Matthew McConaughey

Lone Star Movie

Continuing through McGenreHey, Cargill and I further prove the power of Matthew McConaughey by dissecting a movie in which he barely appears, but one in which his character’s presence is felt in every scene: Lone Star. John Sayles, henceforth known as the patron saint of Junkfood Cinema, writes and directs this southern-fried noir that spans time and operates on so many fascinating levels. One of Cargill’s favorite films, Lone Star is a captivating exploration of myth, especially of the preference of myth over truth, and how Texas is particularly prone to uplift the legend while burying the ugly facts. Oh, and it’s a film in which Matthew McConaughey plays…Chris Cooper’s father? Download, listen, and return to the scene of the crime with us! You should follow Brian (@Briguysalisbury), Cargill (@Massawyrm), and the show (@Junkfoodcinema). Download Episode #32 Directly

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interstellar.black_.hole_

As one might expect following the release of any highly anticipated film from a well-respected director, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was met with some rave reviews but also some harsh criticisms. All character issues aside, many people have been taking aim at the science in the film. It seems odd that such scrutiny is given to a movie when the director’s previous film involved a billionaire who dressed up as a bat to fight crime, who also managed to heal a broken back with a rope and some push-ups in an undisclosed hell-prison with only a dedicated CNN feed and an insane inmate to keep him company, but there you go. In fact, all the science dissection of Interstellar prompted celebrity astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson to offer his support for the film’s underlying scientific themes. He certainly enjoyed the film and was willing to forgive a number of science fiction issues, but we have to remember that the CBS interviewers are asking the difference between a black hole and a wormhole, so there’s a certain degree of dumbing down his answers needed. Tyson also claims Contact to be his favorite and the most realistic science fiction movie he’s ever seen, so we have to wonder if he’s just pushing for the McConaissance above all else. Instead of focusing on a sweeping examination of the science as a whole in Interstellar, I have to wonder about one part, and let’s give a big, fat SPOILER ALERT before getting to it. If you haven’t seen Interstellar, you’ll […]

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Frailty

Cargill and I are still slow-rolling through our month-long celebration of our favorite genre films featuring Matthew McConaughey. And this week, McGenreHey slides into one top notch religious horror flick. McConaughey bookends the flick, regaling a bewildered Powers Booth with the story of how his father (played in flashback by star/director Bill Paxton) was convinced demons were L-I-V-I-N amongst us and had to be destroyed. Download the episode to hear us heap a sacrilegious amount of love on this sadly underappreciated thriller. You should follow Brian (@Briguysalisbury), Cargill (@Massawyrm), and the show (@Junkfoodcinema). Download Episode #31 Directly

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Interstellar Memento 1

Time is a precious resource in Christopher Nolan’s most personal (i.e., non-bat-related) films, and time rarely ever runs in a linear, straightforward fashion. In Memento, time is split between a receding past and a stagnant present that changes the shape of knowledge and memory with every revelation it produces. In Inception, time is collapsed upon itself many times over, with a singular moment in one tier of consciousness extending to a multiplied time scale in others. Interstellar perhaps presents his most tortured relationship to the movement of time, wherein time is relative yet deeply consequential depending on your orientation with the cosmos, and must therefore be approached strategically. Your experience of time in Interstellar is hardly universal. It depends very much on where you are. While the film’s genre-entry depiction of the procession of time is intended as a rumination on relativity, black holes and the like, as a cinematic (i.e., non-scientific but experiential) exercise, Interstellar’s depiction of temporal relativity is truly affecting. It’s maybe the strongest suit of a rich but messy film, for it exercises something unique about the very act of watching movies.

