Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review – Beat It Movie Reviews

This week on Beat It Movie Reviews, Joe Gets Snyder Cut (ouch), and we’re sponsored by Just the Two of Us: The Symbiote Dating App

What We’ve Been Watching:

Creature from the Black Lagoon


Dawn of the Dead

La Brea

Marvel’s What if

Squid Game

John Wick Chapter 4 Review Beat It Movie Reviews

We review John Wick Chapter 4! We also talk about Succession, Rocket Man (1997) and more! — Support this podcast:
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Bombshell & the Unwitting Alienation of its Audience

Bombshell is a dramatized depiction of the sexual harassment allegations against head of Fox News, Roger Ailles, that ultimately lead to his firing from the company just months before the election of Donald Trump. At times it’s stylistically reminiscent of Adam McKay’s Big Short and Vice, yet never fully adopts a consistent motif the way McKay’s work does. It sits on bizarre narrative ground mixing real footage spliced with the film’s actors, obviously dramatized scenes, and the tiniest dash of surrealism that evokes a feeling that the director was trying to Ape McKay’s work but didn’t fully understand why other than it being a movie based on true events. The often distracting visual storytelling is the least of its issues and not what I want to talk about. It’s biggest issue is its merit to exist in the first place.

I’m not one to say a movie should not exist full stop. I’m the type of sucker who is happy for any movie to exist for the people who connect with it, even if that’s not me. In this context, I’m looking at it as a major release, which if nothing else means it demands an audience – a large audience. But who is this large audience and who could they possibly be made up from?

I do think this is a movie that needs to be seen, the same way an office sexual harassment film needs to be seen. That doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable. The core of the movie is powerful no matter how clunkily delivered. It’s a movie that says something complex about what might be defined as the issue of the decade, harassment and power dynamics, but I fail to grasp who this movie is for. Conservatives aren’t likely to sit through two hours of slams on Fox News and attacks on their very identity. On the other side, liberals aren’t eager to watch their real life villains played as victims turned heroes, no matter what truth the movie holds.

This is a shame because the message is clear. Harassment is not a liberal issue. Harassment is a human issue, and it can find victims in villains; people whose morality can be seen as ambiguous at best. It is still harassment nonetheless. It is still wrong. It also conveys the complicated nature of harassment. That it’s not as simple as there being perpetrators and victims. The crystal clear act of harassment can be obfuscated by murky waters. Sometimes the very roots of the perpetrator and the victim can become tangled and intertwined under the soil of nurturance and ambition, and that abusers can play both the role of angel and devil. Ultimately, the movie lands, as we all should, on the fact that harassment can’t be wiped clean by good deeds, and it is no less egregious when the other victim appears to be, or is, willing to participate. 

Whether true or false, helpful or harmful, pundits at Fox News like Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, and their ilk are seen by many liberals to be enemies of democracy and truth, no matter to what degree you could argue they’ve fought for those two things within the confines of Fox News. The film makes a point to speak to the stain that is being a part of Fox News, but it’s    a stain that can’t help but harm a liberal audience’s connection with the film’s protagonists. They are protagonists a liberal audience will struggle to root for. Not because of any flaws their characters are shown to have in the movie, but the flaws we know them to have as humans in our real lives.

Yes, it’s an accurate and important look at the perils of fighting harassment. That in and of itself should be important, but if I can be so extreme, imagine a movie about harassment towards a female officer within the Nazi party in 1930s Germany.  At the end of the day, it’s still another Nazi getting harassed. Down with them all. Is that being unfair to Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Taylor – yes, but I can’t help but imagine its a shared sentiment among many fervent liberals. That isn’t the mindset we should have, nor is it what the film wants us to have, but it hangs in the film like a stench the film doesn’t have the olfactory senses to pick up on.

It’s a story that feels unfinished. It ends on a tone that sways between hopeful and hopeless.The end text card itself states how Ailles was awarded more money than all the victims combined. “It was never about the money,” he tells Rupert Murdoch. Maybe not, but you have the money AND the damage has been done. In real life, villains never really get theirs. 

Just months after the events of the film, Trump would become president. The film’s events are a small victory shadowed by tremendous defeat. It’s a movie that counts on reality to finish its story, and when has reality ever been as good as the movies?

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Once Upon a Time in Knowing Hollywood History

Just like any movie, there are endless reasons a moviegoer may have disliked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Even the most lauded films have their detractors after all. There is no greater proof than the fact that there are people  who believe Children of Men is a bad film (pray for them). On the other hand, I once met a guy whose favorite movie of all time – of all time! – was Shanghai Knights (sorry to knock Shanghai Knights, but you get it). Movies are personal, so a critique only holds as much weight as you give it.

There is, however, one reason people may have hated Tarantino’s newest effort that bears such credence it can’t be ignored. That is the fact that the final act’s emotional resonance hinges on the viewer knowing a fading piece of Hollywood history: the Tate Murders.

Image result for the tate murders

Those familiar with the Tate Murders are rolling their eyes at the very notion that the Tate Murders are esoteric in any way, while those who left Once Upon a Time questioning what Margot Robbie was even doing in the movie are saying “thank you.”

I’ve seen the movie three times. It’s safe to say it’s going to be in my Top Ten – hell, Top Five – and possibly even my number one movie of 2019. But if your criticisms derive from the fact that you didn’t know about the Tate Murders beforehand (which isn’t your fault), I completely understand. I might even agree with you given the lens you viewed the movie through.

Ultimately though, the movie just wasn’t made for you.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a movie made for people at least somewhat familiar with the Tate Murders. Full disclosure, I went into the movie only knowing the following:

  • Sharon Tate was an actress.
  • She was murdered by Manson acolytes.
  • Margot Robbie plays her in the movie.

Luckily, that’s the bare minimum the movie begs you to know. Sharon Tate’s inevitable fate gives the character purpose. That’s why every part of Margot Robbie’s performance played for me. Her sincere and innocent love of life . Her pregnant belly, a distended symbol of a hopeful future.  Her destiny mutates that pregnant belly into a school bus without a steering wheel hurtling towards a brick wall. It’s what makes the ending so cathartic. With his fairy tale reconstruction of history, Tarantino gives us a steering wheel. My mom, who remembers the murders like they were yesterday, wept at the end, lamenting, “Why couldn’t real life be like that?”

Image result for once upon a time in hollywood sharon tate

For someone like my girlfriend, who grew up in France, far away from the bubble of Hollywood-centric culture, everything I just stated was entirely absent. Robbie’s inclusion seemed like nothing more than fruitless eye candy. The ending wasn’t cathartic. It was confusing. Violent without reason.

If only she would have known… But she didn’t. For her, it wasn’t a great movie. It was one of the most disappointing failures of the year.

For me, it’s Top Ten – hell, Top Five – and possibly even my number one movie of 2019.

With the exception of four-quadrant films, not every movie is made for everyone. That’s how we get some of the most interesting works. Hereditary is an incredible movie, but there are many people who will never see it simply because they don’t watch movies to be scared. That’s perfectly fine. Why watch a movie if you’re going to hate the experience? People like myself, and I suspect many of you reading this, might be eager to watch a challenging film, but for many people, watching a movie is just about having some simple fun.

Related image

That brings us back to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the questions it evokes. Does a movie need to connect with everyone to be considered a great film? Is there a point where a movie has an obligation to appeal to a broad audience? Or is this more about the film suffering from the unignorable flaw of its audience needing to know information not present in the film to truly grasp it? Would this not even be an issue if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was just some small, independent film whose reach didn’t extend past its niche? Probably not.

If you’re not in on the joke, who do you get mad at? Yourself or the filmmaker?

Can we only truly judge a film in terms of who it was made for, not caring about the opinion of those whom it was not?

If film making is a battle between creator and viewer, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood seemingly breaks the rules of engagement, but it’s not as if Tarantino hasn’t broken the rules before. It’s what he does. And it might be what I love most about his newest film.

I’m Disturbed – The Trailer for ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’

‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ would be a tremendous title for a movie about drifting, and I’m sure if you hadn’t seen the trailer/a movie poster/been familiar with the book, you’d think that it was.

action asphalt auto racing automobile
Photo by Pixabay on

Unfortunately, it is not a movie about drifting. If you’re looking for a movie about drifting, you’re stuck with Tokyo Drift or the live action Initial D movie. Slim pickings. The Art of Racing in the Rain is actually a movie about a dog.

If you, like many others, are a person who loves dog movies, then The Art of Racing in the Rain is for you. Or is it?

I don’t know anything about the book, and I haven’t seen the movie to judge, but I have seen the trailer, and I must say,  it is a work of art (of racing in the rain). A horrible and confusing work of art.

Watching the trailer is a baffling experience, and I highly suggest doing so before you read any further, or before you live another second of your life.

See what I mean?

What exactly is going on here? Aside from the simple fact that you don’t know what the hell you’re going to be walking into when you see this movie, there are some odd pieces of this trailer I just have to talk about.

The IMDB Synopsis reads:

A dog named Enzo recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny.
Great. Exactly what I want to hear from a dog: lessons about racing. Have you seen a dog in a car? Because I’ve seen a dog shit and puke in a car. That’s kind of what they do. The Art of Racing Home in the Rain because your dog shit in the car and it stinks so bad you’re going to puke and you still have to clean up the mess.

Old Man Voice on the Baby Dog

Kevin Costner is admittedly doing some real work here with that narration. It’s somber, reverent, and full of pathos – you know, exactly how you want an adorable golden retriever to sound.

The first line and I’m already feeling the crushing weight of my mortality. Kind of a steep departure from Josh Gad (A Dog’s Purpose/Journey) and his lessons of love and companionship, you know, something we’d actually be excited to hear the insights of from dog. The timbre of Costner’s voice alone assures me that this dog is going to die, and that the owner will probably die as well. Great.

That’s not even what bothers me most. It’s the disturbingly poetic lines like:

“He picked me out of a pile of pups. A tangled mass of paws and tails.”

Jesus Christ.

Kevin Costner’s gravely voice saying “tangled mass of paws and tails” will disturb me forever. It belongs in a horror film.


He picks the dog out of a pile of pups. A tangled mass of paws and tails.

Speaking of horror film, there’s this gem as Enzo (that’s the dog) gazes at pregnant Amanda Seyfriend:

“It must be amazing having a body that can carry an entire creature inside….

…I just hoped it would look like me.”

What the fuck is going on here? Does Enzo want to impregnate Amanda Seyfriend? Or is he alluding to having already fucked her, hoping that his dog sperm had won dominance over his owner’s human sperm?

Through the lips of Josh Gad, that line might sound like innocent naivete. But through Kevin Costner’s lips, it sounds like the exact moment the horror music should cue in and it’s revealed as a horror movie about a dog who is jealous of his owner’s life. I’ve never seen a movie more primed for a horror-edit parody.

Which sounds like a pretty awesome movie. How about this:

A dog named Enzo recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny, as he attempts to steal his life away from him.

Now that’s a movie fit for Costner’s growl.

And of course there’s the line…

“Faster, Denny. Faster.”

I’m not going to be gentle with my words here. It sounds like Danny is giving Enzo the red rocket treatment.

While I might talk a lot of shit, this is one of the top five trailers I’ve seen this year, even if its own efficacy makes me doubt the movie it’s trying to promote.

I’ll still be there opening weekend out of morbid curiosity with a full flask at my hip and 32 gallons of Pib Xtra, but what else is new?

