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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unwitting Advocate
As a nurse during the AIDS crisis in the 1980's, it was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career. Dying men, families and friends who rejected them. Homemade signs as anyone entered town saying "BillyBob is a f*****, and he has AIDS. Funeral homes who would not take a person who had died with HIV. I could go on and on, but this film gives us a first hand...
Published 5 months ago by prisrob

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch
Not something I would watch again, but the Mathews acting was absolutely amazing. Interesting, frustrating, scary, and gut wrenching story.
Published 1 month ago by Kat


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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unwitting Advocate, 5 Feb 2014
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [Blu-ray] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
As a nurse during the AIDS crisis in the 1980's, it was one of the most frustrating experiences of my career. Dying men, families and friends who rejected them. Homemade signs as anyone entered town saying "BillyBob is a f*****, and he has AIDS. Funeral homes who would not take a person who had died with HIV. I could go on and on, but this film gives us a first hand experience.

"Dallas Buyers Club," directed by Jean-Marc Vallée gives us the story of a man, who had unprotected sex, mainlined drugs and developed HIV. You can find this kind of story anywhere, but it is the performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto that bring this film to life. Ron Woodroof, played by McConaughey was a real-life figure. Diagnosed with HIV he could not believe it, a heterosexual man, cowboy, rodeo man, found himself with a 30 day life sentence. Unable to be part of the AZT trials, he began exploring alternative medications, went to Mexico and got better. He became partners with the men he detested the most, and soon became friends with them.

Jared Leto, as the transsexual, Rayon, is the epitome of an actor that transcends space and time. He deserves the Academy Award for his portrayal. We become emotionally involved with these two characters as they try to save their kind, while at the same time making money by charging to belong to the 'Club' and obtaining medications to keep them alive. Fighting the FDA, the physicians, big Pharma and any legal entity , they did their thing. Both actors lost a great deal of weight fir these roles, and it shows. We are waiting for them to keel over.

Try not to come to this film with pre-conceived ideas about this community. Let yourself into the story, and believe and observe their life. It takes a strong commitment to fight this good fight. Excellent film, but the performances will overwhelm you.

Recommended. prisrob 02-04-15
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Approved Performance, 28 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. A. J. Richards "yourbiteall" (Weston Super Mare) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [DVD] (DVD)
Well if you weren't a believer of the 'McConaughsance' you surely will be swayed after his outstanding turn as Ron Woodruf, an ignorant, blunt man who lives each moment as if it's his last until the day he is told that final day is coming around the corner very soon due to contracting the HIV virus. With terrific support from Jared Leto as his trans-gender pre-op confidante and Jennifer Garner as the smart non-judgemental doctor, Dallas Buyers Club slowly turns into the sort of movie that is worth your time and investment.
The character work in Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack's screenplay is sublime. offensive, ornery and devilishly confident, Ron remains a prickly rascal throughout, inappropriately selfless in how gloriously selfish he is. He staggers and swaggers through the film, refusing to die when the doctors say he should, persistent and confrontational to the end. you will be with him in spirit every step of the way.
there is also an interesting political, commercial aside going on especially towards the end of the film that adds textures and layers to the debate of the morality on show in the movie. Despite a harrowing subject it never overplays anything, remaining subtle for the most part and hardly a note of music is heard anywhere in terms of classical scoring.
If i had a gripe it would be to do with the pacing of the film..it can become a little confusing in terms of its time-line process but other than that this is the first great film of 2014. A film this bold and honest about imperfection and illness never felt so unashamed.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making changes inside the system by working outside the system, 14 Jan 2014
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [Blu-ray] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
1985. A sexually active, straight, carousing, drug abusing Texas rodeo cowboy collapses. At the hospital he is told he has HIV and has less than thirty days to live. Does he succumb to the diagnosis, or does something else happen entirely?

Dallas Buyers Club is based on a true story about Ron Woodruff. I must admit I was unfamiliar with this movie. The ticket seller gave me an unconvincing outline, and I was about to walk away when a couple overhearing our conversation assured me it was a good movie.

I am glad to say they were correct. This is the exact type of movie that wins Oscars, and gets many nominations.

Matthew Mc Conaughey deserves to be nominated for playing someone battling a deadly disease who takes on big drugs and the FDA, to enable other sufferers like himself to have access to supplements and life saving drugs. He reputedly lost about 40 pounds for the role, and at times does look very gaunt, which gives an added layer of reality to his portrayal.

This is a multi faceted movie full of interesting characters, which operates on multiple levels at once. The personal struggle, the parallel struggles and contrasts, and the battle against different facets of authority. Jennifer Garner in a supporting role plays a feisty yet compassionate doctor, while a colleague with more of an eye to profit becomes a doctor shill for big drugs, which are experimental, still unproven, and in the clinical trial stage, and may have toxic side effects, while our protagonist has to chase down a caring and competent doctor in Mexico who was disbarred, for less toxic alternatives.

Why does one experimental method, with an unproven drug, take priority over drugs that are unapproved by the FDA? Aren't drugs undergoing clinical trials also unapproved? In both cases aren't people offering themselves as guinea pigs, and why shouldn't they be allowed to do that? After all, it is their lives.

