WHAT TO SEE WITH VAL: THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2, VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE AND THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK.

The Addams Family 2 

Rated PG 

The Addams family is back in the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2. All of our favorite characters Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Morticia and Gomez are having some family issues. Gomez decided to get the family closer, mainly Wednesday, they needed to cram their haunted camper and go on a miserable family vacation. This is definitely a movie the younger kids will like. Fun and upbeat music, explosions, weird animals and a lot of shiny things.  

The movie also features a big cast with Oscar Isaac as Gomez, Charlize Theron as Morticia and Chloe Grace Mortez as Wednesday. You do get a little bit of the odd ball past of The Addams family that us adults knew as kids, but it is few and far between. They have shined it up with a new style of animation and popular music, but it still holds true to enough that us die-hard fans can have a little bit of fun with it.  

The movie centers itself on Wednesday. This story amps up her regular characters’ thoughts of not belonging and being a bit better than everyone in her family. Most teenagers can relate to feeling a little out of place and most parents of teenagers can relate to wanting to spend more time with their kids as they see them pulling away and becoming a person of their own. Take that, mix it in with weird science experiments, a road trip only the Addams family could have and animal mutating discoveries and you have this little adventure.  

For my taste, I feel like they went a little too far with the “trying to reach today’s kids” changes to the characters and pop references. That being said, kids will laugh and you won’t hate it. 

Grade: B 

Venom: Let There Be Carnage 

Rated PG-13 

Ok, let’s just get this over with. I really hate when I have to write bad reviews. I can usually find a few good things in every movie, let’s see if I can do this. Venom: Let There be Carnage is the second Venom movie. Tom Hardy is back as Venom, aka Eddie Brock. The first film set up his character and Venom pretty well and I was hoping that when they brought the big guy, Carnage, into play the movie would be 10 times better. Enter the amazing Woody Harrelson as Carnage aka serial killer Cletus Kasady. I am a big fan of Harrelson and I know he can be wicked in the best ways. This movie, directed by Any Serkis, failed him miserably. His character along with Eddie Brock came off unoriginal and sporadically funny. They were both cheesy and compelling. There were times that you could see the miraculously horrible person Cetus was, but then it would be overshadowed by a poorly written back story and the bad hair they gave him. 

I think my biggest problem with the film is that Carnage and Venom had very little screen time together. By the time they met up I really didn’t care about what I was watching anymore and then the movie was over. These great Marvel characters along with this star-studded cast deserved better writing and a better vision of what is possible for these characters. You will laugh, you will enjoy some of the action scenes and digital effects, but all in all it was a boring disappointment of a Superhero/Villain movie. The antics, costuming and writing was something out of the early 2000’s and not in a good way. This movie was a big waste of a great comic villain.  

If you are a die-hard fan and insist on seeing all of the Marvel movies, then you should definitely step up and see it. It does lay some ground for things to come, especially in the mid credit scene.  I hope the movies get better and if Any Serkis ruins Spider-Man I will throw a fit like a Star Wars Fan 

Grade: C- 

 

The Many Saints Of Newark 

Rated: R 

I will start this out saying I watched every episode of The Sopranos. I watched it after it came out after it was a few seasons in, and I enjoyed it. I was not a super fan, but I did really enjoy the show. IF you love crime family movies, you will enjoy this one. The movie runs at 2 hours and I didn’t feel at all like it was too long. This is my pick of the week. From the great cast to the smart writing, this movie represents not only what a Sopranos story should be but what a great time period movie should look like.  

The movie is a prequel to the Sopranos that we knew in the show. We see young Tony Soprano at two different ages and when he becomes a teenager, he is played by the late James Gandolfini’s Son. I am sure that it was no easy task for Michael Gandolfini to jump into the shoes his father once wore, but he held his own. By no means is Tony Soprano the lead character in this film. Like most of the Soprano episodes the surroundings in which Tony had to live in were usually center stage. Loud family, the neighborhood, the music and the violence were all there and exactly how we remembered it. This time we see so many of our favorite characters before they were older and more prevalent in the family business.  

The casting was not only fantastic because the actors were great but also because the younger versions of them looked so closely to their older TV counterparts. Joe Bernthal, Ray Liotta, Vera Farmiga and Corey Stoll did not let us down. Some of the most entertaining scenes were when someone was interacting with them. Vera plays “Livia Soprano”, Tony’s cold mother, and you feel the tension so much you think she is mad at you. The real stars of the movie were Alessandro Nivola and the great Leslie Odem Jr. Nivola plays “Dickie”, Tony’s uncle. He is caught between wanting to be a mentor to Tony but also wanting the power that comes with the business he is in. He goes back and forth with himself and others, weaving lies and trying to get out from underneath them. And all the time that is going on Leslie Odem Jr S ‘s character, Harold, is trying to find his place in this Newark town full of Italian Goombas and a cultural revolution. He is a black man in a time of awakening and turning around. He wants a piece of the pie, the sausage and women. I am excited to see where his character goes, I hope they make another movie. 

I do believe you can follow this movie if you haven’t seen The Sopranos, but if you have it will be so much better. I will be seeing it again.  

Grade: A 

Reviews by: Valerie Cameron

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