Venom Review: An Entertaining Mess

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Venom is Sony’s first instalment into their Spider-Man spin-off universe. But after watching Venom, I’m not sure how successful this universe will be. Before I start this review, I just want to preference it with this. I’m a huge comic book fan. Spider-Man is my second favourite superhero after Superman. I have to say a Venom movie without Spider-Man doesn’t bother me too much. Ever since the film was announced a lot of comic book fans have been against it because of the lack of connection to Spider-Man in this movie. And I totally understand their complaints. But speaking for myself, I was actually really looking forward to this movie (mainly because of Tom Hardy). Would I love to see Venom go up-against Spider-Man? Of course, but you can’t always get what you want. So, I went into the movie last night open-minded and hoping for the best…

What they got right

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This film has a lot of issues but hands down the best thing about it is Venom himself. Venom is brutal, scary and surprisingly very funny. Not to mention he looks great too. The VFX team did a great job with the character’s design. Watching Venom and Eddie Brock go back and forth was really the highlight of the movie for me. I’ve seen this movie be described as a buddy cop movie. And honestly, I could just watch them two walk the streets of San Fransisco for two hours. One of the main reasons why Venom as a character works so well in this film is because of Tom Hardy’s performance. Granted he wont be getting nominated for any Oscars with this performance. But I think his take on Eddie Brock is a lot better than I expected. And of course, if you didn’t know he also voices Venom too. That’s probably one of my favourite aspects of the character, I just love his voice. The voice is so out there and crazy it bounces off Eddie Brock perfectly. Also, I can hear everything he’s saying this time. The relationship between Venom and Eddie Brock is so good, I just wish we got to that point a lot quicker than we did. Because to be honest, the film is pretty boring at the start until Venom is introduced.

The bad…writing

The biggest issue I had this with movie is the writing. Going into this movie I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece in storytelling and character development. However, I expected a lot more than what I got. I just don’t know where to start and how best to describe it to you. I’m so confused at the some of the decisions that were made. As I just stated the relationship between Venom and Eddie Brock was the best thing in the movie. It feels like that’s where all the attention went in the writers room. Because everything surrounding it was just bad. From the dialogue, story and character motivations, a lot of it felt so rushed and underdeveloped.

The biggest causality of the writing in this movie is easily the TONE of it. To put it simply, it’s all over the place. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. At certain parts the film is a straight up comedy. And in the next scene they’re trying to be super serious. I’m fine with a film having a dark/light tone but Venom, didn’t strike a good balance at all to me. For the most part I really enjoyed the comedic parts of the film. Like I said Venom was really funny in this movie. But I couldn’t help think during certain parts of the film “was I meant to laugh at that?”. It was hard to tell when they were being funny on purpose of if it was done unintentionally. This is where I have to also lay a lot of the blame at the feet of the studio here. I don’t think they knew what they wanted with this film. Is it going to be PG-13 or R-Rated? Eventually they’ve opted for the PG-13 route in order to make more money and create a universe that would be Spider-Man friendly. Personally, I feel the studio should’ve gone the Deadpool route. Make it R-rated, go all the way with it. Think about how you want to incorporate Spider-Man later.

Riot

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Comic book movies today for the most part are defined by their main villain and Venom is no different. The main villain of the movie Riot, (played by Riz Ahmed) who I think is an amazing actor suffers from once again, bad writing. From the moment we’re introduced to his character you just know he won’t be that compelling. The final fight between the two only lasts for what felt like five minutes. It was also hard to tell what was going on during their fight. What doesn’t help is how Venom and Riot look similar when it comes to colour and size. And when you have them fighting in a poorly lit environment it just became hard to follow the action. Granted, I haven’t seen many people bring up this issue, it might’ve just been me. The action in the rest of the movie was great and it flowed really well. It also helped show why this character is loved by many because of how differently he conducts himself from Spider-Man.

Is it really that bad?

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Now I know it may sound like I’ve just been beating this movie to death. But I can’t lie, despite all of its flaws I have a fun time with Venom. Look, If you go in expecting an incredible film you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. I have a love/hate relationship with this movie which I haven’t experienced in a long time. If you go in looking for flaws you’ll definitely find them. If you just want to have a fun time for two hours I believe you would be satisfied for the most part here. The aspects that work (mainly Tom Hardy) are really entertaining. Take Tom Hardy out of this film I don’t think it would work at all. Yes, the movie is riddled with issues but it never got to the point where I wanted the movie to end. I’ve seen this movie get compared to the likes of Catwoman and Batman & Robin. I 100% disagree with these views. The film is getting a lot of undeserved hate. However, let me clarify this, I totally understand why some may not like this film. But in the era of superhero movies Venom is no way near one of the worst comic book movies ever. It’s kind of in the middle for me. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it. Will I be picking it up on Blu-ray? I’m not sure yet. If the studio decides to release an R-Rated cut along with some extra footage, then they will definitely be getting my money.

Venom: 6.5/10

Let me know your thoughts on the film

 

Official: Venom Gets PG-13 Rating

Sony’s Venom movie is right around the corner as I write this. For months there has been speculation as to whether this movie would be Rated R or PG-13. From the start it felt like this film was going to be Rated R as it would look to fully embrace this dark, iconic villain. The tag-line of the movie even states “No more heroes”. However, the talk of Venom being Rated R started to change back in August with Variety’s report. They claimed the studio were likely going to go with a PG-13 rating. According to Variety, one of the main reasons for this PG-13 rating would be so they could eventually bring in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man into the universe. Taking this direction would make Sony’s Spider-Man universe more accessible to the general audience. And ultimately allowing them to make more money.

Well, today it has been pretty much confirmed that Venom will be PG-13. Sites such as AMC have started selling tickets already. Not only do they confirm the PG-13 rating of the movie. But, they have also revealed the runtime of Venom, which is 1hr and 52mins.

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As someone who is looking forward to this movie, I have to admit I’m kind of disappointed with this decision. I just feel like if you’re going to make a Venom movie, then go all out. This is a character who eats people’s brains! Are they just going to cut the scene before he kills someone? At this moment it feels like Sony are too busy planning ahead. Let’s make sure that this Venom is a success first of all. Then you can worry about sequels. And how you want to incorporate Spider-Man into this universe.

My best hope at the moment is we’ll get an R Rated cut when the movie is released on Blu-ray.

Venom is set to be released next month on Oct.5

What do you think of this news?

 

Venom: Trailer Review

As expected the new Venom trailer dropped today. I’m trying not to get carried away here but this is easily the best trailer they have dropped so far. Yesterday I said this film would either make or break the film in terms of people deciding if they’re actually going to watch it in October. And the early responses I’m see to the trailer have been positive for the most part. With each trailer the reception to the upcoming film continues to improve but that could just be me and the people I follow on Twitter. We’ll get our real answer in October with how many people actually go out and see the movie during its opening weekend.

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The main thing I wanted from this trailer was to see more Venom. Now of course that seems obvious right? But given the character is so reliant on special effects I was worried about the CGI not being finished yet. Luckily I got exactly what I hoped for with this trailer as there was plenty of Venom in this trailer for me. Firstly his design is great! He looks like he just walked off the comic pages (yes I know he doesn’t have the white spider on his chest). As the trailers have been released you can see how they’re slowly updating his design. I love how Venom is getting more defined with the addition of the white veins on the Symbiote. The way Venom moves around is done well and of course it helps differentiate himself from Spider-Man. However, with all the praise I’ve given this trailer so far there is one major problem I have with it. And it seems like I may not be the only one who had this problem. At certain parts in the trailer I found it really hard to understand what Venom was saying! For example the scene at the end where Venom is about to eat that guy in the convenience store. I had to re-watch this scene multiple times just to understand what he was saying. Maybe Tom Hardy’s just having bad luck with these type of roles. Hopefully it doesn’t end up turning into a similar situation with what we saw in The Dark Knight Rises. Just to refresh your memory after early test screenings Christopher Nolan went back and made Tom Hardy re-record his lines because audiences were struggling to understand what he was saying. With the release of Venomonly around the corner this might have to be something the studio considers. But then again I did see some people saying they had no issue with his voice and they understood everything he said.

