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August 14, 2012


The Dennis Hopper-ification of McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe

2012 is the year of Matthew McConaughey. Not the McConaughey of bland romantic comedies co-starring Kate Hudson or Jennifer Lopez, but the McConaughey of strange, surprising, dark, dirty movies where his Texan charisma has a serpentine streak, and audiences get unprecedented exposure to his ball sack.

I watched Killer Joe last night. McConaughey plays the title character, a Dallas detective who moonlights as a hired killer. This movie got an NC-17 rating, which we hardly ever see anymore, but this one really deserves it. There's a ton of brutal violence and leering menace, with clear shots of the aforementioned McConau-junk, but I'm guessing what earned the rating are a couple of scenes of sexual engagement that are at times so disturbing and inexplicable that I can't say for sure if I understood what was going on, but I'm positive it was filthy. McConaughey delightfully describes his character as a "black panther", by which I think he means a mysterious and dangerous animal, not a '60's revolutionary leftist. He's a sadistic sociopath, but at the same time he's so controlled and dominating that he's magnetic to watch.

See that black leather jacket McConaughey's wearing above? Check this out:

Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet

It took Dennis Hopper decades of cultivating his particular brand of wild, unpredictable genius to become the only actor who could play Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. We knew he was talented (Easy Rider, Cool Hand Luke, a million Westerns) but we also knew he was a maniac (Apocalypse Now, a seemingly impossible daily drug intake, the time he blew himself up with dynamite.) Then in 1986, David Lynch cast him as Frank Booth. Next he was in River's Edge as Feck, a reclusive delusional murderer in love with a blow-up doll. Dennis Hopper was back.

I feel like McConaughey is having a similar moment. He's spent all these years cementing his brand as the flamboyant golden-boy stoner, shirtless in a do-rag, holding a surfboard, playing the bongos, and supporting his lifestyle with endless disposable crappy movies that make tons of money. But all the while, he was building that charismatic energy into a force field of gonzo intense star power. Enter: Steven Soderbergh and Magic Mike. McConaughey plays the owner/MC at a male strip club who is actually named Dallas, a role so consummately made for him that it would teeter into self-parody if McConaughey wasn't so irresistibly, sleazily charming. Plus, the ball sack.

Next we'll see him in The Paperboy, where the Times says he's "playing a closeted gay reporter with a taste for rough sex and a raging death wish." Keep riding that wave, MM.

categories: Celebrities, Movies
posted by amy at 11:09 AM | #

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Your last post was about a naked Shia LaBoeuf and today is about Matthew McConnaughey naked. Someone is just *itching* for a bachelorette party, isn't she.

Posted by: T-Rock at August 14, 2012 6:29 PM

Look, I don't make the trends, I just report them. Can I help it if 2012 is the Year of the Naked Man Ass? I offer thanks to the movie gods and Harvey Weinstein for not extending this trend to include Hope Springs.

FYI, the theme of the bachelorette party is "sluts".

Posted by: amy at August 14, 2012 10:29 PM

The natural conclusion to this trend would be the "bold" decision by an older male star to go naked in a movie, like Kathy Bates in "About Schmidt." I nominate Anthony Hopkins. (Cue gross-out squeal.)

And in honor of this trend, I think you should have your bachelorette party in Tampa, home of Dallas and Magic Mike. During the Republican Convention. After all, it's not like the strip clubs for women are going to be getting any business that week.

Posted by: T-Rock at August 15, 2012 10:55 AM

Can we get a remake of Women In Love, with a twenty-minute version of the wrestling scene, starring Anthony Hopkins and, in a stunning career reinvention, Jason Bateman?

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastard at August 15, 2012 11:47 AM

Does every Ken Russell movie involve male nudity? Sounds like a worthy investigation.

But wait, how did a discussion about examples of male nudity in current movies devolve into gross-out mental images of a naked Anthony Hopkins? Depravity!

Can we keep the conversation polite and focus on On the Road's surreal sounding Garrett Hedlund-Steve Buscemi sex scene?


Posted by: amy at August 15, 2012 12:19 PM

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