You know his words will get you farther than the film will ever go!What is Confused Matthew so confused about? Why so many people like so many bad films and TV shows, of course!Confused Matthew (Real name: Dan) is a film critic who made his name making reviews consisting of pointing out why he doesn't like the story and/or characters in films that were generally well-received by the public. Many of his earlier reviews were for science fiction films, which led to comparisons (and a forum share) with SF Debris. His twin brother, "Stand in Stan", does infrequent reviews of his own. Stan composed the original theme song for Confused Matthew, as well as his own theme song.He announced he would stop producing videos in 2015, as he felt that most of his original work hasn't held up, as well as having many of his reviews taken down due to copyright claims. However, he announced in March 2017 that he would be returning due to popular demand, with a new format. He is open to re-reviewing the things he previously reviewed as long as no-one asks him to re-post the originals. The first of these new reviews arrived in April 2017, with his review of Batman Vs Superman. He also gives thoughts on recent trailers, and the thoughts and talking points they inspire, called Trailer Re-Matt-tions.In this facebook post Dan has recently divided his work into three(ish) periods:
Give him a moment of your time he'll tell you what's wrong with the show!
He knows what's good
What's really bad
His face is just a sign!
Say hello to Confused Matthew!
Give him a moment of your time he'll tell you what's wrong with the show!
He knows what's good
What's really bad
His face is just a sign!
Say hello to Confused Matthew!
- Phase 1: His earliest works, between 2007 and 2010. These were the original reviews, which he was fully invested in and still feels they hold up today. These will be re-uploaded to his channel in the future.
- Phase 2: From 2011 to 2015, where he felt that he was not invested in reviewing, essentially played the character instead of giving his actual thoughts and ended up being mean-spirited. These will not be returning.
- Phase 2.5: The reviews that are still up on his channel from late 2015, which he feels better about but still considers them to be too mean at times.
- Phase 3: The comeback, from March 2017 onwards, where he has a new, focussed style (rather than plot runthroughs) and a lighter, more self-depricating tone.
Old Review formats
Be forewarned: he typically reviews fan favorites and never looks back.
- Confused Matthew reviews: These were originally the only type he did. Usually they consist of negative reviews of films that were well-received, and whose success confused Matthew because he considers them to be bad (though he also does negative reviews of movies that were poorly reviewed or outright flopped). Confused Matthew reviews usually fall into one of three categories: 'You had it right in your hands, and you lost it' (The Incredibles, The Departed), 'This is downright terrible' (Spider-Man 3, Back to the Future Part II), and 'This pissed me the fuck off' (Star Wars prequels, Matrix sequels, Man of Steel).
- Requested reviews: Reviews of films requested by his viewers. These are less in-depth reviews and are usually only one video long. Matthew is often seeing the film in question for the first time, and the review represents his first impressions. Some of the requested movies later go on to have longer Confused Matthew or Matthew's Favorite Movies review, depending on how he feels about the work after the requested review.
- Matthew's Favorite Movies: An inversion of his usual review type in which he talks about his favorite films, but in similar detail, with typically three videos plus a summary epilogue. These films were usually well received by the general public, but Matthew may like them for different reasons than the usually stated ones. His all-time favorite film is Moulin Rouge!.
- Matthew's Mixed Reviews: These are in-depth reviews of movies, sometimes requested, that he thought were decent films but still had issues he wanted to talk about, like the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds, or were sequels to movies he had previously reviewed, such as 2010: The Year We Make Contact or The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, comparing and contrasting them to the original films. Has also grown to include movies that Matthew loved but had enough significant problems to not be one of his favorite movies (Iron Man 3), or movies that Matthew didn't like but had too much good stuff to ignore to be a full-on Confused Matthew review (Star Trek Into Darkness).
- Miniviews: Similar to requested reviews, except not requested. Matthew gives a short one-video summary of his view on a film. These are often films that are part of a wider trilogy or series whose other entries Matthew has given longer reviews of, such as the Matrix films. As Matthew has stated, these are for movies, good or bad, where he feels he doesn't have enough material to justify a longer review.
- Random Rants: As the title suggests, Matthew rants about something that has recently pissed him off, not necessarily film-related but usually media-related in general.
- Observe and Report: Matthew talks about weird things he's encountered in his daily life.
- General reviews: Matthew, and sometimes his friends, make off-the-cuff podcast-style reviews immediately after watching a new film at the cinema. Sometimes he will follow this up with a more detailed review if his view of a film changes after re-watching it later.
Contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: He admits the hula scene in The Lion King made him laugh very hard.
