Weekend Roundup … Dragon Knight review + Musings on Matt Damon

Happy Monday everyone!

Did you catch anything this weekend? Two R-rated films ended up winning the box office this weekend. ELYSIUM beat We’re The Millers by a slim margin with a little over $30. With a budget of $100 mil (3 times the amount of District 9 which ended up grossing $115 mil), we’ll see if having A-list cast and Hollywood studio back-up actually pays off for Neill Blomkamp. As I’ve surmised in my review, Elysium certainly doesn’t top D-9 for me, which is a far more compelling film IMO.

I opted for home cinema this weekend. A while ago, Revolver Entertainment sent me the DVD screener of Dragon Knight (Red Knight or Rencontre avec le dragon). Here’s the description at the back of the box:

DragonKnightDVD11th Century AD. In a world that burns with the heat of battle, a world torn apart by Crusades, one knight traverses the desolate wastes laid bare by bloody conflict… Prepare yourself for a descent into a brutal hell, where armies clash and blood flows like rivers, and where a sharp blade is the only means of defense against an army of evil.

Now, the film turns out to be nothing like the description or DVD cover that promises relentless battle scenes. Instead of a swords ‘n sandal epic, it’s actually more of a drama with little sword-fighting involved. Aside from the beautiful European setting of lush mountains and countryside, the production values is pretty sub-par. It’s also a rather odd film, with supernatural elements thrown in, that takes a long time to grab my interest. But I’m willing to overlook all that if it weren’t for the horrible dubbing! Most of the dubbed voices didn’t even match the actors, which makes it utterly distracting for me to concentrate on what’s happening on screen. I wish there were an option to have English subtitles instead, a MUST for every foreign film IMO.

I almost turned it off several times but I stuck it out because I was curious about this young boy named Felix who worships this supposedly legendary Red Knight, Guillaume de Montauban. Guillaume himself isn’t a sympathetic nor gripping character, in fact he kinds of irritates me. I think the story actually has potential, there’s even a love story that I totally didn’t expect. Most of the actors are French, the only one I’ve heard of is Daniel Auteuil who’ve won BAFTA and César awards.

I’d say it’s worth a rental if you don’t mind the dubbing. The film is available on Amazon.com.

Now, after having seen ELYSIUM, I thought I’d turn the spotlight a bit on…

Matt Damon

Since his acting debut back in 1988 in Mystic Pizza (which I totally forgot he was in!), the actor has done about 60 films, and counting on IMDb, about 20 of those are leading roles. I wasn’t too fond of him initially, but after the Bourne movies, I started to really like him, though he’s still not the kind of actor that’d necessarily put my butt on the seat. I usually go see his film because of other factors, so not exactly because his name’s on the marquee. Still, I think he’s a pretty good actor who isn’t afraid to mix things up, i.e. working on a role as Liberace’s lover in Behind the Candelabra in the same year as Elysium!

Damon… in Mystic Pizza and Elysium

It’s clear that the 42-year-old actor gets better with age, no? He even looks better bald than with that dorky mop of 80s hair! He’s certainly one of Hollywood’s elite now, along with his compadres George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt. Now, I don’t usually go for movie stars, in fact, the more famous an actor gets, usually the less I like them for some reason. I’d also be the one to tell you I don’t subscribe to Damon’s über Liberal views, but at least he doesn’t annoy me the way say, Sean Penn does. As an actor he has that everyman quality, plus I respect that he doesn’t seem to have qualms about poking fun at himself! He and Jimmy Kimmel are apparently such good friends that Damon doesn’t seem to mind humiliating himself on his show. This Bourne spoof clip is one of my favorites with Kimmel’s hilarious sidekick Guillermo!

That’s probably one of Damon’s best acting role, ahah. So far, I’ve only seen about a dozen or so of his films, and if I were to list my top five favorite roles it’d probably go like this:

  1. Jason Bourne (The Bourne Trilogy)
  2. Good Will Hunting
  3. Contagion
  4. Invictus
  5. The Talented Mr. Ripley

I was initially anticipating his upcoming film that Clooney directed, The Monuments Men, but the first trailer was rather meh IMO. I’d probably still see it for Cate Blanchett though.


So folks, what did you see this weekend? And what’s YOUR favorite Matt Damon role(s)?

45 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup … Dragon Knight review + Musings on Matt Damon

  1. I didn’t really have time to see anything but Lovelace – stupid studying – but I caught a bit of Mickey Blue Eyes on TV, that’s a funny film. I like Damon, he is very likable. Impressive work in Talented Mr Ripley for sure.

    1. Hi Sati! You didn’t just saw it, you reviewed it too! Well done considering how busy you are w/ your studies. Oh Mickey Blue Eyes is quite funny, James Caan is a hoot in it. I remember how gorgeous Jude Law was in ‘Ripley’ but yeah, Damon was good in it.

