Category Archives: Movie Reviews

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

A commentary on today’s society. If you are abnormal, peculiar, or deviate from social standards, than you are not worthy of acceptance.

You are treated differently, unwanted, unloved, unequal. Unless, of course what makes you unacceptable can be used to society’s advantage. The “normal” ones do not care what the cost is to you as long as they are entertained or provided with a new scientific discovery. Your pain, suffering, isolation is of no consequence to them.

They do not comprehend that you have more empathy and compassion than is typical. They are mundane and cruel, unable to see the devastation left behind by their self-indulgence.

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A MUST SEE: THE REVENANT

There have not been many movies lately that I’ve been dying to see. The Revenant was one of the ones I’ve been waiting for. I’ve thought of nothing else but this movie’s effect on me.

Disclaimer: The politically correct term Native Americans I intertwined with the movie’s term of “Indian” only to show the time period of the film.

Spoilers: This review/commentary contains spoilers. You can still enjoy the film they aren’t game changers.

The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio Tom Hardy

Rated: R

 

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Glass, a scout for a group of fur trappers and soldiers. With him he has his young son who is part Native American. Tom Hardy is Fitzgerald, a trapper not part of the group of soldiers in the hunting party. Fitzgerald is also someone who hates Indians due to his partial scalping years ago.

Glass and his son help the group find the best places for trapping and how to avoid attacks by the local Indians. In flashbacks we are shown the love Glass had for his Native American wife and the events that bring Glass and his son so close together. Their bond as father and son is deep.

During their expedition the group is attacked by a local tribe. With the help of Glass and his son a handful of the men are able to escape to safety. But because Glass’s son is half Native American and Glass lived with a tribe, a select few blame the attack on him. This causes internal strife amongst the soldiers and the trappers. They argue which direction to go in and who to follow. Making the situation worse Glass is savagely attacked by a bear protecting her cubs. Glass is now considered “dead weight” and the men want to leave him behind. His son wants to stay with him along with another loyal boy. The leader of the group offers extra money to whoever does stay behind. He won’t leave the two young boys to fend for themselves so they agree to give up their share of the money to anyone else who volunteers. Of course Fitzgerald offers his assistance.

Fitzgerald is told to only leave when and if Glass dies, to give him a proper burial, or he doesn’t get his money.

I’m trying not to give everything away but it’s hard. The story gives an astute insight on the subjects of grief, redemption, forgiveness, and the lengths one would go to in order to avenge a loved ones death/murder.

Glass’s character is so consumed by vengeance he doesn’t care about his own life. He will do and survive anything to reach his goal.

From the musical score to the breathtaking cinematography this film was perfection. There isn’t a lot of dialogue and there doesn’t need to be. Leonardo DiCaprio says it all with his face. Personally I think this is the best performance of his career.

Tom Hardy, who is no slouch himself, plays his part so well you hate him. Even a die hard fan like me was rooting against him. It was sometimes difficult to watch him portray a man so detestable. I didn’t even feel that way watching Bronson! It shows just how ingenious his work is.

The film is long but never feels like it’s dragging. I wanted it to continue. Unlike Spotlight where I felt every minute ticking by.

There is no doubt in my mind that The Revenant should have won Best Picture. I’ll have to settle for it’s wins in Best Actor, Directing, and Cinematography.

When I am still thinking about a film days later I know it made an impact. Sometimes award shows are to mired in the social and political aspects of a movie instead of going with how the movie made you think and feel. After watching The Revenant I thought of my own losses and grief. Would taking revenge really make me feel better? Is it worth the repercussions? Does it start a never ending cycle? I don’t believe too much in forgiveness given certain situations. I’ve always struggled with the concept. You have to be prepared to give up everything once you take that dark path. I’m not ready for that I still have so much to do.

One of those things is to watch The Revenant again.


OUR BRAND IS CRISIS~ REVIEW

STARRING: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, and Joaquim de Almeida

RATED: R    RUNNING TIME: 1hr 47min.

 

 

Sandra Bullock plays (Calamity) Jane. A tough, pull no punches, political campaign advisor or some might say “fixer”. She’s been in hiding for a few years. Giving up politics after it almost destroys her. She’s lured back in to face her nemesis Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) in a Bolivian Presidential Campaign.

