Movie Review: Venom

My sister doesn’t go to the movies very often, and it is near impossible trying to predict what she might end up liking. So, of course, when she told me that not only had she gone to the theater to see Venom (more than once mind you) but that she actually liked it, I was surprised. I know that she has always been a fan of the Spider-Man universe and that she had a particular fondness for Venom but I had heard so many terrible things about this film, I just couldn’t believe that’s what she decided to spend her time on.

Time went by and after receiving the DVD for Christmas, an opportunity came up for her to share her appreciation of the film with me. We started the day off with a viewing of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (which was quite a lot of fun), and then went back home to sit down and watch Venom.

I have to say, the film isn’t as bad as people say it is. It isn’t very good either but it’s not that bad. There are a lot of story issues, such as plot holes, messy exposition, and an expedited climax. The acting also isn’t the best, though I think Tom Hardy was having a lot of fun with the role, and of all the things I’ve seen him in, this is the film where I enjoyed watching him the most. At least he wasn’t just grunting or squinting his way through his scenes. The special effects look unfinished in a lot of areas but the Venom face effects look decent enough.

The best thing though that this film has going for it is its small scale storyline. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews how tiring some of the superhero movies can get because there is just so much destruction and so many lives lost that it becomes depressing to watch after a certain point. Venom takes place in one central location (San Francisco), involves one main bad guy and a couple of cronies, and the climax of the film doesn’t involve a whole city’s decimation. The consequences of the characters’ actions could have bigger implications but the battle at the end doesn’t.

I can see why my sister likes this movie so much. Despite its weaknesses, Venom was kind of a fun viewing experience, and it is an interesting character to base a movie around. I don’t see myself revisiting this the way my sister is eager to but I’m also not upset that I sat through it this first time.

Best Movies of 2018

In 2018 I saw seventy-two films in theaters, fifty-six of which were new releases. Below is a video in which I discuss my favorite films of the last year but first, a couple of honorable mentions.

 

Chappaquiddick

chappaquiddick-poster
This was a very straight forward, pared down film. It tells the story of the events leading up to and following the night that Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaqquidick Island. The filmmakers did their best to use only verified information to tell the story and I thought the result was very effective.

 

Avengers: Infinity War

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Of course I loved Infinity War. I did a whole review project leading up to its release, that’s how excited I was. I worried a little that it wouldn’t be able to live up to all that had been built up but it did. Each of the characters got a good amount of screen/story time, and it still impresses me that they were able to get all of those people into one film and not have it feel overstuffed. As an added bonus I saw the film in Hollywood at a late screening Thursday (release) night and Kevin Feige and Joe Russo surprised the audience beforehand just to say thanks for being fans. That was an awesome, totally “Hollywood” experience, and it amped me up right before the movie started.

 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

mission_impossible_fallout_poster
Here Ethan Hunt is dealing with the “fallout” of the events of Rogue Nation, and bringing together a team to yet again fight against a disaster of epic proportions. The Mission Impossible films have become kind of like the James Bond films in that they follow a typical formula and have recurring elements, which I think actually adds a lot to them, and makes the characters and storylines more meaningful. I enjoyed looking forward to this film, and prepared by rewatching and reviewing all of the previous films. In the end, I was impressed with the film’s ability to still surprise me with its incredible stunts, and unexpected heartfelt story.

 

The Old Man and the Gun

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This was a nice surprise. Based on a true story, Robert Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a bank robber and prison escape artist. It is a slow moving story that really shines thanks to some solid, and understated performances. I wasn’t expecting anything from the film when I went into it and I thought the whole thing was rather charming. There is an especially great scene between Redford and Casey Affleck, who plays the detective investigating Tucker’s string of robberies.

 

Green Book

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I was a little wary of yet another indie film with a social message simply because there have been so many lately, and they’ve followed the same basic story structure. While Green Book does take on a more traditional format, and does have a social message at its heart, it stands apart thanks to the moving performances from its two leads. It is a story of two people from different worlds coming together that moves at a leisurely pace but really works thanks to Mahershala Ali, and especially Viggo Mortensen.

 

And now for my Top Ten Favorite Films of 2018:

#30DaysofFavorites: Favorite Movie Posters

Today’s post is the last entry for my 30 Days of Favorites project so I thought I’d end on a fun note. In case you couldn’t tell by the name of my blog, or the last few posts, I’m a big movie fan, and one of my favorite things about movies are the gorgeous posters designed to promote them. Now, I could sit here and bitch about the decline in the art of the movie poster, and bemoan the use of photoshop and giant floating heads but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m just going to show you what I consider are pretty great posters. Some of them are older, some are newer. Some feature that dreaded use of photoshop, and some are hand drawn/painted. All of them, in my opinion, are works of art.

 

 

#30 – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter

 

#29 – Elivis & Nixon (2016)

elvis-and-nixon

 

#28 – Wonder Woman (2017)

wonder woman

 

#27 – Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man

 

#26 – Chappaquiddick (2018)

Chappaquiddick

 

#25 – Bullitt (1968)

Bullitt

 

#24 – DragonHeart (1996)

DragonHeart

 

#23 – Snakes on a Plane (2006)

Snakes

 

#22 – La La Land (2016)

lalalandposter

 

#21 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows P1 & P2 (2010/2011)

HP7

 

#20 – Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty

 

#19 – The Babadook (2014)

babadook

 

#18 – Spectre (2015)

Spectre

 

#17 – The Nice Guys (2016)
(Bench Ad)

Nice Guys

 

#16 – 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Cloverfield

 

#15 – Chinatown (1974)

Chinatown

 

#14 – The Rocketeer (1991)

Rockteer

 

#13 – Back to the Future III (1990)

BTTF3

 

#12 – Back to the Future II (1989)

BTTF2

 

#11 – Back to the Future (1985)

BTTF

 

#10 – Star Wars (1977)

Star Wars

 

#9 – West Side Story (1961)

west-side-story

 

#8 – Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

big trouble

 

#7 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders

 

#6 – Revenge of the Jedi (1983)

Revenge

 

#5 – Walk the Line (2005)

Walk

 

#4 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter

 

#3 – Baby Driver (2017)

Baby

 

#2 – Jaws (1975)

Jaws

 

#1 – John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

the-thing

#30DaysofFavorites: Favorite Movie Quotes by Year

 

A couple of years ago my dad had an idea to list out his favorite movie quotes for every year he’d been alive. I’m stealing this idea for today’s 30 Days of Favorites project entry.

 

 

1988 – Die Hard

1988

 

1989 – Christmas Vacation

1989

 

1990 – Goodfellas

1990

 

1991 – Beauty and the Beast

1991

 

1992 – Army of Darkness

1992

 

1993 – Jurassic Park

1993

 

1994 – True Lies

1994

 

1995 – Braveheart

1995

 

1996 – Scream

1996

 

1997 – The Lost World: Jurassic Park

1997

 

1998 – The Truman Show

1998

 

1999 – Galaxy Quest

1999

 

2000 – Gladiator

2000

 

2001 – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

2001

 

2002 – Spider-Man

2002

 

2003 – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

2003

 

2004 – Kill Bill: Vol. 2

2004

 

2005 – Batman Begins

2005

 

2006 – Cars

2006

 

2007 – Sunshine

2007

 

2008 – Iron Man

2008

 

2009 – Zombieland

2009

 

2010 – How to Train Your Dragon

2010

 

2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

2011

 

2012 – The Avengers

2012

 

2013 – Star Trek: Into Darkness

2013

 

2014 – Nightcrawler

2014

 

2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

2015

 

2016 – Hell or High Water

2016

 

2017 – Wind River

2017

 

2018 – Avengers: Infinity War

2018

#30DaysofFavorites: Favorite Actors

All throughout June I have been celebrating the fact that I’m turning 30 on the 30th by talking about some of my favorite things. I’ve posted several vlogs on my YouTube channel, and I’ve shared my 30 favorite movie moments, and my 30 favorite albums here on my blog.

Today, I’m sharing a list of my 30 Favorite Actors.

