You’re A Loser, Eddie

Venom

In the past six years, I’ve watched a lot of movies, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. Even the bad ones. I’m pretty good about rooting out stuff I won’t like and find things I like even in movies that I don’t really care for.

Once in a while though, I come across a movie that I watch and think, “my lord this is dumb, and I love everything about this.”

And that is how I felt watching Venom. 

Venom is not a good movie by any objective standard. The acting is hammy, the script is convoluted, the action sequences (save one) are muddy and nonsensical, and the effects are meh.

But boy is Venom a fun movie to watch. Tom Hardy sells the crap out of asshole with a heart of gold Eddie Brock, and Michelle Williams does well with her requisite “sad girlfriend” role, something she could probably do in her sleep at this point. (Though her, “new but not as interesting boyfriend,” is played by the delightful Reid Scott! I gasped and said “BRANDO!” out loud. I was not embarrassed.) (I recently learned that a lot of people’s first Netflix binge was My Boys, which makes me happy because that means more people than I thought are aware of that show.)

Venom suffers for being an attempt to start a Spider-Man connected universe without access to Spider-Man, but otherwise is pretty good, it reminds me of The Incredible Hulk, another totally meh movie that I greatly enjoy everytime I watch it. I’m sure when this pops up on a streaming service I already own I will happily watch it a few times.

As for those mostly only OK action pieces? The car chase in the middle makes up for all of them. Holy crap is it inventive and cool and uses the symbiotes powers in some very neat ways. And that post credit scene kind of encapsulates everything that’s wrong headed about people doing post credit scenes that aren’t Kevin Feige. Though I am, of course, always happy to see Woody. (Seriously, always.)

Anyway, the movie is fun. I’m glad I finally saw it, but also glad I didn’t run out to see it or anything because it’s not great. But it’s fine for what it is.

Rankings:

  1. The Incredibles 2
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. A Star Is Born
  4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  5. Deadpool 2
  6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
  7. Ocean’s 8
  8. Infinity War
  9. Ant-Man And The Wasp
  10. Venom

Trailers:

Alita: Battle Angel: I can think of few better matches between source material and director than Robert Rodgriguez and Alita. The movie looks bonkers, and I”m always on board for Rodgriguez’s vision.

Into The Spider-Verse: THIS WILL BE THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER. I audiably gasped when Spider-Gwen (Shadow Spider? Right?) showed up.

Aquaman: You know how sometimes you just inhale deeply because someone is so attractive. This is pretty much how I feel everytime I see Jason Momoa, ever.

Glass: Hahaha, hahaha, hahaha. This is the most improbable movie to ever be made and I’m thrilled for it.

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He’s In A Rough Place, Emotionally

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I finally saw Ant-Man And The Wasp last night! Hooray! (I’ve also decided to sign up for Sutbs A-List, so that I can get through the rest of movie season with relative ease. Double hooray!)

I really, really loved Ant-Mana lot, it’s probably the most rewatched MCU movie for me. (At least post Avengers…) due in no small part to Paul Rudd’s lovely performance, it’s heart being about fathers and daughters, and Michael Pena as Luis. (Sadly not as well used here)

Ant-Man And The Wasp is not as good as Ant-Man, but it’s still quite good, and makes use of a Partridge Family song, which is a delight. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are delightful in both their kinda creepy de-aged versions (prep for a full movie of this effect in Captain Marvel folks…I wonder how it will sustain?) and as their distinguished perfect selves. (Lawrence Fishburn is also good.)

I didn’t think the villain, Ghost, was as disconnected as I’d heard (She’s pretty well tied in to Pym, his legacy and SHIELD.) (Also, like, I love Howard and Peggy, but DAMN, SHIELD SUCKS you guys.) And Evangeline Lilly does well enough, and Paul Rudd is still great, but this is a lower tier one. (This seems to be happening with the second parts of Marvel trilogies regularly. The Winter Soldier being the exception that proves the rule…)

Worth seeing, as it stands alone in a few ways, and it has a damn charming cast, but not going to move mountains or anything.

POST CREDITS!

First in the mid credits, as everyone gets ready to enter the Quantum Realm for some experimenting, only Scott makes it before Janet, Hank and Hope all get poofed. So…yeah…we’ll see what happens there.

Rankings:

  1. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  2. Deadpool 2
  3. Ocean’s 8
  4. Infinity War
  5. Ant-Man And The Wasp

Trailers

The House With The Clock In The Walls: This looks like a delight, and since I now have A-List, I will likely actually see it. (I discovered if I even only go to one movie a week, not even the 3 allotted, the thing will pay for itself.)

Creed II: I would have gone to see this even if it wasn’t about Adonis avenging his father’s death by fighting Drago Jr. But since it is about that, well, now I’ll go see it seventeen times.

Alpha: This movie looks so dumb, but PUPPIES!!!!