- All-Loving Hero: In his review of Terminator 2, believes that this is the reason why John Connor is one of the greatest movie characters of all time. Despite being raised to be a warrior, he repeatedly shows nothing but utter respect for the value of human life. Matthew points out that even as a kid, it's obvious why Connor is going to be the leader of humanity in the future, he's the only genuinely good person in the entire franchise!
- All There in the Manual: He really didn't care for the number of things in Iron Man 2 that required knowledge of the Marvel Universe to understand, especially Nick Fury suddenly coming in halfway through the film and the film acting like we're well aware of who he is, after just one brief scene after the credits in the first film. He ended up declaring that he refused to see The Avengers just out of spite over this (he later saw it anyway and didn't care for it).
- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- "Timon and Pumbaa are the greatest Disney villains ever."
- Child Simba being an asshole and Adult Simba being a blank slate.
- Art Evolution: He changed his old face icon in 2008, then again for the re-launch in 2017 (see above).
- Author Appeal: He has a strong interest in philosophy, being most annoyed by those films that claim to pose philosophical conundrums but he thinks don't (such as the Matrix sequels).
- As of 2017, amusingly enough, has said several times on facebook that his interest in philosophy has waned to practically nothing.
- Awesome Moments: He's discussed some In-Universe. When talking about "Let It Go" in Frozen as a great moment, he also said that he felt "Circle of Life" from The Lion King was a wonderful scene (despite how he felt about the rest of the movie).
- Berserk Button:
- Woodstump. Just, Woodstump.
- Although he mostly keeps his anger in check (i.e., down to a state of mild irritation at best), definitely do not, if you are a screenwriter, have a character make two contradictory statements in the very exact same scene, or you will be kindly instructed to KEEP THE FUCK TRACK OF WHAT YOUR CHARACTERS ARE SAYING, as happens in his Knowing review.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Not in the films he reviews, but he posted a video about one he encountered in Real Life: he and his girlfriend went to see a film, only for a group of people dressed in formal evening wear to arrive and sit all in one row at the front. When a trailer for Bratz: The Movie came on, they all stood up and applauded, before remaining silent for the entirety of the rest of the sitting.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In the Transformers review, Matt says that he never watched the Transformers cartoon as a kid. Instead, he grew up mostly watching Thunder Cats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and My Little Pony. He quickly corrects himself with the latter by saying TigerSharks.
- Brick Joke: In his Deep Space Nine review, early on Sisko is stabbed by a creepy Bajoran kid. Near the end of the review.Confused Matthew: Wait a minute… what the hell was up with that creepy Bajoran kid? Did we ever get back to that? *pause* … the fuck?
- Camp Gay: He accuses Mel Brooks of thinking the trope in and of itself is a good joke, rather than having the gay people actually doing something funny.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Oh no, I'm sorry, that's what someone who wasn't retarded would have done."
- "A Wizard Did It"
- "You're better than this!" (shouted at a photo of the writers).
- Used to review Star Trek: Generations and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: "Oh! No one take evasive action, or anything. We'll just float here and DIE!"
- Used in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and others: "Aside from (…), y'know what she does? Nothing. NOTHING! (…) all that crap, FOR NOTHING?"
- "So they fight. Fight fight. Fight fight fight. Fight fight fight fight fight"
- "What the hell kind of Jedi are these? Guardians of peace and justice, my ass!" in the Star Wars prequel reviews. A variation on this was in his Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 7 review. "What the hell kind of Bajorans are these? Pious religious believers, my ass!"
- "Oh, now [something that should've happened much earlier in the story happens]!"
- Ends his Phase 3 videos with "You clicked, not me."
- Caustic Critic: His raison d'être. However, he's been inverting it starting with his review of Moulin Rouge! and his new feature Matthews Favorites.
- He also admits his style was inspired by real people.
- Cliché Storm: One of this two main beefs with Titanic (see Very Loosely Based on a True Story for the other).
- Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: He walked out of Cloud Atlas after half an hour, not willing to wait any longer to see if the different storylines actually did connect (which they do). He also chastised the Wachowskis for a line insulting critics, assuming they wrote it, when it's actually straight from the book the film is based on.
- Couch Gag: The sign shown during the line "his face is just a sign" is different in every episode.
- Curse Cut Short: Oddly enough, in his Minority Report review, after he finds out that the film continues even when it "should have ended".
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: His main issue with The Incredibles, despite this being far from a standard viewpoint of the film.
- Deadpan Snarker: To a quite ruthless extent.
- Death of the Author: Invoked during the epilogue of his Pan's Labyrinth review. He believes that the fantasy elements were in Ophelia's head while del Toro says that they were actually there.
