Flashback Review: Matilda (Sony’s Flops Vol. 1 #9)

Hello my fellow movie goers from around the globe. Let’s rewind the clock back to the year 1996. Bill Clinton was president. Nintendo 64 was released alongside “Super Mario 64” paved the wave of three-dimensional gameplay forever influencing the video game industry. Sony released the first installment of “Crash Bandicoot.” Famous people such as Anya Taylor-Joy, Zendaya, Abigail Breslin, Tom Holland & Lorde were born. “Macarena” was the number one song of the year. POG was a trend back then. Spice Girls were everywhere. The biggest movies of 1996 made a lot of money and acclaim like “Mission Impossible,” “Beavis And Butthead Do America,” “Jerry Maguire,” The Nutty Professor,” “Fargo,” “Sling Blade” and last but not least, one of my favorite movies of all time is none other than “Independence Day.”

Two movies didn’t do so well back in 1996. “Space Jam” earned mixed reviews from critics and longtime “Looney Tunes” fans alike. Overtime, it became a cult classic for kids who grew up or were born in The 90s. A book called, “Matilda” was adapted into a movie produced and directed by Danny DeVito. At the time, it wasn’t a big hit and bombed at the box office. Nostalgia Critic/Doug Walker hated this movie. He eventually changed his mind when he talked about Danny DeVito’s career. Like Space Jam and Independence Day, Matilda became a cult classic. As a kid, I enjoyed them. Now that I’m older, I still do. I think the aforementioned three movies were misunderstood back then. Today, they’re up there with films that were panned back then but are now masterpieces such as “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Shining,” “Blade Runner,” “John Carpenter’s The Thing,” “Natural Born Killers & “Fight Club.”

A musical remake of the 90s classic will be released in the future with Emma Thompson onboard.

I’m giving some of you a chance to see this movie, because this is a non-spoiler review. Does Matilda remains as a timeless classic? Let’s find out shall we?

Magical & Cursed Aspects

Magical: Mara Wilson did a decent job for her performance as the titular character.

Fun Fact: Daisy Ridley stated Matilda is her favorite movie growing up. She cites Mara as her role model in acting.

Danny DeVito did a great job directing. He also plays Harry and The Narrator. He made sure Roald Dhal’s book stayed truer to the text.

Other Cast Members such as Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davis, Pam Ferris & Paul Reubens all did a great job for their respective performances.

The Tone is a mix between cuteness and dark comedy balanced carefully like a Tim Burton movie. Danny worked with Tim in “Batman Returns” “Mars Attacks,” “Big Fish” & “Dumbo.”

Chemistry between Matilda & Ms. Honey serves as the main highlight. There interactions with one another moves the story forward.

Humor got me laughing. I gotta love Harry getting his comeuppance. I also like the slapstick.

Matilda’s telekinetic powers were brought to life with Practical Effects. They still hold up for a 1996 film.

Cinematography was shot carefully. Dutch Angles were used effectively to create an unconformable atmosphere. Especially Trunchbull’s scenes.

Without giving anything away, The Ending will give you tears of joy. It’s ok if you’re a guy. Let the tears flow. I on the other hand, never cried watching Matilda as a kid and an adult. One movie that got me ballin’ non-stop was “Logan.”

Before Joker’s staircase scene embracing his new path, Matilda was the first using her magic and dancing at the same time. My favorite part of the movie. She fully embraces her gift. Basically a lighthearted version of Joaquin Phoenix’s dance scene. Maybe Joaquin and Todd Philips took inspiration from Matilda. I’m giving the best part Bonus Points. I wanna YouTube video of Matilda dancing to Gary Glitter’s “Hey Song.” Please Internet, make this a dream come true!

Trunchball is one the best villains you love to hate. Every time she shows up on camera, you just wanna cheer for Matilda.

Jon Lovitz makes a cameo appearance as a game show host.

Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” is played twice. It was also used in “Ice Age.”

The film is dedicated to Mara’s mother who passed away before the film’s release.

Cursed: I couldn’t find any cons. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless movie as possible.

The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

From my perspective, Matilda is arguably Danny DeVito’s best work as a director. To this day, I’m appalled this didn’t get nominated at The Golden Globes for “Best Musical Or Comedy.” As a 90s baby myself, Matilda remains as a timeless classic next to Independence Day. If you have kids, I strongly recommend this movie to spend time with your loved ones. If you like Matilda, Mara Wilson published a book about her life titled, “Where Am I Now?: True Stories Of Girlhood And Accidental Fame” so don’t forget to read it.

I’m concerned about the musical remake. It’s gonna be very difficult to become a decent remake like John Carpenter’s The Thing or “3:10 To Yuma.”

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