Piracy Is On The Rise Again, Likely Because Of The Increase In Streaming Services

Streaming services continue to flourish with new platforms joining the fray at a relatively regular rate, and that has potentially contributed to consumers making a startling move. Piracy is on the rise. The news comes via a new study that has revealed that following years of a downturn, piracy’s numbers are trending upward. You may be wondering what exactly one has to do with another and there is an explanation.

First, the research comes to us from Sandvine‘s report on Global Internet Phenomena. The theory behind what the data reveals is that with Netflix and other streaming services launching exclusive deals for content, it has forced potential customers to subscribe to multiple platforms to get all of the content they want, and that is obviously cost-prohibitive. To explain the theoretical aftermath, here is an analogy.

Rather than order a meal from every restaurant, some consumers have paid for their meal at a few and then dined and dashed for the rest. That is the analogical form of what Sandvine’s Cam Cullen put forward as one of the possibilities to explain the piracy stat in his report. With so many streaming platforms rising to the fore, it means that subscribers are having to sign up for three services and beyond to watch all the shows they want. Or decide to stop watching, cutting the cord completely.

The more streaming service subscribers have to sign up for, the higher the expense cord cutters face in attempting to hinder the issue that made streaming so appealing in the first place — cutting the cost of cable. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, arguably the big three of streaming, are now being faced with ever-growing competition, and subscribers are getting caught in the middle, while their wallets are crunched.

The question that follows is whether the streamers, faced with so much competition, will lower their prices to stave off the threat of piracy. Considering the current cost of the streaming platforms, Wal-Mart has reportedly considered entering the world of streaming to offer consumers a more affordable option.

The issue facing streaming services is similar to the one that faced the music industry years ago. Listeners do not want to buy an entire album of songs when they only want to listen to two or three. How streaming platforms move forward will be intriguing to watch. They have revolutionized the way people consume television content. Time will tell how they respond to the uptick in piracy and if they do anything at all.

The good news for Netflix is that the study also reveals that the streaming giant is still a giant, accounting for 15% of all the downstream internet data that is devoured. On that note, Netflix is gearing up for a massive fall with a lot of new television content set to bow this fall on the popular platform, and it is not the only one.

Bryce Dallas Howard Is All-In On Original Characters Returning In Jurassic World 3

In this summer’s blockbuster hit Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, fans were struck with an ending that has undoubtedly raised the stakes going into the Jurassic World franchise. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) now have a significantly more challenging role that expanded past keeping attendees at a theme park safe. Earth as we know it will be dealing with the consequences of the power rich scientists who have brought dinosaurs back into the world. Since the upcoming Jurassic World installment is set to close out the trilogy, the pair might need some help from some of the original characters from Jurassic Park, and Howard is hoping to work alongside them. Here’s what the actress is would like to see from Jurassic World 3:

Any chance to work alongside the likes of the now iconic Jeff Goldblum is certainly a dream come true. While Goldblum was technically in Fallen Kingdom, his role was more of a cameo that had him schooling the media on the gravity of the situation at hand. Many fans would love to see Goldblum back in action with the new characters as dinosaurs charge at their feet. Dr. Ian Malcolm is best known for his hilarious quips, and considering the drama to come, we might need a few doses of it in Jurassic World 3. With a new generation of dinos out in the wild, some of which created specifically to be stealthy killing machines, the film will definitely won’t be anything like the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride, that’s for sure.

Along with her words to Brit + Co, Bryce Dallas Howard has already said that the plan for Jurassic World 3 is to bring the entire saga together, including the first trilogy, hinting at the potential return of more original characters. Besides seeing more of Dr. Ian Malcolm, Howard also previously threw out her desire to see Laura Dern come back as Dr. Ellie Sattler. The actress is also an iconic Hollywood legend thanks to her performance in Jurassic World and to see her character return to help out and bring closure to her character would be a movie not to miss.

Jurassic World 3 is set to be released on June 11, 2021. As for what’s coming to theaters a little sooner, look through our 2018 and 2019 release schedules to find out.

