans, but based on El Camino Christmas, I have a feeling I will never be one of them.