October Fan Gradebook

October Fan Gradebook

We have revamped our Gradebook and will now include fans and their opinions for the films a whole month at a time. If you would like to participate, join our Facebook Group.

Nile Fortner Venom (4/10)

Think of Shaq in ‘Steel,’ think of Ang Lee’s 2003 ‘Hulk,’ think of Halle Berry’s ‘Catwoman.’ Tom Hardy in 2018s ‘Venom’ feels like a superhero movie from the 90s and early 2000s. A time back when studios used the popularity of a character to make a quick profit, they cared very little about the fans and the actual character. This is an example of a movie coming out at the wrong place at the wrong time. We are in a time where superhero films have stayed true to the comics, characters, and superhero films have evolved into something comic book fans and everyday people can both enjoy.

The CGI looks bad, the story feels poorly written, the comedy doesn’t work, and we could have gotten a much better representation of this character. I enjoyed Topher Grace as Venom in ‘Spider-Man 3’ way more than anything in this film. It doesn’t even sound right doing a Venom movie without Spider-Man. I wasn’t bored by the movie, but it was very meh…until the terrible ending. ‘Venom’ is a “turd in the wind.”

Adam Haskell Venom (2/10)

Other than a good Tom Hardy performance, good cinematography and fun interactions between Eddie and Venom, this is a film I truly hated watching. It’s boring, extremely repetitive, lazy, cringeworthy and it just feels like something that should’ve come out in the 2000’s. Every performance that isn’t Tom Hardy I think is truly terrible which is a shame because these are talented people, but they are just so awful here, you can tell most everyone is just doing it for the paycheck, and they aren’t passionate about this film. The script is so bad, and the action isn’t fun to watch at all, it also doesn’t help that the effects for a majority are so godawful here too and that the editing is some of the worst I’ve seen all year. This is overall such a dumb mess of a film that I hated so much. We deserve much, much better.

Tony Estrada Venom (5/10)

Not the worst comic book movie I’ve seen, but it does not belong in the 2010s decade considering how much comic book movies have evolved. It’s just too bland for me to say it’s a bad movie in all honesty. My biggest positive is absolutely the Eddie/Venom interactions, and that’s enough for me to say it’s a tolerable but severely forgettable experience, and Tom Hardy is trying his absolute hardest out of anyone in this feature (it shows Michelle Williams does not have any passion towards this project). The screenplay is convoluted as well as unfunny most of the time, the editing is horrible and almost unwatchable at times, the visual effects (aside from the look of Venom) are really dreadful, and don’t even get me started with how rushed the climax was (did I also forget to mention that Riz Ahmed as the antagonist was poorly written?). “Venom,” while slightly better than I expected it to be, just isn’t very good, and while it’s not one of the worst movies of 2018… it’s the worst comic book movie of 2018. Hopefully, Sony doesn’t interfere with the sequel because I do see potential in a Venom sequel being much better.

Ryan Pierce Venom (5/10)

Venom is fine honestly. It just feels very bland and boring for the most part. Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and his interactions with Venom are easily the best things about it, I thought they had great chemistry, and their interaction with awesome and pretty funny tbh but everything else surrounding it is what waters it down. Besides Hardy, everyone else is wooden and could care less that they are in this film. Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed felt like they could give less of a shit and felt like they were there for a quick paycheck, not to mention their characters were boring as hell too. The inconsistencies are noticeable as all hell and felt like the movie was rushed (like there’s a time lapse to six months later and it feels so out of place). The worst thing about this is the CGI especially when it came to the main villain, it felt like an early 2000s superhero movie, and I don’t mean that positively. Overall Venom is a film that had a whole lot of potential, but it’s too bland and empty to even have fun with it. While there are things that I did like, unfortunately, the negatives out way the positives. Huge disappointment of what could have been an awesome comic book film.