An NHL Team Just Banned Its Players From Playing Fortnite

Apparently, playing Fortnite is almost the equivalent of a crime in certain occupations. Some employers absolutely hate how much the game has taken over the lives of some of their employees, and have actually banned them from engaging with the game. While this might make sense if we’re talking about White House staff, Secret Service agents, or anyone working in the Department of Justice, the current big villain of Epic Games’ Battle Royale third-person shooter is actually the NHL. Yes, the NHL. It turns out that an NHL team just banned its players from playing Fortnite. How could such an innocent and colorful game cause such a ruckus to get hit with the ban-hammer from an official sports team? Well, the reason for the ban isn’t because of what you might be thinking.

According to a report from The Province, the Canucks are banning video games while on road trips. This is a team-wide decision, affecting every player while they’re out on the road traveling. The article explains that the idea was first discussed by Michael Del Zotto during the training camp sessions, but the idea didn’t arise again until recently.

During a radio interview, Canucks player Bowie William “Bo” Horvat told TSN 1040 that it was decided that the team should abandon video games while on the road, and in particular that the team would be giving up Fortnite. So, why are they giving up gaming while on the road? Horvat said that it was about building camaraderie with the other teammates, and that it’s difficult to do that while engorged eye-deep in your cellphone playing Fortnite or trapped in a hotel room playing the game on a laptop or other portable gaming device like the Nintendo Switch

I’m sure the feelings aren’t mutual at Epic Games.

Fortnite has been the bread and butter for the company in ways unimaginable by most people. It makes hundreds of millions of dollars each month, and has turned Epic Games valuation around with huge numbers, making it one of the most profitable independent video game companies in existence.

Some other sports superstars, such as those in the WWE, seem to love Fortnite. In fact, WWE’s Xavier Woods runs a video game channel on YouTube called UpUpDownDown, and given that the guys and gals spend so much time on the road they usually opt to play games when they aren’t training or wrestling.

Even still, the Canucks feel as if the team could better bond with one another without the game getting in the way. If they feel that way, who is anyone to disagree with them? Especially if it helps them to play better.

Twitch Prime Members Can Get Free Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Gear

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches this week and, to celebrate, Twitch Prime subscribers can get their hands on some exclusive in-game gear. From personal armor to swag for your ship and, yes, even horse armor, Twitch Prime is offering its community an “Aegean Pirate Pack” at no additional cost to regular membership. This, of course, comes on top of all of the other digital loot you get on a regular basis for being part of the program.

Set to launch on Friday, Oct. 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the storied series to Ancient Greece, where history and myth collide. The game has a massive map to explore and an insane set of missions and story branches to explore and, along the way, you’ll be able to equip your character with all sorts of rad gear. To get your collection started, Twitch Prime is offering the Aegean Pirate Pack to all of its members, which you can claim through the service anytime between now and Dec. 5.

The pack includes a rare armor set themed after pirates of the Aegean Sea, a ship skin boasting a pretty sweet octopus design on the sail, a themed skin set for your pirate crew and even a full set of armor for your mount. All you have to do to claim your loot is log into your Twitch Prime account, make sure it’s linked to your Ubisoft Uplay account, choose your platform and hit the claim button. When you’ve reached a certain point in the game, all of your Twitch gear will be unlocked. Again, this is at no cost on top of your Twitch Prime membership and, if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you can set up that Twitch Prime access as a service bonus.

Five more games currently have free loot available through Twitch Prime, with more rotating in and out on a regular basis. At the moment, you can get some free pilot skins for PUBG, a loot box in Overwatch, skins for your operatives in Rainbow Six: Siege and a Trinity Prime bundle in Warframe, which is rad as hell if you like playing support in that particular game.

Twitch Prime also offers a collection of free games for Windows on a rotating basis, with current offerings including Darksiders, Sanitarium, Soma and System Shock. On top of being perfectly themed for the Halloween season, I’d put that collection of games up against Microsoft’s October Games with Gold or Sony’s PlayStation Plus lineup in a heartbeat. Darksiders is one of the best non-Zelda Zelda games out there, Sanitarium and Soma are nice spookfests and System Shock is an absolute classic. All told, that’s not too bad for a platform that, at its heart, is for streaming.

Star Wars Reveals The Plot And TItle Of Jon Favreau’s Live Action Series

Star Wars made big news back in 2017 with the announcement that a live-action series set in that galaxy far, far away was finally happening despite signs for many years seeming to indicate that such a thing would never happen. Fans had reason to be optimistic once news broke that Jon Favreau would helm the live-action series, and Favreau has now announced the plot and title of the project. Prepare yourself for something epic and take a look!

