Posts Tagged ‘Matthew McConaughey

29
Apr
17

Sing (No, Please, Don’t)

Now that I have a kid who’s old enough to take to the movies, you can expect to see more children’s film reviews. So, yeah, enjoy these, everyone.

Sing is the latest in a long line of non-Disney animated films that tries hard but misses the point entirely. You see, most non-Disney animated movies think that all they need to be good is a bunch of brightly colored animals cavorting around on-screen. Kids aren’t that stupid. Movies don’t have to pander to them.

Sing is about a koala who owns a failing theater. As a last-ditch effort to save the theater (save the rec center, amirite?), he hosts a singing competition a la American Idol. What follows is a parade of animals singing popular songs. The songs are strung together at regularly intervals to hold together the paper-thin plot.

Continue reading ‘Sing (No, Please, Don’t)’

11
Feb
17

Interstellar: The Girls Keep Getting Older, But the Spaceman Stays the Same Age

Christopher Nolan has a pretty good track record. His Dark Knight trilogy was excellent, and some of his other films like Memento and Inception have gone on to be modern classics. Unfortunately, Nolan finally hit a stumbling block with his ninth film.

Interstellar wants to be a space epic in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It also wants to feature a labyrinthine mystery like Memento and be mindfucky like Inception. Sadly, though, it’s none of those things. It just gets bogged down under its own weight and Nolan’s ill-advised aspirations.

Continue reading ‘Interstellar: The Girls Keep Getting Older, But the Spaceman Stays the Same Age’

25
Jun
16

Dallas Buyer’s Club

AIDS was some scary shit in the 1980s. There was no treatment, and if you got diagnosed with it, it was as good as a death sentence. Today, we have effective, readily available treatments. It is no longer the death sentence it once was. Dallas Buyer’s Club tells the true story of one man who tries to beat AIDS in a time when the U.S. did not have any available treatment.

Matthew McConaughey tries to get enrolled as a patient in the first clinical trial for an AIDS medication. He can’t get in, so he pays hospital staff to smuggle him the drug. When that route eventually fails, he goes to Mexico to get the drugs. Of course, even though his health is important to him, he can’t pass up a business opportunity when he sees it. He decides to run a business, a buyer’s club. Essentially, people pay him monthly club fees and he will give them all the various AIDS medications they need smuggled from Mexico. Technically, he’s not selling them the drugs, so his venture is legal. The FDA, however, tries to shut him down as he’s providing an unregulated, untested drug to the general market.

Dallas Buyer’s Club is a fascinating movie. First, the story is true and relatable. Whether AIDS or something else, we all know someone who has been touched by medical illness. Some of these illnesses may have no treatment. What lengths would you go to in order to procure a treatment for yourself or your loved ones? That’s what this movie is about: one man’s struggle to find a way to survive. Second, it casts light on FDA practices (which have since changed) where they denied people treatment for a deadly disease while waiting for data to come in on clinical studies. Third, while you side with McConaughey, it’s easy to see that what he is doing is wrong. The FDA guys are assholes, but they have a point: you can’t just let people take whatever they want and end up killing themselves or muddying the waters so effective treatments can’t be discovered. The movie is great because it shows both sides as having multiple shades of gray. Neither is completely right or completely wrong. This is what fuels the compelling drama.

Of course, I have to discuss the acting in this movie. McConaughey was lauded for his performance. He took a method acting approach and lost a thousand pounds for this movie. He certainly looks like an AIDS patient, emaciated and pale. But more than physical change, McConaughey brings his A-game in terms of acting. His performance is excellent, and he is instantly believable as this character. You feel his struggle, and become emotionally invested in what happens to him. He was well deserving of every award he won for this movie. The rest of the cast turn in fantastic performances, as well. The entire production was a complete package. The film is wonderful.

Verdict: Awesome

24
Oct
15

Killer Joe, The Book Thief

Killer Joe

Seriously. What. The. Fuck?

This has got to be one of the craziest, stupidest, weirdest, most ridiculous pieces of shit put to celluloid in recent years. Basically, a kid decides to kill his mother so he can get the insurance money to pay off his debt from a loan shark. He doesn’t want to murder his own mother, so he hires a hitman played by Matthew McConaughey.

After the job is finished, McConaughey doesn’t leave. He skulks around the trailer park lusting over the kid’s younger, mentally retarded sister. They start banging, and he further ingrains himself into the family dynamic. Eventually, she gets pregnant with his demon spawn. The kid obviously doesn’t like this, and it’s super weird and creepy.