- Department of Redundancy Department: In the epilogue of his No Country for Old Men review he refers to Cormac McCarthy as "a shitty writer who doesn't know how to write."
- Devil in Plain Sight: One of his biggest problems with The Lion King is how the characters trust Scar even though he's openly malevolent to nearly every character from his very first scene.
- Distracted by the Sexy:
- In The Matrix Reloaded review part 3, Matthew gets distracted by Persephone's cleavage.
- Admits that Scarlett Johansson managed to do this in Iron Man 2, though he apologized in a later review that could have chosen a better choice of words than what he used at the time. Then in a full review of the movie, he lost track of the review when looking at her.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Stand-In Stan. Stan seems to be taking almost the opposite approach from Matthew's with his own reviews: instead of criticizing movies of which public opinion is positive to neutral, he takes unpopular films and picks out the good parts. He also posts more general videos about religion and politics (especially where the two have been mixed). Though Matthew himself occasionally does this as his real venue is any film where he feels the love or the hate is largely unwarranted. See Pet the Dog.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Confused Matthew's own reaction to a line from his (now re-edited) Minority Report review where he accused the plot "…of having Down's Syndrome" as explained in a video he posted that went in-depth into this issue.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Yep, Matthew is definitely confused which one is bad or not.
- Expository Theme Tune: See the page quote above.
- The Faceless: Until recently, that cartoon face was all the visual reference we got on what Matthew looks like. Then Stan started posting live action videos and told us that despite them being identical twins, they still don't look the same (most notably, Stan highlights that he has put on weight). Finally, Matthew showed his face in a recent video but took it back down.
- More recently (January 2014), Matthew posted a live video of himself to his Facebook fan page, asking fans about their own opinions on Breaking Bad.
- Fan Hater:
Confused Matthew: These people aren't arguing that Twilight is a bad work, they're arguing that "vampires are our thing and you can't have it"… and that is fucking ridiculous!
- Lampshaded when he confesses he liked (or more accurately enjoyed) the first Transformers (even though he stated it still wasn't good).
- Has put forward the theory that the reason most of the people who bash the Twilight franchise seem to be men is because vampires have always been mostly male and depicted as utter badasses. Hence why, as he puts it, "Men love vampires". This is the reason why the Twilight vampires, who are more akin to romance-novel love interests than creatures of the night, have gained such utter hatred from male audiences.
- Fauxlosophic Narration: Matthew is a philosophy student and put his education to use picking apart the second and third Matrix movies to demonstrate that they fit this trope. Especially Neo's conversations with the Oracle and the Architect.
- Genre Throwback: Discussed Trope in his Kill Bill review. Specifically he contrasts the original Star Wars trilogy as an example of the trope, while saying the prequel trilogy was just making a new bad 1930s science fiction movie serial with modern technology, rather than being inspired by them.
- HAHAHA–No: He does this towards the end of the first part of his review for The Departed.
- Hate Sink: Easily one of his least favorite Tropes. If a movie he's reviewing has such a character, chances are he'll dock it points for that alone.
- Hype Aversion: This trope is what prevented him from watching Pulp Fiction until 2005. When he finally did watch it, he was quite impressed, and it's now one of his all-time favorite films.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: He will sometimes refer to characters by the name of the actor playing them—this is usually a subtle way of indicating he either regards the character as uninteresting and can't be bothered to learn their name, or thinks the actor is just playing themselves.
- Idiot Plot: Most, if not all of his negatively reviewed films have these, especially the Star Wars prequels. He even quotes an appropriate line from Spaceballs when ending the reviews for episodes I and II.
- Insistent Terminology: The Star Wars prequels are "apocryphal".
- I Take Offense to That Last One: A post on Facebook mentioned a quote from Craig Ferguson saying that critics were usually stupid and drunk. Matthew wrote "I am NOT usually drunk!".
- Katanas Are Just Better: Discussed Trope in his review of Kill Bill. Matthew says he could suspend his disbelief to allow this in a modern setting, but this is ruined by the protagonist using a gun at the end of the second film (especially when her sword had been talked up so much).
- Le Film Artistique: He despise these kinds of films, and spoofed it with Purple Monkey Dishwasher, which is just two hours of nothing but a picture of a guy sitting in a chair.
- Pet the Dog:
- His positive reviews of Star Trek: Nemesis and Independence Day.
- After catching some heat for getting… upset about Steven Spielberg in his Minority Report review, he made a point of praising aspects of Spielberg's direction in The War of the Worlds.
- Similarly, after criticising Roger Ebert in the same review, he praised Ebert's take on Blade Runner’s two different cuts (they're both good, and you should watch both and make up your own mind).