The live-action show will be The Mandalorian! Star Wars may have never gotten that Boba Fett standalone movie to provide more canon information on the Mandalorians, but Jon Favreau will provide in the form of the live-action series! Notably, the plot of The Mandalorian (as shared by Favreau on Instagram) seems set after the time of both Jango and Boba Fett, so it won’t whet the appetite of any who wanted more Boba Fett above all else. For the rest of us, there are a lot of reasons to be excited!

Interestingly, the new show’s setting will place it between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, meaning that some of the action of The Mandalorian could go down concurrently with some of the action of new animated series Star Wars Resistance. The only downside of the new plot description is that it’s short on any details about who this lone gunfighter will be. Star Wars Rebels fans are already undoubtedly hoping that this character will be related to Sabine Wren in some form or other.

Sabine is arguably the most prominent Mandalorian in current Star Wars canon thanks to her key role on all four seasons of Rebels, and her arc helped established why there are no Mandalorians other than Boba Fett in the original trilogy. Could she be the first Rebels original character to appear in live action? We do know that she survived at least to the end of Return of the Jedi. Whatever happens in the new series, it will reportedly cost a lot of money.

Back in August, news broke that the live-action Star Wars series would cost around $100 million for a grand total of ten episodes. It is slated for release on the Disney streaming service, so that $100 million price tag is for a kind of Disney project that hasn’t really been done before, and the Marvel shows are likely to be pricy as well. We can only hope that the big budget for The Mandalorian results in a truly epic series the likes of which has never been seen before!

Only time will tell. Unfortunately, Jon Favreau did not share even a release window for the new live-action series. There’s still no saying around when The Mandalorian will be available streaming. Given that the streaming service itself doesn’t have a premiere date just yet, we may not want to perch on the edges of our seats waiting for The Mandalorian just yet. At least Star Wars Resistance can provide a Star Wars fix, even if it will undoubtedly be very different from Jon Favreau’s upcoming series. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in Star Wars news.

How This Is Us Set The Stage For A Major Conflict Between The Big Three

Warning! The following contains spoilers for This Is Us Season 3 episode, “A Philadelphia Story.” Read at your own risk!

This Is Us‘ latest episode was rife with drama and just when things finally looked to be settling down towards the end, Kevin opened his mouth and ruined it all. Granted, he didn’t mean to make waves when he recapped the drama of the day to brother Randall and offhandedly mentioned that Kate wanted to have a baby so someone in the family could carry on their father’s legacy. Executive producer Isaac Aptaker explained why the statement hit Randall so hard, and how it set the stage for a major conflict between The Big Three:

As Isaac Aptaker points out, Randall was wounded and seething at the implication that only Kate or Kevin could carry on the legacy of Jack. Kate’s poor choice of words made it sound as though Randall can’t live or pass on Jack’s legacy to his children simply because he’s not blood-related. Is this really how Kate feels, or did she simply forget about Randall while arguing with Kevin and Rebecca earlier in the day?

Obviously, there’s going to be some fallout on This Is Us for the statement, and executive producer Elizabeth Berger assured viewers in the chat with Variety that they won’t have to wait long to see Randall call out his sister for what she said:

Randall does have a track record of making incredibly uncomfortable family moments with confrontations, so it’s unsurprising he’s wasting no time in calling out Kate for the statement. We’re pretty sure Kate doesn’t actually think Randall is an illegitimate Pearson or incapable of carrying on Jack’s legacy, and if Randall really sat and thought about it, he’d probably realize his sister more than likely misspoke. Unfortunately, the adopted Pearson is in a weird place right now and in a mindset where he’s feeling like an outsider wherever he goes, so we doubt his cooler head will prevail before starting a classic This Is Us sibling throwdown.

As tense as the moment was, it doesn’t seem guaranteed this fight will be a huge part of This Is Us‘ next episode. Randall will probably understand fairly quickly his sister didn’t mean what she said, and Kevin will probably get some blame from Kate for telling Randall about the argument out of context. The upcoming sibling showdown didn’t even make the preview for the next episode, so its more likely this argument is just a vehicle for Randall’s ongoing Season 3 story of finding his purpose and honoring both of his father’s legacies. Still, we’ll have to wait and see.

This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Keep up with all the new things coming to television in the coming weeks by visiting and bookmarking our fall premiere guide.