 

#30 – Emily Blunt
Favorite Role: Rita, Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

 

#29 – Nicole Kidman
Favorite Role: Gillian Owens, Practical Magic (1998)

 

#28 – Amy Adams
Favorite Role: Louise Banks, Arrival (2016)

 

#27 – Paul Rudd
Favorite Role: Danny, Role Models (2008)

 

#26 – Ryan Gosling
Favorite Role: Holland March, The Nice Guys (2016)

 

#25 – Uma Thurman
Favorite Role: The Bride, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

 

#24 – Chris Pine
Favorite Role: James Tiberius Kirk, Star Trek (2009)

 

#23 – Timothy Olyphant
Favorite Role: Raylan Givens, Justified (2010-2015)

 

#22 – Sebastian Stan
Favorite Role: James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes / Winter Soldier, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

 

#21 – Joe Anderson
Favorite Role: Russell, The Crazies (2010)

 

#20 – Sigourney Weaver
Favorite Role: Ellen Ripley, Alien/Aliens (1979/1986)

 

#19 – Gene Kelly
Favorite Role: Don Lockwood, Singin’ In the Rain (1952)

 

#18 – Paul Newman
Favorite Role: Luke, Cool Hand Luke (1967)

 

#17 – Errol Flynn
Favorite Role: Robin Hood, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

 

#16 – Howard Keel
Favorite Role: Adam, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

 

#15 – Burt Reynolds
Favorite Role: Paul Crewe, The Longest Yard (1974)

 

#14 – Richard Harris
Favorite Role: Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone(2001)

 

#13 – Danny Kaye
Favorite Role: Hubert Hawkins, The Court Jester (1955)

 

#12 – Alan Rickman
Favorite Role: Hans Gruber, Die Hard (1988)

 

#11 – Harrison Ford
Favorite Role: Han Solo, Star Wars (1977)

 

#10 – Joaquin Phoenix
Favorite Role: Johnny Cash, Walk the Line (2005)

 

#9 – Keira Knightley
Favorite Role: Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice (2005)

 

#8 – Sean Connery
Favorite Role: James Bond, From Russia With Love (1963)

 

#7 – Roy Scheider
Favorite Role: Chief Brody,  Jaws (1975)

 

#6 – Walton Goggins
Favorite Role: Boyd Crowder, Justified (2010-2015)

 

#5 – Jake Gyllenhaal
Favorite Role: Louis Bloom, Nightcrawler (2014)

 

#4 – Sam Rockwell
Favorite Role: Owen, The Way Way Back (2013)

 

#3 – Kurt Russell
Favorite Role: RJ MacReady, John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

 

#2 – Peter O’Toole
Favorite Role: T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

 

#1 – Robert Shaw
Favorite Role: Quint, Jaws (1975)

 

#30DaysofFavorites: Favorite Movie Moments (30-25)

In case you don’t subscribe to my YouTube channel, and missed my explanation of this project, here is a brief recap. I’m turning 30 at the end of June. I thought it would be fun to celebrate this milestone by talking about a bunch of my favorite things over the course of the month. I’ve already finished one list of favorites (my favorite books), over on my YouTube channel, which you are welcome to check out by clicking on this link here.

Today I am going to count down my favorite movie moments. I’ve been doing these lists in batches so, we’ll just focus on the first six, in order to give each one a moment of due attention.

#30 – The entire opening scene
Movie: It (2017)

The tension in this scene is so good, and I still have nightmares involving a really disturbing clown and sewers thanks to an amazing performance by Bill Skarsgård.

#29 – “I remember all of them.”
Movie: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

One line and you realize all those years Bucky has been used and brainwashed, some part of him, the real Bucky, has been awake the whole time. He not only knows of the terrible things he has done as the Winter Soldier but he remembers all those experiences, all those deaths, and he has to relive them, over and over again.

#28 – “You’ll Be A Dentist”
Movie: Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Steve Martin’s slight Elvis impersonation is perfect for this sadistic dentist’s theme song.

#27 – “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”
Movie: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Every teenage girl in the 90s immediately swooned when Heath Ledger started singing Frankie Valli’s famous pop hit.

#26 – “Princesses On Parade”
Movie: The Swan Princess (1994)

We get a chorus number in the middle of an animated adventure story based on Swan Lake, and it is glorious.

#25 – Barn Building
Movie: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

A chance to show off the moves of their professional dance hires, this is one of the most joyous scenes in any movie musical.

Come back tomorrow to check out my number 24 to 19 favorite Movie Moments.