Well, with the release of The Bourne Ultimatum this weekend, we wrap yet another chapter in the amazing Matt Damon saga. As far as the Hollywood elite goes, this guy has had an incredible, unrivaled career. He's been an action star, has two high grossing trilogies, won an Oscar (for writing), set the standard for intelligent reality television with Project Greenlight, and is generally well regarded by critic, fan and industry type alike. So I thought it would be a great time to take a moment to look back at the relatively forgotten or ignored works, for those who might be interested in revisiting (or for the first time discovering) some Matt Damon gems.
Hands down the single most influential film on modern American pop culture that Damon has been involved in. This was the film that introduced America to two-card Texas Hold 'Em and made it look cool. The popularity of this game would spread to other celebrities and ultimately television, where it would become the only gambling of its kind that you can actually watch with just a pair of rabbit ears connected to your television. Oh, and the movie is pretty great, featuring Matt Damon just as he was becoming successful and Edward Norton before anybody realized just how amazing an actor he was. John Turturro, John Malkovich and Martin Landau round out this great story of obsession.
Something of Damon's breakout role, this is a really solid but long neglected film about a medal of honor investigation into a woman who may or may not be worthy of it, by someone torn up about their own friendly fire incident. Set in the first gulf war and starring Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan, this taut film may be more relevant now than when initially released.
Now here's a great little piece of ignored cinema. A science fiction animated film that bankrupted Fox Animation and tanked in a bad way, but was actually really good. Disney pretty much remade this a few years later with Treasure Planet, also to dismal results (and it wasn't as good). Damon voices the lead character, a refugee of earth after its destruction. A wonderful family film that not enough people have been exposed to.
Damon is perhaps one of the most disarmingly funny men in Hollywood, and here someone really lets him cut loose as a conjoined twin (quite literally, opposite Greg Kinnear). This is the Farrelly brothers comedy for people who hate Farrelly brothers comedies. Warm, with a big heart and surprisingly funny for what you would expect out of a comedy about conjoined twins. One need only look at the cast and think that there might just be something there to get past the initial "Really, you think I should watch this?" of it.
C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me
Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.