I’ll keep this short:
- It’s a masterpiece.
- All the controversy surrounding its release – incel triggering and/or otherwise – is laughable.
- My faith in Hollywood’s ability to create magic has been restored.
- I wish I could have attended its Cannes premier so I could have participated in the 8-minute standing ovation it received at the conclusion of its showing.
- If, at a minimum, it, Todd Phillips, and Joaquin Phoenix don’t win all major awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor respectively, then the awards are completely irrelevant.
I was going to write my own review for the meandering mess of a movie called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but after yesterday’s disaster of a review I just didn’t have the heart… or pain tolerance… to write another one so soon. And let’s face it, you know and I know writing reviews isn’t exactly my forte, so…
Instead I decided to reblog for your entertainment and instruction this wonderfully written and compelling review of the flick written by popular film critic Mark Hobin of Fast Film Reviews. It’s a wonderfully written and compelling review that also happens to mirror my sentiments of the faulty flick near spot on.
Read, heed, and enjoy…
A new Quentin Tarantino film is an event. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been billed as his ninth picture. So apparently Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 are now considered one film. The auteur has declared his plans to retire after he has made 10 total. Much of the critical establishment has worshiped at the altar of this much-lauded filmmaker. Personally, I haven’t always been a fan of the way he succumbs to his excessive impulses. His last production, The Hateful Eight, was a mean-spirited tale of truly reprehensible individuals. To its credit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is decidedly more good-natured. It’s a tale that longs for a bygone era. But that isn’t for the Golden Age of directors like William Wyler, Frank Capra, and George Cukor. No Tarantino reveres the men of 1960s Hollywood like Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone and John Sturges who made…
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So as I continue to work the mysterious magic of turning the words from the pages of my most recent novel into words on the pages of what will hopefully soon be my most recent screenplay (with the ultimate and even more hopeful goal of magically turning those words from the screenplay into magical images on a screen), I am tangentially listening to a screenwriting howto book by Viki King with the impossibly-sounding title of How to Write a Movie in 21 Days: The Inner Movie Method [about]
I’m just about done with the book and when I am it will have been the third screenwriting howto book I have read.
And you know what…Continue reading “Superpowers Activated”
I was a month and seventeen days shy of my fourth birthday when Easy Rider premiered fifty years ago yesterday, so, unfortunately, I cannot provide any personal insight of the actual groundbreaking event.
In fact, it would be another twenty years or so until I finally saw the flick.
And then another thirty years or so would pass until I at last watched it again…
Which brings us to yesterday when I watched it in honor of its golden anniversary.
But it’s not like I’m a fanboy of the flick or anything…Continue reading “Born to Be… #EasyRider50”
The entire cast and crew, which includes yours truly, is very proud and honored to be able to show our film for the first time to the world at such a prestigious event.
We are also proud and honored to finally be able to share with you a short teaser of the film right now.
That, my friends, was a good time, indeed.
Time sure does go fast…
And, frustratingly enough, it, concurrently, goes so frakkin’ (any BSG/Caprica fans out there?) slow when one’s breath is bated in anticipation, such as mine is for the film’s completion.
Movie making is not as easy as it looks from the theater seats, that’s for sure.
Let’s do this.
ALT BEST PICTURE: I’ve only seen one “Best Picture” nomination — “Arrival” and I thought it was mostly Zzz… — so out of all the 2016 movies I have seen, not just those nominated, which still are only a handful… or, would it be an “eyeful?”…my Alt-Oscar for Best Picture of 2016 — and which is one of the best flicks I’ve seen in a loooong time — goes to:
#believeinleave >> PLEASE DONATE
What a night at the Oscars, eh?
Big night for diversity and sexual assault awareness.
While it’s no longer cool for us to say “boys will be boys”… I believe it’s still within the legal PC bounds of good taste to say “Chris will be Chris.”
He did a pretty good job of calling out all the major inequality themes re: Hollywood that’s been on everyone’s minds and tongues for the past few months. Though he did go a little easier on the Establishment and a lot harder on Jada than I expected.
I thought his most pointed call-out wasn’t a race issue but a gender equality issue when discussing the absurdity of having both a Best Actor and a Best Actress category. “It’s not as if they are running a track and field event and Robert De Niro has to say, ‘Whoa, I better slow down my acting so Meryl Streep can catch up…” It’s worth your time to search for and watch Rock’s opening monologue. It should be easy enough to find.
I was pretty bummed when Lady Gaga didn’t win the award for Best Song (or whatever the official nomenclature is) after her highly emotional and powerful performance of “Till It Happens To You.” But when Sam Smith gave his amazing acceptance speech calling on for equality and encouragement for the LGBT community I was like, okay… he’s cool.
But to me, Lady Gaga’s performance was definitely the highlight of the night and one of the most moving performances I’ve seen in a while. At least since her performance of the US National Anthem at the Super Bowl… which was also quite impressive. She’s quite the talent, that’s for sure.
As far as the movie stuff goes, I can’t really comment much because until I see the Oscars I never realize how many movies I haven’t seen throughout the year.
I’m happy and unsurprised that Leo won for Best Actor. Pretty impressive speech he gave re: The Environment. Of course it was a given he would speak about environmental issues knowing how passionate he is about the subject. And it also makes sense to discuss it seeing how critical Nature was to the success of his film. [See: The Revenent: It’s Really Good (for a laugh)]
I’m less happy that Tom Hardy did not win Best Supporting Actor and very surprised that, if Tom didn’t win it, they didn’t just give it to Sly Stallone for sentimental reasons (it certainly wouldn’t be for any acting reasons). As a former Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) guy, I have been meaning to see The Bridge of Spies so I cannot judge the dude who did win. I cannot even judge him based on his past performances because I don’t even have clue who he is (although there is a tinge of familiarity so I’m sure I’ve seen him in this or that).