Bumblebee: I hope it’s good, since it’s writer is now making the Batgirl movie, but I’m not super confident…

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms: I’ve talked about how excited I am for this movie before, but the new trailer makes me even more so. Seriously, it looks kind of wonderful.

Dumbo: “Baby Mine” will make me cry no matter what, so there’s that, I guess?

You’re Heart’s Not In The Right Place

deadpool 2

I really enjoyed the first Deadpool (It in fact reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the character over all.) and was really  excited for the second one too. And like Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 2, Deadpool 2 had a tough needle to thread.

It mostly succeeds. The jokes whizz by as fast as the bullets, Ryan Reynolds continues to be wonderful, and I will most certainly wear out this soundtrack (figuratively) over the summer.

The new characters are boatloads of fun. Especially the too cool for school Domino, and Josh Brolin’s excellent turn as Cable. The plot is functional and interesting, if involving a not to gruesome fridgeing in the first act. (It’s handled and subverted pretty well throughout the whole film, and I’m not too made at it.)

The blood and jokes remain the thing, but what this movie does that the first didn’t is ground itself in Wade’s pain. Seriously, it’s a brutal movie, not just bloody and violent, but actually kind of adult and nuanced in it’s subject matter, perhaps even more so than Logan, which, Wade tells us in no uncertain terms, in the first few moments, they are trying to top here.

Deadpool 2 is first rate entertainment, and a very good entry in the super hero cinema canon.

And genuinely, has a soundtrack to kick the asses off both Guardians volumes!

Rankings:

  1. Deadpool 2
  2. Avengers: Infinity War

Trailers:

We were a little late so we missed a couple, but here’s what we did see

Ocean’s 8: I cannot wait to see this movie. Badly, badly, can’t wait. I need it and it’s fancy dresses and talented ladies talking to each other the whole time so badly I can barely stand it.

Mission Impossible: Fallout: Over drinks after the movie we had an extended conversation about Scientology. That is how little I care about this movie.

Bohemian Rhapsody: This comes out on my birthday and also looks amazing. We all need a little Freddy in our lives right now I think.

The First Purge: I will not see this and frankly, I resent that these people have pulled Marissa Tomei into their nonsense, she deserves better.

The Happytime Murders: this looks incredible. Also, selfishly, I want it to do well so that there’s talk of an Avenue Q movie.

 

 

What was the cost?

Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is very good and very surprising and you should go see it.

It is a very good part 1 of a series finale. The performances are all great but especially Josh Brolin and Zoe Saldana.

If you don’t want Avengers: Infinity War spoilers I suggest you take your butt some place else because I am not ok and this is now a place place for others who are not ok.

OK?

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V

E

N

G

E

R

S

I think I might have been OK if it weren’t for Spider-Man. Seriously. I mean, the Not OK began when Thanos killed Loki and Heimdall in the first five minutes, cemented when he sacrificed Gamora to obtain the soul stone being kept by a specter of The Red Skull, but I could have handled that.

But man, when Peter looked at Tony and said he didn’t feel so good, I LOST it. And then Bucky AND Sam, AND T’Challa AND Wanda AND all of the Guardians except Rocket and Nebula?

Somewhere George RR Martin is shaking his head and shooting off an email to Joe And Anthony Russo and Kevin Feige asking who hurt them?

Then we got the post credits. It is deeply fitting that Nick Fury’s final moment is an aborted mumbling of the word “motherfucker” AS HE PAGES CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Yes, Carol’s gonna fix this because she has to.

Look, the movie was great. I can’t wait to watch it again and be traumatized all over again.

Rankings:

  1. Avengers: Infinity War

Trailers!

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Aless and I have workshopped some alternate names for this movie that we are very excited to see: Lando! Khaleesi In Space, Woody In Space, The Young Chewbacca.

Deadpool 2: Just, holy shit, it looks good.

Venom: I mean fine, I love Tom Hardy, it looks freaky but awesome.

The Meg: YOU GUYS IT’S A MOVIE WHERE RAINN WILSON AND JASON STATHAM FIGHT A GIANT SHARK BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME. THIS IS GOING TO BE MY NEW FAVORITE FOREVER.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: God it looks so dumb. Like SO dumb. I’m gonna love it so much.

Wakanda Forever

You guys, this movie.

This movie.

It’s really, really good.

This movie, by the way is Black Panther. It’s directed by Ryan Coogler. It’s starring a young woman named Letitia Wright.

Oh, OK, technically it’s starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan. But mostly. Leitia Wright as Shuri, Princess of Wakanda. Everything about this movie is awesome, but she is the awesomest, and I know that’s not a word.

She’s smart and funny, and she knows how to get under her brother, T’Challa, King of Wakanda’s skin, and oh yeah, she’s also a tech genius and total badass.

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Actually every woman in this movie is a badass. That’s Shuri, getting geared up for a fight with Nakia, played by Goddess Among Us Lupita N’Yongo.