  2. I think Talented Mr Ripley is probably my favourite film of Matt Damon’s. He’s great in that. However, and I’ve said this before, his puppet from Team America almost always pops into my head at some point during any of his movies that I watch now. “Mmmmaaatt Daaaamon!” 🙂

  3. ninvoid99

    I would love to see Matt Damon in more comedies. I think he’s a natural when it comes to comedies. My top 5 favorite…. Mmmmaaattttt Daaamon performances are:

    1. Good Will Hunting
    2. the Bourne Trilogy
    3. Ocean’s 12
    4. Behind the Candelabra
    5. The Informant!

    An honorable mention should go to appearance on David Letterman where he talks like Matthew McConaughey. And I love those Jimmy Kimmel appearances.

    1. Ahah, even his name lends itself to hilarity 😀

      Oh I never saw that clip on Letterman, I’ve got to find that! I was actually gonna put down Oceans 12 too, he was so funny w/ Ellen Barkin. You’re right he should do more comedies!

  4. Hi, Ruth:

    I slipped back in time and enjoyed some “Superb louse” Fred MacMurray in ‘The Caine Mutiny’, ‘Double Indemnity’. And then take a surprisingly benevolent turn in ‘Dive Bomber’
    with Eroll Flynn and Ralph Bellamy. Neat film about Naval Aviation Medicine and helping fighter and bomber pilots survive prior to WWII.

    Kirk Douglas rated high in ‘The Bad and The Beautiful’. A terribly under rated film. Plus, got my Henry Fonda fix with ‘Mister Roberts’.

    Damon is kind of hit and miss with me. I still think his best work was in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ opposite Jude Law. A superb little period piece.

    1. Hello Jack! Wow, sounds like you watched a lot of great stuff there. I’m sooo guilty that I haven’t seen Double Indemnity yet and I know I promised you I would [sheepish smile].

      Yeah, I should rewatch ‘Ripley’ again, I remember really liking the European setting too, though there are some disturbing parts in it surely.

  5. haha. I liked the “Sean Penn” reference….anyway, yes Damon seems wooden to me many times, but I do like him a lot in the Ocean films. And I agree his best work was ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’. Nice post!

    1. He..he.. sorry Cindy but I REALLY dislike that guy, I don’t think I’ll miss not seeing any of his films to be honest. Damon’s great in Ocean films. I don’t know about wooden, I actually think he’s pretty expressive. Glad I put ‘Ripley’ in my top 5 then 😀

  6. Ted S.

    I’ve never heard of Dragon Knight, sounds awful. LOL.

    Damon’s kind of actor I’m not a the biggest fan of but I don’t hate him either and I realized I’ve seen most of this movies. I really his earlier roles when he’s starting out, the totally underrated The Rainmaker, which surprised so many people when he got the lead. The movie was based a popular book by John Grisham and Damon was still an unknown at the time, the movie was very good too, not as good as the book of course but Damon was perfect for that role. Of course he’s great as Bourne but when he was cast in that role, I just went WTF?! I loved the books and always pictured someone like Clive Owen as Bourne, but at least Owen appeared in the first film, ha ha. He’s great in Rounders, Talented Mr. Ripley, The Informant and even Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter.

    Didn’t see anything new over the weekend, just watched A View to a Kill for the first time in years. Wasn’t as bad of a Bond flick as I remembered but still a very poor Bond flick. Moore’s way too old for playing a super spy and the Bond girls were awful, Tanya Roberts and Grace Jones just can’t act. And how the heck can they have Christopher Walken playing a villain and make his character so boring.

    1. Ahah yeah, it’s quite bizarre and production quality is not exactly stellar.

      Oh I remember you mentioned The Rainmaker. I think it’s on Netflix Streaming, so I might give it a shot soon. Yeah, we’re both fans of Clive Owen, I do hope he’d do something good again. He’s got a recent film Shadow Dancer that I might check out soon, it’s on iTunes I think.

      Oh my, A View to A Kill! I don’t think I’d ever watch that one again 😀

  7. Nothing at the theaters attracted me so nothing new for me. As for Damon, the Bourne Trilogy for sure. I’m also a huge fan of The Informant!

    Oh, and I am REALLY excited about The Monument Men! Talk about a great true story! I hope the film works like I think it might!

    1. Hi Keith! I’m still looking forward to The Monuments Men even despite the meh trailer, I really miss seeing Blanchett on screen in a prominent role.

  8. Never heard of Dragon Knight before (and don’t plan on ever seeing it) but yeah, as you know, I’m all against dubbing!

    I loved D9 and really look forward to Elysium, despite the lukewarm response. HUGE Damon fan here! I think he’s awesome 🙂

    Even though I loved the cast and will still see it regardless, I also thought the trailer for Monuments Men was rather meh.

    Favorite Damon roles: Contagion, Talented Mr. Ripley, Adjustment Bureau and The Departed.

    Didn’t watch anything this weekend. I was terribly busy!

    1. Hi Fernando! I hate dubbed movies! I don’t understand why studios insist on doing that instead of subtitles, I’d think it’d be cheaper and far more watchable for the audience.

      If you like sci-fi and Damon then I think you’d enjoy Elysium Fernando. I still enjoyed it but I just can’t give it a higher score for the quibbles I listed.

