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.
SHang-CHi and Legend of the Ten RIngs: It’s INCREDIBLE!!!
It’s not just a Marvel movie!
Shang – Chi has finally released, and people are running to go see it. Even if I am exaggerating just a bit, if you go check your local theater app you’ll see that the special screenings are pack for tonight and honestly it’s great knowing that this movie is getting the recognition it deserves!
With covid still around and new variants being found it was a dangerous game for Disney not to release it for a home audience, and having them call Shang – Chi an “experiment” is just objectively a disgraceful thing to do, no matter the intention, location, or talking to investors. But seeing the theaters fill up, with precautions of course, it fills my heart with joy for the film getting its deserved spotlight.
As a person that uses the theater experience to get away from certain worries the world brings, I’m glad to report that this film is exactly that, an out of world experience that should be enjoyed in Dolby and/or Imax. Once you begin to watch, you forget it’s even related to the MCU having certain instances that reflect back towards the other films and of course the obvious use of post credit and mid credit scenes of the film that’s used to expand the lore of the world(s). But this isn’t the article you want to read if your only interest is looking through fan theories, no, this will be a different type of review article. I enjoy going a little more beyond than the story and plot, and with this film having incredible Chinese influence and culture, and beautiful choreography I have my hands full, but I promise to make it worth your while.
Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings is a work of art having everything you want from a superhero film the fighting, the big bads being actually big bads, heroes reflecting, and so much more. I highly recommend this film for anyone contemplating to go see it, or even if you aren’t I still recommend it. Having an amazing cast, it brings everything together as the audience can normally tell if something is off between them, and Simu Liu and Awkwafina’s chemistry on screen is incredible something I never thought I needed in life. Just look at the picture above, it speaks for itself on the energy of the film and not to mention the great performances of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Meng’er Zhang. This is definitely a film you have to experience on the big screen at least once and have it on a special screening too. In addition, I have to mention the incredible martial arts portrait and the stunt/ fight choreography performed in the film coordinated by the recently late Brad Allan. But please, don’t just take my word for it check out the trailer below!
I have to mention there is minor and some major spoilers ahead for the film, so please keep in mind as you read.
I can’t state this enough, as everyone in the cast and crew did an incredible job at telling a story. For those that don’t know the story, it follows the life of Shang-Chi a young man whose father is “The Mandarin” although he goes by many names as he’s lived for thousands of years. His father created an empire and army throughout the years and surprisingly when he met his mother settled down a bit from his darker past. It was only until his mother’s death that his father went back to his old ways and even started brutally training him to the extent of being “unkillable”. That’s where we get Shang-Chi, the greatest martial artist the MCU or Marvel ever had. Although, he didn’t want to be a killer let alone for his father so he left and lived for 10 years without his past catching up. After which, he was brought in by his father, who always had tabs on him and now needed him to bring back his mother. At the end we realize it isn’t their mother and Shang-Chi tries to stop his father and the new evil at hand, of course leading to an epic fight and finale.
Now, Simu Liu playing Shang Chi, or as his new alias states Shaun, was a great casting choice and not surprisingly enough Marvel is a big name to be joining now in days. Although he’s not shy of joining amazing roles like Jung in Kim’s Convenience, or other such as being in the Taken series, a short called The Akira Project and a couple of other names. Not to forget mentioning Awkwafina, who we can all agree has been a growing love to see in films since having roles in Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s Eight, Raya and the Last Dragon, Jumanji: The Next Level, and many more. Both bring an amazing light to the film and their chemistry is outstanding, even to the extent of having a joke about the two characters marrying each other, and with all honesty I wouldn’t see it as a problem. We also have to talk about the other wonderful cast Tony Leung Chiu-Wai playing The Mandarin, Fala Chen playing Leiko Wu (Shang Chi’s mother), Michelle Yeoh playing Jiang Nan (Shang Chi’s aunt), Meng’er Zhang playing Xu Xialing (Shang Chi’s sister).
All great actresses and actor, having Tony’s portrayal of an immortal militant man and father was outstanding seeing what makes him feared by the world and his brutal ways of working to the softer more tame version brought out by his wife. Now Kevin Fiege has mentioned this film would restore the image of who The Mandarin is and that we’d be surprised by it, and with all honesty he’s right. I wasn’t expecting such a character arch for what was portrayed to be the baddest of the bad, don’t get me wrong Tony’s character was deadly but after his wife’s passing it was a matter of grief that drove him rather than a hunger for power. It honestly brought out an amount of sorrow towards the character in my opinion, as I’ve dealt with grief before not the same as his character had but grief nonetheless, and that’s what I loved about Tony’s portrayal! The subtle ways of speech, mannerisms and actions that showed what was really going on through the characters head all up until his last fight. Now Fala’s portrayal of the sweet graceful mother who could still be deadly in combat was great, and really added to why Shang-Chi was who he was, and as we heard in the trailer above he is both of these polar opposites’ son. Although we don’t see a great deal of the mother, her few instances were amazing and sweet, as how one would imagine a loving mother would be. This can also be said about a loving aunt just like Michelle Yeoh’s performance as the kid’s aunt, which showed beautiful choreography and fierce warrior scenes. Next we have Meng’er’s character of Xialing, Shang Chi’s sister, and we see they are more related than ever with her on screen performance being phenomenal in the fight sequences, and her boss energy. Unlike her brother, she was taught to fight but she watched from the shadows and taught herself, making herself into a killing machine if need be. Not to mention like her father, she created her own empire off of a fight club on the dark web, and showing something dope in the post credit scene.
Now aside from great performances by these great actors and actresses, I also have to mention two more things without making this article any longer. The stunt and fight choreography in this film is incredible and beautiful taking roots from the old martial arts called wushu. It’s swift and light yet hard impact movements gave way to amazing scene fluidity and with it had me smiling for the entire night, just seeing such actions being portrayed Simu, Tony, Meng’re and everyone else was amazing!!! I have to give props to younger Shang Chi Dallas James Liu, who was a bad ass showing the skills of a young martial artist and even the performance of a young trained killer like Shang-Chi. Not to mention giving props to Brad Allan who work on the film as the fight coordinator before his passing due to an illness. He was an incredible stunt performer and coordinator that’s worked with greats like Edgar Wright and was a part of Jackie Chan’s team. That goes without saying he put his all in what he could before his passing and he will live on through his works. And we also have Andy Cheng to thank for the fight choreography, who was also a team member of Jackie’s stunt crew. It goes without saying but when you add incredible people to your crew you’re going to get incredible results. A lot of it reminded me of older kung fu movies with the swift movements in the air and tip toeing all around yet certain seem so realistic I don’t want to believe they used wires to create such movement.
The second thing I have to mention is the use of Chinese culture such as the imagery and the like, specifically mentioning this because of the hot water brought with viewers in the Eastern Hemisphere. I can’t and will not speak for their part but must mention that the older comics this movie originates from uses stereotypes of Chinese culture and Asian people as a whole. You can find a lot on this matter finding racist villain names and other like items being a big part of it. As I can’t speak for these viewers and their want to accurately depict their culture and life, I will say that the imagery used in this film was beautiful to me, leaving me with a mystical arts to it and with the choice of a small village by the water I found it calming.
All in all, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings was a spectacular time and experience that brought everything it offered in the trailer. As a person that loves hero stories and “perfect” fight choreography, this film brought out whatever serotonin I can scrap inside my head. I only hope as a filmmaker that I get a chance to also work and create similar works in the future. If you have been wanting to go see it and need a reason, I hope I can be that reason to convince you to go as soon as you can. And for those that are still iffy don’t take my word for it just go watch it and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.
Psychokinesis (2018) is a noble and entertaining directorial effort with its various ups and downs.
