Clean Slate is a brutally honest documentary film that presents the difficulties of being an addict and trying to make a film.
Art is a reflection of us as humans. It is a reflection of the human condition whatever that means to you. I believe that art needs to be honest and it needs to speak your truth. That is when, in my opinion, art works best and creates something that is extraordinary. These are all things I try to follow as I continue on my journey as a filmmaker. It is not easy though, all of this comes with a certain amount of vulnerability. Some people are not ready to pour themselves out to people and that is completely fine. Clean Slate does all of this well and creates a very personal documentary about recovery and the production process.
Clean Slate directed by Jared Callahan and starring Cassidy Detmer and Joshua Litton looks at these two Southern friends who are in a recovery program and trying to film their passion project, a short film called On The Fence. Their short film covers the pain they have caused their families through their long fight with substance abuse. We are presented to our filmmakers through their ups and downs. We examine their fight with their mental illnesses. All of this is done without being sugar coated and it is very personal. This film is a masterclass of the documentary filmmaking medium.
Clean Slate is incredible in every sense of the word. It is honest, patient, and not afraid to show the sides that we do not want to talk about. We care about our protagonists from the get go and want to see them succeed. That optimism is what also takes us through the rollercoaster of a journey, but there is a constant through it all. Film is our constant, the passion to want to continue making this short film even when things are at an all time low. That very passion is what keeps us moving forward and this film expresses the importance of having something to look forward to in life to fight our battles.
You are going to definitely want to watch this one when it eventually releases because I know that I already want to watch it again.
There is no secret that Venom was disliked by many fans of the character and the same goes for its sequel, which isn’t being welcomed with open arms. Many I questioned if they were going to go see it confidently told me if they were it was because of work, unlike myself who just wanted to see this sequel.
If you haven’t noticed in my other articles by now my taste in films are very different than the norm, liking what most people would call “trash.”
I have no problem admitting that this film wasn’t the best, even concluding that it falls under its predecessor, but I can also say that I enjoyed certain aspects of the film.
Venom: Let There be Carnage is a sequel that was overall disliked before it even came out, there’s no running from a preset destiny. Overall the film’s run time played against it having it feel rushed in certain acts and having the characters not go through a proper growth pattern. Andy Serkis had a good vision having certain scenes feel like a cheesy comic panel, which isn’t bad in my opinion, but having certain characters be too over the top gave out. I honestly can say it wasn’t a good rendition but I also don’t want to say that it wasn’t entertaining, as I enjoyed the overall time I spent watching the film. But it’ll ultimately comes down to you the viewer to decide if you are going because you want an accurate depiction of the characters or if you simply want to be entertained for an hour and a half.
Overall I’ll keep this review short and spoiler free. Serkis from what I saw and understood, wanted to depict Eddie Brock and Venom, played by Tom Hardy, to be a sort of comedic anti hero. Similar to Deadpool they wanted to bring a joking relationship between the two and I don’t mind it at all, but it honestly doesn’t play well with such a short run time being about 30 minutes shorter than the first film. There were many scenes that had great potential showing the characters attachment to each other but the necessary movement forward in the film failed to provide such views into their relationship.
I personally feel if it wasn’t cut short, these characters could have had a greater opportunity to be fleshed out. On the other hand, Cletus Kasady played by Woody Harrelson did a good job at showing the psychopathic killer in a live action atmosphere. We all know how his love for murder and blood is what makes his symbiote attracted to him and Carnage’s hatred feeds off of this satisfaction of chaos and that can be shown in many parts of the film. Not to mention the incredible character design and the sound design which gave me chills when I first heard his screech in theaters. Although in this film there isn’t a bond between the both like in the comics it shows a lot for his character and his actions, which you can clearly see if you watch till the end.
Naomie Harris also does an incredible job at portraying Shriek, now although she doesn’t have a symbiote in this film like the comic counterpart, I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. Although without having spoilers we may be in for a Shriek variant in the next film, although I can’t say for sure if it will happen. Not to mention having the mid credits makes it worth the viewing of the entire film, which was a BIG surprise for fans all around.
Now before I go in a train of confusion, I’ll keep it short. Venom: Let There be Carnage wasn’t a film that will obtain a nomination for an award but it does a good job at keeping me entertained. This is my own opinion though, and I understand majority rules against such expressed opinion but if you enjoyed the first one then you may enjoy this one as well. Granted I want to hear others’ opinions before I would give a full spoiler included talk, but for now check it out if you want, and let me know what you think in the comments. Till next time, peace.
Luis joins Raul to talk about Nashville Film Festival. This has been five years in the making for the team and they are finally covering their first festival. Luis and Raul talk about what movies they are most looking forward. Raul also expresses his heartbreak over not being able to watch Spencer as it will be only in person. Listen to our precursor to our festival coverage of #NashFilm52! Keep up with all our coverage of the Nashville Film Festival here on the site!
