Monday, February 15, 2016

My non-review of THE REVENANT

There will not be a review of THE REVENANT on this blog because, well… I have no desire to ever see THE REVENANT. It may win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Leo may win an Oscar. The guy who lit the sky and whoever did make-up on the bear might win statutes too.

No thanks.  

Delighted moviegoers are applauding and vomiting. It’s making money at the boxoffice. I’m sure there’s been a rush on First Aid kits.

But I don’t want to see five minutes of it. From what I hear the cinematography is stunning, the performances are riveting, and it’s a real celebration of man’s strength and courage.

Pass.

Who wants to see someone buried alive (other than certain presidential candidates), a brutal rape scene, bear mauling, eating disemboweled animals – that’s entertainment?

THE REVENANT may just be the worst date movie ever.

I’m sure the popularity of this film breaks down along gender lines. I guarantee they are fewer women in a sold out performance than an Andrew Dice Clay concert.

Some guys watch it and project themselves into the picture. What would THEY do were they in that situation? That’s not a problem for me. I don’t go anywhere that doesn’t offer turn-down service. Me in the wilderness with bears? There’s a better chance that Sarah Palin will pass the bar exam.

I’m just not into survival flicks. James Franco eating his hand or whatever. Robert Redford clinging to a piece of driftwood in the ocean for six years. Tom Hanks giving up Helen Hunt for a volleyball. I like outdoor movies where the hero rents a cabana. This is not just a “guy movie” – it’s “the other guy movie.”

But here’s what I really think: Lots of dudes who say they saw and loved THE REVENANT didn’t see it all. But they’re way too macho to admit that. Not me. I’m man enough to say “Eeeeeeuuuwwwww.”

From what I hear about this film and how rugged the filming was, the real message here might be there is nothing the human spirit can’t overcome and accomplish despite horrendous odds and utter hopelessness. But then comes that unimaginable moment of triumph, pride, and perseverance… when Leo DiCaprio finally wins his Oscar.

I'll still pass. 

42 comments:

Peter said...

You mean James Franco.

I haven't seen The Revenant yet but I will because I'm a huge fan of the director.

I hope you'll be seeing Deadpool. Trust me, you'll love it!

emily said...

It's official. Ken has entered curmudgeonhood.

Griff said...

"THE REVENANT may just be the worst date movie ever."

Oh, I dunno. 1970's DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE remains the top candidate in my book.

Curt Alliaume said...

I think you mean James Franco eating his own hand - if John Franco did that, he wouldn't be able to pitch.

Rudy Ray Moore said...

“John Franco eating his hand or whatever.”

In case no one else has pointed this out to you already, it’s James Franco. not John.

Kirk said...

I'm somewhat reluctant to admit this, but I went to an Andrew Dice Clay concert with a group of friends in about 1989 or so, and, yes, there were girls there. I didn't do a head count, but the females didn't seem greatly outnumbered by the males. The normal amount you'd expect to see. A few girls were in OUR group--they accompanied their boyfriends--and one of them, who was a bit clueless going in about the nature of the show--she suggested it would be fun for us to get together again at Christmas and see The Nutcracker--was very diplomatic about it afterwards, praising Clay for his spot-on imitation of John Travolta. She didn't mention the rest of his act.

As for The Revenant, I haven't seen it, and probably won't unless it pops up on TV.

Hollywoodaholic said...

Despite also enjoying a western shot in the actual outdoors with spectacular scenery I would never myself venture that far into the wilderness to behold, I enjoyed the film on the selfish basis gratification perspective of "you think YOU'VE got it tough."

I enjoyed my central heat, Egyptian cotton sheets, cooked salmon dinner and supportive family companionship just a little bit more that night.

Plus, who doesn't like seeing a wealthy, pampered, playboy movie star suffer a bit (even it was just to secure his Oscar).

blinky said...

I felt that way with 50 Shades of Grey.

Alan C said...

Could "Volunteers" be considered a survival movie?

tavm said...

Well, you've got one up on Leonard Maltin who walked out on Zoolander 2...

Ken Levine said...

Oops. Good catch on James, not John Franco. I guess I'm pre-occupied by pitchers and catchers reporting this week. John Franco was a great reliever. The error has been corrected.

SharoneRosen said...

A very wise choice on your part. When I got the invitation to a SAG voting screening, I said "pass."

But when I got the link to watch it on line, I did. It is the stuff of nightmares. And, truly, it was not a story that must be told. Leo is a fine actor. But the primary scope of his acting in this film was much like Sandra Bullock in Gravity, lots of grimacing, grunting and moaning. Skip the dialogue coach, I got this.

Nick Alexander said...

The worst date movie is actually a toss-up between "A Serbian Film", "In the Company of Men", and one of those "Human Centipede" movies.

