Thursday, January 28, 2016

We are excited to be attending Play Fair next month, which is Toy Fair's open to public fun experience for kids of all ages.  A friend recently asked if Play Fair was just for kids.  It sounds like it from the experiences below.  But that doesn't exclude those young at heart from enjoying themselves.  Personally I am looking forward to the Batmobile, comic creators, Marvel and DC toys and exclusives at Play Fair.  Here is what Play Fair has to offer!

Play Fair experiences include:

  • Check out the new Batmobile from Warner Bros. Pictures' Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in theaters March 25, 2016
  • Slide down the exclusive PAW Patrol slide, snap photos with PAW Patrol costume characters Chase, Marshall, Skye and Rubble, and get an exclusive look at the newest PAW Patrol pup, Tracker, who will join the series this fall
  • Join Hasbro for the ultimate lightsaber training session! With the help of the Empire Saber Guild, get a hands-on learning experience about lightsaber forms and techniques
  • Build a LEGO car and race it down a ramp against other LEGO builders
  • Explore the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tunnels and mimic their favorite Turtle moves with Magic Mirror technology
  • Gross out with an epic booger battle, experience the slimy, gross play of Booger Balls for the first time by picking and flicking them at Booger Ball targets
  • Enjoy the interactive Thomas & Friends experience by Mattel
  • Create their own toy review videos and have chances to win Toys"R"Us gift cards
  • Test out the latest from NERF in the NERF arena
  • Test out the newest Razor rides, like Jetts™, the new sparking Heel Wheels™, and other awesome Razor rides like the Power CoreTM E90, Crazy Cart™ and RipSurf™
  • Purchase exclusive collectible toys
  • And every attendee will receive a gift bag with toys and fun goodies from event sponsors

Play Fair's live performances and appearances include:

  • Meet and take photos with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shimmer and Shine, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir, Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol, Dora, Saban's Power Rangers Dino Super Charge, Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and more
  • The cast of Nickelodeon's hit show Game Shakers - Cree Cicchino (Babe), Madisyn Shipman (Kenzie), Thomas Kuc (Hudson), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Triple G), and Kel Mitchell (Double G) - will host a panel on Saturday to debut their new app, Nasty Goats
  • Jon Scieszka, best-selling author behind The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, will read from his Frank Einstein science book series
  • All-ages comic creators Art Baltazar, Franco Aureliani, Abby Denson, Dave Roman, Matt Loux, and Misako Rocks! will sketch and sign their books for fans
  • Meet Toys"R"Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, enjoy story time and participate in fun birthday-themed activities
  • Take in episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors, We Bare Bears, and Teen Titans Go! on a massive movie screen
  • Take photos with Shopkins mascot characters, including Strawberry Kiss and Lippy Lips, and color your favorite Shopkins characters
  • LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi presents insider tips on creating LEGO masterpieces
  • The girls of Make it Pop will reveal their new fashion doll series on February 14. Join them on the Toys"R"Us Stage at 11:30 a.m. for an exclusive interview, live performance and a chance to meet the cast
  • YouTube personalities including DisneyCarToys, Mommy and Gracie Show, and KittiesMama will meet with fans and host toy unboxings live on the Toys"R"Us Stage

Tickets are available starting at $30 online ( and at select retailers across NYC. Those attending with children and friends can also purchase discount family packages online. Attendees have the option to attend a variety of sessions throughout the weekend. Morning sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and afternoon sessions are open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Consumers can also purchase a VIP Weekend Experience Pass for $145, which includes priority admission to all four sessions and a collectible exclusive Play Fair figure.

We hope to see you there!

Tomb Raider #1 (Dark Horse)
Mariko Tamaki (Writer), Phillip Sevy  (Artist), Agustin Alessio (Cover) Joelle Jones (Variant Cover Artist)
On sale February 17, FOC January 25. 

"Lara Croft is pursuing a lost truth about the world that just might unlock the secret to defeating death! She becomes entangled in a search for a rare mushroom said to grant immortality and a lethal new enemy that just won’t die! Continuing where the Rise of the Tomb Raider game left off!"

Review by Anont C.

        The iconic female video game character, Lara Croft is returning to the page of comics for a brand new Tomb Raider adventure, by Dark Horse Comics. Script by Mariko Tamaki, Line Art by Phillip Sevy, and Color by Michael Atiyeh; this new team deliver to us a new original story for Lara Croft in a comic form, but still retain her rich history as the iconic video game character we all know. The book present itself as an original story, as a continuation from Rise of the Tomb Raider game title, and explore the story further -- just without the controller to guide her.

         The book first explores a day in the life of Lara as an archaeologist, showing us how this part of her work is not what defines her.  When she loses interest to learn about the Amanita Muscaria mushroom from Professor Demur's conference; our protagonist instead prefers to train herself in physical combat. While Lara undergoes her special training of 'blind combat', she started to become aware of her surroundings using just her sense of sound.  However, this training also triggered a flashback painful memory to her. After her training, Lara encounter Professor Demur's assistant, Todd Bellamy, who seeks her out for her field of expertise to search for the Immortal Mushroom, but only to be turn down by Lara. Then as Lara continues with her blind training, and evacuation to her hotel have started; as she evacuates, she encounter a dead Todd Bellamy sitting in the hall. As the plot thickens, Lara suspected that there's seem to be more to this Immortal Mushroom than she expected, she then decided it's time to investigate more on this matter. 

         From this issue, the story itself utilizes a great deal of the Tomb Raider's elements that help sets up for Lara's adventure. While the story may pick up after the story from  Rise of the Tomb Raider series may have left off, it's still a story that can be easily fall in to obscurity -- despite it can be cannon to the video game. Both the story and the visual art demonstrates a great deal of Lara's characteristics and attitude very well, from her mannerism and her fighting style. A few of downside from it seems to be the fight training scenes; as the art panels was decent, but it lacks the true dynamic poses that makes Lara looks strong on a page. Another issue was the story focus too much on her career, and lacks the adventure she is famously known for, in order to set up for the story. 

        If you're in to adventure stories like Indiana Jones or just a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, this book may peak your interest to collect it and read it.  Otherwise, this book may be better to collect as a set or in TPB, just to be able to read it entirely and not left off as a cliffhanger that the comic medium format usually do -- as many video game's comic adaptation end up being.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Monday, January 25, 2016

We had a chance to try out Put Me In The Story's Star Wars The Force Inside late last year which happened to coincide with the then upcoming Star Wars The Force Awakens movie.  Put Me In The Story if you are not familiar with them, is a publishing company that focuses on personalized children books that includes licensees like Disney/Marvel.

Star Wars The Force Inside which retails for $39.99 which allows you to put your child's name (or inner child's) as well as two images into the customized book.  My first impression upon receiving the book and looking it over is that the hardcover book along with the images they used is very well done.  The quality from the binding to the pictures to the nice large fonts is perfect for kids.  Flipping through the book however, I was a little disappointed that the book was not really a true story book.  The book is separated in halves in which the front portion is dedicated to the light side (Jedi) and the back portion to the dark side (Sith).

The book while providing cool info on a variety of popular heroes and villains of Star Wars is more of a self-discovery book filled with surveys to see what level "Jedi" or "Sith" you are depending on your answers.  From this, and given the profiles the book seems to be geared more toward younger kids than say teens not that they wouldn't enjoy it as well.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it though wished it would have contained a story as well.  My daughter who is nine when she was younger received a free personalized Sesame Street book, which was a story book that included her name and picture.  It was a complete story with Grover and that was more of what I was expecting.  For what it is the book is still interesting and would make a great gift for younger kids.  If you do plan to get the book, check on line for coupon codes, which the site seems to always have every now and then.  As well, Disney Movie Rewards if you have some points saved up also offers this book as a reward.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Faith #1 (Valiant)
Releases January 27th 2016
$3.99 - 32 Pages for T+
Written by JODY HOUSER
Valiant x CGC Replica Variant by CLAYTON HENRY (NOV151704)
Variant Cover by KANO (NOV151706)
Variant Cover by COLLEEN COOVER (NOV151707)
Blank Cover also available (NOV151705)

"Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert – a psionically gifted “psiot” discovered by the Harbinger Foundation – has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she’s always known she can be – complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would… When she’s not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels’ own leading superhero – the sky-soaring Zephyr!

