Matthew Newlin Matthew Newlin
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Matt has been watching and critiquing movies since he was three years old (hopefully his writing skills have improved in that time). His favorite filmmakers are Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Martin Scorsese, Charlie Kaufman, Stanley Kubrick, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky. He is currently lobbying to become United States Film Czar, pending Congressional approval.

'Homeland' Review: 'A Gettysburg Address' (Season 2, Episode 6)

11/5/2012 4:26pm EST
Since it premiered in the Fall of 2011, Homeland has unleashed episode after episode of heart-stopping and sweat-inducing action. The writers are brilliantly adept at misleading viewers and reversing plot directions midseason to avoid possible monotony or repetition. Last night’s episode, though, was a rare misfire in the show’s brief history. “A Gettysburg Address” is a typical “filler episode” which is commonplace for most other series. Homeland, however, has managed to avoid these necessary-but-boring expository installments until now. The episode has very little action and only serves t...

'The Bay' Will Make You Afraid Of The Water Again

11/2/2012 12:30pm EDT
Though we, as humans, have always been frightened of the unknown, a potentially more terrifying and disturbing element of life is when the familiar becomes strange. Steven Spielberg’s genre-defining film Jaws perfectly exemplified this facet of the human experience because, for the first time, we were shown a reason to be afraid to go into the water that was, previously, benign as far as we were concerned. Horror films have historically relied on serial killers with supernatural powers (Jason or Freddy, for example), but isn’t it more unsettling to see a brilliant psychologist turn to canni...

'Homeland' Recap: Q&A (Season 2, Episode 5)

10/29/2012 11:27am EDT
There’s a reason Homeland is one of the best shows on television. Episodes like last night (entitled “Q&A”) remind viewers that the writers are not just thinking week-to-week; they have a much grander plan in mind, one that will continue to surprise viewers throughout each season. Last week’s episode ended with Carrie revealing to Brody that the CIA knows about the video confession he made before his attempted suicide bombing. He was then swiftly taken into custody with the knowledge that his real motives had been discovered. A suspenseful cliffhanger of an ending, but where could the serie...

'Homeland' Recap: New Car Smell (Season 2, Episode 4)

10/22/2012 11:59am EDT
Well, that was unexpected. Last night’s episode of Homeland, titled “New Car Smell,” took a turn that most assumed we wouldn’t see happen until at least Season Four. Due to the “confession” that Brody recorded before his aborted attempt at becoming a suicide bomber, the CIA now knows unequivocally that he is a terrorist who is working for Abu Nazir. At the end of the latest episode, Brody is taken into custody, a black bag over his head. So how did that happen?

On his way back from Beirut, Saul is stopped by security forces at the airport. After being brought into a private room, a very c...

'Homeland' Review: Beirut Is Back - Season 2, Episode 2

10/8/2012 4:52pm EDT
And it just keeps getting better! Last week’s episode of Homeland was a fantastic opening for the Emmy-winning series’ second season. The second episode, though, took things to a whole new level of awesome. Titled “Beirut Is Back,” the entire 50 minutes is constant anticipation and suspense, putting the characters in dangerous situations that could either go really good or really bad. The writers of Homeland have definitely stepped up their game for the sophomore season and viewers are likely to have a roller coaster ride for the next few months.

Claire Danes may already be queuing hersel...

'Homeland' Recap: Season 2 Premiere 'The Smile'

10/1/2012 12:54pm EDT
After several much-deserved Emmy wins (for Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Drama Series as well as for best Drama Series), Homeland proved that their freshman season was not a fluke with last night’s explosive opener to Season Two. After a mind-scrambling first season that had more twists and turns than any modern television series, Homeland promises more action and excitement as the war for America’s safety comes right to our doorstep. The episode itself was fantastic and sets up a wide range of stories that could develop throughout this season.

Picking up a few months after Season One ...

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s 10 Best Performances

9/29/2012 12:00pm EDT
10. Angels in the Outfield (dir. William Dear, 1994)

It’s easy to forget that JGL began his career at a very early age. His first starring performance, when he was roughly 12 years old, was the endearing and surprisingly entertaining Disney remake of Angels in the Outfield. As Roger, an orphan who prays for the Los Angeles Angels baseball team to win the pennant, JGL had to act opposite some pretty heavy hitters (Christopher Lloyd, Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Dermot Mulroney), but managed to still give an impressively mature performance.

JGL’s work in Angels in the Outfield showed clear sig...

Jake Gyllenhaal's 5 Best Movies

9/22/2012 8:00am EDT
Jake Gyllenhaal's 5 Best Movies
You can say this about Jake Gyllenhaal: there’s little chance he’ll ever be typecast. Thanks to his deliberate choice to vary his roles as much as possible, Gyllenhaal continues to be one of the most unpredictable actors working today. He’s done big budget blockbusters (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and smaller, contemplative indie films (Proof, Moonlight Mile). With each film, Gyllenhaal seems to pick roles in which he can challenge himself as an actor, rarely playing the same type of character more than once.

This weekend Gyllenhaal will continue to surprise audiences with a grit...

Review: ‘About Cherry’ Is An Uninspired Film Cloaked In Self-Importance

9/21/2012 10:23am EDT
About Cherry
Making a movie is not easy. A director must balance telling the story he or she wants the audience to experience with the logistics of dealing with a crew, actors, budgets, locations and myriad other headaches that come into play before, during and after production. For that reason, the work of first-time directors can be difficult to critique because the sheer fact alone that he or she was able to complete a feature-length film is impressive. However, that can only excuse so much. Stephen Elliott, best known as a writer and blogger, makes his debut as a director and screenwriter with About...

'Lawless' Is A Cold, Stark Punch In The Gut

8/29/2012 9:40am EDT
When it was originally released in 1932, Howard Hawks’ film Scarface was slapped with the subtitle The Shame of the Nation by the MPAA because they felt the story glamorized the gangster lifestyle. Hollywood has had a love affair with gangsters, outlaws, drug dealers and renegades since the earliest days of filmmaking and audiences have been shown literally hundreds of examples of how dangerous that lifestyle can really be.

Lawless, directed by John Hillcoat, tells the story of Bondurant brothers who, at the height of the Great Depression, are operating an extremely lucrative moonshine ope...