Skip to main content

Check Out New York Comic Con's #TheLastJedi Exhibit

Dallas Buyers Club Review. The Film Is Sure To Be An Oscar Contender, But We're Not Happy About It

Dallas Buyers Club Review
By: MattInRC

Why does the raunchy Dallas Buyers Club have to be so...raunchy?


The intense and rowdy Dallas Buyers Club is uncomfortable to watch, not merely for its story about a 1986 Dallas bull rider stricken with AIDS (a particularly good Matthew McConaughey) and his attempts to bring medicine across the Mexican border, but for the line it crosses in the first minute. McConaughey's Woodroof is seen having sex in the bull stalls before a competition, while a fellow rider appears to die in the ring. For that time, such lewd behavior was probably normal, but soon he's using language that no reviewer can share to describe actor Rock Hudson's affliction and Woodroof's feelings about homosexuals. Cue the moment when a local doctor informs him that he too has contracted HIV, due entirely to a wild sex-drugs lifestyle that's left him emaciated and easily bruised. Woodroof decides it's time to seek treatment, which won't happen easily, as he tries to befriend a local doctor (Jennifer Garner) who is testing the potentially-toxic AZT on high-risk patients. Left with no other choice, Woodruff crosses the Mexican border to buy drugs the FDA won't approve, but soon starts hustling his stash to people like the transvestite Rayon (Jared Leto). As his number of clients begins rise, Woodroof realizes that AIDS has become an epidemic with the FDA's complicity keeping him and others from seeking proper treatment, and organizes a Buyers Club to combat them.


Dallas is the kind of film that seeks to be unapologetic, forcing others to recognize its blaring independence in an effort to gain needed credibility. It's dirty, dingy, fouled-mouth, and as sexually and morally available as some people were back in the 80's. The problem is that half of what we see isn't necessary to the story, for it can never seem to shake off its drugs-drinking-sex moniker. Just when you think we've seen Woodroof take a moral turn - or we're gladly at film's end for that matter - we're granted a particularly unnecessary sequence showing off his affection for loose women that hovers near NC-17 Land. This does nothing to further the story, and actually makes all of his efforts seem like he hasn't learned a single lesson. It's almost as if Director Jean-Marc Vallée is looking for shock value, aided by a topic that needed Dallas 25 years ago. With Producer Robbie Brenner's admission that he had in fact been trying to sell it to a studio for the past 25 years, this one arrives too little too late to make the impact that the AIDS movement sorely needed at that time.


This isn't the only issue holding Dallas back: McConaughey's physical transformation is startling - you want to buy the guy a couple of sandwiches in the hopes of prepping him for his next film. But there's a lot of his performance left over from Magic Mike here, impersonating a priest at one point and a wholesale buyer in Asia at another. These bits of comedy remind us of the old McConaughey and demean what is mostly an excellent performance. His chemistry with Leto is spot-on, as the two act like the couple that couldn't be from different sides of the track. Sadly, Vallée misses the boat entirely with Garner, whose miscasting makes her the third wheel we couldn't care less about..


Dallas Buyers Club is not here to take a stand on AIDS, nor does its message center on gay rights. It's merely about an indecent man getting more time to live the way he wants and realizing that he can economically benefit from helping similar people along the way. If that's not a definition of an anti-hero, we don't know what is. But we can't quite recommend it, either for its incredibly uncomfortable rowdy language that soon numbs you to it, or its message that angry and violent men can somehow inspire an entire movement while retaining the core beliefs that brought them to this point. True, Woodroff does mature (somewhat) throughout the film, but when you're already at a zero, this sort of incremental change isn't much. And while Dallas Buyers Club might score February glory for McConaughey and perhaps Leto, their great performances are overshadowed by a lifestyle that Vallée can't help but show us over and over again.

One hopes this kind of anti-hero isn't the new black, as last year's Oscar contenders featured good people trying to do right. This is really Denzel Washington's Flight all over again, with an immoral man trying to cover up his previous mistakes by committing new ones. If that's what you want from your films, then pay early and often for Dallas Buyers Club, which is rated R for everything imaginable and has a runtime of 117 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Please Leave A Comment-

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See SUBURBICON In Cleveland

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See SUBURBICON on October 23th at 7:00 PM in Cleveland.

Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns…the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence. This is a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices. This is Suburbicon.

Paramount Pictures release SUBURBICON starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac.
Directed by George Clooney.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

In theaters Friday, October 27th

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuburbiconMovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuburbiconMovie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/SuburbiconM...

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

SEATING IS LIMITED, SO ARRIVE EARLY.

PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE A SEAT AT THE SCREENING.

This screening will b…

THOR: RAGNAROK Contest! For Houston

© 2017 Marvel Studios
Enter for your chance to win passes for 2 to a special IMAX 3D Advance Screening of THOR: RAGNAROK on October 30th at 7:30PM in Houston

In Marvel Studios’ “THOR: RAGNAROK,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.



In theatres November 3!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Website: Marvel.com/Thor
Facebook: /Thor
Twitter: @ThorOfficial
Hashtag: #ThorRagnarok

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

Limit 2 admit-one passes per person. This film is rated PG-13. Must be 13 years of age or older to win passes. Employees of all promotional partners and t…

THOR: RAGNAROK Contest! For San Antonio

© 2017 Marvel Studios Enter for your chance to win passes for 2 to a special 3D Advance Screening of THOR: RAGNAROK on October 30th at 7:30PM in San Antonio

In Marvel Studios’ “THOR: RAGNAROK,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.



In theatres November 3!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Website: Marvel.com/Thor
Facebook: /Thor
Twitter: @ThorOfficial
Hashtag: #ThorRagnarok

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

Limit 2 admit-one passes per person. This film is rated PG-13. Must be 13 years of age or older to win passes. Employees of all promotional partners and the…