by John Banks
One of the movies fresh out on DVD that made Bob Grimm's "Now Showing at Home" column last week was The Matador, starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear. Mrs. B. and I watched it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Much has been written about Brosnan's performance in a role that's the polar opposite of the James Bond character he inhabited for several films, and it's true that Julian Noble is nothing like 007. But Brosnan has done other work in his career, so perhaps it's only Hollywood's myopia that dismisses the more than 50-plus remaining titles in his filmography.
Bob gave the movie a B+. The user rating at IMdB is 7.1 out of 10, and the Critics' Tomatometer pegs it at 76%, both of which, though not sterling, are respectable grades for a quirky, dark little independent film.
Also, extras on the disc that Bob didn't mention are two radio programs (yes, radio on DVD!) from NPR-affiliated KCRW in Santa Monica. In one, film critic Elvis Mitchell chats with director Richard Shepard around the time of the movie's release. In the other, a correspondent follows Shepard at the 2005 Sundance Festival, where The Matador was screened and eventually picked up by Miramax. Both are worth a listen. (And both can be found in the archives on KCRW's excellent Web site.)