October movie reviews: What should you go see this weekend?
October 23, 2018
October was a successful month for the big screen. These are some of the biggest movies of the month.
Venom: the Greatest Rom/Com of 2018
When Sony (That’s right Sony. Not Marvel) announced back in March 2017 and that it would be making a Venom solo movie and it would not include our favorite wall-crawler, people were obviously very skeptical on if the movie would be any good.
Well after the October record-shattering success of the film shows that Sony might finally have nailed Venom. The movie grossed a total of $80 million in its opening weekend which makes it the highest grossing October movie to date. The Prior record holder was 2013’s Gravity.
The movie is a big step for venom since we last saw him on the big screen in Spiderman-3. But does it live up to expectations? I’m here to tell you it does in a big way.
The movie’s director (Ruben Fleischer), had told fans that Venom was going to be a grittier superhero movie with as he promised would push the envelope.
The trailers we got for the movie showed us a movie that depicted the main character, Eddie Brock (Played by Tom Hardy), having to battle with his personal demon known as the alien symbiote Venom.
The end result was instead a sort of Rom/Com with a splash of action and a sprinkle of dark humor that you wouldn’t normally find in a Marvel movie. But this is not a normal Marvel movie, in fact, Marvel Studios had nothing to do with the creation of this movie.
If you’re unfamiliar with how Marvel Movie rights work here’s a quick play by play. Back in the mid-90’s, there was a collapse of the comic book market. Now in order for Marvel Comics to protect itself from going bankrupt, they decided to sell some of their movie rights away to film companies.
This is why we’ve never seen the X-men (owned by Fox) and the Avengers (owned by Marvel Studios/ Disney) teaming up on the big screen. Now I’m not saying it’s impossible for us to get a witty debate between Tony Stark and Professor Xavier, but in order for that to happen the big movie studios need to make a deal.
The only reason Spiderman’s even in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) is that Sony wanted to have Tony Stark in their Spiderman: Homecoming movie. So this painted a particular problem for Venom as Spiderman “bite the dust” in Infinity war.
So Sony was given the thought to be an impossible task, make a move about one of Spiderman’s greatest enemies without Spiderman. Well, I think that Sony did just that, the impossible.
Now it’s important to note that as of now the movie does not take place in the MCU. But since its recent success in the box offices there a good chance that Disney will want a cut of the profits.
This movie acts as an origin story for the character and it must be said that Venom’s origin in the comics is a result of Spiderman. In the comics, Spiderman finds the mysterious alien goo (also sometimes called a symbiote) and it bonds with him.
He soon learns that it’s a parasite and that it has started corrupting him. He gets rid of it and it soon finds Eddie Brock who has a mutual hatred for Spiderman. But this movie can’t have that origin so instead, they have to focus more on the space origin of the symbiote.
While the story isn’t perfect and it definitely isn’t what we expected it is still a good movie. Eddie Brock is a reporter who is down on his luck after losing his job, his apartment, and his Fiancé. He stumbles upon the life foundation which is a corporation that thinks symbiotes are the next step for humans if we are to survive on earth in the coming years of climate change.
While investigating the Life foundations labs he comes in contact with the alien symbiote named Venom which latches on to him. The symbiotes need a host to live on our world given the fact that without us they can’t live for very long in our atmosphere. The symbiote allows him to perform seemingly impossible feats of strength and speed.
Once he has the symbiote he begins to hear Venom’s voice in his head and he soon becomes crazy hungry and starts to eat food raw or even at one point rotten meat. Eddie soon learns that Venom is responsible for his growing hunger and that if he doesn’t eat almost constantly the symbiote will start to digest is organs.
Venom tells Eddie that there is another spaceship that can get him of this world and that if Eddie takes him to it he will let him go. But Eddie gets separated from Venom and the symbiote bonds with Eddies Ex-Fiancé (played by Michelle Williams) to get Eddie back.
Venom is by far the greatest love story between a boy and a strange alien parasite that wants to eat his kidneys. Also, if you’re a fan of Spiderman/Venom I would stay till you’ve seen all the end credit scenes.
“First Man” provides a new perspective on the Apollo 11 story we all know
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 Commander, Neil Armstrong successfully landed and became the first man to walk on the moon. Now, almost 50 years later, the story is being retold on the big screen in Damien Chazelle’s newest release.
As “First Man” does follow the events of the Apollo 11 mission, it primarily revolves around the events and training leading up to the mission. It focuses the struggles and hardships experienced by Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), his wife Janet Shearon (Claire Foy), and the rest of the Armstrong family showing a side to the story that is generally unknown and overlooked by a majority of the audience. With this comes one of the film’s greatest strengths in being that since it was able to detach the audience from the story they already knew to provide its own fair share of surprises and suspense in extremely tense sequences expertly crafted with the implementation of many clever techniques by Chazelle and his crew.
“We’ve seen this (story) so many times, and I think it added to this story that we’ve all seen before,” sophomore Landon Alison said.
One thing “First Man” excelled at compared to other recent films is the thought and creativity put into camera movement, direction and shot composure. Chazelle recreated the world of the 1960s by both using authentic visuals, sounds and scores, but by shooting his film like a film in the 1960s would be shot at times. Occasionally even decreasing the grain on some shots to make it look like the shot was composed from a camera from the 1960s rather than the modern, smooth cameras of today. Chazelle also utilized many practical effects and CGI effects that were extremely stunning and made the film look very realistic.
But no film can be perfect, and “First Man” is no exception bringing along its own fair share of critiques. Most notably, with a run time of 2 hours and 21 minutes, the length of the film seems to be a popular topic for discussion when regarding criticisms.
“The movie’s length was a bit long. However, I can see why they made it this long adding to the buildup for the film’s more tense scenes,” Alison said.