Venom (2018) - Movie ReviewVenom Fan Grade: 4/10

Released October 5th

Kevin Falk A Star is Born (9/10)

Heartfelt, emotional and nearly flawless, A Star is Born is the perfect example of two stars working to their full potential. The film while a familiar story does enough to stand out on its own with a beautiful love story but also providing some excellent social commentary on the music industry overall. This is one of those few remakes that somehow keeps the story fresh and alive but also honors the legacy of its previous iterations. Between Cooper’s multifaceted talent and the incredible soundtrack, this iteration of this story is truly one that is not to be missed and has all of the makings of an instant classic. Believe the hype and support this near masterpiece as soon as you can.

Sammy Klinger A Star Is Born (10/10)

The latest iteration of A Star Is Born is truly spectacular, incredible, outstanding and all around fantastic on every level. I adored this film so much, and it gets better the more I think about it. It might be the best film I’ve seen this year.

The acting is truly outstanding; Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are truly and absolutely magnetic, wonderful and filled with amazement. They give some of the best performances of 2018 and are guaranteed to get Oscar nominations, especially Lady Gaga. She delivered, and both truly disappear into their roles; that’s how incredible they are. They also have some of the best chemistry I’ve seen since Baby & Debra from Baby Driver. All the other actors like Sam Elliot & Dave Chapelle also deliver great performances as well

Bradley Cooper’s direction is what truly stands out. You’ll find it hard to believe this is a directorial debut cause he freakin nailed it. Regarding how he handled certain scenes and moments, how gorgeously shot the film is, and how handled and real the concert scenes are as he makes you feel like you are at a concert and how he tells the story makes it feel less cliched and more unique and engaging.

The music is of amazing quality as the soundtrack is breathtakingly phenomenal on every level. My favorite songs are “Shallow” “Heal Me” “Before I Cry” “Maybe It’s Time” & “I’ll Never Love Again” being the standouts, but every other song is amazing in one way or another.

While the story is something we have seen before, Bradley Cooper’s direction makes the film feel more fresh and unique. The movie hits so incredibly well on the emotion. It does have some very hilarious moments, but when it hits the emotion, it truly does hit especially near the end where I actually cried.

I felt a lot of different emotions throughout A Star Is Born and I always love it when a movie can do that. The writing is top-notch, the editing is top-notch, the pacing never drags, the themes and messages are well-executed and incredibly well-handled. It’s also so real and so relatable on what they show and what they want to tell, and the ending might be the best ending I’ve seen all year.

This film is also guaranteed to get Oscar nominations for
Best Picture, Best Director (Bradley Cooper), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Lady Gaga), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliot), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing & Editing & of course Best Original Song (with Shallow and/or I’ll Never Love Again).

I honestly don’t have any problems with this film. A Star Is Born truly and honestly affected me so much in all the best ways. The most emotional film I’ve seen this year and probably the best film I’ve seen this year so far. A film that’s destined to be a classic and remembered for years to come.

A Star is Born Fan Grade: 9.5/10

Released October 5th

Kevin Falk Bad Times at the El Royale (8/10)

A riveting highly entertaining film that though does take a lot of inspiration from Tarantino finds a way to stand out on its own. Between a game cast some truly breathtaking visuals and a great nonlinear structure this is easily one of the best mystery films you’ll see all year but one that you should go into knowing as little as possible. Strap in because you’re not ready for the bumpy ride this film will take you on but one that is equally just as rewarding.

Sammy Klinger Bad Times At The El Royale (9.5/10)

Despite a couple of pacing issues, Bad Times At The El Royale is another excellent film from Drew Goddard. It’s very Tarantino-esque, but in the best ways, the stories how they intertwine was very interesting and engaging. All the performances were great to excellent with of course Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges & Cynthia Nixon being the standouts. The film is very intense, thrilling, fun, entertaining and all around impressive. I was glued since the beginning. Drew Goddard’s directing and writing is on-point and excellent, and I cannot wait to see what else he does next. I feel this is gonna be one of those films where I feel I’m gonna love it the more I think about it and see it, well done Drew Goddard, well done.

