Posts Tagged ‘Matthew McConaughey’

MIDG Podcast: #1 2014 Oscar Predictions

Posted 02 Mar 2014 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Industry News, Film Reviews, Hollywood Beat, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Jason A. Hill & Ezra Stead

 

oscar statue

Best Picture

Jason’s Prediction:  The Wolf of Wall Street

Jason’s Favorite: 12 Years a Slave

Ezra’s Prediction: 12 Years a Slave

Ezra’s Favorite: The Wolf of Wall Street

 

Best Directing

Jason’s Prediction:  Steve McQueen

Jason’s Favorite:  Steve McQueen

Ezra’s Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron / Steve McQueen

Ezra’s Favorite: Steve McQueen

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The Lincoln Lawyer

Posted 11 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott MartinThe Lincoln Lawyer movie

The Lincoln Lawyer, USA, 2011

Directed by Brad Furman

Consider it a John Grisham novel on steroids. Matthew McConaughey is adept at playing lawyers with an evident moral compass that they just choose to ignore. I remember the first time I saw A Time to Kill (1996) on television, and I was mostly just interested in seeing Sandra Bullock in something that wasn’t a frothy romantic comedy, but I left the film impressed mostly by McConaughey and his bittersweet performance. Fifteen years later, I’m reminded of why I like him as an actor in the first place. It’s not easy to get behind him when he comes out with films like Failure to Launch (2006), Surfer, Dude, or Fool’s Gold (both 2008), but in films like Contact (1997), Tropic Thunder (2008), or The Lincoln Lawyer, his considerable skill is put to better use. He is an actor, first and foremost, especially when he keeps his shirt on.

Mick Haller (McConaughey) is a defense attorney, and a damn good one. We’re not keyed in on his record of wins or losses, except for a few important ones, but I can imagine it’s somewhere comparable to 50-3. Even the license plate on his Lincoln sedan reads “NTGUILTY,” which is either a reminder to Haller himself that he earns an honest living, or just a mantra. He’s a drinker, and then some. You can imagine his southern charm being effective not only in the courtroom, but on the women he encounters, too. He’s genuine, but even that has its limits. Haller surrounds himself with clients and co-workers; outside of his ex-wife, Maggie (Marisa Tomei), and his private investigator, Frank (William H. Macy), I wonder if he has a true friend. The man’s clients consist of murderers, rapists, prostitutes, drug dealers - the type of roster any star defense attorney might have. Read More

Armadillo

Posted 22 Apr 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Armadillo, Denmark, 2010

Directed by Janus Metz

Armadillo is a brutal, gripping look at war.

Danish director Janus Metz’s Armadillo has been criticized by some for its use of fiction film techniques in depicting the day-to-day lives of Danish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan; many of these detractors point to the very similar American film Restrepo (2010) as a model of documentary realism, seeming to indicate that the use of color correction and non-diegetic music in Armadillo makes it somehow less “real” than that film. Restrepo also had the advantage of an earlier U.S. release date and subsequent Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature, so Armadillo, which also features a small film crew embedded with a platoon of soldiers in Afghanistan, became somewhat overlooked. However, it is largely because of the film’s post-production techniques that, for me at least, it emerges as the more gripping of the two films.

While Restrepo‘s directors, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, certainly deserve at least equal commendation for their bravery in making the film (they spent a year with their platoon, while Metz’s film covers only half that), it is precisely Metz’s more narrative-driven approach that draws the viewer in and makes his film all the more haunting. A viewer’s enjoyment of both films hinges to a great degree on their ability to be entertained by relatively unadorned reality, as much of the time spent outside of patrols and combat situations is whiled away in sheer boredom, so Metz is wise to present this reality with the gorgeous cinematography audiences have come to expect from fiction films. Whereas Restrepo‘s more traditionally documentary-style approach makes the experience akin to watching the news, Armadillo paradoxically feels more real because it is presented in the way most audience members have grown accustomed to seeing war: through the dark but beautiful visions presented in films such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987). Read More