Sony Still has Eight Months to Win People Over with ‘Venom’

If you’re wondering how most fans felt about the Venom teaser trailer, please see the image above.

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If you’re wondering how most fans felt about the Venom teaser trailer, please see the image above. 

Comic book fans and Spider-Man fanboys alike have clamored to see the web-slinging wallcrawler fight his arch-nemesis, Venom, alias Eddie Brock, in a blockbuster film. The character made his debut on the big screen with Spider-Man 3 in 2007 to excitement and anticipation from die-hard fans, only to receive crushing disappointment in both Topher Grace’s performance and the lack of screen time for the symbiote supervillain. Cynicism would run rampant once again when Sony announced a Venom spin-off movie last year, declaring it the first in a Spider-Man cinematic universe. . .without Spider-Man. But that skepticism turned into intrigue once it was announced that Eddie Brock would be played by none other than Tom Hardy, who’s become an action star in his own right through his brutish portrayals of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Charlie Bronson in Nic Refn’s Bronson, and Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road. That perfect casting was followed up with the welcome additions of Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed to the ensemble. Once the first teaser poster for Venom came out earlier this week, excitement and curiosity reached a fever pitch for the movie’s first teaser trailer, which came out yesterday and left fans not only wanting more, but wanting, well. . .Venom.

The trailer opens with various images of a man in a hospital getting an MRI before a wide shot of the Golden Gate Bridge (which is bizarre considering the Spider-Man universe up to this point has taken place in New York City), and various shots of the camera following Eddie from behind as he steps down a sidewalk lit by storefronts at night and into a convenience store while he begins with a voice over: “Everyone’s got their thing,” he says, referring to a moment in the past that makes a person tick. Shots of Michelle Williams, an operating table and spaceship wreckage play over his next line, “Maybe it’s a breakup, a death, an accident.” The trailer then reveals it’s Eddie on the MRI table, and his frightened confusion implies he’s there against his will. Brock’s voice over continues under a montage full of action trailer cliches, from scientists standing up in awe and fear over their experiment going wrong to Eddie running through the woods and a psychic force ripping numerous computers off their tables, to name a few. Apart from a shot of Riz Ahmed’s character opening the back of a truck to reveal the symbiote in a large canister, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen in any other action movie trailer, until Eddie thrashes violently on the MRI table in a genuinely unsettling close up as black venom courses up the veins of his neck, and then the trailer just ends with neither a first look at Venom nor the title of the movie.

It’s easy to be skeptical about Venom given the reputation of the studio putting this out: Sony Pictures hasn’t had the best track record with their own franchise tentpoles in modern times, with The Dark Tower being their most recent example of a blockbuster-turned-hack job in taking characters from its beloved source material and inserting them into a cliche-ridden slog of a depth-less story, and the familiar images that dominate this trailer suggest that Venom will have nothing new to add to the superhero genre. There’s also a possibility that Sony is hiding a lack of production value in the CGI effects, although that doesn’t look to be the case for the moment because it’s on display here through the cinematography from Darren Aronofsky regular Matthew Libatique. It’s also worth proposing that after breaking bank with Zombieland, director Ruben Fleischer is capable of inserting something clever into the superhero genre as a whole; with a strong R-rating (not confirmed, but we can be hopeful) and Venom’s status as a tough-guy anti-hero, this has the opportunity to turn the origin story on its head and take it down a darker, albeit fresh path. Overall, the first teaser trailer for Venom may not have given audiences what they wanted, but it’s evident through the cast and crew involved that Sony’s putting in the effort to portray this villain-turned-anti-hero correctly on the big screen. Here’s hoping the ‘wow’ factor comes in the next trailer, and once more when Tom Hardy dons the alien costume in theaters this October.

New Trailer: OH MY GOD – ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

 This is going to be the blockbuster of the decade.

 This is going to be the blockbuster of the decade.

Marvel released the trailer for highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War released today.  This movie is the culmination of 10 years of movie making for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The trailer definitely pulled out all the stops to get everyone as hype as humanly possible.  The Russo Brothers are in the director’s chair again, and it looks like this is going to be as epic as Captain America: Civil War ten fold.

This trailer has everything a comic book movie could want.  Iron Man. Captain America. Spider-Man AND his spidey sense. The Guardians.  Thanos.  Good lord, Thanos looks so good.  This is the team up comic book movie we need (#sorrynotsorry Justice League).  The action looks terrific.  The CGI is polished and seamless.

According to Kevin Feige, a bunch of stories from the past decade are coming to a close in this movie.  Expectations are high for this movie, as fans of the both the comics and the movies will expect this to be the true Citizen Kane of bad movies.  Hopefully this tops the Oscar-winning film Suicide Squad.

New Trailer: Will Daniel Day-Lewis Go Out on a High Note with ‘Phantom Thread’?

Phantom Thread marks Paul Thomas Anderson’s return with what looks like a conventional period piece with unconventional characters, and a story that could take unexpected turns.

Phantom Thread marks Paul Thomas Anderson’s return with what looks like a conventional period piece with unconventional characters, and a story that could take unexpected turns.

