Thursday, February 28, 2013

Entertainer Profile - Matthew McConaughey


 Sometimes I think it is kind of a shame that Matthew McConaughey had the juggernaut year as he did in 2012.  Many times, when someone has that kind of year, it is hard for them to replicate it, which is exactly what I would like for him to do.  He had four major roles, which should have garnered him much award love, but did not, which is a big disappointment.  However, he demonstrated some serious versatility and if he is going to stay on this route, I cannot wait to see what he has in store for the future.

He was born in Uvalde, Texas (a town just a little over 5 hours west of where I am sitting right now) in 1969 but grew up in Longview, Texas, a town just east of Dallas.  His mom was a substitute teacher and dad was in the oil business.  While attending the University of Texas at Austin and studying to be a lawyer, Matthew suddenly decided he had another calling and changed his major to film.  After directing some short films, he was introduced to Richard Linklater (director of Dazed and Confused) and from there, a talented career began.

Dazed and Confused (1993) - He burst onto the scene in Richard Linklater's cult classic following a group of high school students enjoying their last day of school in 1976.  His character, David Wooderson, was the older guy of the bunch who had a deep affection for high school girls.  The character took being a loser to astronomical levels and McConaughey turned "David" into a cinematic icon.
Boys on the Side (1995)
Lonestar (1996)
A Time to Kill (1996) - This is still, to this day, my favorite John Grisham adaptation.  It was an emotional American drama that dealt with extremely sensitive and controversial issues and as far as I am concerned, one of the best casts ever assembled.  This was Matthew McConaughey's breakthrough performance and made him the new 'it' actor in Hollywood.
Contact (1997)
Amistad (1997)
U-571 (2000)
Frailty (2001) - A little known dark psychological thriller that I have always thoroughly enjoyed.
Reign of Fire (2002)
We Are Marshall (2006)
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
Bernie (2012) - This movie was great and if you are from Texas, you will love it and appreciate this true story out of Carthage even more.  Jack Black received a very well-deserved Golden Globe nomination but Shirley MacLaine and especially McConaughey should have received some award love too.


Killer Joe (2012) - I was really looking forward to this movie when I first saw it.  I was really looking forward to it until I recently saw it that is.  The acting was good, it really had a great cast, but the movie as a whole failed to draw me in.  However, there was Matthew McConaughey's chilling portrayal of Killer Joe, police detective by day, hired assassin by night.  His character was just an all around bad seed. But, he made that seed grow and blossom into his most sinister villain since Frailty.

The Paperboy (2012) - This movie was also quite the stinker in the plot department but was packed full of great performances by Nicole Kidman, Macy Gray, John Cusack, and Matthew McConaughey.

Magic Mike (2012) - What is so phenomenal about this performance is before this movie came out, it was hailed as nothing more but a bunch of eye-candy for the ladies, and of course, it was.  McConaughey portrayed the sleazy, aging male strip club owner in an all out awesome performance and nearly got nominated for an Oscar for it, well at least there was a lot of buzz which I guess is the same thing.

There were several missteps between Reign of Fire and The Lincoln Lawyer (except for We Are Marshall of course).  To name a few:  Failure to Launch, Fool's Gold, Sahara, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and Two For the Money.  However, he bounced back brilliantly as far as I am concerned.  He bounced back so well in fact, he should have been nominated (Oscar, Golden Globe, what have you) for one or more of the last 4 movies in the above list.  He was quite the chameleon in these movies, reinventing himself every time.  I know I am not the only one who thinks so because he was applauded by critics.  From what I have read though, we can expect the same level of tour-de-force versatility in the near future and I say bring it on Matthew.  From one Texas boy to another, ya done good son.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

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