But flying solo is going to be tougher than she ever thought when Zephyr uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off a full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head…or ready for her biggest challenge yet?

Rising star Jody Houser (Orphan Black) and explosive artists Francis Portela (Green Lantern) and Marguerite Sauvage (DC Comics Bombshells) pilot a new chapter for Valiant’s high-flying hero right here in Faith’s first-ever limited series!"

Review by Stephen M.

I use to read Valiant's Harbinger original run in the 1990s, a group of "psiots" struggling against the diabolical Toyo Harada whose bent on conquering the world.  Not much has change in Valiant's current reboot go around, but in a breath of fresh air we get a limited series of one of Harbinger's more relatable and popular character in Faith.  In the limited series, Harada has been already defeated and we meet Faith as she relocates to a new city starting up a new life while still crime fighting as Zephyr.

Written by Jody Houser whose work includes Orphan Black, Avengers: No More Bullying and Vertigo CMYK does a great job in the debut issue in balancing an introduction to the character while offering enough excitement and suspense to wanting you to read more.  The foray into solo super-heroing along with the sly humor in the issue actually reminds me of the pilot episode of CW's Super Girl.  The scene with the neighbors and puppies for me has Faith #1 leaps and bounds over Super Girl's pilot episode with Houser showing us that given the right characters can make them truly fly.  Yes Faith's character Zephyr does fly.

The artwork in this series is actually quite interesting with a shared workload between Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage.  Francis who may be more well known for his DC Comics works including Legion of Super-heroes and Green Lantern Corps is the primary artist for Faith.  Marguerite has an equally impressive resume including DC Bombshells and Thor draws Faith's, ahem, daydream sequences.  These daydream sequences of which she apparently has a lot of usually involves saving handsome blond actors adds to the hilarity of the comic especially with Marguerite's style.  On Francis's part, for the most part it is on the money, but there are noticeable inconsistencies especially in Faith's facial features from panel to panel.

Overall, I would highly recommend the series for just Houser's writing.  The book is a fresh breath of air to the mostly gloomy titles that most publishers are churning out.  Not that I don't expect some dastardly deeds and destruction to come Faith's way given the cliffhanger ending of issue #1.  If you like super hero comics like the recent Ms. Marvel or She Hulk when she was Sensational, you'll enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, January 21, 2016

**Warner Bros. Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.**

We are excited for the opportunity to give away the new Lego Friends: Girlz 4 Life Blu-Ray!  The new movie, LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE, is all about friendship, trusting yourself and standing up for what’s right no matter what the cost. All set to an awesome rock soundtrack you’re going to love! Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea as they learn that fame isn’t important, it’s your friends that count!

How to enter!

  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter if you don't already.
  • Comment below with what friendship means to you and why girl power is important in 2016
  • Watch the special sing-along music video for Girlz by L2M and comment below with your favorite line or part of the video.
  • Tweet this contest including @Geekwithmak @WBHomeEnt and hashtag #Girlz4Life 
Contest ends January 31st, 2016.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck!


