Venom: Let There Be Carnage is massive improvement over it’s predecessor!

Eddie Brock is still struggling to coexist with the shape-shifting extraterrestrial Venom. When deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady also becomes host to an alien symbiote, Brock and Venom must put aside their differences to stop his reign of terror.

I’ve said in the past how much I don’t like Venom (2018) it felt like it was trying to take itself way too seriously a lot of the time plus it felt like one of those awful early 2000s super hero movies that were coming out of nowhere. The trailer for Venom Let There Be Carnage gave me hope that this would be a massive improvement over the first movie and luckily that was the case. First off this one knows exactly what it wants to be, it owns that it’s a comedy movie and almost never takes itself seriously and even when it does those moments aren’t bad at all. The director this time around is Andy Serkis who did quite solid job, there’s some actual character moments here that sure might not be anything spectacular but do feel like there is a little more to this one. Woody Harrelson as Carnage was really strong, It’s clear Harrelson is having a blast on set and it really shows in his performance. I do wish they could have went a little deeper with Carnage as a character but for what they went over and showed it was much better than expected. Tom Hardy as Venom this time around I thought was a lot better, Hardy actually sounds like he’s having a blast unlike in the last movie. The action scenes were actually not too bad, they aren’t anything to write home about but they are massively entertaining. Especially the scenes towards the end which are a great way to close the movie! Finally there’s the end credit scene which I won’t spoil that yes is pretty neat! Overall while there really isn’t that much to Venom Let There Be Carnage it is a huge improvement over the first movie that actually wants me to see a third movie!

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is available on all VOD Platforms!

7/10 B

Eternals is a disappointment that feels all over the place.

The saga of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.

It took me a bit to think how I felt about Eternals mostly due to it feeling like a very weird mishmash of ideas that are either not fully developed, done poorly or done very well. I got excited for this one mostly due to Chloe Zhao being attached to the film as the director, after seeing her films and her previous film Nomadland which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The results for what Chloe Zhao can do with an MCU film is very promising and something I would love to see…sadly we only get a bit of that here. For starters the film itself relies on the characters which is perfectly fine, the problem is a lot of them aren’t that well developed at all. I do want to make it clear that one of the movie’s biggest strengths is the diversity, as a lot of people have pointed out it is very refreshing to see and it’s very commendable. Of the cast that stood out Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani (although he sort of gets the short end of the stick towards the end), Barry Keoghan, Lauren Ridloff Brian Tyree Henry and Harish Patel all did a pretty solid job in their roles given what they worked with. Unfortunately just isn’t there to support some of the characters, as much as I liked Angelina Jolie’s character Thena she is given development but for the most part she’s kind of reduced to the “strength of the team” element, Lauren Ridloff’s character Makkari I truly wish was given actual development perhaps maybe in the future MCU films, still she’s a fun character despite given very little development. Brian Tyree Henry’s character Phastos got a ton of development and he’s by far one of the best, there’s a lot to like about his character plus there’s some actual quite emotional moments with his character. Kumail Nanjiani’s character Kingo and Harish Patel I thought were actually some of the strongest parts of the film, the jokes the duo both tell are actually quite amusing as opposed to the other jokes in the movie that really hold the movie back. Barry Keoghan’s character Druig I thought was very interesting, I do wish they did a little bit more with his character but for what they did I thought it was decent. It will be very interesting to see what they do with him going forward. Lastly there’s Gemma Chan’s character Sersi who I really thought was your traditional main hero type character, it wasn’t anything bad just not anything special. Hands down the best part about Eternals is the filming, it’s absolutely gorgeous and is the best MCU film when it comes to filming. What kills Eternals is that it still feels like a product, it’s a shame because I remember a little bit after Nomadland won best picture I remember reading a few articles saying “Chloe Zhao will have creative freedom for Eternals” yet it only feels like she only got a little bit. There were quiet moments for the characters and actual meaningful conversations between them. However the plot being a complete mess, the villains being incredibly dull and a lot of the traditional Marvel humor that they like to shoehorn into the movie doesn’t feel like creative freedom at all. I truly think Eternals would have worked better as a series, it would give each of the characters a lot more time to develop, it’s very unfortunate with the way Eternals turned out. Because somewhere in this movie there is a good movie, it’s just unfortunately crammed in with a lot filler and missed ideas. 

Eternals is now available in Theaters!

5/10 C

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is both compelling and a solid addition to the MCU!

Martial-arts master Shang-Chi confronts the past he thought he left behind when he’s drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Shang-Chi was definitely a surprise for me, from the trailers they really played this like your typical MCU origin story that was going to just sort of exist and that would be the end of it. That is not the case with Shang-Chi in fact it does far far more than just being an origin story! The cast does quite an incredible job Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Meng’ er Zhang and Michelle Yeoh especially! Speaking of which Tony Leung Chiu-wai is great as the villain which is Mandarin. He’s one of the better MCU villains that actually got development although it could have been a bit more. The action scenes are what really make this movie, particularly the combat which a ton of scenes use martial arts. One scene in particular (if you have seen it you will immediately know which one I’m talking about) is truly beautiful, the filming, the acting and marital arts. It all adds into that scene to truly make it standout and turn it into something the MCU really hasn’t done before, Shang-Chi also does have a lot of heart as well as there are some very touching moments between the characters. Writing wise the first two acts in particular are very strong, some of the best of phase four in the MCU so far. The flaws come in with the final act which while it’s definitely not bad, it feels a little bit rushed at times and sort of falls apart in a lot of moments. The CGI has it’s weird moments where it’s quite great while in others it doesn’t look so great. But overall Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a huge surprise for me, director Destin Daniel Cretton did a very solid job with this film! Definitely check it out!

Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings is now in theaters!

8/10 B+

The Suicide Squad (2021) Movie Review!

The government sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world — Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, Harley Quinn and others — to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with high-tech weapons, they trek through the dangerous jungle on a search-and-destroy mission, with only Col. Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave.

Before I start talking about The Suicide Squad I’m just going to warn you right now that it’s going to be next to impossible (at least for me) to talk about this film in great detail (or any detail for that matter without making my review sound boring) without including some spoilers. Don’t worry I’m going to include when the spoilers are and when they end so you skip around the review, thank you for understanding on to the review! So The Suicide Squad is directing by James Gunn who previously did the two Guardians Of The Galaxy films both of which I consider some of the best of the MCU (heck GOTG 2 is my favorite of the MCU) so I was pretty excited for The Suicide Squad….and this really surpassed my expectations, right from the beginning SPOILER ALERT the film kind of does a Scream type element in this case with Michael Rooker and his character Savant who you would expect to live but he dies very quickly along with some other characters! SPOILER ENDS so let’s talk about performances and a few characters, well for starters Viola Davis does such a fantastic job as always like in the 2016 movie Viola Davis absolutely kills it as Amanda Walker, casting her back in the role was such a smart move and her character shines even more in this film. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn like Viola Davis as Amanda Walker have become the equivalent of Hugh Jackman as Logan, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool where you can’t see anyone else doing those roles. Margot Robbie completely owns the character at this point and she does just as amazing in this film as she has in the other movies, she’s also given a script that really makes Harley Quinn really interesting and quite hilarious as well! Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag is quite incredible, his character is a lot of fun and truly one of my favorite parts of film SPOILER AHEAD his death I thought was the most impactful of the film, it’s an effective death that I was honestly not expecting at all. SPOILER ENDS John Cena as Peacmaker I wasn’t too sure how that was going to go but he really did an excellent job, he brought a lot to the character between a lot of hilarious moments and the serious moments that are quite brutal as well. Peacemaker is the complete opposite of Rick Flag which I found quite interesting it being a Ying and Yang type thing. Sylvester Stallone as King Shark is just a lot of fun and has some of the most hysterical moments sure there wasn’t a lot of development but did there really need to be? It’s a shark that says “nom nom” before eating people giving us some fantastic kills and gore throughout the film! Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2 was a surprise for me, see a lot of the marketing didn’t focus on her character yet she was a lot of the heart of the film, I’ll get more into that when I get into more of the writing (I promise we are almost done with the characters and performances, I told you on Twitter I had a lot to say now didn’t I?) she gets some really strong character development that is actually quite meaningful and really cares for her teammates (oh and Sebastian the Rat is quite fantastic as well.) Finally I saved the best for last…Idris Elba as Bloodsport, whoever made this casting decision deserves a raise because this is one of the best performances so far this year. Idris Elba delivers so much into the film from being hilarious to a ton of character development through his past and his bond with his teammates Idris Elba truly knows how to lead a film and this just proves it even more. Plus his character is an overall badass who gives us some great kills and gore, the bit of the beginning of the film with Storm Reid sets a perfect tone for his character someone who can be full of humor but also be very serious at the same time. Now let’s get into the writing, as I said earlier Ratcatcher 2 is a lot of the heart of the film, it’s mostly due to the writing which blends a lot of comedy, action and the character development moments extremely well. They are all given certain moments to shine in the film, one moment you have some comedic bits with King Shark or Harley Quinn, other moments you will have action moments with most of the main characters that lead to some fantastic stunts, a clear camera that doesn’t shake every 25 seconds and some fantastic kills and gore lastly you will have the character development moments like with Ratchatcher 2, Bloodsport and a few others! It’s a fantastic blend that has not worked well for a lot of films, but works here perfectly which leads me to James Gunn’s direction. James Gunn really knows how to take the source material and make it his own, he’s shown that with the GOTG films and he’s once again shown it here, he creates an atmosphere of fun elements, character development elements and really brings you into the experience. It’s truly quite amazing how much Gunn packs into the film 2 hours and 12 minutes may seem long but it’s truly not with the film’s pacing. It’s one of those films that doesn’t even feel like it’s 2 hours, mostly due to so much going on that it keeps you invested thinking “who’s going to make it out alive.” Overall The Suicide Squad is a fantastic film and hands down one of my favorite films of 2021, I can easily see why a lot of people have been calling this “one of the best comic book films” because it does everything it’s supposed to and adds so much more into it! I highly recommend seeing this one!

The Suicide Squad is now available in Theaters and On HBO Max!

10/10 A+

Loki (2021) Series Review!

Loki, the God of Mischief, steps out of his brother’s shadow to embark on an adventure that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”

Loki is the third of the MCU shows on Disney+ and it’s hands down the best one yet, it took me awhile to finally sit down and actually come up with a review for this show due to figuring out what I ultimately felt about this series. Let’s start with the performances which I thought were all really strong, Tom Hiddleston once again does a fantastic job as Loki and arguably the best he’s played Loki in the MCU so far. I personally thought he was on a whole other level here, it’s possibly due to the script that gives Hiddleston a lot to work with and turn much as he can into something truly interesting. Hiddleston’s chemistry with Owen Wilson in particular was a standout whenever the two were on screen together there was bound for jokes that were actually quite great, some interesting back and forth dialogue and some character moments. Speaking of which Owen Wilson does quite a great job here, I’ve always liked Wilson being in more dramatic roles, what’s interesting in this case is how the balance of comedy and drama really works. One doesn’t over due the other both blend very well together and this is the type of series it really works, finally there’s Sophia Di Martino who does quite a fantastic job I’m very excited to see what they do with her character as the MCU goes forward (as well as Season 2 of Loki). She really brings a lot to the show and her chemistry with Hiddleston is top notch, each of the episodes felt different and unique to one another. I will admit the series did take a bit to get going towards the beginning but once it got off the ground it stayed in the sky, the final two episodes in particular are some of the highlights. Everything that it’s been building up to starts to happen and then we finally get to the final minutes of the last episode…which is easily some of the best the MCU has ever done. It has a huge reveal and a “oh crap!” moment that really shows that phase 4 of the MCU has just begun. Loki is what is going to cause some movies that are coming out soon or next year to take place. It’s truly an effective moment that really changes everything. Overall the series itself is quite fantastic, this is definitely something to go into without knowing too much, it’s definitely one of the most interesting parts of the MCU so far!

All the episodes of Loki are now available on Disney+

9/10 A

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Batman The Long Halloween Part 2 and Rock Dog 2: Rock Around The Park (2021) Movie Reviews!

The bodyguard Michael Bryce continues his friendship with assassin Darius Kincaid as they try to save Darius’ wife Sonia.

This is another case where studios will make a sequel out of almost anything, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was generic action comedy that had good actors in it (Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson) they had great chemistry but that was about it. The sequel Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is more less the same thing, except a few new cast members are added and the jokes aren’t as funny. Morgan Freeman definitely phones it in and it’s very telling from his role, the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson is at least still decent enough. There are jokes that do land but the problem is that it takes awhile to get to said jokes, a lot of this movie is just a whole lot of nothing. The action is fine I guess but it really isn’t anything to write home about. I really don’t have much else to comment on, as I said it’s almost the same thing as the first movie only that this one is slightly weaker.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is now available on all VOD Platforms!

4/10 D+

Batman pursues a serial killer with the assistance of Police Officer James Gordon and Attorney Harvey Dent. But when the killer takes on the criminal family of the Falcones, Harvey Dent gets caught between the fronts.