Ready Player One Review: Steven Spielberg Almost Got Away with It, AKA the Movie Equivalent of a Bunch of Titties

This is a hard movie for me to accurately assess. I bet it’ll be that way for a lot of people. Mostly the fans. Not just fans of Ready Player One, the book. I mean fans of literally everything .

Let me be clear. I’ve never read Ready Player One, although I have almost bought it every single time I’ve been in an airport bookstore. I just could never bring myself to do it. I have no idea what stopped me. Maybe the premise felt too good to be true, despite good reviews and friend recommendations. It promised too much to execute, like when your grandma tells you that she bought you a bunch of new video games, but it just ends up being one of those 100-games-in-one games for PC that you can get for $5 at Staples. Or maybe the premise felt like it was barraging my senses the same way a strip club does. We know you like titties, so here they are. Here they are in such high abundance and so gratuitously that you must question whether you ever even liked titties. I’m sorry to say titties so much, but whether you’re a fan or hater of RPO, I think you can understand how this is the movie equivalent of a bunch of titties (that’s the last time I’ll say it. I promise.)

Now, I have yet to say whether I liked the movie or not .Let me make this clear:

I loved this movie.

I knew I’d love this movie once I saw this in the trailer:

That being said, I don’t care to defend this movie, because I can’t. If you asked me why I liked it, all I could really muster is a caveman-like response of, “I liked seeing the stuff.” The stuff being the Terminator 2 reference, the Gears of War gun, the Akira bike – you know, the titties (sorry). Plot-wise and relationship wise, this movie should have left me as baffled as Wrinkle in Time, though Wrinkle in Time is a lot more garbage of a film. No, I’m not just taking an opportunity to knock Wrinkle in Time for no reason. I think they are both worth discussing together as  male and female-centric hero stories respectively. This movie won’t land for everyone because of that. Not to say it’s a clear cut male/female issue, but at the risk of being hetero-normative, this is what you would call a “boy movie.” If you don’t like  “boy movies” and “boy stuff,” I think the flaws will be much more apparent and unforgivable to you. Let me again be clear, I’m using terms like “boy stuff” as shorthand, not to say that girls can’t or shouldn’t like this type of movie. Nor am I saying “boy stuff” to mean penis and balls, but I digress.

Regardless of the fanboy-ism of it all, no one can knock the expert pacing in this movie. I had zero time to question plot elements in the moment. As a screenwriter I’m constantly watching movies aware of time, what page in the script we’re at, and which story beat we’re on. There was simply no time to do that under this movie’s blistering pace.

I’m not going to tell you if you should see this movie or not. I don’t need to do that. You’ve most likely already made your decision weeks ago (on that token, I highly suggest you go see Thoroughbreds starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke. Support great movies), but here two final points, one of which is the films most condemning moment.

It’s a Gundam!

Slight spoiler: As I stated before, I knew Gundam (RX-78 specifically) would be in the movie, but I never expected more than a cameo shot. That’s not the case here. What we get is a demo for a CGI Gundam movie. I’m talking about the fact that Gundam full on fights Mecha-Godzilla. Not just a punch or two. They have a battle. Now, it’s no Obi Won versus Anakin – it’s not 15 minutes – but its a big moment. I practically broke my girlfriend’s hand squeezing it from the excitement.

The only issue is that I don’t recall anyone screaming, “It’s a Gundam!” Shame. Shame.

Steven Spielberg Almost Got Away with It

It’s no doubt this is a male-fantasy story. That’s, in a nutshell, the big controversy over the book. Especially as women fight for better representation in film, these types of stories stick out as continuing the status quo. Now, I don’t have a problem with male-centric stories. I love them. The issue to me is that we need more female-centric stories so that we all get our jams. I could write a whole blog post on that alone, so forgive my very simplistic breakdown, especially on the RPO controvery. End of the day, let more female filmmakers into he fray and let’s see what we get, but please don’t stop making movies for 30-year-old boys like me.

Enter Steven Spielberg.

