Movie review: “Venom” (2018)


“Your world is not so ugly after all. It will almost be a shame to watch it end.”

All I really know about the towering, terrifying, slobbering, needle-fanged, ludicrously extreme comic book anti-hero Venom, I learned from Topher Grace in Sam Raimi’s schizophrenic, terminally ambitious, generally unfortunate Spider-man 3, which I think you’ll agree is not exactly optimal return, even on the admittedly negligible educational investment of one matinee movie ticket over a decade ago.* The rest I kinda gathered peripherally, via osmosis, incomplete spot research, and lingering glances, alternately amused and bemused, at hysterically garish comic book covers and panels, both in store and online. Continue reading “Movie review: “Venom” (2018)”

Movie review: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

max guitar

“If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die historic on a fury road!”

I am a man who loves his adjectives, and, as a film and concertgoer (and general pop culture participant/enthusiast/reviewer/critic), someone who also, I think, chooses, deploys, and wields them with not a little facility. After thirty years of semi-serious or better moviegoing, I feel, on some level, that I’ve seen it all before, and lately it feels I’ve described a good deal of it to boot. Standard, shopworn superlatives shrink in the face of an uncompromised, uncompromising, full-tilt action odyssey like Mad Max: Fury Road, however. They feel laughably inadequate, and frustratingly incomplete. They burst into the same sort of flames director/writer/creator George Miller uses so often as visual punctuation, or else shrivel and blow away harmlessly into his vast desert setting, a merciless wasteland that, even in a film absolutely teeming with desperate, violent, flamboyant life, is still Fury Road’s most important and, at times, unforgettable character. Continue reading “Movie review: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)”