An attorney who can contact God? Well, he does own the pager
Attorney Matthew Kreutzer is the proud owner of the pager that actor Jim Carrey used to contact God (Morgan Freeman, who else?) in the film “Bruce Almighty.” He also has the knives that gangland kingpin Bill the Butcher threw at Cameron Diaz in “Gangs of New York.” But his partners at Armstrong Teasdale don’t have to worry about him brandishing the weapons at their Las Vegas office—they’re safely concealed in a shadow box at home, along with a picture of that particular scene from the movie. Plus, they’re cardboard.
Kreutzer and his wife are committed movie buffs. How committed? Let’s just say the couple regularly go to the movies at least three times a week, and have never missed seeing 30 movies in eight days when attending the Sundance Film Festival for the past nine years. Last year alone, they saw 140 movies that were released in 2011. But their total movie attendance nears 200, when films they saw in the theater released earlier than 2011 are added in.
Fortunately for their cholesterol levels, they don’t always indulge in movie popcorn (60 grams of saturated fat, according to the LiveStrong website), and they have been known to walk out on bad flicks. What’s the worst movie he’s ever seen? “There are a lot in that category,” he says. “But in recent memory, ‘Zookeeper’ and ‘Grown Ups.’”
Kreutzer took film classes in college, but he always intended to be a lawyer. He attended George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and practiced law in the area until he and his wife decided they’d had enough of the rat race. It was the never-ending commute that really began to wear them down. “We always wanted to live out West, to be near L.A. without being in L.A.,” he says. Why trade one bad commute for another, he figures.
Las Vegas was a good compromise, and yes, he adds, “real people” do live there, although they’re different from the folks in D.C. Las Vegas residents are mostly in the service industry, while white-collar workers dominate the nation’s capital.
As the chair of Armstrong Teasdale’s franchise, distribution and antitrust division, Kreutzer divides his time between transactional franchising law (85 to 90 percent) and litigation, his original specialty.
Since the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising will be held this October in Los Angeles, the movie capital of the world, we thought we’d find out more about one lawyer’s fixation on the talkies:
Your claim to fame: I interviewed (director) Quentin Tarantino about his movie “Reservoir Dogs.” I was the first student to do a paper on him. He was an interesting guy, who talked 100 miles a second, it was hard to keep up with him.
Favorite actor? I don’t really have one. If I had to choose, it would be Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (He starred in the indie film “(500) Days of Summer,” among others.)
Favorite actress? I don’t have one.
OK, so least favorite actress? I don’t have one, but I’m not a big fan of Michelle Williams.
Favorite all-time movie? “Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and 2.”
What was your first movie memorabilia purchase? We started with autographed movie posters. Our first one was from “Pulp Fiction,” but a favorite is the one from “Airplane,” signed by several of the actors at a special screening.
When you moved on to buying movie props, what was first? Two chips used in the movie “Casino.” Then we started paying attention to movie auctions. (Along with the knives and pager, props at their home include: From “Inglorious Bastards,” the knife and cards from a game the characters played; the sheet of paper on which the “Cider House Rules” were written; and costumes from “The Mummy.”)
How do you display the mummies’ costumes? The shirt we have framed. We still haven’t figured out how to display the others. Mannequins are creepy if you run into them in the night.
One thing they have figured out, however, is that if they keep buying movie props, something has to go—at least into the closet for now.