Month: January 2016

The Revenant

When Birdman and Babel director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu decided to bring his passion project, “The Renevant”, to the big screen, he knew it would be one of the biggest challenges that he, his actors, and film crew would ever face. Basically because Gonzalez would go all in. No holds barred. He would shoot the film in the lush foothills of Kananaskis, and other Canadian locations, and Argentina, under some of the most grueling conditions. It literally tested everyone’s resolve to complete the film. The final product was decisively worth the massive effort. Set in the rugged 1820’s American frontier, The Revenant (a person who returns, especially supposedly from the dead) is based on true events from Michael Punke’s book, and allows Leonardo DiCaprio to really brandish his acting chops in what is probably his most intense screen performance. He’s the Grizzly Adams like Hugh Glass, fur trapper and guide for a hunting party looking to score as many animal pelts as possible. Along for this back-breaking exercise in abrasive manhood, is Glass’s son Hawk, half Native American, who Tom Hardy’s John Fitzgerald apparently doesn’t like very much. It’s certainly not a party when you’re being attacked by Native Americans at nearly every turn. Unfortunately, during the arduous excursion, Glass is viciously mauled by a huge grizzly bear, his heavily layered animal skin wear preventing his being torn to pieces...

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Spotlight

Child abuse and molestation have always been considered especially heinous crimes. Pedophilia in our current society, is generally dubbed the unforgivable sin against humanity, and anyone (men primarily) who is even accused of it, will be made outcasts. But when members of the world’s most powerful religious institution become perpetrators of this outrage, the crime itself goes way beyond anything we call heinous. As extremely sensitive as the subject is, “Spotlight” (the team of investigative reporters for the Boston Globe) casts a grisly shadow upon the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandal which had been going on for years, going back to the late 40’s. It is intensely powerful as it is it morally shocking, with no proverbial holds barred in covering the sordid details of an unfortunately true story that would shake the world’s central foundations. It’s 1974 at a Boston Massachusetts police station where a distraught divorced mother of four kids has experienced an unspeakable crime. It’s so unspeakable, that the case will not see any legal action. At least that’s what told to a young officer by his supervisor. Essentially it’s the old proverbial “Hush, hush.” Fast forward to July 2001. Sort of a bittersweet celebration at the Boston Globe as veteran reporter Stewart (Martin O’Carrigan) is retiring to make way for a new editor. There’s the usual going away cake and obligatory speech making, but everyone...

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Star Wars The Force Awakens

Thirty-two years after that joyous celebration on Endor, supposedly bringing peace and prosperity to the galaxy with the death of Emperor Palpatine, and the destruction of the Deathstar, and as extra special icing on the cake, turning Darth Vader to the Light side of the Force, the old gang has finally returned in episode 7, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They’re all a very welcome relief for franchise fans, many of whom were sorely disap-pointed with episodes 1,2, and 3. For all those who love Luke, Han, Leia and the rest, it has definitely been too long ago in a galaxy far, far away. John Williams’ iconic opening theme floods our ears once again, boosting your senses as the familiar title crawl updates us on what has happened thus far. It’s been a long time. Jedi Master Luke has mysteriously vanished, the Galactic Empire has been re-organized into a seemingly more ruthless regime dubbed “The First Order”, and a greater, more powerful space sta-tion called “Starkiller”( an interesting name for Star Wars geeks) has now replaced the old Deathstar. Apparently, Luke is still a coveted item, with the First Order in relent-less pursuit of him. The only clue to his whereabouts are contained in a small droid (BB-8). Kylo Ren, a Darth Vader wannabe and leader of First Order’s armed forces of Storm Troopers, has no idea that BB-8...

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