Thursday, September 30, 2021

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Well Christ that was quick.

I swear this movie hit the big climactic fight 30 minutes after it started, but brownie points for not only keeping up the pace but giving another 90 minute comic book movie that's just there for fun and entertainment. Now I will say I didn't like it as much as the original but as evidence from the In Retrospect provides, it'll be well worth rewatching and re-evaluating. So we pick up some time after the first, Eddie and Venom are still living together as they encounter captured serial killer Cletus Kasady who obtains a unique symbiote of his own and goes on a rampage with Eddie having to intervene. Basic plot, not too much happens that furthers the incidents and characters from the first film, you think they might go for a reclaiming of a lost flame with Anne but it just kinda ends, if anything the subtext of romance pretty much becomes text with Eddie and Venom. And let me tell you something right now. You do not need to give me any comic book nonsense, no Carnage, no other villains, just give me a romance movie between Venom and Eddie. I will sit through every single one of them. Gladly. Their dynamic was the best part of the movie, and while the film is nothing spectacular to write home about I do feel it did exactly what it set out to do and did it well. The symbiote action was done I feel better than the first, it had way more comedy beats to it, and it sort of still fits that same style as the first movie. I give it 3 stars, 7/10, and tomorrow is gonna be a good day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

In Retrospect: Venom

Yeah, probably the longest period of time between initial viewing and an In Retrospect review.

Kiss my ass, this movie is good. Like when I saw it in theaters it was like a 6.5, maybe 7/10, now it's like 7.5 if not 8/10 for me now. I have gained all new love and appreciation for this movie in nearly every sense, and if anything watching it again has ignited the excitement and interest for Let There Be Carnage. I am so appreciative of the style and tone of this movie, it sort of fits that 90s/early 2000s vibe and fully commits to it which if nothing else gains my respect, it's really funny and has fun with the script. It's not a perfectly written, air tight plot, but I'll be damned if I said it didn't work in it's own little world. Tom Hardy is the man, the funny man, the sexy man, my man even, I think I said if there was a reason to watch this movie the first time around it was because of Tom Hardy, that has not changed. However, every single actor, every one of them commits to this movie and goes all in. There is not a dull or forgettable part in this with our main players, and even the brief side characters have nice moments. I love how wild the Symbiotes can do stuff, it's always shifting, molding, doing something, so it's entertaining the eyes even in the midst of a scene. I genuinely think the special effects are done well, yes it does delve into CGI monster mash fighting at the end, but even I had to commend the good use of practical effects scattered all throughout. I just loved seeing this movie again after all this time, and yeah I'm no hardcore Venom fan. I like the guy, read up on him a tiny bit, heard about the comic stories, was literally the reason I saw Spider-Man 3 in theaters, so I can't cast hellfire and brimstone from the skies with indignant nerd rage because of the audacity of unfaithful adaptation, so yeah bring it Brittnay I really like Venom and I'm looking forward to the sequel tomorrow. 4 stars, 8/10, bite the heads off of those who disagree with you.

Thursday, September 23, 2021


You don't need me to tell you anything. 10/10.

It was lovely. It was beautiful. It was eye opening in certain respects. In terms of documentaries, and documentaries of actors more specifically, it's one of the best. A literal scrapbook of videos detailing the life and acting career of Val Kilmer, and I got not one bad thing to say. The execution, directing, and editing is some of the best I've seen in a hot minute that movies wish they could have that kind of good editing. It's a terribly difficult thing to do to turn the camera on yourself, and spill your guts about your life and so much that happens in it, there's a lot of bad things to bring up but at the same time terrificly good things to remember, and it's handled with care and respect to the people involved least of all Val. As time goes by I learn more about him and the love has only grown since Batman Forever. Speaking of which the segment surrounding that film has if anything only improved, not devalued his performance in that movie with his sincerity about the shoot and everything production wise. It's barely over an hour and forty-five minutes so it's brief in terms of all his films but says volumes at the same time about the man himself which is the important thing. It presents his style, his thoughts, and personality every second and I couldn't have asked for anything better wrapping up this week. I really couldn't have. I'm not saying you have to see this, but at the same time I feel it's such a good film and very much worth talking about in some capacity that you should give it a go. This was a bit spur of the moment to have a Val Kilmer week but after that, I can safely say it was well worth it. 4 stars, 10/10, it was super nice and super sweet. Next week is when the real work starts, and October may just kill me but if I at least die at the last minute of the 31st I know at least I've had a pretty good life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Doors

For a movie about my favorite band, or one of, I don't really harbor the hatred for it like others.