For the most part, this movie isn’t problematic in its handling of gender or its female characters UNTIL what I call the birthmark scene. If you’re someone who thinks all of this gender bologna is, well, bologna, don’t tune out just yet. The moment in question assaults everyone’s intelligence.

Let me set this scene up as quickly as possible. Parsival (Tye Sheridan AKA beat up Nick Jonas), our main character, meets Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) in the form of their avatars in the game. They have no idea what each other look like in the real life. As the movie progresses, they grow closer. Parsival’s friends bring up the fact that Art3mis could be anyone. She could be a fat, old guy. Parsival is understandably worried.

Then they finally meet and Art3mis is non other than Olivia Cooke. Jackpot, obvi. Right?

Well, no. Because Art3mis has a birthmark on her eye, so she thinks she’s hideous. A birthmark that, if anything, adds a unique sparkle to her already beautiful features. It’s essentially the same as putting glasses on the hot girl and calling her ugly. With one fell swoop of a birthmark, the character is weakened. The birthmark is irrelevant other than in that moment, so what does it do? Just makes Art3mis ugly, thus weaker? It’s a moment that, for me, is just plain stupid, but also brings up a lot of problematic qualities we see in female love interests. Worse of all, it could have easily been avoided.

A stronger decision would be to give Art3mis as much agency as Parsival. Wouldn’t she be just as worried that he could be a fat, old guy? I’d rather see them both have fun with the realization that they are both two attractive people. What luck! Or maybe she isn’t happy with how he looks. What a twist!

I assume the birthmark scene in the book, where it may play better since we can imagine the character as ugly without having to cast and look at an ugly person the entire time. After all, in Hunger Games Katniss is described as plain and unremarkable, not Jennifer Lawrence. We just don’t want to watch plain and unremarkable on the screen for 90 minutes so we put a slight birthmark on a an actress who is arguably one of the most stunning young women working today.

These problematic moments are worth thinking about, not just for societal implications, but for the story as well. Art3mis is a great characters outside of this one moment, so I don’t want to take away from the character as a whole, but I think pointing this out brings to light the bigger point outside of this film: Weak female characters make weak stories.

Forgive any typos, grammatical errors, or nonsensical things. Had to bang this one out quickly. Would love to hear your thoughts. Don’t be shy to comment or tweet at me.

Follow me on Twitter @joecabello
My podcast, The Joe Cabello Show comes out Wednesday on Itunes and Soundcloud.


Pacific Rim: Uprising – A Sequel Better than Its Predecessor that Could Not Work Without It

Note: I’l be talking a lot about the first Pacific Rim. I will clearly notate Pacific Rim 2 if talking about 2.

I’m a fanboy of a lot of the ingredients in the stew that is Pacific Rim – Mech, monsters, campy sci-fi action-adventure – but the first movie has always left a bad taste in my mouth (to keep the stew analogy). For a movie designed for my tastes, Pacific Rim is barely fun for me. The uninspired mech design and bad casting set it back for me (they had to cast only the boring white people?). Guillermo Del Toro can do monster design like nobody else, but his lack of imagination with the robots was apparent.

Bow down to the king, everyone. This is Gundam from Ready Player One, which in the half a second that its shown in the RPO trailer, it is already more exhilarating than anything Pacific Rim has given us.

I can’t say that I don’t leave it on whenever I scroll past it on TV (Hell, I was watching it before I watched Pacific Rim 2). Still, it’s a movie that, in some ways, I wish didn’t exist. I love movies with mech, monsters, and all the aforementioned, but it has to be good or else you just wasted one of our bullets. I think a lot about the diminishing appeal of failed properties, like I had talked about in my Tomb Raider movie review. How many Spider Man (or any other property) movies until we give up and stop showing up? And how many failures until the studios simply stop making them?  If you’re gong to give us a mech movie, make it count. I don’t feel Pacific Rim was what it needed to be to make it count. (note: on an artistic level. The movie obviously did well enough to warrant a sequel).