I loved this movie, and I found the story far more engaging than I thought I would beforehand. I was particularly intrigued and a little surprised by how hard hitting it was against the FDA, and the role it plays in connection with the big pharmaceutical companies, and how it restricts our access even to harmless supplements.

I love it when a character is resourceful, so I loved the answers he gives and FDA official when he is stopped and questioned at the border.

As often happens in a movie of this nature, there is more than one great performance. An unrecognizable Jared Leto gives a breathtaking performance as a gaunt transsexual also undergoing treatment who Ron meets, and who sources customers for him. Ray like others has to deal with Ron's homophobia, and it's refreshing to see how it plays out as the character develops. What I love is the journey the character makes through being confronted with his own mortality, and how that affects a wider circle of people.

If Leto does not get an Oscar nomination for his role then there is no justice in Hollywood. He would have to be a leading contender for Best Supporting Actor, as Matthew McConaughey would be for Best Actor.

One thing that has impressed me in recent years is McConaughey's transition from lightweight romcom, and pretty boy roles, to more challenging roles. For instance, I consider Lincoln Lawyer to be one of his best roles as a wheeler dealer lawyer but not the type of role for which an actor is typically nominated. He battles the system but has no weakness.

Actors win Oscars for playing two types of roles:

One is the psychopath, such as Daniel Day Lewis for There Will Be Blood, Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men, and Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter.

The second is actors battling disabilities or diseases and/or social injustice. Recently Octavia Spenser won for playing a maid dealing with racial discrimination, Meryl Streep for playing a Prime Minister battling alzheimers, and Christian Bale for playing a former boxer battling drug addiction. Jennifer Lawrence won playing a character battling grief who acts out sexually. Bradley Cooper was nominated for playing someone with bipolar disorder in the same movie. Jeff Bridges won an alcoholic country singer. More recently the trend has been moving toward playing real life characters.

As often happens the best movies of the year are released in December and timed for an Oscar run. I think most people will love it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Based on a true story, 27 Jun 2014
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [DVD] (DVD)
Such a powerful and thought provoking film, with strong performances from all the leads. A flashback to the appalling way those affected with HIV were treated at the time, with the misconceptions around the illness clearly and painfully portrayed when a straight rodeo cowboy, Ron, is diagnosed and given 30 days to live. Rejected by friends and work colleagues, driven out of his home, and refused access to the trial drug that might help him. He forms an uneasy alliance with a pre-op trans-gender patient he met in hospital, and watching this relationship develop is one of the most poignant aspects of this film, as we see Ron's prejudices challenged once he gets to know the person inside. Together they form the Dallas Buyers Club and source drugs - legal and illegal - to help themselves and others in their fight to survive, which leads Ron to take the FDA (US version of NICE in the UK).

I can't recommend this highly enough, it's an intelligent, sometimes uncomfortable film based on true events, and it's stayed with me a week after watching. You can't say that about many films these days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch, 8 Jun 2014
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Not something I would watch again, but the Mathews acting was absolutely amazing. Interesting, frustrating, scary, and gut wrenching story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow towards the end, 31 May 2014
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [DVD] (DVD)
Matthew McConaughey is exceptional as AIDS sufferer Ron Woodruff. Lots of positive reviews here and I can see why, but for me the last half hour dragged somewhat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and disturbing, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [DVD] (DVD)
Set in the mid 80s, a Texas cowboy employed as an electrician and part-time rodeo rider, who also appears to be a drugged-up, womaniser and alcoholic gets told by a doctor he has HIV/AIDS and has just 30 days to live. So what does he go and do... he becomes a 'drug' dealer of a 'company' called the Dallas Buyers Club, after realising the prescribed drug for a proposed study, AZT, is not safe, and doesn't work and he doesn't want to become just another guinea pig either..

For my money the story of the legal drugs he gets to cure him and how he acquires illegal 'alternative' (meaning not recognised by the FDA) drugs and supplements from other countries to escape death is not the real story. Yes, he does 'appear' to get 'better' as the movie goes on, or maybe just doesn't get any worse. He seems functional, purposeful and turning things around, but he does suffer hallucinations, and 'blackouts' of a certain type, with a strange tinnitus kind of noise. He's in and out of hospital. Still drinking and doing drugs, after being advised to stop. He seems not to care on the one hand 'you've got to die of something' but on the other he seems determined to make something happen. We get to see those mood swings too.

The real story though is about misinformation and ignorance of AIDS. About prejudice against LGBTs. About government corruption in the drugs industry (DEA) and how one man prolonged the life of many sufferers after refusing to accept his fate. He died eventually - seven years later. But this film is about what can be achieved in the face of adversity, In the light of knowing ones life is coming to and end - but not giving up. About not accepting what you are told - but not in a rebellious way. (e.g A recent cancer victim from the UK, who had terminal cancer died aged just 19 recently, but still fulfilled his bucket list and raised 3 million for charity before he passed away).