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As for the plot of the movie director Ruben Fleischer has said the movie will be heavily influenced by the Leathal Protector storyline. The comic has a group of Symbiotes which consists of ScreamPhageRiotLasher and Agony. At this point we’ve only seen 3 Symbiotes (excluding Venom). I can’t see them including all of the Symbiotes from the Lethal Protector storyline because at some point it will just become overkill. We aren’t sure yet as to how Eddie comes in contact with the Symbiote. But it’s clear that Riz Ahmed’s character (Dr. Carlton Drake) has multiple Symbiotes in his possession. Does Eddie volunteer to be tested or does Dr. Carlton force him to? Clearly we can see from the trailer Dr. Carlton has been experimenting on other people with the Symbiote as he looks to create this new race of species. At one point in the film Dr. Carlton will experiment with a Symbiote on himself in hopes to takedown Eddie Brock. Dr. Carlton’s Symbiote is called Riot. For months it has been rumoured that Carnage will be the main villain of the movie. Now it’s clear they’re holding off with Carnage and are planning on brining him in later on. I wouldn’t be surprised if we catch our first glimpse of Carnage during the post credits scene.

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I wouldn’t be worried about these trailers showing too much of the movie already. I believe the majority of what we have seen so far takes place within the first 45 minutes of the film. They haven’t shown us a lot of Eddie’s relationship with Anne Weying (played by Michelle Williams). And to be honest I’m really looking forward to spending time with Eddie Brock without the Symbiote. He has never came across as a super interesting character to me but the casting of Tom Hardy already looks to be a great choice with the way he is portraying Eddie. In particular I love the early dynamics of Eddie trying to fight off the Symbiote as it takes control over his actions. Surprisingly the trailer actually had a few comedic spots which I wasn’t expecting at all. It just shows that while this is going to be a dark film, it’ll also be a film where you can at least expect to have some fun.

Let me know your thoughts on the trailer

My Top 5 Most Anticipated Comic Book Movies of 2018

Last year was a great year for comic book fans like myself as we were treated to a number of great films. You had films such as Wonder Woman and Logan which were praised by critics all around the world and have a great chance of picking up some awards this year. Spider-Man made his first solo entry into the MCU which was well received too and Thor: Ragnarok was one my favourite films of the year. While 2017 was a great year for comic book movies 2018 looks set to be one of the strongest years for the film genre. So I figured I’d give you an insight into my top 5 most anticipated comic book films to come out this year. One thing to note is that I left out Avengers: Infinity War from my list on purpose because it’s an obvious choice for me and fans around the world. Also I wanted to make my list a little bit different compared to the hundreds of lists you may have already read.

With that being said lets get straight into my top 5 most anticipated comic book fans of this 2018:

5. Venom (5th October 2018)

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I still can’t believe we are getting a Venom film starring Tom Hardy. You have to applaud Sony here for doing something different and taking a risk. They see the success that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is having in the MCU and what their response? To make an R-Rated Venom film starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. While the first look at Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock was revealed earlier this week and wasn’t the huge reveal as fans expected it to be. What it did make me anticipate even more is the reveal for the Venom suit which you have to think we will get a glimpse of it in the next couple of months. While Tom Hardy is the main draw for me with this film the cast surrounding him isn’t too bad either. Tom Hardy is set to be joined by Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, it has also be rumoured that Woody Harrelson may join the project too. I’m not sure why I’m so interested in this film. Maybe there’s a huge part of me that is still disappointed with Venom’s portrayal in Spider-Man 3 and this is a chance to finally do the character justice.

4. Batman Ninja (TBA: 2018)

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I had no idea that this project existed until a couple of months ago when the trailer dropped and it’s fair to say that the trailer blew me away. Set to be released by the end of this year Batman Ninja is set in a middle ages of Japan and once again it will feature Batman going up against The Joker. However this is a Batman that no longer has his gadgets and is stripped down to his core. It will be interesting to see how Batman has to channel his inner abilities to overcome this new challenge. A lot of the trailer includes shots of Batman training in the mountains which really reminded me of Batman Begins. Other than the Batman and The Joker various other characters from the Batman universe are set to appear in this film such as Nightwing, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Catwoman and many more. We’ve seen Batman go up against The Joker a million of times but this time Batman Ninja brings brings a breathe of fresh air to the never ending feud.

