The Revenant

Oh man, how I have been looking forward to this film or what! So glad I finally got to see The Revenant recently because right now it is my top awards season contender. It was fantastic and deserves every single Oscar nomination it received (12 by the way!).

After being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his own hunting team, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s, is forced to fight for survival and find redemption.

A few words to describe The Revenant: raw, intense, amazing, epic, beautiful…the list goes on! Coming off his work on the Oscar winner Birdman, director Alejandro González Iñárritu deserves praise for his excellent direction in the film. The grueling shoot and the work put into this film shows in every single scene. Probably my favorite aspect of the film was the gorgeous cinematography by the ingenious Emmanuel Lubezki (who also won awards for his work on films such as Gravity and Birdman). Chivo outdoes himself in The Revenant, with stunning camera work and the use of only natural lighting throughout the whole film. The result is breathtaking with shots that are as raw as they are delicate.

Let’s be real though. The Revenant is Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo DiCaprio is The Revenant. Never before have I seen a performance like that, one that just requires so much commitment from the actor. Needless to say he was absolutely incredible and deserves every single accolade out there. The things he had to do in this movie! It is insane! His character is mostly silent throughout but the power of his performance is loud. Tom Hardy also did a great job in the film so I am glad he finally got the recognition he deserved through his nomination.

A revenant is defined as one who has returned, as if from the dead. Glass’s return is one that truly expresses the power of the human spirit. The backbone of the film is a gripping fight for survival and revenge with the only guidance of sheer will and a love for family. The Revenant is bleak but it is beautiful. The amazing feats of cinema and acting achieved in the film should be appreciated along with the epic true tale of Hugh Glass.

Django Unchained

Spoiler Alert: Some plot points are discussed, but nothing that gives the story away.

DJANGO!!!!!!!!!!! Finally after months of waiting, I have seen Django Unchained! My older sister Amanda took me to see it, but it was all sold out so we got tickets to the next showing, which was so packed that we had to sit in the 2nd row. Yup, that’s right, I saw all the blood and guts up close. Hey, but let me say something…IT WAS AWESOME!

Django Unchained is a classic spaghetti western written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Set in the Deep South before the Civil War, the film is about Django (Jaime Foxx) a freed slave who sets out with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a cruel plantation owner(Leonardo DiCaprio).

Where do I begin to review this movie? All I can really say is that it was great! It lived up to my expectations. Tarantino did a good job with making it a classic western because right when the opening credits came in and the Django theme song played, which has been stuck in my head for days now, I really did feel like I was watching an old cowboy movie. The music was perfect, but when that Rick Ross rap suddenly started playing, I cracked up so hard. The captions, the font of the captions; everything fit in so well with the film.

Christoph Waltz as Dr. Shultz and Jaime Foxx as Django

Some of the slavery parts were hard to watch and were pretty cringe-worthy. I have to say that I honestly had no idea of some of the tortures slaves had to go through. It really was an eye-opener. Also, like practically all Tarantino films, it was packed with violence and gore. Oh and gallons of blood! Especially the final shootout. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything, but it’s chock full of blood and guns. Besides from all the violence, I really loved the storyline. Yeah it’s a western, but at its center is a quintessential love story which is the heart of the movie. The love Django has to rescue his wife from the worst plantation in the South was incredible. In addition, the movie was surprisingly funny! There were so many bits of humor snagged here and there that was perfect for breaking up the serious dialogue.

Jaime Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie

Now let’s talk about the cast. OOO-WEE! They were excellent! Jaime Foxx- He was awesome as the gunslinging Django, and did a better job than I expected. Christoph Waltz- perfection! My favorite character in the movie and was great as Dr. Shultz, the german bounty hunter.  Kerry Washington- She did a good job as Broomhilda, Django’s wife. Her brutal scenes as a slave were painful to watch at times. Samuel L. Jackson- I almost didn’t recognize him at first! He was so into the character and was flawless as Stephen, the cold, head slave of Candyland (DiCaprio’s character’s plantation).  Last but definitely not least, we have the amazing Leonardo DiCaprio- Let’s just say that I think it’s high time that he wins an Oscar, and for this role. How he still managed to be the vicious and cruel Calvin Candie, but still have that charming Southern drawl beats me! He could change his emotion from completely calm to bellowing with rage, as seen especially in the dinner table scene. Crazy good.

Whew, this review was pretty long, but I had so much to talk about! Django Unchained was excellent and I recommend everyone to see it. However, it is not for the squeamish because there’s a lot of blood and violence. Also be warned that there is profanity and they use the n-word like 100 times, but keep in mind that this movie takes place in the time of slavery. If you’re fine with everything just mentioned, GO SEE DJANGO!

ALL IN ALL: Django Unchained is a fantastic and classic western with gun fights , a love story, and an amazing cast all rolled into one!

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