Self has a particular fondness for Coast Cinema, a small, box-like multi-plex (four screens!) just a few blocks from the ocean in Fort Bragg. She is such a movie buff that she gets withdrawal symptoms if she can’t watch at least one movie a week, and Mendocino itself doesn’t have a single movie theater.
She ended up seeing some really bad ones in Fort Bragg last year, including an awful science fiction movie starring Tatum Channing and Mila Kunis called “Jupiter Ascending” (One line she remembers from the movie is about how bees can spot royalty: they swarmed around Mila Kunis who was a housecleaner. Ergo, she was the next Queen or something to that effect. Channing sported frosted gold tips and elf ears, not his best look. Eddie Redmayne was in this movie as well, in full-on camp mode).
She saw “Kingsman” there, and that experience was memorable not only because it had a manic scene in which Colin Firth, in a dapper suit, takes out a whole church of Ku Klux Klansmen armed only with a tightly furled brolly. The audience cheered, actually cheered, while he was doing it. That’s how self knew she was sitting in an audience made up of dyed-in-the-wool maverick liberals — only they could be so vocal and enthusiastic about violence inflicted on Ku Klux Klansmen.
Anyhoo, “The Revenant.” Self knew nothing about it except that it starred Leo. And that he won a Golden Globe last night. So, she decided to see it today. And lo and behold, the audience had many Asian people, arriving in big groups in vans and SUVs. One group consisted of 18 people. She knows because the Asian man ahead of her bought 18 tickets. Is there some kind of Leo fixation in Asia, she wonders?
Self happened to be seated next to an Asian couple, and the female spent almost the entire movie practically in her mate’s lap, cowering and trembling and sighing and gasping and self wanted to tell her, Even if I was thoroughly repulsed by the sight of arrows as thick as hollow blocks entering and exiting someone’s head in close-up, you would never find me cowering to such a degree. It’s not even adorable. Not in the slightest.
Self is here to say, though, congratulations Alejandro Iñarritu! First of all, self likes this director. She was absolutely shattered, watching the movie he directed in which Naomi Watts plays a woman who cannot bear children because she has a rare medical condition that might kill her in the process of growing a child in her belly. Of course, Watts’ character decides to have a baby anyway. Self has never cried so hard in a movie theatre before.
Second, self is quite inured to violence, and likes all kinds of mind-blowing on-screen mayhem, like the kind in the Indonesian movie “The Raid: Redemption.” But this movie caused her to stop dipping her fingers into her hot, buttered popcorn. The violence was just that intense.
Ever seen a nekkid body covered in blood being dragged through a forest floor covered with branches, stones and what not? Want to see that scene in close-up? Watch this movie.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be attacked by a 300-lb. grizzly and have it step on your head while it munches on your abdominals? Watch this movie.
Ever wonder what a freshly-scalped head looks like, in close-up? Watch this movie.
Ever wonder what a person’s back looks like when it’s carved up by bear claws? Watch this movie.
Ever wonder how to get through a blizzard? Just cut open your horse’s belly, remove all its entrails, then snuggle inside. You’re welcome.
Also, Good Lord, was that Tom Hardy playing the most horrible, contemptible Bad Guy ever? Since self didn’t bother reading up on anything about this movie, it wasn’t until 3/4 of the way through that she finally realized who that magnetic Bad Guy was. Holy Cow, did he act the hell out of his role.
Also, the young boy in “We Are the Millers”, the Jen Aniston/Jason Sudeikis/ Emma Roberts comedy a few years back, the boy who gets bitten by a spider and whose privates balloon — he was in this movie. (And he was good!)
Also, the redhead in Harry Potter, who self has also seen in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was in this movie, and he was pretty good.
Finally, self would just like to say, she loves mournful Westerns. There’s something so Kurosawa, so Nanook-of-the-North about them. Probably the last mournful Western she’s seen was “Ravenous,” the Vampire movie starring Robert Carlyle and Guy Pierce, that appeared in her local cine-plex for two days and then disappeared without a trace. But boy, it does have a new entry here. And Leo is so perfect for this role, just so perfect. Because even though we know it’s Leo, and he usually dies (Exhibit A: “Titanic”. Exhibit B: “The Departed”. Exhibit C: “Blood Diamond” etc etc), his dying here seems so random and so undeserved. She kept trying to imagine Matt Damon in the role (talk about another natural actor), and although it was a very close call, in the end self had to concede that he probably wouldn’t have wrenched at our heartstrings the way Leo does.