Venom (2018)

‘Venom’ is a 2018 Marvel superhero movie starring Tom Hardy (Lawless), Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), and Jenny Slate (Bob’s Burgers). A disgraced reporter (Hardy) is taken over by an alien parasite known as Venom. Venom decides he likes earth and now him and the reporter must stop an alien invasion before earth is doomed.

So the Venom movie ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ is out in theaters, so I had to go back and watch this one before seeing the new one this weekend. The cool thing about the Venom movie is, he is the first villain to have their own solo movie in the MCU. Venom is arguably the biggest bad ass out of all the villain’s in Marvel, whose ever body he takes over not only do they posses Venom’s powers, but also still posses their own. So you can have a venomized Spiderman, Dr. Strange, etc. So Venom is a pretty cool character.

Tom Hardy is a great actor, and does a good job playing the guy teamed up with Venom. Like all Marvel movies this one does a great job of having a good mix of comedy and action. I was hoping for a little more though, it wasn’t quite as badass as I was expecting being the first solo villain movie. It’s still worth the watch. I give it a 7/10.

The Many Saints of Newark

‘The Many Saints of Newark’ is a 2021 crime/drama origin story of Tony Soprano. It stars Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle), Leslie Odom Jr. ( Hamilton), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Corey Stoll (Ant-Man), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), Michela De Rossi (Boys Cry), and Michael Gandolfini (Cherry).

This story takes place in the late 60’s through the 70s when Tony Soprano is a kid and teenager. He looks up to his uncle Dickie Moltisanti, a prominent figure in the Dimeo crime family. Dickie struggles with his personal life while a race war is going on, and a new player emerges to push back against the mob.

‘The Sopranos’ is one of the most beloved, and watched shows of all time, they racked in numerous awards and are still popular to this day. I have to say this, I’ve never seen one episode of ‘The Sopranos’. If I have my review would probably be different, and I could tell you how well it is tied in. So my review is as it’s based off a mafia movie. It has a run time of two hours, and it feels it. I felt pretty stiff getting up. There’s not a whole lot of action in this, there are several killings, but it’s spread across two hours. It’s more about the daily lives of Dickie Moltisanti and Harold Mcbrayer. Tony Soprano is in it maybe ten percent of the film, if that. So it was a lot different than I thought it would be. A cool little fact though, the kid who plays Tony Soprano in this, his father played Tony Soprano in ‘The Sopranos’. So that’s really cool he’s playing his dad’s famous character. Anyway, it’s pretty good though, it’s very ‘Godfather’, and Goodfellas-esque. So overall it’s a good watch especially if your a fan of the classic style mob movies. Again I may have appreciated it more, or possible less if I have seen ‘The Sopranos’, but I haven’t so you have to take that into consideration with my score. I give it a 7/10, but it does make me want to watch ‘The Sopranos’ now.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ is the 2021 Action/Comedy sequel to the 2017 film ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’. Of course this one brings back Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), and Salma Hayek (From Dusk Till Dawn) while adding Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zoro), and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption).

Assassin Darius Kincaid (Jackson), once again teams up with Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds), but this time it’s Darius’s wife (Hayek) that enlists Bryce’s help in order to Save Kincaid. She ends up getting abducted so they’re forced to work together once again.

This isn’t Reynolds biggest movie out right now, all eyes are on his movie ‘Free Guy’, which I still have yet to see, but I want to. I was really looking forward to this one, the first one is great. This one is filled with plenty of fire power, explosions, and cursing (which is expected in a movie with Jackson, and Reynolds). One thing I thought it was lacking was the comedy, I figured it would be a lot funnier than it was. I was a little disappointed to be honest, maybe I set the bar to high, but it wasn’t funny. It’s entertaining overall, but it was lacking something. I give it a 7/10.

Candyman (2021)

‘Candyman’ is the sequel/remake of the 90’s classic horror film ‘Candyman’. This one stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Mirror), Teyonah Parris (The Photograph), and Michael Hargrove (The Express)

An Artist who is trying to find inspiration for his upcoming show finds out about the legend of Candyman. He investigates further and unknowingly unleashes Candyman.

