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‘Venom’ Review

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Venom is not the typical superhero movie we’re used to from Marvel. Then again, it was never advertised as one. The movie’s official Twitter prominently featured the slogan, “The world has enough superheroes.” Although we commonly know Venom as being a famous Spiderman villain, the film actually depicts him more as an anti-hero. With Tom Hardy playing Venom’s counterpart, Eddie Brock, the film was a nice change from the extreme storyline of superheroes.

 

Every film has its flaws and Venom certainly had some, but they were nothing that completely turned you off. The film’s beginning seemed a little unnecessary and a rushed sequence to try and get the ball rolling. One tiff that felt a tad cringe-worthy was the first transition song. The song was overly upbeat and abrupt, which clashed with the overall vibe the scene created when we see Eddie for the first time.

When it comes to the characters of Venom and Eddie, they both compliment each other impeccably. Venom has a demeanor that is abrupt, no holds barred and he is quite the comic. He does, however, manage to make you feel intimidated by him, not just because of his monstrous appearance, but because of his general “get out of my way” attitude.

Eddie, on the other hand, has a demeanor that comes off as brooding and as someone who looks tough, but is quite the sweetheart. He comes off as being a little insecure or trepidatious. Because of this, Venom and Eddie become this physical representation of yin and yang. Both inhibit characteristics opposite of one another, but they seemingly complement each other because of the things they each lack. By the end of the film, a bond is created that seems so natural to the story and the audience.

The character of Venom also has this way of speaking that is refreshing and makes him enjoyable. He is snarky, quick-witted, makes hilarious jokes and can be a bit of a jerk.

If we were to speak of the technicality of the film in terms of fight scenes and visuals, they are up to par and more so. The scenes between Venom and Eddie are smooth and make your eyes bulge with the immensity of power that Venom has. The fight scenes are brutal, but incredible. What is nice about the film is its realistic portrayal of fight scenes between body impacts, people getting sliced and Venom eating people.

The film, despite it being not about our known superhero, has a heroism aspect, hence the “anti-hero” slogan. At first, Venom has an evil plan in place but becomes persuaded by what he sees in Eddie to go against the very mission he came for. He has a change of heart and decides not to kill everyone he comes across.

Overall, the film is an eight out of ten. It’s worth the watch and Sony did a good job in what is meant to kick off their own cinematic Marvel Universe. The post credit scene will arise some future storyline, so I would stay to watch.

 

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Venom Movie Review: Feature Image Credit: Sony

“Logan” Review: The Greatest End to A Hero’s Story

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What clearly separated this film from its superhero counterparts were the characters, action, and the tone. Hugh Jackman’s version of the titular character, Logan/Wolverine stands out immensely. Throughout this film, the sadness, weariness, and mental and physical fatigue of this character was tangible with every gruesome fight and intense interaction with every character. What was truly compelling with Jackman was his ability to go into depth of the character of Logan and reveal a man that conceals himself in a facade of isolation and loneliness but in actuality is caring and selfless. In Jackman’s last depiction of the character, he reflects the most intimate and emotional parts of this closed-off character showing off Jackman’s longest and best roles. In addition, what made this film noticeably unique was its set of lovably complex supporting characters, specifically  Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and  Laura/X-23 (Dafne Keen).

 

Stewart’s performance as the dying mentor was just as equivalent to Jackman’s damaged hero. Stewart’s portrayal seems surprisingly vulnerable but also emotionally considerate. It is interesting to see how this film has unveiled more about these  Charles’ and Logan’s range of personality that sort of went  unseen in past X-Men films. Stewart’s character, Charles, centers on how a 90-year-old man with extremely powerful psychic abilities deals with the increasing awful struggles of dementia. Stewart provides an intriguing component to the story, showing how a man that was once known to be mentally stable loses his stability and has to rely on others to guide him rather than the other way around. The film is at its best when Stewart and Jackman are able to portray the dynamic relationship of Charles and Logan with Stewart almost representing Charles as the old, grumpy father and Jackman portraying Logan as the irritated and saddened caregiver son that is pained by his father’s illness. The film finally shows even though Logan and Charles have somewhat contrasting characteristics that juxtapose perfectly. Although, what is so similar between Logan and Charles is that they share is that they share care, kindness, and sympathy for each other and for others.

