The Revenant (2015)

Revenant

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I am totally blown away by this film. I was told by some reliable sources that it would be good, I’ve always had my doubts about Leonardo DiCRAPrio but he’s learnt how to act after he started to get dropped by people seeking his looks alone and since Django Unchained (2012) he’s really picked himself up and really displayed a lot of character.

The Reverent has many redeeming qualities stunning scenery, some bizarre and unique characters and actors and vicious wildlife to play dead with. At first I thought that the 2 and half hours would be hard to fill, but by the second hour I didn’t want it to end.

Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) and his half native son Hawk (Forest Goodluck) are on an expedition to collect beaver pelts, one of the most profitable jobs in Canada in the 1800s, when his group are attacked by the natives and the last few remaining crew head down river but then due to safety they go back on land, hide the pelts and try to get out alive in order to return to pick up the pelts so the entire tragedy isn’t a total disaster. While they are tracking back, Glass is (nearly fatally) attacked by a bear, his son and two others stay behind to keep him safe, a young boy Bridger (Will Poulter) and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Fitzgerald lies to Bridger and scares him into running with him,  kills Hawk and leave Glass for dead. In hindsight it would have been kinder on glass to just lay there and die in the cold… but instead he treks through hell and back.

The film is brutal, there is no other way to describe it. Some of it is reminiscent of Seraphim Falls (2007) and DiCaprio is a tough mother fucker, while slashed to fuck by a bear he manages to survive in the harshest environment, battered and broken he has to cauterize his neck would as water keeps seeping out, regain his voice, repair his damaged and rotting body in the extreme cold landscape. and what a landscape, there are many shots that the tourist board would have been proud of, unlimited skies and it seems that in some way a lot of the atmosphere and change of fortune can be read in various tree shots.

This epic journey is cruel, cold brutal and dark.

Domhall Gleeson plays a decent character as Captain Andrew Henry and my favourite Canadian actor, Brendan Fletcher turns up as a bit of a nobody ,but it was good to see him if only briefly.

Near the end of the movie when things start returning to normality I started counting how many lives Mr Glass had, if he were a cat he would literally be on the last life by the second hour. There is a lot of action, tension and some amazing survival skills involved here. A few sentimental flashbacks, similar to the native inspired flashbacks in Ginger Snaps Back the beginning (2004)and Pathfinder (2007) but more candid and less flashy.

The film is damned near perfect, and I’m easily giving it a 9/10 at the moment, I’m GOING to watch it again, it has great re watch ability which is a good thing, another good things is the ending… but I can’t say much more here i’m flabbergasted, the bear attack scene is truly amazing even if it’s not your kinda film just do the first half and hour and check that one scene out.If like me you’re a glutton for punishment then it’s dealt out like candy throughout the film.

9/10

Full review to come…

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Blood (2012)

Blood

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This film should have been made earlier in British film history, around the time of My Name is Joe (1998) but it wasn’t and it just looks dated. Utilising the great acting abilities of Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Brian Cox and Stephen Graham.

Paul Bettany plays a determined cop who gets a blood lust for a particular man after a girls body turns up and he suspects him of her kidnapping and murder, with the pressure from his ill ex cop father (Cox) he does something rather hot headed and spends the rest of the movie trying to cover the mistake.

It attempts to be gritty, it is definitely tense at times but doesn’t have a lot of depth, I did enjoy the film,the concept is great but it wasn’t executed in the best possible way, but at least the story is totally complete and there is a justified ending.

Cox is by far the best actor in this, the clumsy father who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or something similar, while being a little devious and also using it to mask some underhanded tactics. There is a lot of double dealings going on and brilliant family drama scenes, both in the home and out on the “island” where there are a lot of problems buried.

I can’t really work out where to place the film, it is good but I feel it could have been a lot better. Mark Strong wasn’t really used to his proper potential, Bettany was equally under used, but I did feel that the entertainment was hit and miss throughout. It has a decent level of re watch ability I think I will make up mind in the review.. coming soon.

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Rating 6/10

R – My name is joe (1998), Gangster No1 (2000),
5S – Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Brian Cox,