Pacific Rim 2 is a better movie in every way, and I’d even go as far as to say it’s a very good movie, but only because of its predecessor. Certainly that’s true of any sequel to a degree, and it’s not as if you can’t watch this without having seen the first, but what makes the meaningful moments of the film actually feel meaningful has less to do with what we’ve seen on screen, and more to do with knowing the history of the first film. The first movie never felt especially emotionally resonant, for example when Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket loses his father (brother?), we know this is, and should be, sad, but do we actually feel it? No. Pacific Rim 2 keys into emotion in a much more effective way, but I think a lot of that does come from the relationships from the first.I can’t say that’s a bad thing, or a knock on the movie, and I’d be interested to see the opinion of someone who had never seen the first.

I dipped my toe into calling it a “very good movie,” which I hesitate to completely dive into. There are issues, personal taste aside (I thought the mech design was even less inspired, but its’ amazing how much good story and acting counteracts that, though they are unrelated qualities). The movie is spread a little thin across its main characters. I actually think it could use an additional 20 or 30 minutes, but even in saying that, it doesn’t need it. That extra 20 minutes might add some welcome depth to some of the characters, but it’s not as if that would put the movie in the Oscar running. Ultimately, I think the genre/style of the movie allows for some rushed elements. We just want to see the fights with enough emotional backup to care about the outcome.

This one is an easy movie to decipher. If you liked the first one, you’re going to like this one. I don’t see how you couldn’t.

If you’ve never seen either movie, and this seems like your kind of thing, start with the first and move up from there.

If you’ve never seen either movie, and you’re in any way hesitant, I’d start with Pacific Rim 2 or I fear you may never give it a chance after seeing the first.

I also wanted to mention that this has been a great year for women in film. Cailee Spaeny who plays Amara Namani (awesome name) and Tian Jing who plays Liwen Shao will have little girls wanting to jump in a mech and pilot one themselves. So take your daughters, step daughters, cousins – whoever – to see this movie! I’m glad we’re slowly getting past strong female characters whose main obstacle is their womanhood. Both Spaeny and Jing play strong women whose judgement is never questioned (at least not for their gender). Stories that deal specifically with gender are important, but equally as important is seeing women in robust roles traditionally held for men without questioning it. I’m excited to see Cailee Spaeny’s next projects, as she was surprisingly great (only because I hadn’t heard of her prior to this).

I have a lot more thoughts about this movie, but honestly, no one’s paying me for this so 800 words sounds about good lol. Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter @joecabello
My podcast, The Joe Cabello Show comes out Wednesday on Itunes and Soundcloud.

Tomb Raider (2018) Review – It’s good… but does that matter?

Hey all!

I think I’m doing it…. I think I’m getting back into blogging.

Not because the world needs it. Not because you need it.
Because my narcissism has grown too powerful to keep at bay.

But really what I’d like to do is connect with you people of the internet. What better way than talking about movies? So I’ll be doing some micro reviews and other short content, because I’m far too busy (drunk) to bang out essays on here. I plan on these reviews being more self reflective than anything else, but I guess that can all depend on the movie, right? I have some further “announcements” to make at the end, but forget about all that for now. Without further ado, my review of Tomb Raider (Minor spoilers).

I liked Tomb Raider. It’s a fun, exciting movie. I just don’t think that will matter much.

What I mean by that: whether the movie ended up being good or bad, Tomb Raider was not a great bet for the current movie-going climate. And it certainly wasn’t bad. It was solidly GOOD, nothing more, and I think we all knew it didn’t stand a chance of being Oscargreat (and this is coming from a guy who thought The Last Jedi deserved Best Picture).

Who was even excited for a new Tomb Raider movie? I don’t know a single person. Sure, we were all aware of it coming out, but I felt no buzz. I certainly have an affinity for Tomb Raider 2 – I remember the odd shaped Eidos box – but just because the brand recognition is high doesn’t mean I’ve bought a new game in years.

