The Fabelmans

Loosely based on the life of reclaimed director Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans follows the story of Sammy (Mateo Zoryan and Gabriel LaBelle) as he grows up in a post Second World War era with his parents Mitzi (Michelle Williams) and Burt (Paul Dano), as well as his sisters. From witnessing a train crashing into a car on his first visit to the cinema, Sammy couldn’t help but wonder why this was and wanted to take control of the situation. After learning to use a camera, the films he creates enables him to understand not only his upbringing, but also the family secrets he never realized were there before.

I wanted to enjoy The Fabelmans so much more than I actually did. Where I will say it excelled in was its performances. Williams was the star here. If she doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for this, then I don’t know anything anymore. Her portrayal of Mitzi Fabelman was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I was also impressed with Dano as the family patriarch. He complimented Williams nicely and it was awesome to see him in something different. The surprise for me, however, was with Seth Rogen. I’m used to him playing the goofy, comical character, so I appreciated this more serious tone.

Although it was interesting to see how Spielberg got his start in making movies, I have to admit that I found the whole idea to be kind of self indulgent. This may be an unpopular opinion and while I understand that it wasn’t an exact retelling of what happened, the fact that he felt the need to tell it at all, especially now, didn’t feel necessary to me. Perhaps later in the future would have fared better. That seems to work well with most biopics.

Another reason why The Fabelmans did not entirely land for me was in its pacing. It was incredibly slow and struggled to go anywhere. The fact that the film was more character driven than anything else definitely played a part in that, but I wasn’t a fan of it this time around. It’s as if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never really did. I’m still glad that I took the time to check this out since it has been sweeping at various awards ceremonies. I guess it just wasn’t for me.

Rating: ♥️♥️♥️

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom are back in the sequel to 2018’s Venom. This time around, Brock is trying to adjust to life as host to Venom, an alien species which gives him super human abilities, while attempting to get his career back on track. His best bet? Interviewing infamous serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) before he is sentenced to death. But when an altercation breaks out between the two men, Kasady becomes the host to Carnage and breaks out of prison. Now it is up to Brock, with the help of ex-fiancee Anne (Michelle Williams) and her new beau Dan (Reid Scott) to save the world from Carnage before it’s too late.

I remember really liking the first Venom movie! It was funny, unique and different. I never understood why it was so underrated or why it wasn’t a part of the MCU (I still don’t. Anybody care to fill me in?) So when news broke about the sequel, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see what shenanigans Brock and Venom found themselves in this time around.

The plot this time around seemed a lot tighter and to the point which I appreciated. I think it helped that the film was a bit on the shorter side because it didn’t allow for much room to go off course. Sometimes I complain that superhero movies are too long, so this was perfect for me! Because everything happened rather quickly, there was no time to waste and I was constantly engaged.

Brock and Venom’s back and forth banter were hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was also nice to see Brock becoming more familiar with having Venom around. Having Woody Harrelson as the villain was pretty interesting. I’m not used to seeing him in a role like that and I think he did a great job. Similarly, Naomie Harris who played Kasady’s girlfriend Francis added another bad guy into the mix.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage was an utter delight. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and didn’t want it to end. It looks like they’ve set things up nicely for the story to go forward so fingers crossed we get more of our favorite duo sooner rather than later.

Rating:  ♥♥♥♥