NBC’s Chicago Crossover Will Put Some Characters Through A Family Crisis

Fans of Dick Wolf‘s Chicago shows have a big night ahead of them this Wednesday, as the big, three-show crossover is going down early in the new season. And, while we already knew that a big fire will play into this crossover, now we also know that some beloved characters will be going through quite a family crises when the drama picks up. Specifically, brothers Jay and Will Halstead will be dealing with a very scary situation. When I spoke with actor Nick Gehlfuss, who plays Will on Chicago Med, at One Chicago Day a few weeks ago, he revealed that the siblings will be worried sick about their dad, Pat.

Here, what happens is, it’s part of the crossover. Our father, we’re not sure if he’s caught in a fire. So, I’m at the hospital receiving patients coming in and he’s on the scene, [we’re] really trying to find out where our dad is. We moved him to a new building, because our childhood home, we came to find out, was falling apart, so we wanted to give him a better living arrangement. And, it just so happens that a fire starts at this big, high rise building.

Eesh. Talk about a shitty day at work. Can you imagine how (undeservedly) guilty you’d feel if you were trying to help out one of your parents by paying for them to have a much better home, but then that home turns into a towering inferno? Add to that the fact that neither Jay nor Will is going to know whether or not their father was actually caught in the fire, injured or even killed, and you can tell that the anxiety for these two is going to be even more off the charts than usual when dealing with a mass casualty situation.

While the Halstead brothers haven’t always had the best relationship, they’ve been pretty close for some time now. Much of that seems to be due to the fact that neither of them were particularly close to their father growing up or in young adulthood, and, as of a few years ago while Jay was still in the military and deployed to Afghanistan, they lost their mother to cancer. So, they seemed to have mended their relationship as a way to cope with not having much other reliable family to depend on. One of the best parts about watching these two characters has been seeing them grow as brothers, as well as characters in general. It’s always nice to watch them banter, stand up for one another or just give each other caring, brotherly advice.

Of course, even though they weren’t close to Pat for most of their lives until this point, each brother has recently made great strides to mend the father-son bond with him, as well. And, it’s worked well enough that Will and Jay banded together to try to give dear old dad a better life. Let’s hope that their efforts, and newly formed closeness to Pat, hasn’t ended up impairing his health or costing him his life. Jay and Will would likely have a very hard time getting over that.

You can see how the Halstead family drama gets resolved when Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. air the big crossover tomorrow, starting at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. To see what else you can catch on the small screen, be sure to check out our 2018 fall premiere guide.

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Venom Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

The reaction to Venom has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and one that might work in the symbiote’s favor. Early buzz was mixed. Then, after the world premiere, social media began to weigh in, saying Ruben Fleischer’s origin story for the alien symbiote wasn’t nearly as bad as some feared, and might even be pretty damn funny (even if some of the laughs were unintentional). Now the full review embargo has lifted, so what are critics saying?

We’ll go first. In a two-star review, CinemaBlend complained that removing Spider-Man from the Venom story is a death-blow, saying:

Arguably, you can’t have Venom without first having Spider-Man… which, in a nutshell, is the main reason that Venom, the movie, doesn’t work. Sure, director Ruben Fleischer and his seven credited screenwriters (!!) cook up an alternate origin story for both Brock and the symbiote. But removing Spider-Man from the overall equation creates too many narrative potholes around which Venom fails to weave with any sort of grace or style. Eventually, the movie gets a metaphorical flat tire, and wrecks itself on the Hollywood superhero highway.

Todd McCarthy, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, dismisses Venom as bland, stating:

At a time when the Marvel universe is both expanding adventurously (Black Panther) and wrapping up other storylines (Avengers: Infinity War), Venom feels like a throwback, a poor second cousin to the all-stars that have reliably dominated the box-office charts for most of this century. Partly, this is due to the fact that, as an origin story, this one seems rote and unimaginative. On top of that, the writing and filmmaking are blah in every respect; the movie looks like an imitator, a wannabe, not the real deal.

Matt Patches from Polygon praises Tom Hardy, even though he’s making a different movie from everyone else:

Venom would be another anonymous notch on the superhero movie belt if not for Hardy, whose dedication to batshit nonsense is a saving grace — and reason enough to make a second movie. The pieces are in place for a Venom 2 in which Eddie spends 100% of his time wrapped up with the symbiote; in which Williams, who makes a thankless role so much more than it could have been, has a character whose life extends beyond tracking her animalistic ex’s path on Waze; in which any risks are taken.