True Friendship in the Glamorous World of Pop!
Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea, as they learn about friendship, fame and pop star fun in Heartlake City.
The girls’ friendships are tested when mega pop star Livi comes to Heartlake City. When our friends’ hit song “Girlz” is stolen by Livi’s manager, it’s time for a cunning plan.
As the girls try to tell Livi the truth about her latest hit single, they all learn that fame isn’t everything and sometimes friendship is the most precious thing in the world.
Own LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE on digital HD 1/19 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD 2/2
Also be sure to visit the official L2M website to stay updated with all things L2M!
Fine print:
Each household is only eligible to win LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The 5th Wave
Releases January 22nd, 2016
1 hr 52 mins
Rated PG-13
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi


Director: J Blakeson
Screenplay writers: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner (based on novel by Rick Yancey)

Chloë Grace Moretz as Cassie Sullivan
Nick Robinson as Ben Parish/Zombie
Ron Livingston as Oliver Sullivan
Maggie Siff as Lisa Sullivan
Alex Roe as Evan Walker
Maria Bello as Sergeant Reznik
Maika Monroe as Ringer
Liev Schreiber as Colonel Vosch
Zackary Arthur as Sammy Sullivan
Tony Revolori as Dumbo
Talitha Bateman as Teacup

Review by Stephen M.

The 5th Wave which is based on the novel by Ricky Yancey is what Twilight would be if you replaced the vampires with aliens.  Chloë Grace Moretz plays the lead Cassie who is out to save her younger brother in this deceptively packaged teenage angst and development story.  Through the first five minutes, the audience is treated with a solid build up of suspense as the first few waves hit.  But from there the story becomes absurd and predictable and continues so unfortunately throughout the remainder of the film.

While I enjoyed the overall premise of the film and the initial set up, there is little else to enjoy about the film.  With subpar acting from most of the main cast including Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber, it doesn't help with the script that they have been given to work with.  For an alien invasion film aside from the first ten minutes we really don't get a whole lot of action with special effects or futuristic technology.  Instead we get the beginnings of a love triangle that will apparently carry on through a trilogy.

The movie is obviously not targeted toward my age group though from the posters and trailers, I was expecting more Independence Day or The Day After Tomorrow than Twilight.  Overall, I would recommend the film for teenagers into movies like Hunger Games and Divergent though The 5th Wave at least in its initial outing fails to reach the level of excitement and entertainment that Hunger Games delivered.  Fans of Chloë Grace Moretz will also enjoy the film though in my opinion, she fails to perform on the higher level that I am use to in the Kick Ass franchise and If I Stay.  For adults, the movie is IQ challenging with an uneven pace that makes the film daunting to enjoy.  Rather wait for this film on Netflix with low expectations and you might enjoy come away with a smile if not a chuckle.


Waves '98
Releases January 23rd, 2016 (Sundance Festival 2016)
0 hrs 15 mins


Director: Ely Dagher
Writer: Ely Dagher

Elie Bassila as Omar
Cherine Khoury as Noura

"Set between Beirut's post-war climate of recovery in the 90's and today's sense of crumbling this is Omar's story. Growing up in the suburbs of Beirut meant that Omar spent his entire teenage years on the outskirts having never visited the segregated city or crossed its borders. His daily life is dominated by the mundane, his parents' economical problems and a certain lack of motivation; his only escape being the time he spends gazing at the city from his school's rooftop. On a cold winter day, Omar unexpectedly witnesses something strange and beautiful, a sort of beaming intense light breaking out from the grayness of the city landscape leading him to venture into the depth of the city. This giant discovery leads him to explore and immerse himself in a world he didn't know existed, a world that is so close yet so isolated from his reality that Omar eventually loses track and finds himself struggling to keep his attachments, his sense of home."

Review by D. Hicks

Now here's my take: If you have ever seen "Pink Floyd: The Wall" film this short is similar in  similar way it depicts the landscape.  It's made in a surreal mix of live action filming and animation.  It's subtitled,  and to be totally honest I don't understand it.

Spoilers ahead

The short focuses on a young man that goes to school and just sits on the roof of his apartment building.  One day a giant crystal elephant shows up, he and 2 other young men and a young woman get sucked in to the elephant and visit this completely animated fantasy land.

