Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mud

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Someday I hope to become friends with a homeless drifter named Mud...or at least a poverty-sicken, domicile-owning non-drifter named Dirt.




Mud – 4 out of 5

Mud asks the important question: Can Matthew McConaughey play in a movie that requires him to be in a shirt the entire time?

In case you’re wondering, ladies…no, he can’t. He does, in fact, end up shirtless in this film.


Bet you thought I was going to put in a pic of McConaughey without a shirt...
well, THINK AGAIN!



Two Southern teenage boys; Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (yes, that’s the character’s name and he’s played by Jacob Lofland), find a boat perched in a tree (who hasn’t been there, right?) and think they’ve stumbled upon the perfect place to “get away from it all.”  (Especially since they find a stack of porn in it!) The problem is they find out that someone else has already laid claim to the boat and is living in it (making the stash of porn all that more disgusting). The owner of the boat (or self-proclaimed owner) calls himself Mud (Matthew McConaughey) and he’s got a shady past creeping behind him—although, I find this concept to be shocking because everyone I’ve met that has lead a life that pushes them to living in an abandoned boat to be upstanding citizens who only got there because the shitty economy (thanks a lot, Obama!). Ellis and Neckbone quickly find themselves befriending Mud and involving themselves in his life as they agree to help him fix the boat and reunite with his lost love; Juniper (Reese Witherspoon)—all this while dealing with their own problems like girls and seeing parents fight and split.


One of the boys is a time-travelling River Phoenix, by the way.


While I made some easy (and some commenters will say, “lame”) jokes about the movie in my synopsis, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Mud is one of those really strong human drama stories that shows the complications that come from growing up…and how they can be 10x worse when you meet a river hobo named Mud…and then THAT gets 10x worse when your story and hardships start to mirror Mud’s (which totally happens in the film…I don’t know if I made that clear).


I'll admit that I'm greatly disappointed that this film lacked immensely in the
"McConaughey jumping into a dragon's mouth" department.


The performances were really strong and really kept the drama very dramatic and the story going. Matthew McConaughey was really intriguing as Mud and his performance made the character captivating to the point I simultaneously wanted to know what happened in his life to get him to this point and feared that the reason would be one I would not want to know.  It's also a continuing example of how great McConaughey's career is becoming as he is staying far away from romcoms and proving he has acting skills beyond being the object of desire to some quirky leading lady. The real scene-stealer, however, had to have been Tye Sheridan as Ellis. Not only was the story of watching this boy deal with his issues at home, issues with girls treating him like shit and issues with getting to know Mud were interesting but Sheridan was really, REALLY awesome to watch. He was better than some big name actors who get starring roles despite the fact their craft has been coasting on name recognition for years (I’m not pointing fingers at anyone in particular but you know who you are).


Yeah, Sheridan was good but the real star was the cans of Beanee Weenee.



Here's Witherspoon, doing her impression of a overly
dramatic teenager...pretty soon she's going to ask
you to read her poetry because it's, like, super meaningful
and junk.
 Even Reese Witherspoon, an actress I normally don’t give much consideration to because whenever I see her Legally Blonde dominates my thoughts and I immediately have a seizure, proved to be perfect for the role as Juniper. While she doesn’t have much screen time, I found I really enjoyed her as the timid, very broken woman. My only complaint with the cast is the fact that Michael Shannon plays Neckbone’s uncle and isn’t in it as much as a man as talented as Michael “Fucking” Shannon should be…but since the rest of the movie is great, this barely registers as a complaint.

Look at him...he's so happy!  We should kneel before him.


The human interaction and drama is what keeps this movie flowing (like how wet dirt is capable of flowing...what do you call that stuff again?) and it does so tremendously well. I also really dug how the similarities start to build between Ellis and Mud’s journeys as it made the story and characters even deeper and more meaningful.

Mud isn’t a flashy tale or a complex story, it’s just a simply and dramatic movie about a man with a broken past looking for redemption (or at least a successful escape from the past) and the impact he leaves on two boys trying to find their own mark in the world. The story and drama are done just right and the performances are incredibly tight and done to near perfection. It also shows that even looking like he’s never even heard of a shower and has a chipped tooth, Matthew McConaughey can still make women’s panties dematerialize from their bodies.


Seriously, is it possible for him to not be irresistible to the ladies?


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