Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a sequel superhero film made for laughs. The first Venom, from 2018, was also a comedy, but unlike the first version this Carnage sequel is out of focus and, frankly, somewhat forgettable.

In Venom: Let there Be Carnage, Eddie Brock is back, played by Tom Hardy. Brock still has his symbiotes powers, which were given to him for evil, but he instead uses the powers to protect others. The voices of the symbiote still go through his head, and the voices are dark, but they can also be hysterical. Brock tries to get back into his reporter career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson. He also tries to get back together with Anne Weying, played by Michelle Williams. When Kasady escapes from prison, Brock must convince the symbiote within him to help him regain his powers to save the city from more damage.

Despite its lack of focus, Venom: Let there Be Carnage is fun at times, especially given the performances of Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, and Michelle Williams. But I found myself wishing for more from Harrelson, with that sinister smile he always has in the strange roles he usually plays. I also felt that the humor in the film was often overdone, and that the film relied too much on CGI. The extensive GCI works for some superhero movies, but this one, not so much.

I did enjoy bits and pieces of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and it is fun if you just want a film to not take seriously. Marvel comic fans will also find a few hidden gems in the film. But overall, I give Venom: Let there Be Carnage just two stars.

The Guilty Review

The Guilty is a mesmerizing psychological thriller from director Antoine Fuqua, who also directed Southpaw (2015), another psychological thriller. Both films have Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead, and nobody plays the stressed out role better than Gyllenhaal.

In The Guilty, Gyllenhaal is Joe Baylor, a police officer who has been demoted from police officer to working at a 911 dispatch center, where the entire film takes place. Baylor’s demotion stemmed from an incident for which he has an upcoming court case.

While working at the call center Baylor takes a call from Emily Lighton, played by Riley Keough, who tells Baylor that she has been abducted but has to initially hang up before she can give any details. Others involved in the drama are Matthew Fonenot, played by Paul Dano, and Henry Fisher, played by Peter Sarsgaard. Another detective involved in the situation is Sgt. Bill Miller, played by Ethan Hawke. These characters are a big part of the film, but we only we see Baylor throughout the call.

Much of the suspense of The Guilty comes from the scared voice of Emily on the phone call. Baylor strives for Emily’s safety, but he may be overstepping boundaries of what he is allowed to do as a dispatcher. Fuqua’s technique of letting us see Gyllenhaal’s emotions but only hear the emotions of the others on the calls is excellent, and he really does understand how to build suspense. Three and a half stars for The Guilty.

No Time to Die Review

No Time to Die is one of the best James Bond films in the 007 franchise. It lives up to the hype and the long-anticipated release after many Covid-19 postponements, and the film soars with brilliance and high-octane action. Daniel Craig makes his true mark as Bond, and he is a knockout throughout. “If we don’t do this, there will be nothing left so save!” is a quote from the trailer for the film, and it is a metaphor for the film as well.

In No Time to Die, Bond has retired after the events from the previous film, Spectre(2015). He is living the life of romance with Dr. Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux, but he faces peril again when old friend Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, needs his assistance. Bond soon realizes that he is on the track of an enemy with treacherous technology that can kill millions around the world. Bond teams up once again with his quarter master Q, played by Ben Whishaw, Eve Moneypenny, played by Naomie Harris, his boss M, played by Ralph Fiennes, and new agent Nomi, played by LaShana Lynch.

The enemy behind the dangerous technology is Lyutsifer Safin, played by Rami Malek, the actor we all know as Freddie Mercury from Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). Malek’s performance is among the best of all the enemies in 007 history.

Much of the danger in No Time to Dielinks to previous Bond films, and it is an amazing ride. Explosions out of the blue, deceit, and one of Bond’s biggest challenges to completing this, his last mission.

This may be the finale for Daniel Craig as James Bond, and it is a monumental Bond film that fans around the world will love. After the many months of pandemic postponements, I was eager to experience this finale, and I loved it. I have always been a die-hard fan of the 007 series, and this one may top the charts for me. Four stars for No Time to Die.

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