But, having seen it, the rape scene was hardly graphic--it can play in its entirety on television. Same with the buried alive sequence--a single shovelful of dirt over the guys head, and then they leave. Hardly the stuff of nightmares. The bear maul scene is tough and brutal, but it plays a lot like "Leut. Dan" scenes in _Forrest Gump_: you KNOW it's not real, and you marvel at how real it looks.

And the story is more than "what will I do in this situation?" There are themes of spirituality, of the nature of grace vs justice, the nature of civilization vs nature at its most raw, and the brotherhood of mankind crossing cultures, languages and the color of one's skin.

I haven't seen all the nominees, so I can't say which one is the best, but I liked this far more than Mad Max Fury Road.

Wayne said...

Compared to working as a writer in this industry, "The Revenant" looks like a visit by Yogi and Boo Boo.

Tim Dunleavy said...

I decided to watch "Zero Dark Thirty" because I thought that state-sanctioned torture was an intriguing subject. (OK, that's not true - I really watched it because I wanted to stare at Jessica Chastain for two hours. Whatever.)

Anyway, eight minutes into the movie, one of the prisoners got waterboarded. I was so horrified that I immediately turned off the movie and put the disc back in the Netflix envelope.

I'm skipping "The Revenant" too, for the same reason. Although if it starred Jessica Chastain... yep, I'd still skip it.

Eric J said...

Cormac McCarthy's The Road was like that. I read the book twice, years apart, but skipped the movie. A couple years ago, I picked it up in the $5 bin at Target. I'm glad I did. Viggo Mortensen's performance was excellent and seeing that world come to life was interesting. But a year or two later when I decided to watch it again, I couldn't. Too depressing. Way too intense to relive again.

Corey said...

The Revenant is the updated version of "Gentle Ben" directed by Quintin Tarantino!

Jon said...

I saw "The Revenant" and liked it a lot. Quite good.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to go because it's 2 hours and 36 minutes long. Another example of spineless studio execs allowing artistes to run rampant.

-30-

Patrick said...

I saw it and I dont get it...the story is not original at all. Its just a revenge story. I fee like Ive seen it 20 times - maybe not as grotesquely done but Ive still seen it. There really isnt even that much acting in it. They just all look miserable going from one set piece to another. I dont get it.

Doug said...

Worst movie ever.How about Shalako,a western 'starring' Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardo.At one particularly bad point in the movie somebody in the theatre [Orpheum,Vancouver,BC] started a slow clap.Then others joined in and finally a crowd of ~ 1000 people were giving the screen a screaming standing ovation.Then most folks left.

cityslkrz said...

My NON-review exactly!

MikeK.Pa. said...

I second that emotion. No desire to see it. More depressing is Ryan Reynolds has a career again after boffo box office for DEADPOOL. Almost as bad as when Ashton Kutcher's career was resurrected when he stepped in for Charlie Sheen and got a handsome haul for TWO AND A HALF MEN. Re: John Franco could still pitch as long as he only ate his right hand (see Jim Abbott).

Pete Grossman said...

Man, I'm with ya. I have no desire to see this picture. I bitch when it gets below 32 outside.

Kosmo13 said...

I saw The Revenant. It felt like the same plot of every episode I ever saw of HBO's Tales From the Crypt series, except stretched from 30 minutes to 2 and a half hours.

BobinVT said...

I don't understand the fuss being made over this movie. DiCaprio has very few lines, spending most of the movie wheezing and grunting. The villain, named Fitzgerald, mumbles most of his lines in a weird non-intelligible accent. The movie requires massive suspension of disbelief. Leo spends most of the movie severely injured, and wet in the dead of winter. In severe cold you last maybe 30 minutes if you get wet. He escapes from Indians by floating down an ice filled river, then starts a fire with no matches or flint, even though everything he has is sopping wet. Not only does he not die, he makes a miraculous recovery from the bear mauling while hiking through snow covered wilderness. Muskets, notoriously inaccurate weapons, never miss in the hands of Leo. You get the idea. You didn't miss anything.

Anonymous said...

John Franco:
"I'd give my right hand to be ambidextrous"

craig m said...

I chose to see the other bear movie, Norm of the Norm, starring Rob Schneider as a dancing polar bear. Also a tough slog.

stephen catron said...

The wife and I saw The Revenant. I had high hopes as I do like westerns and movies of it's type, but I found The Revenant a bore. The wife liked it. Go figure.

Barry Traylor said...

There's bearly any difference! Leonardo DiCaprio's 2016 blockbuster The Revenant has striking similarities to Richard Harris's 1971 movie Man In The Wilderness

I copied the above from the Daily Mail in the U.K. and it is exactly what I thought when I first saw the trailer for "The Revenant".

Roger Owen Green said...

I will not see the Revanant. Too long, too gruesome. ditto The H8ful 8.

