The Revenant

I’ve got to take a deep breath for this one. Some may not like what I have to say, but oh Lord, do I need to say it. There was absolutely nothing happy in this movie. I get, that sometimes its nice to watch a sad, depressing movie and let it eat away at your insides. But in order to make a depressing movie successful, you need to have a few happy moments that can be snatched away. This not only provides a relief to the viewer, but it accentuates the negative feelings that the film is trying to inspire.

In the case of the Revenant, however, there is none of this. It starts out depressing, then alters between more depressing and gross, and then ends in… depressing. So when I’m only getting two emotions from the film, I get bored pretty quickly.

You know what else is boring? For two hours, we get to watch Leo crawl around in the ice. Sometimes he’s drinking water, sometimes he’s eating dead rotting carcasses, and sometimes he’s just staring off into space. Leo, I’m pretty sure I want you to win an Oscar just as bad as you want to win one… but I think you set yourself up for an impossible task when you chose a role that has you crawling on your belly for nearly all of it. And did I mention that, because his throat was mauled by a bear, 90% of his dialogue consisted of grunting? Sometimes he drooled while he did it.

I know this film as been nominated for tons of awards and has already won tons of awards, but I can almost guarantee that the majority of the people who watch it, wont be watching it for a second time. Did I mention there was a lot of grossness happening? I watched it through my fingers, ready to snap them shut at the first sign of ooky. And with a quick glance to my right and my left, I wasn’t the only one responding this way. That’s not to mention the people I saw walking out of the theater outright.

I give props to the scene where he’s being mauled by a bear. They made it so realistic I felt like I, myself, was being mauled by the bear. It was a very uncomfortable feeling. I would have considered this successful, except the movie only seemed to know how to make me feel uncomfortable. I also felt uncomfortable when he ate rotting meat. When he ripped into a squirming fish. When he shared a nice raw buffalo with his new Pawnee friend. When he fell off of a cliff. When he slept inside his horse’s carcass. When Leo and the enemy were stabbing each other in the end.

Also, for a great deal of the time, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu has him wallowing in icy water, crawling around in cold, wet clothes. If the bear wounds weren’t going to kill him, I’m pretty sure hypothermia would do the trick! It seems they don’t even truly address the wet-cold until a moment towards the end when he strips his clothes off and climbs inside of his horse for heat. Your just now cold?? We’re going to have to give Leo an Oscar just for his dedication!

In the meantime, while the director is trying to do him in, there’s a group of Ree running around hacking away at white men because one of them is missing his daughter, Powaqa. So we get to hear a lot of “Where is Powaqa?”. This side story doesn’t coincide with Glass’s (that is Leo’s character) until near the end when he unknowingly rescues this much sought after daughter during mid-rape. This could almost be deemed a happy moment, except it leads to the brutality of Powaqa cutting off her attackers testicles and then running for it. Maybe he deserved it, but at this point I’m dying for a change in emotion.

Okay, so I’ve gotten that rant-review off of my chest. Let me throw in a few positive pointers. While Leo’s limited role lacked the capability of capturing my attention (I mean, even Meryl Streep would find it difficult to grunt her way to a pretty little Oscar trophy), I give him props for dedication. I know that the film was physically challenging. And there is definitely an artistic talent from an aesthetic perspective. The location itself was beautiful, but the fact that they used the natural lighting is not only impressive, but visually stimulating. And the realism found in the movie is disturbingly impressive as well.

Last but not least, Will Poulter is catching my attention lately. I think he’s coming into himself as an actor, and I’m very interested to see which direction he goes. I believe, with the right role choices, he has a lot of potential.

So for this film, I give it…

3 Stars

   The film had a short emotional range. It was overwhelming to the point that I wanted to stop watching it altogether. I won’t be watching it again. But it has been, somewhat, redeemed through the physical demands that the actors overcame, as well as the the technically challenged visuals that they managed to capture. As much as I’d love Leo to win an Oscar, I don’t want it to be for this film. Give it an Oscar in the technical categories, but so far it is my least favorite in the Best Picture.

 

 

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Deadpool

ryan renalds

 

I thought I’d start off with a little bit of eye candy. Mmmhmm. Ryan Reynalds is not only beautiful, he’s hilarious.  And even if his face looks like this for most of the movie….Ryan-Reynolds-with-a-disfigured-face-in-Deadpool-327693

Or its covered up like this…

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We’re still loving him for his wonderful personality. And his nice butt. Which we also got to see a lot of.

So let me reiterate what I’m really trying to say here. The movie was hilarious. I would say that the movie was full of a bunch of one liners that gave me a lot of laughs, but it was hard to tell where one joke stopped and another one began. They just kept rolling out of his mouth.

There was definitely a plot to the movie… boy loves girl, boy is going to die, boy is scientifically altered, boy makes enemy, boy  saves girl… But the plot mattered so very little. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. I was on the edge listening for the next smart-ass comment about to pop out of his mouth.

Some of the humor is what I would deem “stupid guy humor” because of the unbelievably crude and sexual nature, but there was a wittiness to it that even I could appreciate. And somehow Reynalds is very good at playing the anti-hero.

I have to give props to the director. My least favorite thing during a movie is when scenes get super sentimental and cheesy. It literally makes me squirm in my seat. And regardless of how bad-ass a movie is, there is usually some scene in it that makes me feel like I’ve been attacked like a Ritz cracker with that fake squirty cheese. This movie had no such scene. In the very end, the big-steel-peace-loving-man is giving a long lecture about him needing to be the bigger man, prove himself a hero, and spare the enemy. Blah. Blah. Blah. Guess what Captain Deadpool does? Sorry. Just Deadpool. He shoots the guy right between the eyes and puts a halt to that squirmy feeling that was about rear its ugly little head. So props to the director for not feeling the need to add a moral to the story.

This movie is carried by Reynalds and his delivery of a non-stop witty, corrupt, and unbelievably funny dialogue. I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand how many breaths he took. There was a lot of talking. But hey… he can talk to me all day long.

I’ve said little about the other actors and actresses. They did fine and definitely helped the story out. They were just minimal compared to his non-stop performance. Although I have to ask… why do they keep putting women wrestlers in these movies? I really could do with never seeing Gina Carano in another movie. I get that you want a woman that looks like she can kick butt… but you also need an actress that can act, right? She’s got a long way to go if she wants a substantial acting career. (I really don’t like wrestling…can you tell?)

So, let me get off that rant and sum this up.

4stars

This movie didn’t inspire me or lead me to tears in a bout of emotional drama, but it did lead me to tears in laughter. I think laughter is very important in the film industry, and it is so hard to find a good, witty comedy these days. So thank you Tim Miller and Ryan Reynalds, I’ll turn to you again when I need another good laugh.

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Disgraced

Disgraced_header_01_1  I almost called and cancelled my tickets for a show at the Alliance Theater in Midtown Atlanta. I am so glad that I didn’t. I watched Disgraced, a play written by Ayad Akhtar. It. Was. Phenomenal.

I usually try to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of a show/film, but tonight I saw very little weakness. The story revolved around the downfall of a Pakistani man, Amir, who had chosen to deny his Muslim upbringing in exchange for the American lifestyle, but could not quite shake off his heritage, regardless. His wife is a “beautiful, white American woman” who has a passion for Islamic art.  He connects his wife with a curator and husband of one of his fellow coworkers. The two couples have an intense and heated discussion on the topic of race and religion during a dinner party to celebrate.

This discussion touched closer and closer to home in different ways for everyone as the dialogue progressed. Issac, a Jewish man served as the antagonist. Amir, the ex-Muslim served as his target and responded with more extremity. His wife, Emily tried to act as the peacemaker, but to no avail. Jory, Amir’s coworker and Isaac’s wife served as the comedian and audience’s relief to the intensity developing in their conversation.

Their conversation, which escalated into revealed secrets and breakdowns, had myself and audience members around me groaning, laughing, gasping, and tsking. A particular comment about the 9-11 attack had murmur of displeasure break out over the whole audience. As a viewer it made me uncomfortable, sad, and thoughtful. Even now, as I write thoughts are rolling around in my head as I replay the dialogue. I have to admit, I may be seeing this one again before it leaves the theater.

So if you have the opportunity to see this show, and your asking yourself if you really want to… yes you do want to. Go reserve your tickets right now. This play is, according to Alliance Theater, “the most produced play of the year”, so check to see if it is being produced anywhere near you!

 

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The Boy

Spoiler Alert

The Boy was…”odd”.  And that isn’t my word, but was used in the film itself.