I recommend this film to anyone who has ever been interested in space exploration and the Apollo 11 mission and to anyone who has ever wondered if there is more to that story. Upon viewing, I believe that “First Man” will provide you with an added respect and attachment to the story of Neil Armstrong. “First Man” provides a thrilling story with its fair share of surprises aided by realistic visuals, sounds and dialogue.
“I thought this (movie) was a very beautiful film,” Alison said. “It showed a side of cinematography that is not generally shown with it’s unique approach was.”
The Hate U Give brings insight into racial challenges
Incorporating rapper Tupac Shakur’s idea of “thug life” into her best selling novel, now powerfully adapted to a screen production, author Angie Thomas’ envision behind “The Hate U Give” was to emphasize the systematic injustices faced by African Americans. The acronym “thug life” stands for “The Hate U Give Little Infants ***** Everybody,” and according to the rapper means “what you feed us as seeds grows and blows up in your face.”
The story follows the family of Starr Carter, as she experiences injustice towards African Americans first hand. Alternating between two worlds, Starr is forced to balance the poor, primarily black neighborhood in which she lives, with the rich, white school she attends. Her position as a member of society is suddenly compromised when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend. Throughout the course of the film, Starr must discover her voice and stand up for her beliefs.
The film also addresses the differences in treatment between police and the communities they served based on the primary ethnicity it comprises as well as the relevancy of police brutality among teens.
“Just like in the movie, today, people often support the right causes for the wrong reasons. It shows that they don’t have true passion,” senior Elizabeth Kitley said.
Controversially, the police officer who plays Uncle Carlos further entangles tense race relations by defending police shooting in regards to African Americans.
“I’m not in his shoes, but I thought it was wrong (to defend police shootings). It did enhance the effect of inequality, which was the whole point of the movie,” Kitley said.
The impressive cast captures the complicated moments of love, hate and dread, fully encompassing the film’s meaning.
“It’s important to see this because it reveals how people are actually treated,” junior Reagan Kargo said.
Michael Myers makes a killing at the box office in his new sequel
When I heard that we would be getting another Halloween Sequel this year I thought to myself: “really another one”. But I then was told that this movie was doing away with all the other sequels and I thought: “this could have potential”. The movie has an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and is expected to beat Venom in the highest opening weekend profits in the month of October.
So if you’re a fan of the nine other Halloween sequels I’m sorry to say that they are no longer canon. I, however, think this was a smart move by the producers as Halloween had taken a similar path as Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. All the sequels were just not as good as the first one and they had seemed more like cash grabs then honest Sequels.
That’s not to say that I don’t love the original Halloween and I definitely think that this is the better sequel then Halloween 2 (1981). Actress Jamie Lee Curtis reprised her role as Laurie Strode alongside actor Nick Castle who played the infamous Michael Myers. This movie takes place on October 31st, 2018 exactly 40 years since the events of the original movie.
We learn that Laurie, the only survivor from the events of the first movie, has spent the last 40 years preparing for the inevitable escape of Michael. She reviles to two journalists that her obsession with protecting herself from Michael has cost her everything. She lost custody of her daughter and has had two failed marriages.
Michael has been locked up in a mental corrections facility for the last 40 years and during that time has not spoken a single word. It’s probably worth stating that he hadn’t spoken in 15 years in the first movie so he hasn’t spoken for a total of 55 years.
His personal doctor, Dr. Sartain (played by Haluk Bilginer) has tried everything to make Michael talk but none of his plans have worked.
There are many scenes in the movie that are clearly references to the original. An example of this is how in the original there is a scene where Laurie is sitting in class when she sees Michael looking at her from across the street. In this movie there is an almost exact same scene with Laurie’s Granddaughter, Allyson (played by Andi Matichak), sitting in the same classroom seeing Laurie standing across the street watching her.
There are also scenes that have Laurie and Michael switch roles. In the original movie, Laurie is cut by Michael and she manages to run up to her room to hide in a closet. She tries to make it seem like she ran out through the balcony door but her bleeding hand leaves a trail right to her hiding spot.
The sequel does a scarily twisted version of this scene with Laurie now looking for Michael in her house. She is armed with a shotgun and had just shot off two of Michaels’ fingers. She follows the trail of blood to her room which has a closet and an open balcony door. She checks the closet but finds him not hiding in there, she then tries to follow the blood trail but it crisscrosses on itself and this allows Michael to get the jump on her and throws her off the balcony.
One of the thing that made the original so scary is the suspense of the movie. The parts where were expecting Michael to jump out and kill but he doesn’t. This is done in the Sequel and it doesn’t disappoint.
Many classic scenes from the original are used in this movie to makes us unsure of what’s going to happen. Examples of this are the ghost bedsheet scene, the closet scene, and the use of Michael’s iconic music.
Now I really enjoyed this movie and I think that if you’re a fan of the original you’ll find this movie to be a nice take on the franchise. But I think that this should be the end of the franchise at least for now. There is evidence to suggest Michael may not be finished, but I believe this is where his story should end.
I’m not trying to say that this could be the end of the movie series. There’s one scene in the movie in which Michael has just killed a nameless woman with a hammer and on his way out of the house he passes a baby crying in a crib. He stops to look at the baby and he does something that surprises us, he doesn’t kill the baby he leaves it to just cry on its own.
So here’s what I think would be a better story for a possible sequel. There’s a scene where Dr. Sartain talks about how Michael’s psychopathic tendencies could be a result of him seeing something that causes him to begin killing. So it would be a much better story idea for the infant (that Michael didn’t kill) to grow up and become the new killer after having the image of Michael’s masked face being imprinted on their young mind.
It’s either something like that or another Halloween sequel that just doesn’t seem as good as the original. Whatever the case may be this sequel definitely held up to the original and it only took them 40 years to get it right.