JoBlo seems to be the movie’s loudest champion, stating:

Ultimately, VENOM is better than I expected. Tom Hardy is terrific, and the actor is having a great time playing Eddie along with his new best alien pal. While the story is a bit obvious, I enjoyed the throwback to sci-fi alien invasion flicks. Ruben Fleischer has delivered a superhero feature that is frenzied and perhaps a little too facetious at times. Yet, when Venom attacks, it is a glorious thing to watch. This is the kind of movie that you can sit back and take it all in, just don’t think too hard about it. Add to that a couple of inspired cameos and you have a genuinely appealing Marvel flick.

Make the call for yourself once Venom opens in theaters later this week! Also, keep it here on CinemaBlend for a lot more from our interviews with the cast and crew at the Venom press junket in Los Angeles.

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Lethal Weapon Cast A New Partner That Could Be The New Riggs

Lethal Weapon went through a massive change between Season 2 and Season 3 when Fox went ahead and fired Clayne Crawford in response to alleged misconduct on set. The maverick who lived to break the rules, push boundaries, deal with demons, and form an unlikely friendship with his straight-laced partner was killed off, with his death taking place with Crawford nowhere to be seen in the Season 3 premiere. Lethal Weapon exists without Riggs. Now, however, the show has cast a new character who basically sounds like the maverick we came to know and love, and she’ll partner Bailey. Lethal Weapon head honcho Matt Miller describes the situation as Bailey “getting her own Riggs,” and he went on to say this:

Well, maybe spending a couple years dealing with Riggs and — perhaps more importantly, watching Murtaugh deal with Riggs — will help Bailey deal with having a Riggs of her own in Season 3. Her new partner is named Louie “The Gute” Gutierrez and will be played by Paola Lázaro. The Gute joins the Robbery/Homicide division after getting out of a year of undercover work, which pitted her against the Mexican cartel and probably brings her back with her fair share of baggage and even trauma. This new character would rather act than think in high-stakes situations, and that isn’t exactly the way Bailey tends to handle her work as a detective.

The casting of Paola Lázaro may be a sign that Lethal Weapon intends to give Bailey more screentime and more time in the field, although it’s too soon to say. Lázaro doesn’t debut on Lethal Weapon until the sixth episode of Season 3, which also happens to feature actress Keesha Sharp as director, in a departure from her usual role as Trish. The maverick and shoot-first-think-later characteristics of The Gute also seem to indicate that Lethal Weapon is not planning on slowly turning Cole into Riggs 2.0.

Obviously Cole didn’t premiere as a character with a ton in common with Riggs, and his background is certainly different than Riggs’, but given that Riggs is a legendary character and half of a legendary dynamic on large and small screens alike, it was entirely possible that Lethal Weapon would slowly transition him into a Riggs-esque partner for Murtaugh. Instead, Bailey will deal with her own version of Riggs, and that could be a lot of fun… for viewers. Bailey, not so much. Matt Miller went on in his chat with TVLine to explain why Bailey’s previous partner Zach was being replaced by The Gute:

Zach lost his spot as Bailey’s partner once the new co-lead started taking on some similar characteristics. Bailey’s dynamic with her new parter will undoubtedly be very different and involve some very different struggles. Since Lethal Weapon is primarily Murtaugh and his partner’s story, we likely won’t see as much of Bailey and The Gute as we will of Murtaugh and Cole. Still, Paola Lázaro could be a fun addition to the cast in the new Riggs-less era. We have a new Riggs-type character without Clayne Crawford on the scene!

Tune in to Fox on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Lethal Weapon in the fall TV lineup.

Venom Review

Venom, as a character, needs Spider-Man. Introduced in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man comics, Venom was an amalgamation of bitter newspaper reporter Eddie Brock and an alien symbiote that had been rejected by Spider-Man. Both entities hated Peter Parker, and their shared animosity fueled the creation of the vengeful and murderous Venom.

Arguably, you can’t have Venom without first having Spider-Man… which, in a nutshell, is the main reason that Venom, the movie, doesn’t work. Sure, director Ruben Fleischer and his seven credited screenwriters (!!) cook up an alternate origin story for both Brock and the symbiote. But removing Spider-Man from the overall equation creates too many narrative potholes around which Venom fails to weave with any sort of grace or style. Eventually, the movie gets a metaphorical flat tire, and wrecks itself on the Hollywood superhero highway.

