Showing posts with label Matthew McConaughey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matthew McConaughey. Show all posts

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

About four or five years ago, I couldn’t imagine being excited about a Matthew McConaughey film but then came his McConaissance and on the back of tremendous performances in the likes of Killer Joe, Mud and The Wolf of Wall Street, he’s quickly becoming one of my favourite actors of recent times. I still can’t believe it. His latest provides us with perhaps his finest performance to date and accompanies a terrific film which instantly becomes one of my favourites of the young year.

Based on a true story, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a Texan rodeo cowboy come electrician who enjoys women, beer, drugs, women and women. Having been obviously sick for a while, he is taken to hospital and when wakes, is given the shocking news that he has HIV. This being mid 1980s Texas, Woodroof is, shall we say, taken aback by the news but more worried about accusations that he’s homosexual or ‘faggot’ as he rather ineloquently puts it. After denial and some research plus a stint in a hospital south of the border, Ron discovers that he can help himself and fellow HIV patients by smuggling unapproved medicine into the USA, a decision that puts him on a collision course with the FDA and the American Justice Department.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s latest motion picture comes hurling towards its audience as though thrown from an amusement park ride. Loud, vulgar and covered in vomit, it’s the director’s most controversial movie in years, not to mention his longest and perhaps his most unabashed. The auteur is proving that even into his seventies he still has the power to enthral, entertain and repulse with a wild film about greed and intemperance. The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the memoir of the same name written by Jordan Belfort, a former New York stockbroker who lived a life filled with excess thanks to his shady stock market dealings in the 1980s and 90s.

Joining Scorsese for a fifth time as lead actor is Leonardo DiCaprio who plays Belfort with all the grace, charm and sophistication you expect from a Wall Street swindler. DiCaprio is nasty, vile, cruel and disgusting and yet you can’t help love both him and the character as you watch him snort cocaine from a hooker’s anus or throw hundred dollar bills in the trash. He’s made it, he’s living the American dream and he’s loving every minute of it. Criticism has come from the fact that the central character suffers no real comeuppance, no fall from grace. I disagree slightly with this but would also argue that Scorsese and screenwriter Terrance Winter are showing you how it is. The bad guy doesn’t always lose and in this case, he might not win all the time but it makes no difference. You know he’s a dick and you know he’s in the wrong but you also know that you want what he’s got.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Mud is a sticky, sweaty and swampy coming of age film about two boys, a man and a boat in a tree. Two adventurous teenage boys who live on the Mississippi river find a boat up a tree on a small deserted island, miles from anywhere. Excited at the prospect of their new, secluded secret hideout, the boys soon discover that the boat is in fact inhabited by a strange man who calls himself Mud. Initially wary of the stranger, the boys get close to the man and help him first by bringing food and then with plans to complete the Herzogian task of bringing the boat down from the tree. This is all set against a gritty, humid backdrop with a hint that something in the air smells like death.

I thought I’d missed my chance to see Mud at the cinema but found a midday screening I was able to slip into on a day off work. I’d been looking forward to it as the trailer looked promising and I’ve become a fan of Matthew McConaughey’s ‘McConaissance’. Having now seen it I can report that for me the film worked well but there was just something that niggled with me. I can’t put my finger on the problem but it wasn’t long before I was fidgety and bored.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Magic Mike

When I saw trailers for Magic Mike in early 2012 I thought it looked like the film I was least likely to see, ever. Despite excelling in 21 Jump Street, Channing Tatum was still one of my least favourite actors and I was yet to see Matthew McConaughey’s fantastic turn in Killer Joe so he was still just Mahogany McConaughey to me. Added to that inauspicious line up was Alex Pettyfer who I had only ever seen in Beastly which happens to be one of my least favourite films of all time. So the cast was awful, what about the plot? Male Strippers. Next. So all of that plus fucking Rihanna warbling over the the trailer made Magic Mike a film I felt I had to avoid. But then I started reading snippets of reviews and comments from people who weren’t the typical wet lipped Tatum fans and wondered if it was actually worth checking out.

‘Magic’ Mike Lane (Tatum) has dreams of designing and selling custom made furniture but for now earns a living in a number of ways which include roofing and more lucratively, stripping. On a roofing job he meets Adam (Pettyfer) who Mike introduces to the world of male stripping. Adam, known as ‘the kid’ quickly picks up the trade and brings in much needed money which soon goes to his head. Meanwhile Mike enters into a flirtatious friendship with Adam’s straight laced sister Brooke (Cody Horn) while club owner Dallas (McConaughey) dreams of ruling over an empire of strip clubs and all the women and money that comes with it.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Killer Joe

"Who's dick is it?"

A young man, Chris (Emile Hirsch) in debt to a drug dealer and his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) decide to hire a contract killer known as Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) to kill Chris’ mother in order to claim $50,000 life insurance money. Unable to pay upfront, Joe suggests taking Chris’ innocent young sister Dottie (Juno Temple) as a retainer, something that doesn’t sit easily with Chris.

This is a darkly comic and extremely violent film which is likely to repulse some and delight others. There were several walk outs in the packed screening I was in and many audible gasps as well as perhaps the biggest laugh I’ve ever heard in a cinema. For an example of how it will polarize people I turned to my girlfriend on the way out and said “what did you think?” She replied “I hated it. It was awful. One star”. I on the other hand thought it was excellent.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Lincoln Lawyer

Successful LA defence attorney Mickey Haller (Matthew ‘Mahogany’ McConaughey)  lands a career case, the defence of a young millionaire playboy Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe) who has been accused of attacking and beating high class prostitute Regina Campo (Margarita Levieva). Roulet claims his innocence and argues that he’s being set up. The film follows the case as twist follows twist, right up to the very end.

I’ve never been that into courtroom dramas (unless Fangshaw Standon is presiding/providing) but this one kept me interested for most of the time although to be honest I was never invested enough in the characters to really care which way the film came down on. I mainly kept with it just so I could find out at the end. After the initial twist, it is fairly obvious how things are going to go and it’s just a matter of how and when. Various side stories intertwine to create a deeper more complex story and this generally works well but Haller’s ex wife and child were only really there for one reason late on and felt a bit ignored. Calling the film The Lincoln Lawyer seemed like a bit of a stretch. Unless I’m missing something it is because Haller owns a Lincoln and drives from one place to another in it. I think he works in it once but it seems a bit flimsy to name an entire film after the car that the protagonist drives. The car didn’t play that big a role in the film.