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Monday, October 15, 2018

Just Another Trip to the City

Well, holiday blockbuster season is about to ramp up, and that means trips to the city are probably about to become more frequent, as I head in to see the latest crop of superhero films.  As was the case this past Saturday, when I popped into town to see Venom.

I'd been hearing tales of a Venom movie ever since the Internet was new, and of course, the question always was, "How can you do a Venom movie without Spider-Man?"  The short version, for those not comic-savvy, Venom is pretty much the evil twin of Spider-Man.  Then, when he started becoming popular, he switched to the side of the angels and became a hero...the darker, more violent version of Spider-Man.  So, for years, the fans have said that the best way to do a Venom movie is, you'd have to introduce him in a Spider-Man film as the villain.  But, that's not what they did. 

Eddie Brock is on top of the world.  He's a much beloved cable news investigative reporter, engaged to be married.  But then, he goes to far in an interview with billionaire industrialist Carlton Drake, and Brock loses it all.  A few months later, when Brock is at rock bottom, he's contacted by one of Drake's top scientists.  Turns out one of Drake's space probes came back with alien life...symbiots, that require a human host to live.  And Drake's raking up quite the body count looking for suitable hosts.  Brock goes into Drake's lab to investigate, and winds up bonding with one of the symbiots.  Calling itself Venom, Brock and Venom soon form an uneasy alliance to take down Drake and stop a forthcoming invasion of symbiots. 

I will admit it, the film was a lot more lighthearted than I expected.  Brock and Venom get a kind of buddy cop thing going, and their banter is hilarious.  Venom is quick to violence, and despite being a bad-ass reporter, Brock is deeply apologetic when trying to reign in Venom.  Some great physical comedy, too. 

That being said, it really offers nothing new in the way of superhero films.  The plot is pretty cookie-cutter.  Venom's sudden love of humanity and decision to help Brock save the world seems pretty abrupt.  And when your hero and villain can both turn into CGI blobs, the climactic battle turns into one big blobby mess. 

But I came out of the theatre smiling.  I liked it.  3 out of 4 Nibs.  Full review on the website.

Other than that, not much more to write home about.  I needed underwear, so I bought some.  Found pants in my size on sale, so I bought some.  I need shirts, too, but I couldn't find any.  3XL used to be such a common size when I ballooned to it a few years ago, but now, it seems to be sold out wherever I go.  Oh, well.  Another reason to lose weight, just so I can start buying clothes again.

When I got home and wrote up my Venom review for the website, I tossed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom into the Blu-Ray player.  I caught a bit of it on TV as part of a Thanksgiving marathon a week ago, and I'd been wanting to revisit the whole thing.  I really wish Steven Spielberg and George Lucas would quit apologizing for it.  For years, they've apologized for how dark it is and how different it is from the other Indiana Jones films, but you know what?  I love it.  It came out when I was seven years old, and it was my first entrance into the world of Indiana Jones.

Man, I remember watching the "making of" TV special back in the day.  To film the famous mine car chase, they actually modified a regular 35mm still camera to hold movie film so they could fit it to a car and have it chase the models through their set.  When they had the Indiana Jones exhibit at Telus World of Science a few years ago, they actually had one of the mine car models used for filming that chase.  Very cool. 

In fact, the very first comic book I owned was the comic book adaptation of Temple of Doom.  I had issues 2 and 3 of Marvel's three-issue mini-series.  Not until I finally rented it on VHS a couple years later did I get to see how the movie begins. 

And that led me down a rabbit hole of comic book adaptations of popular films.  Around the same time I had the Temple of Doom comic book adaptation, I also had the one for The Muppets Take Manhattan.  Somewhere, back home in storage, I still have the comic book adaptations of The Transformers: The Movie and the first two live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films. 

I wonder if comic book adaptations are still a thing.  I think the Star Wars films still get them.  And with all the superhero films these days, a comic book adaptation would be the easiest, most obvious piece of tie-in merch.  I'd got to my old comic book store in West Edmonton Mall - Comic King - but I think it's not there anymore.  The West Edmonton Mall casino is in the same part of the mall, and the casino recently claimed all that space to expand.  I still remember that store's original name -- Graphic Fantasy. 

And, that was that.  My latest day in the city.  Just a quick trip in and out.  Really, not much to write home about. 

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