DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

The Matador - DVD Review

<div style="float:left">
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9764823118029583";
/* 125x125, created 12/10/07 */
google_ad_slot = "8167036710";
google_ad_width = 125;
google_ad_height = 125;
<script type="text/javascript"
</script></div>{/googleAds}The best thing anyone can do before sitting down with The Matador, is to take all of the pre-existing notions about Pierce Brosnan as James Bond into the film with them. Bring them along. Think about the suave clothes and debonair smile of 007 as you hit play on your DVD machine. Because whether it was intended or not, part of the fun of watching The Matador is to watch Brosnan take that persona and turn it completely on its ear. Brosnan plays an assassin in this film as well. But there is not a shred of the well-mannered machismo of Bond to be found in Brosnan's character of Julian Noble. No, this character is the bottom feeding distant relative of the well-known super spy. While on assignment in Mexico City, Julian has a complete and total breakdown when he realizes that his choices in life have left him alone and disconnected from the world around him. His social skills are non-existent, his relationships with women are sparse and distant, and even his job as lost all of its ... appeal. Enter Greg Kinnear ...

Kinnear has any easy accessibility with the camera and has done some solid work in the past. His work here with Brosnan, however, is the stuff of â"black comedy" legend. When Kinnear's character of Danny Wright meets Julian in a hotel bar over margaritas, there is an instant but uncomfortable friendship formed. Danny is wary at first, but eventually grows to like Julian, despite his rude behavior and lack of social skills. However when Julian decides to let Danny in on what he does for a living, the sparks really begin to fly. Kinnear plays the uptight everyman with a â"vanilla" panache that makes further good on his already successful acting career.

Hope Davis also adds strength to the film in her role as Danny's equally vanilla wife. Davis has delivered strong performances in the past, especially of late, in films like The Weather Man, American Splendor, and About Schmidt. She succeeds here as well, turning an otherwise thankless role into the 3rd part of a great comedy threesome. When Brosnan arrives at the Wright's house late in the film, that's when Davis character truly begins to shine.

According to reports, director Richard Shepard originally had a much smaller star and budget in mind for The Matador until Brosnan became involved. While the script is strong, and Shepard's direction is particularly assured (Mexico City has never looked better), it's the involvement of Brosnan, Kinnear, and Davis that make this dark comedy a real winner and worthy of repeat viewings. Alternately weird, heartwarming, and hilarious, The Matador is one film that James Bond would laugh himself silly watching while sipping shaken martinis.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; director's commentary; cast and crew information.

* Commentaries
o 1. With director/writer Richard Shepard.
o 2. With Shepard, Pierce Brosnan, and Greg Kinnear
+ Both commentaries are worth listening to for different reasons. Shepard has a light-hearted sense of humor and seems to know a lot about the business. However, it's the commentary with all three of them that will have you rolling. Much like the film, it's edgy, funny, and memorable.
* Deleted Scenes
o 11 deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary by Richard Shepard - Like most deleted scenes, they don't add much but are interesting windows into the film editing process. Most just highlight Julian's lurkings around Mexico City.
* Featurette
o Making the Matador - A short segment in which all of the actors discuss their affinity for the film. The fun had on the film is obvious, with everyone seeming to take particular delight in Brosnan's performance.
o Audio-only "The Business and the Treatment" radio program discussing The Matador - For the cinephiles, this is an insightful look into Shepard making the rounds on various media outlets during the press and Sundance debut of The Matador.
* Trailers - The original theatrical trailer for The Matador.

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging


Movie Reviews

Our Tweets


You are here: Home Home Video DVD/Blu-ray/4K The Matador - DVD Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes