Category Archive – Movie Madness

Week of Geek: A fond farewell… with trailers!

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Hiya Geeklings!

So, bad news first.  This will actually be my last post for the Teen Vortex website.  We’re going to be moving away from blogging here and looking into other options.  So don’t worry, I’ll still be around in the libraries and creating lists on the catalog and hopefully I’ll find another place to write, it just won’t be here anymore.  Womp womp.

So quick thank you to you all.  To everyone who read my posts.  To anyone who glanced at them.  To anyone who commented.  Hopefully you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed writing them.  High fives all around!

So let’s cap off the Weeks of Geek the way we always have… by talking about geeky stuff.  I’ve got a few trailers for you, ’cause it’s what I do.

So we got our first look at the live-action remake of The Lion King.

Just a glimpse for now, but hearing James Earl Jones again gave me all the nostalgic feels.  Though really, can you call this live action?  All the animals are animated!  Well, we have until this summer to decide.

And a popular book series by Eoin Colfer is getting the big screen treatment.  Check out our first trailer for Artemis Fowl.

And lastly, remember I was talking about Venom last week?  Well it’s coming out on Blu Ray in December (we’ll get it into the library as soon as we can), and apparently Sony is in on the fandom response to the movie, as the trailer announcing the blu-ray release has been tweaked to make the film look a little more rom-com.  Well played Sony!

So there we go, a few fun things to tide us over.  Again, thanks everybody!  Stay tuned for new programs and new ways we’ll be keeping you guys posted on what’s going on.  And again, don’t hesitate to come in and talk to us, let us know how we can make the library better for teens, for geeks and for everyone.

Until next time, End of Line. 😉

Week of Geek: Can we talk about Venom for a minute?

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Hi again Geeklings!  How’s November treating you?

Well, we got some sad news from the world of Marvel last week.  Stan Lee passed away at the age of 94.

He was a cool guy.  I had the pleasure of being in the audience when he made his last appearance at Fan Expo and he was delightful.  He created amazing characters and touched a lot of lives.  He’ll be sorely missed.  We can all take comfort in knowing that his legacy is not going away anytime soon.  Under Disney, Marvel is expanding ever outward in movies and TV shows.  The comics are still a thing and other studios are creating movies as well.  What Stan Lee helped create will be around for a long long time.

Today I thought I’d talk about one of the stranger examples of a Marvel movie to come out this year.  One that had everything going against it, and yet, and yet, has been a huge success financially.  It’s inspired memes, a lot of head scratching and a rather unexpected ship.

I of course speak of Venom.

So first of all, who, or what, is Venom?  In a nutshell, Venom is actually two characters, the alien creature known as Venom and whichever host he’s inhabiting.  Venom is from a race of these almost liquid-like creatures that can inhabit a host body.  With Venom, his host is reporter Eddie Brock (there have been other hosts in the comics, including Spider-Man himself, but Eddie is the go-to).  A symbiote (the common name for what Venom is) can give it’s host a lot of super powers but it also has a mind and will of it’s own and, depending on it’s temperament, can cause a lot of damage and can full on eat people.  Venom is a quintessential anti-hero.

This big screen version was released back in October, and it was riding a wave of heavy skepticism and bad reviews.  It’s currently sitting at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes which, if you know your percentages, is not good.  But even before the reviews came in people were expressing disdain.

First problem is that it’s a product of the deal Marvel and Sony made years ago where Sony acquired the movie rights to Spider-Man and his various properties.  Since Sony now has an arrangement with Marvel Studios to use Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony still has ownership of other Spidey-related characters, and they thought ‘Why not make a movie featuring just long-time villain Venom?’.  A movie that features a well-known Spider-Man villain… but it doesn’t have Spider-Man.  To a lot of people that just didn’t make any sense at best and at worst was downright sacrilege.

Secondly fans were hoping the movie would have an R-rating… but that didn’t turn out to be the case, as it now has a PG-13 rating.  Which is great for more people to watch it (including most of you guys) but it could also take the teeth (heh) out of the film.  And it sounds like there were reshoots during it’s production, which is not always good for a film.

So yeah, bad reviews, rough history, a lot of fan skepticism.  Venom did not arrive in theaters with a lot of hope.

But then something strange and kind of awesome happened.  During it’s opening weekend Venom smashed box-office records, gaining the highest opening weekend in October to date.  Remember that low Rotten Tomatoes review I mentioned?  That was just for critics; the audience score is currently at 86%.  Fan art emerged, the internet came up with a bunch of jokes.  And the shipping, my gosh, the shipping, that was petty unexpected too.  And just today I read that Venom is pegged to make more money globally than any X-Men movie to date, including Deadpool.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaa?

So what happened?  How did this weird problem-prone little movie become such a hit?

Well, that article I linked to about it surpassing the X-Men movies theorized that it’s because of brand value.  Venom is an iconic character and so people will see a movie about him.  I’m not so sure about that though, and if you look at the comment (there was only one at the time of this writing) written below that article the person posting thinks that it’s because Tom Hardy‘s take on both Eddie Brock and Venom was so entertaining that it overshadowed the rest of the movie.

I went to see Venom actually, after I saw all the buzz on my favorite fan sites, and I have to agree with that poster, not just about Tom Hardy (who is a great actor, let’s not deny it) but about other components of the movie as well.  Ya see, my knowledge of the character Venom is pretty slim.  I watched the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon and he was one of the villains there.  I never saw the third Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie where Topher Grace tried to play Brock/Venom, and from what I hear I’m not missing much.  And I read about him a little in the comics.  So yeah, I didn’t go into it as a hard-core Venom fan but I did know the broad strokes.

And my take on the movie?  It was not a good movie, not by any stretch, but darn if it wasn’t fun.  Eddie was a surprisingly relateable character, just kind of a doofus who genuinely wants to do good but often times messes it up.  And Venom is… well, Venom.  But the two of them learn to work together, and it actually gets kind of adorable between the two during the last act.  There were some funny moments, some good action scenes and… yeah, it was just fun.

And sometimes that’s all a movie has to be.  Just fun.  Clearly it’s struck a nerve with a lot of people, and now there’s a good chance a sequel will happen.  Maybe we can even hope for that crossover with Spider-Man.

One last minor point; I’m really glad they changed the pronunciation of ‘symbiote’ in the movie.  Yeah, it’s a made-up word, but every time I’ve heard it spoken in a Marvel property they’ve always pronounced it as sym-BEE-ote.  One of the early trailers for Venom tried to pronounce it sym-BYE-ote.  It just sounded wrong to me.  But when I saw the movie it was back to the original sym-BEE-ote.  Thanks Marvel/Sony!

Also, this was my favorite bit of dialogue.  What a power move!

Anyway, did any of you guys see it?  What did you think?  Post away in the comments below.

Have a great week guys, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Back to the Wizarding World

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It’s almost time again, Geeklings!  Time to head back to that magical realm, where wizards and witches live undercover, where history gets a sprinkling of sorcery, and where the most unlikely of individuals can become heroes… or villains.

Yup, this Friday Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in theaters.

And though the early reviews are ‘meh‘ and this flick is already coming in controversial, I’m still excited.  How could I not be?  It’s Newt!  And Queenie, and Tina, and Jacob, and Credence!  And even Albus Dumbledore!  DUMBLEDORE!

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Yaaaaas!

As a wand-carrying, scarf-wearing Gryffindor, I am ready, willing and able to see what the next chapter will bring.  Though it’s so hard to beat the original Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a nice surprise for me.  I loved the characters, I loved the setting of 1920s New York, I loved the magic in America historical context (MACUSA and the New Salemers), and I loved the message.  Also, the beasts, my goodness the beasts!  So many amazing critters, including Nifflers, which have become one of my favorites.

And now we’re back!  A few years later, a growing threat, some new characters and some familiar faces.