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Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

Warning: this post contains spoilers for the movies Interstellar and Transcendence. The near-future setting of Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar is unlike most we’ve seen lately. There are no smartphones, let alone ones with personalities to fall in love with. There aren’t even many computers, save for a laptop used by Matthew McConaughey‘s more tech-friendly character. Look at the emptiness of an administrator’s desk when he has a meeting at his kids’ school. In the same scene, a teacher spouts an exposition-laden belief that people of the 20th century were wasteful and excessive and spent too much money on “useless machines.” Given the dialogue and the apparent dependency on textbooks with a rewritten history of the (faked) Apollo program, we can assume there is no longer any Wikipedia, or any internet whatsoever. Outside of the secret NASA facility, it’s a fairly analog world, one in which almost everybody is a farmer. It’s also a world that’s awfully close to the one we’re left with at the end of Transcendence, a movie that Nolan produced and which was directed by his usual cinematographer, Wally Pfister. Also set in the near-future, Transcendence is about technology getting way out of hand. Johnny Depp plays a scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, and he eventually has his consciousness uploaded to a computer server, and subsequently the internet. His digital transcendence leads to the development of useful machines employing nanotechnology to help sick people far beyond even the MRIs that McConaughey’s character in Interstellar defends. But Depp’s computer-dwelling character […]

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Matthew McConaughey in 21 Years

“The truth will only be told over a career.” This quote by Richard Linklater opens a new documentary on the filmmaker and also could be applied to another that just hit Netflix Watch Instantly this week. The first is called 21 Years: Richard Linklater and follows a career spanning more than two decades, beginning with 1991’s Slacker and ending with Before Midnight — there’s no mention of this year’s Boyhood. The second is Altman, about Robert Altman, whose long career ended eight years ago as he was scouting for locations for his next feature, at age 81. Linklater’s statement isn’t saying a life story is told over a career (you can see the context in the Reverse Shot interview it comes from), but with both films it’s hard not to expect some sort of biographical portrait of their subjects through their work. The lives of artists, Linklater and Altman included, are always defined by the art. Their jobs are who are they, the product of these jobs all pieces of themselves. 21 Years doesn’t really seem interested in getting to know Linklater as a person, though. The doc, directed by Michael Dunaway (whose day job is film editor at Paste magazine) and Tara Wood (whose IMDb acting listings include an uncredited extra role in Linklater’s The Newton Boys), does not feature the man in any form other than quotes taken from interviews and some older footage, mostly just his appearance in Slacker and clips regarding his involvement with the Austin film community. Instead it’s like a feature-length version […]

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Nostalgia for the Light

If you say 2001: A Space Odyssey, you lose a testicle. That’s how I feel about the talk around Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar and its comparisons to the Stanley Kubrick classic. Yes, there are a few reasons to mention the almost 50 years old sci-fi epic, but there are also reasons to mention the more than 100 years old A Trip to the Moon. Those are ancient, highly influential basics, and in a way any movie involving space travel should be linked back to them. They’re also understood by anyone to be essentials, so there’s little need for my added recommendation. I’d rather devote this week’s list of movies to see to less obvious works, especially since I’m including more titles than usual with this one. Interstellar is an original feature, but it’s very much drawn from other material, one predecessor of which may have had footage directly transplanted by Nolan. It’s also long and packs in a ton of ideas and plot paths. I couldn’t limit myself to only 12. And that’s still mostly ignoring Nolan’s admitted inspiration coming from 2001, Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Again, those are all basic necessities anyway. And this week’s list isn’t all about the influences, partly because as Nolan stated at Comic-Con this year, there are many: “I wouldn’t want to give too complete a list [of my sci-fi inspirations], because then when you see the film, you’ll see all the things I’ve ripped off. And I’m not joking […]

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Paramount Pictures

The Earth is in bad shape, and mankind is on the fast track to follow okra and obesity into extinction. A devastating blight has swept the planet, killing off plants and crops and making way for epic dust storms (haboobs to anyone who’s spent time in the Sudan or Arizona) that leave the small communities that remain in constant struggle for food, good health and cleanliness. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a farmer growing the only viable crop left, corn, but his heart is in the skies above. A NASA test pilot before nature and societal pressures grounded him — this is a time/place where textbooks teach that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax — he now settles for the more earthly life along with his two children and father-in-law. But someone, or something, wants him to reach for the skies once again, and they’re communicating through his daughter Murph’s (Mackenzie Foy as a child, Jessica Chastain as an adult) bedroom bookshelf. He’s soon forced to choose between the draw of his family and that of the unknown, and with the fate of humanity at stake he’s compelled to choose the latter. Along with a few other astronauts he sets out for a wormhole that promises to hold the key to the continued existence of our species. Interstellar is in many ways as ambitious and messy a film as the sci-fi adventure it’s portraying, and its themes, visuals and pockets of bald emotion are guaranteed to appeal to fans of director Christopher […]