The only things I ever heard about it were it severely misrepresented Jim Morrison, fans hated it, critics hated it, The Doors themselves hated it, and I....liked it just fine. It sort of is a hard movie to fully in context talk about, the way it's directed is more like an experience. You are on this rollercoaster of a experience following the origins, rise, and end of The Doors, leading to the eventual and still quite sad ending of it all. And for a movie over two hours, the pace is quick and the editing may seem odd at first but there is a rhythm to it all. It's artsy as hell, I can so easily see people brush this film off as pretentious bullshit with how Stone directs it all and while I can somewhat agree with that at points, it didn't hurt the film majorly. It's very centered on Jim which is to be expected, you really can't talk about one without the other, he was the face and the first person people acknowledged of that band and this film takes it's liberties with the more far out stuff with Jim, but the shrieking throes of people who give Val so much good grief for his performance is nothing but a fallacy. Oh he's just this drunken maniac, oh Jim was so much more than that, but there are several instances where you really do see the real Jim. The writer, the poet, the intellectual, and it does make you look at him as a person, not an idol. People are f***ed up, weird, strange to begin with, but the drugs and excessive alcohol did have an effect on him. I have read articles, bought the collection of his writings and really appreciated a good bit of it in the script, listened to interviews, and Jim Morrison was an interesting guy with a lot more to him than just a rock star. Val Kilmer pulls it off in aces, the singing, the poetry, the mannerisms, he blends so well in this role you really forget Jim is dead. Not many actors have achieved such a thing. I personally think Kyle (or Kale if you prefer) MacLachlan was a damn good Ray Manzarek, Frank Whaley brought some innocence to Robby Krieger which I quite liked, Kevin Dillon played a hardcase John Densmore but I do get why they did it, even Meg Ryan playing Pam is really nice and you do get that strange love affair chemistry. So cast does admirable work, the visuals get trippy and symbolic, the film certainly warrants that hard R rating like no one's business, this is the strangest musician movie I've ever known. And to think this was in 1991, Val Kilmer only had a few big movies to his belt and he got to play James Douglas Morrsion, that's impressive man. It's a brief 101 for new fans, the more heavily detailed fans could probably poke holes in it all day, but I did like it and I'm happy I saw it. 3.5 stars, 7.5/10, one more before the end of this week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Saint

This was such an interesting film to watch and I really liked it.

I wasn't entirely sure in the slightest what to expect from The Saint, I never heard of it, I never watched it, never heard anybody talk about it, and I got curious. Why the shit is no one talking about a crime thriller with Val Kilmer as a master of disguises set in post cold war Russia? If someone told me there was a movie with that plot, I would go see it. The movie gave me very strong Brosnan era Bond vibes, set in Russia after the Cold War, you get some gadgets, you got a love interest, it just really had that vibe of those movies. And the movie came out in 1997, the same year Tomorrow Never Dies came out so there's some connections there. And yeah, there is some more noticeable 90s filmmaking moments but it's a solid film with good direction. Hell this film alone proves how versatile and great an actor Val is, cause he pulls off so many looks, so many accents, he really does knock it out of the park. Elisabeth Shue is a good romantic lead, bit love struck hardcore, like constantly snogging Val Kilmer but hey it's Val Kilmer I can understand that. He had about 6 shirtless scenes, it's a grand time. The plot isn't flawless, there are things that are just sort of there, like at one point our heroes are evading henchman and wind up underground, and there's just this lady woman down there who assists them and sells....paintings?? I have no idea what that was about, feels like a deleted scene connected it better. It's much more a thriller than an action flick, there's no shoot outs so some people might call it dull but it has a different feel to it, it's not meant to be balls to the wall action. Half the movie is a romance for God's sake, so yeah it probably won't turn a lot of heads but I really wouldn't be surprised if there's a small cult following to it. 3 stars, 7/10, see you tomorrow when the music's over.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Cry Macho

Man this was a perfect end cap for this week.

