Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club: Can You Buy in?

Twenty years ago, the quintessential AIDS movie hit the big screens. Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks, revealed the heartbreak and injustice experienced by those who were dying from this brutal disease.

Since then, other movies and Broadway shows have brought the tragic truth about this killer disease to those lucky enough to be unaffected.

Now, the question is, do we need another AIDS movie, especially since drug regimens have changed the landscape for those who are now living with, as opposed to dying from, the disease.

Enter an emaciated Matthew McConaughey as a straight dude who's HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. A tough guy, infected by a dirty needle, he's not about to give up.

The year is 1985 and he's willing to fight the establishment to save his life. Along the way, he's befriended by a lovable transvestite (Jared Leto in an Oscar-worthy performance) and the Dallas Buyers Club comes to life.

The Movie Slut thinks this film, while not too little, might be too late. Still, she was mesmerized by the incredible performances. 

Kill Your Darlings: It's not a Howl

If you're interested in learning more about beat poet Allen Ginsberg's development as the guy who took the rules and rhyme out of short-form literature, you can skip this flick.

If you're interested in his awakening as a homosexual, then by all means see this one.

The year is 1944, Ginsberg's freshman and only year at Columbia University, and this son of a traditional poet and his emotionally fragile wife, has entered a new world. Actor Daniel Radcliff does a serviceable job of portraying the cluelessness of the young Ginsberg as he meets a group of contemporaries who also rebel against the literary and heterosexual establishments.

These men include Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. But the most important in this movie is Lucien Carr, a handsome seducer whose own seduction adds drama to this movie.

Last Vegas: At Last

The Movie Slut almost skipped this flick.
"Another tired old Old Folks movie," she thought. "Been there. Seen that."
Still, she hustled on over to the multiplex with the best popcorn and comfiest seats and sat back, adopting the Missouri motto. 
"So show me."
And they did. Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert de Niro and Kevin Klein are the best ensemble cast she can remember. The script is smart. The jokes are genuinely funny. And, what's most important, the emotional truth shines brighter than the neon Las Vegas cityscape.
Don't miss this gem.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

12 Years A Slave: Don't Miss This Flick

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Soloman Northup
Finally, a year after Quentin Tarantino's despicable "Django," a movie has come to the multiplex that takes on our nation's most sinful era with appropriate anger, intelligence and despair.

Soloman Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a free man living in the north before the Civil War. In this based-on-a-true story, he is kidnapped and enslaved for more than a decade. Not every plantation owner in this painful-to-watch film is a brutal tyrant, but the tragic reality is that the system does not allow for treating slaves as humans.

Northup's war is an interior one. He must fight for his life and his dignity and live on an ever fading  dream of being reunited with his wife and children.

The movie is full of excellent performances by Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, and others. But this movie belongs to Ejiofor, who was the amazing drag queen, Lola, in the movie "Kinky Boots," a fact that testifies to the tremendous range of this brilliant British actor.

That buzz you hear as you file silently out of the theater is all about Oscar.