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Review: THE REVENANT, THE BIG SHORT & THE HATEFUL EIGHT.

It’s 2016.

A new year.

And the first film I see to start the year off – may already be my favourite film of the year.

THE REVENANT

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What a gruelling watch. But what a wonderful visual cinematic experience. It pays to watch this film on the biggest screen you can find – and do NOT, I repeat DO NOT watch this on a small screen laptop or even a big flat screen tv. I will disown you if you do.

There are movies that are just meant to be seen on the big silver screen. The Revenant is that big a canvas. And that powerful a film.

Leonardo Di Caprio plays real life Fur-Trapper and Frontiersman Hugh Glass – and he should finally win the best actor Oscar this year for his performance. He doesn’t say much, but his physical performance is a marvel to watch. It’s a real man vs nature tale – Bear Grylls is an utter wuss compared to this guy. You physically feel his pain and suffering as he comes back from the dead from a savage bear attack –  to avenge his sons’ cruel murder at the hands of Fitzgerald –  played by Tom Hardy.

Director Alejandro Gonzales Innarittu and Cinematographer Emanuel Lubweski (who both won Oscars last year for Birdman) are both on fire at the moment. Although this movie has a setting that’s anything but.

Set in the freezing, wintry ranges of Alberta, Canada – I’ve never felt so cold in a movie theatre.  It was like I needed a shot of whiskey while watching it. And a warm blanket. So much for wearing a surf tee, cargo shorts and jandals that day.

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Despite all this savagery to your senses – your eyes do get some respite, because it is indeed a beautiful film to watch. The most stunning cinematography I’ve seen in a long time. Even more incredible that they filmed it using only natural light.

And when the movie finished and the credits rolled up…the audience were silent and stunned. Like we’ve just been through one of the most brutal, gruelling, savage-struck, flesh-tearing, blood-curdling, bone-cracking, sub-zero freezing, fear-inducing, bold and beautiful cinematic adventures we’ve ever seen.

So that’s how you make an epic masterpiece.

Give these guys the Oscar already.

 

THE BIG SHORT

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Saw ‘The Big Short’ last night. A great film about a rather difficult subject.

It’s about the financial housing crisis in the US that happened in 2007 – and a how a group of very smart business people predicted that it would happen -and then planned to bet against the housing market – making millions for themselves while the rest of US society lost all of theirs, as well their jobs and their homes.

Solid performances from a funny ensemble cast  – Steve Carell is great in his role, so too is Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale.

To explain the details of how the Housing crisis started is a very difficult task. Especially on film. I mean, what the hell are sub-prime mortgages and derivitives, CDOs which stands for Collateralized Debt Obligation, ISDNs and synthethic CDOs?

‘The Big Short’ explains the housing crisis in a totally different way. By taking the absolute mickey out of it.

For instance, when they describe what a sub-prime mortgage is, they get the rather smoking hot actress Margot Robbie to explain derivitives and sub-prime mortgages to you  – while bathing naked in a glamorous tub.

Ohhh….yes Margot. Yes. Ahhhh…..now I get it. Thank you.

If you can manage to keep up with all the business jargon in ‘The Big Short’ you’ll find it to be a fast, witty and overall –  very good movie.

My big sister Catherine loved it. But hey, she’s a development banker.

 

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

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That ole reservoir dog Quentin Tarrantino is back.

With another Western.

And at 2 hours and 47 minutes long, it’s one, long, and bloody drawn out one.

Actually It’s not a pure Western at all – Tarrantino borrows and mixes genres, at times it felt like I was watching a Spaghetti Western, a horror film, then a splatterfest, to a whodunnit thriller.

Haters gonna hate. Here there’s only eight of them. By sticking them together in a log cabin for most of the film, the whole movie plays out like a stage play, which is ok…if it was a stage play.

I thought the whole idea of a 2 and a half hour film where there is only one location – would drive me crazy. And it did. I guess that’s the Tarrantino joke. Because after staying in that cabin for so long, of course these characters would end up killing each other. They were getting cabin fever…so was I.

But again, it’s the words and dialogue that provide the real ammunition and Tarrantino seems to be saying something about the state of Americas’ race relations today with this, his 8th film.

Samuel L Jackson is picture perfect as Marquis Warren and Tarrantinos’ words seem to hit the target like a deadly rattlesnake when it’s delivered with his trademark bite and venom. Remember Ezekiel – Chapter 25, Verse 17?  I rest my case mother (insert bleep here).

It just felt that Tarrantino has trodden this road before with Reservoir Dogs. It definitely felt way too long, and it could’ve done with a bit more trimming. But if you perservere through it all – you may actually end up enjoying it.

Not quite up there with ‘Pulp Fiction’ and the glorious ‘Inglorious Basterds’ – but it’s still a grand film from a master film-maker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2016 by .
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