Spoilers over

I was constantly thinking to myself for the duration of the short : " Is there something wrong with me because I don't get it?" And alot of "WTH?". Visually it was interesting,  but unless you are a big fan of dramatic animation shorts you will be like me and constantly saying "WTH?" .

I give it 2 out of 5 stars due to the visuals and the choice to be artistic and go half live action and half animation.  But other than that I didn't understand the story or the reason why the lead young man does what he does. Watch at your own peril, I know I won't watch it again.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

King's Road #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
On Sale February 10th, 2016 
Peter Hogan (W), Phil Winslade, Staz Johnson (A), Staz Johnson (Cover)

This 48-page special includes all King’s Road chapters from Dark Horse Presents by Peter Hogan and Phil Winslade—and an additional issue’s worth of story drawn by the new King’s Road art team! Artist Staz Johnson (Judge Dredd) and colorist Douglas A. Sirois (The 7th Sword) join Hogan to continue this tale of a family on the run from magical, other-dimensional monsters.

* Value-priced double issue! 48 pages for $3.99!

King's Road a three issue mini series by Dark Horse is a magical tale of a family in suburbia that is about to have their lives flip on their head due to their origin.  While the theme is nothing new, Peter Hogan does a great job in entertaining us still with his version of Camelot meets Narnia.  The art which is split noticeably between Phil Winslade and Staz Johnson in the 48 page special first issue, both seems to fit the tale well.  Phil's pages is slightly more shadowing heavy than Staz, with the coloring slightly more brighter during Staz's tenure by Colorist Douglas A. Sirois.  It's interesting to see the different styles by the same colorist giving you a totally different look to the comic.

With the artwork both slightly above average, with my slight preference towards Staz's only because of his monsters designs, my attention turns to the story.  As I have said these type of tales of a family or person out of place is nothing we haven't seen before.  The mother herself explains to her kids in the story, "You know all those fantasy stories, where someone from Earth goes to another world? A world where magic is real?..."  While well told, the story lacks enough interesting twists to make itself stand out from quite frankly "all those fantasy stories."  Now normally that wouldn't be a problem with just the first issue.  However, taken into account the series is only three issues long, there really isn't a lot of room to grow. 

Overall, I would still recommend the series especially if you like fantasy tales.  I will continue to follow the story to see how it continues, since the investment in time is not deep with only three issues.  Unless the story ramps up quickly though, I fail to see how it can be extended to a monthly series though.  Which is a shame because it looks like there are a lot of stories to tell like back stories of some of the main characters.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Artist Tom Whalen, whose work you may have seen at The Block at New York Comic Con releases his latest Peanuts art print based on the classic "Snoopy Come Home."  As with all his Peanuts prints, they are based on a classic show whose beautiful use of colors and iconic scenes captures the show brilliantly.  Above is the standard version with below the variant edition.  They go on sale tomorrow January 15th, 9:30 AM PST at Dark Hall Mansion.

“SNOOPY COME HOME” Standard Edition of 280 $65
“SNOOPY COME HOME” Variant Edition of 50 $100
“SNOOPY COME HOME” Foil Edition of 10
(based on the Std edition colorway) $150
“SNOOPY COME HOME” Foil Edition of 10
(based on the Variant edition colorway) $150

All editions measure 18″ x 24,” are strictly limited, screen printed, and
hand numbered.

To check out Tom's other past art work visit his site here.