All the superhero films I am used to watching are from the United States, which are controlled by the two giant brands, Marvel and DC. These films can get a bit stale over time with not much to say beyond the surface of the film. Now, this is not the first film Yeon Sang-ho having watched, Train To Busan (2016). I am even looking forward to his next directorial effort, Peninsula (2020). As you can tell, I went into Psychokinesis (2018) with some form of expectations seeing what this director can do with all his skills in his arsenal.
The film revolves around a bank security guard who gains telekinetic powers by drinking out of a water fountain that was struck by a meteor. He uses his powers to make money at first but then tries to help his estranged daughter when a company wants to take their family business down. Psychokinesis (2018) is a good movie with an interesting plot involving superpowers and class warfare. The film is not perfect by any means but it has a lot of heart in it. The film’s second act lacks structured pacing to it, and some of the characters feel as if they are just there with no motives. Although it is not great there are a lot of characteristics that make it worth finishing like its wonderful cinematography and fight choreography. Once again, the film shows that Yeon Sang-ho understands completely how to handle the camera and set up the atmosphere of the film. The problem of this film mostly lies within the writing of the film but overall it is not the worst or best movie-watching experience I have had.
Watch Psychokinesis (2018) on Netflix. We also reviewed this film on The Nerd Corps so go and check out what we had to say about it! Follow along with the rest of this challenge on Letterboxd or the google doc that has the rest of the films on this challenge.
I suppose I should be proud to be the writer of ‘The Nerd
Corps’ first book review on this site as I offer up my opinions on Jason Inman’s
‘Super Soldiers’ in this post. As an
adult it has grown quite difficult to find time to read as my attention has
turned from only school and books to a life full of dog walks, significant
other dates, podcast recordings, movie watches and full-blown attention deficit
disorder at times. I did my best to read
this as quickly as I could and unfortunately that was over the span of a few
months. So, to Jason and everyone else,
I apologize in the time it took to write this review.
Starting off, let me introduce Jason Inman who you may have
heard on the podcast twice as he graciously agreed to talk with myself and Raul
for around an hour each time (Episodes 85 and 237 if you want to take a listen). Jason is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom,
an author of books (duh) and comics (Jupiter Jet, Science!, etc.), and quoting
from his website jasoninman.com “a former host of DC All Access and a
regular guest on Collider Movie Talk, Geek & Sundry, Collider Heroes,
Screen Junkies, SourceFed, and Film HQ…Besides uploading weekly videos on his
youtube channel, Jawiin, Jason has hosted his own podcast Geek History Lesson for
over five years which was nominated for a Podcast Award”. These two aspects of Jason, that of a veteran
and that of the encyclopedia of all things nerd, come into play with his book Super
Soldiers which focuses on the comic book heroes and villains who served the
United States military.
First, I must comment on the ease of reading I found with this book. Jason has the ability to condense a lot of history of these super powered figures into four to eight pages each. His inclusion of many of the lesser known heroes and villains such as Gravedigger, Isaiah Bradley, and Nuke along with various unfamiliar (to me at least) details of the more popular figures (Captain America, Punisher, etc.) helped keep my attention piqued as each chapter I was exploring the details of someone I didn’t know or finding out more about the heroes I had grown up with. Jason does not shy away from the controversial aspects of each character’s history either but delves right into their history, be it Batwoman’s sexuality during the peak of “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the mistreatment of Gravedigger and Isaiah Bradley due to being black men in a WWII America. Any comic book fan will want to run out and pick up the back issues of many of these character’s comics (I’m personally going to buy up as much of Gravedigger’s “Men of War” as I can find).
On top of all this, Jason includes his own military experiences
helping to bridge that gap between comic book lore and reality. From speaking on the difficulty of
transitioning back to civilian life, just like War Machine, to pranking his sergeant
ala Beetle Bailey, he is able to compare and contrast the life of an enlisted
soldier with these fictional stories of super powered (and sometimes not so
superpowered aka Sgt. Rock) heroes.