There is a completely bizarre scene at the end where McConaughey punches a lady in the face and makes her pretend to have oral sex on a drumstick. Everything ends as stupidly as it began with nothing making any sense, and everything being completely overwrought and ridiculous.

I think McConaughey was trolling us with this one. There was no way he thought the script was any good.

Verdict: Shitty

The Book Thief

There have to be about a billion World War II movies, and half of those are Holocaust movies. The Book Thief isn’t exactly a Holocaust movie, but it falls in the ballpark, focusing on Nazi atrocities. The problem with so many movies based on the same historical event is that they eventually lose their impact. Yes, the Holocaust was a horrific event that the world should always remember so it will never be repeated. But we have seen it so many times on film, it has begun to lose the visceral impact it once had.

The Book Thief adds nothing new to the genre, and actually detracts more than anything else. It’s about the plight of a young German girl who lives in an idyllic town throughout the course of the war. She joins the Hitler Youth, but becomes disgusted when they burn books. She begins to hide books in her basement as a means of preserving them.

Despite this being the title of the film, not much really comes of that. It’s not like her stealing books has any significant impact on the overall story. The world moves around the main character and she is completely ineffectual. Her actions do not advance the plot, or even really put her in much peril. She stands listlessly while the war ends on its own volition.

We get some super cheesy shit where Death itself actually narrates parts of the film. It speaks at the end and tells us the main character lived happily ever after. Whoopty-fucking-shit.

The Book Thief is failed Oscar-bait. They think the subject matter will make it a glorious success automatically. Unfortunately, the story is weak and done better a million times before. It’s hard to care much about a German girl who hides books with little to no personal danger when compared to the likes of Oscar Schindler who put himself in constant physical danger and ruined himself financially to save Jews.

Verdict: Shitty

04
Oct
15

The Wolf of Wall Street, Blue Ruin

The Wolf of Wall Street

This movie trolls you right out of the gate. Matthew McConaughey shows up as the head of a big Wall Street firm, and positions himself to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s mentor. I was all pumped for some sweet, sweet McConaughey/DiCaprio action, but it turned out to be a bait-and-switch. McConaughey disappears completely. DiCaprio takes center stage as the loathsome central character. What follows next is a completely tiresome, three-hour-long masturbatory fantasy. DiCaprio engages in illegal activities to make himself the king of Wall Street. He and his compatriots party hard and often. There are probably a hundred scenes of them banging hookers and doing cocaine. Now, I’m as big a fan of cocaine and hookers as the next Hollywood executive, but once or twice would have been sufficient. I didn’t need to see it over and over again. The SEC investigates and eventually busts DiCaprio, but they don’t show up until the final hour of the movie. An entire hour of worthless party scenes could have been cut, and nothing would have changed. The only interesting part of the film is near the beginning when DiCaprio discovers he can get rich suckering people into buying Penny Stocks. Otherwise, nothing of interest happens. Other than the tits. Lots and lots of tits.

Verdict: Shitty

Blue Ruin

I like my revenge movies like the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, Commando. I don’t like them to be about boring, mopey homeless guys. Blue Ruin is about a boring, mopey homeless guy who goes on a killing spree. He murders an ex-con, a dude who served time after killing the homeless dude’s parents. The dead con’s family takes the fight to the homeless guy’s family. The homeless guy, in turn, decides to kill all of them. But don’t mistake this for an action-packed thrill ride with cool explosions, shootouts, and hilarious one-liners. No, the boring, mopey homeless guy acts sullen as he trudges his way through a dreary life. The pacing is languid, and the tone is brooding. There’s very little here to entice a viewer, and the story is entirely forgettable. Good production values are about the only thing this movie has going for it. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Verdict: Bad

07
Mar
15

Magic Mike, The Fault in Our Stars

Magic Mike

Hey, ladies, has anyone seen my shirt?

I wanted to love this movie. I wanted to like this movie. But in the end, I only ended up hating this movie. It seems like it had all the right ingrediants: C-Tates in a starring role, Matthew McConaughey at the height of his acting powers, and an over-the-top story about a group of male strippers. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t revel in bawdy antics or go balls-to-the-wall (so to speak) with playing up the ludicrousness of the the strippers. It settles for a slower, more introspective character study of C-Tates and his desire to do something else with his life. Director Steven Soderbergh bleeds the life out of this movie from the first frame. He encouches the whole thing in weirdo lens filters to make every scene saturated to a single color. Cody Horn plays C-Tates’ love interest, and she wanders around the lanscape like a zombie, speaking her lines more robotically than Honda’s Asimo. She must have given Soderbergh a ton of blow-jobs and/or reach-arounds in order to get this part, because she sure as fuck didn’t get it on talent. Anyway, the movie is slow and pointless, nothing much happens, and it isn’t bombastic and fun like it should be.

