what i watched last year
a couple of other lists

venom (ruben fleischer, 2018)

I looked forward to this movie before it came out. Not sure why ... I'm not a big superhero movie fan, can usually take or leave the Marvel Universe, but something about this looked good, maybe because it was supposed to be "outside" the Universe, or more likely because it starred Tom Hardy, who I like. But when it was actually released, the reviews were so negative, I changed my mind. (How negative? Metacritic had it at 35/100, "Generally unfavorable reviews", while Rotten Tomatoes had it at 28% fresh, i.e. 72% rotten.) Perhaps I should have looked at the audience response ... Rotten Tomatoes said 84% of viewers liked it, and of course, it has pulled in a gross of $855 million worldwide. But I usually trust critics more than I do the audience.

A representative review came from Sarah-Tai Black in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Black gave the movie 1/2 star out of 4. Her review was titled "Venom is trash, but not the good kind". I agree about the trash part. She begins her review by asking, "Where to even begin with Venom, a film that had me laughing at it so hard I started crying." Often when I read a review that differs from my own opinion, I find myself wondering if we saw the same movie. But in this case, Black is describing the movie I saw ... she just hated it while I liked it.

Was it stupid? Yes. Did it make any sense? No. Did I laugh? Yep. I had no idea Venom was a comedy.

On the other hand, Jeff Pike wrote a review that, as I told him, I agreed with 100%, especially when he wrote, "Venom for me was a lot funnier and sharper than Guardians of the Galaxy".

There you have it. Like Jeff, I thought Venom was funny. Like Black, I thought it was trash. Maybe it caught me at the right time, but I found it the good kind of junk. The women are wasted, the film's politics are questionable, it is true. Tom Hardy is the key. His American accent is a bit of a mess, but you can't have everything ... I am a big fan of his TV series Taboo, but the truth is, I can't understand half of the dialogue in that one for all the thick "realistic" accents. Hardy is excellent once Venom enters his mind and body, turning it into a buddy movie where both buddies are in the same person. I can't remember where I read it, but someone noted there is a much longer version of the movie out there ... his feeling was he'd be happy to watch 7 hours of the two Hardys interacting.

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