Before watching this film I read quite a few reviews. The majority of them said the movie was confusing and hard to follow. Some said it was choppy and didn’t flow. Maybe I watched something different.

At first Jane doesn’t care about the campaign or the people, until the man she hates enters the picture. Pat Candy is what you would expect. Slimy, smooth, and a con man. He knows Jane well and how to push her buttons. It still takes Calamity Jane some time to come around. It isn’t until she starts to spend time with the locals and her candidate that she starts to fight. Unfortunately she backslides to her old ways of drinking, smoking, and manic behavior much to her rival’s delight. The chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton is unsettling in a good way. I wasn’t lost or confused at all when it came to where this movie was going.

The game of politics is an illusion. The voting public will believe whatever optical illusion or fictional promises told to them because they need that feeling of hope at the time.

I find it commendable that the movie tries to show what happens when a person slowly comes to a self-realization and wants to take accountability for their own part in things.

Although it wasn’t thought to be Award worthy by most I thought it certainly could’ve given Mad Max a run for it’s money.

 


Secret In Their Eyes-A Review & Commentary

“While seeking revenge, dig two graves- one for yourself”~ Douglas Horton

 

I have always been fascinated by the concept of Revenge. In my own life I have struggled with wanting vengeance on people in my past. It is a difficult path to walk, wanting it and doing it are so very different. I would like to say I have evolved on the subject but I would be lying.

SECRET IN THEIR EYES

STARRING: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts.

BASED ON: A 2005 Argentinian Novel “La Pregunt de sus Ojos”  or “The Question in Their Eyes”

OSCAR: In 2009 the Argentine film version of this novel won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

I have not seen the original version of this movie so I found this one to be intelligent, thought provoking, and well acted.

A team of FBI investigators Ray (Ejiofor) and Jess (Roberts) along with their D.A. supervisor Claire (Kidman) is ripped apart after a case involving Jess’s daughter is covered up. Jess’s daughter is found raped and beaten to death in a dumpster next to a Mosque. Their assignment has been in Terrorism and this causes problems when a suspect is a member of the Mosque. He’s also feeding information to a member of their team.

When it’s decided he be released for the “greater good” of the Country and disappears the team can’t handle it and breaks. The decision made was not to risk the life of thousands over one dead girl. The movie’s sentiment, not mine.

For 13 years Ray searches through mug shot books looking for the guy that got away with murder. When he finds a new lead and goes back to Jess and Claire to reopen the case it reveals a bevy of secrets and self-destruction.

Nicole Kidman’s interrogation scene was riveting. I’m not usually a fan of her work but she played this part well. Julia Roberts played the somber, disillusioned, tortured mother without fault. All of the acting was the way it should be. Natural.

The movie asks the question should you trust the Justice System, if it let’s you down do you have the right to revenge? How far would you go? I don’t want to give too much away and ruin the movie but it does make you think.

Is hatred and revenge worth the time and toll it takes on a person. Is justice something we can actually depend on to work correctly? Does revenge make you feel better?

WHERE JUSTICE HAS FAILED IN THE PAST

Unfortunately we have all seen instances where the Justice System has failed miserably. O.J. Simpson, George Zimmerman, The West Memphis Three, Margaret Kelly Michaels, and Casey Anthony are just a few instances.

Since 1980 there have been 114 wrongful convictions overturned. The West Memphis Three spent 18 years in prison after being sentenced to the Death Penalty/Life in Prison. With hardly any physical evidence and a town’s prejudice they were found Guilty.

Personally, I like the concept of revenge. Very rarely does one get away with it. My one act of revenge landed me in jail for the evening, a $600 bill for damages, probation for 1 year, and alcohol counseling for 1 year. The person I sought revenge on once again wasn’t held accountable for anything he had done.

Do I still think about revenge? Sometimes. I want all of the people who hurt me to see me now. I want them to try to talk to me and then watch my 140 pound lighter ass walk away. Some deserve more but there are just people in the world who no matter what, still come out of anything unscathed. I’ve learned this now and it does take a lot of energy to hate. I  can’t forgive or forget but I can try to live a better life.

“Revenge, the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in Hell”~ Walter Scott


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