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Dallas Buyers Club

Updated on April 20, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Writers: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O'Hare, Steve Zahn, Michael O'Neill, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Rankin, Donna Duplantier, Deneen Tyler, J.D. Evermore, Ian Casselberry, Noelle Wilcox, Bradford Cox

Synopsis: In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use

Stevennix2001's Rating:

8.8/ 10

Pros:


- Interesting story.

- Nice set up, and strong characterization

- Well paced

- Good cinematography

- Good acting performances

- Jared Leto was excellent in his role

- Great chemistry among the actors

Cons:


- Matthew McConaughey's alleged great performance was a bit exaggerated, but he was still good in it nonetheless.

- Story takes a bit of time getting started.

Dare to Live

While I won't go on record saying that the "Dallas Buyers Club" was a great film, but it was arguably one of the more interesting ones of last year. Inspired by true events. "Dallas Buyers Club" centers around a protagonist named Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), who lives a very loose life style of drinking, smoking, drug addiction, and having promiscuous sex with various girls. Hell, he even does some these girls without a condom.. He's also something of a racist, and he's homophobic to boot. You know...because we southerners roll like that right? I'm just kidding.

Anyways, the story takes place in 1985 in Dallas, Texas. Ron finds out that he has the HIV virus, and he's not exactly happy about it either, as he's even told that he's going to die in thirty days.

Needless to say, he doesn't take the news well, but he ends up finding out about a clinical drug to treat it called AZT, which is still in it's clinical testing stages. Sadly, he's not allowed to purchase this over the counter, so he's forced to resort to other various means to get it.

Unfortunately, he later learns that the drug could potentially do more harm than good, so he's forced to seek alternative medication not approved by the FDA, so this leads to a plethora of problems later on.

To make a long story short, he starts up a club called the Dallas Buyers Club, where HIV patients can purchase memberships into his club. And to sweeten the deal, every member is entitled to free medication that he brings in from out of the country; which sadly means these drugs aren't exactly legal to use in the USA. Along the way, he even befriends a transvestite named Rayon (Jared Leto), whom helps him in this little operation. And, that's basically all you really need to know about the story without giving away too much.

The story for the most part wasn't that bad, as it's arguably one of the more interesting ones of last year. On the one hand, you can see where the protagonist is coming from by searching for other means to cure himself, but at the same time, you can also understand the government's point of view as to why they wouldn't want non FDA approved drugs to be used in the USA. It's a tough situation to be in because both sides are right to some degree. However, that doesn't mean I agree with the tactics that the government is portrayed using in the film.

Throughout the movie, the government uses various underhanded tactics to usurp many of Ron's efforts to supply other HIV patients alternative medication. Many of these efforts were harsh bullying tactics that quite frankly make you question the extent of the government's true intentions.

It's an interesting movie to watch if only to see how it plays out. Like all great films, it has a good mixture of drama, and a heavy dose of great characterization. The characters were all very interesting, and the cinematography isn't half bad either. Although the camera work seems like something you'd see more out of a made for TV movie kind of deal versus what you'd see on the big screen. However, it was pretty good though.

The only real gripe I had about this movie was that the story seemed to start off kind of slow at first, but it gradually picks up as you watch the film. Other than that, I really don't have any real complaints about "Dallas Buyers Club."

As far as the acting goes, I thought all the actors played their parts rather well; particularly Jared Leto. I don't know what his true sexual orientation is, but if he's not gay, then he certainly fooled me in this film. Not only did he convince me that he was gay, but I honestly didn't even recognize Jared Leto at all when I saw this film. Kudos to his performance, as his Oscar victory was certainly deserved. Not to mention the make up artists and costume designers did a great job helping him to become immersed into the role. Of course, it helps when you have actors that seem to have a lot of great chemistry among each other.

As for Mr. McConaughey, I know I'm going to get a lot of flak for saying this, but I'm just going to say it. I highly disagree with his nomination for "Best Actor" this year at the Oscars. Don't get me wrong, he did a great job in this film. In fact, this is probably his best performance that I've ever seen him in. However, in every role he plays, it seems like he's always playing the same damn character, which happens to be slick back southern Texan. Maybe it's just me, but that's exactly how he comes across in every part I've seen him play. Even when he had that small cameo in "Wolf of Wall Street", he still came out sounding like a slick back southern Texan versus being a wall street douchebag like he was supposed to be in the movie.

Sure, I'm happy for Matthew McConaughey, as I hope this film will help him out with his career. In fact, I'll be the first to admit that he got way more flak than he probably deserved, back when he was making those mediocre romantic comedies for awhile. However, if you're going to ask me if I think he's one of the best actors in Hollywood, then I'm just going to say as of right now...I just don't see it. He's a very good actor, but he's hardly a great one by any means.

Overall, "Dallas Buyers Club" is definitely worth a rental if you're into dramas, as it's certainly one of the more interesting movies of last year.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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