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'The Beach Bum' is a laugh-out-loud wild ride

Matt Shiverdecker Special to the American-Statesman
Matthew McConaughey stars in "The Beach Bum." [Contributed by Atsushi Nishijima/Neon via AP]

Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available for streaming.

Video on Demand

"The Beach Bum": If you're looking for a straightforward narrative, you should probably avoid the candy-colored hedonism of Harmony Korine's latest film. Matthew McConaughey is Moondog, a man who is content to float through life in a cloud of alcohol and marijuana. He has released books to collect his poetry but mostly hangs out inebriated in the Florida Keys until he is summoned back to Miami by his wealthy wife Minnie (Isla Fisher). Their daughter Heather (Stefania LaVie Owen) is about to get married and Moondog needs to be there for the ceremony, but will he turn a beautiful backyard wedding into a disaster? In any other film, that would more or less be the core story, but in Korine's world, it's just a small part of the proceedings. The actual storyline, while fairly linear, is edited in a way that may confuse some viewers. Overall, it's a wild ride and made me legitimately laugh out loud on multiple occasions. Bizarrely brilliant casting efforts include Snoop Dogg as an R&B singer who is having an affair with Minnie and also officiates Heather's wedding, Zac Efron (who is maybe on screen for 10 minutes), Jimmy Buffett (as himself) and comedian Martin Lawrence, who gets what is probably the most bizarre scene in the entire movie. McConaughey uses this role to lean into stereotypes about him and is truly a force to be reckoned with. He is in nearly every frame, and you can't take your eyes off him, wondering what crazy thing he's going to do next. And no matter what you think about the content, the movie looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to cinematographer Benoît Debie, who also shot "Spring Breakers" for Korine. (Cable and digital VOD)

Also on streaming services

"Diane": For many years, Kent Jones was the head programmer of the New York Film Festival. At the tender age of 60, he decided to write and direct his first feature film, and we're all better off for it. This is unquestionably one of my favorites of the year so far, partially because the story is so relevant to our time, but mostly because of the outstanding lead performance by Mary Kay Place in the title role. Diane is a woman who gives every ounce of her energy to help others. Her daily routine includes checking in on sick friends, working in a soup kitchen and trying to keep tabs on her son Brian (Jake Lacy), an opioid addict who just can't stay clean. This is a powerfully intimate drama that is deceptively simple. (Hulu)