The Revenant

After I awoke, I watched CBS Sunday Morning and segments about the 45 rpm record and the Goodyear blimp. I spoke with my mother over the phone, and her health was improved, but her memory wasn’t too sharp. I took the bus out to Jack London Square to catch a movie, though I stopped at Walgreens to buy two Super Bowl Clipper cards. I walked through the farmers’ market and thought for a moment about buying fish tacos, but I decided just to go to the theatre and sit down. I was there for “The Revenant,” the survival movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. It took place in 1823, and it felt like a combination of “Jeremiah Johnson” and “Deliverance.” An Indian man was sitting next to me to my right, and the violence was too much for him, because he eventually walked out of the movie. It was uncomfortable to watch this movie, with its physical pain and the main character set on revenge. I was impressed with all that Leonardo DiCaprio went through during the filming. He ate a raw bison liver and sloshed around in icy cold water. He was better in this movie than he was in “Titanic,” I would say. Tom Hardy was the big jerk in the movie, Fitzgerald, and after seeing him in the Mad Max movie, I couldn’t see him as this character. It seemed awfully curious to me that Glass could go through hell in surviving the Arikara attack, only to get mauled by a bear. I couldn’t imagine any human being surviving those wounds. In fact, it seemed unbelievable that he would be able to ever get up, much less escape dangerous situations and suffer further wounds. After that loss of blood, how much time would it take for him to gain any sort of strength? One scene made me think of “Dances with Wolves,” and the part with the horse reminded me of Luke Skywalker at the beginning of “The Empire Strikes Back.” There is something really ugly about revenge stories like this. I think they are hard to watch, whether it’s this movie or “Death Wish” or “The Crow.” I wonder why Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to appear in this movie, because it had to seem like a difficult one to work on based on the script. It seemed that he was reaching for an Oscar nomination. The Academy members had to be impressed that he put himself through hell in making this film. He showed the determination to survive, although I was skeptical that he could get through the storm of arrows to live through it. The actor who was Henry had been in “Ex Machina,” “Brooklyn,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” during this past year, so he’s been busy. The actor who was Hawk was in “The Maze Runner,” so he was distracting to me, and I thought it was slightly ridiculous that he could be in the wilderness in 1823. I had to wonder what Glass smelled like during his ordeal, although he finally got the chance to bathe before the manhunt at the end. He did something very ingenious to get a shot at Fitzgerald. In this age of smartphones and information, I wonder if anyone today is capable of coming up with those kinds of ideas. The fight at the end wasn’t clean like the duel at the end of the recent Star Wars movie. In fact, all of “The Revenant” is dirty, bloody, sloppy, and a snowy and cold mess of a situation. I couldn’t have dealt with it, and so I’m glad that I live in an area where it never snows. It’s hard for me to think of a movie like this as real entertainment, with its pain and violence and death and suffering. A good number of people went out to see it this past weekend, though, which is supposed to say something of the appeal that Leonardo DiCaprio still has. Since I have already seen “Jeremiah Johnson” and “Deliverance,” I didn’t feel that I gained much by seeing a movie like “The Revenant.” I sympathized to a degree with the man who walked out before the ending. The violence and brutality are not what I really want to see in a movie on a Sunday afternoon. It was a pretty long movie at 156 minutes. It wasn’t boring, though. I took the buses home so that I could see the fourth quarter of the game between the Packers and the Redskins. I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. He played songs by Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss. I liked “Please Read the Letter” and “I Will Always Love You.” I think that next week’s program will be about the best albums of 2015. Back at home, I watched the Johnny Carson show from May 22, 1974 with Charlton Heston, David Brenner, and Norman Mailer. Heston talked about “Airport 1975.” He also talked about the fact that suicide was a leading cause of death in the country. David Brenner talked about Italian names in his routine. Norman Mailer discussing the possibility that Marilyn Monroe had been murdered. He said that her intestines were not examined in the autopsy. I didn’t watch the Golden Globe Awards. Everyone thought it was strange that “The Martian” was categorized as a comedy. Well, Matt Damon did have a moment in it where he pretended to be The Fonz. I saw a lot of comments on Twitter. I was glad that I wasn’t watching Ricky Gervais. The Columbo episode was “A Deadly State of Mind” with George Hamilton and Lesley Ann Warren. Hamilton was a fool. His undoing was a blind man. I was glad that I had an extra jacket so that I wouldn’t get too cold during the day, and it would help him out in the early morning, too. Are the 49ers really interested in Hue Jackson as their coach? One of the movies that was on television last night was “Avalon.” There was also “Hud.” I heard on the news that the Playboy Mansion is for sale, although the buyer would have to agree to allow Hugh Hefner to remain living there. I also heard that Black Oak Books was closing down. It made me wonder if there are any small businesses that are successful these days, and if anyone has a job anymore. On Antenna TV, I saw The Jeffersons. I was really waiting for the beginning of Johnny Carson again. I had missed the very beginning of the first showing. I heard the sad news about the death of David Bowie. One of my memories of 1983 was seeing him at the Oakland Coliseum singing “Modern Love.” Some of the people who died on January 11 include Thomas Hardy (1928), Edna Purviance (1958), Jack Soo (1979), Carl Karcher (2008), and Eric Rohmer (2010). Today is a birthday for Amanda Peet (44) and Vicki Peterson (58). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 11, The Beatles released their single “Please Please Me,” with “Ask Me Why” on the b-side, in 1963. In 1967, Jimi Hendrix began recording “Purple Haze.” In 1995, the WB Television Network premiered with the first episode of “The Wayans Bros.” In 2000, airport security guards in Hawaii discovered marijuana in Whitney Houston’s luggage, but she left on the plane before she could be arrested.

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