Matchstick Men

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Robert McDaniel » 09/14/03 06:44 PM

I haven't seen it yet, but I read the book. Ebert & Roper give the movie with Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell "two thumbs way up!"

It's a good book, but I was surprised at how simplistic or even misinformed some of the magic-related scams were as described. Especially a description of Three Card Monte where the operator pulls a card out of his sleeve!@#$?

Anyone seen this movie yet?

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Postby Dave Shepherd » 09/14/03 07:35 PM

Yep, saw it last night.

The Monte stuff (which I assume is in the book) did not make it into the movie. It's pretty much all money scams.

I liked it very much. Cage showed, I think, a very empathetic understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman were both very good.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/14/03 10:02 PM

Nicholas and Ted Griffin... the screenwriers for the Matchstick Men (and the re-make of Oceans Eleven) are the sons of a good friend of mine. I have met Nick and Ted a few times, and maybe next time I see them will offer my "expert" advice on any magic or scam scenes they might be working on.

:D
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Postby Steve V » 09/14/03 11:53 PM

Is Matchtick Man a term for a con artist? I've not heard the expression before, which doesn't mean much.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 09/15/03 03:19 AM

Is Matchtick Man a term for a con artist? I've not heard the expression before, which doesn't mean much.
I wondered the same thing. Nothing at all is made of that term in the movie, aside from a brief visual near the end.
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Postby Guest » 10/09/03 10:43 AM

Originally posted by Dave Shepherd:
Is Matchtick Man a term for a con artist? I've not heard the expression before, which doesn't mean much.
I wondered the same thing. Nothing at all is made of that term in the movie, aside from a brief visual near the end.
As I understand it, it's a regional idiom that's slowly migrating down from Canada and the East Coast.

But I could be wrong.

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Postby Guest » 10/09/03 11:21 AM

Nothing at all is made of that term in the movie, aside from a brief visual near the end. [/QB]
I haven't seen the movie, but a clip shown on a TV show showed Cage telling his daughter: "Yeah, I'm a matchstick man--con man, scam artist, whatever."
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Postby David » 10/09/03 11:52 AM

I haven't seen the movie but just finished the book. I thought the book was very slow reading and the cons/scams described were not that interesting (except the ending).

If the author was trying to be accurate in his descriptions of the cons, he lost me when he described a three card monte scene. This apparently did not make it into the movie, but the description in the book was unlike any monte game I've ever heard of. Perhaps to a lay person it might sound plausible but to anyone with any knowledge of three card monte (and I am not an expert) it was unrealistic.

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