Why isn’t Spider-Man in Venom? It’s complicated, but it boils down to the fact that while Sony owns the rights to the character, it recently loaned him out to Marvel Studios so that Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) could play alongside Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Brilliant move for Marvel, and good for Sony in that it allowed them to co-produce the winning Spider-Man: Homecoming. But the cost proves great, as it means Sony needs to jumpstart its disconnected Spider-Man Universe without Spider-Man, leaving Venom (and possibly movies that follow it) feeling incomplete.

Here’s why: Because Venom can’t use the symbiote’s real origin from the Marvel Secret Wars limited series, it has to cook up a new entity. Enter the Life Foundation, is a generic laboratory dedicated to space research that’s funded by the blandly sinister Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed, playing a Textbook Bond Villain). The Life Foundation explores the stars because, well, the reasoning is unclear. Something about the solutions to our planet’s — fill in the blank here — ecological, medical or societal woes potentially waiting for us in the galaxies. Don’t worry, all of that gets chucked to the side once Drake obtains the symbiote from one of his errant space crafts.

Across town, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is an entrepreneurial, hard-news bloodhound who has established his name and reputation by going after suits like Drake, and defending the voiceless Every Man. Eddie has a steady girl, Anne (Michelle Williams), and a promising gig, but he decides to jeopardize them both when, coincidentally, he’s assigned to write a puff profile on… you guessed it, Carlton Drake.

There’s a lot of story being set up here, and that story is just as quickly discarded, because the symbiote’s about to show up and pull focus, entirely. And that’s an important note, because Venom — without the benefit of having multiple comic book issues to draw on — has to race through narration and character development in a hope that we will care an ounce about Eddie, about Anne, and about the evil machinations of Carlton Drake. And we just don’t.

Venom improves once the symbiote shows up, but by then, it’s too little, too late. Venom is an alien, a slithering blob of a creature who absorbs into its host and can communicate, almost Jekyll and Hyde style, with its carrier. But the symbiote also feeds off of and decimates its host, like a parasite, unless it makes a perfect match. In the comics, the symbiote bonded with Eddie because they both hated Spider-Man. In the movie, Venom bonds with Eddie because… well, because the seven credited screenwriters decided they needed it to. The symbiote also creates perfect bonds with Anne. Oh, and with Carlton Drake, forming the menacing Riot. How convenient that the three people at the heart of Venom also happen to be ideal surrogate hosts for the murderous alien symbiote brought to Earth!

Narratively, Venom is a mess. Eddie Brock has no concrete motivation to go after Carlton Drake, no credible reason to flush his relationship with Anne, and no discernable situation where bonding with the symbiote is the right choice. He can’t understand Venom. There’s no explanation given for their team up. It’s just understood and accepted, not convincingly explained. The screenplay’s also vulgar and stupid. Eddie talks about symbiosis with the alien as having the symbiote “up your ass.” At one point, the symbiote possesses a purse dog, and it’s played for laughs. There’s a lot of comedy in Venom, actually, though most of it generates uncomfortable and unintentional laughter.

The special-effects work is sporadically impressive, and the symbiote, in general, looks great. Time and money went into creating Venom’s look, and fans simply looking for an improvement over Topher Grace’s atrocity will be comforted by the fact that Fleischer’s CGI team brought Venom to life. But at the same time, the action is choppy, a motorcycle chase through downtown San Francisco uses a laughable amount of green screen (I’m convinced Tom Hardy wasn’t on set on the days those scene were filmed), and the final confrontation between Venom and Riot disappoints.

The whole movie disappoints, actually, including the mid-credits tease for a sequel that won’t ever happen. This was supposed to be a launch pad for stories in this Spider-Man universe that could essentially keep the lights on in parts of the wallcrawler’s world until Marvel and Sony figured out credible ways to bring Peter Parker back into this fold. If Venom worked, stories built around Morbius the Living Vampire, Silver Sable, Black Cat and Kraven the Hunter could advance, fleshing out this universe and showing that Spider-Man would be a welcome, but non-essential, inclusion.

Instead, Venom convinced me of what I initially feared. It doesn’t make sense to create stories around Spider-Man characters if you can’t use Spider-Man in them.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
2.0/5

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