My honest notes about “The Revenant”

I watched “The Revenant”.

And I had a huge problem with it:


THE REVENANT Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. THE REVENANT Motion Picture Copyright © 2015 Regency Entertainment (USA), Inc. and Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l. All rights reserved.Not for sale or duplication.

Image via: Creative Planet

No one.

Yet we see it in movies. All the time. In every movie with a winter wilderness scene.

It is absurd and insulting to the viewer.

People don’t intentionally get wet in the wilderness in winter even if they are near a resort with a fireplace, hot water, and a clothes dryer.

When a character goes wading into water during winter, it takes me out of the story every single time.

I cannot conceive why a filmmaker would do that. Perhaps in hopes that the viewer will think, “Man, that character was cold before… but after wading through frozen water with no shelter in sight, they are really cold!”

To be blunt, it is stupid. Especially when the character is supposed to be a seasoned explorer or mountain man.

Getting submersed, outdoors, during winter, in the wilderness means death.

Argh. That is so frustrating and disappointing to see in a film.


Anyways, here are the notes I took while watching the film:

  • Lots of exposition
  • Leo’s character doesn’t seem like much of a nature expert
  • Gruesome doesn’t mean good
  • Some on-the-nose dialogue
  • Kinda cartoonish bad guys
  • It’s Braveheart, Revenge, Apocalypto, etc. set in the NW.
  • Gosh darn it! No survivalist, or thinking person, gets and stays wet.
  • No. One. Would wade into frozen water.
  • Gosh darn it. No one even tip toes near frozen water when trying to survive cold climate.
  • I thought his arm was broken??
  • The symbolism of trees is confusing, clumsy, and heavy handed.
  • Fogging up the camera was horrid. It ripped me out of the story.
  • Tom Hardy commands the screen!
  • The montages are clumsy.
  • Gah! More people wading through water.
  • Quite a few subplots that have a very weak connection to the main story
  • Subplots are a little hard to follow
  • Why didn’t he stay with the girl?
  • Why are those Indians attacking him?
  • He really doesn’t seem like an experienced nature guy.
  • Why would anyone get inside of a horse? Wouldn’t it be easier, safer, more sanitary to build a fire or ANY other shelter? Wouldn’t butchering a horse attract every carnivore in a 10 mile radius?
  • Why do the good guys trust the obvious villain?
  • The captain is too young
  • Leo’s voice rarely fits the character for me. But he consumes this character. Wonderful acting. Doesn’t seem like acting.
  • C’mon. Leo is splashing through water as he is tracking the bad guy and carrying the captains corpse. No. One. Would. Do. That. No one gets in water when they are trying to survive in winter wilderness.
  • Leo’s character still seems like a horrible mountain man. Can’t track, can’t read signs, can’t fight, wades through freezing water at every opportunity, prone to blinding emotion
  • The final chase and fight are good. Unconventional. Patient. Brilliant.
  • I love survival stories! Man vs nature and himself!
  • Revenge stories are captivating to humans

There are people in North Korea


What happens to North Koreans sounds made up. It sounds like scenes from a horror film.

Except it’s not made up.

And it has been going on since the mid-1990s. Every single day. For 20 years. It seems strange that the world would knowingly let such humans rights violations continue for 20 years.

Read this article. Just read it. You have time.

Watch this video. And read what the press said about it.

Find out more about the film, Seoul Train, and read some updates.

ALL NEW FOR 2016! Politics Edition


The current election, and the bizarre fervor boiling in it, got me to thinking.

It is absurd to expect that each new politician will have all new policies.

Yet we demand that each candidate have new, unique solutions for healthcare, immigration, unemployment, education, and all threats real and imagined.

“What is your policy on…” we ask all our candidates. And the answer had better be something different than what the incumbent is doing. Imagine if it wasn’t. There goes that candidate’s chances.

But the truth is that jumping from idea to idea, jumping from solution to solution, and changing your mind abruptly are not what we should want from those in power. If a leader did that on their own, we would think they were grossly unfit to lead. But they do it. We demand of them. And we continue this strange game each election with the utmost sincerity and fervor.

It is a silly, disastrous way to run a life, company, or nation. Certainly no shareholder would allow a company to be ran that way.

We do not need an ALL NEW FOR 2016! approach to the work that is necessary to keep a nation improving. We should not want an ALL NEW! approach. It is foolishness.

The way to success has always been iterative. Drip by drip. Steady improvement.

If the ideas of the each previous leadership need to be abandoned and replaced, well, we should all be embarrassed that we insisted on such change and expected that it would have an enduring, positive effect.

I call it “shopping for lightning”: looking and expecting to find that one, elusive magical solution that will finally fix the problem of education, unemployment, terrorism, healthcare, etc. Such thinking is nonsense.

>We act as though one person shapes the country, don’t we? As though one person has all the ideas and power. As though we have but one savior. Or devil. This thinking is so silly it is strange that it is universal.

Why would we think that the nation has but one savior or devil? Why would we demand that each new candidate have new ideas—the magic lightning that will surely, finally solve the problems that mankind has not yet been able to solve since our beginning?

SAY GOODBYE TO (insert problem)!

It sounds harsh to use the word “stupid”, but that feels like the most accurate word for the stupid game we play.