Greetings from my mother's basement. I have actually seen some films lately, so it's probably time to talk about that. First up: Matthew McConaughey's latest, Mud. Now, it's probably no Killer Joe, and it's a step up from The Lincoln Lawyer, no question. Somewhere in that classic-ish area, but auteur extraordinaire Jeff Nichols needn't worry. He's got the four films under his belt... and, why look! They all made it into his IMDb Top 4! He should quit while he's on top, because that fifth film's going to knock one out of his top 4. Something tells me that Shotgun Stories is going to take the fall.
Anyway, the cinematography's great, as it doesn't look like crappy digital video. Maybe it's digital video 2.0. And the locations are all right, just down the street from where Beasts of the Southern Wild was filmed. Still... the spell gets broken for me by a couple things. First off, I know McConaughey's possessed by magic of some kind, but when he makes his first appearance, he must've snuck up awful darn quick or something! How come I can never pull off a sleight of whole self like that? And don't even get me started on the footprints that lead to nowhere. The comparisons to Jesus are ripe for the making.
Second... SPOILER ALERT. On an island just off of what I'm assuming is the Mississippi Delta, there's a boat in a tree. A boat big enough to live somewhat comfortably in. And it's got cans of Beanee Weenee in it. I couldn't help but be reminded of Martin Sheen's 1990 silver screen directorial debut called Cadence. Apparently, directing his son was such an unpleasant experience, he swore off ever directing again. But in the movie itself, Charlie sees his goal... I forget what it is. Probably escape from the army stockade. But Charlie sets his sights on that goal early, and his obsession occupies the rest of the movie, like a stick of dynamite with a 90-minute-long wick on it. So too with 1998's Small Soldiers. SPOILER ALERT: the Gorgonites set their sights on the toy ship in the toy store, and by the end of the movie, they're sailing away to freedom on it... or they're about to get sucked into a sewage drain, one or the other. And so it is with Mud. The quest for the boat will occupy the whole rest of the movie. Apparently, in this day and age, no one is looking for the boat, and the boat has no licenses to speak of. Not quite like the plane in A Simple Plan.
The film also stars Ray McKinnon as the embattled, embittered father who doesn't want to give up his crap shack on the river. If you're like me, you remember him best as Vernon T. Waldrip in O Brother. Why, I'll bet you anything it's in his IMDb Top 4!
Also, there's a big shootout at the end, on the very same crap shack I spoke of earlier. I'll commend the direction of that, as I thought I was watching an episode of Person of Interest. It was just that intense! A tad improbable, but still intense.
And that's about all I have to say about that... except that die-hard McConaughey fans will especially appreciate his "protected" shirt. SPOILER ALERT: the shirt eventually does come off. Alas, he's not as in shape as he could've been. But give the guy a break! He's 44 years old already! Time for some flab to set in.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan