Tuesday, January 18, 2022

In Retrospect: Venom Let There Be Carnage

Time again to look back.

I think I get it more now. Originally in my review I said they knew what they were going for and succeeded, and on second viewing I enjoyed it more than the first time. I respect it a lot too, it is this sort of batshit comic book movie that is fairly loose on logic and rightfully so when you have a story with shifting alien blobs and super sonic screams that would make Rob Halford jealous, it's there to entertain and I applaud it for that. I think we need more comic book movies like this, it has the same attitude as a 90s comic book movie it doesn't take itself seriously and is there to give you a good time. I'm happy we get this cast back, I'm happy we get to see a continuation of Eddie and Venom's life/romance/crimefighting, and God I'm gonna get so much shit for this. I'm gonna say it anyway. Tom Hardy is cast better as Eddie Brock than Bane, and I very much liked Bane in The Dark Knight Rises it was a very good performance, but he can have a wild time with this script and it's infectious how humorous he plays it. I gave some good grief over how they handled Anne and her standing with Eddie, but it didn't bug me much this time around and should make for an interesting dynamic if God willing there be a 3rd movie. Do it, I want you to do it. If you seriously think that I would not attend the day one premiere of a movie where Eddie and Venom beach bum about, watching spanish soap operas, and trying to keep a low profile as their odd couple antics increase, then you must be new. Hi, welcome, we love the odd stuff here, hope you stick around. I can see a ton of people really bash this movie when it comes to Woody Harrelson and Naomi Harris, not so much because of the actors but the characters themselves. Oh they completely gave no respect to Carnage and his story, and I have no comment on that because I can't name two symbiotes beyond our hero and villain in this, and I really need to watch more Atop The Fourth Wall to learn more Spidey and Venom information. I can't believe how foolish I was though, I was sitting there the whole time in the theater thinking, "Why is that woman so strikingly beautiful? Why do I think I've seen her before?" when clearly as bright as daylight, as frank as Frankenstein, that's Naomi Harris gracing my vision. I wish to apologize for that. Still though, best scene, maybe even my favorite scene in a comic book movie in the last 5 or so years, Venom taking the stage. I don't care, I love it. It is so damn weird and mostly superfluous to the plot, but I adore it and I'm so happy it exists. And I'm giving some long overdue praise to Peggy Lu, Mrs. Chen shine on you crazy diamond. We need to give her so much attention and love, she is brilliant, the movies would not be as good without her, I have spoken. And I know sequels are very difficult to do, because there is precedent. No one knew how the first Venom movie would go, least of all me, and it was a weird hot mess that I now love, so when you get a second movie you want it to be as good as the first if not better. And while I don't think that, my estimation still has went up from the first time watch of it. So the score is now 3 stars, 7.5/10, you can enjoy it and you can take it as seriously as it wants to be which isn't much at all. I had kind of a ehhhh it's okay, now I think it's a decent movie and I feel that is the trend for this week when tomorrow we unpack....a lot with an in retrospect of No Time To Die.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Licorice Pizza

I always save the best for last, and I totally did not mean to forget to post it yesterday.

You know my stance on romance movies, so the fact I'm reviewing this alone should be reason enough to hunt this movie down and watch it. Once more we look at a facet of the complex, shining, crazy diamond that is relationships as we meet Gary and Alana and this is where it becomes complicated to talk about this movie. Because I have so much I could say and yet don't want to say anything, because the way their relationship forms is so endearing, simple yet strange, and absolutely real. Cause Gary, my f***ing man, is the smoothest bastard I've seen in my life. He hits on her out of the blue one day and she inexplicably against her own protests goes to meet him for a Coca-Cola, and it's this real tightrope situation where they are undoubtedly best friends but a lot of people flat out ask them, hey are you guys a thing now, and they genuinely say yes and no. At first I thought it was a modern story but it actually takes place during the early 70s, the clothes, the appliances, the world events, and it works surprisingly well for the story plus I'm a sucker to see that decade. I love our leads, Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are honestly a bit too good. I can't say one bad thing about them, they play it so well and with an abundance of sincerity. You buy the romance, they do things just to spite one another, they do have conflicting emotions, they can be quite weird. That's kids man. That is romance at a young age where they have nothing to compare it to, they're just trying to figure it out. I think movies like this will stand the test of time far more than your regular love story fare. But it's damn funny too, I was probably the only person in that theater laughing consistently, honestly even to the point where I thought I was laughing too loud that I was disturbing the viewing for everyone else. It's a bizarre but highly effective use of comedy and one that hit my buttons just right. I haven't seen many Paul Thomas Anderson movies, only Boogie Nights before this but I sure noticed he loves him some long takes, moving long takes at that which worked wonderfully. The camera moves frequently and scenes take their time which I appreciate. They don't need to rush, they just ride this weird torpedo to the end, and it immerses you in the time period and more importantly the relationship. It is worth every second. I quite loved this movie and do urge people to see it when you can. I give it 4 stars, 9/10, a surprise to be sure but a welcome one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The King's Man

Humble beginnings indeed.