Dafne Keen’s portrayal of Laura/X-23 is magnificent. Laura is a violent, moody, and taciturn girl that gradually through the story shows how resourceful, reliable, and caring she is to Logan and Charles. Furthermore, Keen flawlessly executes complicated and ultra-violent action scenes while also making the interactions between Jackman and Stewart believable. Her emotional connection with Jackman’s “Logan” is one to be aware of due to her vitality in Logan’s life and guidance. Another standout of the film was Stephen Merchant’s “Caliban,” who deviates from his past comedic performances and gives a more serious portrayal that highlights his acting range.


The tone of the film is dark, gritty, and intensely violent. It is a modernized Western film that incorporates underlying themes of loss, death, and the integrality of a family. The plot of the story is character-driven and also intensive, cohesive, and gradually paced. Although, there are some negatives that hurt the film. One is the continuity of the X-Men film series where timelines have been altered and even erased. Viewers who have seen the past movies might become perplexed with the film’s setting and might question what circumstances occurred that cause these harsh alterations to Logan’s and Charles’ lives. Another error was the absence of a strong central villain. Boyd Holbrook’s portrayal of Donald Pierce; the malicious head of security of an evil corporation did well with what he was given. Richard E. Grant as Dr. Xander Rice, head scientist of that evil corporation was also a decent villain just nothing that was distinctive.

 

This film provides viewers with a bold, gritty, and unconventional tone that differentiates itself from other films of the superhero genre. Mangold reveals this when he focuses more on the characters and their complex relationships rather than how ostentatious they can make action sequences look. Overall, the film has amazingly talented characters, realistic relationships, and a distinctly gritty tone the only problems of plot continuity and the need for a strong central villain. It is these combinations that leave
Logan with one of the greatest endings to a superhero and with a grade of an A-.
 
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“Logan” Review: The Greatest End to A Hero’s Story. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Mockingjay: Part 1 Review

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the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-final-posterThe majority of critics were all in agreement about one thing concerning the highly anticipated Mockingjay: Part 1; and that is that “not very much happens” (IBN Live).  Following in the footsteps of moneymaker series such as Harry Potter and Twilight, the studio stretched the final book into two separate movies. While filmmakers of the “HP” series started this trend for logical reasons (like including many important details and back story), it’s hard to imagine that the producers of the Hunger Games trilogy saw it as anything more than an opportunity to put more cash in the bank. Not cool, Lionsgate, not cool!

Though the sadistic Hunger Games arena is absent this time around, there is no shortage of violence in this third installment to the series—though perhaps not in the amount you’ve come to expect from these films. While there is very little action throughout the film, producers did a fantastic job of relaying the overall destruction caused by the civil war in Panem. Wide screen shots of ruined cities and charred remains of fallen victims definitely highlight the large-scale ramifications of war.

Fans of the bestselling novels will agree that District 13 was one of the environments we were most looking forward to seeing on the big screen. Lionsgate delivered on that aspect of the film, and the underground “honeycomb” bunker city was spot on with the book’s description, a dark location which complemented the somber mood of the entire film.hunger_games_mockingjay__part_one_ver9

As always, Jennifer Lawrence gives us a brilliant performance playing the reluctant hero, Katniss Everdeen. Once again she tries to resist playing a part in political propaganda, but knowing she must put aside her feelings in order to save her loved ones, the ever-conflicted Everdeen becomes the raw, empathetic and honest protagonist we have come to know and love. Similarly, Josh Hutcherson’s performance as Peeta Mellark is just as palpable. Fans want to save “the boy with the bread” just as badly as Katniss does, even in spite of his complete character change.

In conclusion, Lawrence and Hutcherson steal the show, as usual, with their intense performances. The elaborate dystopian sceneries are also to be admired, but what the movie lacks is the franchise’s usual fast-paced action – due largely in part to the story being split into a two-part film.

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 Mockingjay: Part 1 Review: Photographs courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment