Venom (2018)



The Marvel Comics villain gets the antihero treatment in this Spiderman-less origin story filled with grotesque body horror and lots of crazy CGI-infused action.  Tom Hardy stars as reporter Eddie Brock, who finds himself the host of an alien symbiote he discovers within a hi-tech laboratory he’s investigating.  That alien needs live organs to feast upon, which means Eddie’s if he can’t find other things for “Venom”, which is what the symbiote calls himself, to ravenously consume.  Michelle Williams stars as Brock’s ex-fiance, and Riz Ahmed is the head of the corporate lab out to experiment on the living in order for humans to try to survive on other planets when this one is no longer, inevitably, inhabitable. Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer directs.


The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)



Set in a small town called New Zebedee, in Michigan during the mid 1950s, we follow the adventures of a ten-year-old orphan named Lewis Barnavelt, mourning the recent loss of his parents to a fatal car accident, staying in the rickety and seemingly haunted Victorian mansion of his uncle, Jonathan.  Jonathan is an eccentric warlock often visited by his neighbor, a witch named Mrs. Zimmerman, and the mansion he resides in is anything but mundane. A new home also means a new school for Lewis, who is immediately labeled as a square by his peers and subsequently picked on as he tries in vain to make a friend.  School isn’t the only place of learning for the boy, as Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman begin to teach him the ways of the warlocks, whose acts are spurred on by visions of his dead mother, while they mysteriously spend their time looking for a fabled clock hidden within the walls of the mansion.  Jack Black and Cate Blanchett co-star in this PG-rated film by Eli Roth.


The Predator (2018)



Shane Black tries to do what no one has done thus far, and that’s to make a good follow-up to John McTiernan’s 1997 action classic, PREDATOR.  Here, the Predators are back searching for their old technology, and possibly taking over the Earth, having to confront a rag-tag group of disgrace military vets in their way.  Boyd Holdbrook, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes and Jacob Tremblay also appear.


Searching (2018)



John Cho stars as a widower father whose life gets turned upside down when his teenage daughter goes missing.  As he goes online to search for clues to her whereabouts, he discovers that the close relationship he thought he had with her may not have been as tight-knit as he was led to believe.  Debra Messing co-stars as the missing-persons detective on the beat in this nifty thriller that sets all of its actions on the screens of a variety of computer devices.


Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018)



Won’t You Be My Neighbor? examines the life and work of Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers, who was the creator and star of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on public television (PBS) from the years 1968 to 2001. He invited children to come into his home, sing them a song, make them feel safe as he imparted life lessons, then whisked them off to the Land of Make-Believe to further explore metaphors of understanding before he saw them off to the rest of their day.  Rogers followed the career path to television as an alternative to pursing his Presbyterian ministry, primarily because he perceived that the level of silly and, to some degree, harmful entertainment that feeds the minds of youth on television was contributing to a culture of uncaring and self-centered youth who were seen as only vessels to toward whom to sell consumer products.  Rogers felt that television could also be used as a medium in which he could do the most good if he were to use it as an educational and inspirational tool, especially in entertainment that he felt would best shape the minds of future generations to come.


The Happytime Murders (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



In this puppet/human effort directed by Brian Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson, Bill Barretta voices the top puppet character known as disgraced burnout Los Angeles-based private investigator Phil Phillips, who has to get to the bottom of a series of murders among the stars of a decades-old television show with a puppet cast of actors called, “The Happytime Gang”.  Melissa McCarthy gets the top human role, playing police detective Connie Edwards, Phil’s former, now estranged, partner in crime-fighting from his days on the force, who joins in to reluctantly assist.  Even if the characters look like Muppets, it’s a very raunchy, ultra-violent effort not meant for children.


Summer of 84 (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



RKSS return after their Turbo Kid to deliver yet another throwback to the 1980s in the mystery-suspense-horror flick, SUMMER OF 84.  A quartet of boys go out in search of a serial killer of teenage boys (just like them) that they feel could be the cop that lives in their very own neighborhood, and seek to find the evidence needed to bring him to justice.  The further they go out, however, the more exposed they are to becoming the next victim in their manhunt.

 


Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



Constance Wu stars as Rachel Chu, who essentially serves as our best surrogate for the story, the daughter of a single Chinese immigrant mother, who rose above her station to become a professor of Economics at NYU.  Her current boyfriend is a man names Nick Young (played by Henry Golding), who, for over a year since they’ve been dating, has never divulged to her that his family back home in Singapore is insanely wealthy.  The cat has to be let out of the bag, however, when Nick asks Rachel to attend the wedding of his best friend in Singapore, where he also plans to pop a question of his own after she meets the family.  However, Nick’s stern mother, Eleanor, disapproves of trying to pursue what one wants in life independent of the family wishes, so Rachel’s pursuit of her own career, and Nick pursuit of love beyond his class, ruffles more than a few feathers among his family, friends, and the rest of the rich and famous they socialize among.  John M. Chu directs, with supporting roles for Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong


The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon star in this buddy comedy about two best friends who end up embroiled in a spy assassin plot when some terrorists come looking for them for information that Kunis’ most recent boyfriend, who she didn’t know was a secret agent, may have in his possessions.  Laughs, thrills, and action are promised, but does it deliver?


The Meg (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



A big shark and Jason Statham are the big draws to THE MEG, in which a rescue team of humans must try to survive, and eventually take on, a prehistoric shark of gargantuan proportions that threatens everyone off of the coast of China.  Jon Turteltaub directs this PG-13 action-horror hybrid that some compare to the JAWS and JURASSIC PARK series, or, at least, its low-aiming sequels.