So lets start from the beginning of my experience. I was settled in, once again, to the nice cozy leather seats of the AMC theater. Coke in cup-holder, and popcorn in hand. (I really am going to have to stop putting the butter on it, or I wont even fit into those leather seats anymore).

The film comes on, and I spend the first 15 minutes, distracted and wracking my brain to figure out that annoying question that I’m sure everyone experiences in their movie-watching-career… “Where have I seen that actress before?”

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I mean… who cares about this creepy old house with the painful, electric blue carpet? But then it finally hit me….

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It’s was Lauren Cohan! Or as I knew her, Maggie from the Walking Dead. Now I’ve got hope in this movie. Its not just some scary movie with a nameless actress, ready to show her boobs as a distraction from the lack of a good plot. And I was super interested in seeing how she would do in a movie.

So luckily I hit my revelation before the cute guy walked in. Although, I could have done without watching him try to predict her future through the “reading” of her ABC gum. His character is charmingly adorable however, so he was therefore redeemable in my eyes.

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The good looks definitely help. Say hi to Rupert Evans.

So this film consists of a pretty small cast, considering the new nanny is not allowed to leave the house, and technically she isn’t supposed to have visitors. She only had a couple of guys over… all nannies do that when the parents are away, right?

Well, Cohan did not disappoint me in this film. It wouldn’t have been nearly as good without her. It wasn’t scary, at all so let me put that notion right out of your head. It was more ominous than anything while you’re trying to figure out if the “doll spirit” was intent on evil or good.  Cohan, or Greta the nanny, had my emotions up and down with her emotions. When she didn’t care about the doll… I didn’t either. When she was scared of it (for only about 5 minutes), I was too. When she developed a fondness for the doll, I did too. When she looked to him for protection from a crazy ex, I knew he was going to help her. And when she discovered that there was actually no spirit at all, but I giant, overgrown man-child living in the house and watching her, she had the most disgusted look of horror on her face… and it was on my face too. Looked something like…

 

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So there you have it. Let me recap in case I left you hanging somewhere. Girl leaves America to get away from crazy ex and takes a nanny job for an even crazier couple and their doll-child. They leave her to go on holiday, which in reality, they committed suicide. So Greta, first ignores the doll-spirit and gets it all riled up. It freaks her out playing mean tricks on her, and then just like a Sour Patch Kid, turns nice with a PB&J offered up as a white flag. This makes Nanny straighten up and starts taking care of the doll-child… even at the expense of the yummy grocery man with the British accent. Crazy ex boyfriend some how finds her in a whole other country, in the middle of nowhere. Well she sends yummy grocery man on his way and turns to the doll-spirit for help instead. The doll spirit starts playing tricks on crazy ex and in return crazy ex bashes the doll’s porcelain head.

At this point, it is a heartbreaking moment, because I’ve come to treasure the little mysterious doll-spirit and his attachment to his nanny. But make no mistake, this feeling was fleeting. Five seconds after the doll is broken all shit hits the fan… in the form of a masked, ginormous man-child who busts through the walls to start hacking away at offenders. At this point I lost interest in the film. There was no more mystery to the child-spirit. No more roller coaster emotions. It had become a slasher film with  only one thing occupying the audience’s mind: whether or not the good people would escape. I’ll let you watch the movie to see if they do or not… I’ve spoiled enough as it is!

So I give this film……three and a half stars!

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Cohan did an excellent job in engaging my emotions. I was hopeful she would do well, and she didn’t let me down. Rupert was a good supporting roll. His character mainly served as the basis of information. I was entertained by the plot. I wouldn’t have minded it being a little bit scarier, but overall I felt it was a successful-see-it-once kind of film.

 

 

 

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The 5th Wave

Let’s talk about movies.

 

I’m not a professional movie critic. I’m not a film student, nor am I a writer. Lord knows I can barely figure out where to put commas. (I kind of just insert them wherever I take a mental breath).

So what am I? Why have I started to make a blog about movies? Because I’m that annoying commentator that won’t stop talking during the damn movie. It takes a special person to see a movie with me… one with a lot of patience. I suppose I can understand. It’s hard to get lost in your little fantasy bubble when the person next to you is groaning about the cheeeee-zeeee scene going on in front of your face. And trust me…. Thanks to one of my best friends I’ve had the opportunity to make lots of commentary on some pretty damn sappy movies. But I love her so I watch them.  Just like I love my boyfriend, so I watch those movies I refer to as “the dumb guy movies”. Call me sexist, but you know it’s the truth. Lots of fake boobs, dirty jokes, and usually something explodes. For example, the entire Fast and Furious franchise (R.I.P. Paul Walker).