- His written review of WALL•E was quite positive.
- He also defended 2010: The Year We Make Contact and honestly believes it to be better than 2001.
- On his 2001 review, although he was pretty loudly emphasising about it being a movie "about nothing", he still praised HAL 9000 and professed his love for it.
- After savaging No Country for Old Men as the new worst movie he's ever seen, he makes sure to start the final video on it by telling The Coen Brothers how much he loves their other work.
- Matthew isn't a huge fan of both the movies and the ideas of Terry Gilliam, as can be seen in his 12 Monkeys review and in Terry Gilliam: A Smug Odyssey. However, he spoke rather favorably of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and his enthusiasm for Brazil prompted him to end his review by saying:Confused Matthew: I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the artistic and the weird… and to Terry Gilliam: I'm sorry I told you to fuck yourself in the neck.
- While he thinks the musical numbers in The Producers are pointless, they are very well performed. He also notes that he hasn't seen the stage version, where they probably fit in much better.
- His review of Frozen was glowing, and he compared it favorably to Moulin Rouge!, his favorite movie of all time.
- In his review of Titanic (1997), while he feels that Billy Zane's performance is boring and by-the-numbers, he admits that Zane did just fine from an acting standpoint. He also heavily praised the iceberg collision scene.
- He starts off his re-review of The Lion King with a list of things he actually liked about the film, namely the animation, the soundtrack, the strong opening, and the fact that the film defied the studio's expectations by making a lot of money despite limited marketing. He also re-assesses his opinion on some of the characters, admitting that Pumbaa is a decent character and that Timon was actually justified in his reluctance to save Simba from buzzards.
- Polar Opposite Twins: His twin brother Stan takes almost the opposite view as him in most reviews and hold very different opinions of characters such as Ezri Dax.
- Public Medium Ignorance: He describes anime as a "genre."
- He's corrected himself on past mistakes regarding anime only to commit future ones and then lampshade those mistakes to the point where he rehashes what he said when he first started his fan requested reviews of anime: he just doesn't get it. note .
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- When the 'Matthew is Annoyed' card comes up, especially for "IT. DOESN'T. WORK!"
- RESPECT?! MY! ASS!
- "What's the joke? THAT'S NOT FUNNY!"
- WE! DON'T! NEED! TO! WATCH! THIS!, when something plot-irrelevant or gratuitous is going on for too long. So like, for instance, the whole 2001 review. He does yell a lot there, but realizes it: "I shouldn't yell at my viewers, I shouldn't yell at my viewers…"
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Thinking Kirsten Dunst's singing didn't sound like her, he apologized when he found out it really was hers.
- In his Man of Steel review, he complains that the scene with the school bus blowing out its tire is unrealistic, even though it's one of the few very realistic parts of the movie.
- Running Gag:
- In his Star Wars prequels reviews —
- "What the hell kind of Jedi are these? Guardians of truth and justice, my ass!"
- Consistently referring to Padmé Amidala as "Queen Oobadooba", Count Dooku as "Count Dracula", and Darth Maul as "Darth Time-Filler".
- Referring to Palpatine by a different P-word every time he's mentioned.
- Later in his Star Wars: The Clone Wars reviews, referring to Anakin as "Woodstump", Ahsoko Tano as "Sudoku Tampon", Asajj Ventress as "Ventriloquist", and so on.
- In his Matrix sequel reviews:
- Referring to Locke as "Commander Angryfuck".
- "What's at stake here, the running time?", whenever the movie goes into an action sequence.
- In his Independence Day review:
- Referring to protagonist David Levinson as "David The Genius Cable Guy"
- "This is 'MURIKA!" (followed by clips of the song America, Fuck Yeah!)
- In his Transformers review:
- Referring to Bumblebee as "Herbie the Love Bug"
- All fight scenes are generally described thus: "So they fight. Fight fight. Fight fight fight. Fight fight fight fight fight…"
- Simba, Anakin and Lyra are given this speech following their first scenes: "_____, our supposed hero and protagonist… IS AN ASSHOLE! I mean, he/she doesn't listen to anyone, he/she's not very nice, he/she treats everyone around him/her like shit, and he/she only cares about him/herself!" This was subverted, however, in his Simba's Pride review where he uses the same lead up to comment on how a character is not an asshole but instead quite nice.
- In his Minority Report review:
- "HEY, MORON! FUCKING MORON!!!"
- "No, I'm sorry. THAT'S WHAT SOMEONE WHO WASN'T RETARDED WOULD HAVE DONE!"
- In his The Incredibles review, regarding the darker/depressing scenes of the movie, "Are ya having fun yet, kids?"