This, in my humble opinion, is a must read for all fans of comics and comic book heroes. The amount of information contained within these 218 pages is astounding, so be sure to keep this close at hand when researching who came before Captain America or how Flash Thompson went from bully to hero. As Sir Francis Bacon coined once upon a time, “Knowledge is power” and as Super Soldiers goes, “Knowledge is Super Power”. YoungYoda out.
P.S. be sure to pick up Super Soldiers on Amazon and give a follow to Jason at the following: Twitter & Instagram- @Jawiin; Go listen to his podcast “Geek History Lesson” (@GHLPodcast) wherever you listen to podcasts.
What would you get if Superman had landed in the front yard
of a government facility instead of the Kent’s farm? You’d get “The Boys”. Basically, Amazon’s response to Netflix’s “The
Umbrella Academy,” “The Boys” is a gritty,
reimagining of The Justice League that’s equal parts Watchmen and Brightburn
with a dash of Batman V Superman.
Viewers are thrown into a world where superheroes are not
only real, but also commercialized thanks to the corporation Vought
International and its vice president Madelyn Stillwell. Vought’s main roster of superheroes is known
as The Seven and each have their fair share of movies, merchandising, and
public events to attend to. Vought keeps
a close eye on each hero to the point where crimes are basically staged, and a
camera crew is there to capture every moment in order to get their heroes
trending and the money flowing. Vought’s
main purpose though, is to get their heroes into the military and reap those billion-dollar
contracts that come with it. At Vought,
heroes are made, not born…both socially and literally. I’ll get to that “literally” part, later in
Now, to introduce The Seven (now, there are other
superpowered individuals shown throughout the series, but these are the mains,
the cream of the crop):
First, we have their leader, Homelander. Shown as American as apple pie. Homelander is basically the love child of
Captain America and Superman. Armed with
a cape of the Stars and Stripes, heat vision, and no weaknesses, he is shown
throughout the season as Vought’s enforcer and also their most marketable and
valuable hero. To the public, he is perfection,
but we all have front row seats that show him taking down a government official’s
plane, letting a plane full of people crash into the ocean, and spiraling into the
insanity of a god-complex.
Second of The Seven is “The Deep,” who you can pretty
much think of as Aquaman, if Aquaman was a serial harasser of women (so, like
Great Value Aquaman). His storyline is
actually the catalyst that leads Annie January aka the newest member of The
Seven (Third of our members if you’re keeping track), known as Starlight,
to rebel against The Seven (more on that later).
Fourth is Queen Maeve, basically Wonder Woman if Wonder
Woman had lost herself and the whole point of being a superhero. Through the season we see Maeve in this
constant battle to be a good hero or just continue doing the selfish deeds her
group and Vought has demanded.
The Fifth of our super degenerates is Translucent whose
skin is both as hard as diamonds and can turn invisible. However, to be
completely invisible, no clothes are required and as Starlight states “Translucent
has boundary issues”.
Sixth is Black Noir who has no speaking lines throughout
the show and whose costume looks something akin to Spiderman: Far from Home’s “The
Night Monkey” attire.
Last, but not least is our Seventh “hero” otherwise
known as the world’s fastest man, A-Train, basically The Flash if he was hopped
up on steroids. I left A-Train last on
our list because he can be thought of the main antagonist of this story since
his brutal collision with Robin Ward sets off the events where The Seven become
the hunted by “The Boys”.
Now, “The Boys” are led by Billy Butcher, who throughout the
season we’re led to believe is on a mission of vengeance against Homelander for
the rape and murder of his wife, Becca.