Not entirely what the trailers would have you believe, but still good. I was fully expecting an action packed full on origin story of the Kingsmen, but the story goes much farther beyond that. The film takes place during The Great War, and I'm almost positive you would have to be a hardcore World War 1 buff to fully understand everything that happens because the film deals with so many incidents from the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to the rise of Lenin, and all the while we follow the founding father of the Kingsmen and his son as they try to personally end the mastermind behind the war. It's a good story, throws you for some hard loops and yet I somehow still called out the hidden villain. The cast treat it seriously, it has nowhere near the level of over the top, save for one weird ass scene, or action as the first, so it focuses on the characters which I appreciate. I can see some people think of this as a nothing entry in the Kingsmen series, but I see it for what it is and do like how the story progresses. If anything it made me really want to look up the history of World War 1 and how it started, cause everyone talks WWII but I don't know much about it. I do want to know how we got from Czars of Russia to Marxist-Leninism, I do want to know about the battles, so even if the movie did nothing for me it made me want to increase my knowledge. But it's a solid good movie, I personally give it 3 stars, 7/10, and next time we finally talk about the film that stole the #2 spot on my top 10.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The 355

Alright, I'm back and I wish it was on grander circumstances.

Sort of breaking the rules this year reviewing a movie not on opening day but I think the game is changing this year for reviews. I really thought nothing of The 355 before seeing it, it looked like harmless action movie fluff and I can appreciate that, but it just was a bunch of average. Credit where credit is due the cast commits to this, all our leading ladies do decent work with the action and bits of espionage, even the big moments of emotion work well! It's a bit of a no brainer plot that essentially boils down to, this device could start World War 3, agents from all around the world join to retrieve it, bang bang you're dead, we won, okay bye. However. The movie has moments, it has little glimmers and shinies, that make it a bit better than average. I like how all our agents aren't besties off the bat, they fight each other and get in the way of the other's mission before they all join in, which I am also pleased to say happens early on so you don't have to wait until the end or even the halfway point it seemed. Each operative has little touches of backstory, some stated and some not, and while they are not full three dimensional characters it all works. I like how the movie actually took me for a twist or two and did stuff I fully was not thinking it would do, I will give props to it for that. The action is....average without bashing it too hard, I blame more the editing than the actual choreography why it didn't work so good for me, you get a decent amount and each is different from the last. The location shoots are nice, again adding variety here and there and it does give some nice visuals. Nothing really popped out at me though besides the cast who even still, kinda deserved a better written story to work with. Action movies are very difficult to do and to add some variety and spice to a very tired, very easily halfassed genre. You're gonna forget this movie in about 3 days and I repeat, I did not expect anything from it if anything I was hoping in the back of my head it would throw me for a loop and have a kind of cult action hit vibe to it. I really didn't want to hate it and I suppose I don't, it's just so middle of the road nothing. A lot of people gave shit to The Protege and said it was very much in the same vein of action movie as this, I strongly disagree, you should go rent that movie it is better than you think, you can easily skip this one. 2 stars, 5.5/10, and because I have nothing else to do The King's Man is coming up next time.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Top 10 Films of 2021

Start the countdown.

10. Halloween Kills. I had problems with it but at the same time I am endlessly fascinated how this ends and I did enjoy it for what it was.

9. The Protege. Leave me be, it's a solid movie man and it has Michael Keaton in it as a villain! Come on!

8. Cry Macho. Clint does it again with a good story, solid connections, and one of the most gosh dang happiest endings ever.

7. The Suicide Squad. Wild superhero stuff, would have made it higher if you didn't off Polka Dot Man. For shame.

6. Dune. Re-evaluation will come when I see the rest but I certainly am here for the ride!

5. Candyman. Excellent modern telling with a unique spin and wonderful production.

4. No Time To Die. Don't worry we're gonna talk about it again, but I did enjoy so much of it and respect it for the big things it did.

3. Last Night In Soho. Mental, visually stunning, and an interesting plot. I couldn't ask for more.

2. Licorice Pizza. Now you might be saying, but Dude I don't remember you reviewing this movie. Just wait, and pay attention to where I ranked it.

