Rapid Review: The Revenant (2015)

the revenant poster

“My heart bleeds. But revenge is in the creator’s hands.”
– Hikuc

SYNOPSIS: A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. – via IMDB

the revenant ride

GRADE 8.5So obviously you all know that I was super amped for this. DiCaprio? Sold! Tom Hardy? Sold. But DiCaprio. That was my main seller. Let me tell you, I was not in the least disappointed by this. It was brilliant. It is a long movie, but never really felt that way. The length just serves the purpose of really showing you how hopeless Glass’s situation was. It flips from a tale of survival to one of vengeance, each getting their moment to shine. Then there is the cinematography. Oh. My. Gosh. It told a whole story on its own and it was beyond beautiful to look at. There are lens flares all over the show, but it worked and didn’t annoy me (but then they seldom do, hence I never understand the flak that Abrams gets). Emmanuel Lubezki perfectly showcases the harsh and unforgiving conditions that Glass had to soldier through, but at the same time the breathtaking beauty was highlighted every step of the way. There were certain shots that I wasn’t a huge fan of, but that’s because it made my head spin and ache to try and match it, so there was that. Alejandro González Iñárritu truly realises a gorgeous film. The soundtrack suited the film down to a tee, and it all came together very well. But now on the the really big seller – the performances. They were all wonderful. Seriously, DiCaprio came in and owned Hugh Glass (but who in their right minds would have expected otherwise?). We felt for this guy, he captivated us, he drew us in with the story of his son (which, incidentally, was a major plus for me and then totally not a part of the real Glass’s life). I was backing this man all the way and I wanted to see him succeed. Credit is due to DiCaprio because his character is a man of exceptionally few words, and yet this did not stop him delivering one stellar performance. As for Tom Hardy? It was the first time I had actively despised a character of his (and he has played some dweebs), but this guy? What a douche! Domhnall Gleeson, who is just everywhere nowadays (my celebrity unsavvy fiancé even recognizes him by now), gave a damn fine performance, too, and was well worth a watch. Overall, this movie might not be for everyone due to the length and silences that fill the run time, but I feel that every aspect worked together well to draw you in and tell you a harrowing story of survival and a driving need for revenge with an absolutely stunning backdrop. Worth every second for sure, especially to see DiCaprio and Hardy united.

Review: The Funhouse – Dean Koontz

dean koontz the funhouse coer

SYNOPSIS: Once there was a girl who ran away and joined a traveling carnival. She married a man she grew to hate–and gave birth to a child so monstrous that she killed it with her own hands. Twenty-five years later, she has a new life and two normal children. But her past still haunts her–and now the carnival is coming back to town… – via Goodreads

GRADE 6.5So this was one of the novels I picked up on sale the other day, and started it one quiet afternoon at work, and breezed through it and was done that evening. It was a fast read. I understand that this was initially released under a pseudonym (Owen West). I haven’t actually really read any Koontz novel aside from The Bad Place, and I thought this was not the worst place to pick up after that (though I am gearing up to get to the Odd Thomas books). Reading The Funhouse, the novel never really gives too much meat to anything, which is alright. This doesn’t come across as a heavy read. It is entertaining, and keeps you engaged, and flows well, and when I read the afterword the style totally made sense to me (seeing how it was a novel adapted from a script for a movie). I cannot say that I was a fan of Liz’s character at all, she grated on me, and there weren’t any characters you really rooted for. It’s like you feel sorry for Amy, but she made her choices. I think the one character that does stick with you is Joey, and that is due to the immense amounts of pity I felt for that kid. Shame. I loved reading about the carnival, I always find it fascinating, and wish there was more of that. However, as I understand it, there is another novel from Koontz that focuses more on that, so I will have to get my hands on it. There was nothing revolutionary about the characters, and I liked how the whole story wasn’t really revealed, just enough, though I really would have appreciated more of a wrap up at the end of it all. I see the book gets a lot of flak, which I don’t get, because it is just a breezy, fun, quick novel to take in. I suppose if people went in expecting more bang for their buck, they would be disappointed. But really. I must say, that while the book barreled along and it was unbelievable yet entertaining, I was really disappointed by the rush job ending that was tacked in here. I mean really, things had been alluded to and this epic conclusion was building, and it was handled in a few pages. I knew it couldn’t bode well when all the dramatics were in full swing and there were only a few pages left. Oh well. There were plenty little things that I could quickly and easily refer back to other horrors, but like I say, this isn’t a read that needs to be taken too seriously or thought on too much. It feels like a long short story, if you catch my meaning, so not everything is as fleshed out as it could be. Just go with the flow, and you will have a quick filler read.