So what kind of movies do I like? Well I actually like a huge variety of films, independent or Hollywood films alike. And I do kind of like it when things explode. I just could do without all the fake boobs.  I can even handle the right kind of sap…..

…….

That little pause was so that I could put my hand on my heart and quote Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.  

Kierra Knightly has a “less is more” type of approach towards acting, but I think that in this movie, it works for her. Gives the viewers time to enjoy the landscape, classical music… and Mr. Darby’s eyes. That’s a sappy combination that will bring me into my fantasy bubble.

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But let’s get back on track here. I am wanting to a review a movie with you guys, but not Pride and Prejudice. Today I grabbed my boyfriend from work and we went to an AMC theater. (Hello leather reclining chairs and free soda refills… not to mention the bar).  I had seen a trailer for The 5th Wave and because End-of-the-World movies are my favorite I chose to ignore the fact that it was starring Chloe Grace Moretz. Now considering I’m based in Atlanta, and she’s from Atlanta… I’m going to try and cut her some slack. For those of you who are unsure of who she is, she played Carrie in the 2013 remake of …Carrie. She wasn’t my favorite in that movie… but hey she’s young and still has some growing up to do. I won’t give up on her yet. She is from the big ATL after all.

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Cute isn’t she?

And heads up guys…there are spoilers down below. SPOILER ALERT

 

The movie opened up with our cute little Carrie… I mean Chloe. Actually she’s Cassie in this movie (I guess she’s just a C-name kind of girl)…..anyways… the movie opened up with Cassie shooting an innocent man. This looked promising. But as movies typically do, they had to go and give the back story as to how she came to be in that predicament……..

…… This is supposedly done through the narration of her journal that she keeps… Even while on the run for her life. That’s some dedication to My Little Diary if you ask me.

Well the back story was “I was just a normal teenager… drinking beer at raging parties with my awkward crush on this super cool teenage guy… but because I’m a good girl I got home by curfew and in time to sing my brother a bedtime lullaby, but then these damn aliens came and just messed everything up.”

First of all…. Why do filmmakers keep insisting that high school kids have the resources and locations to have these totally awesome keg parties in some mansion? Did I miss something in my teenage years? I don’t remember the overflow of beer or lack of parental guidance. And why would she go sing lullabies to her little brother afterwards? Maybe she thought her beer breath would knock him right out.

For me, it was a blessing when “the others” invaded. At least I didn’t have to watch any more awkward encounters between her and her little crush.

So this family stays in their little Ohio town, regardless of the big and scary alien ship looming over their house. They continue going to work and school, even while they’re neighbors start fleeing their homes…. Would you stay underneath that thing? What have alien movies taught us??? Hello! They like to send down little light beams that suck you up into their ship where they perform all sorts of tortuous tests on you. So that didn’t actually happen in the movie, but still…would you have stayed under it?

So while she’s in school the first wave hits, cutting off all electrical objects. (Thankfully this includes her cell phone, which she was using to text with her best friend… about her awkward crush).  Finally something cool happens, because let’s face it… nothing cool has happened since the first scene when she killed the guy. Right outside her classroom window, cars crash and an airplane dives to the ground and goes boom. Too bad I already saw that part in the trailer!

Second wave hits: Earthquakes and floods. Also in the trailer.

Third wave: Bird flu. Bird flu? I guess without out technology we don’t know how to take care of people anymore, so that wiped out tons of people…including her mom. (I did get a little teary eyed on that part). Sooo…. Finally her dad thinks “Hey…maybe we should go somewhere else?” This is where they go to a little refugee camp with fresh water and …you know survival stuff. But then the Army rolls in on their hummers and big yellow school buses (cause they’re immune to the electromagnetic field). Immediately children and parents are separated (who didn’t see this one coming?). Apparently the 4th wave has hit…”the others” are now possessing humans… and for some unexplained reason it’s easier for the army to identify alien children rather than alien adults.