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Reign of Fire

Shed your shirts and fire up your…bongos… as Cargill and I begin Mc-Genre-hey, a month-long series on the great genre films of Matthew McConaughey. To kick things off, we’re taking a dragon-sized bite out of the post-apocalyptic masterpiece that is Reign of Fire. What makes this film so good? Why didn’t it take off with audiences the way it should have? And how did this film potentially plant the seeds for the current McConaissance? All that, plus (in case we were coy about it before)…DRAGONS!!! You should follow Brian (@Briguysalisbury), Cargill (@Massawyrm), and the show (@Junkfoodcinema). Download Episode #30 Directly

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Interstellar

If you’re excited to see Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar on the big screen, you may be still more excited to learn that the latest film from the Dark Knight helmer and Matthew “Alright, Alright, Alright” McConaughey will hit theaters with a large number of viewing options, and not just of the “to IMAX or not to IMAX” variety. FirstShowing has been all over the Interstellar news beat, first breaking the news that the film would hit IMAX two days early and then passing along a bevy of cool screening information once Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures officially announced the news via press release. Interstellar officially opens on November 7th, but a slew of large format screenings will kick off on Tuesday, November 4th, with still more options rolling out on November 5th (all told, about 225 locations will offer the pre-screenings). Basically, if you want to see Interstellar early, you can totally do that, while also getting the best theatrical viewing experience possible. Not too shabby. But if you’re still not sure how to see Interstellar and what format is best, the film’s official site has provided a pretty nifty guide (one that you can use for Interstellar and beyond). Take a look.

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magicmike02

It was revealed this week that Matthew McConaughey is not returning to the glitz and glamour of the Magic Mike stage to resume his role of Dallas, godfather of all strippers. It’s like you win one Oscar and you just can’t wear a pair of casual leather chaps for the amusement of some Tampa cougars, geez. But blessedly, the several other stars from the cast are returning for the sequel — including  Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Gabriel Iglesias and Joe Manganiello – all unlimitedly talented when it comes to wearing tearaway pants, flirting with drug abuse and maybe crafting some custom furniture in their downtime. The second installment, titled Magic Mike XXL and directed by Gregory Jacobs, will also brings a trio of talented women into the mix: Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Amber Heard. While it’s unclear who MacDowell is playing, the plot involves our intrepid band of male exotic dancers heading on a road trip together to a strippers’ convention. It’s not exactly “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” with your siblings cross-country to Grandma’s, but family’s what you make it, right? Aside from the road trip premise, XXL‘s details are being held tightly under wraps. Aside from the stripping, of course. So, so much stripping.

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Clouds of Sils Maria

The word coming out of TIFF about Kristen Stewart’s performance in Clouds of Sils Maria mirrors the word that came out of earlier festival runs. It boils down to, “Surprise! She’s an actress!,” but Sam said it a bit more eloquently in his review: “Stewart is magnetic, devoid of the amateurish affectations that have plagued her in the past (the nail and lip biting, the hair twirling). In Clouds she’s sexy, confident and articulate, with oversized rims and enough vulnerability to draw you in.” For her fans, this has to be both a No Shit, Sherlock moment and a vindication of sorts. Here’s the child star from Panic Room (who David Fincher must have seen something in) proving that her persistence in the industry isn’t a fluke. For the skeptical, it may signal a maturation — the next step in talent evolution for a promising figure who hadn’t yet lived up to any great promise. It doesn’t really matter which it is because it depends solely on where you’re standing. The prevailing narrative is that she’s finally emerging from a cold winter although she’s been experimenting with different roles at least since Adventureland. Maybe she needed to get out of the shade of Twilight, or maybe the right blend of story and power hadn’t happened with On the Road or Welcome to the Rileys, but regardless of the hypothesis, the main point is that she’s the next actor in line for reconsideration.