Verdict: Shitty

The Fault in Our Stars

You make oxygen tanks sexy.

This whole business of adapting young adult novels into films really needs to stop. They are truly scraping the bottoms of the barrel at this point. The Fault in Our Stars is a sappy romance about a chick with lung cancer and a dude with bone cancer who fall in love despite having horrible illnesses. The problem with this movie is that the characters define themselves by their illnesses. They seem to have no life apart from seeing doctors and going to cancer support groups. Hazel (the chick) reads one book over and over again, a book about another chick with cancer. Gus (the dude) tries to show her that life is about more than cancer, but she eventually wears him down enough that he, too, learns to obsess about his illness.

Like any teenage boy, he tries to worm his way into her pants, and finally does so on a trip to Amsterdam to meet the author of her favorite book. They make out in Anne Frank’s hideout (I can’t think of a better place to get freaky, can you?), and then decide to blubber about the fact they are going to die. If they just chose to live their lives to the fullest, to live each day as its own, they could move forward with their lives, perhaps even enjoy them. The fact they mire themselves in their cancer is super fucking depressing, and not at all interesting from a narrative perspective. The Fault in the Author is the culprit in failing to craft a good story.

The other thing, a pet peeve of mine, is the fact they fuck up all the medical shit. Hazel has to lug around an oxygen tank for the entirety of the movie. Why? She has lung cancer, duh! Except lung cancer doesn’t require supplemental oxygen for treatment. It’s just a stupid fucking prop to make a beautiful actress appear sick. What a bunch of horse shit. Fuck this movie. The only young adult adaptation I can think of that was worse than this was The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Verdict: Shitty

19
Jul
14

Stolen, Mud

Stolen

“THIS IS MY ACTING FACE!”

Did you like Commando? Did you like Taken? If so, then why not watch Stolen? It’s exactly the same movie as the others. Nicolas Cage plays a man whose daughter is kidnapped, and he must race against the clock to save her. Stolen is about as low-budget, straight-to-video as a movie can get. The film blew its wad getting Cage to star, and he acts alongside a lot of shoddy nobodies. Cage plays a bank robber who goes to jail after a botched job to steal $10 million. Once he is released, his former partner kidnaps his daughter, holding her hostage for the $10 million he feels he is owed. What follows next is a 90-minute traipse through New Orleans while Cage tracks down his former partner by any means necessary. The FBI are hot on Cage’s trail for no reason in particular other than he used to be a bad guy. Apparently, the FBI have nothing better to do like catching wanted criminals or protecting the U.S. from terrorists. Nope, let’s chase a guy who has already served out his sentence because he’s probably up to no good. The movie gets increasingly more ridiculous as Cage attempts to find his daughter. It reaches self-parody at one point when Cage is arrested and placed in an FBI vehicle, and moments later the vehicle crashes, flipping end over end, followed by Cage getting out of the car, talking on his cell phone with the kidnapper. At this point the movie has realized it is a giant piece of shit, so it might as well be as ridiculous as possible. In the movie’s favor, Cage doesn’t phone it in. He always invests 100% of himself in every movie, regardless of how bad it is. At least the guy has a work ethic.
Verdict: Shitty
Mud

“Don’t worry, ladies, my shirt WILL come off.”

After being mired in shitty romantic comedies for years, Matthew McConaughey decided to fire his agent so he could land roles in good movies. Mud is one such movie. McConaughey plays the titular Mud, a mysterious guy on a remote island in the south. He’s living in a boat that has somehow gotten lodged in a tree. One day he is discovered by a pair of teenage boys. There’s something shady about him, and that makes the boys want to know more about him. He wants to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend who is in town, but he can’t do it himself. Is he a criminal? Who is after him? The cops? The mafia? Definitely, there is more than meets the eye to this character. But the point of the movie isn’t really Mud at all. It’s the teenage boy played by Tye Sheridan. He’s the main character. He has a troubled home life, and he uses the discovery of Mud as a means of escaping a very shitty situation. Mud becomes a surrogate father to him. It’s kind of hard to describe this movie without giving away all the best parts. You’ll just have to take my word for it, that this is a movie well worth your time. It features rich characters, an intriguing backstory, and wonderful acting. Not only does McConaughey turn in a great performance, so does Sheridan. This movie really has it all. It’s the kind of film mainstream Hollywood wishes they could make. Be sure to check this one out.
Verdict: Good



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