Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

This is the movie that Matthew McConaughey both did not take his shirt off for and lost like 47 pounds for. Well, they say it was 47 pounds, but it honestly looks like more. I watched the entire movie, and the only thing I could think about was how damn emaciated he was through the whole thing.

Matthew plays an electrician who works at a rodeo. He drinks a lot, does recreational drugs, gambles to excess, and has lots of unprotected intercourse with women of negotiable affection. This movie is about how this character, a homophobic racist with a quick temper and foul disposition, changes as a result of being diagnosed with HIV and full blown AIDS at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Matthew does a remarkable job playing a truly unlikable character who eventually becomes ... not likable, really, just less unlikable. While we don't always agree with his decisions, we understand how and why he makes them, and the fact that this is based on a true story is kind of surprising. I would not normally expect the sudden, intellectual response to the circumstances that confront him after they establish him as decidedly anti-intellectual and emotional.

Jennifer Garner plays one of the doctors who diagnose him and are currently treating other patients (mostly gay) with the same disease. She struggles with the company selling AZT, the experiences she has had and the reactions she has witnessed. Her job pulls her one way, but her scientific ethics pull her the other way, and Matthew's character is just one of the ingredients in her decision soup. I've never seen her in a role that really impressed me with much more than her beauty. In this role, she tries, but I'm still not overly impressed with her ability.

I remember Jared Leto distinctly from Lord of War. It was a rare treat - a Nick Cage movie that was really good. In this movie, he plays a gay man who self-identifies as a woman. I'm not sure what the classification of transgender this would be, but I think I summed it up well enough for you to get an understanding. He is also suffering from AIDS, and he forms an unlikely friendship with Matthew that is really the focus of the change of Matthew's character. Jared does an outstanding job.

The pace of the movie could be stepped up a little bit, but the movie in general was just really good. It is thought-provoking, intriguing, and it gives just a little more insight on what was happening at the beginning of the AIDS outbreak. The fact that Matthew plays a straight man at the time when this was often called the "gay plague" only intensifies hie reactions to homosexuals and makes him question just how different people really are at their core.

Direction was great
Acting was great
Story was fantastic
Dialog was great

4.5/5

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