Batman The Long Halloween, Part Two is almost identical to it’s predecessor only that this one has more action than drama. Which is exactly what I expected and quite frankly what most people were expecting, like it’s predecessor the voice acting, animation and the dark atmosphere are all really strong and make this movie standout as well. Despite having a lot of action there is also a lot of great character moments that do help in the character development area, the action scenes were quite great as well. Not much else to say, as I said everything I said about the first movie can be applied to this one, so if you loved the first movie you will definitely love this one.

Batman The Long Halloween Part Two is now available on all VOD Platforms!

7/10 B

When Bodi and his band ‘True Blue’ leave Snow Mountain, to tour with pop sensation, Lil’ Foxy, they learn that fame comes at a price.

I know it’s very cliche to say “who asked for this”but it most definitely applies here, Rock Dog was some bad animated movie that came out in 2017 and soon after it’s release it disappeared. I guess someone thought it was a good idea to make a sequel which is ultimately a very pointless one. The animation is extremely cheap it heavily reminds me of those Youtube kids videos animation which is not a good thing, the movie reuses tons of character models as well. The writing is garbage and the story is very predictable, what else do I really need to say? It’s Rock Dog 2 a sequel that nobody asked for.

Rock Dog 2: Rock Around The Park is now available on all VOD Platforms!

1/10 F

Black Widow (2021) Movie Review!

Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

A Black Widow solo movie was an obvious choice to happen at some point….it’s too bad it happened way too late. With that said Black Widow is one of those MCU movies where I lost interest for quite some time until maybe a couple weeks before it’s release when I became interested. Black Widow unfortunately does very little to change up anything in the MCU, I’ll start with what I really liked because I certainly don’t think this is a bad movie by any means. The opening I thought was actually pretty well done combined with the cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit (which was actually used in the trailer for The Gallows) was pretty great and a very dark atmosphere to it….it’s just a huge shame the rest of the movie couldn’t live up to that. Florence Pugh gives a fantastic performance and is the reason why I would say to check it out if you want. She has so much power in her role and really delivers whenever she’s on screen, she continues to show why she’s one of the best actresses working today. I will give Black Widow this it definitely makes me excited to see Florence Pugh’s future in the MCU. Finally there’s a few action scenes which I liked nothing mind blowing but a lot of fun and then the end credit scene which I won’t spoil but I found it interesting. Now on to the problems I had with Black Widow, for starters the movie itself felt like it was playing way too safe to the point where it starts to dip into below average territory. The pacing was dreadful combine that with the running time that goes by painstakingly slow and it becomes a very uninteresting movie. The writing while it does have it’s moments is really nothing special at all, the biggest problem however is with the villain “Taskmaster” which is another case of the MCU taking a fantastic villain that has so much potential and completely failing. The only way I’m going to be able to talk about this is if I give some slight spoilers so skip if you haven’t seen it! Anyway the reveal of Taskmaster is completely ridiculous it’s a character who had a total of 3 lines in the entire movie, I am all for changing the character however said character must have actual development and build up which isn’t what happened here. It’s the equivalent of Roy Burns being reveled as the killer in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning a character who had a total of one scene (as far as I remember). So seeing this happen in Black Widow is very baffling to be quite honest, finally there’s the rest of the cast which all do a fair job but nothing absolutely spectacular Rachel Weisz I will say other than Florence Pugh is another standout! Overall Black Widow is one of the movies in the MCU that really could have been more, however they went with the safest option. Being safe is not always a bad thing and I get the MCU is going to have it’s not so good movies like any other franchise. However by the end Black Widow only leaves you with being excited for Florence Pugh and not much else.

Black Widow is now in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access!

5/10 C

Justice Society: World War II (2021) Movie Review.

The Justice Society of America , a group of heroes aiding the allies in World War 2, acquire an ally from the future who sends them on an adventure that changes history.

Not a whole lot to say here, Justice Society: World War II is the newest DC Animated movie and not a bad one either. The characters are quite solid Wonder Woman being the standout, the animation is going to definitely be a hit or miss for some people although I thought it wasn’t too bad. It was different and for what it was it wasn’t too bad looking, what does drag this movie down is the plot and the main villain. The plot is sort of a mess and does have that “Saturday morning cartoon” feel to it and not in a very good way, the main villain is just sort of there and really isn’t anything special. With that said the movie itself is at least fun and interesting for the most part, it’s a very serviceable movie that does a lot right!