While they’re on a school bus, about to be transported, the little brother realizes he has forgotten his teddy bear that he absolutely must have, so big sister leaves him on the bus and runs to get it. Do I really need to tell you guys that the buses chose that minute to roll out? I mean for real? We have to endure a little mind-numbing… I mean…. “Heartbreaking moment” between brother and sister being separated, calling out for each other. I love my little brother but I’m pretty sure I’d tell him is was SOL and he’d have to live without the teddy bear. So now we’ve come to the main agenda of the plot: Big sister has to get little brother back.

Oooh lets rewind for a second…what happened to Dad? Well he was executed by the Army.  (Do ya’ll see the plot twist coming up?? Because I’d figured it out at this point).  The director tried to conceal it with their tricks they use to hide twists, but this one was pretty transparent.

The dad dying did bring another tear to my other eye, but at the same time she was finally on her own. She was no longer just surviving because she had her mission. Time to toughen up and become a bad-ass right?                    RIGHT?

So she spends some time wandering around the woods. Then she finds a gas station where … oh yeah remember that guy she shot in the beginning that made her look badass? That’s where he came in. So after that turns-out-not-to-be-so-badass-after-all-scene, she goes and gets herself shot in the leg and passes out. But to her credit, I’d probably pass out too.

Unlike her, I wouldn’t have the luck to wake up to some hunky dude doctoring me and seeming to want nothing more in his life than to take care of me. Hello…. Evan.

……Pausing here to find a shirtless picture……

……….

Well guys, guess you’re going to have to watch the movie… Why has no one posted a shirtless picture of Evan (aka Alex Roe) on google yet? Help a girl out. But well… shallow of me to say, I’ll probably watch it again just so I can look at him.

Here is his pretty face…

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Regardless of the fact he’s chosen to heal her and not kill her, the crazy girl develops a hostile attitude towards him. I mean, would you whip out your inner shrew on the good looking thing that’s taking care of you? Then he goes all Edward on her. (Twilight reference…right…there.)  In Edward’s case he was all goo goo for Bella regardless of her lack of personality. Evan just goes goo goo over Cassie, regardless of her need to make everything more difficult for him. And, as you find out in the end of the movie, he had that stalker inclination just like Edward… and lets just say SUPER SPOILER ALERT COMING UP…..

 

Don’t blame me if you don’t turn back…..

 

 

Giving you some more space to make up your mind, but I’m pretty sure you’ll keep reading at this point…

 

 

 

Evan, like Edward, isn’t all together “human”. Surprise! (Because no one was questioning the super strength, and fast reflexes he had right?)

 

So… let me catch you guys up. Evan follows Cassie on her quest to save her brother regardless of the fact she was strongly against it. I guess it was the end of the world so he didn’t have anything better to do. And guess what? Now she didn’t have to become some bad ass chick that kicked butt, because she’s got the hot hunky man that kisses her socks off AND does all of her butt kicking for her… in a controlling Edward kind of way, that is. Her only job now is to have long, awkward scenes with him that I think were meant to be sexual and romantic. Maybe.  (My eyes still hurt from all of their rolling action during these scenes) At least she finally wises up and gives him a big smack-a-roo before she sends him on his way, cause hey… he’s kind of alien after all. (But he still follllowwws heeeeeeer……)

The only reprieve from these awkward scenes is when it shows the going-ons of the kids at the Army camp being brainwashed into little “alien hunting” soldiers. And by some weird “coincidence” her little brother and her old crush, who is now the hard ass nicknamed “Zombie”, happen to be in the same squadron.

And the plot quickly unfolds from there. Edward…I mean Evan…. makes another appearance to show that he’s saving everyone, declare is undying love for Cassie, kiss her socks off again, and disappears to continue saving them all. Cause it totally works like that.

Then we get a little cliff hanger at the end so we know that they are making room for a second movie.  Just please…please don’t make this another weird teenage love triangle. If I have to choose between Team Evan and Team Zombie, I’m going to be ashamed of my shallow, muscle-based, choice.

 

So how do I rate this movie?

3 Stars
Three stars!! Our lead heroine needs to toughen her little-non-existent butt up, and they really have to work on their sexual chemistry. But overall the plot was a good one and the cliff hanger has me wanting to see the next one. Probably won’t pay to see the second one in the fancy AMC theater, but I’ll keep an eye out for it in the dollar theater. Or better yet… my TV. Come on Chloe! You drove me nuts but I’m rooting for you. Oh and please make more things explode in the next one. Thank you.

 

I’m off to see if there is a Kindle version of the book now…

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