So first off It’s a Jordan Peele movie so you know there’s going to be racial undertones. Look at his other two horror films, ‘Get Out’, and ‘Us’. Tony Todd (the original candyman) makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film saying something along the lines of you think the ones I kill are innocent but they’re not. The only ones killed in the film are white people. Just some food for thought.

So it’s not really a remake but kind of is, it follows along the lines of the first one, with someone investigating the legend of Candyman and unwittingly brings him back. This one however, also references the first one and does a great job tying this story in. Honestly it’s better than the first, more action. Abdul-Mateen II does a great job of playing the Candyman role. They also bring Tony Todd in for a scene, you can’t have Candyman without Tony Todd. Candyman tends to get overlooked when you look at the big horror villains Michael Myers, Jason, Leather Face, and Freddy Krueger. Candyman deserves his spot among them, and Jordan Peele did a great job reviving this horror franchise. I look forward to more movies to come. I give it a 7/10.

Fear Street Part Three: 1666

‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ is the third and final installment of the 2021 horror Fear Street series on Netflix. It stars Kiana Madeira (Fear Street Part One: 1994), Ashley Zukerman (Manhattan), Gillian Jacobs (Fear Street Part Two: 1978), Olivia Scott Welch (Fear Street part One: 1994), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Fear Street Part One: 1994), and Darrell Britt- Gibson (Keanu).

In this one, we travel back to 1666 and see how Shadyside became cursed. Sarah Fier (The Witch) is blamed for brining the devil to Shady side due to her romantic relationship with Hannah Miller, but we find out it’s not The Witch who summoned the devil.

So they split the third one into two parts, the first half it’s back in time to 1666 to show how it all started , then the second half, we’re back to the first movie in order to end the curse. They did a good job tying that in because if it was all just 1666 it wouldn’t have been as good and left a lot of questions unanswered. My big complaint, like the second one, is the darkness, there’s a lot of outdoor scenes at night, and you can’t tell what’s going on. Again not sure why movies like to do this. With that being said they do a good job of tying everything together, and it’s a fun slasher horror movie. I give this one a 7/10. If you average all three parts it gives it just under a 7.5/10 as a whole, so worth checking this series out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Fear Street movies in the future, I at least hope so.

Fear Street Part 2: 1978

‘Fear Street Part 2: 1978’ is the second instalment of the Fear Street horror series, it stars Sadie Sink (Stranger Things), Emily Rudd (Dynasty), Ryan Simpkins (A Single Man), McCabe Slye (Destroyer), Ted Sutherland (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and Drew Scheid (Words on Bathroom Walls).

The year is 1978, it’s summer time at camp Nightwing, all is fun and games until the witch posses one of the camp consolers. Now it’s a fight for survival as an axe wielding maniac wrecks havoc in camp Nightwing.

This one picks up directly from where the first one left off, and answers questions that we had from the first one. Who is C. Berman, what is her relationship with Sherriff Goode, and what do they have to do with the witch? This one answers those questions, this one is their story. This one is great, it has all the feels of a 80’s slasher movie, Friday the 13th vibes, an axe wielding maniac is running around killing campers. How can it not be good right? The thing stopping this movie though is it’s dark scenes, a lot of the movie takes place at night or in a cave, so it’s really hard to tell what’s going on. I always hate when movies do that, what’s the point of adding dark scenes if you can’t tell what’s going on? Other than that it’s another solid movie, and it sets up for the third one ‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ where we get to see the witch’s story. I can’t wait to check it out, I give this one a 7/10.

Charlie Says

‘Charlie Says’ is a 2018 crime/drama/biopic starring Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Sosie Bacon (13 Reasons Why), Marianne Rendon (Imposters), Merritt Wever (Signs), and Chace Crawford (The Covenant).

‘Charlie Says’ is based on the book “The Family” written by Karlene Faith who worked with the Manson girls at the California Institute for Women. She viewed them as victims, and lobbied for early release.

