Tom Hardy is a web-slinging anti-hero!

A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures announced that the Marvel character and Spider-Man antagonist Venom would be featured in a standalone spinoff set to arrive in theaters sometime next year. The fan-favorite character has already made his big-screen debut in the disappointing blockbuster Spider-Man 3, portrayed by Topher Grace, but this project is seen as an opportunity for Sony to get the character right and potentially usher in a new anti-hero universe based on Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.

News has broken that names have now been confirmed to sign on for the spinoff. Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer will direct and Oscar nominee Tom Hardy is set to star in film.

Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, the latter of whom worked on 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, wrote the script for Venom. Plot details are being kept in the black but Hardy, who is said to be a Venom fan, will play Eddie Brock, the character who first became Venom.

Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing along with Amy Pascal.

The internet is calling this casting a coup and I can’t help but agree. Hardy is an excellent actor who is a year removed from his first Oscar nomination in The Revenant and has starred in action and drama movies a plenty including Inception, Warrior, has a superhero movie under his belt already portraying the sinister Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, rode through the wasteland in Mad Max: Fury Road and will star in the upcoming Dunkirk; I can’t help but be impressed by Hardy’s body of work thus far and I look forward to seeing him give life to this tragic and deadly character. Venom is set to snare an audience on October 5, 2018.


Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

You know what it is I love about being Spider-Man? Everything!“-Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has the hero up against dangerous new enemies

Webs are spun, lives are changed and dangerous new enemies run amok in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” starring Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network,” “Lions for Lambs”).

Director Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”) returns to helm the rebooted superhero franchise and story picks up a few years where its predecessor leaves off, with Peter Parker and his sweetheart Gwen Stacey, played by Emma Stone (“Easy A,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”), graduating from high school and prepare to embark on new adventures, but Spider-Man is still keeping the peace in the Big Apple.

The franchise introduces us to new characters such as the ignored and overlooked Max Dillon, played by Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” “Django Unchained”), an engineer at OsCorp who in his private world, worships Spider-Man to an almost unhealthy level.

On Max’s birthday, he is called in to work overtime in one of the research labs, but he has an unfortunate freak accident that changes him completely. After falling into a vat of electric eels, Max’s body is surging with abundant amounts of electricity but he craves more power and he will stop at nothing to get it, even if Spider-Man stands in his way.

Jamie Foxx is all charged up as Electro in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

I can feel it in the walls, I can feel it in my veins…no matter what you do, Doc, you can’t contain me. You wanna know how powerful I am? Well, I wanna know too. I’m Electro!“-Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro

While Spider-Man has his hands full trying to stop Electro, Peter Parker reconnects with his old friend Harry Osbourne, played by Dane Dehaan (“Chronicle”). Harry has returned to New York after ten years abroad, because his father Norman Osbourne, played by Academy Award winner Chris Cooper (“American Beauty,” “Adaptation”), died of a genetic disease that Harry would one day die of himself.

Harry turns to Peter because he takes pictures of Spider-Man and supplies them to the Daily Bugle in exchange for money and Harry believes that Spider-Man could be his one chance at surviving his terminal illness because Harry has reason to believe that Spider-Man received his powers from a genetically altered spider developed by OsCorp and those spiders, or as Harry sees it Spider-Man’s blood, could hold the key to eradicating the illness.

Feeling desperate, he turns to Electro for help. In exchange for the power substation supplying New York City with its sole source of electricity, Electro must acquire the DNA from the OsCorp spiders and bring it to Harry before its too late.

Soon everyone in the city will know how it feels to live in a world without power, without mercy, without Spider-Man!“-Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro

Spider-Man will face the most dangerous adversary he has yet to encounter in Electro, but something more dangerous awaits him down the road. As for Peter Parker, he is close to uncovering the truth about OsCorp, the disappearance of his parents and the origins and purpose of the spiders who gave him his amazing abilities but the answers to his questions will come at a terrible price.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is loaded with dazzling visuals and great action but unfortunately the film tries to do too much, answer so many questions so quickly there is no time to digest everything and the character development is so radical and rushed, it becomes lost on the audience.

Marc Webb directed a film that revealed how frail and shallow the hero really is and how he is quickly makes a mess and spends so much time trying to clean it up, it is difficult to enjoy. He tries to showcase so many characters that focus is just lost and erratic to pinpoint.

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci (“Transformers”) and Jeff Pinker, overloaded this story to the point where it becomes somewhat exhausting to follow everything that is going on. The saving grace is that it leads to something rather promising, however it isn’t what audiences may think it is.

Andrew Garfield did the best job he could regardless of what was given to him. The rest of the cast including Emma Stone, Dane Dehaan, Jamie Foxx, Academy Award winner Sally Field (“Norma Rae,” “Lincoln”), Colm Feore (“Thor”), Felicity Jones (“Brideshead Revisted”), B.J. Novak (“The Dictator”) and Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti (“Cinderella Man,” “Sideways”) were collectively decent despite the constant overshadowing of each other and rapid exchanges between their characters.

Some of the actors such as Field, Novak, Cooper and Giamatti are simply rushed through whatever screen-time they are given and hardly contribute anything worthwhile to the film.

The main problem with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is a simple one: it can’t help its franchise step out of the shadows left by other successful franchises of its genre and really make a name for itself. It has an abundance of promise and it is trying to accomplish something rather unconventional yet there is no growth, no impact.

The ending is rather shocking yet, fans of the comic lore seem to see it coming.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is a rather peculiar head-scratcher for a super-hero film. In fact it is a film, like its title character, that is its own worst enemy.

Movie of the week: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Andrew Garfield swings around the skyscrapers of New York City once more in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Marc Webb returns to direct the adventures of New York’s friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. In this sequel, Peter Parker is living the good life. He has Gwen Stacey at his side to confide in, his old friend Harry Osbourne returns after ten years abroad and he loves being Spider-Man and the city reciprocates that love for they see him as “The Hero,” especially in the eye of Max Dillon, an employee of Oscorp who is often overlooked in life. While on the job, Dillon suffers a horrible accident that gives him extraordinary electrical power and he quickly becomes a threat to New York City. Through Dillon, Spider-Man realizes that everything in his life goes back to one source: OsCorp. Peter Parker may finally find the answers to why his mother and father disappeared when he was young and why OsCorp is at the center of everything significant in his life, but in order to find the answers he has been looking for, he will have to survive the fight of his life.

What am I expecting to see?: “The Amazing Spider-Man” franchise is somewhat overlooked due to both DC and Marvel producing, what some might call, more exciting an innovative features but what Marc Webb is doing with his adaptation of Spider-Man is very fascinating because it attempts to give insight into a particular character and the direction they are steering the film in is very bold. I’m expecting this to assert itself as one of the super-hero film franchises audiences should see because there is a lot packed into this film. The cast of Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Dane Dehaan, Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti look as if they can surprise audiences and fans of the comic lore but the visual effects seem to be at the forefront of what is driving this film. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinker’s screenplay better be chocked full of the unexpected because “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has a difficult task of trying to crawl out of the shadow of Marvel’s Avenger’s Iniative or what DC is trying to accomplish with Zack Snyder’s Superman saga.