Tag Archives: revenge

Every Dog Has His Day

OG Old Men

Meet Terrence, Clouse and Victor. These guys are brothers – in fact they are triplets. The two on the left in the white shirts are Siamese Twins and the third brother in the checkered shirt was born with them but unattached. So needless to say, he always felt left out during their childhood, as the conjoined brothers were very close. Often they would exclude the other brother, to which he always screamed and yelled to their parents for intervention. Usually the parents would force the Siamese siblings to include their lonely brother in their activities. Begrudgingly, they would oblige but not without protest or revenge.

One afternoon when they were 15 years old the Siamese brothers tricked their brother into thinking that they wanted him to join them in the basement to sneak some peeks at their father’s collection of Look magazines. As soon as their brother came down the stairs, they locked him in a closet where they had previously hidden a case of rotten fish from their uncle’s market. They laughed and ran upstairs leaving their poor brother in the closet for hours until their parents came home. The week of grounding they received for this cruelty was well worth it to these two evil cohorts.

But this was not the last time their brother would fall victim to their manipulative ways – in fact, for 70 years the two brothers always got the better of their gullible brother; partly because Victor had an IQ of 68 but mostly because he always believed his brothers would one day come around and include him out of love. He always gave them the benefit of the doubt – which never, ever worked in his favor. Sadly to make matters worse, as his brothers became very successful in their careers as exotic professional gigolos, satisfying women from all five of New York’s boroughs, their lonely desperate brother had no other options in his life but to become their assistant; always in the shadows of his two Machiavellian brothers, cleaning up after their messy escapades for table scraps.

It was not until the day in this photo, on their 90th birthdays that Victor finally got his revenge. He convinced his brothers to join him for Gelato and coffee in Little Italy to celebrate their landmark birthday. He told his brothers that Raquel Welch was performing a juggling routine at noon, to which his brothers became both aroused and delighted at the prospect of seeing such a famous vixen in the flesh. So they accompanied their brother to a square in Little Italy for a promised day of fun and games.

As they sat eating Gelato and awaiting Ms. Welch, the Siamese brothers began to get impatient as to what the delay was. Their brother reassured them that she was coming soon, knowing full well that she was not. He smiled to himself because what his brothers did not know was that he paid a young kid $100 to line the part of the bench where his brothers were sitting with industrial strength glue prior to their arrival. So in essence Terrence and Clause were literally stuck to the bench – they just didn’t know it yet. This fact would become evident in mere moments.

As Victor prepared for his grand prank he felt an anticipated rumbling in his stomach (the consequence of eating 5 dishes of rich creamy Gelato) which he deliberately brought upon himself for this fateful day. Knowing he did not handle Lactose well at all he was about to have a major incident in his pants. As the sensation got more and more urgent Victor knew he had only moments to accomplish his mission.

Right then, a Raquel Welch impersonator appeared in the square and began juggling cantaloupes. Terrence and Clause clapped in sheer joy and began singing to her happily. Victor grinned and swiftly excused himself (knowing that the timing was perfect) and walked behind the bench (where a ladder was lying in wait for him, thanks to the kid). He quickly stood the step ladder up and climbed it so he was hovering over his brothers. They were too distracted to even notice his absence.

Victor waited for the right moment – for when everything in his stomach was falling into place. Just as the faux Raquel added a watermelon to her routine Victor unbuckled his pants and dropped them to his feet, exposing his wrinkled behind to the world.

With a forceful push and a smile wider than a boomerang, Victor evacuated what must have been three gallons of wet waste all over his horrendous brothers. As Terrence and Clause struggled and panicked to get off the bench their despair only grew in bounds as they realized they were most certainly trapped. They screamed, they yelled, they vomited – all to their brother’s delight. Victor laughed the most maniacal laughter heard since the first bandit in a top hat tied a hero’s girlfriend to a train track back in the 1800’s. This was Victor’s proudest moment. His brothers were covered in what resembled pudding with meatballs. Victor got a lifetime of revenge in only a few short seconds.

As he climbed down the ladder and pulled up his pants he looked at his two sobbing, coughing brothers and smiled. He was proud of his accomplishment – his life’s work. He walked around to face Terrence and Clause and took a bow. He then said “happy birthday boys, payback’s a bitch” and calmly strolled away, leaving the spectacle of his siblings for the crowds of people all around to gawk at in horror.

As Victor was about a block away he saw a news van fly to the scene – to which he laughed very hard. He thought to himself how he was going to top this if they made it to 100 years old. He figured he had plenty of time to think about it. He hailed a taxi, got in and headed for home, telling the cab driver to stop at the grocery store first so he can get some Depends.

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The Revenant

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Review:

The Revenant

***1/2 stars (of 4)

By Christopher Pickhardt

The magnificent trailer for The Revenant that was released last year featured breathtaking visuals of the American wilderness inter-cut with harrowing action, a bearded Leonardo DiCaprio, the gruff-looking Tom Hardy and a harsh story-line of revenge, all underscored by the growing sound of breathing. It is this most vital intake of oxygen that serves as the key theme of this captivating and immersive film.

