Movie Review: The Revenant (2015)

the-revenant-poster-movie-leonardo-dicaprio-wallpapersbyte-com-1366x768

Survival, something we all strive for in our own ways. Doesn’t matter at what level, all humans aim to survive in one way or another. Doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in your kitchen, having a cup of tea or if you’re lost in the woods… you are trying to survive.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Revenant”.

Frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) hasn’t had the best of times. First he got mauled by an angry bear, and then he got left for dead by his hunting team. So now Glass sets out on a long and difficult journey to survive and possibly get revenge. And before you ask, no this isn’t a fast-paced revenge action movie like “Kill Bill”. This is more of a slow and methodical tale about Glass just trying to stay alive while finding the asshole that wronged him. And I have to say that I thought it was a great plot. I don’t want to say that I enjoyed it, because there’s some really disturbing stuff going on at times and it’s a pretty harrowing tale, so enjoyment is not the word I’d use for the plot. It was a ver yinteresting plot that I was invested in from start to finish.

The characters in this movie were all realistic and very interesting. Leonardo DiCaprio… holy fuck, that dude can act. He doesn’t say a whole lot, and when he does it isn’t always in English. But I always believed his performance, it was absolutely fantastic. Tom Hardy was also great in the movie, even though he feel back on the typical “Tom Hardy mumble” quite a bit. But his performance overall was great. Domhnall Gleeson, also turning out a truly great performance in the movie. And Will Poulter was really good too, he really surprised me in this movie. I mean, there wasn’t ever a performance I’d call bad or even mediocre in this movie… all were somewhere between good and fan-fucking-tastic.

The score for the movie was composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, and Bryce Dessner. And it was nothing short of great. There were tracks that were really exciting and there were tracks that were really haunting and eerie. Really, the score was very well composed and perfectly fit the movie.

This movie was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the man who also directed “Birdman”. And once again he did something very unique when directing this movie. Though instead of making the entire movie look like one continuous shot he opted to shoot the entire movie in natural light. Which means that he actually went out into the fucking wilderness and shot with all natural light sources, like the sun or some fire. No studio lights or green screen here, it’s the real deal. Sure, there was some CG in the movie, but only for some of the more impossible stuff… like Leonardo DiCaprio getting mauled by a god damn bear, that was of course a man in a funny suit getting some CGI edited on top of him so he could become a bear. There were apparently a bunch more bits of CG in the movie, but it was blended so well with the practical that I couldn’t tell which was which. Shit, here I’ve spent a bunch of words talking about visual effects that I forgot to talk about the directing/cinematography. But yeah, that stuff is holy fucking shit levels of amazing. The scenes are very well crafted and the cinematography is some of the best that I’ve ever seen. It is a visually stunning movie. Let’s talk about the action scenes in the movie. There are not too many, but when they happen they are incredibly brutal and disturbing. I don’t have a problem with violence in movies, but the stuff here is done in such a brutal and realistic way that it got some reactions out of me. So if you haven’t seen this movie and you’re squeamish… consider this a warning.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (DiCaprio, finally), Best Director, and Best Cinematography. The movie was also nominated for an additional 9 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Hardy), Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Sounds Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Production Design. 

“The Revenant” is an incredibly impressive film. It has a great plot, great characters, terrific performances, great music, fantastic directing, gorgeous cinematography, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Grunting noise*. My final score for “The Revenant” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Revenant” is now completed.

Damn nature, you scary!

Beyond the Cover Blogathon: Shutter Island

Snapshot_20160408_2

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internets. I believe you’re asking yourself what the hell is going on here, and don’t worry, I will explain it all to you. I decided about a week ago(ish) that I would take part in a Blogathon held by the terrific Kristina of Speakeasy and the also terrific Liz of Now, Voyaging. The theme of this Blogathon is “Beyond the Cover”, or “Movies based on Books” as the simple man would call it. I found the idea rather intriguing and had the thought “Hey, I read books and I watch movies… maybe I should take part?” and then I signed up. So now we’re here, ready to take on this topic.

