Creed 2 Review

I was invited to the premier of Creed 2 this past weekend at Ster Kinekor Sandton City,  and I was honored to be at such a beautiful event. The set up was great and it was a proper red carpet premier.  The highlight of the red carpet was obviously the actual star of the movie Micheal B. Jordan being there himself. He was there with the director of the movie Steven Caple Jr, and his on screen rival Florian Munteanu. Needless to say the fan love was crazy and there was a lot of excitement when they showed up. This was by far the most impressive premier I have ever been to. Not to mention the entire Sandton City Ster Kinekor was shut down for this.

So after all that excitement it was time to watch the movie we all came to see, Creed 2. Now I am not going to blabber on about the history of this story, and how it connects to Rocky 4. If you don’t know go back and watch it, or don’t, choice is yours. Considering how long ago it was and the generation watching Creed, it shouldn’t be a pre-requisite. This movie should stand on its own. Which I believe it does. But it does make the experience better to know who Drago is and how deep the beef goes. Just saying.

So the way I see it, Creed 2 is a David and Goliath story, that depending on what your angle is, Adonis could be either David or Goliath.  The same goes for Viktor. At the beginning we find Adonis Creed a few years after where we left him in the first movie, and to be honest he hasn’t grown up one bit. He has achieved a lot and he is still a grown man baby who can’t get out of his own way. Sylvester Stallone is still the same Rocky “Unc” Balboa, wise cracks, some inaudible mumbling and great nuggets of advice. So our two main characters haven’t changed. They also have their own stories happening separately alongside they story they have together in the movie. Which I felt was overkill as there was already so much going on.

Then we introduce our “bad guy” Viktor Drago, and his father Ivan. A story that has a lot of layers to it and not enough time to delve into it too much since there are like 2 or 3 other story lines happening. The whole plot didn’t turn out to be as predictable as I had imagined, and I must say, Steven did a great job in creating an intense cinematc spectacle of violence, love, pain, and loss. Taking over from Ryan Coogler could not have been an easy task.

But with all the cliché elements in the movie, including several training montages, there are some really redeeming qualities. The movie has a lot of heart and will push emotional buttons. It has a unique angle that you have to appreciate when you look at how Adonis and Bianca must now adjust to being parents considering circumstances. The soundtrack is also pretty good. The fight scenes will have you feeling like you are the one getting hit in the ribs. Not to mention the entrance Adonis has for the last fight is a show stopper. Creed 2 is an enjoyable movie. It might not be an Oscar contender, but it will keep you entertained until the very emotional end.

Creed 2 is out at Ster Kinekor cinemas nation wide. You can book your tickets here: https://www.sterkinekor.com/details/HO00001202

 

Bohemian Rhapsody Review

Bohemian Rhapsody is an emotional musical wrapped in a biopic of a complex artist with a multifaceted story that clearly couldn’t fit into a single movie. Overall the movie feels like it had to cram a lot into the first act and didn’t make me feel like I got to know who Freddy Mercury was before the fame. The second act also doesn’t feel well paced. It’s like the story was rushing to get to the music and the hits without giving us a real background on Freddie and the band especially. The whole movie hinged on that third act. Which fortunately it delivers on.

A lot of great acting, directing and editing comes more towards the end of the movie, rather than throughout. This is not to say the movie is bad, it just won’t make it into my top 5 biopics of all time. Rami Malek, who plays Freddie, is mesmerising in this role. He gives a moving performance and his voice is commanding. He is the perfect combination of confident and tragic. The cast is also a great ensemble with special nods going to Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello and Gwylim Lee for their performances as the band members of Queen. I found the group dynamic to be interesting, although I feel their relationship was a bit exaggerated, and made to look more jovial than it probably was.

Director Bryan Singer had a big job and hard choices to make. I don’t think he was going to please everyone. I wanted a more deeper look into Freddie as a person, from his childhood to his success with a glimpse into his creative genius, and the true struggles of how he dealt with homophobia in that time. What Singer made is a singalong summary of Queen’s greatest hits, with true emotion tucked at the very end, and an ending that takes you back to that singalong vibe because the real ending is just too sad. I think most Queen fans will enjoy the movie, but more especially the music.

Bohemian Rhapsody opens on Friday 30 November at Ster-Kinekor nationwide. You can book your tickets here: Bohemian Rhapsody

Venom Review (No Spoilers)

So Venom is finally here. And  I must say, it’s not what I expected. I don’t want to give anything away so I will be careful. I wrote a previous piece about what I hoped the movie would be like and I was pleasantly surprised. I read other reviews before seeing it and honestly, a lot of critics were too harsh. But here is my review. Keep in mind I am not judging from a comic book fan perspective, just as a movie lover.

Let me start with Tom Hardy who plays the main character Eddie Brock. He is such a pleasure to watch. It’s quite a refreshing role for him and he takes to it like a true pro. There is a restaurant scene that I would have never imagined seeing an actor of his intensity do. He has a good cast around him and a pretty decent villain, Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed. The movie relies heavily on Hardy and I felt he carried it well. And when Venom is introduced, it get a lot better

Now the story line on the other hand is where I found myself lost. For me it took a bit too long to get to the good parts.  It kind of drags for a bit and you start to drift off before the movie ramps up. The script was not as riveting as it could have been, mad plot holes, convenient coincidences, and very predictable one liners. Considering the premise and the source material, I wasn’t expecting a Sorkin script.

But the key to this movies charm is the relation ship between Eddie and Venom. That was so important, and I think they got it right it. At first it feels off but as the movie goes, you start to appreciate the voice inside of Eddie’s head. It feels like the super hero equivalent of a buddy cop movie. By the time you get to the end, you either love it or hate it. I liked the humor and the light hardheartedness of the movie.

All in all I liked Venom a lot and I can’t wait for the next installment. I think people should watch it and decide for themselves if its good or bad. It has already been very divisive on social media, but the box office numbers are looking very good. Whether you like Venom or not, he is here to stay. Or should I say, they are here to stay.

Catch Venom at your nearest Ster-Kinekor cinema. BOOK HERE

 

My thoughts on Venom

I was talking to a friend of mine about super hero movies and she asked me how I feel about Venom since it comes out on 5 October in South Africa. Got me thinking about the super hero movies and how they are flooding the market. There is even a term right now called “Super Hero Movie Fatigue”. There have been some hits and misses, mostly from DC, and lets not even mention the last Fantastic 4. SO there is no guarantee that something will work just because it has a super hero.

This brings me to Venom. So Fox came to a deal with Marvel that allowed them to get Spider Man back. Then someone at Fox said, hey! we still have Venom, lets give him a whole movie. For some reason, Tom Hardy agreed to take the lead role. Keep in mind this is the guy who played Bane in the Dark Knight Rises. So this felt like a risky decision in my opinion. I am a Riz Ahmed fan and I hope he gives us a legendary bad guy.

I don’t want to go on forever but I have some thoughts. The decision to make this movie felt like they thought to themselves, if Deadpool worked, this should too. So here we are, waiting and watching. There have been 3 trailers released for this movie and ill be honest, I am not sold. The promotion behind the movie has left a lot to be desired. Most people don’t even know Venom outside of the fact that he beefs with Spider Man a lot.

In the same breathe I am also curious, because it is not a typical Super Hero movie. Venom is an interesting choice, so many questions. What is the feeling I am going to walk out of the cinema with about the movie as a whole? Is Tom Hardy the man for the job? Will it flip the genre on its head? Will I be routing for a villain? So many questions. But I guess we will find out on 5 October.