7/10 B

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Movie Review!

Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.

Before I begin as always this is a NO SPOILER REVIEW! So first a bit of background history, as you know Zack Snyder stepped down from filming Justice League due to his daughter’s tragic suicide. Joss Whedon took over and what came out was a movie that was missing a lot of scenes, felt rushed, was way too tonally different in different parts of the movie and was overall a gigantic mess. The Snydercut took awhile to come out but luckily it did, some people may not know this about me but I’m a huge fan of lost media and seeing it be found. The Snyder Cut fits into that category very well, with that said before going into this movie I was a lot more interested in the movie as I was excited for it. But I love surprises and the Snyder cut really surprised me, I was originally a bit concerned about the running time but this is some of the fastest four hours I’ve sat through. Some major differences from this movie and the 2017 cut are a lot of Cyborg and The Flash’s character development which is absolutely incredible. Especially with Cyborg, Ray Fisher knocks it out of the park and brings such a emotional and powerful role into the film, his story is really fleshed out and makes you care about Cyborg. Where as in the 2017 cut Cyborg just felt like an afterthought, the same can be said with Erza Miller they did a great job in their role and brought a lot of life in The Flash’s character! The rest of the cast does a really solid job as well except for a few….Amber Heard’s role shows once again that she can’t act, luckily she isn’t in the movie for that long! The other being Jared Leto who still is not a good Joker, he’s barely in it luckily but those few minutes he is there doesn’t help him out. Part of the problem is Ben Affleck and Jared Leto have no chemistry whatsoever so the whole dialogue just felt very awkward. One of the best things about the Snyder Cut is Steppenwolf’s character development, which was nonexistent in the 2017 cut but is shown quite a lot here. It does a good job of making the audience take him seriously as a villain, plus when you add Darkseid into the mix you got yourself some great villains! The action scenes are a lot better as well, much more detailed, much more story to them and context as well. Which leads me to why the Snyder Cut is much better…context. The 2017 cut felt like a bunch of out of context scenes mixed together which is why it was a complete and total mess, but you get the full context here, the full reasons why certain events are happening, why certain characters chose certain actions and so much more. The difference is night and day that the Snyder Cut is basically it’s own movie. The only main criticism I have with the movie is I do feel the epilogue went on for a little too long and you did feel the length of it during that segment. They could have trimmed the epilogue a bit and kept everything else, because that’s only my major criticism. The rest of the film is quite incredible, I’m not the biggest Zack Snyder fan out there (this is definitely his best film since the Dawn Of The Dead Remake) but I have always appreciated him as a person and always found him interesting. He did such an incredible job here and I can’t wait to see what he does next, I’m glad his vision eventually got released even if it did take awhile. I highly recommend checking this one out!

9/10 A

Quick Reviews: Synchronic (2020) and Batman Soul Of The Dragon (2021)

Two New Orleans paramedics’ lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects.

Synchronic is a very decent Sci-Fi Thriller that really shows some huge talent from Anthony Mackie and surprisingly Jamie Dornan as well as the rest of the cast! The direction from Justin Benson director of The Endless and Spring (both fantastic films) does a really great job of creating a very solid and thrilling atmosphere. Synchronic does take awhile to get going, but once the movie gets going it’s a very fun experience. The writing is a lot of fun with some great moments that build the atmosphere, while Synchronic might be weaker than The The Endless and Spring it’s still a solid movie that I recommend checking out.

7/10 B

In the 1970s, a missing teacher of martial arts is the subject of a quest by his devoted and brilliant but distant students, who include Batman.

Batman Soul Of The Dragon is the newest DC animated movie, I have a love and hate relationship with these movies. They either go in one or two ways either they are good or they are bad. Soul of the Dragon is pretty alright it has some decent action scenes and some pretty decent characters to back it up. The movie is heavily flawed however, the animation is really not that great. Especially when you compare it to a lot of the other DC animated movie’s animation this looks just terrible in comparison. My other huge issue is Batman is just sort of there, sure he does get involved in the story but he really doesn’t do much. I wouldn’t mind this that much if the villains were interesting…sadly they aren’t. They are the most generic villains you could think of, it’s a huge shame because I understand what the movie was trying to go for. Which was something very simple but unfortunately it doesn’t quite hit. Soul of the Dragon definitely is not a bad movie, it has a ton of fun moments and as I said some of the other characters are interesting this is just one of those DC animated movies that really does not standout all that much.

6/10 C+