The book/movie I have chosen is “Shutter Island”. The book came out in 2003 and was written by Dennis Lehane (Sidenote: He might honestly be my favorite author). Then the movie came out in 2010, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley. As you might’ve been able to tell, this isn’t going to be a conventional review. Instead I will see what the movie did different to the book and also compare the characters and their interactions (Minor spoilers might occur). But I might still give you a normal review of the movie as well in a separate post because, why the fuck not. So let’s do this stuff.

Teddy Daniels
image21

Edward “Teddy” Daniels is the main protagonist of both the book and the movie (where he’s played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Overall there is no major difference between the two characters, both are U.S. marshals from Boston (Like all Lehane protagonists), both have the same backstory. The only real difference is that there is a slight difference in how he’s physically described in the book and how he’s portrayed in the movie. In the book we get a brief mention that his head is shaved and that he’s a pretty big guy. He is also supposed to look pretty rugged. And in the movie he has a decent amount of hair on his head and he is also not a particularly big guy and he has the face of a DiCaprio. He’s pretty average when it comes to his physical attributes. He is a troubled character, but that is one of the things that make him interesting. DiCpario also does a good job of playing him.

Chuck Aule.
cccfb75e84505f24fc71cd018676206a

Chuck Aule is the partner who had been assigned to help Teddy with the investigation of Rachel Solando’s disappearance. In the movie he’s played Mark Ruffalo. What makes this comparison interesting is that there are some differences in both physical description (sort of). In the book he’s described as being about 5’9” (180 cm) tall and a maybe not in perfect shape. He also has hands that look a bit too small in proportion to the rest of the body. In the movie (like I said before) he is played by Mark Ruffalo who is about 5’8”. But with the rest of the appearance (hair/skin) it seems they are pretty close in resemblance. But the biggest difference comes to how he’s portrayed. Ruffalo plays him very well, actually nailing the essence of the character. But in the book he is fucking hilarious, constantly having great lines. In the book he acts as both a comic relief and a serious marshal who helps Teddy. But in the movie he doesn’t have nearly as much awesome stuff to say which is a little sad.

Dr. John Cawley
Ben-Kingsley

Generally speaking, he’s the same. Nothing to add really. Ben Kingsley’s great.

 

Story
20151823172542301078181_sbig

The basic story is (for you unfamiliar few) that two U.S. marshals are sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient there. Basic plot is pretty much the same in both the book and the movie. The only differences come in the form of parts being left out. There is for example a part in the book where Teddy has an argument with his dead wife Dolores which ends with him accidentally cutting himself while shaving and being pissed at her. The ending is basically the same as well, I won’t go into detail about it because I’m sure there are at least a few out there who haven’t read the book or seen the film. I’m just saying, they’re basically the same with minor changes done in the film.

Dialogue

sh16

LD – “Ya know that asshole, Markus?” BK – “Yes?” LD – “Yeah, he’s got a great blog.”

This might seem like an odd topic to bring up, but it’s one that I’ve been givin’ some thinkin’ over the past… day. To prepare for this post I read through the book (for the fourth time) and also rewatched the movie (third or fourth time seeing it) and I noticed some things regarding the dialogue in the movie. While the basics of it is intact, a good amount of dialogue has either been altered or removed. I mentioned before how Chuck doesn’t say as much fun stuff as he does in the book, and that’s just the start of it. Relatively large chunks of dialogue that existed in the book has been removed, including a good amount of dialogue from the final confrontation near the end. Having read the book and then moving on to the film in such a quick succession makes these changes very clear which actually annoys me a little bit. I guess a lot of these exchanges were cut out to keep the runtime on the shorter side, but I wouldn’t mind if they made the movie a bit longer to keep those really interesting bits of dialogue in it. But I guess they wanted to keep it at a higher pace and not keep people watching for “too” long… *sigh*.
12257443

What the movie did well
52288307

The previous bit might’ve made me sound like I was just complaining about the film, so let’s just relax and quickly talk about what it did right. The plot holds very well, Scorsese’s directing is terrific, all of the performances are somewhere between really good and fantastic, the music choices (though few) are great, the cinematography is gorgeous and the ending (if you think about it) is absolutely terrific. The movie is also very suspenseful makes for a really interesting and gripping watch.

