Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
1. The performances - While the movie won't make my Top 10 list for the year (maybe top 20), the performances are outstanding. Matthew McConaughey should be a double Oscar nominee this year for Best Actor (for this movie) and Best Supporting Actor (for Mud and possibly The Wolf of Wall Street at the rate he's going). The best part of the movie, though, is that the supporting actor is just as strong. I hold Jared Leto up on a pedestal after his performance in Requiem For a Dream, which 13 years later is still one of my favorite performances ever (and one of my favorite movies ever, even though I've only seen it once. I don't need to see it again. Its images are burned in my memory forever.). The two of them are astonishing in this movie, as the pair form an unlikely bond. Both of their performances can be described as bold, vulnerable, raw and complex - but in completely different ways. Their relationship is the foundation of the story and it is what held my interest. Also, I'm happy to see Jennifer Garner in a role like this, instead of the crap she's been doing (like that other movie she was in with McConaughey, the one with the ghosts. Horrific.).
2. The AIDS epidemic - This is the kind of subject matter that is very hard to give justice to. There is a fine line of "look how far we've come" and "we still have such a long way to go". With the film taking place just as the AIDS epidemic began to burst at the seams, it's an unapologetic and depressing insight into how society dealt with the disease. It's based on a true story about an actual "buyers club" that was formed as a response to the FDA and pharmaceutical companies controlling patient care. The problem is that this is still happening! I'm going to go along with the conspiracy theorists on this one and declare that I fully believe a cure for AIDS exists, but there is just too much money to be made off of the disease. The only way we can stop this disease is through education, because the health care system is never going to give us a cure. Then, the problem is that many religious/conservative people still try to fight against sex education in schools. It's a never-ending cycle of fighting with people who don't care about humanity (only themselves and their personal beliefs). I think this is the kind of story-telling that is jarring enough to open some closed minds, but unfortunately, I don't think that the close-minded will actually watch a movie like this.
3. The 80's - Oh the 80's. Wasn't it just fantastic? Haha...I'm kidding. The problem that I have about modern movies that take place in the 80's, is that I find myself laughing at the ridiculous outfits, the gigantic technological devices (phones, tv's, etc). It always ends up a distraction for me. However, this movie did it very well. It felt genuine and natural. Nothing felt out of place, allowing the characters to really capture your full attention. I'm not sure what this movie did differently, but whatever it is, it worked.