Just because a franchise has fans, doesn’t mean it has fans. Rise of the Tomb Raider sold 7 million copies, but that doesn’t mean 7 million people are showing up to the theater. Most of those gamers are far too apprehensive of movies based off videogames. They’ve been hurt too much.

Full disclosure: I LOVE this movie and think it’s a GREAT movie, but it is a HORRIBLE video game adaptation.

Tomb Raider a classic case of Hollywood assuming that they can make money off a film just because it has some name recognition. It’s not that Tomb Raider is an unfilmable property, or that it couldn’t make a great movie. It’s just that we’re sick of it – specifically the churning out of bad movies. When you’ve already fucked up Tomb Raider (Angelina Jolie ), as well as MANY other video game movies, the fans won’t come out. And if they don’t come out, it won’t matter if it’s good or bad.

All that being said, it sounds like I hated the movie. No. Tomb Raider is good. It’s good in the way that I never once considered walking out of the theater (Side note 1: Can’t say the same for Wrinkle in Time. Side note 2: I did leave once to get a jack and soda). It sucks that that’s the type of scale we have to work with, but you can’t blame me. A Tomb Raider movie in 2018 screams “this may be walk-out worthy.”

Alas, I did not walk out other than for libations because it’s a fun and engaging movie, with Alicia Vikander being the most charming we may have ever seen her, and not once does it seem as though she doesn’t belong in the action. Her character seems naturally courageous – like we’re really seeing a bad ass human, but a human nonetheless, take on the impossible – while Angelina Jolie’s version felt flat, like a videogame character whose action is so effortless it fails to carry any weight.

The movie serves as an origin story for Lara Croft, which as much as I hate origin stories, it works here. Origin stories can naturally create more palatable movies because the opportunity for character growth is inherent. I think that’s the issue with non-origin stories for established heroes. Where do they continue to grow when we have them served to us as perfect?

The movie does, however, leave me aching to see an Alicia Vikander Lara Croft where she’s a fully gun toting, treasure hunting bad ass. The movie’s final shot tells us that by the end, she has become that person, and Vikander’s Croft is well-played enough to warrant sequels, but will we even get one? I doubt it will perform well enough for a sequel to be a no-brainer, yet the movie so tragically sets us up for one. How often do we see the final shot of the film begging for a sequel, but they didn’t even bother to make a good movie in the first place? That’s not the case here, but the focus on the multiple-movie model forgets one important thing – people have to want to see three of them.

Yes, the movie was good. Yes, I enjoyed it, but would this movie even be on my radar if it wasn’t Tomb Raider? And that being said, what is the Tomb Raider franchise even worth to me? If it weren’t for Movie Pass, I probably would have skipped this one. So here you have a movie that I only saw because it was a Tomb Raider movie, yet I have little excitement for a Tomb Raider movie?

I also wonder if I would speak differently about this movie ten years ago. Ten years ago, when it felt like we were all going to the movies every weekend, this would have been a good buy. We would have ate it up and loved it. Now it seems to have a lackluster appeal. It feels “Netflixy” in that it’s missing that certain quality we crave when paying $15+/ticket. Are there any moments in the film I could point out and tell you that are must see? No, and I think that’s a big problem for a 1) a Tomb Raider. 2) a video game movie. 3) a movie you expect people to show up to the theater to see.

Tomb Raider is a good, solid movie. I just wonder there’s any space left for just good, solid movies in the theater anymore.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of Tomb Raider in the comments!

Follow me on Twitter @joecabello
My podcast, The Joe Cabello Show comes out Wednesday on Itunes and Soundcloud.

Ep. 5 The Prison – Korean Movie Review

This week Joe reviews The Prison directed by Na-Hyun alongside temporary guest host Lorraine DeGraffenreidt. Our special guest is LA comedian and artist, Lisa Deng.
Check out her work at @winecardigan

After Dark Episode

A disgraced cop, sentenced to hard time in a prison he once helped fill, discovers a crime syndicate within its walls with a perfect alibi: at night, they break out of jail to commit intricate heists.


