Dallas Buyers Club box
Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray
Dallas Buyers Club isn’t the feel good movie of the year. It’s not a war cry for equal rights or a sobering historical narrative about the early years of HIV prevalence. It’s a film framed in rapid cut-tos, telling the story of an angular man with a vision that knew how to do a lot of things, but never how to give up. This week, Dallas Buyers Club is headed onto Blu-ray and into more theaters, just as this year’s Oscar race is really heating up.

Most people faced with little time to live will spend at least a few days wallowing before deciding how to spend their last moments. Ron Woodruff only spends a few hours thusly before beginning to research a cocktail of drugs in the hopes he’ll be able to elongate his life. From there, Woodroof begins dealing in drugs, bringing proteins, supplements and FDA-unapproved medications into the USA in order to get them to Dallas citizens dealing with the daily threat of HIV. While Woodruff fights to save his life, he’s also fighting for the lives of a slew of others, but Jean-Marc Vallée’s film profiles Woodroof’s work like it is any struggling business, rarely delving into scenes that are sappy or emotional.

A few such moments do make their way into the film, and ground Dallas Buyers Club as a real story following a cocky motherfucker in real space and real time. My favorite of these such moments is when Woodroof is dickering for a new place to set up his business. The renter, also fighting HIV, offers to lease the house for free. Woodroof, in a rare moment, looks stunned and gratified before changing expressions and sheepishly stating, "Well, that's good then."

It’s moments like the above that make McConaughey so enigmatic to watch onscreen. He’s not alone in his acting prowess, however. Jared Leto also went above and beyond to portray the transgendered Rayon in the film. Both men lost weight to gear up for roles that took patience and vision in addition to helping the two men to take over the screen during the film’s 117 minute run. Still, there’s grace and an attention to detail in subtler performances from Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, and Dallas Roberts (who is also often overlooked on The Good Wife among bigger and bolder personalities). It’s a doozy of a political film, and one of the year’s best.

Best Special Feature: The disc as a whole is fairly sparse, but the few bonus features are worth a watch, introducing us to a few more scenes that place Garner’s character in the limelight, as well as giving us a look into the making of the film. I wouldn’t call them the best extras I’ve ever seen, but if you are purchasing the movie, they are worth a view.

Other Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
"A Look Inside Dallas Buyers Club"

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