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Vince Vaughn in Delivery Man

It’s time you asked yourself a tough question: when was the last time you had a genuine interest in seeing a Vince Vaughn movie? I’ll go ahead and start things off myself. Wedding Crashers. And Wedding Crashers was released 10 years ago. At first glance, Vaughn’s newly announced film The Politician looks to continue the trend of Vince Vaughn films the general public has no vested interest in. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he will star as a holder of elected office who’s caught in the act with a couple prostitutes. Rather than stand up and face his own failings, this politician gives a collective “ehhhh, the hell with this” to the nation and goes on the lam. At which point the FBI, the US Marshals and a drug gang all tear after him. But when the news broke, something curious bubbled up around it, just barely noticeable from our current position of general Vince Vaughn apathy: Talk of a Vince Vaughn comeback. It’s not much; only a few outlets are speaking of The Politician in the whispered tones and shifty eyes of “comeback” conversation. Here’s what we’ve got so far: “Maybe Vaughn truly is taking back his career á la Matthew McConaughey.” (Evan Dickson, Collider) “Hopefully that pans out and that starts something of a career comeback for Vaughn.” (Cricket Lee, GeekNation) “This film sounds like it could signal a turnaround in Vaughn’s fading star power.” (Damen Norton, UnrealityTV) “We could see a return to form for the actor.” (Graham McMorrow, JoBlo)

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Interstellar

Here is a takeaway from this latest trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar: Matthew McConaughey is going to cry a lot in this thing. The star of the upcoming sci-fi space opus already teared it up in the film’s first teaser, and now he looks like he’s back at it. This time, though, it looks like he’s crying in space. Here is another takeaway from this latest trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar: we’re going to space, you guys! This new trailer gives us a much better and wider look at what Nolan’s spacey stuff is going to look like — cold, watery, very cool — alongside McConaughey apparently sobbing at every turn. As it so happens, when you decide to go save the world and leave your family in the process, you get emotional about it. We’re right there with you, big guy. Take a look:

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True Detective

True Detective is in a slightly difficult position right now. The first season of HBO’s detective story was a fantastic eight hours of television. The central mystery itself was fairly routine, but that’s not what the first season was about: it was about seeing Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle’s (Matthew McConaughey) wildly different world views conflict and come together. Each second with Marty and Rust is a treat. Their limited exposure (in an age of 9-season TV franchises) is part of what makes the experience special. Those episodes said everything we needed to know about their relationship. Since they’re not the focus of season 2, show creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto has to create a new dynamic that will be inescapably compared to the star-gazers. Considering how people responded to Marty and Rust, that won’t be easy. Right now all we know about season 2 is it’s set in California and focuses on two men and one woman. One of the show’s executive producers, Scott Stephens, participated in a panel at the Los Angeles’ Produced By Conference over the weekend. While he couldn’t discuss any specifics, Stephens did explain how much more challenging the production will be on season 2.

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Interstellar Movie

Some people just wanna watch the world burn. Christopher Nolan might be one of them. It’s been almost half a year since our last tease, but this new Interstellar trailer gives the full force of the fire. Our wonderful planet is doomed, so the only hope for humanity is to find a new place to live. That’s where engineering whiz Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a visionary played by Michael Caine come into the picture. Yet while the larger focus is traveling to another star, Cooper is tethered to this planet by his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy). Check out the trailer for yourself:

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True Detective 1

Your theories were wrong. Well, probably. HBO’s latest opus of small screen cinema, the Nic Pizzolatto-created, Cary Fukunaga-directed, and Matthew McConaughey- and Woody-Harrelson-starring True Detective, ended its first season last night (unless you were trying to watch the season finale on HBO GO, in which case you might still be watching the flat circle of time known as the loading screen endlessly unspool) and after eight weeks of obsessive viewing, the first season finale is already the subject of intense hyperbole. The final episode, “Form and Void,” is less than a day old, and it’s already fiercely divisive – it was either the best possible ending or a tremendous letdown. The truth is, of course, somewhere in the middle – though that doesn’t mean that True Detective is not, on a whole, great entertainment. And although True Detective is the kind of often dense programming that benefits from closer reading and a few outside sources (“The Yellow King” post over at io9 remains essential), it’s also the kind that has suffered at the hand of relentless fan theorizing – because it’s those people who are most let down by its final conclusions.

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Oscar Predictions 2014: Actor

The Best Actor field this year is a bit different than normal. Christian Bale is the only nominee to have won an Oscar, and that was in the Best Supporting Actor category. More over, two of the nominees (Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey) have never received a nomination before. It’s not that these guys are newcomers. They’ve been acting for years, some of them in respected and popular films. The Academy is just finally getting around to giving them some recognition. Still, each nomination comes with a social issue attached to it. Whether it be the greed of American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street, the plight of the elderly in Nebraska, slavery and white guilt in 12 Years a Slave, or good old fashioned AIDS baiting for the Academy voters in Dallas Buyers Club, these nominations could be seen as a nod to the issue rather than the actor. (This could explain why Robert Redford and Tom Hanks were shut out of the contest this year: no social issues with lost yachters and captains who thwart Somali pirate attacks.) No matter what, someone will be winning his first Best Actor Oscar. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Actor along with my predicted winner in red…

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Things were so much simpler before Matthew McConaughey became a well-respected, critically lauded actor. The world was a brighter, shinier place. It was full of romantic comedies like Failure to Launch and The Wedding Planner and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, films where McConaughey was little more than a sparkling Southern drawl stuffed into a sport coat. That old Matthew McConaughey is gone now, lost adrift a sea of accolades and acting ability and roles that are all very serious and very sad. The new McConaughey is a serious actor who takes on tougher, more complex roles and aces them, every single time. The new McConaughey is a man who will actually close his drapes before stripping nude, getting high and pounding on his conga drums like an insane person. It’s a whole new world out there. And it’s a world that will continue into Sea of Trees, the latest role McConaughey will, presumably, be really really great in. The film, according to The Wrap, will be directed by Gus Van Sant and star McConaughey as a depressed man who ventures into Japan’s Aokigahara Forest with plans to commit suicide. There, he’ll meet Ken Watanabe, who entered the forest with similar motives but has since undergone a change of heart and wants to live. Together, the two of them will “begin a journey of reflection and survival.”

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mcconaugheytampa

As I’m sure you’re aware, Matthew McConaughey is currently experiencing His Moment. Seemingly resurrected from the depths of bankable but critically ill-regarded romantic comedies, McConaughey is now headlining a gritty new HBO series, briefly stealing a scene in a Scorsese movie from fellow Best Actor nominee Leo DiCaprio, taking the lead in a characteristically ambitious and mysterious new Christopher Nolan movie, and, of course, cementing it all with an Oscar nomination and plenty of momentum to take home the statue in March. The fascinating turn of events that have occurred in the former Sahara star’s career since 2011, aka “The McConaissance,” is catnip for people who enjoy treating Hollywood seriously: it represents a tacit recognition by the star of the inherent limitations of Hollywood, and an attempt to transcend them; it evinces a star aware of his own public persona, who is seeking out roles that play with, and even subvert, that persona; and this particular star’s devotion to truly off-beat roles has made for something far more interesting than conventional career “comebacks” a la your Travolta, Rourke, or Downey, Jr. An Oscar for McConaughey would likely represent the apotheosis of the actor’s decisive shift in creative effort, a reward for his calculated and compelling career “redemption.” But McConaughey’s recognition for Dallas Buyers Club shows how even the most surprising of career moves are recognized for their most conventional and least surprising moments.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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