Cry Macho I will firmly say is not a masterpiece but it was much better than I expected. It's a very mellow role for Clint as a broken down horse wrangler named Mike sent to Mexico to bring his boss' son over to the States. And believe it or not, for a film with that simple of a premise there is a lot to unpack and read into. Quite a bit happens in this movie, both positive and negative that affects our duo in their journey. I might say this is my favorite Clint Eastwood role, like if Gran Torino wasn't as amazing as it is this film would have no competition. I genuinely feel like this is what the real Clint is like, oh sure he has his gruff and crotchety moments, but you get a lot of humor, love, and wisdom out of him in this and it's nigh impossible to say one bad thing about him. I know some people might give Eduardo Minett a rough time, but he's playing a teenager, teenagers are a lot of talk, very sure of themselves and yet driftless in making decisions and have a lot of reservations about themselves. He plays that perfectly! He's still a kid and gets checked by Mike as they grow this bond. They make their trek, learn about each other, Mike teaches him how to ride horses, Rafo gets him to appreciate his rooster Macho, hell they even find love interests. They kinda make a semi-new life for themselves in this town and you know exactly what this is like. Whether you went on a vacation, or changed schools, or met these really lovely people who you know you probably won't meet again, and it's so bittersweet. And now comes the part where I shamelessly admire Natalia Traven, who not only is a gorgeous woman who I would blush profusely in her presence, but easily has one of the best romances I have seen in movies in a long time. The chemistry between Marta and Mike is f***ing lovely. Like stole my heart and ran to the bank with it! It was so gosh darn gee willikers sweet, I was all there for it. And this has one of the nicest endings to a Clint Eastwood film period. So yeah call me a fan, because I loved this film. 4 stars, 8/10, by all means give it a watch cause it is fully worth your time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021


Told you I'd be eating my words.

Now obviously to compare Tombstone and Unforgiven is difficult and unfair, they are two very different movies with very different qualities to appreciate. And it's not really the film you would expect when reading a synopsis of the plot, with an aging gunslinger teaming up with his old partner and a young man to essentially kill two cowboys who cut up a woman of the oldest profession in the world. It sounds like a revenge plot, and well you all know how I feel about revenge. You'd expect a good deal of action, some chases, typical actiony kind of stuff with a big climax and a happy resolution. That is far, far from what you get. Unforgiven is a western movie that takes it's time, has discussions, and actually severely looks down on any gunplay. Hell I have to give a lot of respect and have a lot of admiration for the film to have that kind of message. Every one of our main characters has a solid moment where they fully emotionally express their desire not to kill anyone. And for those people who didn't like the movie because of the deglorifying opinion on guns, and the lack of action well then you missed the point entirely of the story. All the acting here is very good, you could almost say it's understated. With Clint being an outlaw who has been out of the saddle for years and can't even shoot that well or wants no part of any bad deeds is not only appreciated for the uniqueness but just how he plays this part, very reserved and you can see a lot of the history and pain of the character on his face. Gene Hackman has one of the most morally grey characters in cinema, because he's a lawman who's trying to keep order in a town and you see kind of a retirement angle with him building a house and being up there in age, and yet he really abuses his power and beats the shit out of people. But he's not a ruthless guy, it's such a hard character to pin but he plays it wonderfully. Morgan Freeman, spoiler alert, is great and honestly has the second best bit of acting in this movie, again in correlation with how he feels about guns and killing. The movie is a bit slow until you meet his character then you get more invested and engaged. Jaimz Woolvett has the best piece of acting in the film near the end, and again he doesn't play this bastard shooter, he talks a big game and could be seen as bloodthirsty but how the events of the film play out it doesn't show a single character in a positive light. It's not a morbid, highly depressing, or even just a bit of a downer film, it makes you think. I mean really think about the choices and fallout if you ever pull a trigger, and I'm not honestly surprised that the same person who wrote this film also wrote Blade Runner, introspective and thoughtful writing is something he is damn good at. Now I said awhiles back that Once Upon A Time In The West is my favorite western ever, and Unforgiven is mighty close to that. The writing is spot on, the shots in this movie regarding scenery is unbelievable, the cast is excellent, it's so worth the time to watch. 4 stars, 8.5/10, see you later on down the road this Friday.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Trouble With The Curve

It's been awhile since I last saw this so I figured it would be good to revisit it.