After months of speculation, impatience and even the lack of a title, Focus Features finally released the trailer for Phantom Thread, the new film from writer-director auteur, Paul Thomas Anderson, and it came to mixed reactions. Some circles of the internet reacted with excitement over another collaboration between Anderson and three-time Academy Award winner, Daniel Day-Lewis, who worked together previously on There Will Be Blood. However, others remained skeptical after viewing the trailer, and for good reason: not only did Anderson’s previous film, Inherent Vice, receive divisive reactions from both critics and audiences during awards season in 2014, but the trailer for Phantom Thread leaves a lot to be desired. . .but from a certain aspect, that could lead to a beneficial payoff once the film hits theaters.

When Phantom Thread was first announced in the middle of 2015, all we knew about it was that it starred Daniel Day-Lewis and took place in the world of fashion in the 1950s. But the trailer gives us a bigger glimpse into the film’s story: it begins with his character, Reynolds Woodcock, narrating about how he always sews a personal secret into every coat, dress, and garment he makes over a montage of him carrying out his daily routine as a high-fashion designer in the United Kingdom as elegant yet provocative music plays. The intrigue only grows as a waitress named Alma (played by Vicky Krieps) catches his eye at a restaurant he visits; so much so, that he asks her to have dinner with him, which she agrees to after some hesitation. From there, the trailer shows Alma becoming a muse for Reynolds’ work as well as his mistress, and implies a turn for the dramatic through images of Reynolds looking voyeuristically through the peephole of a door, a car speeding down a long road, and arguments Alma and Reynolds have as their relationship erodes, to name a few. All of this happens while the strings of Jonny Greenwood’s score grow more and more unsettling with every pluck.

On the surface of its trailer, Phantom Thread does look like another typical period drama. The costume and set design are lavish and on another level of authenticity, the story centers around a romance, and its main selling point is a performance from arguably the greatest living actor of our time, and is in this case, apparently his last (although it is worth mentioning he said that after the release of Gangs of New York in 2002, but that’s another topic for another day). It also implies all the conventions of any film from Paul Thomas Anderson: a story with emotional stakes driven by complex but flawed characters, immaculate attention to detail of the film’s time period, and a camera that never stops moving unless on a close-up. It’s worth noting that Anderson himself is his own director of photography this time around; such a task is daunting on paper, but it’s exciting to see a director perform dual roles on his own film set, because it’s evidence of his passion for the material.

But the primary reason why I have more optimism about Phantom Thread as a movie is because Anderson has been known to take his films on surprising turns that throw the expectations of audiences onto their head; the ending of Boogie Nights changed the way people listen to Rick Springfield, the climax of Magnolia was something nobody saw coming, and I still remember how I reacted to the revelation toward the end of There Will Be Blood. Meanwhile, so much of The Master was from the perspective of its PTSD-stricken lead character, it can be argued that at certain points it became hard to tell what scenes were real and what weren’t. Plus, the trailer for Phantom Thread sells a lot of mystery about Day-Lewis’s character: why isn’t he married, why does he feel cursed, and what is it that drives him into almost-paranoid obsession? There’s a plethora of directions that this story could take, and even after the good but underwhelming Inherent Vice, I have faith that Paul Thomas Anderson will come back with something that’ll leave everyone speechless.

All this being said, after pretty much ten months of not even a production still, the possibility still remains that Phantom Thread could end up getting rushed into its release on Christmas Day this year just so Focus Features has a perennial contender for this year’s awards season, and that is my biggest worry. It’s not uncommon, either: Paramount put Martin Scorsese’s passion project Silence through this exact scenario last year with little to no marketing or advertising, and it resulted in great reviews, but poor box office and only one Oscar nomination. I would hope that Focus Features wouldn’t do that to one of the most established auteurs in filmmaking right now as an independent film distributor, but all I can suggest to how they handle Phantom Thread is Alma’s final quote from the trailer: “Whatever you do, do it carefully.”

New Trailer: ‘The Last Jedi’ Looks Like One of the Best Star Wars Films to Date

The Force is strong with this trailer.

The Force is strong with this trailer.

We finally got a new trailer from the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night and, needless to say, it’s incredible. I’ve had some time to analyze this trailer and not only does it look darker in tone compared to The Force Awakens, but it feels eerily similar to The Empire Strikes Back, which is considered by many to be the best Star Wars movie to date. And even though I’m not a die hard Star Wars fan, this is one of the best trailers I’ve seen all year.

One thing that stands out in this trailer is the film’s score. The Star Wars franchise is well-known for its scores, but they seemed to have taken it up a notch for The Last Jedi. Mark Hamill’s raspy, yet determined voice coupled with some really cool action sequences suggests that this may be the biggest Star Wars movie to date. I just love how they are taking a darker, more mysterious, approach rather than being super kid friendly like The Force Awakens.

Director Rian Johnson seems to have something special on his hands with The Last Jedi, which has even the smallest of Star Wars fans (like myself) counting down the days until the movie’s release. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready to see Luke Skywalker either die or go to the dark side. Also, Chewy seems to have cute little sidekick called a Porg. I just hope the Porg gets a substantial amount of screen time rather than be a marketing ploy to sell toys.