MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1/2

John Goodman, star of THE BABE and BARTON FINK, continues his larger-than-life characterizations in MATINEE. He plays movie director Lawrence Woolsey, a cigar-chewing braggert who directs B-grade horror movies in the early 1960's. When Woolsey comes to Key West, Florida, to promote his new horror film, it is out of desperation. He needs a big hit to pay off his mounting debts. He persuades a young boy, Gene Lewis (Simon Fenton), to help him. Gene has just moved to Key West and is crazy about horror films. Together they get the local theater ready for the show in new Atomo-vision. At the same time, the Cuban missile crisis is looming on the radio and T.V. channels. Woolsey uses the resulting fear to help sell his movie while Gene and his friends use the fear to try to get dates. MATINEE is a fairly entertaining comedy about old B-grade movies, but the many threads of the plot seem to get tangled along the way. The result is a movie with a few laughs, but not much substance or closure to it.

Although this movie explores the horror film genre with tongue in cheek, Woolsey's attitude towards this kind of entertainment seems misguided. He feels justified in making these movies, mainly for juvenile audiences, for a rather obtuse reason: if people are scared in horror movies, they can enjoy life more and not take it for granted. The fear created in horror films as well as the fear people in Florida felt during the missile crisis also brings out a familiar theme: in terrifying crises, people feel free to do whatever they want. This idea takes over as the kids, out of control, literally bring down the movie house. Besides these major themes, there is a certain amount of objectionable language including several crude words and profanities. Teenagers are shown kissing with a sense of abandonment. However, there is no sexual content, nudity or drug abuse. Violence, mostly unrealistic, includes a boy punched in the nose in a horror movie itself. The limited objectionable language and the idea that horror movies are somehow beneficial to life prompt us to give MATINEE a minor negative rating.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times - Mild (6) and Moderate (3)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Several times - Regular (1) Exclamatory (4)

Violence: Few times - Moderate (boy punched in nose; some poor quality horror film violence, nothing graphic shown)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times, young couples seen kissing

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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