Sunday, February 16, 2014

Movie Review ... Dallas Buyers Club

 

Dallas_Buyers_Club_10Back in the early to mid-1980’s AIDS became a paranoid subject.  An unknown disease for which there was no known cure caused world-wide ramifications still being felt.  Based on true events, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ explores a person’s response to the crisis.  Like many stories based around AIDS it’s one of struggle and determination to maintain dignity whilst battling the spectre of death.

In 1985 electrician and rodeo rider Rod Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) lives life to the max.  A racist homophobe continually drive his narrow world-view.  When in hospital for a work injury he is diagnosed as HIV positive. Shocked, he tries to find a cure.  He thinks he finds it in a new drug only on sale in Mexico.  Appalled at the strict rules applied by the American medical profession, he aims to help others in similar circumstances by any illegal means possible.

As clich├ęd as it sounds, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is a classic example of someone’s ‘journey’.  Beginning from a point of uninformed ignorance, Woodroof eventually has his eyes opened in unimagined ways.  His friendship with fellow sufferer Raymond (Jared Leto), a transgendered woman and sympathetic Doctor Eve (Jennifer Garner) forces him to confront his past behaviour.  Whilst his opportunism initially sees him providing aid at a price, it’s his dogged resolve that ultimately defines him.

Director Jean-Marc Vallee presents these strands in a straight-forward manner free of sentiment.  Whilst often resembling a potted lecture of medical procedures of the era, the screenplay ensures you care about its characters.  Due to McConaughey’s solid performance you gain a begrudging respect for Woodroof despite his early nastiness.  Leto and Garner give fine support as people reminding Woodroof that compassion and resilience can be found anywhere.

Whilst ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ may have the ingredients needed to capture award voter’s attentions, it maintains its sense of humanity.  It was the early work of Woodroof which gave hope to many AIDS victims with his legacy towards a permanent cure one never forgotten.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

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Movie Review ... Endless Love

 

hr_Endless_Love_5Based on Scott Spencer’s novel ‘Endless Love’ was originally a hit in 1981. Most of its appeal lay in the charms of rising star Brooke Shields and the successful Lionel Richie/Diana Ross title tune.  Neither are in this re-make although it maintains the original’s melodramatics.  It is pure Mills and Boon stuff with the ‘boy gets girl/loses girl’ theme working over-time.  The edge given from some of the new cast make it watchable as each new development adds to the ongoing saga.

Working as a valet, bad boy David (Alex Pettyfer) aims to clean up his life. Often in trouble with the law, his wayward ways have caught attention.  Life seems good until he catches the eye of Jade (Gabriella Wilde).  Entranced, they begin a torrid affair.  When her father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood) discovers he pulls out all stops to end a relationship rapidly escalating in forbidden intensity.

‘Endless Love’ follows the typical film romance formula.  The right boxes are ticked with a soft-rock soundtrack, discreet glances and tears ruling the day.  It’s a very bland affair filled with some appallingly lifeless performances.  The leads are especially awful as they display zero chemistry and are hampered by their meagre acting abilities.  Only Greenwood’s character maintains interest as his haunted father becomes trapped in a tsunami of hatred and grief.

Faced with a generally uninspired cast and screenplay, Director Shana Feste is forced to shoot lots of slow-motion shots.  Filmed through a seeming Vaseline-smeared lens, ‘Endless Love’ looks like the very pretty fantasy it represents.  It is difficult believing any of the drama as one ridiculously silly sequence overlaps the other.  Less is sometimes more in screen romances with the dreadfully written dialogue causing mirth than lovelorn anguish.

‘Endless Love’ is a cleaner and safer version of the admired original.  Totally predictable with little to recommend it, its few saving graces aren’t enough to prevent sighs of relief when the end titles finally arrive.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  2

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

Official HomePage click HERE

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