Tag Archives: Ricky Diaz

Cinema Dispatch: The Beach Bum

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The Beach Bum and all the images you see in this review are owned by Neon

Directed by Harmony Korine

Did you know that I once asked John Waters a question at one of his shows?  Yeah, unlike people who actually do this for a living, I don’t have any celebrity stories to speak of, but I saw him at a show once and he picked me during the Q and A.  Anyway, my question was whether I thought his work had been a major influence on modern filmmakers and if anyone in particular came to mind.  He said that he doesn’t really see himself DIRECTLY influencing people, but that he did break down barriers for others who would come later… and he also said that Todd Solondz as Harmony Korine have PROBABLY seen his films.  I don’t know if that means much in relationship to the latter’s most recent film, but I figured this is probably the best chance I had to tell that story, so there it is!  As far as Mr. Korine himself, I’ve only ever seen Spring Breakers which I actually liked quite a lot, though I haven’t seen it in years and I get the feeling that it’s more uncomfortable moments don’t hold up all that well, but that’s why directors solider on and film NEW movies such as this one here!  Is The Beach Bum another success for this unique voice in Hollywood, or has his worst tendencies come to the forefront even more so than usual?  Let’s find out!!

Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is just some dude who spends his time in the Florida Keys bumming drinks off of people, sleeping on the beach, and finding joy in life wherever he can find it.  Oh, and he’s also a famous writer, super rich, and has a loving family who he can go back to any time he needs to dry out from his latest binge.  His wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) adores his free spirited attitude towards life, love, and the law, but that last one kind of gets them in trouble as the two end up drinking and driving on the night of their daughter’s wedding (Stefania LaVie Owens) and Minnie ends up dying in the crash.  In her will, she tells Moondog that he won’t inherit her vast fortune until he finishes his latest novel which he’s been procrastinating on for some time, so he decides to do just that.  Of course he’ll be getting drunk, having sex, and… well doing what he’s always been doing as well, but he’ll find time to write a few lines here and there!  With adventure, drugs, friends including his buddy Lingerie (Snoop Dogg), is there anything that can keep Moondog down?  Will he eventually finish his book before he runs out of whatever money he has left as well as the goodwill of the people he’s met throughout his wild and bombastic life?  You know how some movies are clearly made so the filmmakers can take a vacation?  Why do I get the feeling that was the case here but less luxury hotels and more drinking tequila under a bridge and calling it “research”?

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Academy Award Winner Matthew McConaughey, seen here hoping to God he didn’t crap his pants last night.

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