The Revenant

Earlier this week, myself and Mr. Notes went to a movie. Buzz over Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar found us munching popcorn at The Revenant. How could we lose – interesting televised clips, stunning cinematography in preview trailers, best actor Oscar for DiCaprio – what more could a memorable evening ask for? It was memorable alright.

Memorable, as in monumental clunker. Twenty minutes in, suspicion whispered “bullshit”. Considerable effort granted another twenty of “give it a chance”. Enough! Am I the only person in this theatre stifling inappropriate laughter? The only one playing a game of “count closeups of DiCaprio’s mournful eyes”? Whew – Mr. Notes just went to the washroom, I’m not crazy.

Admittedly a blur, somehow we got through the next hour and a half. Proud to say, fortitude triumphed over bad form. Fortitude forgives one audible transgression – credits rolling, I burst into laughter when someone in the row behind us said “that was a terrible movie”.

Walking to the car we agreed every performance eclipsed DiCaprio. What more was there to say – weak plot, absence of character development, obvious overuse of camera angles and lighting, tediously long. Over hyped, rated and reviewed – it doesn’t get more disappointing than The Revenant.




3D Gatsby

My first thought upon hearing about today’s release of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo Dicaprio was “oh, come on”. Not a response to casting Dicaprio; he struck me as a reasonable choice to play Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic. Not because Hollywood remade the film – my reaction is attributed to these words “in 3D”.

Pondering 3D Gatsby hurts my head.A little research of reviews proved interesting; the usual mixed bag of comments from Rex Reed in the New York Observer – “overwrought, asinine, exaggerated, and boring – about as romantic as a pet rock” to David Denby in The New Yorker – ” Lubrmann’s (director) vulgarity is designed to win over a young audience, and it suggests that he’s less a filmmaker than music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste”, or Lou Lumerick in the New York Post – “Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the first must-see film of Hollywood’s summer season, if for no other reason than the jaw dropping evocation of roaring 20’s New York – in 3D no less” – I wanted to shout “what is wrong with you people”

What happened to the art of film making?  Where did camera angles and lighting go? Why does every new movie released require 3D glasses? What’s next – a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest or The Lady Vanishes in 3D? Holy crap. It’s only a matter of time before Raging Bull manifests itself into a 3D travesty, or 3D Taxi Driver surfaces starring teen angst heart-throb of the moment.

If the decline of human civilization could be captured in one word it would be 3-D. Please Hollywood – muster some self respect; you’re making an ass of yourself. Fill those theater seats with 3-D vampires, zombies, or aliens – knock yourselves out with computer generated trickery, there will always be a place for that. I enjoyed Avatar, and your remake of the A-Team wasn’t half bad.  All I ask is that you remember – film making is an art, not a dog and pony show.