This is movie is also about desperation, about life itself, about narrow-minded Texans who wrongly think HIV is only caught by non-straight people. This movie is not about the drugs at all. In my view, the drugs are just the 'end product' of dysfunctional, empty, unfulfilled lives and we get to see them unraveling before us.

That sounds dramatic. And it was. But the movie wins and was a huge success because, mostly, the drama aspect is kept to a minimum. What we see is biographical, almost documentary type movie and one man's plight against a disease that's killing him. But his lifestyle is killing is him too. His utter naivety to accept that in the beginning comes through, but it's never meant in a preachy 'don't tell mom' kind of way. Jared Leto's transgender character is a moving portrayal of someone craving acceptance in society. In the end, he goes to see his father and tries to reconcile. He dies not long after. The caring doctor is played by Jennifer Garner, who seems genuinely interested in the care of the patients, as opposed to the older guy whose real intention is to make money for the drugs companies through using the patients as guinea pigs for drugs trials.

Matt McConaughey and Leto both won an Oscar for their roles (that is incredibly rare in the same movie). This film was made for a paltry $5 mil, which is nothing by Hollywood standards. Is this a message then to Hollywood - you don't have to spend upwards of $75 mil to make a decent picture...just like the recent 'Out of the furnace'?

Having worked in a hospital and seen many such things of this nature, I wasn't shocked or over-awed by all the needles and drugs and people passing out and lying on hospital beds. The film is very realistic in that sense.

This was a very worth-while viewing experience. Not a complete joy to watch, but pretty close.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite literally brilliant, 4 May 2014
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Inspiring, jaw dropping performances from both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Admittedly I'd long heard about this film since Leto signed on and had follow his transformation which by watching the film was incredible!
This true story is well written, emotional and thought provoking, it does a fantastic job at entertaining, pulling on your heart strings, telling a wonderful true story and raising awareness.
I wouldn't hesitate at watching this film again and again
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about acting. McConaughey sells the film!, 27 April 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [DVD] (DVD)
Dallas, the eighties (as in 1980s). Cue whoring, drinking, wild, and sometimes bull-riding Matthew McConaughey, who is diagnosed with Aids and given 30 days to live.

You know what, "Dallas Buyers Club" would not be that magnificent if not for the spectacular McConaughey. Do you even remember him in the early days when he was the most likely romantic hero coupled up with Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez? He is now completely reinvented. After all the superb performances recently, and losing half of his body weight to play the changed homophobe, he totally deserved an Oscar. The screen literally lights when he is on camera, he is so alive and yet he is about to die. Fighting the system which would not prescribe or let him on a trial of the new drug, he uses his thirty days to setting up and start running an illegal business (ingeniously set up "membership club") of HIV drugs for all.

Yes, he starts running the enterprise, but it's not about big money and profit. It's about odds and one man's determination to stay alive and keep alive the very people that he despised. And, believe it or not, there is a pinch of humour thrown in.

Ultimately, this is an uplifting story of abiding hope and unlikely bravery. And Jared Leto is fantastic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Sweet, often funny, 22 Jan 2014
By 
Valerie J. (West Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dallas Buyers Club [DVD] (DVD)
It's Dallas, mid 80s. No man imagines himself tougher and more manly than womanising Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), an electrician who hangs around rodeos, gambles, drinks, smokes, and uses drugs. When he has an accident at work and the hospital doctors tell him he is HIV positive, homophobic Ron hits the roof. While in denial, insisting it's all a big mistake, being told he has about 30 days to live has him worried. He realises that an experimental drug called AZT being tested on his hospital room-mate, a transgender called Rayon (Jared Leto) might just do the trick but Roy's denied it. Not one to take bad news lying down, he discharges himself from hospital and investigates HIV and AIDS on the internet. Taking matters into his own hands, with the help and hindrance of Rayon, Roy sources more natural remedies outside the USA and begins to sell them in the States but is confronted whichever way he turns by the FDA because the remedies are not approved.

Although AIDS and HIV are serious matters, Dallas Buyers Club (2013) manages to keep the tone light and it's really quite funny at times, mostly because of the interaction between homophobic Ron and Rayon who dresses like a woman and seems to go out of her/his way to provoke Ron. It reminded me very much of those wonderful movies, Transamerica (2005) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005).

I was shocked by the appearance of Matthew McConaughey who looks dangerously emaciated in his role as Ron Woodroof. Jared Leto also became stick thin for his role as Rayon. Such a dramatic weight loss for a movie is both impressive and alarming. I read that McConaughey said he found it harder to put the weight back on, something that a lot of us will find difficult to believe! He's not on his own in dieting for his art, actor Christian Bale did the same for The Machinist (2004).

Despite such an outstanding performance by McConaughey, I'm inclined to think the scene stealer in this show is Jared Leto who was perfection as the transgender, ever so feminine, ever so tolerant, 'friend' of Roy's.

VJ - Movies and Books World
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Dallas Buyers Club [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Dallas Buyers Club [Blu-ray] [US Import] by Matthew McConaughey (Blu-ray - 2014)
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