Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Venom

venom

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams
Vomit Incidence: One, rancid chicken related

In his efforts to take down evil scientist Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is infected with an alien symbiote who has a penchant for head-chomping and snark. Chaos, cannibalism and carnage (see what I did there?) ensue.

OK, so I may have gone into this movie with very low expectations – the trailers were so-so, the promised R rating disappeared and the critics HATED it, but it was a Venom movie starring the fantastic Tom Hardy so I was bloody well going to see it regardless. And I have to say I’m glad I did, I had a ball and so, judging by his performance, did Mr Hardy.

It’s not a MCU movie and it doesn’t need to be, we’ve had more than enough of those recently. What it is though, is funny. Actual laugh out loud funny. I swear I laughed one hundred percent more during this movie than I did during Deadpool 2. So sue me. The CGI might be a little iffy at times, they might have spent too much time establishing Eddie’s character (principled loser, we get it) but when he finally gets envenomed (it’s a word, I checked) it’s a blast.

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Tom Hardy was shocked when the scenery started chewing HIM.

There are obviously some less impressive elements, Michelle Williams is hideously underused (maybe it IS like an MCU movie after all) and it all feels a bit disjointed (I presume where they edited all the good shit out to cut the rating). It would have benefited from much more Eddie/Venom interaction as this really was the highlight here. Tom Hardy nails it as both Brock and his alien alter-ego. The Venom voice is fabulous and his comic timing spot on. Even if you don’t like his performance here no one can deny that Hardy throws himself wholeheartedly into the role. Think Jim Carrey, but with actual acting ability.

There is only one puking sequence and it comes right after a newly infected Eddie goes bin-diving for manky old chicken. You have been warned! Also if you don’t like long prehensile tongues and black ooze, this is probably not your type of thing.

Judging by the amount of cash the film took and the end credits sequence (shhh, spoilers) things are looking good for a sequel. Fingers (and gooey black claws) crossed everyone.

 

Movie Rating: 7/10  if there’s any scenery left after all the chewing by Hardy and Ahmed I would be very much surprised.

NB OCD: 4/10          extra point deducted for unpleasant camera angle usage

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Upgrade (2018)

upgrade

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Harrison Gilbertson
Written and Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Vomit Incidence: One, corpse-related

After his wife is killed and he is paralysed during a robbery, Grey Trace receives a spinal implant which enables him to both walk again and revenge-murder people with impressive fighting skills. Implant soon to be available on the NHS….

Ooh this is a great movie. I loved it (much more than Mandy if I’m being honest – but then I usually do prefer a decent story over artwank). Logan Marshall-Green (I’ll save you the trip to IMDB, he was Shocker in Spider-Man Homecoming, you’re welcome) makes for an excellent protagonist. From the physical aspect – yes that’s exactly how I imagine you would move if your body was being controlled by an AI chip that hasn’t done this sort of thing before, to the emotional – whaaa stop killing people this is gross! etc, Marshall-Green is spot on. Creepy tech genius (and apparent young Leonardo DiCaprio clone) Eron Keen is nicely played by Harrison Gilbertson and the bad guys lead by Benedict Hardie as Fisk (no, not that Fisk, another one) are pretty damn horrible.

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Coming from horror veteran Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) there was always going to be gore and, even by my standards, Grey inflicts an awful lot of damage on the bad guys. All in gruesome close-up. Lovely. The fight scenes are well executed and zippy. Sentient robot chips apparently have BADASS ninja skills. You might (like I did) see the plot twist coming a mile off but you probably won’t guess the second one. So I’ll keep quiet on that.

Vomit-wise there’s only one incident to worry about – just have your finger on the mute button/ cushion of denial at the ready after Grey kills someone for the first time. Not nice. Not nice at all.

I would totally recommend this film to anyone who likes horror or sci-fi. It’s a brilliant, well thought out movie and I look forward to seeing Logan Marshall-Green a lot more in the future. Also more Leigh Whannell please!

 

Film Rating: 9/10 (Loss of point for unnecessary vomiting in sink)

NB OCD: 3/10 – Unpleasant but well-telegraphed

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Mandy

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Where: Limited Release in Cinemas, also available On Demand
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Vomit Incidence: Minor blood spewing, also cheddar

A couple living an idyllic life in an isolated woodland cabin run into a bunch of drug-addled cult members. Things do not end well. For anyone.

