Matt Damon News Column (mattdamoncolumn) wrote,
Matt Damon News Column

Adjustment Bureau released

  • The Adjustment Bureau was released on Friday, and should do well and earn about $20 million for the three-day weekend. Excerpts from a few reviews are at the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Salon, New York Times and the Washington Examiner:

    Boston Globe
    What the movie has going for it are Damon and Blunt. Damon doesn’t have George Clooney’s intimidating charisma or Brad Pitt’s caveman beauty. He’s eased into a mild stockiness that I hope he won’t change. It’s an asset. Right now too many stars look sick with diet, like they’re spending more time with trainers and nutritionists rather than with acting coaches or normal people. Damon’s seeming normality is his secret weapon as a star. When David leans over to hug Elise, the fullness of Damon’s face intensifies the remorse that comes over it. There’s mercifully more of it to see.

    Washington Examiner
    Damon has never been more convincing -- he has the easy charm of the born politician. The chemistry between him and Blunt, a free spirit who isn't subject to the usual cliches, makes the idea of fate seem perfectly plausible.

    Washington Post
    As satisfying as it is to watch a movie in which sci-fi speculation on fate and free will co-exists so easily with references to Sarbanes-Oxley, "The Adjustment Bureau" gets the boy-girl thing right, too. As James Franco and Anne Hathaway now know too well, chemistry is everything. And within moments, Damon and Blunt generate sparks that fly not between superbly compatible physical specimens but real people.

    When Elise taunts David about his tie or he makes winking reference to the length of her skirt, there's a giddy, invisible vibration between them, created by the tuning fork of inside jokes and shared references. Even though their relationship is threatened by an utterly absurd existential danger, it's been established with such real-world gestures and rhythms that, when David decides to fight for it, the audience is right there with him.

    I wasn't a huge fan of Damon's acting in his youthful "Good Will Hunting" phase, but as he's edged toward middle age (he's 40 now) he relies less on boyish appeal and has grown tremendously in presence and technique. This is another in his recent series of underplayed, awkward, emotionally strangled American-guy roles (after "The Informant!" and "Hereafter") and might be the best.

    New York Times
    Matt Damon, who at this stage in his shining career does little wrong, plays David Norris, a Democratic Brooklyn son and favorite in the New York race for Senate, with intimations of the young Robert F. Kennedy in each toothy grin.

    As it turns out, romance for grown-ups isn’t dead in Hollywood — it’s just been on extended leave.

  • The review at The Wrap became a reflection of Matt's current status in Hollywood:

    Matt Damon is in the zone. He may not be making movies that are scoring hugely at the box office of late (though “True Grit” did just fine), but every movie he makes is a smart one, including his latest, “The Adjustment Bureau.”

    For a movie star, it’s the equivalent of surfing in the curl. No matter how long or magnificent the ride, it never lasts forever.

    Damon is now, in terms of quality if not ticket sales, where Harrison Ford was in the 1980s and early ‘90s and Tom Hanks was in the ‘90s and first half of this past decade.

    What Ford, Hanks and Damon all share is a fundamental decency, or at least the ability to project it convincingly on screen. They’re our stand-ins up there, representatives of our slightly more heroic projections of self.

    Other major males stars don’t have quite the same quality. Tom Cruise is too cocky, Brad Pitt too beautiful, George Clooney too smirkingly smart, and Ben Affleck has made too many downright lousy movies (though he’s on an upswing now).

    Damon’s screen persona was established with “Good Will Hunting,” which he co-wrote with Affleck. There, he’s the unassuming nice guy who turns out to be smarter than anyone else. Add a few karate chops and an ability to navigate in a car or motorcycle at high speeds and you have Jason Bourne, the reluctant spy character he has played three times to blockbuster success in his Bourne series.

    But Damon also has range. His Everyman can have a sneaky side, showing up as a con man or thief (in “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels and “The Informant!”). It is his innate choirboy decency that makes him so effective in these underhanded roles, as if his own dirty dealings creep up and catch him by surprise.

    He’s back to playing a decent guy in “Adjustment Bureau,” an entertaining sci-fi romantic thriller loosely adapted from a short story by Philip K. Dick.

    In the movie, Damon and co-star Emily Blunt meet more than cute -- they meet sexy funny.

  • Clips and text from Matt's interview on Piers Morgan Tonight is at the CNN site. Emily Blunt, John Slattery and Anthony Mackie were interviewed in the second half of the program.

  • Retrospectives of Matt's career are at The Playlist, Chicago Now and Movieline. An interview with Anthony Mackie about the Superbowl bet is at An article about the celebrity cameos in the film is at the Washington Post. George Nolfi talked about spirituality and Matt at Big Hollywood.

    George Nolfi: I can’t speak for Matt’s personal spiritual life, but Matt is a complex and engaged person who cares about raising complex questions and making the world a better place. He should never be pigeonholed.

  • Matt talked about True Grit's success at the Daily News:

    "Oh man, I give up," Damon says in mock exasperation. "I can't handicap this stuff anymore. If you told me it would be such a big hit ... I mean, we got so ground down by the studio.

    "That movie was made for $37 million. I remember, in preproduction, Joel and Ethan were like, `We don't know if we can do this. If we hit bad weather, we'll go over. This is really the bare, bare minimum we can make this thing for.' So to see it do so well is just terrific. It's a really well-crafted film, but I don't know why it's done so well. I'll take it, though."

    "Four little girls in my house now," says Damon, counting Barroso's child from a previous marriage. "God help me. I'm hopelessly outnumbered, but I've been hopelessly outnumbered for a while so, it's been, actually, just terrific."

  • Matt talks about his family in interview at Glamour UK, with excerpts here and here.

    The 40-year-old actor - who raises 12-year-old stepdaughter Alexia and daughters Isabella, four, Gia, two, and four-month-old Stella with spouse Luciana - hopes his children grow up to be as strong as his partner.

    Recalling their first meeting in 2003, he said: "There was something appealing about my wife and that was she didn't need me.

    "I love that she's strong. Strength is a wonderful quality for my daughters to see in the most important woman in their life."

    Though Matt's parents divorced when he was just two years old, the 'Adjustment Bureau' actor admires their strength and principles and never feels he missed out on a relationship with either of them.

    He told Britain's Glamour magazine: "I never knew my parents as a couple. They divorced when I was two. They are strong individuals and both present in my life.

    "My mum's name comes up a lot because she's a professor of childhood education and people ask me if I'm of my mother's opinion."

    He said: "I try to have my cake and eat it. On the one hand, I'm most excited and alive when I'm working on something I love. But not to the detriment of my family.

    "Clint Eastwood will shoot a 10-hour day, which is the regular hours parents go to work. It's a great creative experience and then I'm home with my kids."

    Matt - who has been directed by Clint in 'Hereafter' and 'Invictus' - also revealed he takes longer to prepare for movie roles these days because he hates having to diet beforehand.

    He explained to Britain's Glamour magazine: "I exercise better than I used to. I have trouble cutting out all the food I like, so I start getting ready for movies by preparing earlier.

    "I could eat a 10-course meal every night if you let me."
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