O@tM: Roundhouse Kick

OMG! No, Roundhouse Kick isn’t a movie title; although it should be if it’s the bestest kung-fu flick ever, but in this case it’s again your editrix cramming mutiple movies into one article. Why I do it? Because I don’t have to say too much about any of them … which is a good sign I guess. As most critics I have to say more about shitty movies or intentionally good movies that ended up trainwrecks. Those are actually the most deserving candidates for long-winded, meandering movie criticisms. But today I just wanna tell you about three pretty decent movies. These are the sort that do almost everything correctly and are just good, without being great. So here we go:

venom
Two for the price of one!

When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.

IMDb: 6.8

As far as  know this movie received mixed reviews that ranged from absolute hate to ok-ish. Hubby and me liked it fine. For reasons. First and foremost Tom Hardy who is at his best in the role of Venom‘s victim/symbiote. If he wants Tom Hardy eats up your screen with his quirky acting. There was one scene in particular hubby reminded me I must tell you guys about: The moment when Eddie Brock sees his Venom symbiote in the mirror he’s shocked. Well, of course he is! Venom is an alien creature from outer space, a wild and barbaric  people eater and therefore a rather acquired taste. But Tom Hardy/Eddie Brock doesn’t react just shocked, he lets out a girlish squeal while he tumbles over backwards. Hubby and me were in stitches. And really, all the scenes when Venom and Eddie have their little quibbles and conversations are the highlights of this very amusing flick.

The pace is fast, the tricks on par with most other MCU movies but nothing super special so it’s the Venom/Eddie duo to keep the whole thing on track. Not that the suporting cast is bad but they kinda disappear behind Hardy’s demanding screen presence.

What I noticed as particularly positive about Venom, was that it didn’t went overboard storywise. It stays soundly grounded in our realistic universe, like Spider-man. So this was not about saving the whole universe and multiple star systems but it was about a very earthly problem. Small fry compared to the Avengers, but much more sympathetic.

As mentioned, hubby and me liked it and think the IMDb score is just about right.

 


 

Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong in Grimsby (2016)
Two English assh… Beep Beep Boop

MI6’s top assassin (Mark Strong) has a brother. Unfortunately for him, he’s a football hooligan (Sacha Baron Cohen) from the town of Grimsby. Nobby has everything a man from the poor English fishing town of Grimsby could want – 9 children and the most attractive girlfriend in northern England (Rebel Wilson). There’s only one thing missing in his life: his little brother, Sebastian. After they were adopted by different families as children, Nobby spent 28 years searching for him. Upon hearing of his location, Nobby sets off to reunite with his brother, unaware that not only is his brother an MI6 agent, but he’s just uncovered a plot that puts the world in danger. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.

IMDb: 6.2

Oh, I feel sorry for American audiences, I really do. The amount of censorship in this movie must be ridiculous. Anyway, Sacha Baron Cohen goes again so deep into the cringe area where nobody else doesn’t even wanna go. It’s just too inhospitable there. The Brothers Grimsby is a super crass film, fugly far above any level of taste and far below any waistline. This star studded comedy vehicle is a riot from the first second to the last. But naturally not all the gags work out as planed and as far as the rumoured British humour (not humor!) is concerned we’ve seen far better movies; more sarcastic, more dark, more deadly, more anarchistic! And Mr. Cohen’s bravery to show us real uglyness (Cohen, Wilson) is legendary. These things made us sometimes roll our eyes instead of having us in stitches.

Still it was a very … can I say pleasant? … watch. Only the IMDb score is a tad high for my taste.

 


 

Sandra Bullock, Julian Edwards, and Vivien Lyra Blair in Bird Box (2018)
Too good for Netflix?

In the wake of an unknown global terror, a mother must find the strength to flee with her children down a treacherous river in search of safety. Due to unseen deadly forces, the perilous journey must be made blindly. Directed by Emmy winner Susanne Bier, Bird Box is a thriller starring Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, and Trevante Rhodes.

IMDb: 6.7

Hubby didn’t wanna see this movie. I was lukewarm and more or less just downloaded it cuz boredom. And hey!, we almost missed a really good movie. After the grossly overrated Gravity we had quite enough of Sandra Bullock, although she can’t be blamed for that boring spectacle, quite the contrary. She stemmed that one-woman-show quite admirably. And how could it’ve been any different, she’s delivering a tour de force in Bird Box again. She’s conflicted yet mentally strong, and she shows it. A real actress!

Again a good cast all in all (John Malkovich ffs!) but Mrs. Bullock remains the commandeering screen presence.

The film is solidly made and I especially liked the photography. The colour pallette reminded me a bit of Annihilation in its eerie glow. I appreciated the permanently present slight horror throughout the whole runtime, eventhough there are no real apparent monsters visible as such. Still the suspicion was so well done we couldn’t divert our eyes for a split second. The time jumps were done in a very nice unconfusing manner and the journey of our protagonists was as straight as can be, just drifting down the river. Actually, coming to think of it, there is nothing much happening after a very tumultous first act. Still, as mentioned, director Susanne Bier and Sandra Bullock managed to keep our eyes peeled at the screen.

The 6.7 IMDb rating is lower than Venoms, but the more I think about both films it should be higher, definately!

 


 

Conclusion for all three movies: Venom and Bird Box come highly recommended, Cohen’s Brothers Grimsby remains an aquired taste for special audiences and becomes better with your drunkenness level.

 

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