Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Reid Scott, Scott Haze
The tagline that adorns the marketing materials for Ruben Fleischer’s Venom reads: “The world has enough superheroes.” This is because Sony’s latest comic book blockbuster is built around… a villain (gasp). Venom has been a fan-favourite since the mid-1980s when he was introduced into the Spider-Man comics (making him one of the collection of Marvel characters that Sony retains the screen rights to thanks to their Spider-Man deal). However, by telling the story of a villain without their corresponding hero, Venom has little narrative choice but to try and transform this villain into a hero, albeit one of the anti- variety. Continue reading
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Starring: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffman, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind, Polly Draper
‘Abortion comedy’ is hardly a phrase that rolls off the tongue, ‘abortion romantic comedy’ even less so. It sounds like an oxymoron, or at least in questionable taste. But that is exactly what we get with Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child, a brave debut feature unafraid to look honestly at this most divisive of issues.
Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is a very frank, small-time stand up comedienne. Her material is highly confessional, consisting mainly of sharing her life experiences with her audience, with a generous smattering of bodily functions jokes. She has the rug pulled out from under her when her boyfriend breaks up with her, at least in part due to his discomfort with the details of their relationship being shared so openly with her audience. As part of her meltdown, she has a drunken one-night stand with a clean-cut business student, Max (Jake Lacy), and a couple of weeks later discovers, to her horror, that she is pregnant.
So far, this is nothing really new. Continue reading