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PCR # 305  (Vol. 7, No. 4)  This edition is for the week of January 23--29, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Matador"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"The Matador"  by Mike Smith
The Controversial Column  by Vinnie Blesi
Steeler Fandom  by Mark Terry
I'm Glad I'm Not Her....Twisting The Tongue....Rondo's Rocking  by Matt Drinnenberg
Passing On....Die And You Forfeit The Game....Yeah, I Might Get Hurt--That's The Ticket....Matt Is Now Hyperventilating....Get Well Soon....Next Week....My Favorite Films--Chapter 4  by Mike Smith
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The Weinstein Group     
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, and Hope Davis
Directed by: Richard Shepard
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hours 37 mins

With the recent announcement that Daniel Craig would be playing James Bond in the next 007 film, "Casino Royale" (filming actually began this past Monday), fans of the previous Bond may have wondered what would become of Pierce Brosnan in Hollywood. Where Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton were not household names in America (unless you were a fan of "Darby O'Gill," "The Saint" or the film "Flash Gordon," respectively) when they played the man with the license to kill, Brosnan was well known in the states thanks to his days on television in "Remington Steele." And if "The Matador" is any indication of what's ahead, Brosnan will be making movies long after Craig trades in HIS tuxedo.

Julian Noble (Brosnan) is a hit man. Actually, his employer calls him a "facilitator." His days are filled with drinking and women, with the occasional murder thrown in. But Julian is getting jaded. He often strolls to the hotel swimming pool clad only in a pair of Speedos and a cowboy boots. When he gets into an argument with a 12 year old boy, he answers the child's "see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya" with "smell ya, shouldn't have to tell ya" reply. When his employer wishes him a happy birthday he's taken aback, having completely forgotten the day. While in Mexico City Julian meets Danny (Kinnear), a businessman in town to complete a deal. Julian invites Danny to accompany him to the bull fights the next day (the film gets it's title from the matadors that Julian respects and compares himself to). While there, Julian tells Danny what he does for a living. When Danny doesn't believe him, Julian devises a way to prove himself. The adventure leads to more then either man expects.

A well told tale, "The Matador" is a story about coming face to face with one's life decisions. Where Julian has been killing for years without conscience, he is now beginning to feel that his actions will haunt him, often seeing himself instead of his intended victims when he looks through the cross hairs. As portrayed by Brosnan, Julian is almost the anti-James Bond. Where Bond can drink his martinis and bed his women effortlessly, Julian's actions only contribute to his downward spiral. Kinnear and Davis, as his wife, have a true affection for each other in their scenes. Philip Baker Hall is stern but understanding as Julian's "handler." But the gold star here goes to Brosnan. His performance digs deep into Julian's soul and it is that depth that makes the performance stand out. Besides, any man who can walk comfortably in a bathing suit and boots, and at the age of 52 look good doing it, deserves to be recognized!

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "The Matador"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "The Matador" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.