Saturday, 13 June 2009

Hollywood Concepts: An Occasional Series


#1 The McConaughey Ratio

The worse a Matthew McConaughey film is, the more time he will spend with his shirt off.

Dazed & Confused - I actually like this film with it's copious beer chat and it's deconstruction of Gilligan's Island as a homosexual paradise. I don't remember McC being shirtless in it. He did wear very tight pants though.

IMDB rating: 7.5 out of 10

A Time To Kill - I also like this film, even if it is based on a Grisham novel. I don't remember there being any shirtless scene, the closest I think it gets is in the house when they are all sweaty and he is wearing a vest. Also starring: Jack Bauer as a racist.

IMDB rating: 7 out of 10

Amistad - McConaughey keeps his shirt [and wig] firmly attached as he plays *suspends disbelief* a lawyer fighting slavery and other bad stuff. Also starring: that bloke from Gladiator. You know, the one with the name. And Padgate Pete Postlethwaite.

IMDB rating: 7.1 out of 10
[How has that happened? I thought this film was garbage.]

EdTV - This movie has the genius casting of Woody Harrelson as McC's brother. The resemblance is uncanny. One can only imagine exactly how much naked bongo playing went on on set. Up in smoke, indeed. On the IMDB page, I initially mistook Jenna Elfman for Renee Zellweger, back when she actually ate food. This almost certainly featured some topless work - it just seems like that type of film. Also starring: Elizabeth Hurley. Back in the day when she pretended to be an 'actress', labouring under the illusion that she had any talent beyond looking alright in small pieces of clothing.

IMDB rating: 6.1 out of 10

The Wedding Planner - Ah. Yes. The exception that proves the rule. I don't think he gets his top off in this. I watched this film on a plane returning from Malia, Crete when I was 18. The sheer god-awfulness has stuck with me ever since. McConaughey plays some uber eligible bachelor - he wears a lot of v-neck jumpers and beige slacks - marrying the ultimate Bridezilla. J-Lo is the humble wedding planner whom he ends up shacking up with. J-Lo is one of my least favourite things ever. She is vile.

IMDB rating: 4.8 out of 10

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. I may, or may not, have seen this at the cinema. I actually find him tolerable in this movie. Kate Hudson plays a moron magazine columnist who purposely tries to get McC to hate her by behaving irrationally and like a daft cow. She ends up really falling for him blah blah blah. I can't remember any shirtlessness, but it may have happened. Either way, it was a peak after the trough of The Wedding Planner.

IMDB rating: 6.2 out of 10

Sahara - this definitely features some shirt off action. I mean it is set in the desert, so it is totally justified and in no way gratuitous. Professional Spaniard Penelope Cruz co-stars and ended up going out with Matty boy and they lived together in a caravan. McC really lives the life.
Also starring: Steve Zahn stealing the show, as per.

IMDB rating: 6 out of 10

Shirts Off On A Plane

Failure To Launch - Matthew plays a toxic bachelor who still lives at home and his parents want rid. So they hire the horsey one from Sex And The City to persuade him to leave. He has a boat, providing the perfect excuse for water based shirtless frolics. How convenient.
Also starring: Riley from the documentary National Treasure

IMDB rating: 5.6 out of 10


Fool's Gold. Oh dear. It might be easier to find a place in this film where McConaughey has a shirt on. From what I can gather, the plot is some kind of treasure hunt around the Gold Coast of Australia. It all looks very tropical and shirtless. Reviews were not good.

IMDB rating: 5.4 out of 10


Surfer, Dude. Could a film title be any more McConaughey? This doesn't appear to have been released in the UK, so I can't say that I have seen it. The fact that IMDB lists some of the characters as Bikini Girl, Reality House Dude, Krazy Party Dancer, Blonde #1,#2,#3, Brunette #1,#2 and Twin #1,#2, suggests that this film is very high brow indeed. Oscar fodder, I'd say. The official plot synopsis describes McConaughey as "stoned, shirtless and barefoot". Oh. Wait. That's his character. My bad. Made $34,000 at the US box office.

IMDB rating: 4.7 out of 10. Ouch.


This picture was taken at the WRAP PARTY. The cameras weren't even rolling! Put a shirt on. For fuck's sake.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past. Matthew McC goes high concept. He examines all his past relationships to see why they haven't worked out. This movie also stars Michael Douglas, who hasn't done anything decent since Traffic. So nothing has changed. But! In terms of the McConaughey ratio, no shirtless action = better reviews! One of them on IMDB even going so far as to say the film is 'not that bad'. High praise indeed.

IMDB rating: 5.4 out of 10

IMDB lists our man's future projects as 'Hammer Down' where a NASCAR driver gets involved in a heist and the mysterious and intriguingly titled 'Brilliant', another heist thriller, and 'The Grackle' where he plays a barroom fighter. No shirts, no shoes, I imagine.

I think I have dazzled you with enough science now, and we can all agree that the McConaughey Ratio is a recognised scientific concept. It comes to something when you are being out-acted by your own chest.

I leave you with Maaaaaaaaaaaaaat Damon and his magnificent McConaughey impersonation:

Apple sauce, bitch.

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