Bad Times at the El Royale Fan Grade: 8.75/10

Released October 12th

Ryan Pierce First Man (10/10)

First Man is one of the most riveting and emotional films I’ve seen all year. I’m still in awe of what I’ve witnessed, an amazing look at the life of Neil Armstrong and everything leading to him becoming the first man to the walk on the moon. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy give some of the best performances I’ve seen this year, both are excellent and is so much to the table especially in very emotional scenes. Speaking of that, this movie has some of the most emotional stuff I’ve seen all year. I got wrapped up in it more than I expected to especially the final shot of the film. Damien Chazelle directs this film to perfection the way he builds atmosphere here is marvelous, it’s beautifully shot and has amazing cinematography. Overall First Man is outstanding I was absolutely blown away by what I watched, you need to see this as soon as possible it’s one of 2018’s finest works.

Tony Estrada First Man (9/10)

Damien Chazelle has crafted the best film in his career so far. While “Whiplash” was a heart-pounding experience and “La La Land” was a solidly magical experience, “First Man” was a truly emotional and intense experience which offers the best space sequences I’ve seen since Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. It’s more than just about the moon landing; it’s about the years of preparation that went down before that event occurred in 1969 and, most of all, it’s about Neil Armstrong’s personal life and even how his wife would always get worried for him and their children. There are so many strong performances in this feature but Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy are the absolute stand-outs here, and the way the both of them interact with each other make for some of the most compelling dramatic scenes of this year. The direction, the cinematography, the visual effects, the score, the sound design, and Josh Singer’s screenplay all across the board are phenomenal. I barely felt the 2 hour 21-minute runtime as I felt it was necessary to explore so much of what happened in the eight-year gap which makes the moon landing in the climax that much more impactful. “First Man” is an astonishing achievement that just goes to show that Damien Chazelle truly is one of the most talented directors of this generation.

Sammy Klinger First Man (10/10)

Damien Chazelle has proven himself to be one of the best working today with Whiplash & La La Land that are in fact my Top 2 best films of the 2010s. While this film is the weakest he has done so far, First Man is still inspiring, magical, incredible and amazing. Ryan Gosling & Claire Foy giving Oscar-worthy performances and both work so incredibly well together. On an emotional and technical aspect, this film is some of the best this year has done. In terms of cinematography, score, the space sequences and shots, this film is absolute perfection at that but it still an effective experience. The moon landing experience itself is complete amazement and one of the best sequences this year.  Chazelle once again proves why he’s an outstanding director, and I can’t wait to continue to see what he brings.

First Man Fan Grade: 9.7/10

Released October 12th

Nile Fortner Halloween (8/10)

Killer Mike is back…Michael Myers that is. Halloween (2018) is one of the best horror films I’ve seen in a while. It keeps the spirit of John Carpenter’s original film and it feels as if Carpenter could have even directed some scenes. The 80s style synth music is a great old school sounding score with a modern take. At first, I felt bad for Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and what her later life has become. But she proves she is still tougher than ever.

Even though it is a direct sequel to the original, it has references to the other previous movies. It does have some horror cliches we’ve seen so many times, but horror-heads will love it. Also, even though it’s putting the previous movies aside and only focusing on the original, it still sort of plays out like those other sequels only ignoring Halloween: Resurrection. In other words, maybe they didn’t have to ignore all the sequels. The film has amazing tension, it captures the spirit of the holiday, it feels like it fits with the original, and Myers is still eerie in every way possible. The only thing that would have made this better would have been a cameo by Busta Rhymes, just kidding.

Adam Haskell Halloween (8/10)

Gave me what I wanted, “Halloween” is some of the most fun I had at the theater in 2018. Creative kills, really good humor, fantastic score, great acting (for the most part) and one of my favorite climaxes of the entire year. As for flaws the film can be messy at spots (mainly the first 20 minutes or so), some characters just really annoyed me and were very pointless, and there is probably more stuff that wasn’t the best but due to how much fun I was having and how great the climax and Jaime Lee Curtis was I could ignore most of it. Overall this is a blast that is wicked fast-paced, and it’s a film to see with a crowd. Michael Myers is back people!

