Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray Review

The Dallas Buyers Club

Playing a real life person?

Check.

Someone who has to face an unfolding tragedy in their life?

Check.

Do you need to dramatically gain or lose weight to play said role?

Check.

Aye, The Dallas Buyers Club ticks about every box needed to help an actor win an Oscar these days, but is it as good a film as these awards would suggest?

We begin with a moustachioed Matthew McConaughey shaped character fucking two girls in some rodeo joint somewhere inside southern America.

Or what McConaughey calls Tuesday afternoon.

This is Ron Woodruff, and he’s lead a white trash life of drinking, gambling, doing the occasional bit of work as an electrician and, of course, fucking.

Yup, it seems fucking is just about the one thing in this life Ronnie actually excels at.

And being the gambling man that he is, as well as living in the eighties, Woodruff has no qualms about riding bareback; either in the rodeo or with a working girl.

After quite literally getting a shock during his nine-to-five life, Ron wakes up in a hospital and some news that he finds even more shocking than 30,000 volts surging through his body.

Woodruff has aids.

Having tried to knock out his attending doctor for asking whether he likes having his shit pushed in, Ron storms out the hospital and tries to put together all the pieces that add up to his newly shortened life expectancy of thirty days.

Desperate for a cure that doesn’t exist, our antihero scours legal and illegal ways of getting his hands on some meds that’ll buy him some more time.

And that’s where Ron’s journey into setting up The Dallas Buyers Club begins.

Having missed out on this film ahead of its double Oscar winning triumph, I was keen to get my hands on the home entertainment version when it came my way.

And I was a little underwhelmed to be honest.

Having heard the hype, I was expecting big things of The Dallas Buyer’s Club, but it doesn’t really deliver for me.

Sure, it’s a true story about a worthy cause with credible and now Oscar winning actors McConaughey and Jared Leto in the lead roles, both of whom lost a serious amount of weight for their craft.

And while both of them are good in their respective roles, I can think of better acting performances I’ve seen in the last film year.

Oscar Isaac was terrific as the protagonist of the cine brother’s pitch perfect Inside Llewyn Davis, while Joaquin Phoenix excelled in Her while acting with a computer screen.

But neither of these roles were based on a true story, they didn’t have to shed or put on any weight, and that appears to be a prerequisite for Oscar success these days.

Which isn’t to say that The Dallas Buyers Club or its two male leads aren’t worth watching, they most certainly are.

But if there are any actors out there desperate to win an Oscar, they could do a lot worse than check this out.

Jonathan Campbell

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June 2014
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