Yes Venom

Hey readers, I saw Venom with my wife last night and we both loved it. That first trailer was kinda iffy. Tom Hardy seemed to be extra weird and they called symbiotes “Simbioats” in their pronunciation. Plus we didn’t really even see Venom in that trailer. Early fear was that we actually wouldn’t see Venom as an actual character. Boy we were wrong.

He looks fantastic. Even the moments when the symbiote is hurt by sound and fire. The effects are great.

Tom Hardy is such a weird genius. He has some great moments playing a down on his luck reporter who wants to do the right thing but can get lost in the weeds getting there. This is evident in his relationship with Michelle William’s character. Venom actually refers to Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock as a loser. Which is hilarious.

The voice and character of Venom himself is the best part of the movie. Actually this portrayal is the best in the character’s 30 year history. Venom in the comics has always been uneven. He was a monster haunting Spider-Man. He was a lethal protector, he was different people like Scorpion and Flash Thompson. The symbiote was often insane or not in control, never really a full fledged character. This movie fixes that brilliantly. The character, the look, the effects, the voice! All perfect.

I’m still in the warm after glow of this movie but I can’t recommend it enough. I was burned out on Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Monstrosity. Easter eggs and Robert Downey Jr cameos. I was bored. Venom was fun to just sit down and watch and learn about the world of Venom as the film expanded.

Happy rest of your weekend and thanks for reading Mid-American-Culture!

Disney Sing Along Songs

Elementary school music class was a very memorable time for me. In my school, we had to perform musicals for the community, and when we weren’t doing that, we were usually watching VHS tapes. As one would probably guess, these were musical tapes, some of which had the viewers sing along. There are several that I remember, but cannot remember the name of, but the ones that I definitely remember are from Disney. Continue reading “Disney Sing Along Songs”

Another Saturday Morning Poetry Corner.

Hey everyone, I was thinking about the way people come across poetry and what that initial contact was that introduced us to a poem. Growing up in the 1980’s my first feel for poetry came from Robin Williams and Director Peter Weir’s 1989 film, Dead Poet’s Society. I’m actually sure I’d enjoyed some Shel Silverstein that Mrs. Wagner read us in first grade, but Robin Williams made it epic.

Honestly, aside from a couple of good performances, notably Mr. William’s, the movie isn’t that good. It’s heavy handed and slightly derivative. William’s plays Mr. Keating, an English teacher at an all boys prep school. He’s the righteous fire brand who hopes to fuel the boys out of their ultra conservative 1950’s life. He does it with poetry. William’s is awesome at oration, no doubt benefiting from his years as a stand up comedian. He gives the boys pieces of poetry by Frost, Keats, and Dickinson and fires them up but they don’t ever analyze a damn thing. The writing is kinda weak and he totally blows the meaning of The Road Not Taken. I’ve set through a few commencement speeches that do the same. However to my twelve year old self who was thrilling on the adventures that summer of Batman, Indiana Jones, and even Field of Dreams, the climatic end of Dead Poet’s Society was pretty fantastic. Mr. Keats is being dismissed for his rebel rousing ways and in a show of solidarity, the kids that made up The Dead Poets Society climb atop their desks and break all the rules and recite Walt Whitman’s eulogy to Abraham Lincoln Oh Captain, My Captain. It was pretty cool then and even today. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend and keep up with several things considered here at Mid-American-Culture.

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

And here’s the Oh Captain ending to the film so I guess spoilers?

The Ill-Defined Ranking of the “Official” Disney Princesses

A grown man taking a crack at ranking the official Disney princesses. Continue reading “The Ill-Defined Ranking of the “Official” Disney Princesses”

My Top 10 Movies of All Time Part: II

cinephile

Last week, I listed numbers 10-6 on my list of my ten favorite movies of all time. Numbers 5-1 were infinitely more difficult. I rearranged this part of the list several times before writing this post. Fortunately, I believe that I finally have the perfect top 5. Before we get into that, here are some honorable mentions.

  • Django Unchained
  • The Godfather Part II
  • Schindler’s List
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Scarface

Without further ado, here are my top 5 movies of all time.

5. Inglorious Basterds 

basterds

Quentin Tarantino is a genius. I consider him to be the greatest writer and director in the history of cinema. Tarantino himself has labeled his history-altering war film as his masterpiece. It isn’t hard to see why. Both Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz give arguably the best performance of their respective careers. Like all other Tarantino films, the dialogue in Inglorious Basterds is perfectly written and flawlessly executed. The action is brilliant and the opening scene is arguably Tarantino’s best. This movie literally could not have been any better and I highly recommend everyone see this movie. It is a truly underappreciated classic.

4. The Godfather

godfather

According to IMDB, The Godfather is the greatest film ever made. It is incredibly difficult to argue with that. Had I been around during the time of its release to experience the vast cultural impact it had, it would probably be my number 1 too. Despite the fact that I was born over 25 years after the film’s release, I can still appreciate its greatness. Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime drama is filmmaking at its finest. The film focuses on the story of an aging mafia family patriarch and his sons. The cast includes Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and a young Al Pacino. Everything about this movie is perfect. It is an absolute must see for anyone who enjoys movies.

3. Fight Club

fight club

The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club. With that being said, I am going to break that rule because everyone needs to know how epic this film is. David Fincher struck gold with this one. Fight Club is probably the only film I know of that is literally better after 3+ viewings. It takes at least that many to catch the subtle innuendos, foreshadowing, and outright clues about the film’s phenomenal plot twist. The film’s anti-capitalism and anti-materialism undertones paired with the edgy dialogue make this film equally as controversial as it is spectacular. Probably the least commercially popular of my top 5 picks, Fight Club is a cult-classic that deserves to be seen by anyone who enjoys brilliant cinema.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

shawshank

The Shawshank Redemption doesn’t have any epic fight scenes or any edgy dialogue or even any real action at all. It doesn’t need it. All it needed to become one of the best movies ever was its brilliant story and the flawless acting of its cast. If you are someone who needs mind-blowing special effects and intense action sequences to enjoy a movie, The Shawshank Redemption is not for you. I have a friend who once tried very hard to convince me that The Avengers is the best movie ever. Needless to say, The Shawshank Redemption is not for him. However, a more compelling story has never been put on the big screen. I love absolutely everything about this movie. It very well may be my most viewed movie of all time, with good reason. It is a feel-good story will brilliant cinematography and flawless acting. There was never any doubt it was going to be in my top 3, but it was just edged out to be my #1 film of all time.

1. Pulp Fiction

pulp fiction

Remember earlier when I said that Quentin Tarantino is a genius? Well, I am going to say it again. QUENTIN TARANTINO IS A GENIUS. I can not say enough about how perfect this movie is. The pop-culture heavy dialogue is as good as has ever been written. The star-studded ensemble of characters is absolutely perfect. The non-linear plot is brilliant. Tarantino’s revolutionary directing style has never been more perfectly displayed than it is in Pulp fiction. I can’t even single out one high point in this movie to talk about because it’s all amazing. The diner scene with Samuel L. Jackson’s brilliant Ezekiel 25:17 monologue, Harvey Keitel’s scenes as “The Wolf”,  the famous quarter pounder with cheese sequence, and countless other aspects of the movie deserve recognition. On the off chance that anyone reading this has not seen Pulp Fiction, I strongly urge you to watch it. Pulp Fiction is the best movie ever made.

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