      I hope all is well w/ your job. I miss your reviews 😀

      1. Dubbing’s the worst. But people are generally lazy and hate reading subtitles, so that’s why it’s still common practice.

        I look forward to Elysium! Hope it doesn’t disappoint me!

        And everything’s OK, fortunately. I’ll get back to writing this week. Thanks for hangin’ in there 😉

        1. Seriously! I’d rather multitask of watching and reading than having to listen to dubbed voices, as it almost NEVER syncs up, so it’s soooo distracting!!

          Yay, looking forward to your reviews man, even if it’s mini ones 😀

  9. Nothing new for me this weekend, just caught up on the Hannibal TV show, which I have enjoyed. I like Matt Damon, always know you’re gonna get a good performance. I dunno whether you’ve seen Chasing Amy or Dogma but those are a lot of fun when he teams up with Ben Affleck.

    1. Oh man, I still haven’t got around to seeing Hannibal. It’s got two actors I like, Mikkelsen and Dancy. I did see Chasing Amy but not Dogma, yeah they used to work a lot together, I wonder if they’d do so again soon.

  10. Haven’t watched a damn thing for weeks now, Ruth. I’m getting withdrawal symptoms 😉

    As for Damon, he’s not a bad actor at all and for the most part quite appealing but he never really knocks my socks off. He was very good in Good Will Hunting and thoroughly deserved his Oscar nomination for that.

    1. Ha..ha.. I’d get withdrawals too Mark if I don’t watch anything for even a week! I remember when I was off to Indonesia for over a week I was watching anything that’s on TV ahahaha, but it was nice to catch up on older films, even some favorites 😀

      I agree that Damon never really knocked my socks off either but he’s very likable on screen. I think he’ll always be known as Bourne now as he’s done such a tremendous job w/ that trilogy.

    1. I saw some clips of him in ‘Candelabra’ and boy, that was quite a performance! Props for him on wearing those itsy bitsy spandex, ahah.

  11. ahah, sticking out a disappointing film all the way to the end. I understand what that is like. I think I will pass on that one.

    On Matt Damon, however, he never really caught my attention too much until Bourne. I, mean, I knew he was there and he had some good stuff, but Bourne made me sit up and pay more attention to his work and now I appreciate him more. and the fact that he can have fun at his own expense.

    I love the Jimmy Kimmel bits he’s done. haha

    1. He..he.. yeah, I guess I’m dedicated 😀

      So we’re in the same camp about Damon and Bourne then, but yeah, he was perfect in it. I can’t stand Renner in that role.

  12. I love this because a friend and I were just discussing Matt Damon and I was trying to convince him that Matt Damon is one of the best comedic actors around. He doesn’t do comedy that often but, man, when he does his comedic timing is just impeccable. I love his serious work too but “True Grit” & “Ocean’s Twelve”? To me he just doesn’t get any better than that.

    1. Hello Nick, always glad to see you stop by. Yeah, I think Damon has that wicked sense of humor and deadpan delivery. I forgot about True Grit but yeah, he was definitely good in that. He should do more dark comedies.

  13. My favorite Matt Damon role is Jason Bourne!! Love the whole trilogy (wanted to say franchise but I didn’t like the Jeremy Renner one). I was away celebrating Lebaran but when came back to catch a new movie only Smurfs and Percy Jackson was available. Neither excited me, although I did see the latter. Would have much preferred Elysium instead.

    1. Hi Asrap! Me too, so high five! I don’t care for Renner in general, but ESPECIALLY as Bourne. Happy belated Lebaran btw, hope you had a great time celebrating!

      I’d still give Elysium a shot, though if you read my review, it’s not as good as I had hoped.

    1. He’s good in The Informant though I’m not too fond of the movie. I think he should generally do more dark comedies though, he’s got comedic timing. Thanks Shah!

      1. He does. I liked THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU too. He seems like a guy though that can lose his straight face at any moment.

        I’m anxious to watch PROMISED LAND that he co-wrote with John Krasinski with Gus Van Sant directing. It’s GOOD WILL HUNTING without Ben Affleck! 😀

  14. Have you seen the Jimmy Kimmel episode where Matt Damon took over the show and hosted? It’s pretty funny, and you can watch it in clips on Youtube. They had a lot of celebrities on that episode, including Amy Adams and Nicole Kidman.

    I’m a big fan of Damon as an actor, and I’m hoping he’ll get an acting Oscar one day. As big as he is, I think his acting is underrated. My favorite Damon roles are the Bourne films, Good Will Hunting, and The Departed.

    I watched some 1967 films this weekend, like Le Samourai, Doctor Dolittle, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, and I also rewatched No Country for Old Men and In the Heat of the Night.

    1. Yes I have, that’s hilarious!! That’s a revenge skit I think as Kimmel always cut Damon off in their faux interviews, ahah. They must be such good friends!

      Yeah, he’s one of Hollywood’s elite so no doubt he’ll collect his Oscar soon enough 🙂

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