So of course, Warner Bros, the studio behind the movie, is getting everyone excited, releasing some videos to catch people up and get them in the mood…

And on Peter’s Hill in London, Warner Bros UK unveiled something pretty darn awesome.

So yeah, people are excited.  Is it going to take us in a whole new direction?  Is it going to answer questions we may have?  Is it finally going to let two main characters be gay in a mainstream movie?  Is it going to fall flat on it’s face and totally muck things up?  Who’s to say?  We’ll have to wait until this weekend to find out.  But what do you guys think?  Are you excited too?  Indifferent?  Over it?  Post away in the comments below.

Enjoy Geeklings, let us know what you think, and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: Month of the Macabre, Part 3

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Hi again Geeklings!  Welcome to week 3 of our Month of the Macabre celebrations!  Only 2 weeks to go until Halloween!  How are your costumes coming along?

This week let’s go over one thing no Halloween season would be complete without; scary movies!  Ah, the scary movie; a true staple of this time of year.  It’s the perfect season to just get cozy on a couch, turn the lights down, grab snacks and pull a blanket over you (ya know, in case you need to shield your face during the scary bits).  It’s even better when you can do it as a group.

Just this last weekend I watched The Conjuring again.  Still super spooky with a lot of atmosphere.

But that is just one of many movies out there designed to deliver thrills and chills.  From ghost stories to monsters, sci fi to fantasy, knife-wielding maniacs and psycho killers, films have captured just about every which way there is to be scared in the safety of our own home or local movie theatre.

But it can be a bit tricky for teens to find movies to watch that are actually scary.  Why?  A little something called the R rating.  The bane of many a teen’s existence; you’re almost old enough to watch it but just not quite!  And though some movies rated G or PG can be freaky, they often are tame compared to other options.

Fortunately we got you covered.  I’ve compiled a list of scary movies that are all rated PG-13 or 14A or lower.

We’ve got quite a few to select from.  IT, of course, was a huge hit last year, so much so that they’re doing a new big screen version of Pet Sematary next year.  I’ve seen IT, The Lost Boys (80s vampires my friends!) The Woman in Black, Warm Bodies and The Conjuring (and Supernatural, but we’ll talk more about the Winchesters next week).  I’d like to see The Hole, Unfriended, The Purge and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Grab a few of these and your next movie night is sure to freak some people out.  Any good ones (appropriately rated) that I’ve left out?  Post away in the comments section.  And if after my last two posts you’re still looking for some spooky reads, Nerdist released a list of scary short stories you can read online, including authors like Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King.  Check ’em out.

Have a good week Geeklings, keep enjoying the thrills, and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: Fan Con’s almost here! Plus, one more Fantastic Beasts trailer!

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Hi again Geeklings!

This is it!  Just a few days until Vaughan Fan Con 2018, this Saturday from 10am – 4pm!  Are you excited?  I’m SO excited!  We’ve got so much going on that day; workshops, video games, board games, Pokemon, an Artists Alley, special guests, cosplay photoshoots, a STEAM area.  Just… so much wow!  Be sure to click that link to see what’s going on and how to sign up for the workshops.  And stay tuned, because like with any con the schedule can be subject to change.

As for something geeky this week to get us all in the spirit, how about a brand new Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer?

Is this movie going to be somewhat problematic?  Yup.  Am I still excited?  Yup.  I mean, it does look pretty darn awesome!  New beasts, lots of magic, high stakes, a young Dumbledore, Hogwarts!  It’s darn near impossible not to be excited!  There’s a big reveal in the trailer that ties into the Harry Potter series, and there’s already much speculation on what’s going to go down (with J.K. Rowling being mum as usual).

If you want to catch up on the Wizarding World we have the series in our collection and we have the films, including the first Fantastic Beasts movie, as well as the script and the textbook.

Can’t wait to see you on Saturday!  If you want to come in costume it is not a requirement but very much encouraged.  Enjoy the rest of the week and until next time, End of Line.

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