3. Deadpool 2 (1st June 2018)

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The ‘Merc with a Mouth’ is back again with the second Deadpool movie coming in the summer. While returning with fan favourite characters such as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Weasel and Colossus. Deadpool 2 will also be bringing in newcomers who are also fan favourites from the comics such as Cable and Domino. With Tim Miller leaving the film in its early stages after filming the first film you have to give credit to everyone involved here because this didn’t became a huge hinderance to the project as some expected it to be. The studio moved on quickly by bringing on David Leitch as the new director and look where we are today. The release date of Deadpool 2 has actually been pushed up by 2 weeks which clearly shows the confidence the studio has with this film. As for what to expect from the film who knows? That’s part of the charm with Deadpool and especially Ryan Reynolds who is so passionate about the character. All I know is Deadpool 2 will be a great film consisting of great action scenes and endless amounts of humour.

2. Black Panther (February 12th 2018)

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I’ve been looking forward to this film for a long time! Even before Captain America: Civil War came out. With every cast announcement they made with this film it kept drawing me in. Now with the full star studded cast it’s impossible not to look forward to this film. The stand out for me is Michael B. Jordan who is one of my favourite actors after watching his performance in the likes of Creed. Im really anticipating his role as the main villain this time which I think he has it in him to be one of the strongest MCU villains in a long time. The trailers have been great at showing us just what Wanakda is about and its importance in the world. I’m also interested in seeing how this film links in with the rest of the MCU universe. Everything is pointing to the soul stone being located in Wakanda which won’t only be important for this film but for Avengers: Infinity War which is set to be released in May.

As for the story Black Panther looks to be a political thriller with T’Challa taking over the throne since his father’s death in Captain America: Civil War. Being a new king T’Challa will definitely face opposition with people such as Killmonger trying to challenge him for the throne. Also it’s impossible to ignore the importance of this film in today’s society with a person of colour having their own superhero movie. Granted we’ve had films such as Blade but this is different. I have friends who aren’t even comic book fans that are going to watch this film. Currently this film is set to break records as it has already sold more tickets than any other MCU film.

To be honest Black Panther may have been number 1 on this list for me but it’s January already, we are only one month away from its release!

1. Aquaman (21st December 2018)

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Now its no secret that the DCEU is in some trouble after last years Justice League which was a disappointment not only to a lot of fans but most importantly at the Box Office. However just like the Wonder Woman film Aquaman has the chance to just be itself. This film doesn’t have to focus too much on universe building and linking it in with the rest of the films from the DCEU. This is a chance to just get Aquaman’s story out there first. From Justice League I really liked what we got from Jason Momoa’s portrayal as Arthur Curry and while the scenes in Atlantis were too short for me I can’t wait to spend a whole film there. That brings me to the director of the film James Wan who I feel is the perfect choice for this project as he has a rich history in making great horror films which is what Aquaman should consist of. Also I love the choice of Black Manta as the main villain for the film. As someone that is a huge fan of the Aquaman New 52 series I can’t wait to see them battle it out on the big screen and see James Wan’s take on Atlantis.

There you have it that my list!

Let me know what you think of my list down below and also what comic book films are you most anticipating of this year?

 

 

First look at Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock from upcoming Venom movie

Today courtesy of IGN we have got our first look at Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock from Sony’s upcoming Venom movie. I for one was expecting us to see what the Venom suit would look like today but it looks like they’re holding off on that until a later date. As for Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock he looks great and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the role. I still can’t believe we are getting a Venom movie! When it was first announced I was worried that it may become one of those projects that never see the light of day but I’m glad to admit I was wrong.  I for one can’t wait for this movie to come out in October later this year.

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First look at Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock (Via. IGN)

Take a look at Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock above and let me know your thoughts in general about the upcoming Venom movie.

Venom is set to be released on the 5th October, 2018