- In his Star Wars prequels reviews —
- Sarcasm Mode: In his review of 2010: The Year We Made Contact, he periodically makes comments along the lines of "I can see why this film was shunned, I mean all it has are (list of positive things). But where's the (negative thing from 2001: A Space Odyssey)?!"
- Self-Deprecation: In his Kill Bill review he mentioned how being buried alive is a primordial fear to anyone, even if it's very unlikely to happen to him in reality "unless the Lion King fans catch up with me".
- Shout-Out: Near the end of his review of Knowing, he summarizes the film in the style of The Colonel from Monty Python's Flying Circus."Right, stop that. It's silly. Very silly, indeed. Started out as a nice little idea about a small girl's paper predicting future events, and now it's just got silly."
- Small Name, Big Ego: Confused Matthew got considerable backlash for attacking Roger Ebert and claiming he was either an idiot or a liar for recommending Minority Report. And for attacking Stanley Kubrick in his review of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He did later apologize for and remove the Minority Report review, believing that he spent more time bashing Ebert than actually reviewing the movie and vowed to do it again properly.
- Something Completely Different:
- "Matthew's Favorite Movies", a new segment devoted to Gushing About Shows You Like. He was concerned that only talking about what he disliked meant his critical position could not be fully appreciated.
- He has also begun new video series "Observe and Report", brief commentaries on strange things outside the world of cinema, and "Mini-reviews", for films which he does not consider bad or confusing but have a few things he wants to discuss. These often consist of the other films in trilogies where Matthew has made a conventional review of the remaining parts, such as The Matrix.
- So Okay, It's Average: His opinion of several movies, including 2010: The Year We Made Contact (which he nonetheless considerably prefers to its predecessor) and the Tom Cruise version of The War of the Worlds—in that case he praised the film for trying an original slant on an alien invasion film, following an ordinary family and sharing their lack of knowledge about the scale of the invasion, but added that there was a reason why it hadn't done before—it didn't make for that good a story.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: A large part of his criticism of Kill Bill was based on the fact that an inordinately large part of the first film's running time was devoted to the backstory of Lucy Liu's character, whom he did not consider to be at all important to the film.
- Strictly Formula: He criticized the Marvel Cinematic Universe for this in his review for Guardians of the Galaxy:"The plot, in a general sense, involves a villain trying to get a hold of an alien artifact that will give him control of the universe. You may remember this plot from every single fucking plot these goddamn Marvel-movies have ever had!"
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: He thought Lion King 2 and 2010 were good movies, while he greatly disliked both originals.
- Take That!: Matthew's sarcastic comments on the differences between 2001 and 2010 in the latter's review.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In his review for 2010: The Year We Made Contact, he says it would have been more interesting for HAL to come to grips with what he did in the first film rather than have it conveniently turn out that he had his memories wiped after his confrontation with Dave.
- Tropes Are Tools:
- Has made this point repeatedly in some of his more recent reviews. For example, in his review of Moulin Rouge!, he pointed out that his problem with the easy romance in The Lion King was not that he dislikes loves at first sight, but that (he feels) it didn't fit in or contribute to the story and he actually likes the trope too much to see it used incorrectly.
- Much of his criticism of 2001 was based on its interpretive nature, and he later reviewed Pan's Labyrinth as an example of a film which (in his view) uses an interpretive conclusion very well.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible:
- Clearly his single biggest pet peeve. Two of his three loudest angriest reviews have been about this attitude or its variations.
- He's not a huge fan of things that would be covered under What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic? or Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory. He generally rejects the idea that a movie has any meaning other than what is obviously presented. If the movie has to be heavily analysed to grasp some meaning, then he feels that the meaning is likely just made up.
- Villain Ball: His viewpoint on Biff in Back to the Future Part II and Cal from Titanic.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: He took issue with the way in which Titanic played fast and loose with the actual events, feeling that a very real human tragedy was overshadowed by a hackneyed love story. He also considered the film's fabrications such as the wholly undeserved Historical Villain Upgrade of William Murdoch and Third Class passengers not being allowed on the lifeboats to be very offensive.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Rhodey out on this in Iron Man 2, pointing out that even if he's worried about Tony Stark accidentally harming someone while drunk in the Iron Man suit, intentionally stealing a spare suit and starting a robot fight is most likely end with someone getting either killed or injured.
- You Keep Using That Word: While he uses the term protagonist, he is frequently unsure about its use because the characters he's describing are jerks, assholes, or borderline (if not outright) villains. However, 'protagonist' simply means main character. The existence of the tropes Villain Protagonist and Hero Antagonist shows that good people and bad people are not always protagonists and antagonists respectively.