Sammy Klinger Halloween (9/10)

The latest installment in the Halloween franchise is a total blast and one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen this year. I’m not sure if I would say it’s the best Halloween sequel at this moment but this film still was damn great.

James Jude Courtney delivers the best portrayal of Michael Myers since the original. He’s very menacing, badass and delivers some of the best kills in the franchise since the original. Jamie Lee Curtis also delivers a fantastic performance as Laurie Strode and her storyline and her relationship with Judy Greer’s character is the best thing about it. The characters you do follow are well-done and interesting (for the most part). The humor that David Gordon Green and Danny McBride added into the film worked very well (for the most part). The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and stunning, the sound design is incredible as well, the score done by John Carpenter is amazing and also the best score since the original. The story did keep my interest even if I wished they have focused a little more on Laurie Strode, but I was still interested. In the third act (other than the ending) is the best part of the film and the showdown was amazing, and everything I wanted from this film. It does keep you in suspense and tension throughout the film, the atmosphere really is there, and it was all around a whole load of fun.

As for faults, there were a couple of side characters I wasn’t a fan of especially this therapist they claim to be the new Dr. Loomis, and they did do an interesting reveal and twist with his character. I just wish they handled it better and while I loved the humor in the film, there were a few moments where it kinda fell flat. I honestly thought the ending to the film was very abrupt and I wasn’t a fan of it.

Overall while this film is flawed, it does so much right and so much great. I was very happy and satisfied with the film we have gotten, thank you David Gordon Green for bringing back everything we loved about the franchise and the original in general.

Halloween Fan Grade: 8.3/10

Released October 19th

Other reviews we had with not enough data to calculate an average include:

Kevin Falk The Hate U Give (9/10) Released October 19th

If you haven’t already DON’T watch the trailers for this movie this is not at all some sappy rejected lifetime film as the trailer suggests. This is a delicate, powerful and hard-hitting film that is one of the most important this generation needs to see. The main issue that is addressed in this film isn’t only incredibly relevant but is one of the many issues that plague us as a society today. The film also explores the idea of white privilege and compliance in a way other films just haven’t it is also dominated by its extremely talented cast but most of all Amandla Stenberg who proves to all of us just how much we’ve vastly underestimated her. Also includes perhaps one of the most realistic protesting scenes I’ve ever seen. Trust me when I say this is a very important and emotional film that tackles issues we’ve seen addressed before but from a much different perspective. Stay away from all marketing and see this as soon as possible and open your eyes to one of the most pressing issues in society that is also the biggest surprise of the entire year for me!

Kevin Falk Beautiful Boy (10/10)

This was emotionally draining and affected me in a way few films succeed to do. Easily the most effective and raw drama about addiction since Requiem for a Dream. Would love to say more but this film kind of made me speechless but it’s for sure one of the best of the entire year that is a must see for all. Oh yeah, and Carrell better gets that recognition he deserves this time.

Kevin Falk Mid90s (9/10) Released October 26th

What starts as a fun ode to the 90s quickly turns into one of the most real films of that era I think I’ve ever seen. While most films would tend to villainize the group that Stevie is a part of this film chooses to flesh them out in a way I truly wasn’t expecting. It’s also a phenomenal directorial debut from Hill whose direction is so good we forget this film isn’t from the era it’s set in. Overall this was another hit from A24 and continues their streak of the great coming of age films this one being a little different then most but one that is still worth the price of admission for what is easily one of their most human films to date.

Written by
Ashley Menzel is an avid film lover and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves foreign films and dramas and reading books that have film adaptations. Her favorite movie of all time is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, iZombie, and Grimm.

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