Ride Along 2 reunites Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, now as "partners" in law enforcement following a lead to Miami.  We have the following three items to give away to one lucky winner:
  • Ride Along 2 Medium Adult T-Shirt (Sorry, this was the only size we were given)
  • Ride Along 2 Lugguage Tag
  • Ride Along 2 Mini Sheet Poster

To Enter:
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
  • Comment below with the following info:
- Full name, as well as either your Twitter name or name used on Facebook
- Favorite Ice Cube or Kevin Hart movie and why
  • Tweet about this post on Twitter including the handle and hashtags @GeekwithMak #RideAlong2
Open to US residents only.  One entry per person.  Contest ends January 17th 9pm ET.  Check back here as well our Facebook page for winner announcement.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Released November 15, 2015 (US), January 12, 2016 (DVD)
1 hr 42 mins
Not Rated
Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller


Director: Peter Winther
Writer: Jason Groce, Kirk Roos, Peter Winther

Tahmoh Penikett as Cafferty
Lesley-Ann Brandt as Guts
Colm Feore as Dr. Troutman
Erica Durance as Trudy
Julia Voth as Masters

Review by Stephen M.

Tahmoh Penikett as a tough nose soldier in Painkillers is not a hard stretch to imagine after watching him many years on Battlestar Galactica.  Add on a few other television veterans like Erica Durance and Director Peter Winther (Associate Producer on Stargate and Independence Day) and your expectations are raised a bit for the mystery Sci-fi thriller Painkillers.  Keeping in mind that the film is made with a low budget keeps us in check. 

Tahmoh Penikett plays the lead Cafferty who leads a team of soldiers into a mysterious cave to meet up with their contact only to lose consciousness and wound up at a hospital where his surviving team are the only patients.  Poked and prodded to slowly recover their memory of their mission, we get a lot of twists and turns as to what the team and their physicians actually are.  Despite decent acting by some, suspect plot that leads you in too many directions without concrete answers make this one to skip.

The only reason I can imagine to watch this film is if you are a big fan of Tahmoh Penikett.  If so though it would be wiser to pop in a DVD or Blu Ray of Battlestar Galactica then Painkillers.  There are just much better scripted sci-fi thrillers that are well thought out and not relying on topless scenes of Tahmoh.  And as enticing as the trailer is, which is really well done, it is essentially all you need to watch to enjoy the film, better put together than the actual film itself.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Released November 13, 2015 (Limited), January 5th, 2016 (DVD)
1 hr 23 mins
Not Rated


Director: Eli Morgan Gesner
Writer: Eli Morgan Gesner

Michel Gill as Senior CDC Agent
Johnny Messner as Gault
Ronen Rubinstein as Dante
Jon Abrahams as Vince
Lydia Hearst as Tess
Michael Drayer as Marin
Dylan Penn as Maya
Genevieve Hudson-Price as Alexa
Kea Ho as Pop Star
Perry Yung as Cookie
Anthony Chisholm as Shynola
Michael DeMello as Murphy
Jordan Gelber as Big Foot
Tuffy Questell as Alejandro
Kevin Smith Kirkwood as Roxy
Honor Titus as Loki

Review by Stephen M.

When you have a low budget horror film like Condemned, you go in with low expectations and hope for something innovative as well at least a few good scares.  While the film sports some amazing acting, and is generally a fun watch with its playfulness of death in characters, the absurd plot and cheap make up ultimately makes this one to skip unless you are really bored with nothing else to watch.

When a young girl runs away from her home to live with her boyfriend she wasn't expecting a run down condemned building full of off beat squatters.  From junkies to drug dealer, to even gay neo-Nazis, the building has just about every degenerate you can imagine.  From there, the Director would have you imagine that a mixture of toxic elements from drugs to vomit to male ejaculation can create a virus that can cause the infected to become a frenzied killing machine.  The telltale signs for those infected include a whole lot of pus and swelling that reminds you of the Toxic Avenger.

Overall, I would not recommend this film if you are looking for a serious horror film.  More silly than actual horror, which may be what the Director was going for, there are some things to like such as the solid acting performances all around.  The cast for the most part is not well known with the exception being Anthony Chisholm.  As with any horror film, you usually have a surprise at the end and instead of redeeming itself, the Director continues to insult our intelligence with yet another pointless scene never finding the right balance of good humor and horror.