As for Best Actress… didn’t see “The Room” or is it just “Room,” but just based on the clips shown Brie Larson looks like a worthy winner. As for Best Supporting Actress… didn’t see “The Danish Girl” but Alicia Vikander is definitely the “It Gal” of the moment so I assumed she would win.
While Mad Max swept all the technical and nitnoid whatnot awards, I thought for sure The Revenent would sweep the Big Three. It got two with Alejandro González Iñárritu winning Best Director (two years running now), and Leo’s win, but missed on the biggest of all.
Haven’t seen Spotlight, the winner, yet. I’m still waiting on it to hit Redbox and then I’ll have to wait until Redbox texts me a free movie night before I do. Yeah, I’m cheap like that.
As far as the presenters go… it seems that there is a budding bromance between Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. They were quite funny together and could make a pretty good living as a comedic duo.
And did anyone else get confused between Kate Winslet and Patricia Arquette? Did they look like copies of each other because they were sharing the same pair of glasses? Or are they secretly Pond Crossing Twins?
Speaking of Patty Arquette, you should check her out on twitter and see the work she’s doing with the #EqualMeansEqual documentary that is in the works. As you probably know she’s a major, outspoken proponent for Women’s and Gender Equality Issues. She believes because she called out Hollywood last year in its poor record of equality in pay between men and women that she has lost several potential acting gigs from it. Check out the good stuff she has going on at @PattyArquette at the tweet machine.
As typical, Sasha Baron Cohen provided the most cringe-worthy moment. His “Ali G” skit is no longer fun(ny), as it now comes off to me only as being stale and rather desperate.
Still, all in all I thought The Oscars overall was a great show. One of the most entertaining in a long while.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what impact all the awareness to diversity this year will have on next year’s nominees.
Aaand… that’s a wrap.
FILM | MOVIE | STUDIO | DRAMA
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★
Since I didn’t know off the top of my head what the word “revenant” meant, I had thought, in the spirit of Shakespeare, it was a word created specifically for Art’s sake by combining the words revenge and covenant. Seeing the movie (and the squiggly red idiot line under the word when I type it) only reinforced this belief, because “The Revenant” is a grand, intense, soul-searching, cinematographic dream-scape of movie “inspired” by a book of the same name that was “inspired” by a legend which was more than likely “inspired” by a kernel of truth of the life of a mountain man named Hugh Glass, a contemporary of Grizzly Adams, may he rest in peace (both the real one who died long ago and, more importantly to those of my generation, to Dan Haggerty, the actor who portrayed him and who died recently) and Jedediah Smith (no, Robert Redford played Jeremiah Johnson, not Smith), which is about a father committed to his last breath regardless the odds or obstacles to exact revenge for the murder of his son.
In simplistic terms, it’s really, really good. It deserves all the Oscars nominations it has received, especially for Best Picture, Best Director (Iñárritu), Best Supporting Actor (Hardy), and Best Actor (DiCaprio).
As is typical with any film he is in, Tom Hardy stole the show. In my view, he just may be the best working actor there is right now. He out-acted DiCaprio, who is a pretty good actor in his own right – not great, but pretty good. But it doesn’t really matter as far as awards go seeing that they are up for different ones. But even if they were up for Best Actor, DiCaprio should still win it over Hardy, and all the others I’ve seen, for the overwhelming effort he invested and physical hardship and pain he endured for this role. His performance and commitment to his trade are remarkable.
As far as the logistics and filming of the movie, I do not know how Iñárritu did it. The movie is so big and so remote with so many moving parts – Mother Nature notwithstanding – I simply don’t know how they put it all together so seamlessly and beautifully, and breathtakingly so. I’m sure it will win for Best Cinematography.
I already said the movie is about a father’s commitment to exacting revenge for his son’s murder. And it is. But, unfortunately for Glass, the father, he has to fulfill this sad covenant that he makes with himself, his dead son, and his impartial god, after having just about the worst day, week, and however long his revenge exacting takes that one man can ever have.
I mean, this dude just gets keep getting creamed.
I mean, there are bears and “savages” and broken bones and infection and starvation and the frigid, merciless elements…
It’s like… Dude!
I mean, Death just keeps so relentlessly and rabidly on his ass that it finally became comical to me… and the guy sitting next to me.
Remember the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail?” Each time another near-death tragedy happened to Glass and his near-death tragic soul, I couldn’t help repeating in my mind that famous and funny line from the movie:
I whispered this to the guy next to me and we ended up giggling like two kids each successive time Death pick Glass up and pile-drived his head back into the mat.
Which brings me back to the word “revenant” and its meaning. Come to find out it isn’t a made-up word after all. It means, “a person who has returned, especially from the dead.”
There couldn’t be a more fitting word for this movie. In fact, it could be called The Revenant To The Nth Power, Glass returns from the dead so many times.
There are more things about the movie I could make fun with… like pointing out a cliché or two – yes, of course Glass gets all Luke Skywalker on us when he guts his horse (that had recently just fallen over a cliff with him – he survives; the horse doesn’t) and crawls inside it to stay warm during the night – but I’ll stop with the merrymaking.
But it doesn’t matter, the movie is good enough, and grand enough, that it can handle a bit of criticism from yours truly.
Out of all the movies nominated for Best Picture, I’ve only seen this, “Mad Max,” and “The Martian.” Out of those three, all of which I like very much, “The Revenant” is my pick to win.
If you haven’t seen it, you should.
★ = Unwatchable
★ ★ = Poor Movie
★ ★ ★ = Average Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ = Outstanding Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Exceptional Movie