BY CONNOR HOLDEN ‘16
2. The Revenant
Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2015
The Revenant is undoubtedly a competent movie and impressive in its scope, but all the acclaim that it has received is largely undeserved. It seems that in the face of The Revenant’s visual appeal, strenuous shooting conditions, and the spurious claim that it is based on true events, critics and audiences alike have chosen to ignore that this movie tells its story lacking any nuance.
The Revenant masquerades as an exploration of human survival and the darker impulses of man while in reality possessing no sophistication. It is unable to move beyond pointing out that disgusting things happen and makes no attempt to explore the ramifications of these horrors on its characters.
Furthermore, Leonardo DiCaprio as protagonist Hugh Glass does not give an Oscar worthy performance. The real impressive performance of The Revenant is Tom Hardy who is almost unrecognizable in his performance as the ruthless trapper that only cares for himself.
Alejandro Inarritu is a genuinely talented director and plenty of the cinematography is quite impressive if only a little bit lifeless. If you must see The Revenant keep in mind that all of its artistic flourish is just a façade hiding the trap DiCaprio and Inarritu have set to secure his Oscar and a mainstream breakthrough respectively.
Rating: Just see it once
1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Directed by Burr Steers, 2016
Zombies are terrible, not just as a plague but also as a cultural phenomenon. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a joke that might have been funny once as an observation about how vapid zombie movies and Hollywood have become, but actually making a book and movie that is just Pride and Prejudice with added zombie fight scenes and allusions to the infection forced into the original text is beyond pathetic.
This is not a funny movie. It is a cynical and calculated cash grab serving to both reinforce the notion people only want to watch films with name recognition and to appeal to people who think liking all things with zombies as some kind of quirky personality trait. It adds nothing to zombie films as a genre and has about as much thought put into it as an internet meme.
If you want to see a comedy zombie movie go check out the superb Shaun of the Dead or its quainter American brother Zombieland. For a movie about history and zombies somebody made because they loved both and weren’t just looking to make a quick buck Dead Snow 2 is a perfect example. Zombie films began as an outlet for exploring how people interact under insurmountable odds and an outlet for indulging audiences with scenes of justified violence against the vast mindless herds they both hate and feel kinship with. The genre has so much more narrative potential than this schlock.
Rating: Don’t waste your time