Venom: Let There Be Carnage Movie Review

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is a follow-up movie to the first “Venom” picture released in 2018. The comic book character Venom originated in the Marvel Comics series about Spiderman. But there are few spiders in this web of carnage. Instead, movie leans on investigative reporters and serial killers locked in a battle of symbiote supremacy. If you don’t know what that means, then read on… Read more

The Suicide Squad Movie Review

Opens in theaters on August 5
Also available for streaming on HBO/Max

 

“The Suicide Squad” is the full-barreled, R-rated, no-holds-barred Love Child resulting from the combination of Writer/Director James Gunn and D.C. Comics. The D.C. Extended Universe of comic-based movies just got a kick-start with a cattle prod to the nether regions. But rather than resulting in a painful experience, this ‘Squad’ takes off at sixty-miles-an-hour into a Gunn-designed world of magnificent mayhem. The gore and violence comes with equal measures of hilarity and movie magic.

 

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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Movie Review

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins” is based on the HCU (Hasbro Cinematic Universe – if there is such a thing) and is vaguely connected to the other G.I. Joe movies. But this movie is all about the ‘origins’ of the one named “Snake Eyes”. He is an expert in martial arts and now you get to learn his background. They say “Never bring a knife to a gun fight”. This movie goes further — “Never bring an Uzi to a Katana showdown”. Read more

Hellboy Movie Review

“Hellboy” is another reckless reboot that nobody had asked for and was not handled with much care.  Based the dark comics “Hellboy”, this ground has been previously trod by director Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman (as Hellboy). With del Toro’s flair for visual style and Perlman’s knack for tough guys with a heart of gold, it did not seem that there would be any more areas for growth.

But of course, that never did stop Hollywood from cranking up the old Reboot Machine to start the whole mess over again. Because you can’t go wrong with a movie that includes a Demon child, an undead sorceress, fairies, giants, King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur, Nazis, Rasputin, giant human-warthog hybrids, Mexican Lucha libre, seers, secret societies, Alice in Wonderland, a man who can turn into a jaguar, Baba Yaga and Lobster Johnson. You can’t go wrong with all that, right? Well, maybe so…

Hellboy (David Harbour) is a spawn of the devil and was brought to Earth years ago. He was raised by Professor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) who now leads a group called the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). This group hunts down odd creatures who invade the Earth from time to time. Hellboy is sent down to Mexico to find an agent who has gone missing. He finds the agent who is now working as a Lucha libre wrestler. There is darkness coming, and the end – says the agent in his last dying words.

Hellboy is next sent by Bruttenholm to England, to help a secret society take out a band of Giants. They explain that an ancient undead sorceress named Nimue the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) is sending her minions out to resurrect her. The members of the secret society want to ambush Hellboy. The Giants beat them to the punch, and all of them are dead – except for Hellboy. He finds himself saved by Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane) who knew him from way back. He saved her from being kidnapped by fairies at a young age.

Hellboy is joined by Alice and a special British M-11 agent named Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim). They need to locate Nimue before she can bring about the end of the world. Alice has special psychic abilities, and Daimio can turn into a were-jaguar. So, they have a great team going. Nimue is using human-warthog to do her bidding and she is gaining strength. She will be able to take over the world, and she wants a huge Demon spawn to be her king. Are you interested, Hellboy? Once that Hellboy learns of his heritage going back to King Arthur, he is offered the Sword Excalibur. But if he takes it, he will be the one to bring ruin to the world.

But will Hellboy give in to the wishes of the Nimue the Blood Queen? Will Professor Bruttenholm, Alice and Major Daimio survive the onslaught of the newly freed minions of Nimue? Will you be able to handle the curse words and the buckets of digital blood sprayed over the screen? Will the number of red herrings and loose ends drive you crazy? Will the clunky dialog land easy on your ears, or be a bombastic buzzsaw of clichés? Will the movie make any sense at all, or will it be overwhelmed by the superior versions that have come before? You can decide…

This movie is attempting to make a new version of Hellboy, one that is darker and more bloody and vicious. Yet the story does not hold together very well, and the dialogue might be cursed in the same way as the evil monsters. It is bad, but not ‘so Bad it is Good’. Ever since Deadpool showed that is was possible to have an R-rated comic book anti-hero that rocks the box office, Hellboy thinks it can follow the same path.

David Harbour does an adequate job as Hellboy, but he is just too nice to be so nasty. Ian McShane is terrific as the Professor, and he kills it. Thomas Haden Church has mostly a cameo role in this movie, and he might have been a superior Hellboy – if he had the role. The direction is good in the action and fight sequences, but elsewhere is tends to drag. Most of that is due to the off-kilter writing and the extended story lines, because there are multiple ones.

“Hellboy” needed a reboot the same way that an electric car needs an oil change. But with an oil change, you don’t get all the violence and bloodshed. Unless you have a very unusual mechanic…

Once Upon a Deadpool

With the title and the time of its release, did expect to get something relating to Christmas in the film. This did not happen unless you count a Santa hanging on the wall as Christmas. That said, I guess to fans of the film, and of the genre, it’ll be seen as a Christmas gift. But if you want to see it, you better hurry! It’s only playing in theatres starting today December 12th until Christmas Eve. You have twelve days to see this present from Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) to You.

What you’re getting is a bedtime story being read to actor Fred Savage. Savage awakens, essentially on the set of the film ‘The Princess Bride.’ In that film, he’s a child who spends his time in bed listening to the tale of an adventure that’s being read to him by his grandfather. This time he’s tied up in that same bed, or a reasonable facsimile, being forced to lay there and hear a Deadpool narrative delivered to him by Deadpool himself. The story is a PG-13 version of ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Deadpool 2,’ concentrating more on ‘Deadpool 2’ where he, creates his own team of rogue mutants to save a young mutant from himself and from Cable (Josh Brolin) who has come from the future to end his terror before it can begin. The film expands on the Deadpool character and introduces several cherished Marvel superheroes and villains who every comic fan will remember.

In ‘Once Upon a Deadpool,’ the Fred Savage scenes more than makeup for what Fox had to do to keep it feature length after gutting and removing what made it Rated R in the first place. The F-bombs and the extreme violence are replaced with acceptable words and with story time explanations as to what is missing. At this time, Deadpool reveals to Savage that he’s unable to cuss and why. That in a PG-13 film, you’re only allowed one F-word, 2 shits and one glass of wine. As he discloses more of the rules and continues on with the story, there’s some hysterical back and forth, as I’m sure you had no doubt there would be. You’re essentially seeing ‘Deadpool 2’ with interjections of hilarity.

So why do this? Reynolds would only agree to it if one dollar from every ticket sold went to the charity, ‘Fuck Cancer,’ or to keep it family friendly, ‘Fudge Cancer.’ When you’re choosing a movie to see, keep that in mind. But why restructure a successful film and retell it as a PG-13? The simple answer is, so you can take your children to see one of your favorite superheroes! The character is foul-mouthed, and the violence is over the top in this franchise but with this version, Fox proves that it doesn’t need to be. However, I wouldn’t worry that they’ll change Deadpool if a third film is made. It took a lot of convincing to get Reynolds to agree to this in the first place.

*Stay through to the very end because, after the credits roll, there’s a loving tribute to Stan Lee.

Venom Movie Review

A few years ago, there was a new “Fantastic Four” movie that was released. It was very much anticipated, but when people finally saw it, their enthusiasm dropped like a rock. “Venom” is a new “Fantastic Four”, just with better actors.