Man Vs Movies – Venom Review.

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Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!

This review will have two time zones in one post. This is exciting right. Currently as I write this it is 14.01pm on the 3rd (Yes today is October 3rd) and tonight we are going to go and watch Venom. But I wanted to do a brief bit before watching it because of the storm Twitter and Rotten Tomatoes have stirred up regarding how good. . . or how bad this film is.

Firstly I want to start by saying in regards to film reviews and reviewers I do not trust the words of two sources; one being Rotten Tomatoes because it’s built off the back of Joe Bloggs opinion and as we know, people behind a keyboard become a troll and just taint everything, plus film is art and art is subjective. The second source I don’t trust is Mark Kermode. But more about him another time.


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Let me start by saying (as you might know) I am a big Marvel fan. I love most of the films regardless of what studio is making what and so when Venom got announced I was pretty excited for it. A cool twist on the Villain we know from the 90’s cartoon and with Tom Hardy at the helm what is not to love. In honesty I am hoping for a dark film, along the lines of Logan or Deadpool with the adult content and dark humour. Though with it being a 15 it might end up being slightly tamer. But still I am excited to see what they do and having Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson involved (which both I rate highly) what can go wrong. See you shortly.


Good Evening – Told you, two time zones. It is now 22.02pm on that faithful October 3rd and I have just got home from seeing Venom.

Ok in three words; Not That Bad!

Obviously it is hard going into a film when you have heard nothing but bad things about it. But here I am. I enjoyed it. I thought they have made a good start and can see it growing into a pretty neat franchise. I think it needs a night to sink in and settle but as a film it was fun. It’s no MCU film admittedly but they have their stuff down. It’s like an X2 standard of film. It’s good, it has heart and potential – let’s just hope they don’t follow with a Last Stand style Venom and cock it all up.

Tom Hardy was, as always a delight. Charming, funny and badass all rolled up into his normal deadly teddy bear persona. He nailed Eddie Brock, his personality and his coping mechanisms towards Venom were brilliant. Which per the review I have to agree with – their chemistry and relationship was perfect, that slightly mad, voices in your head style bickering was spot on. Sadly I mentioned Woody Harrelson up their and without spoiler it, his part is brief. But in true Woody style it was great.

Related imageThe story had a few plot holes and a few questions or solutions that seemed to be overlooked but that is a given now days in many films so I wont dwell on that part.

Overall I thought it was a good bit of fun, a great Saturday night chilled movie. You know the type – get the gang over, grab some snacks and throw this film on. It didn’t drag, it just flowed nicely. I would recommend giving it a whirl. Also as always keep an eye out for the Stan Lee cameo. This one was smart with a cool quip that he throws at our duo.

I am very interested to see what happens next and I do hope they green light a sequel. Watch this space because I can see it growing into some kind of dark guilty pleasure. Forget what you have heard, heck even forgot this review. Go in with an open mind and no expectations and just enjoy the movie. As always boys, girls and true believers thank you for stopping by, thank you for listening and thank you for being you!

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Friendly Neighbourhood Review-Man

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So it has been just over a week since Spider-Man swung onto our screens and it’s been one hell of a week for PlayStation Fans.

Firstly let me say I am hooked, I am in love and I am amazed at what they have made – A fully immersive, free roam, open world game playing as the webslinger himself.

According to the stat bar I am approximately 50% through the game, but story wise I don’t feel like I am very far at all. Something is coming but I can’t work out what. Maybe because I have done so many side bits is the reason the percentage is so high. Regardless I’ve put some hours into it and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The story line is set X amount of years after the origin on Spidey – there is no spider bite, uncle ben, or a coming of age tale. Pete has been Spidey for a while, he knows what he is doing. Honestly I am glad they took this approach – we all know the origins we don’t need to see it again. Pete is just a normal bloke, trying to pay rent, working a low paid job, oh and fighting crime as the wallcrawler. Just another day in the life hey.

The game play and dynamics are breathtaking, the ability to interact with the environment and open world is amazing. Imagine that feeling you got when Assassins Creed first came out and you were allowed to free run anywhere. It is like that and then some. Throw web slinging into the mix and this game is unstoppable.


