Having gone through fourteen years of development hell, the first of Sony’s planned videogame adaptations arrives – Uncharted, starring Tom Holland, turns the famously cinematic action-adventure treasure-hunting puzzle-solving games into surprisingly enjoyable action-adventure treasure-hunting puzzle-solving cinema.
Well, “famously” is relative – Uncharted is an enormously successful blockbuster series with which Mike is familiar, but José didn’t even know there was a series on which the film was based. With the benefit of his experience, Mike discusses how the film adapts five games’ worth of material and the expectations he had, and we consider the characters’ relationships and personal stakes, conceptualisation of the action, the similarities and differences to Indiana Jones, and Antonio Banderas’ villain.
Venom utterly charms the pants off us, its bizarre knockabout body horror surprising us with a great sense of humour and unexpected variations on the idea not so much Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as of masculinity at war with itself, inside and out.. From the trailer, Mike was worried about the broadness of Tom Hardy’s accent – actually, it’s tonally perfect as broadness is exactly what the film is going for in every respect, in the very best way.
Hardy is superb, giving his all to a role that demands physical dexterity and comic ability; the CGI bowls José over; the sense of Hardy’s body being shared by another physical entity, rather than being merged with it, is tactile and interesting. Mike’s also been watching the Sam Raimi Spider-Mantrilogy recently, in which Venom appears, and holds court on a trend in the villains he sees Venomas adhering to. And the dog is so funny.
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Woke up thinking about Venom. It’s not been well-reviewed, and with reason. But we found it very entertaining. I particularly liked the look of it, the special effects, the use of San Francisco, the chase scenes. And Tom Hardy’s performance is so original and inventive. He starts as someone madly in love, content, socially engaged; then he does something unethical and is cast out. The rest of the film is him, suffering, shivering, longing, wanting, and then with a body that’s infected and out of his control, a body he’s at war with it and one that gets flayed, shocked, beaten, pierced. If this film had been made twenty years ago I would have taken it, lazily perhaps, as an AIDS metaphor; as is, it’s a most original representation of a masculinity at war with itself. Podcast will follow from Eavesdropping at the Movies.