Judy Hughes said...

I think Nick Alexander sums up my view of The Revenant quite nicely. There has been some talk of Leo's character, Glass, as the embodiment of nature fighting to survive. I'm not that deep but this is SUCH a beautiful film I've been to see it twice. Doesn't hurt that it was filmed not far from where I live so -40 is how I spend at least 4 months of the year. Watching Leo struggle is sometimes how I feel when I have to go to the store.

That being said, I'm a female but, at both viewings, approximately 75% of the audience were male. Neither time I saw it did I see anyone walk out. Hateful 8? A few people walked out of that one.

By the way, I thought Tom Hardy as the villain FitzGerald, should get a best supporting actor Oscar. He was FANTASTIC!

ps. Happy Belated Birthday Ken!

Gerry said...

Hey @Barry Traylor, Man i the Wilderness is based on the same story. My wife and I enjoyed The Revenant but more interesting is the source material. This story and character have been fictionalized like 24 times, including novels, movies and plays. There are some great essays online that really pick the movie apart, but the intense attention to detail makes it worthwhile.

Jay Jones said...

Worst date movie ever is The Deer Hunter. I once went on a first date to it. Bad call. Nada.

Hollywoodaholic said...

Worst date movie ever is "Clockwork Orange." Just ask my wife, who brings it up to this day during a fight. "What guy would ever take a woman to see that?!" You can explain Stanley Kubrick, cinematography, music and story all day and it doesn't matter a lick. It's about a vile 15 year-old who rapes and murders with glee. I concede the point now.

Gary Benz said...

There are plenty of worse date movies, that's for sure. Fatal Attraction comes to mind. Anyway, I did see The Revenant. Mock if you will but you cannot leave that movie without truly admiring what Leo put himself through to make sure that movie got made. I guess it's a "macho" type movie in that the theme is vengeance, but really it was a story worth telling and was told in an interesting, dark, direct and ultimately compelling manner. There were plenty of movies this year that I felt were "better" but I didn't see a performance by an actor or actress that I thought was "better." In many ways it made me encouraged that actors and directors are still willing to do some difficult work to bring entertainment to the masses.

Mel Agar said...

THANK YOU! For years, I've made it my goal to try to see as many Best Picture nominees as I can before the actual Oscars, but this one? I'll take a hard pass. I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking it looks dreadful!!

Anonymous said...

Its an excellent film - if you like 'Jeremiah Johnson' or 'Man in the Wilderness', it's in that ballpark, but more stunningly filmed.

I just want to make sure you are clear on one point: there is indeed a fleeting rape by a French trapper of a Native woman, but it is not "graphic" in the least. There is NOT a bear-rape of DiCaprio; that was just a rumor started on Drudge Report - due to the right-wing anger at poltical statements Inarritu recently made regarding Mexican immigrants vis a vis Trump's wall.

The fact that word of mouth is what's really giving this film legs - *despite* a virtual boycott by a politically-motivated "manly men" demographic that it would seem to line up with - should cause you to be less caustic.

Nuschler said...

I have never laughed so hard..oh wow!

I have PTSD but I could find NO reason to go to this movie..

What is it with Leo that he has to die or be mauled in every movie? Is this what passes for great acting? Pain? Then perhaps Jim Caviezal should have gotten the Oscar for his portrayal of Christ--the crown of thorns, the whips, dragging that huge wooden cross, falling, crucified, then stuck in the side with a spear, placed behind a big rock in a cave, coming out, seeing his shadow, oh...wrong magical story! *BTW, I didn’t see ole Mel’s movie either---I went to catholic school that was enough...

Revenant really looks gawd-awful..I just don’t see the attraction for anyone??!!

Thank you for the best (non)-review of the last two years.

Nuschler said...

@anonymous

Love it. You use the screen name “anonymous” then don’t seem to understand hyperbole??

You want the blog author to be less caustic? Have you not read this blog before???

MikeN said...

>There’s a better chance that Sarah Palin will pass the bar exam.

Like you could pass a bar exam.
This obsession reminds me of Christopher Hitchens on Bill Maher's show. "It's the joke that stupid people laugh at".

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/bill_unthrilled/

The clip leaves out Hitchen's own contribution about how he joked that George Bush squints so much he could be wearing a monocle.

Diane D. said...

It is frequently a big mistake to judge a movie without seeing it. I could not improve on what Nick Alexander said about it:

"And the story is more than "what will I do in this situation?" There are themes of spirituality, of the nature of grace vs justice, the nature of civilization vs nature at its most raw, and the brotherhood of mankind crossing cultures, languages and the color of one's skin. "

It's interesting that most of the people on this thread who saw the movie liked or loved it. It's only those who haven't seen it who are denigrating it. It's wonderful, and any lover of movies is foolish not to give it a chance.