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    Ruben Fleischer

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    Ruben Samuel Fleischer is an American film director, film producer, television producer, music video...

Venom (2018)
Venom (2018)
2018 | Action, Sci-Fi
This is the worst kind of relatively big budget popcorn tease – the kind of film that knows its demographic will flood to it regardless of quality, so let’s not even bother trying to make it good. The first sign of this type is a script that is such gibberish you almost start to wonder if you are having a stroke, and Venom has that in spades! Just when you think you have a handle on it, off it goes on a tangent that has nothing to do with anything other than setting up the next CGI shot. Which is the second sign – CGI good enough to pass, but quite obviously not the cutting edge stuff we have already seen years ago in better films. Cheap and nasty. The third sign is a director that can bung a few thrills in the mix but has no care whatsoever for characterisation, pace, plot or sensible motivation. Well done Ruben Fleischer for being the first director to have two films included in my BMTBs, following Zombieland Double Tap – I really can’t split them. The only fun to be had here is watching Tom Hardy amuse himself with a comic book characature so far over the top it hurts. Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed are horribly wasted and should be ashamed. Just awful stuff!
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
2019 | Action, Comedy, Horror
I ended up enjoying this film
I really enjoyed the 2009 Horror/Comedy ZOMBIELAND - a truly unique and original film that blends the trendy (at the time) Zombie genre with really smart comedy populated by some truly charismatic comedic performers and a GREAT surprise cameo.

So...I greeted the news that there would be a sequel - 10 years later - with a shrug. Why would they want to revisit this tired (at this time) genre with performers that have (for the most part) gone on to "bigger and better" things (including a few Oscar nominations and 1 Oscar win). But...I enjoyed the first, so I figured I'd check it out. And...for the first 20 minutes or so of this film, I sat there with my arms folded across my chest thinking "they are just trying too hard to replicate the first film". And then an interesting thing happened...

I chuckled to myself. Then I chuckled some more, and then I started laughing out loud and at about the 1 hour mark, I realized, "I'm really enjoying myself".

Credit, I think, has to go the charm, charisma and chemistry between the 4 returning leads - Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Woody Harrelson. It was like running into 4 old friends and old, comfortable, patterns re-emerge (kind of liking eating comfort food). These are ably assisted by good, fun turns by the likes of Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch. Special mention has to be made of Zoey Deutsch's turn as blonde air-head, Madison. This could have easily been a one-note, annoyance. but she brings something more to role that makes her endearing, not cloying.

The original creative team - Director Ruben Fleischer and Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick - are back as well, so the style and humor are similar to the first film - not really bringing much new to the proceedings, but not just "getting a paycheck" either.

This film is "nothing new", but I enjoyed it anyway - so if you liked the first Zombieland, you'll like this one as well. ONE NOTE - there is a "credits scene" as well as a "button scene" at the end of the credits that are MUST WATCH. So stick around for those, you'll be glad you did.

Letter Grade: B+

7 1/2 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)