This film is bonkers, seriously bonkers but utterly mesmerising. There’s plenty of gore for horror fans (chainsaws all over the place), plenty of innovative and gorgeous cinematography choices for film fans and plenty of scenery chewing for Nicolas Cage fans. The plot might be a bit thin (it’s your standard revenge story with added artwank) but in the end that doesn’t really matter. Who wouldn’t watch a movie where Cage gets to forge his own death-axe? I mean c’mon.

Although the overall visual style of the movie is the real star, the cast do their best to weird you the fuck out with their seriously creepy characters. Special mention to Andrea Riseborough as Mandy. She might not make it to the end of the film but her haunting presence continues to be felt until the credits roll. Linus Roache also has a lot of fun as cult leader Jeremiah (clearly some sort of American Idol reject gone bad). I also let out a little cheer when Cage detours off to see Bill Duke (MAC!!!) to  get his crossbow back for reasons (yes, this makes no sense, but who cares, it’s Mac from Predator!).

The vomiting is relatively minor for this genre of film. There’s some blood-spewing when people are being stabbed/decapitated/gouged etc but the main offence comes from a TV advert. Yup, you read that right. After the titular character is offed in unpleasant fashion (NOT a spoiler – it’s a revenge movie) Cage wanders back into his house and on the TV there is THE MOST REVOLTING AD FOR CHEESE YOU WILL EVER SEE. You may never eat cheese again after this. Well I did, but that’s only because I would literally cease to exist without cheese, it’s my main food group.

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Say cheese!

Overall an entertainingly bloody revenge horror, clearly destined for cult status with a slightly more understated performance from Cage than we’re used to (last 30 minutes notwithstanding), this is deserving of a space on any horror or film fan’s watch list. Just not one for fans of macaroni cheese.

 

Film rating: 7/10 (points deducted for cheese-abuse and unnecessary horn).

NB OCD: 5/10 – HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO CHEESE!?

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Sharp Objects

hbo-sharp-objects-netflix-streaming

Available: HBO / Sky Atlantic
Starring: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen, Chris Messina
Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn
Vomit Incidence: Episodes 3, 7 and all over the bloody place in episode 8

An alcoholic reporter is sent back to her southern US hometown to write a story about a series of child disappearances. This means reuniting with her dysfunctional family and dealing with the fallout as she uncovers the town’s secrets.

I recently blasted through this series based on a recommendation from a co-worker. I hadn’t originally picked up on it as I wasn’t a big fan of ‘Gone Girl’, author Gillian Flynn’s other famous novel – the book wasn’t very subtle and the film cast Ben Affleck which, for me, is the cinematic equivalent of sticking pins in my eyes.  But I was intrigued by Sharp Objects and, with the promise that there was only vomiting in episode 8 (lies, all lies), I watched. And got hooked.

As a ‘whodunnit’ it’s relatively slow-paced but as a study of an abusive and sometimes downright evil family it’s fascinating. The run-down small southern town adds a sense of claustrophobia, the flashbacks to reporter Camille’s past add mystery (kudos for casting the young Beverley from ‘IT’as the young Camille – perfect) and, until the last two episodes you have no idea where the show is going, except that it’s nowhere happy. The cast are all superb, Amy Adams is on top form as Camille and Patricia Clarkson is just terrifying as her mother, Adora. I don’t think I’ve seen a higher quality production this year with the exception of Better Call Saul.

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Vomit Warning

OK, so, I can’t go too much into this without totally spoiling the plot but there’s one incidence in episode three which is telegraphed in advance and one in episode seven which is also easy to predict but, and it’s a BIG but, episode eight is pretty much wall to wall vomit for the first half hour. I can’t say why without ruining it for you, but can say that I  spent most of this time watching on mute with my elbow in front of my face. So if you’re an emetophobe be prepared to miss some vital dialogue at the end! Sorry guys.

Less trashy and obvious than Gone Girl and not an Affleck in sight, vomiting notwithstanding, I would definitely recommend this show to fans of drama, murder mysteries and anyone with a weird family. Trust me, this lot will make you thankful for your lot!

 

TV Show Score: 9/10

NB OCD: 8/10 – Eight, for episode eight. Watch it but remember I warned you!