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Making Spider-Man yours! The game has a tonne of features and combinations that make up how and who you play as. Starting off with Suit selections, there are 27 to pick from and unlock throughout the game; from the original suit, to the Iron Spider from Infinity Wars, to the more ridiculous suits like; Spirit Spider, Undies Suit & Vintage Comic Book Suit. All the suits have their own perks and powers that they bring to the table. Which once unlocked you can trade between suits. Then we get into gadgets, web shooters and suit mods. Which I can’t start to list because I am still unlocking them and playing about with finding the perfect combo that suits me. But again you can mix and match the whole lot.

When I first began and got into fights I was worried that the system would get very repetitive – I was so very wrong. The more you unlock, upgrade and learn new moves. The more each fight is different, fun and intense.

Currently I am running around in the Spider Punk suit – in his sleeveless denim jacket and red converse shoes, it reminds me of my youth. I have the Web Blossom Super Power attached which after ranking up focus, I can do a special move where Spidey jumps into the air, spins and fires multiple webs at once, sticking everyone to everything. It’s so much fun.

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The Bigger Picture – the world is massive and the links to other Marvel characters is just as big. I guessed there would be nods to things along the way but it wasn’t until I stumbled across Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum that I knew this would be big. I set out to find more quirks and references; Avengers Tower, Alias Investigations, Rand Industries are just to name a few. That and the cheeky Stan Lee cameo. You can’t miss it.

One word of warning though. Be prepared to see time just vanish. I jumped on the other night with 20mins to kill. Thinking I will just swing about and have some fun. An hour later I realised I was late to leave. This game will swallow time. But it is so worth it.

The story and game is just fun, all out, spandex pinging fun. If you are either working on the main story, hunting for backpacks or just admiring the world swinging through the streets, whatever it is you will be having fun doing it. I can not express the joy and awe this brings me. This is before we even mention Photo Mode. Imagine Instagram on steroids – the function is crazy full of filters, banners, stickers and a quirky cool selfie mode. Here are some examples!


Overall I love it, it’s so much fun! Let me know what you think, if you have played it, or if this has sold you to go out and buy a copy. I would love to know.

If you have liked this review also let me know as I might do more . . . Red Dead 2 is out next month.

 

 

Avengers Infinity War – Non Spoiler review.

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Wow!

Last night I watched The Avengers Infinity War and what can I say!

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So this post is spoiler free as I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone, so stick with me here as I attempt to tiptoe around the story trying to give as much information as I can while also trying to not give you anything at the same time – and just like Hulks punch it is proving hard going.

I am lost for words. On first reflection it was slower than the first Avengers. I love the first one because it runs so smooth but I felt this one changed speed a few times. Which isn’t a bad thing because let’s be honest they have a lot going on. But it builds nicely and just works on an impressive scale.

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What can I say without saying anything. Thanos is a brilliant bad guy – the reasoning behind his motives is somewhat logical in a mad kind of way and even the character development for him was stunning. They have managed to create the character so well that you feel as much emotion for him as you do the others. The emotions might not be the same but they are there non the less.

The teams were brilliant. Bringing everyone together worked so well. The bolshie arrogance of Stark mixed with the comical humor of Star Lord was genius. Spider-Man was a great inclusion throwing his young spirited naivety, yet willing to prove himself into the mix worked just as well as it did in Civil War and they also pair other great unlikely characters up which was something we never knew we needed but now just want to see again – *Cough* Thor and Rocket *Cough*

I was left with a few niggles here and there but I’m going to let it set in for a few days and then come back to it and see how I feel about them. That I think is standard with big films like this and alot of people I have spoken to have said similar things, but that in no way takes anything away from the overall amazing specticle I witnessed.

The ending left me somewhat in two minds. I want one result but think it’s more likely the other thought is more realistic. But that doesn’t change the magnitude of the film and what it means for the overall MCU world – we have seen this universe build and grow for ten years and this film is such a pay off that it’s everything we have wanted and more.

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Today the office is a bubbling pot of excitement as everyone is talking about the film, the theories, the trauma. It’s going to be one of those films that will be talked about and dissected for years to come. Leaving questions like – What have I witnessed? Where do we go next? How will we come back from this? To the point where someone has made a google sheet to label questions and thoughts so we can all throw opinions and answers into the mix.