Seriously, I was already excited to go into a movie that was guaranteed to have tons of “No White Guys,” moments, but OMG there are moments where not only are there no white guys, but there are NO GUYS AT ALL. Seriously, at least twenty minutes of this two hour long movie are just badass black women talking to eachother. And it’s NOT EVEN LIKE IT’S A BIG DEAL.

Aside from my particular political reasons for loving this movie, it’s just a really good movie. Chadwick Boseman is great. Michael B. Jordan is great (natch). Ryan Coogler is a very good director who is excellent at working inside of a formula while still reinventing that forumila. (Creed anyone?)

Anyway, back to Shuri, who is now my favorite Disney Princess. (SHE IS TOO A DISNEY PRINCESS!) I keep thinking about her as an aspirational figure. She’s a princess, she’s a warrior, she’s a scientist (SHE FIXED BUCKY!) and she doesn’t take crap. I’m not a sciencey person, but I know that whenever someone asks me why I want to be a writer I explain it’s because I saw Little Women when I was seven because I wanted to be Jo March. I keep thinking about all the little girls who will fall in love with Shuri because of her humor and her heart and her bad-ass-ness, and will want to become scientists like her and my heart explodes.

I think even more about how each of the women in this movie gets to be different, they can have conflicting goals and loyalties. And it’s fine.

Also, there is a white guy in the movie. And he’s played by Martin Freeman! And he’s a pilot. (I think this is hilarious since the various black dudes in the MCU are pilots. Rhodey, Sam…uh, that’s it, right?)

Black Panther is worth the hype, I should write a proper review, and I probably will after I see the movie a second time today. (WOO HOO NO WORK FOR ME TODAY!) But for now, I just wanted to bask in how awesome it was.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Guys, it’s been a while since I did a post like this, but it’s all I can think about and OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!

We’ve known theoretically that Captain Marvel was coming for a while, but there’s been like, no movement on what the movie was actually going to be. Well, that’s not totally true. We knew it had Brie Larson (YAY!), we knew that she was going to be fighting Skrulls. (YESSSS!) we knew that it was going to take place in the 90’s! (SUPER BESTEST BECAUSE KAMALA! And also the possibility of both Spice Girls songs or Meredith Brook’s “Bitch.”) But beyond that we hadn’t even gotten a post credits scene with Carol. (Aless and I have a policy of saving popcorn to throw at the screen each time.) And it sort of felt like it was never actually going to come.

But now we have a picture. And it’s perfect.

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I love her 90’s hair! And I love that the suit is Kree Armor (though if she’s not in the Red, Gold And Blue by the end of the movie, I’m going to be a bit disappointed.) But OMG! You guys, it’s real. It’s happening. We have the Captain!

The Road to Infinity: I am Iron Man

Iron Man

So, I’m rewatching all of the MCU movies. Some one them, I will be watching for the first time since I saw them in theaters. Some of them, I have watched a zillion times.

Iron Man, is one I’ve watched a zillion times. Everytime, I am reminded of why this is the movie that launched an empire.

It’s really, really solid. The script is good, the performances are excellent, and the effects still look a lot better than a lot of what you see in most superhero movies. (They are also used quite sparingly.)

And Good God, is Robert Downey Jr. excellent in this movie. He’s just astounding. Over the course of 20 films, he’s given a mix of good to phenomenal performances as Tony Stark, but this original one is the phenomenal one.

Also, I will never, ever let anyone say a bad word about Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, or generally as an actress. (Gwyneth Paltrow as an insufferable internet personality, sure, fire away! SHE has time to do Yoga everyday AND raise her children!) She’s such a bright spot in every scene she’s in and she really does look like she’s having a ball.

And this movie has a social conscious that I always forget about. I don’t just mean, Tony’s realization that he’s complicit in a cycle of violence that will ultimately lead to the creation of The Avengers, the signing of the Sokovia Accords and his mentorship of Peter Parker, but I mean the scene on the roof.

While at a benefit Tony and Pepper have a romantic moment, and she is immediately uncomfortable. When he tries to brush it off she insists that they discuss it, that the power differential between them (he’s her boss!) makes where it was heading inappropriate. And, this is the important part, Tony backs off. Granted, he finds out that his mentor is trying to take away his company (and murder him) but still, he backs off, until they can have a real conversation about it.

I love Tony and Pepper.

Anyway, I also think that people don’t give Jon Favreau enough credit. Iron Man moves well, manages to stay small enough and big enough in the right places and somehow, hits every note perfectly. The impact of these decisions cannot be overstated, as they shaped the other 19 movies substantially. (Though even in The Incredible Hulk, made the same year, things are ramped up a bit…)

Overall, I was wary about diving back into the MCU, I don’t know how all of the movies are going to hold up. (I am SUPER  nervous about watching Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World again, because OMG…) But I’m glad to know that Iron Man holds up and knowing how this story winds up going is an excellent beginning.

Plus, you guys, Phil Coulson, showing up for the first time, so unassuming at first and then such a complete and total badass.

We’re here to talk about “The Avengers Initiative.” Let’s get moving!