Tag Archives: The Revenant

Call Me the Over Analyzer

6 Mar

My wife just read my last post, and she was not happy with it. She says that I ruin sappy movies by over analyzing them. She is probably right. I tend to over analyze movies.caution

Jeremiah Johnson is one of my favorite Westerns, and I critique it because it is not a true portrayal of  mountain man life. They never show him doing his job, which should be trapping beaver for a fur trading company. That is what I loved about The Revenant. It actually showed the bloody and grueling work of mountain men. Of course, they also filmed a movie in the Canadian Rockies even though the actual story took place in the Dakotas. Those are two places that do not look the same.

There is a long list of movies that I have over analyzed, but there is one that I could not get my head around. In The Bridges of Madison County, Meryl Streep watched her husband and kids leave town to show a cow at the state fair. Then, Clint Eastwood shows up and sweeps her off of her feet. Most people walked out of the movie thinking about this love that could never be fulfilled. I left the movie thinking about her poor husband showing the cow at the state fair. He would never know that his wife was screwing around while audiences cried over her heartbreak.

Anyway, I guess I am bad about over analyzing movies. I look for the inconsistencies. Heck, I have my classes watch movies based on historic events and make them write papers about how wrong the movies are.

Maybe I am taking this movie thing too far. I expect movies to tell me what really happened, and movies are not going to do that. Many of them are going to be entertaining. Many of them are going to be thought-provoking. A bunch of them are going to suck. I just need to understand that they are rarely going to be realistic.

 

Lessons From Snowmageddon

22 Jan

We are currently experiencing our worst snowstorm in 13 years. I realize that it pales in comparison to the experiences of our northern neighbors, but it is a big deal for a place that is not prepared for the worst snowstorm in 13 years.image-5

During this time of being cooped up in the house, I have learned a few things. Here is a list.

Some people actually like this stuff.

Everything is closed. Schools. Businesses. Government offices. The list goes on and on. However, our local Chamber of Commerce decided to continue with their scheduled meeting. This freaked out my wife because she is on the Chamber board and was afraid she was going to miss something. They ended up getting her on a conference call because they were one short of a quorum. What did I learn from that? Half of the folks at our Chamber of Commerce are willing to put their lives on the line to support local businesses.

By the way, whenever I hear the words Chamber of Commerce, I think of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, a movie that stars Don Knotts. There is a guard at the Chamber of Commerce picnic. If you are not C. of C., then you do not get in. Atta boy, Luther.

If Leonardo DiCaprio wins an Oscar for trouncing through the snow and not saying anything in The Revenant, then I should win an Oscar for trouncing through the snow and not saying anything while taking out the trash.

It pays to have a gas fireplace, but it does not pay to stub your toe on said fireplace. I think I am going to have to stick my foot in the snow to numb it.

Friends stole the body of Gram Parsons from the airport and tried to cremate it in Joshua Tree National Park. I learned this from my wife, who is working on an article about Nudie. If you do not know about Nudie, then you need to look him up.

Hanging around the house all day leads one to eat a lot. I need to get on the treadmill, but I have to wait until my foot stops hurting.

There are different Rummy rules for different people.

If you think you have Man of Steel, then you had better make sure before the worst snowstorm in 13 years. That will be the time that you want to watch and discover that you do not have it.

Anyway, that is what I have learned during our worst snowstorm in 13 years. In a few hours, I will not be able to learn anything because I will have lost my mind from cabin fever.

 

 

 

Christmas Ramblings

23 Dec

My wife and stepdaughter just finished wrapping gifts. My job was picking up the scraps. Now, they are in the kitchen making banana bread. Yep, Christmas is upon us. It is time for family gatherings and reflection. For me, it is a time for rambling ruminations.

The other day, my nephew and I went to the movies, which meant that we had to enter the danger zone of a shopping mall at Christmas. As I made my way through traffic, I thought about the wise men who followed the star to that manger in Bethlehem. They had gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus. I have often thought about that journey and its impact upon the world.wise men

Those wise men did more for our economy than they could ever imagine. Their bearing of gifts led to the shopping mania that accompanies this season. In other words, they created the traffic that bogged us down as we slowly made our way to the theater.

By the way, nowhere does it say how many magi journeyed to Bethlehem. It is the number of gifts that lead people to believe that there was the same number of gift givers. However, there is one thing for sure. The wise men were fireman. We know this because they came from afar.

Anyway, we saw In the Heart of the Sea, the new movie from Ron Howard. I was totally stoked for this one because I have my classes read the book. It is the tale of a whaling ship that was attacked by a whale. The men had to survive while floating in whaleboats. It is dramatic story of what people will do in order to survive. Unfortunately, the movie folks did not think it was dramatic enough.

I will not give up any spoilers, but the filmmakers added unnecessary embellishments to the story. The did it to create conflict between characters. Apparently, the conflict with the whale and the elements was not enough.

I understand that not all of history fits well on the screen. However, this story was an exception. The extras were not needed. Heck, they did not even talk about what happened after the survivors returned. Instead of talking about the true struggles of the survivors, they tried too hard to attach the story to Moby Dick.

Since I am on a movie rant, I will go ahead and talk about The Revenant. It is the story of Hugh Glass, the mountain man who was attacked by a bear and left to die by his fellow trappers. He did not die and pursued them to get revenge. It is another dramatic story. Once again, the filmmakers felt that being left for dead was not dramatic enough. They added the murder of his son, an event that is totally made up.

Oh yeah, Alejandro G. Inarritu, the director of The Revenant, stated that it is not a Western. He said that it cannot be a Western because there are no cowboy hats. Obviously, he is trying to distance himself from the genre, but he is wrong in his statement. The age of the cowboy lasted about twenty years in the American West. The age of the mountain men also lasted about twenty years. That means that a mountain man movie is just as much of a Western as a cowboy movie.

Oscar or no Oscar, I am beginning to think that Alejandro is all hat and no cattle.

I apologize for allowing the movies to get me off topic. This post was supposed to be a rumination of the holiday season.

The shopping malls are bad, and, at times, I wish the wise men had not been bearing gifts. However, Christmas is always a special time. Families gather. People talk and laugh. Great food is eaten. In the middle of all that, we remember that Christmas is a special time of year that cannot be ruined by traffic or bad movies. It is a time of love and peace.