The nerds are joined for another Saturday Morning Review as we look at the newest James Wan horror film, Malignant. Fellow writer for The Nerd Corps, Luis Angel Garcia, joins us for the review as we talk about this film. I have no idea how to tell y’all that you should listen to this but this was quite the film. Listen to find out about our thoughts on the film along with what people on Letterboxd are saying. Go check this one out!
IMDb Synopsis: “Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.”
A Quiet Place Part II: A Sequel As Good As the First?
When success comes to a movie there’s always the question of whether or not a sequel will be made, and if there is one would it ever compare or surpass the first? Few films come to mind where sequels are better than the first, John Wick 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Transformers 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Dark Knight, etc.
A Quiet Place Part II definitely is one of those films that surpasses the first, of course it is in my honest opinion accompanied by others. With the first being a massive audience success and the ending leaving for a potential sequel, I was really happy to see the trailer come out in 2020. Still having John Krasinski as the director, we can see his skills improving to tell a story. Now the original family cast returns to play the part Emily Blunt playing Evelyn Bennett, Millicent Simmonds playing Regan Bennett, Noah Jupe playing Marcus Bennett. Adding to the amazing cast as a major character is Cillian Murphy playing Emmett a friend before the chaos now turned stranger.
A Quiet Place Part II brings out more than just horror elements, it brings out the intensity of action thrillers, and also includes elements of drama as Millicent’s character goes through a lot of self reflection, as she is the main protagonist for the film. Not to worry, there is still the intensity and horror elements that the first movie brought, and I’d even say it brought more having shown the first encounter these creatures had with humans and noise. It goes without saying but having great actors and actresses really brings the best not to mention John’s work as a director and his improvement shows throughout the film, you can even see the rundown for the first chase of the film on YouTube with Vanity Fair. All in all, this film was a great watch and I highly recommend people go check it if you haven’t already, and if you haven’t heard of the second one already out check out the trailer below!
Now the first film left off with Millicent and Emily’s character figuring out a way to kill the creatures, after a mass of them came into their home leaving it burnt to the grown, not to mention the newborn baby walking in a world where noise gets you killed. Nonetheless everything is in a way figured out for the group, but having no home they must venture off into the world ultimately running into their old family friend, Emmett played by Cillian.
Here is where this film partly takes place, although we also get a glimpse of how the family lived before everything changed. Living in a small town and having a weekend baseball game with the little leagues sounds like a peaceful life, until it all comes crashing down and as we can see meteors flying through the sky, in which we figured are the creatures of today’s time.
Seeing this we can stop trying to imagine the chaos, in addition to me going through the incredible sequence I’ll let the director talk about it as he has done a breakdown with Vanity Fair on YouTube over this specific scene.
I also have to mention, he actively states that Millicent is the lead actress in this which is an incredible choice as it brings out a much more detailed story, and we can clearly see she is the protagonist as it’s her journey we begin to follow after the first few minutes, of course having Emily’s character deal with a B-story. Like the first she really wants to prove everyone wrong and help them even risking her own life to go to a possible island of safety, which had a broadcasting station in which turn could be used to broadcast her way to fighting the creatures.
She goes on on her own almost ending up killed as she still can’t actively hear, but gets saved by Emmett who was sent by Emily’s character in order to bring her back. The two fight each other as she wants to continue on and he just wants to bring her back so he can go “home”, reaching a point of agreement to go see her mission through.
The two character’s chemistry create an incredible dynamic duo, and Cillian being a great actor brings all the ropes to the film. His character development is clear and bright as day even reaching a point to put his life on the line for Millicent’s character and other people they end up meeting. Hiss choice of performance is great and I have to mention when first seeing the film I couldn’t recognize the talent with such a beard and wardrobe until my sister asked if it was Scarecrow from Batman Begins or Fischer from Inception.
Having him in the film was a great add on, and I honestly couldn’t see anyone else play the character. Not to mention, like before the chemistry of Millicent and him gave off the same dynamic as the two characters from the famous video game The Last of Us. For those that don’t know it follows the story of Joel and Ellie, two people who found each other in an apocalyptic world and now go on together surviving day by day, which I need to add aren’t related or are in a romantic view they’re just basically really good friends, just like how we see Cillian and Millicent’s characters turn by the end of the movie.
Overall A Quiet Place Part II does an amazing job at continuing the first film without losing any of the qualities. John Krasinski is doing a great job in his directorial work and if you’ve seen the Vanity Fair Breakdown video you can clearly see he is passionate about his work, even stating he was unsure whether he wanted to do a second film until he realizes he really does. It brings out the instinct to root for the little person and this case being Millicent, as she continues to show her acting chops, and as I stated before, hope to see her prove herself more in the industry obtaining more roles and hopefully gaining more major and lead character roles.
If you haven’t already seen this film I highly recommend the two films to anyone looking for a good double feature to watch. It brings out horror aspects, thriller and action sequences and just all around a good time. But as always don’t take it from me, go check out both films and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.