Friday, January 1, 2016

The Revenant
Released December 25, 2015 (Limited Release)
2 hr 36 mins
Rated R
Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller


Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Writer: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu (based on novel by by Michael Punke)

Review by Mister Goodfella's Reviews

Prepare to visit Alejandro González Iñárritu's art gallery once again this time viewing his most beautiful piece "The Revenant." Alejandro blew everyone away last year with the remarkable "Birdman: Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance" and he's returned to show us he still has something to say in this generation of filmmaking. "The Revenant" is another product of marketing at its finest, posing to casual movie goers as an action packed survival story when it’s anything but. Alejandro's latest film is one of the most beautiful and ingenious films I’ve seen this year, coming off as a vibrant masterful painting that only a true artist could create. "The Revenant" is a movie specifically for a "Film Buff", normal moviegoers are going to come out of this puzzled as this film pulls what Nicolas Winding Refn did years ago with his film "Drive". 

    This film has its moments of intense battle sequences and violence but spaces out those aspects and fills it with a beautiful artistic story of survival and learning to love the sheer beauty that is life. The plot of Iñárritu's latest work follows a frontiersman named Hugh Glass who sets of on a quest of revenge after being left for dead from a bear attack. This plot is an example of a simple beautiful revenge story but Alejandro does his job at elevating this plot to new heights. Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" can be compared to films like this with simplistic stories that follows a character whose only goal is to take revenge, giving us that beautiful build up until our character gets what they have been searching for the entire film. "Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold" and Alejandro shows us this statement is all but true here. 

    "The Revenant" stars in my opinion one of the top actors of this generation Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his finest roles and also stars other fantastic actors such as Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson. DiCaprio has starred in several phenomenal roles in the years past such as Teddy Daniels “Shutter Island", Cobb in "Inception", Billy" in "The Departed" and Jordan Belfort in "The Wolf of Wall Street'. This year is DiCaprio's year, the performance given by him in "The Revenant" is one that can only be given by an actor who's tapped that true potential they have. Judging not only by his performance onscreen but off-screen as well Leo doesn't hesitate to get method and go in depth with his characters. These are the reasons why if this ingenious actor doesn't win "The Oscar" soon, not to worry we all know he's bound to get a "Lifetime Achievement Award" somewhere down the line for sure. 

    Hugh Glass was an actual frontiersman that lived in the 1820's yet we can't help but think that Leo has lived like this for years the way we see his character portrayed onscreen. Tom Hardy also compliments Leo's performance well as he plays the vicious antagonist John Fitzgerald who's not afraid to do whatever it takes to stay alive. Hardy can truly play the villain and that comes of no surprise due to his role as the mercenary Bane in Chris Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises". Hardy is ruthless and once again shows us he's the man for any job whether it’s the antagonist or the protagonist like his role in "Mad Max Fury Road". All performances feel natural and it feels as though all actors truly embody their characters and forget who they really are. 

    Aside from the performances the directing here is flawless ranging from remarkable landscape shots to Alejandro's favorite continuous shots. All scenes in this film were shot with natural lighting and it really brings out the film's true beauty. The battle sequences in this film set new standards for battle sequences in general, showing us that with hard work you’re left with near operatic action sequences that can capture anyone. I still can't put my finger on how some of the effects in the film during the battle sequences were handled because everything looked authentic to the tee. Stylish long shots of steady camera work is Alejandro's specialty here and there's not a minute where it gets you feeling that it’s repetitive. 

    Alejandro is in another great position this year to win the "Best Director" Oscar due to what a fascinating product "The Revenant" turned out to be even though it had a high bar set by "Birdman" last year. Everything about this film screams phenomenal and everyone should sit through it at least once. I absolutely adore this film but keep in mind the casual movie goer might not get exactly what they're expecting. Alejandro is the leading filmmaker figure for all Latino aspiring filmmaker proving that working your ass off really can pay off no matter the color of your skin. One of my biggest idols in the film industry, "The Revenant" is a film that delivers 110 percent. 

Rating: 4 out of 4 Stars