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Donate to help keep the show going at . It does cost more money to do this podcast than a normal podcast, since we have to see these movies. Any bit helps and encourages us.

Also, feel free to email us your thoughts at


Hosts Joe Cabello (author Scrote One, The Farts Awakens) and Fred Le (Sherane Musical Comedy Show) review a new Korean film each week. They’ll be coming from the point of view of outsiders who don’t normally keep up to date on Korean cinema, nor will they know much about the movie before seeing it. What you’ll get is an earnest review.

As we record more episodes and watch more movies, I imagine our relationship to Korean cinema will change. So stay tuned and check us out!

Listen to the Podcast on Soundcloud (iTunes, Stitcher)

Donate on Patreon

Ep. 4 Joint Security Area – Korean Movie Review Classic

In our first ever classic Korean movie review, Joe and Fred review Joint Security Area, directed by Park Chan-wook. Our special guest is LA comedian, writer, and musician Greg Smith. Check out his work at

After Dark Episode

Two North Korean soldiers are killed in the border area between North and South Korea, prompting an investigation by a neutral body. Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok (Lee Byung-Hun) is the shooter, but lead investigator Maj. Sophie E. Jean (Lee Yeong-ae), a Swiss-Korean woman, receives differing accounts from the two sides. Lee claims he fired in self-defense after getting wounded, while a North Korean survivor says it was a premeditated attack — leaving Jean with her work cut out for her.


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Donate to help keep the show going at <a title=”; href=”; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”></a> . It does cost more money to do this podcast than a normal podcast, since we have to see these movies. Any bit helps and encourages us.

Also, feel free to email us your thoughts at

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<blockquote>Hosts Joe Cabello (author Scrote One, The Farts Awakens) and Fred Le (Sherane Musical Comedy Show) review a new Korean film each week. They’ll be coming from the point of view of outsiders who don’t normally keep up to date on Korean cinema, nor will they know much about the movie before seeing it. What you’ll get is an earnest review.

As we record more episodes and watch more movies, I imagine our relationship to Korean cinema will change. So stay tuned and check us out!</blockquote>
<h2 style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”″>Listen to the Podcast</a> on Soundcloud (<a href=”″>iTunes</a&gt;, <a href=”;refid=stpr”>Stitcher</a&gt;)</h2>
<h2 style=”text-align: center;”><a href=””>Donate on Patreon</a></h2>

Ep. 3 New Trial – Korean Movie Review

Joe and Fred review New Trial starring Jung Woo, Kang Ha-Neul, Lee Dong-Hwi, directed by Kim Tae-Yoon. Our special guest is LA comedian and writer David Kane. You can see his sketch comedy performances in Los Angeles the first Saturday of every month at The Pack theater (

“New Trial” depicts a lawyer’s long struggling lonely fight for a boy who was imprisoned for ten years after he was falsely accused of the Yakchon five-Way intersection murder case of a taxi driver in the year of 2000.


Listen on Google Play Music

Play on itunes

Play on Stitcher

Music by
Donate to help keep the show going at . It does cost more money to do this podcast than a normal podcast, since we have to see these movies. Any bit helps and encourages us.

Also, feel free to email us your thoughts at


Hosts Joe Cabello (author Scrote One, The Farts Awakens) and Fred Le (Sherane Musical Comedy Show) review a new Korean film each week. They’ll be coming from the point of view of outsiders who don’t normally keep up to date on Korean cinema, nor will they know much about the movie before seeing it. What you’ll get is an earnest review.

As we record more episodes and watch more movies, I imagine our relationship to Korean cinema will change. So stay tuned and check us out!

Listen to the Podcast on Soundcloud (iTunes, Stitcher)

Donate on Patreon