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Movie Review – Venom

I actually saw Venom not long after it came out, and I’m a bit amused at how well it’s done.  It is a deeply weird movie. At times feels like half of it is missing.  Why does the symbiote decide to “help” Eddie Brock save the Earth?  It must not matter, because they don’t tell us!

One thing I have trouble getting past is having Venom with no connection to Spider-Man.  I get that Sony wants desperately to have a whole movie franchise, but this still feels like the wrong play.  But here we are, so is it any good?  NO!  That doesn’t mean there’s not fun to be had.  Tom Hardy has a sort of goofy charm as Eddie Brock when he’s not mumbling his lines.  Riz Ahmed is obviously having fun as the over-the-top Elon Muskish villain.  Michelle Williams has the thankless task of love interest/lawyer Anne Weying, who dumps Eddie after he steals info from her on the villainous Carlton Drake.

Eddddieeeeeeeee

The strangest character in the movie is, of course, the Venom symbiote.  Not because he’s a terrible man-eating monster (as seen on the right), but because he’s kind of a wise-cracking partner for Eddie.  The folks that listed Venom as a buddy cop movie weren’t far off.  It’s almost funny enough that you’d forget that the only way Venom doesn’t kill Eddie’s body is if Brock lets him eat people once in a while!

Look, I wasn’t expecting high art, and I was entertained.  I laughed a lot, but only half of it was probably supposed to be funny.  I *CANNOT* wait for Rifftrax to get a hold of this.

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Movie Review – First Man

I went to an early screening of First Man, and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away.  It should be noted, this is a biopic about Neil Armstrong, so the technical details about the space program are in the background.  What you have is a deep dive on Neil as a civilian pilot and father, and how that affected him getting to space.

We learn about Neil Armstrong through the lens of his family.  He struggles mightily with the death of his 2 year old daughter from a tumor, leaving his wife Janet (Claire Foy) to try and cope with little support.  She lives with the constant stress of how dangerous Neil’s job is, even before he becomes an astronaut.  At one point Janet mentions that they attended ‘four funerals at Edwards’ which drives that home.

Armstrong (as played by Ryan Gosling) is a fairly reserved fellow; he’s “pleased” to be chose as the commander of Apollo 11.  Damien Chazelle made an odd choice to film a lot of the emotional scenes super-close to Gosling’s face.  It’s a stark contrast to the action scenes, which are mostly first-person Paul Greengrass-esque shakycam.  Not that it isn’t appropriate for a rocket blasting off, but it is a shift.

First Man is well acted from the leads, and has some recognizable faces supporting.  I like Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin. He would definitely punch out a moon landing denier.  I don’t know that I’d give it the Oscar but it’s a good way to spend an afternoon.