A lot of people are obsessed with serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. The one I find most fascinating though is Charles Manson. He never physically lifted a finger in the nine grisly murders in the summer of 1969, but brainwashed others to do the dirty work. It’s all fascinating. ‘Charlie Says’ focuses on the three main girls involved in the murders, and Tex Watson (Crawford), where as Charlie Manson isn’t the lime light. It’s an interesting view point and makes for an interesting movie. My only complaint would be is Smith is too tall for Manson, he plays a great role, but Smith is 6’0 and Manson was 5’2. Almost a whole foot difference, Manson was known for his small stature, and would supposedly go crazy when someone mentioned it. If you didn’t know how short Manson was, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it was a little distracting for me. Other than that it’s great, and I loved the perspective of the film. I give it a 7/10.

Good on Paper

‘Good on Paper’ is a 2021 original Netflix romantic comedy starring lliza Shlesinger (Spencer Confidential), Ryan Hansen (Fantasy Island), Rebecca Rittenhouse (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood), and Margaret Cho (The Masked Singer).

A standup comedian, (Shlesinger), who is trying to make it as an actress in L.A., meets a man who is not her typical type. They quickly become friends, and then boyfriend and girlfriend. Everything seems to be coming together in her life until she finds out everything about him is a lie.

One of the funny things about this movie is it’s based on some real experiences Shlesinger had, not sure how much is real and how much is for entertainment purposes, either way it makes for a good movie. It’s not as funny as I thought it would be after watching the trailer, it still has its funny parts but not laugh out loud funny. It still has a great story and everyone plays a good part. I give it a 7/10

Wrath of Man

‘Wrath of Man’ is 2021 action/thriller starring Jason Statham (The Transporter), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter), Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Niamh Algar (Raised by Wolves), Babs Olusanmokun (Black Mirror), and Post Malone.

A Mafia boss’s son is killed in an armored car heist by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The mafia boss finds out it’s an inside job, and poses as a security officer to get a job with the armored car company. He now must figure out who killed his son, and settle the score.

This movie is more of a slow burn than expected of a Statham film. There’s literally zero hand to hand combat, and doesn’t have a ton of action until about the last twenty/thirty minutes. Then there is a huge gun fight scene. I kept waiting for Jason to do his thing but it never happened, if your looking for him to beat up a bunch of people, watch ‘The Transporter’ series, because this one won’t be for you. McCallany plays a great second role to Statham, I really like him in ‘Mindhunter’, and I was happy to see him playing a big role in this film. Post Malone even has a small part in it. Though, there isn’t a lot of action and it is a bit on the slow side, the story is good and the acting is as well. It’s different than what I was expecting but it is still good. Who’s not going to like Statham and McCallany in the same movie? I give it a 7/10

The Virtuoso

‘The Virtuoso’ is 2021 Action Crime/Thriller starring Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels), Abbie Cornish (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), and David Morse (The Green Mile). A hitman (Mount) is hired for a job, but the only details he is given is a time and place with vague details of the hit. He must now figure out who he’s hired to kill before things go sideways.

This movie has pretty low scores across the board, including IMDb, which I’ve said it in other reviews IMDb typically lines up with my scores. I typically check the ratings before the movie just to see if I agree with it in the end, with an IMDb score of 4.5/10, I wasn’t expecting much, but the description sounded good so I figured I would give it a shot. The movie is set up a little different than most, Anson Mount doesn’t have much dialogue. Instead he narrates what’s going on throughout most of the movie, which is a bit different, but I personally love Anson Mount, so I got really excited when I saw he was starring in this. He’s the ultimate bad ass in ‘Hell on Wheels’ and his personality is similar in this. I read an article one time saying how Mount doesn’t like talking, so as ‘Hell on Wheels’ progressed he gave himself less and less lines. So him not having many lines in this, I find comical, it’s perfect for Mount.

Outside the narration, the movie is a bit cheesy with the action and what dialogue there is from the other characters. They try twists and turns to keep you guessing, kind of like ‘The Usual Suspects’, just not the same level of depth. My wife found the movie just okay, I personally liked it. I think a lot of it was just because of Anson Mount, and my excitement to see him outside of ‘Hell on Wheels’. So my review may be a bit on the biased side, if another actor played the hitman role, I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much. The cheesiest of the movie was probably Anthony Hopkins character, even said, the story is still pretty good, and has you thinking who’s who and what’s going on. For this movie, IMDb is low in my opinion. I give it a 7/10.