As anyone who has seen the trailer is aware, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Hugh Glass (loosely based on a real life fur trapper) is attacked by a bear and left for dead by his fellow outdoors-man John Fitzgerald (played by the always amazing and ferocious Tom Hardy). This is the basis for the film’s survival/revenge tale, which slowly unfolds before us with some of the most beautiful footage you will ever see on film. Visually this film is an unparalleled masterpiece which should net a third Oscar in a row for Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who is on an amazing hot streak (having received Academy Awards for last year’s Birdman and 2013’s Gravity) and will most likely produce a second in a row award for director Alejandro G. Inarritu (who collaborated with Lubezki on 2014’s best picture Birdman).

The Revenant may also win a best picture Oscar this year as well, especially given that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made that very proclamation themselves at this past Sunday’s Golden Globes telecast. It certainly appears as though the blood, sweat and tears and apparent misery the cast and crew endured while making this film are paying off. The accolades, praise and award chatter the film has been receiving are understandable. There is so much excellence on display throughout the film’s two and a half hours that it is almost daunting to absorb.

The Revenant is definitely one of those films that will stay with you and linger in your mind for days, as the best moments are replayed all over again like a cinematic highlight reel. I was absorbed by the film’s ghostly atmosphere, with the vast expanse of the snowy mountains and bleak dark clouds overhead. I was sucked in by the tempered music, which featured the sound of a bell that rang softly in the background, underscoring the harrowing extreme conditions of our hero’s journey – both emotionally and physically. And I was awe-struck by the gorgeous photography that was painstakingly captured solely by natural light. No artificial lighting rigs were used to make this film, so you can imagine how long it took to get some of these amazing action sequences in the can – especially the scenes that featured long uninterrupted takes! Truly this is a feat of filmmaking if ever there was one and I would wager that not many productions can match this piece of work. The technical achievements of this film are the elements that impressed me the most, as the story is fairly simple. However, it is the way that Inarritu tells this story that makes it fresh and engaging to an audience that has seen everything – except nobody has seen anything like The Revenant. Few films have featured photography this stunning (except for maybe in a Terrence Malick film) or showcased the majesty of nature to such an extreme degree or delivered a grizzly bear fight that looked SO REAL that it is hard to fathom how the hell it was filmed. Everyone on this film pushed themselves and their creativity to the limit and each and every performer (both behind and in front of the camera) was one their game.

There is a lot of Oscar buzz floating around Leonardo DiCaprio for his work in this film and I expect it to intensify now that he has won the Golden Globe for this part. It was a deserved win for a terrific performance, but a fairly quiet one. DiCaprio did most of his acting with his eyes, speaking very little and carrying the film with a relatable determination of a man on a mission. DiCaprio surely gave his all for this part; having worn that scraggly beard for two years, slept inside an animal carcass and even ate a raw buffalo liver on-screen. That is dedication. This is definitely one of Leonardo’s best performances, but not THE best in my opinion.

I really felt he deserved the Oscar for The Wolf of Wall Street. That was such a layered crazy performance that really showed a range and aptitude for comedy that we have never seen him exhibit before. If he does win this year I believe it will be a political win, given that there is a consensus that he has been overlooked and snubbed time and again. I do not disagree with that sentiment; the man is an incredible and reliable actor, who works his ass off on every film. I do not think anyone can ever accuse him of being lazy or phoning in a performance. I frankly do not get all the legions of Leo haters out there. You can’t rip someone apart continually because you did not like Titanic. The guy is a great actor.

Speaking of great actors, Tom Hardy, that powerhouse of a presence almost steals the movie, playing Fitzgerald, a ruthless rival fur trapper who cares only for himself, and manipulates the other members of the hunting party. One of his pawns is a younger naive man, Bridger (Will Poulter) who reluctantly goes along with Fitzgerald’s egregious act of abandoning Glass (DiCaprio) because he is not up to the task of standing up to the intimidating will of Fitzgerald, who is determined to get back to the fur trapping company’s fort to obtain his payment for this rough journey’s work. Hardy’s character is a guy who is not keen on authority and resents Glass, who has served as the company’s tracker as they travel through the wild in a six-month long quest for fur. Hardy’s Fitzgerald considers DiCaprio’s Glass a lousy guide who he alleges has led their party to considerable ruin and basically wants to cash out as soon as possible instead of traveling by foot through the mountains in an effort to avoid the Pawnee Indians who are in pursuit.

Fitzgerald also holds contempt for the company’s fair but stern leader, Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson), who Fitzgerald believes is mistaken for placing the company’s bounty of fur and their survival in the hands of a tracker that he deems incompetent. It is this building tension followed by that amazing grizzly bear attack (and one other major event I will not spoil) that serve as the catalysts for the film’s second act and eventual bloody conclusion.

In closing, I will reiterate that this is a marvelously made film with a bounty of texture and beauty, where every shot is a painting and every moment nuanced to perfection. In essence The Revenant is an art house film with a studio budget – truly a rarity in today’s blockbuster-hungry film climate. As I mentioned earlier, the theme of breathing or staying alive in other words, is a major thread throughout this film. Glass instills in his half-Native American son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) the idea that “if you can breathe, you can fight.” And as Glass struggles to survive from one potentially fatal obstacle to another on his vengeful journey, those words are echoed all around him – especially as he sees visions of his late wife and hears her voice guiding HIM through the darkness. Perhaps we can all take that message to heart during times of crisis. There is a lot of truth to that statement. If we can breathe, we most assuredly can fight. So as long as air is passing through our lungs, no obstacles are too large. All we need is the drive to push ourselves to the limit. Just like the makers of The Revenant did.