Venom (2018)

venom-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Ruben Fleischer

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Runtime: 112 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Woody Harrelson, Peggy Lu, Sope Aluko, Wayne Pére

Plot: Eddie Brock, a once-famed reporter loses everything after trying to reveal the truth behind the ethically immoral work of Dr. Carlton Drake. After acquiring the powers of a symbiote – Eddie has to work with Venom in order to make things right.

My Thoughts: I almost skipped seeing this movie, and that would have been a huge mistake! See, when Suicide Squad came out, the critics hated it, but audiences loved it (apparently?). The same happened with Batman V Superman. I wasn’t impressed with either, and so when Venom received the same verdict, I got put off. Thank you, Twitter though, because I left it to a vote and you guys did not disappoint!

I’m reasonably well-versed in comics and superheroes but knew nothing about Venom. I haven’t even seen Spider-Man 3 so I literally knew nothing, so as far as comic-accuracy is concerned, I can’t comment. I also refuse to check this with my husband after he mocked me for pronouncing symbiote wrong – he’s such a nerd.

Anyway – I had such a fun time at the cinema seeing this. Yes, it takes far too long to get going, yes, the plot has several issues and contradicts itself. But! The action is wild, the humor is thick and fast when it finally arrives, and it was memorable for all the right reasons, and I absolutely cannot wait to see it again! Can Tom Hardy please do more lighter roles like this, please?

The team responsible for putting the trailer together for Venom need firing. They chose a scene to showcase the humorous side of the movie which is right at the very end, and without getting to know Venom it came across so weird and awkward, but when you see the movie and you have the context – it works! Thankfully more and more movie fans seem to be ignoring the critics, so fingers crossed we’ll be getting a sequel.

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Best Bit: It’s so hard to pick one because most of the Venom moments are hilarious. I think my personal favorite is Venom daring Eddie to jump out of the building, and then calling him a pussy for opting for the elevator instead. Also lobsters.

Worst Bit: The chicken. The eating of the chicken. I’ve dealt with enough sickness bugs over the last few weeks to stomach that scene. I’m genuinely feeling quite ill even thinking about it.

Fun Trivia: Tom Hardy’s son Louis Thomas Hardy is a fan of Venom, and Hardy took the role to please him: “I wanted to do something my son could watch. So I did something where I bite people’s heads off.” Louis also guided his father on how to appropriately portray Brock/Venom, since Hardy didn’t know the character very well.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 turds in the wind!

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Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

solo-star-wars-movie-review-2018Director: Ron  Howard

Main Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Plot: This is essentially the story of how Han Solo gets his surname, becomes best friends with Chewie, and forms a lifelong rivalry with Lando Calrissian years before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy takes place.

My Thoughts: I just don’t see why this couldn’t have been released at Christmas, just like the other recent Star Wars movies. There would have been so much hype around it, and I think it would have helped it perform better at the box office too because I already see this being labelled a ‘flop’ when it really wasn’t a bad movie at all.

Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion, but I thought Alden Ehrenreich did a pretty good job as Han Solo. It can’t be easy trying to imitate another actor’s performance, especially when it’s such a widely-loved character. Can we take a moment though to appreciate the absolute legend that is Donald Glover as Lando? Hollywood, please cast this guy in everything, because he’s amazing!

I wasn’t a huge fan of Emilia Clarke’s character, although maybe I’m just not a fan of Emilia Clarke. She’s great in Game of Thrones but she seems a bit out of place here – and I feel like she did in the latest Terminator movie too.

Solo was a movie I really enjoyed watching, but it missed that spark that the others have, the whole ‘saving the galaxy’ vibe. The storytelling was great but I feel like it’s a movie that I just don’t need to ever see again if that makes sense?

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Best Bit: Any bit that included Lando. But on a serious note, the scene when L3 starts a rebellion of her own. What is it about the Star Wars droids? They’re all hilarious!

Worst Bit: The opening. Why didn’t we have the scrolling introduction? Rogue One had it so why didn’t Solo? I’m confused!

Fun Trivia: While posing as slave traders, Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) wears the same helmet and uniform that Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) wore while posing as a bodyguard for Jabba the Hutt in Stars Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).

My Rating: 3 and a half pairs of arms that Chewbacca tore off…ouch!

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Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018)

three-billboards-movie-review-2018Ah January, the time when cinemas around the world are filled with terrible movies…unless of course you live in the UK like me. January and February are the months when we finally get the award-nominated movies, and they’re the months that I desperately scrabble around to try and watch them all in time for the big Oscars night (and of course, fail). If there was one movie that I couldn’t miss however, it was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Thanks to being away from the movie world for so long, I only actually heard about this movie last week, but it’s been advertised everywhere now! From what I could tell, it looked bat-shit crazy and had one of the best casts I’ve ever seen, and I was right on the money with those assumptions.

Mildred (Frances McDormand) lost her daughter in a rape and murder case, and after 7 months with no arrests or even leads, she reaches the end of her tether and hires three billboards, outside her town of Ebbing, Missouri no less, to send a message to the Chief of Police Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Problem is, Willoughby is very well respected within the community, and he’s also dying of cancer, which leads to a lot of public outrage against Mildred.

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Then we have Dixon (Sam Rockwell), a hotheaded cop who’s also a bit of a simpleton…and a racist. Sam Rockwell is an absolute legend here and I’m so glad he’s picking up a lot of attention in the awards season! To tell you anymore about the story here would be an injustice as there’s a lot of twists and turns along the way, but it’s a thrilling ride.

What’s so great about Three Billboards is how perfectly it crosses the line between a hard-hitting, emotional drama, and hilarious black comedy. In fact, as I was watching it all I could think about was In Bruges (2008) and lo and behold, both movies are written and directed by the same guy, Martin McDonagh! Does that make me a real movie fan, being able to pick up on similarities like that?! Just let me pretend…

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I was pretty sure I knew how it would all end, but I was still a little gutted when my suspicions were right. When the rest of the movie was so shocking, I guess I was hoping for a shocking ending too, that’s all. Regardless, this is a cracking movie that I’ll be watching again for sure, and recommending to as many friends and family as possible!

This messes up my usual ranking system of out of 5, but how could I score this movie any differently? 2 and a half billboards out of 3 from me (but really it’s a 4.5/5).

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P.S. I want to be Frances McDormand when I grow up. Lady is a badass.