‘The Revenant’ brings back majestic movie making

“Oh, make no mistake. It’s not revenge he’s after. It’s a reckoning.” – Val Kilmer as “Doc Holliday” in 1993’s ‘Tombstone’

Revenant (noun) One who returns after death or a long absence (Origin – French)

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant is one of the best titled films of 2015.  It’s also one of the best films of the year overall.  Inspired in part by the true exploits of famed frontiersman Hugh Glass, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Glass.  He is the scout for a unit of trappers led by Captain Adam Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son “Hawk” (Forrest Goodluck) is also traveling with the unit.  Hawk is one-half Pawnee Indian and most of his conversations with his father are in Indian language.

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‘Legend’ isn’t quite legendary, but it’s damn close

Tom Hardy has the difficult task of playing twin brothers Ronald and Reginald Kray in the film Legend and he is more than up to the task.  The Kray twins were gangsters in London’s East End and this film concentrates on their exploits during the 1960s.  Both had boxed in their youths and this was something that would be part of their violent natures throughout their lives, although Reg was the brains and Ron the true muscle.  They owned clubs, ran protection rackets and they wanted to ‘rule’ London.

Read more‘Legend’ isn’t quite legendary, but it’s damn close

Shia LaBeouf is woefully miscast in intense ‘Lawless’

 

Tom Hardy in 'Lawless'
Tom Hardy in ‘Lawless’

Lawless comes from a historical novel, “The Wettest County in the World.” It’s the story of three brothers in Prohibition era Franklin County, Virginia. “Forrest Bondurant” (Tom Hardy) is the family’s leader, while his brothers “Howard Bondurant” (Jason Clarke) and “Jack Bondurant” (Shia LaBeouf) follow his lead. They are in the moonshine business and “Cricket” (Dane DeHaan) has a knack for brewing up some of the best ‘shine around.

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‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is a spectacular superhero movie

Christian saves the day one last time as Batman in 'The Dark Knight Rises'
Christian saves the day one last time as Batman in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

“Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go.”

Welcome to the film version of “Wednesday’s child”.  For the conclusion of the ‘Batman’ trilogy from writer/director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises is first and foremost, filled with woe.  It’s a stunning achievement in filmmaking, with incredible visuals, excellent action sequences, superb performances from its lead actors and a score that surrounds and envelops the audience, drawing them into the story being told.

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Daniel Craig explodes in ‘Layer Cake,’ a smart, slick flick that rarely stops moving

Daniel Craig and Colm Meaney in 'Layer Cake'
Daniel Craig and Colm Meaney in ‘Layer Cake’

[rating=3]Starring: Daniel Craig, Colm Meaney, Kenneth Cranham, George Harris, Louis Emerick, Tom Hardy
Director(s): Matthew Vaughn
Writer(s): J.J. Connolly

I’m not sure why, but the Brits seem obsessed with fast-paced, super edited crime thrillers where there are no real good guys, just a bunch of bad guys trying to one-up each other.

That’s pretty much the concept behind Layer Cake, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. In fact, it’s actually a pretty good movie.

Read moreDaniel Craig explodes in ‘Layer Cake,’ a smart, slick flick that rarely stops moving