Connect with us

Movie News

Review: “Venom” Goes Gross, Tone-Deaf, Wacky

Published

on

The tagline for Venom is that the world has enough superheroes but after such films as Deadpool and Suicide Squad, maybe we have enough anti-heroes as well. And after a rather strong winning streak by Marvel movies this year, the solo villain outing of Venom comes off as such an inky black sheep of the flock. It’s no wonder the rest of the MCU is distant from this Sony/Marvel film because the main issue is clear: Venom needs a hero.

Without a wisecracking Spider-Man to combat the likes of Venom, it’s up to Tom Hardy playing Eddie Brock to save the day. Well, maybe he doesn’t save the movie but Hardy at least cranks his acting to Nicolas Cage levels of absurdity so that he won’t blend in as yet another bland tough guy with a thin beard. Though strictly hit or miss, his overacting at least turns the picture into more of a spectacle to make up for the lacking script. Eddie is portrayed as a loser, so inept at his job as a media reporter that he uses confidential documents of his lawyer girlfriend Ann (Michelle Williams) to take down a super-science organization’s CEO Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). He fails miserably, loses his job, his girlfriend loses her job, and their relationship is done. All of this proceeds by such a dreary design of cliche dialogue to the point where I nearly laughed at a scene where Eddie is seen drowning his sorrows at a bar when somebody asks if he’s Eddie Brock, only for him to respond, “I used to be.”

But then Eddie becomes possessed by Venom, an alien Symbiote that can take the form of a Spider-Man looking blob with sharp teeth, a Gene Simmons tongue, and a big appetite. There’s a very telling moment when Eddie attempts meditation at one point where an instructor insists that some action is better than no action at all. And so Hardy goes for it in a role where he’s required to shove half-eaten chicken into his mouth, vomit horribly into the toilet, and take baths in lobster tanks. It’s an embarrassing sight at times where you can’t believe Hardy would go so low, but nobody can fault him for the effort, giving 110% to make sure Eddie appears absolutely insane with an alien voice constantly telling him to eat.

Compare Hardy’s performance with the rest of the film and you’ll see why such ridiculousness was life support on a dying movie. Riz Ahmed seems like he should be a sinister force for dabbling in alien experiments and soon fusing with the eviler alien symbiote Riot, but he comes off as dull and docile, as though a real CEO were attempting to fit into the role of a mad scientist. His transformation into Riot comes more by necessity than any real character development.

The same goes for the Symbiotes that seem to form roles far too late in the picture. Did you know Venom was a troublemaker on his home planet and can’t really go back? I didn’t until the third act when it’s off-handedly mentioned. Michelle Williams is absolutely wasted in her role, her character’s dry doctor boyfriend is an exposition robot, and you can’t help but feel Jenny Slate could’ve done more as a scientist who must jumpstart the meeting of Eddie and Venom.

Sure, Venom looks good, or about as good as a toothy and tongued blob of ink can look when computer generated. But how much can you enjoy a villain who spends most of his time obscured in blurry shots of spiky blobs? The car chase has its moments but also an absurdity for the presence of suicidal drones that explode cars. And how am I supposed to buy into the terror of the Symbiote when his introduction is so passive, on the same level of dreary sleepwalking as Eddie’s relationships and Drake’s alien scheme?

With such a story that seems far more concerned with how well Venom snarls than anything else, it’s almost watchable to see how Hardy conducts himself as an admirable captain going down with the ship. His performance narrowly steers the film away from being a forgettable farce and into the realm of weirdly terrible and misguided comic book movies. And so Venom won’t go down as the boring Spider-Man movie, but the misguided one where Tom Hardy rambles like a maniac and eats a living lobster.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” and “Grinch” Steal Slow Box Office Weekend

Published

on

Aside from the re-release of Schindler’s List, there is nothing new in the box office for the weekend. Seriously, there’s nothing. And I thought last weekend was slow. With no new films in the running, it’s pretty much a repeat as the box office takes a snow day.

Once again, no surprise, Ralph Breaks The Internet is still on top. In its third weekend, the animated Disney adventure grossed $16 million for the weekend and $140 million for its domestic total. It still has a ways to go to top its $175 million but it should be closing in soon. Also no surprise following closely behind is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the computer-animated holiday comedy based on the book by Dr. Seuss. After five weekends, it’s still in the top 5, making another $15 million for the weekend and $223 million domestic total. Worth noting is that, despite this weekend being slow, the movie only took a 15% dip from last weekend. And you can bet it’ll be sticking around for the rest of December.

As for everything else, very few films moved from their spots with one exception. Green Book, the historical racial drama, is picking up steam and has moved up from #10 last weekend to #7 after being added to more than 100 more theaters. Good word of mouth is getting around about this film as its domestic total is now sitting at $19 million for being in less than 2,000 theaters after four weekends.

