Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Reign Of Fire
Apparently I carry quite a bit of weight outside the blogosphere. My influence has transcended the confines of cyberspace (do people still use that word, "cyberspace"? Just me?) and relegated Fever Pitch to third place in its opening weekend. Apparently people take their Hot Babysitters very very seriously. I am humbled. In fact, I would go so far as to say I am the most humbled motherfucker on the planet. I am the humbled-est man ever.

Sin City finished in second place, its continuing success a further testament to my power of popular suggestion.

First place? Sahara. That has me stumped, I'll be honest. It does have William H. Macy, a great actor who has proven he will do literally anything for money, Delroy Lindo and Steve Zahn cagily reprising the sidekick role he was born to play.

But the leads are Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.

Asleep yet?

I live in California, about 50 miles west of Hollywood. I've seen enough homeless people all over SoCal to know that there are hundreds and thousands of people who come out here every year to "make it", truly gifted people who survive a couple of pilot seasons before being spit out onto the streets, wearing shopping bags for shoes, talking to lamp posts and scaring my kids.

Somehow this system that crushes far more dreams than it could ever fulfill has given us Matthew McConaughey, Movie Star.

I understand that some people have some affection for him, but come on, Dazed and Confused was a really long time ago. Didn't anyone else see him in Amistad? No, I guess in retrospect nobody did.

That's a shame too because any pro-McConaughey argument anyone could make to me, my answer is always Amistad. Perhaps that's somewhat unfair as he was spectacularly miscast in that film, but then I would argue he's miscast in every film where he is required to portray a human being who speaks.

"But Pops, he was in Lone Star."

Uh... Amistad. And that was Chris Cooper's movie, not his.

"Come on Pops, A Time To Kill wasn't bad."

Amistad. And that had Sam Jackson in it, so nobody else counts.

Just to prove my point, Matthew then went on to make three of the worst movies ever committed to film, Edtv, The Wedding Planner (definitively ruining the Jennifer Lopez who was great in Out of Sight) and the exceptionally awful How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, a film I will never forgive Mrs. Pops for making me watch.

Let's try to figure out what the common denominator of suckitude in each film was, shall we? Edtv was directed by Ron Howard who, despite being now and forever Richie Cunningham, is also one of the most successful directors working. Plus he's the voice-over guy on Arrested Development, so he gets a pass. That one can't be his fault.

Like I said, before The Wedding Planner Jennifer Lopez was actually an actress who was in The Cell and Out of Sight and U Turn and Blood & Wine with Nicholson. After she did one movie with McConaughey, she went all "J-Lo" on us, culminating in Gigli. OK, so she has her own issues.

And Kate Hudson came off a great movie like Almost Famous only to be trapped next to the inscrutable flesh obelisk that is our hero Matthew, a painfully unfunny leading man in a painfully unfunny movie.

I think if I spin this out Kevin Bacon-style, I can pin 90% of all the bad cinema in the last 15 years on Matthew McConaughey.

The point is I just don't understand the appeal. There is a certain faction who has categorized him as "hot", but I wouldn't really know anything about that. In my house it's all about Naveen Andrews at the moment. Mrs. Pops likes her beefcake with an accent, not so much of a twang.

There is no justice in the world. If there were, Matthew McConaughey would be wearing shopping bags for shoes (paper even, none of that fancy waterproof plastic) and talking to lamp posts and Jeffrey Wright would be the lead in the #1 film in America.

Now we'll see what kind of weight I really carry. By this time next week, Matthew McConaughey's career should be pretty much over. Everybody write your congressperson. Let's make this happen.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.1



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