Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch)
For everything we've deeply loved, we cannot lose. They become a part of us. We adapt to the way they talk, we make them a part of our Instagram passwords, we remember when they told us to cook chicken for 20 minutes instead of We as humans are so lucky to meet so many people that will one day leave us.
We are so lucky to have the ability and courage to suffer, to grieve, and to wish for a better ending. For that only means, we were lucky enough to love. When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?
Needless to say I wound up hopping on the "lets bash 'Venom'" train. While I appreciated how much fun Tom Hardy was having and the visual approach to the symbiotes, I couldn't get behind the film's tone or story, both of which felt like relics of a bygone era of comic book storytelling that sacrificed actual pathos for that aforementioned cheap spectacle. But apparently that critical consensus was in the minority because audiences ate the film up.
On top of that, Ruben Fleischer would step out of the director's chair in place of Andy Serkis, the visual effects legend behind characters like 'The Lord of the Rings' Gollum and 'Planet of the Apes' Caesar, and a pretty decent director in his own right. Now with a year-long pandemic delay behind it, 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' is finally here, did it change my jaded little mind about the character's big-screen worth?
Surprisingly, it kind of did. I won't pretend that I loved it by any stretch, but while 'Let There Be Carnage' still features some of its predecessor's shortcomings, there's also a tightness, consistency and self-awareness that's more prevalent this time around; in other words, it's significantly more fun!
A year after the events of the first film, Eddie Brock played by Tom Hardy is struggling with sharing a body with the alien symbiote, Venom also voiced by Hardy. Things change when Eddie is contacted by Detective Pat Mulligan played by Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch) Grahamwho says that the serial killer Cletus Kasady will talk only with Eddie regarding his string of murders.
His interview with Kasady played by Woody Harrelson leads to Eddie uncovering the killer's victims and confirming Kasady's execution. During their final meeting, Kasady bites Eddie, imprinting part of Venom onto Kasady. When Kasady is executed, the new symbiote awakens, merging with Kasady into a bloody, far more violent incarnation known as Carnage.
It's up to Eddie and Venom to put aside their differences to stop Carnage's rampage, as well as Frances Barrison played by Naomi HarrisKasady's longtime girlfriend whose sonic scream abilities pose a threat to both Venom and Carnage. So what made me completely switch gears this time around?
There's a couple reasons, but first and foremost is the pacing. Serkis and screenwriter Kelly Marcel know exactly where to take the story and how to frame both Eddie and Venom's journeys against the looming threat of Carnage.
Even when the film is going for pure, outrageous humor, it never forgets the qualms between Eddie and Venom should be at the center beyond the obvious comic book-y exhibitions.
If you were a fan of Eddie's anxious sense of loss, or the back-and-forth between he and the overly eccentric Venom, you are going to love this movie. Hardy has a great grasp on what buttons to push for both, especially Venom, who has to spend a chunk of the movie contending with losing Eddie altogether and find their own unique purpose among other things, what is essentially Venom's "coming out" moment that actually finds some weight in all the jokes. Then there's Harrelson as Carnage and he absolutely delivers!
Absolutely taking a few cues from Heath Ledger's Joker, Harrelson is leaning just enough into campy territory to be charismatic, but never letting us forget the absolutely shattered malicious mind controlling the spaghetti wrap of CGI.
Serkis' directing itself deserves some praise too. I can't necessarily pinpoint his style, but like his approach on 'Mowgli,' he has a great eye for detail in both character aesthetics and worldbuilding. That goes from the symbiotes' movements and action bits to bigger things like lighting in a church sequence or just making San Francisco feel more alive in the process. As far as downsides go, what you see is basically what you get.
While I was certainly on that train more here, I also couldn't help but hope for more on the emotional side of things. Yes, seeing the two be vulnerable with one another is important to their arcs and the comedy infusions work more often than not, but it also presents a double-edged sword of that quick runtime, sacrificing time for smaller moments for bigger, more outrageous ones.
In addition, while Hardy and Harrelson are electric together, I also found a lot of the supporting characters disappointing to a degree. Mulligan has a few neat moments, but not enough to go beyond the tough cop archetype.
The only one who almost makes it work is Naomi Harris, who actually has great chemistry with Harrelson until the movie has to do something else with her. It's those other characters that make the non-Venom, non-Carnage moments stall significantly and I wish there was more to them.
I wouldn't go so far as to have complete faith in this approach to Sony's characters moving forward — Venom or whatever larger plans are in the works — but I could safely recommend this whatever side of the film spectrum you land on. This kind of fun genre content is sorely needed and I'm happy I had as good of a time as I did.
The sequel to the reboot is an enjoyable, but unremarkable start to the Halloween movie season. There's a reason why the Addams Family have become icons of the American cartoon pantheon although having one of the catchiest theme songs in television history doesn't hinder them. The family of creepy but loveable archetypes have been featured across generations, between the aforementioned show, the duo of Barry Levinson films in the '90s and, most recently, MGM's animated reboot in That project got a mostly mixed reception and, while I'd count me as part of that group, I thought there was more merit to it than I expected.
The characters and animation designs felt kind of unique, and when it surpassed whatever mundane story the writers had in mind to be more macabre, it could be kind of fun. This is to say my reaction wasn't entirely negative when the sequel was announced, as well as just forgetting about it until I got the screening invitation. With that semblance of optimism in mind, does 'The Addams Family 2' improve on the first film's strengths? Unfortunately, not really. There's fun to be had and the film clearly has reverence for its roots, but between the inconsistent humor and lackluster story beats, what we're left with feels just a bit too unexceptional to recommend.
Some time after the events of the first film, Wednesday Addams voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz has made an incredible discovery: a way to transfer personality traits from one living being to another.
While she looks to grand ambitions for her education, her parents, Gomez and Morticia voiced by Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron respectively believe they are losing her and her brother, Pugsley voiced by Javon Waltonas they get older. The solution: a family road trip cross country alongside their Uncle Fester voiced by Nick Kroll and butler Lurch voiced by Conrad Vernon visiting all the great destinations of the United States. Along the way, a subplot begins to unfold with Rupert voiced by Wallace Shawna custody lawyer seemingly convinced that Wednesday is not Gomez and Morticia's biological daughter, and the enigmatic scientist, Cyrus Strange voiced by Bill Haderwho takes an interest in Wednesday's potentially terrifying work.
With the exception of Javon Walton replacing Finn Wolfhard, the voice cast returns for the sequel and they're mostly capable here. Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron embody a lot of Gomez and Morticia's obsessively sincere dynamic it legitimately makes me think they'd be good in live-action and Nick Kroll delivers a bounty of one-liners that are sure to get a laugh here and there.
But the real focus is on Wednesday, who very quickly becomes the center of the film's narrative and it's where I become the most conflicted. The choice to tease Wednesday's "true" connections to the other Addams is admittedly intriguing, especially for how eclectic their backstories are and the film's choice to frame those questions around Wednesday and Morticia's estranged bond. It's not a lot, but there is some subtext about how children can potentially view the adoption process and how parents choose to frame their relationships with their children.
The animation isn't particularly great, but like the first film, I admire how the character designs all feel uniquely bizarre, again ripped right out of Charles Addams original comic strips and getting moments to be themselves. In addition, Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch) the humor is completely inconsistent, I counted at least half a dozen jokes I cracked up at, most of them leaning into the morbid side of the Addams' personalities and one weirdly placed joke at a gas station don't ask, I can't explain it.
Getting back to that original Wednesday narrative though, I found myself getting increasingly bored by it as the movie went on. For as cliched as the movie's story was, it at least felt like an Addams Family movie, with stakes that consistently affected the entire family. But between Wednesday's forays into Captain Kirk-esque monologues, Fester's subplot with the fallout from Wednesday's experiment, and occasionally shifting back to the house under the protection of Grandmama voiced by Bette Midlerthe movie feels incredibly disjointed.
When the film does finally line up its story after over an hour of setup, it feels too little too late, all in the service of a big obligatory action sequence that is supposed to act as the emotional climax and falls completely flat. It's not that a minute movie can't support these characters, but rather that it chooses to take them away from situational, self-aware comedy moments to make it feel more important.
We love the Addams because they're weird, they don't quite fit in, but they're so sincere and loving that you can't help but get attached to them and the film loses interest in that appeal relatively quickly. There's a joke where Thing is trying to stay awake and has a cup of coffee in the camper. It's the most disturbing part of the movie, I haven't stopped thinking about it, and now that image is in your head too, you're welcome.
Like its predecessor, I'm probably being way too kind to it considering how utterly unimpressive it can feel, grinding to a halt to make its stakes more theatrical on several occasions. That being said, I can't deny the characters are fun when they get the chance to be, there are some decent jokes, and for a potential Halloween watch, it's a family movie on several levels. Its always nice to see the Addams pop up on the big screen in whatever capacity they might, but my enjoyment of this movie comes with an abundance of unnecessary caveats.
The music world is a fast evolving and ever changing landscape of influence. Over the last 20 years, we've seen the influx of home recording technology paired with the rise of streaming, making way for new independent artists and communities to flourish. This is the positive side of the streaming coin, different kinds of music can exist in the same spaces in much more fluid ways.