Check out the full box office results below:
Ralph Breaks The Internet ($16,141,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($15,175,000)
Creed II ($10,322,515)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($6,805,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($6,000,000)
Instant Family ($5,600,000)
The Possession of Hannah Grace ($3,935,000)
Robin Hood ($3,585,000)
Widows ($3,175,000)
Green Book ($3,100,000)

Next weekend, the break is over and genre movies will be in full swing. Mortal Engines, a CGI-heavy fantasy, will debut in 3,000 theaters. The Mule, a new drug-related drama directed and starring Clint Eastwood, will premiere in 2,400 theaters. And Sony’s new animated superhero film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, will be hitting 3,400 theaters. It’s a pretty much a sure bet that Spider-Man will take that weekend, given its PG-rated superhero appeal and the big word-of-mouth it’s getting from critic circles.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

Published

on

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release was that of a small horror film, The Possession of Hannah Grace. So small, in fact, that it only came in at #7 for the weekend with a gross of $6.5 million. As such, few films moved very far from their spots. Last weekend’s winner, the animated adventure Ralph Breaks The Internet, was once again on top, even though it wasn’t a very strong second weekend of $25 million, a 54% drop. Still, the film has made $119 million so far and is well on its way to covering its $175 million budget.

Surprisingly jumping up a spot is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the latest animated film Illumination Studios based on the classic Christmas book. The film jumped up from #3 to #2, making $17 million with the domestic gross now up to $203 million. Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spinoff, took a step down for its second weekend, grossing $16 million with a domestic total of $81 million. It’s no surprise that the biggest drop of the weekend was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to the Harry Potter spinoff. Due to low critic ratings and poor fan reactions, the film tumbled 61% with its domestic gross sitting at $134 million.

Ivo Nandi stars as Moscow Referee and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago in CREED II,
a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

View the full top 10 box office winner for the weekend below.

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($25,756,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($17,730,000)
Creed II ($16,832,863)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($11,200,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($8,100,000)
Instant Family ($7,150,000)
The Possession of Hannah Grace ($6,500,000)
Robin Hood ($4,700,000)
Widows ($4,400,000)
Green Book ($3,900,000)

Next weekend is so sparse with new content that the biggest release is going to be an anniversary screening of Schindler’s List, hitting 1,000 screens. It’s a good time to take in some smaller releases as Mary Queen of Scots, Ben is Back, and Vox Lux will be having limited releases. So it’s safe to expect a repeat of this weekend’s trends in the box office.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Published

on

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated family picture. Ralph Breaks The Internet, the Disney-animated sequel to 2012’s video game adventure comedy Wreck-It Ralph, came in at #1 for the weekend with $55 million and $84 million since its debut on Wednesday. This puts it above the Disney studio’s previous Thanksgiving hit Moana, which had a 5-day total of $82 million.

Not too far behind is Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spin-off starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. The boxing sequel took in $35 million for the weekend and $55 million since Wednesday. This is a stronger opening than the first film which came in at $29 million for the weekend.

And it was slim leftovers for the two other debuts. Robin Hood, the latest action remake of the classic tale, came in at #7 with only $9 million for the weekend, $14 million since Wednesday. Green Book, a drama about a black singer in the racist south of America, came in at #9 for its expanded week to make $5 million for the weekend and $7 million for its domestic total.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is not fairing to well for its second weekend. The Harry Potter spin-off has dropped to #4 with a domestic weekend gross of $30 million, a 52% drop. The film still hasn’t cleared its $200 million budget with a domestic gross of $117 million and it looks like it may never cross that mark as we head into December with more genre titles. Beating it out for #3 is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the theatrically animated adaptation by Illumination, that is proving to have great legs coming into the holiday season. Worth noting at #10 is A Star Is Born, its domestic total now having crossed $191 million to make it one of the most profitable films of the year.

View the full top 10 box office results for the weekend below:

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($55,672,000)
Creed II ($35,293,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($30,210,000)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($29,650,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($13,855,000)
Instant Family ($12,500,000)
Robin Hood ($9,125,000)
Widows ($7,955,000)
Green Book ($5,443,000)
A Star is Born ($3,005,000)

Next weekend is, well, it’s pretty dead. So dead that a ghost movie is occupying the rather blank spot. Possession of Hannah Grace, a modest horror production, will be arriving in under 2,000 theaters. So it’s fair to say you can expect Ralph to breakthrough for another weekend of success.


Continue Reading

Find Us On Facebook

More

Box Office3 days ago

“Ralph” and “Grinch” Steal Slow Box Office Weekend

Aside from the re-release of Schindler’s List, there is nothing new in the box office for the weekend. Seriously, there’s...

Box Office1 week ago

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release...

Box Office1 week ago

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated...

Movie News1 week ago

“Creed II” Gets Raw and Rickety with Rocky-isms

Creed II, despite showing no shortage of boxing enthusiasm, falls prey to all the predictable theatrics and pitfalls of a...

Box Office1 week ago

“Fantastic Beasts” Feasts on Box Office, “Widows” Wilts

The weekend belonged to wizards as The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter spin-off prequel saga...

Movie News4 weeks ago

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Conjures Magical Monotony

I had written that with the first Fantastic Beasts film I hoped I wouldn’t need giggle juice to be entertained...

Box Office4 weeks ago

“The Grinch” Steals Box Office, “Overlord” and “Spider” Left With Scraps

The holiday Christmas movie season starts early as it usually does in November. Just one week after The Nutcracker and...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “Overlord” is a Gritty, Gory Genre Mash

Overlord is one of those delicious genre blenders that delivers World War II action and viciously gruesome body horror into...

Box Office1 month ago

Big “Bohemian Rhapsody” Opening While “Nutcracker” Trails

In weekend box office battle, it’s Queen who is king. Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddy Mercury and Queen biopic, came in...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is Bitterly Bland With Beauty

Disney is in a very unique position as a dominant studio to experiment with more inspiring films for more diverse...

Trending