Conclusion
So those were my thoughts on the book/movie differences for “Shutter Island”. What do you think of this movie? What do you think of the book? Leave any and all thoughts you have in the comments. Also, I might post a regular review for it as well in the near future. So maybe look forward to that! With that said, I will now leave you with a goodbye of some kind and my favorite image/still from the movie.
Have a good one!
1440589193086

 

Movie Review: Catch Me If You Can (2002)

catch-me-if-you-can-wallpapers

Biographical movies are always a thing that has kept my interest. They are labeled under “Based on a true story” in the filing cabinet. Most of the times these situations might seem like a big fucking stretch… yet they happened, of course with a few modifications so it would fit in movie form. Today we are taking a look at on of those situations where it sounds so unreal that you might think someone jsut had a really wild fantasy… but when you read about it you see that it really was true how unrealistic it might seem.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Catch Me If You Can”.

Like I said this story is too good to be true. It is about Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) who during the 60’s travels around the U.S. “Okay fair enough, what’s the catch?” I hear you asking. And the catch is that Abagnale was a con artist who tricked people to get money and free flying across the country. The funny thing is that he basically stole several million dollars across his journey… and he had not even turned 21 yet. The movie focuses on his journey of conning people and getting rich. You also get to follow the FBI agent (Tom Hanks) who is hot on his tail. You also get to see the close relationship Abagnale has with is father, Frank Abagnale Sr. (Christopher Walken). And yes, this explanation of the story may be vague at best but I found it too interesting to talk too much about. This story is one that is too full of twists, turns and awesome things that should be experienced by the viewer rather than getting it spoiled by me.

The characters in this movie are really interesting. They are very well-written and got some great pieces of dialogue. They never seem either fake or boring, they always work out for the best of the situations. They are also incredibly well-acted. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise since the three most prominent characters are played by three incredible actors (DiCaprio, Hanks, Walken). But in general, all actors did a great job both performing and delivering the clever dialogue that Jeff Nathanson wrote.

The music is an interesting thing. Why? Because it was made by John Williams and all pieces of music by him are interesting in one way or another… DUH! But in all seriousness, the original tracks in this movie are really nice to listen to. They also work for the movie well enough because they are nothing bombastic but rather pretty subtle(ish) and just fits the overall style of the movie (Crime-Drama-Comedy). There are also a bunch of older licensed tracks in the movie that honestly work fantastically to sell the feel of the scenes they are used in. They also help a bit with establishing the time period.

Speaking of establishing the time period, this movie does it perfectly. When a movie is set in a certain time period you have to take into consideration that it has to work in that time period’s favor. You need to make the movie feel like it actually captures the time period it is set in. And this movie does that perfectly with it’s clothing, music, vehicles… everything. And that is actually more difficult than it may seem. But this movie did it perfectly. If you want a recommendation for another movie that captures it’s time period very well I can point you towards 2013’s “American Hustle”… just saying. But back to the movie we were originally talking about! Another aspect that really worked with the movie was the camera work. But that doesn’t surprise me considering this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg who is a master class director. This movie is also surprisingly funny. There were times I was surprised to find a laugh. Not that I’m complaining because I am a big fan of crime-comedies. And I have to say that the comedy in this movie was really fun.

This movie was met with some prety good reception. Hell, even the real Frank Abagnale liked it. But anyway, uhmm… Rotten Tomatoes has a 96% positive score for it and has certified it “Fresh”. On Metacritic it has a 76/100. Roger Ebert seemed to like it as he gave this movie 3/4 stars stating:

“This is not a major Spielberg film, although it is an effortlessly watchable one”.

On imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10… yet is strangely not on the “Top 250 list”. It was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best supporting Actor (Christopher Walken) and best original Score.

This movie got an interesting story, great acting, great music, it is really funny and it is just awesome. So now it is time to hand out my final score. And now… my final score for “Catch Me If You Can” is a 9,71/10 which of course, my friends, grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
49920178

“Catch Me If You Can” is now at last reviewed.

