I rated Venom 6/10 on IMDb

www.imdb.com/title/tt1270797

not a bad film. Just so-so. Writing now, only a few days after seeing Venom, there’s very little that stands out. and yet, I enjoyed it at the time.

I suppose much of the film is oddly unoriginal. Mad scientist hell bent on a dodgy premise: mashup humans with aliens. A wastrel reporter who yet has a tremendous work ethic. And a really sensible lady with a weak spot for losers. Oh, and a ravenous alien parasite.

It should be very entertaining (cf ravenous alien parasite). Some of it is. The action scenes are surprisingly fun. Especially the swift Venom vs bad guys pieces. Whump! Chomp! The bad guys are done. Though the long car/motorbike chase draws such action out a bit longer for no real reason other than to have a chase. Maybe host panic is the reason? Maybe?

Perhaps the main problem i had is that Venom is almost an anti-superman. Pretty indestructible, surprisingly powerful on this world, and the difference is that it is amoral at best. So there’s more fun than superman with the ‘you shouldn’t eat people’ bit, but in the end there’s only so much drama you can squeeze out. The ‘let’s stop the hard core alien escape our world before bringing a lot more back’ plotline is credible but hardly inventive. And the general lack of external involvement (police, army, so on) makes the events oddly confined.

Tom Hardy does a passable act as a confused and committed reporter with a parasite. Oh, that joke gets old really quickly but I suppose it’s almost a catchphrase.

It could be one of those movies where Venom 2 is better than the original. But only because the original is just OK.

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I rated king of thieves 4/10 on IMDb

www.imdb.com/title/tt5789976

if you were expecting dad’s army meets some classic 60s crime movie then even you are in for a disappointment.

This trades on the film history of several of the actors to suggest some kind of noble-villain heritage.

In reality it is a tedious tale of a bunch of criminals whose greed and dishonesty destroys their own potential success.

There are some amusing moments. And some poignancy with these older guys trying to recapture some frisson of youth.

Overall though this is not serious enough to be thrilling nor funny enough to be comedic. It is long, generally dull, and there are better movies about robberies about.

I rated mile 22 4/10 on IMDb

www.imdb.com/title/tt4560436

Er, this is an odd one. Some neat action. Some amusing tropes. And yet overall it is really poor. Dodgy camera footage with shaky ‘ naked chef on crack’ type cuts, angles, and framing. Some very hackneyed dialogue. And characters who would struggle to find form in anything but dot-world. The premise ‘double agent? He’s a triple agent!’ Is risible and writ large from early on. There’s unconvincing pompous dialogue galore. All this matched to some of the worst mic/foley/sound recording since I played with a full size VHS camera make this a pretty poor show. A real shame as this could have been a pretty tight, tense, and action-packed piece along the lines of black hawk down.

I rated Christopher Robin 8/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt4575576

nearly didn’t go to see this as I’d been told by a trusted source that it was ‘OK, but unoriginal’.

Sure, it’s a familiar trope for a certain type of children’s movie. ‘Big’ with Tom Hanks is the one I remember most. It goes put aside magical childhood to grow up, lose sight of what makes you happy on the hamster wheel of adulthood, and through traumatic events recapture what’s important.

But wow. This movie had me in tears most of the way through. Maybe it’s my time of life. Maybe circumstances. But I thought this was the strongest tale of this sort I have yet seen. And it is all done so gently. Macgregor’s RP accent is a bit weak and he seems to be holding back on something in his character. That does not diminish the power of his role combined with that of his family and especially the brilliantly animated friends in 100 acre wood. They are just right.

Almost modelled after films of a bygone era, this has a strong story arc, neatly ties up all components, love triumphs, and it is all done wonderfully.

I rated the predator 6/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt3829266

a surprisingly entertaining resurrection of the predator. Reminded me of some of the films and TV of the 80s with its family, children, soldier, and scientist aspects. It’s a great blend of cheesy, humour, violence and gore.

Not a great intellectual effort, but well worth sitting back and enjoying the almost nonsensical events as they unfold.

I rated BlackkKlansman 10/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt7349662

one of the best new films I have seen in recent times.

It’s played with humour and passion. It has a serious message and serious content. It has polemic and argument. It is outrageously entertaining.

An ambitious guy becomes the Colorado springs police force’s first black police officer. And then becomes their first detective. When he responds to the KKK’s newspaper ad with a phone call he’s in. Working with his white Jewish partner they infiltrate the local chapter of ‘the organisation’ and uncover domestic terror plans. The KKK members are played brilliantly and portrayed, accurately, as racist hapless idiots with bad intent.

With its serious undertow and political messages this could have been disturbing and dull. Instead it is a consciousness-raising entertainment movie that deserves viewing.

I rated at eternity’s gate 5/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt6938828

it’s pretty obvious from the beginning that this is an arty film. The super-shonky hand held footage that makes up the first country scenes we see Van Gogh in make that clear.

However, this movie is surprisingly absorbing for all that arty pretension. We see a reasonably linear narrative from Paris to the south of France and so on to Arles and st remy. The cinematography seems to help give an insight into Van Gogh’s mental state. The drama is suitably real-life. Nothing overblown, just right. Willem Dafoe is compelling as Van Gogh.

While there are weird things throughout, Van Gogh’s death in this movie is perhaps the oddest. Saying nothing more about it.

This is a long, arty, yet fascinating movie. Worth watching.