Overall all I can say is the hype and build up did it justice – it’s doesn’t let you down and is a MUST see. If you enjoy the Marvel films even a little bit you will love this one. It’s a long film but from the very start you are thrown into this world and left shocked that the time has vanished. You won’t want it to end and could sit through it all again. I am already planning my second viewing as I think a few watches are needed just to help digest the sheer awesomeness of this masterpiece.

Mentally prepare yourself – it’s a thrill ride and I promise you will love it!

 

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My Marvel Top Five.

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After some amazing and lovely feedback from the first part of this post, here I am . . . yes you guessed it – with the second part.

This was meant to be included in the guide but that post just ran away with me and got a bit too long to include a Top Five in it, but that is good because now I have a bit more space to go in-depth. Also remember I am only picking from the MCU. So lets jump straight to the point shall we.

Here is my list, in no order.

My Marvel Top Five!

  1. The Avengers  The first outing who the whole team. This gathered Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in one super-sized cinema screen which was something that had never really been done before. . . And my god I loved every single minute of it – I still do in fairness, it holds up nicely and has everything you could ever ask for. Favourite Scene: The Battle of New York, the way the camera pans around the streets and joins all the heroes up in one amazing action shot.

  2. Captain America: Civil War – Again another outing for the group and a bigger selection of character. I like this more and more nowadays, we’ve seen these characters and we know they live in the same world. So it makes sense we see them pop up in each others movies and this does exactly that. With the introduction of Spider-Man and Black Panther this just showed another level to the MCU and their ability to maintain so many big names and character in one scene. Favourite Scene: The Airport Scene – Watching everyone go against each other, even if they are friends – Clint and Natasha exchanging banter between blows. While Spider-Man brings a youth and excitement to the fight which is refreshing and comical.

  3. Guardians of the Galaxy – The Avengers in Space . . . with a talking tree. Not knowing much about the Guardians when it first came around I was intrigued about the idea of the ragtag group of space cowboys and douchebags. And let’s be honest the film did not disappoint – with an amazing cast, brilliant action scenes and phenomenal soundtrack, Guardians took the world by storm and became a hit. Favourite Scene: The Kiln Prison Escape Scene. The comedy mixed with the action works amazingly, using this scene to demonstrate each characters traits and styles. Related image

  4. Thor: Ragnarok – Now when people say the third in the trilogy is always the worst we can all response with this film. I am probably going to be bold enough to say this is the BEST Thor film out there. Expanding the world even more and somewhat grounding Thor as he meets not just Gods, but Dictators, Slaves and waste landers. The style of this film comes out swinging with a comical element that doesn’t grow old and the story plays a big part in the MCU, with several nods to the bigger picture of Thanos and the Infinity War. Favourite Scene: Has to be Thor fighting the Hulk. 

  5. Captain America: Winter Solider – The reason this gem has hit the list is because of the genre and style of the film. I am a big Spy / Espionage film fan and this one delves straight into the genre. Watching Captain America adjust to the modern world and deal with a whole new way of life is really interesting to watch as well. Also this film links really nicely to the TV show – Agents of SHIELD, you can see how they are effected by this movie. Favourite Scene: The Elevator Fight Scene, it might be short and sweet but it’s tense and slightly comical how many people keep getting in compared to the amount that walk (or burst) out.

 

I just love the MCU films as a form of escapism and geek rolled into one. They have worked the formula out and continue to nail it. If you are anything like me, you will be counting day the days till you see Infinity Wars (5 days to go) and trying to remain the calm and collective individual that you are while on the inside screaming in sheer fan girl style. I would love to know your Top Five films so drop me a comment or a line on twitter and let me know.

Right now go and enjoy the weekend. I have taught you all I can in the time we have left. I wish you luck, it’s been a pleasure as always.

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All photos on this post are not mine. I do not own them but I am very grateful for the use of them.

A Quick Guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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With the tickets for Avengers: Infinity War now on sale (Yes I have got tickets for my first viewing already while also in the midst of organising my second viewing) and the countdown to the showing on. I felt it only right to take a moment to have a little chat about the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) as it stands and showcase my Top Five films. (Upon proof reading I am splitting this into two posts and the Top Five will come later)

For the newcomers and rookies to the MCU, I am going to quickly throw the groundwork out for you.