My mom kept nagging on me that I had to see it… YOU HAPPY NOW!?

 

Recent Purchases: Episode 5

Hey there, my friends! How are you doing? Today it is time again for the “series” nobody asked for! That’s right! RECENT PURCHASES! Ya know, the “series” where I tell you what kind of stuff (not edible/drinkable). So shall we get started? You bet your ass we are about to get started! Let’s go!

DVD’s: I, Robot (2004)
Catch me if You Can (2002)
Spirited Away (2001)
Godzilla (2014)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Prometheus (2012)
Fight Club (1999)

Aaaaaand that was it for this installment of Recent Purchases. I doubt you enjoyed reading this, but I could always hope! Hope you’ll return to this blog for more bullshit like this! And if you feel generous then maybe you can leave a like and follow me.

See ya!

Movie Review: The Departed (2006)

Image

Martin Scorsese, you motherfucker. Woaw, woaw! I did not mean that in a bad way. I’m just saying he got a tendency to make good movies with a fair amount of well known and good actors. Take for example “Wolf of Wall Street” or “Shutter Island”. But those are the more recent examples. How about we go back a few more years. Not all the way back to “Goodfellas”. But back to 2006, which was a good year for movies. This year, Scorsese made one of the so called “powerhouses” of the year. But what does this dude think of that specific movie.

Boys and girls…”The Departed”.

We are now in Boston. The story follows several different characters. But the main focus is set on two characters and their separate…yet connected storylines. First up we have the one of Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a recently examined undercover state cop. But he isn’t there to be a cop. He was pretty much planted there by mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) to be a sort of mole for him. Then we have the second main storyline following William “Billy” Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is set as the sort of polar opposite of Colin. He is sent by Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and the asshole known as Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) to infiltrate Costello’s gang. And both main characters (Sullivan & Costigan) are trying to figure out who is the rat of each respective crew. So it is pretty much a game of cat and mouse, but without a specific cat/mouse…kinda like “Death Note”. So yeah, the story is pretty damn interesting with this Cat and Mouse game. Fun fact about the story: It is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie “Infernal Affairs”. Another good point to mention about the story is that Damon’s character strikes up a relationship with psychiatrist Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga). So I really like the story because of how engaging it is and how it never gets boring, even though it’s two and a half hours.

The characters are complex and I want to hit them in the fucking face. Except for Costello, but that is because I love Nicholson. But these characters are complex and well acted…I fucking love that. I have nothing more for this.

The music in this is really good. It is a combination of licensed songs, most notably the song “I’m Shipping up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys. Then there are a whole bunch of original songs composed by the fantastic Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Hobbit movies, Hugo). So yes…the soundtrack is really awesome.

This movie has so much talent under its wings. Here I will list up a lot of the great actors:
Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Corrigan, Robert Wahlberg…this list is massive. Also, this movie looks beautiful, it is really well directed.

Reception for “The Departed” was overall good. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92% rating and a “Fresh” certification. Metacritic gave this movie an 86/100 rating which is pretty high for their standards. Roger Ebert gave this movie 4/4 stars and said:

“It is intriguing to wonder what Scorsese saw in the Hong Kong movie that inspired him to make the second remake of his career (after “Cape Fear”). I think he instantly recognized that this story, at a buried level, brought two sides of his art and psyche into equal focus.”

I know it doesn’t sound too much like praise, but I couldn’t find a good quote…so this’ll do.
imdb.com gave this 8,5/10 and it is ranked #46 on their Top 250 list. Also this movie got 4 Oscars. It was nominated for 5 with the fifth being for Mark Wahlberg as “Best Supporting Actor”. But he lost to Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine”.

So the story is good and intriguing, the characters/acting are awesome, the music is awesome and it is beautifully made. So I am giving this movie a 9,6/10 and a personal recommendation to buy it. It is great. Sure, you can choose to rent it if you want or stay the hell away, but this movie I actually recommend to buy. I also give this my Seal of Approval. That is a thing now…so whenever I give something that seal…it’s good.

“The Departed” is at last reviewed.

So long, boys (and girls)!

