Monday, March 10, 2014

True Detective

At first, I wanted to write that this was like someone took "Seven," "Law and Order:SVU," and  "The Silence of the Lambs," mashed them together and threw them in the Louisiana swamps and what wondered out was an eight episode act of haunting television beauty.  Now, I do realize I put this show in a very positive light by that glowing review but the only negative I see is comparing this act of haunting television beauty to anything else, and I mean anything.

Matthew McConaughey continues his McConnaissance with his unfathomable portrayal of the tortured  Detective Rust Cohle.  It's not that he is a very complex man, he is just so exhaustively fed up with the world around him, and who wouldn't be. I would be too if I had the x-ray vision to look into a person's soul that this guy has, and be right all the time about what I saw.

Lets face it, Woody Harrelson is a chameleon and can literally absorb himself in every role he takes on.  Detective Marty Hart is the family man part of this serial killer tracking duo and he too is also very tortured, by his life and his job.  I don't think he even realized it though, until he met and partnered up with Rust.

The story is dark and chilling but rolls perfectly along with an apocalyptic Southern Louisiana sitting exquisitely in the background like a character in itself in the storyline.  The going back and forth between time periods can be a little overwhelming at first but if you keep your eyes on the prize, you will be able to follow along but you have to keep your eyes on it.  The writing is tight and perfectly executed, weaving a tale of human darkness and suspense that hasn't been seen in years.  There's no CGI special effects (well, 1 or 2 instances but they are small and necessary), explosions, or flashy costumes.  Its just good old fashioned story telling, character development, and actors making these characters burst all over the screen. The final episode itself was awesome, with scenes that could rival some horror these days.   This is a prime example of the road to creative tour-de-force television has paved in recent years and I say keep it coming. Watching this nearly 8 hour, what I like to call television motion picture since each season is a stand-alone story (see American Horror Story), was better than most things you will see at the movies these days and it doesn't take a true detective to tell you that.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

*This film is nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture.*

On the road to the 86th Academy Awards (which, at the time of this writing, is tomorrow night), I, just in the nick of time, got to watch one of the front runners this year for pretty much all the awards it is nominated for.

At first, Dallas Buyers Club  is hard to watch.  This is mostly because we are used to seeing Matthew McConaughey as  a strapping, muscular, very healthy man.  However, for this role, he literally put his life on the line to play AIDS patient Ron Woodruff, an electrician who is diagnosed with HIV in 1985 and given thirty days to live.  I think by now, we have all seen the infamous pictures of him during the film shoot, or by now you have seen the actual movie.  He is difficult to watch when starting the 1 hour and 58 minute long movie because  you are looking at a McConaughey who has lost 35 to 40 pounds.  Last year, I did an Entertainer Profile on Matthew McConaughey mostly because of his stellar 2012 performances, then came Dallas Buyers Club, which he has already won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor and is frontrunner for the Best Actor Academy Award tomorrow night.  I ended that profile with this line, "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."  Little did I know that this was coming to our screens, this life changing, mind-altering, up lifting portrayal that can only be described as cinematic ecstasy.

Then there was Jared Leto, who, in my personal opinion, took six years off from acting because he wanted to come back with a splash. His portrayal of Rayon, the transgender HIV postitive woman Woodruff meets in the hospital, Leto landed with a continent covering tsunami.  I wish I could be in Los Angeles tomorrow to hand him the Best Supporting Actor award.

These were not only the performances of their careers, Leto and McConaughey give the performances that could span several careers.

The movie is good, no it's great.  Once you get past the shock of watching these two men in a whole other, and much thinner, light, you see this beautiful story emerge.  This film is a powerful look at living, dying, and all the shit we have to put up with trying to accomplish one and not the other.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.