His background is somewhat left to the imagination throughout the series,
but we learn in the later episodes that he was CIA trained to bring down Homelander
and has now made it his mission to rid the world of “supes”. Billy, in his own words, realizes that just
like The Spice Girls, individually he sucks, but with a group…he’d be
unstoppable. This leads him to our next
protagonist, Hughie Campbell whose girlfriend was the aforementioned Robin
Ward. Hughie is the shy tech geek who is
a non-confrontational character at the beginning of the show, but we watch him become an essential
part of the group with his ability to hack into apartment cameras, pulling the
trigger on the pipe bomb that was shoved up Translucent’s ass (also the first
kill on The Seven), and wooing Starlight.
Next up is the one who happened to figure out this weakness against
Translucent, Frenchie. Frenchie, with
over 30 different aliases, is Butcher’s main go to when he needs munitions
made, bunkers infiltrated, or the like, but who can never stick to the plan. However,
he befriends another super who had been locked in a Chinese, drug den/basement,
Kimiko. The last member of “The Boys” is Mother’s Milk who you can think of as
Butcher’s right-hand man, that continually wants out, but is always pulled back
into the mix/sh*t of Butcher’s gravity.
“The Boys” continually are the thorns in the sides of “The Seven” as they uncover the secret to the heroes’ powers, which is the substance known as Compound-V (who many of the “supes” also abuse, including A-Train). They figure out that no heroes crash landed onto earth or were just born with their gifts. No, Vought approached parents of newborns, offering them the chance to make sure that their little bundle of joy would have a special life, a super one. From there, these children’s veins were pumped full of Compound-V. Not only that, Vought was also creating super villains by going to war torn nations on America’s terrorist watch lists and giving the compound to those children in order to create an image where their “heroes” would be necessities on the battlefield. Unfortunately, these revelations are too little, too late as a bill allowing “The Seven” into the military passes through Congress.
So, if you’ve read this far, I’ll let know where “The Boys”
are left at the end of this great season.
Butcher, going basically on a suicide mission, has his whole plan to hit
at Homelander’s weakness, Madelyn Stillwell, basically…umm…torched. Madelyn, strapped into a vest with enough C-4
to level Jersey, has her face melted inward (it’s pretty gruesome, no lie) by
Homelander who had become jealous of the attention that was taken from him and
given to her newborn, Teddy. Now, Butcher
seeing that he now had no bargaining chip, lifts his finger and detonates the
vest. The next scene we see Butcher
waking up, unharmed, on a lush, green lawn with Homelander right there wishing
him a good morning. Who happens to own
this lawn? None other than the thought-deceased
Becca Butcher who walks out of the house with her son, the apparent love child
of her and Homelander…DRAMA ALERT.
Hughie, Frenchie, and Mother’s Milk make it out somewhat all
intact after a rescue mission to save Kimiko with Starlight making her decision
to be one of the good one’s and protecting the four from A-Train who, in a
large dose of karma, has a heart attack while trying to murder/maim
Hughie. Hughie then shows his
compassion, performing CPR on A-Train and Starlight then taking over telling
Hughie he must leave before any others of The Seven find him.
So, yeah…colossal cliff hangers. I guess it’s a good thing the show got
renewed for a Season Two before Season One even dropped.
In my opinion, if you’re a lover of comics and comic book movies (specifically DC and The Watchmen), then this is a must watch. This show can be thought of as a sandwich of amazing ideas. The two slices of bread, one being the imagery we saw in Batman V Superman, where Batman, just a human with no special powers, watches Superman’s collateral damage in the act of “saving” the city and the other slice being from The Watchmen where heroes begin thinking that they’re actual gods and humans are beneath them. In between these slices is great visuals, dialogue, acting, and a story where it’s not just your typical superhero black and white, but all kinds of shades of gray. Also, with the first season only being 8 episodes, it never seems to drag like other shows with 12 or 13 episodes. It’s also a story of the underdogs who ban together to stop a seemingly unstoppable force. Who doesn’t enjoy a good underdog story? Anyways, I give this series a solid 9.5 out of 10. (The only reason I took off half a point is because Haley Joel Osment’s appearance made me realize how old I really am. Dope beard though). Let us know what you thought of the first season of “The Boys”. YoungYoda out.