Review of The Revenant (2015)

revenant A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and cinematic experience that captures one mans epic adventure and extraordinary power of the human spirit. This movie is not for the faint of heart, there are some gruesome, bloody scenes that caused me to grimace along with the legendary explorer Hugh Glass played exceptionally well by Leonardo DiCaprio. Glass endures unimaginable grief and betrayal and sets out for revenge, but encounters danger and help along the way. I can certainly see why DiCaprio won an Oscar for best actor, even though his character spoke fewer than 15 lines of dialogue in English since his performance was largely physical. DiCaprio’s depiction of Hugh Glass was so riveting that you could almost feel his pain.

A vegetarian, DiCaprio was so committed to the role that he ate genuine raw meat in a scene that depicts Glass surviving off a wild bison’s liver. According to the actor, “I certainly don’t eat raw bison liver on a regular basis. When you see the movie, you’ll see my reaction to it (he vomits). It says it all. It was an instinctive reaction.”

Review of The Martian 2015

the martianThe Martian (PG-13) is an epic tale of an American astronaut who, like a modern day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on a deserted planet (Mars).  As Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), while on a manned mission to Mars is presumed dead and ultimately left alone on this vast planet, with only a meager supply of food and other essentials.  Mark must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal Earth that he is still alive. My favorite quote as he stands contemplating his fate and what he needs to do, he matter-of-fact says, “I’m going to need to science the s*** out of  this” and that is exactly what he does. It is thrilling to watch him struggle at making food grow on the hostile planet. The plot thickens as his crew is finally made aware that their team member Mark is still alive and that every attempt NASA has made to send help or rescue him has failed.  So the team decides to return to Mars amidst insurmountable obstacles to save their team mate and friend.  The Martian is an enjoyable movie that touches on the fears, triumphs and vastness of just what a mission to Mars might be like and Matt Damon is funny, witty and believable as an intellectual astronaut left alone yet against-the-odds isdetermined to survive his plight. Run time is 2 hours 14 minutes.