Pierce Brosnan wakes with a start. He begins to survey the high-design hotel room in which he'd passed out, and notices first a half-empty bottle of Maker's Mark on the nightstand, and then, a purple-toenailed brunette asleep in the bed beside him. After examining the sleeping gal's feet like a dick on a case, he snatches up her purse and empties it out on the bed. He finds what he's looking for. He plucks the bottle of violet polish and sets to work on his own toes.

Not the typical morning ritual of the man you once knew as James Bond, for sure, but in its very vulgarity as both a complex personality sketch and as a simple joke, this scene seems to say a lot about what's wrong withThe Matador, acquired by the Weinsteins a year ago at Sundance and scheduled, with little explanation, for what seems suspiciously like an end-of-year burn-off release. The problem, in short: novelty and quality can sometimes be mutually exclusive.The Matador is one of those indie-in-name-only films, full of name stars and expensive effects shots and just enough coarse writing to ensure a festival run, that goes out of its way to prove that it doesn't "play by the rules", whilst simultaneously seeming unable to accomplish anything particularly anarchic, or even very interesting. If this is the kind of thing Brosnan is playing to spend his post-Bond capital on, one imagines he won't have a wallet full of currency for very long.