  • MCU is a studio, just because it says Marvel in the title doesn’t mean every Marvel film that was a comic book is part of it.
  • X-Men, Fantastic Four & Deadpool all Marvel creations but NOT part of the MCU.
  • First Five Spider-Man films (Maguire and Garfield ones) are NOT MCU but Tom Holland’s Homecoming IS.
  • Things get a bit deeper when we get to Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. But let’s not go there.

So starting 10 years ago, almost to the date. MCU snuck onto the scene with THE summer blockbuster of the year. Iron Man – Giving Robert Downey Jnr a shot of redemption for his past mistakes (Google it if you are unsure, look for the mug shot) which almost mirrors the story arc for Tony Stark. The film was an instant success, it slung wit, humour and action into one neatly wrapped package. But then it also did something not so new but thought to be the father of it and threw an after credits tease into the mix. Introducing the legendary Sam Jackson as Nick Fury who was looking to talk to us about The Avenger Initiative which wouldn’t grace our screens for another 4 years. We are one film in and there is already a sense of something bigger could be coming our way.

We got a second Iron Man movie, a Hulk movie (which I liked, and it was wayyyy better than that mess of an Eric Bana adaptation), Thor and Captain America origins. Before the biggest cinema experience ever hit the screens and saw the likes of Hulk, Iron Man and Nick Fury share the same screen time. This film was set up over the four years, teasing plot points (The Tesseract – The Blue Square floating about in The Avengers), character developments and new introductions along the way – mainly the very sneak peek of who we now know is Thanos. At the time a young 2012 Ross was left confused and asking – who is this purple chin dude. What the actual funk?

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Things took a darker turn in Phase Two, we saw SHIELD take a tumble and by that I mean become a mess as we find out it was filled with Hydra agents the whole time. Thor goes to the dark world as well, which is used to introduce another rare mystical power (The Ether) but more on that later. Then we got our first taste of space douchebags turned hero’s in Guardians of the Galaxy which bought a new team to the MCU game. Imagine the Avengers in space. Now we’re curious to see where this is heading – and wait is that a third gem (The Orb) that a story revolves around. What could these all mean.

This phase ends technically with Ant Man but just before that is the second Avengers movie, the team tackle a seemingly indestructible robot army, while also introducing a fourth mystical stone, recruiting a few new members, shipping one-off on a spaceship and also dropping a city on earth. All important pieces that once again will be used somewhere else to set up events in up coming films – but we don’t know that right now.

civilThe next phase swoops in and we see Avenger vs Avenger in the biggest event to date in the MCU (in my eyes) watching Cap and Tony go toe to toe backed up with hero’s galore. . . oh and a cheeky introduction of a now newly acquired Spider-Man and some guy in a Cat Suit. All of this came about due to the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and will be seen in more to come.

That film leaves a massive void though, the team is broken, divided and both sides took some massive hits. Which once again is cleverly setting up more exciting things. Next we meet Doctor Strange in his origin film and along with it another mysterious piece of powerful jewellery. Wait is that five now? For the die-hard comic fans they know what is coming, what these stones mean and who that big purple dude is that keeps popping up. We then witness a Guardians sequel, a stand alone Spidey film, the third and maybe . . just maybe the best Thor film and The Black Panther movie (which I am avoiding talking about, as I only had one viewing and first impressions were weaker than expected). Again throughout all of these movies the insanely smart and ambitious production teams and writers are slowly setting up the genius links which, along with the frequent cross overs and nods to other theories and bigger pictures, we are one track nicely for THE BIGGEST comic book phenomena movie of all time – in fact it’s so big it needs two movies.

We’ve been teased about Thanos, this glove and these random stones – which all possess crazy amounts of power for 10 years now. It’s time to see the pay off, to witness the adventure come to an emotional yet without a doubt joyous and amazing conclusion.

Or will it?

I for one can not wait for this movie! I love the whole Universe and what it has done and produced. Yes we have all heard the rumours that someone big will bite the dust in this installment but nevertheless we WILL be there for them.

I hope this guide has helped you in some way bring you up to speed – if it didn’t help then you got 3 weeks to watch 18 movies – which is 6 a week. So one a night will get you there. I love a challenge!


Click on the images below to throw the Phase 1 or 2 box sets into your basket. Get buying, Get Watching, Get Ready.


Avengers Infinity War hits cinemas on April 25th – book your tickets now with your local cinema.

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