Aesthetic and musical styles are merging and taking on new life in the 21st century. Trends in the music industry can be most easily followed by exploring instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms to see what people are wearing and listening to.
Let's take a look at a few style and artistic trends influencing the world of music. Hip-hop is having a big moment right now. With powerful new releases from Kanye West, Drake and Lil Nas X flooding the airwaves, they're unique brand of style is also taking an influence. Just take a look at the most recent Met Gala pictures to get an idea of what we're talking about here.
Mens jewelry is taking the fashion and music industry by storm with so many influential artists expressing their unique craft through their style. Mens Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch) hop jewelry is a great way to express your passion for the music you love and create a unique look inspired by today's most influential artists.
Classic rock has and always will be a favorite in the music world. Neil Young's famous lyrics still ring true today, rock and roll will never die!
Vintage tees and apparel from classic rock bands pull any look together and are the perfect way to express the many facets of your interests and style.
The Rolling Stones Merchandise has never been a trendier way to express your love of rock n roll! Spice up your style with their famous logo and get rockin '!
Any music fan should have a decent vinyl setup to listen to their favorite records in the way they were intended to be heard: from start to finish and on a great stereo system.
Vinyl has had a huge resurgence over the last two decades and many classic albums have been reissued and remastered for a heightened audio experience. In part, this is a pushback against streaming culture which puts a bigger emphasis on playlists and singles rather than full length album formats. Vinyl is a way for true music fans to dive deep into their favorite records. From the best rap albums of all time to the classic recordings of Pink Floyd, you can find all of your generation's most classic albums right from your home!
For aspiring producers, songwriters and composers, there has never been a time where this much information about music creation and theory has been right at our fingertips. There are so many digital tools available to both make and learn music that almost anyone with an interest can pick them up and start making sounds!
Understanding how music works, however, is complex and that's where online resources and tools such as blogs come in handy. You can use these tools to discover useful information such as the difference between rhythm and beat or how to compose a melody to further your understanding of music and how it's made. If all you do is follow headlines and instagram for your music news, chances are you're missing tons of valuable articles, news, events and new releases that may inspire you. Discover more Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch) the world's greatest music by following music specific news websites and blogs.
I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened with a few friends I'd had, I just know that over time I'd come to the realization that we were no longer really friends.
I'd read about someone getting married on my Facebook wall, or receive an invitation to a baby shower for a friend I hadn't seen in years - and think to myself, "when was the last time I spoke with them?
And, with all the technology we have at our fingertips today - really, what excuse is there? We don't need to arrange an hour tea visit in order to catch up anymore. There are so many ways to stay in touch these days - and far less excuses not to, Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch) are a few ideas:. That thing plugged into your wall at home that rings? It can also be used to dial the number of a friend. Don't own one of those? What about the Blackberry you so religiously use to text on?
A quick call to say "Hi, how are you? When last did you hop into your car and make the effort to meet up with a friend? Or watch a movie at the cinema together instead of downloading it off Catch My Riff (Insignificant Others Re-Touch) Internet? Worried that you won't have time for that AND whatever else you're meant to be doing? Schedule the two together - suggest a jog with your friend, or do the grocery shopping together and have a coffee afterwards.
Just make a plan and DO it. Send a text. Even if it's just to say "Hope you're having a great day", or "Thinking of you - it's been ages since we last caught up". A short text goes a long way to letting someone else know that you've taken the time to think about them. Ok, so this isn't the ideal way to keep any friendship going - but at least you're trying, right? What's so great about Social Media is that you have the opportunity to reconnect with long lost friends from Primary School, Girl Scouts, University, etc.
I love Facebook and use it often to keep in touch with friends from school. That computer stuff you were doing from home wasn't a real job anyway," a simple, "Thank you," could be the best way to move forward. Feedback and criticism can be essential to improving your performance, but sugarcoating an insult with a compliment usually isn't constructive.
Acknowledge the positive portion of a backhanded compliment to show that passive-aggressive communication isn't effective.
When to use it: When your boss says, "You were so productive today! It's too bad you didn't do this last week when I could have used your help even more," respond by saying, "Thank you for noticing my hard work today. Backhanded compliments can damage relationships.
So sometimes, it's best to address the issue in a direct manner. Otherwise, the snarky comments might continue and the relationship could deteriorate.
When you don't want a hurtful comment to get in the way of your relationship, speak up. When to use it: If your friend says, "Those pants look great on you. They hide your belly nicely," respond by saying, "I'm glad you like these pants, but the comment about my belly is hurtful. Sometimes, the best thing you can do, is not take yourself--or someone's backhanded compliments--too seriously.
The person who offers them may not know how to deal with their emotions or they may be trying to hurt you on purpose. Respond with a little humor, without getting snide.
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