1. Cruella. Yes. I just did that. I loved it, I thought it was f***ing class, no I am never taking it back.

Breaking the law, breaking the law! And it continues on with our first week of reviews starting tomorrow, see you there.

Friday, December 17, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 9


I'm still not ready. And the worst part is on two fronts, if you were watching the series live back then you would have had to wait I kid you not 2 years for the final series. Yeah, after series 8 ended in 2000 it took until 2002 for the show to return and wrap up. But not only that, it is 4 episodes long, plus a nice little end special so they really had to buckle down and finish everything up. On the plus side though, huzzah to the bride and groom! Now that wasn't such a chore now was it? Nine bloody series and Judy and Alistair are married at last, and it takes the majority of the series with only one episode to finish up Sandy's romance with a pretty monumental step. But hey what do I care, everyone has their happy ending! It does do a number on Jean though but Lionel is always there for her, and the series proper at least in my opinion ends on a perfect note. Now would I necessarily say the hour long special is bad? Not at all, it's a clipshow within the narrative sort of situation with Lionel asked to write another book and Jean suggests it being about how they reconnected, as we watch bits of older episodes throughout. Nothing wrong with it, has quite a few of my favorite laughs and scenes in it, but I would say it isn't entirely necessary viewing. It's without question for the loving fans who have been there since the beginning, and it really puts it into perspective in terms of time. Not just for the series but my rewatching it. 3 weeks of watching this lovely show and it seems over too quick. Also to add onto that is the fact that this is the last review of the year, sorry Spider Man fans but this is the end. Who really knows what will come next year? We're mighty close to the 900th review and the 7th anniversary. The future is a big place, who knows where we'll end up. But until then how was the show as a whole? The last series gets the 4 star treatment, one last 10/10, and I'll be stunned if another show can surpass the record this show implemented. It's a lovely show, doesn't try to be big or grand, and fully deserves more love and attention without question. I treasure it unconditionally just like I do our main cast, I couldn't stop praising them if you got me going. It's almost a show that doesn't require a review, you just watch it and can enjoy it. But I had to do it justice and I do appreciate you putting up with my tangents. And on this bittersweet bombshell, it is time to end. Thank you so much for spending some time with me this year talking movies, and I of course wish you nothing but the happiest and safest of new years every single day. Take care of yourself, and goodnight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 8

God help me, only one series left.

I'm not sure if I can handle saying goodbye. But as the penultimate series goes, with 6 episodes instead of 7 it goes to some places and poses some big questions. I mean it starts off innocently enough with more comedic episodes like Lionel being followed constantly by a dog and they soon wonder if another member of the family is welcome, and an episode with Lionel and Sandy meeting in an unwanted position and they try their best to cope with it while Jean makes a bigger mess out of it, so far so fun. Then the last three episodes happen, Penny and Steven are thinking about moving to Spain, Lionel comes to a decision regarding his family home, and Alistair quite literally goes for broke. So you get a balance of comedy and drama, once again not ending on a perfectly happy note but it's brighter than ones we have seen before. I think this is the biggest leap in quality in terms of filming, turns out this series was being filmed in 2000 and you can very discernably tell the difference, I mean it looks like 2005 Doctor Who to me with the image quality, and the camera work gets a lot more involved than A camera and B camera with a few panning shots. I mean the fact alone this show started in 1992 and still was airing in the new millenium is pretty spectacular that it got that kind of run. It's not exactly Eastenders, so color me impressed. Jean sure gets more involved than usual this time, playing matchmaker at any point and as usual overthinking situations, lord knows I treasure her but thank God she has Lionel to be her rational side. Though mind you, Lionel is super grumpy and speaks his heart and mind a good deal this series, I genuinely think the standout scene of this whole series is when he tries to properly explain in words why he loves Jean so much. It's not that long a scene, but every word is genuine from the heart and he speaks very intimately but plainly. He treasures this woman and loves her unconditionally, not a shadow of a doubt he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and very much like Jean Pargetter I am a hopeless romantic. That's when you know you've struck gold with someone, when you can be completely honest how you feel about them, always enjoy their company, can appreciate silence together, and wouldn't dream of having anyone else. Contrary to popular belief, it ain't all about the hey hey. I don't want any hey hey I want what they have, because it's lovely and charming. But you bastards are still playing my heartstrings like a harp from hell, we were on the verge of greatness we were this close to having them back together. I swear on all I hold dear, I do not need to see them married I just need to see Judy and Alistair as a couple, if you cannot give me that in the last series there will be no 10/10. I said what I said. So let it be written, so let it be done. This series though, 10/10! Gold sticky star! Do not f*** this up. Just kidding, I know it will wreck me emotionally.