Tag Archives: Marvel

Venom

I would describe myself as kind of a “nerd” by most definitions. I love video games, Star Wars, comic books and of course…comic book movies! So naturally I was excited when I saw that Venom was getting his own movie and Tom Hardy was going to be the star. With Hardy’s stellar acting chops and a fun wild character like Venom there was a recipe in place to have another great entry to the ever expanding comic book movie collection. With the success of Marvel and the boundary expanding talent of Deadpool, the door was wide open for another loud and brash anti-hero to join the party.

There definitely are things to like about this film. At the front and center of Venom is Tom Hardy who was nominated for an Oscar back in 2016 so you know he’s no slouch. He does his best to elevate any movie he appears in with energy and charisma. He absolutely nails the role of someone who isn’t ready to become a new host to a foreign creature. Visually, Venom  looks awesome. He is big and bad and would be terrifying to see in real life.  I did enjoy the humor that was speckled in throughout and the action scenes are done pretty well.

While there are enjoyments to be had, there are some glaring shortcomings as well.  I thought the movie had trouble picking which side of the comic book movie spectrum it wanted to be on. At times it seems like a more serious darker movie and at others its light and campy. There are even times where it feels like its both simultaneously. There is also some weak dialogue and a few instances of lazy writing in the plot along with  some iffy character development.

Marvel has delivered some excellent quality films over the last 10 years. They have also released a few sub par ones by their rather high standards. This effort from Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad, Zombieland) easily falls into the lower half of those films and I know its a different cinematic universe with different producers and directors  but you still have to compare comic book movies to other comic book movies.  It still checked the boxes under a successful trip to our AMC even though it comes in under expectations. Venom blazed its way to 4 Apologies but I am still intrigued to see what will come next in this universe.

-Movie Apologist

Captain America: Civil War

This review may contain spoilers, if you have not watched Captain America: Civil War, I recommend to stop reading and go watch it. Then come back and read and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Right now is a wonderful time for fans of comic books and super heroes. We seem to have an endless stream of film choices out currently and even more coming out and in development. Marvel has a plethora of fans and has a solid lead in the sheer number of movies released in the last few years. Marvel is more than just volume when it comes to their movies: the fantastic quality is what really stands out. The Avengers universe has top the charts, but lets focus on on hero today. Looking specifically at the Captain America movies we see a trend happening: each one is even better than the previous entry. Civil War had some hype built up, just like each movie before it, but it delivered on almost all levels.

This movie was absolutely outstanding and very enjoyable. Someone who hasn’t seen the other movies (I’m not sure such a person exists) can watch this and still have a blast, but obviously it helps to see them all. While the title of the movie only has Captain’s name in it, this movie certainly has a large cast of super heroes.

The plot has the government, and most of the world, growing weary of the Avengers acting without consequences and wants to institute heavy regulations. Captain America/Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) strongly disagrees with government regulation while Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) is experiencing massive guilt at his own actions, and those actions by the Avengers, which leads him to fully support regulation. This creates a split within the Avengers and two “teams” emerge. Siding against regulation with Captain are his old friend and former enemy Bucky/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Their affiliation with Bucky brands them criminals in Iron Man’s eyes since he still holds Bucky responsible for past criminal acts. Iron Man gathers heroes to form his own team to uphold peace. His team is War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Vision (Paul Betany), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). This movie has plenty more story to pair with the brewing war, alongside the moral divide, Colonel Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) is on a mission to control Winter Soldier through mind control and destroy the Avengers.

Let’s talk about the some of the things I loved about this movie. As noted above, the plot is strong and keeps you invested throughout the film. A good story can easily be defeated by weak characters and/or weak actors. Fortunately for us, we have amazing characters played by incredible actors. I do not feel that any of the actors hold the movie back, but there are a few that excelled and stood above the rest. Sebastion Stan, Robert Downey Jr, and Tom Holland are each spectacular in their roles. There are plenty of rabid fans waiting for Holland to star in his own stand alone Spider-Man movie (July 2017) and he showed he can hold his own in a movie full of big name stars. The action is captured well with several cool fight scenes: Black Panther/Winter Soldier/Captain America have an intense combat and chase sequence. One of the biggest scenes in the movie is the airport battle between both sides. All the heroes are gathered and thrown into a massive battle royal. While the action is expected in a super hero movie, humor is sometimes neglected. This movie packs plenty of one-liners and stirs in comedy to lighten the sometimes dark mood. Something we all know Marvel to do particularly well, but it was exceptional in this case.

There is much to love about this movie but there are a few things that lacked the wow-factor. The director was infatuated with shaky camera work during the fights and chases. I can only assume it was to add “impact” to the brawls, however it is so overly shaky that people who suffer from any degree of motion sickness will feel disoriented quickly. Those who do not mind some shaky camera work will even find it excessive. True to the Avenger style, Civil War is not a short movie. At 147 minutes long it can present issues to those who ordered the jumbo size fountain drink, but don’t want to miss any of the action.

Even the few negatives can’t detract from the immense quality of Civil War. This movie is among the best movies in the entire Marvel cinematic universe and among the best super hero movies of all time. As of now, it is my favorite of the Avengers Universe and earns only 1 Apology. I can’t wait for more of the movies in the Avengers universe to be released.

-Movie Apologist