So 4 years after the supposed final acting role of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, he was brought back into the fray by one of his movie making pals and convinced him to do this movie and I'm very happy he did. I actually quite like the story to this movie, it takes a dash of sports movie predictability, adds some good and even really shocking family drama in, and just has Clint Eastwood being a crotchety bastard throughout as he plays a sports scout for the Braves named Gus who reconnects with his daughter and comes to terms with his failing sight while scoping a promising new draft pick. The first thing I gotta say is, holy balls this cast is something else. Grumpy Clint Eastwood, smartass yet awesome Amy Adams, pretty boy Justin Timberlake, cool John Goodman, and a surprising heel turn for Matthew Lillard which is really great to watch tell you the truth. You really have this A-grade cast and they all pull it off, even Justin Timberlake who in the pantheon of music stars turned actors does fine work. The direction is basic but good, but I actually expected that a bit since this was the first time Robert Lorenz was in the director's chair after being assistant director on many of Clint's films. I very much enjoyed the dynamic between Amy and Clint, they got good chemistry and the baggage the characters have while some of it is really out of left field, and even striked me sort of unnecessary, didn't take away from the rough impact it leaves on your mind once you learn of it. Again, not much of a sport's person and will never be but from the sports films I have covered in the past there's more to it than just the game cause that is what draws me in. It's not about Rocky Balboa boxing, it's about the character of Rocky. It's not about baseball in The Sandlot, it's the fun stories of these kids during the summer. It's not about Goldeen winning the gold at the Olympics, it's...well everything about that movie. It's probably gonna be years before you see me get to something like The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights, Major League, The Mighty Ducks, etc. mostly because I don't give a rat's ass. I gotta read like 6 Dune books before October people! But anyway, good film, solid 3 stars, 7/10, see you next time when I eat my own words.

Friday, September 10, 2021


Oh this is a tough one...

I'm not entirely sure what to make of Malignant. The trailers hooked me with the weird melting/shifting rooms and it looked promising, and after seeing it I know for an undisputed fact, people are either going to dig this movie or they're gonna be like what the actual f*** is this stupid shit. It really is that kind of split. Because the movie isn't really what you would think, the trailer paints it as this poltergeist, haunting, mental breakdown of a young woman with undeniable supernatural happenings going on, but the film goes off on many a twist and turn taking an almost mystery of this young woman named Maddie who is revisited by horrible memories of her past and an imaginary not so friendly friend. The thing about this movie is it feels very dated and yet modern. It feels like a horror film somewhere in the span of 1997 to 2008, with the tropes and specific details of how the film is presented with the editing and music. I actually fricking love the music though, gives me Exorcist 2 flashbacks. And yet you get some mighty good, creative, and inventive camera work and effects that could only scream modern day filmmaking. It's such an oddity, but I will fully say I like it. I even appreciate it in a way, cause so much of the more dated stuff could not be unintentional it almost seems like a throwback to the sort of direct to DVD horror films of the early 2000s in a sense. The actors can be a bit off putting at times but our lead, Annabelle Wallis...holy shit she's good, and a fine screamer too. You could almost read into the film as the monster, this personification of repressed and traumatic memories come back to haunt and stalk our main character, sort of thrusts it into a drama at times. And the only real way to defeat it is to make peace with the past, focus on your loved ones, and rise above what you are and were. Maybe I'm giving it far too much credit, but I did get a sense of that in the direction. I'm not even fully sure if I would recommend seeing it in theaters, it's good and I had a good time with it, but I see this having a much more stronger impact and wider audience once this hits video. So come what may, give it a watch if only just to see it for yourself. 3 stars, 7/10, this was a fun week and I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

House Of Wax (1953)

Time for a more classic horror movie.

Though House Of Wax is certainly recognized today, it doesn't reach that classic of the horror genre quota. Yet I really had a good time with it! Vincent Price plays a wax sculptor who is terribly infatuated with his work, and after a massive fire set by his business partner is scarred and wanting to open a new house of horror's with all too real models for his work. It immediately hooks you with the wax museum going up in a blaze, and seems more appropriate for the climax of the film but the fight and the shots of the figures delightfully melting in a slightly horrific decomposing fashion is excellent. The story then follows a young lady who is about to be the next victim as she tries to prove the grim reality of the museum, and I'm quite curious to view the 1935 version Mystery Of The Wax Museum to see if it follows suit. Vincent Price is a dream as always, I truly cannot ever express in human words how much I adore thee dear Vincent, he has such a quirky charm as he presents his work and I simply cherish his voice. Phyllis Kirk is the true protagonist, playing the part with conviction and intelligence as Sue and I won't lie she's a great screamer too. Keep an eye out also for not only Charles Bronson in his first film role but also Carolyn Jones who still to this day is my favorite Morticia. I think it's slightly obvious that this movie was made during the 3-D craze of the early 1950s, and while it is not obnoxiously overused in say Friday The 13th Part 3 it is still quite funny watching a brief vignette of a paddle ball performer for no other reason than because they could shoot it. One point I must strongly speak on before I give my rating is I have absolutely no idea who on this planet they got to make the wax figures, but sweet God did they do a little too good of a job. Now I will go on the record and say I have no fear of dolls, mannequins, or any kind of figures, but it is scary how uncanny these wax figurines look. I mean...they look alive they are so realistic. I genuinely cannot stress enough the expert craftsmanship in this movie. A very good film with some outstanding qualities in it, 3 stars, 7.5/10, new movie coming up to whet my appetite for October to get here that much quicker.

Monday, September 6, 2021


A bit unprecedented for this show to talk horror outside of October but the rest of this month will be busy with new movies so I figured why not.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Warlock, I knew Julian Sands and Richard E. Grant were in it and the most bare bones plot synopsis, yet I can say I'm happy I saw it. I don't think it's an undiscovered cult hit of the horror genre or anything but it is good in that simplistic 80s plot kind of way. So the story follows basically a witch hunter and a warlock are transported by magic from the 1600s to the 1980s where they do battle and the warlock seeks a powerful spellbook, there's a bit more to it but that is the pure premise of it. Already I have to give the film a gold sticky star cause they didn't Beastmaster 2 it. I am so f***ing happy they did not Beastmaster 2 this, and do this tired bullshit avenue of trivial writing of a fish out of water, modern setting confusion, utter drivel and kept it to a almost non-existant quota. They don't oggle the technology with bewilderment, there's no shite jabs at humor, they take it quite seriously but can still have funny moments. Gotdammit do I love Richard E. Grant, he genuinely has only just gotten on my radar a bit before Rise Of Skywalker came out and I really liked him in that, and I've been checking out more of his stuff. He brings his theater background effortlessly in this, speaking in old english and the stoicism and seriousness he brings to the role is commendable but can still work with big moments. Julian Sands I feel is more an actor I have heard about a lot more than I've seen of him, but he does good work in this and has fun being an absolute bastard, so that's great. I will fully admit Lori Singer's modern day character didn't hold much hope for me, I thought she was going to be too much but she might be the best part of the movie. Her delivery, her timing, she's really funny at times and is fun to watch as she deals with this madness that just keeps coming to her house, and on this trek with not Giles from Buffy. I also really appreciated all the location shoots. Ah, back in a time where you either had to build a set or shoot the damn thing in a real place. You get a healthy dose of California, but you also see Boston, more rural areas, Christ we even return to some salt flats. Weird how life works with coincidences. I can see if there's a small cult following for it, it's a decent film, and if you're any kind of fan of 80s fantasy that doesn't have the greatest budget you can have a good time. 3 stars, 7/10, I'm checking out another first entry to a horror series and one I have never seen on top of that so that should be interesting. Mata ne Mina san!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The World's Fastest Indian

It's quite obvious I'm far from a motor enthusiast, least of all here but the examples I've touched upon are mighty good films.

I've heard mention of this film for quite some years now and after finally seeing it I can safely say I'm very happy I saw it. The film centers on Burt Munro who travels from New Zealand to Utah to have his bike timed on the salt flats with the aspiration to go 200 mph as we follow his journey and trials getting there, it's a simple story yet endearing and has it's charm. I actually quite like how you can see three sections of the film as different genres in and of themselves. The first part kinda gave me Up vibes with eccentric old man having a friendship with a young boy as he starts taking the steps to make his big dream come true, then when he hits the States it becomes a road trip movie with Burt making many friends along the way cause he's just that swell of a guy, and the final third when he reaches the event it turns to a do or die final push like any true sports movie with thankfully no antagonist to be found. It's a good story and nearly the entire film hinges on the performance of our lead, and Anthony Hopkins does give it his all. He really fits the persona of Burt, very nice and laidback, affable with strangers, and gives some understated yet nevertheless good advice and insights to being older. The whole supporting cast is great, and while you only spend a bit of time with each you like every one of them. All the location shooting is great, and I of course always give praise to New Zealand even if it's more suburban scenery like in this film it just looks like a grand place to live, but the shooting around Los Angeles and along the way to Utah is shot really nice but the undisputed best shot is when he finally gets to the salt flats and the camera really shows off the expanse of the scenery. And you get a healthy dose of motorcycling, and it does build up quite nicely to the final run which to my knowledge has still to this day, 54 years later hasn't been beaten which is pretty remarkable. It's a simple, quaint, yet really charming and just plain nice film that doesn't waste any time and gives you something worth watching. 4 stars, 8/10, hello September and the wait has begun.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Van Helsing

I was thinking of other films I've wanted to do and this has been on my list for about 3 years now.

I will go on the record and say I was a huge, huge fan of this film when it came out. I heard about it through my cousins and the more they described pieces of the film my imagination got bigger and more invested. I played the video game which was a lot of fun, I owned toys and stuff that now would be considered collectibles, this was for me. And it happened right around the time I was watching more classic Universal monster movies, so it all synced up for me. It's been about 10 long years since I last saw this film, and I still had a real good time with it and if anything I've come to appreciate it more over time. Taking the director of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies and putting Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale fresh off their big success in the X-Men and Underworld series is kind of a genius move for that time and place in the world. So the story involves legendary monster hunter Van Helsing sent to Transylvania to assist in the destruction of one Count Vladislaus Dracula, while meeting up with resident monster slayer Anna Valerious as they come into contact with various reinvented classic monsters. I dig it man. I really dig it. The whole production, the casting, the story, it really hasn't lost it's luster for me. Yeah, there is some camp fun but it never takes anything away from the movie for me. The sets are outstanding, each one massive and detailed with camera work showing it all off in 360° long takes, and each one is memorable. Hugh and Kate are rightfully so, awesome leads and each actor fully takes it seriously, giving good performances throughout. Hell I even hear people claim Richard Roxburgh's Dracula is their favorite and stays true to the character above others, and bless them really and truly, I think that's awesome to show that actor so much love for this role. I know some people will give the movie a lot of bad mouthing considering the CGI, and while it gets plentiful near the end a good chunk of it holds up surprisingly well and look good for the time. I remember watching all the behind the scenes bonus features on the DVD back then and seeing how they did it all was really damn cool cause I rarely did that for movies back then, and you can very clearly tell they commited to how they wanted to do these effects and how exactly they pulled them off. Van Helsing is just a cool character and the fact he learns more about a forgotten life gives quite good investment to the audience and it's fascinating, the dynamic between him and all the players works very well I think. If only reviews were this kind back then, the film got panned and didn't perform well at the box office but recieved a second breath on video, and you bet your ass I would sit down for Van Helsing 2 in theaters. Christ, I want to fish out my PS2 from storage and play the game again after watching it. There be many good memories associated with this movie and I'm still a fan to this day. Nothing but 4 stars, a solid 7.5/10, seriously give it a watch. You may be surprised how much you like it and how many subtle references it has. But God help you if you want to take the drinking game and take a shot everytime someone says, "Oh my God.". Your memory will be wiped just like Hugh in this movie. See you tomorrow for one more.