Movie Review: Blood Diamond (2006)

Image

Leonardo DiCaprio…getting Oscar nominated over and over again but never winning…that’s too sad. But when he gets nominated it is for a good reason. And was it so here? In this movie that got 5 oscar nominations. Is it really that good in this reviewers humble opinion? Well, there is only one way to find out.

Guys and girls…Blood Diamond.

The story is set in Africa 1999. There is civil war between the government and an organization called “The RUF”. This war is mainly over weapons trade and diamonds. These diamonds are often found by the RUF, sold to America and te UK so they can get money to buy more weapons so they can take over. And they are already taking over villages in very violent and gruesome ways. One day, the village where a man named Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) gets attacked. The RUF cuts off the hands of a few villagers and slaughters most of them. But they take Solomon to go and mine/look for diamonds. From the place where he does this work he escapes. He also happened to find a big, pink diamond (hence the name “Blood Diamond”. He hides it. After his escape he meets a smuggler by the name of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a reporter named Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly). Together they go through the land to find Solomon’s family and get the Blood Diamond. So the story is…really interesting. It at least kept me interested for the entire time. The story can also get VERY dark sometimes, but that’s what gives it the edge it needs.

The characters…are flawed but oh so fun to see in action. Everyone in this movie are so well acted that they stay interesting. Most of my praise will however go to Leonardo DiCpario who does a stunning performance as Dany Archer. Also a lot of praise go to Djimon Hounsou who also did one of the best performances ever. Both got Oscar nominated.

Soundtrack for the movie is one of the best I have ever heard from a movie. And I mean from movies that have an original soundtrack and not just a bunch of famous/well-known songs. This soundtrack is excellent as both an original soundtrack and a soundtrack in general.

Reception has been pretty mixed. Nothing bad really, but some scores have called this movie average. For example, on Rotten Tomatoes it got a 63% score, which is fairly low. However, it have also gotten a lot, and I mean A LOT of good reviews. This has been called one of the best movies of 2006. But yeah, good reviews are frequent for this.

Like I said, this movie can get very dark which can make it difficult to watch at times. But overall it is a great  movie. I am gonna give it a 9,46/10. This movie is so damn good. Especially the excellent performances by…everyone. And I am glad I bought the 2-disc special edition for a good price. Because this is THAT GOOD.

The revirew of Blood Diamond is now done.

Bye now.

Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Image

Movie based on something that actually happened are often a hit or miss. A lot of ones I have seen have been hits (Walk The Line, Argo, Schindler’s List etc.). So when I heard about this supposed “over the top but real” movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio it raised my curiosity quite a bit. Especially since this was yet another collaboration between DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. So I took a look at it, and here is my review of it.

People, the biography of a man containing such great actors as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau and many more talented people…The Wolf of Wall Street.

This movie is set in the 1980’s or something. It tells the story of young to-be stock broker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is on the rise on the infamous Wall Street. He becomes one of the biggest and greatest stock brokers ever and starts doing all kinds of drugs, sleep with hookers and just be a rich fucking ass-hat. The story is delivered with such energy and awesomeness that it feels really well done and dare I say it…good. But that is to be expected in a Scorsese movie…well, for the most part.

I’m gonna be completely honest and say that the characters are fucking awesome. They are so well acted (Yes, even Jonah Hill) that they feel alive and really, really good. Sure, they can be over-the-god-damn-top sometimes, but that is why they are so entertaining to see in this movie.

The soundtrack for this movie is like I said about the previous entries on this review…great. It is a great mix of good songs. It is mainly songs that are fairly easy to dance to, or at least follow the rhythm and have fun. So yeah…it is great.

The reception for this movie was pretty much off the fucking charts. A lot, and I mean A LOT of people liked this movie. Unfortunately Roger Ebert had passed away before the release of this movie. IT would have been interesting to see what he would have said about it.

After saying all this good shit about the movie, then you probably expect me to give it a good score. And you would be correct on that note. My final score for “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a 9,3/10. This movie is THAT GOOD and deserves to be seen and even bought (when the DVD/Blu-Ray is out).

The Wolf of Wall Street has now been reviewed by me.

I’ll see you soon enough!