DVD Review: Matinee

Joe Dante has had a long and varied career behind the camera despite not exactly being prolific when it comes to feature films. Whilst he’ll always be best known for the Gremlins films, it’s unfortunate that the rest of his back catalogue are often overlooked. With The Howling, Hollywood Boulevard, Piranha and The Explorers in his armoury, Dante’s clearly has a good understanding and love of cinema. No film sums this up more than Matinee.

As the Cuba Missile Crisis plays itself out, in Key West Gene Loomis (Simon Fenton) is a teenage boy living on an airforce base. Whilst everyone is talking about the impending nuclear apocalypse, Gene is more excited about the impending visit of horror maestro Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman) to preview his new film Mant!. Lawrence is concentrating all his efforts on making the screening at a local cinema an evening to remember.

Matinee is Dante’s love letter to cinema. He channels his own childhood fascination through the eyes of Gene. There are lots of beautiful stylistic touches and Goodman delivers a pitch perfect performance. It’s a cross between an old-school ‘B’ Movie and a director paying tribute to Roger Corman and others who thrived within low budget film-making. Matinee is bonkers and great fun. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Special Edition Contents:

  • High definition digital transfer supplied by NBC Universal
  • Lossless stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Paranoia in Ant Vision, a discussion with director Joe Dante about the making of the film
  • Mant!, the full length version of the film-within-a-film
  • Discussion with Joe Dante on the effects of Mant!
  • Vintage ‘making of’ featurette
  • Rare on-set footage, sourced from Joe Dante’s personal collection
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

First pressing only: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by David Jenkins

Matinee is released on dual format Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video on Monday.

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