Will Venom’s Carnage be PG as in…Pretty Good?!

According to Film Ratings a movie called Venom: Let There Be Carnage is rated PG-13 and not hard R. How is that logical? How much Carnage can you pull off with PG?

Mainstreaming Venom like it’s the MCU is weird.

Venom is not gonna sell happy meals. Economics due to the budget perhaps?

Spider-Man can’t go R; understandably that makes sense but Venom? That’s a weird choice.

Butts in the seats? Perhaps. The first Venom was also PG-13 and hauled more than $854 million worldwide on a budget of $100 million. So economics says PG-13 is good business but the box office of Joker and Deadpool for example say otherwise.

(Considering the success of Deadpool and the failure of Suicide Squad I’d bet a hard Rated R for Right On Batman movie would work.

If Twilight-Sparkle Batman isn’t rated R then any talk is about being raw or dark or grim or violent is just cheap marketing talk. Buzzwords.)

Oh and The Suicide Squad. Though The Suicide Squad shoulda never been on HBO Max in the first case: such a bad call. Still what was a good call was dumping David Ayer’s wretched Suicide Squad what tragically was rated PG-13. DC went soft…again. No guts no glory.

So for James Gunn’s super dope The Suicide Squad they went hard R and it worked…the violence made sense; as did all the jokes. The movie benefitted from that R-freedom (“drug use, brief graphic nudity, language throughout, some sexual references, and strong violence and gore”); it’s lots of fun. (Not as much heart as Guardians of the Galaxy but that was expected; still excellent soundtrack as always.)

Or…Yo Joe!

If the studio was serious about making Snake Eyes more like a proper G.I. Joe movie and less like a Nicolas Cage/Brian De Palma remake aim for Rated R for Ruckus: ninjas, Storm Shadow, motorcycles, guns, Cobra: so much goodness to play with. Wouldn’t that make a better movie? And a better movie “brings all the boys to the yard.”

Mash It Up, Mash It All. Snake Eyes was rated PG-13 and still bombed: it rolled the dice and came up Snake Eyes: the economics play or butts in the seats didn’t work out.

Just something to contemplate as you consume your Venom Happy Meal, right? “Oh…I got Carnage! What did you get?”


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Don’t Suck At Self-Care

Dracula Takes Good Care of Himself!

People will always come to your door to suck up your time; they’re often out for new blood.

Hang in there; winter is not easy it can drive you batty and feels like the Sun will burn if you ever see it.

What does “Count” is the rest you get. Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

If a vampire is down with Self Care how you can not be?! (Dracula remains…as always an inspiration! Sure wish “he’d” put out a self-help book. Especially since he’s got a reputation for helping himself…)

(Image Credit: Marv Wolfman/Script; Gene Colan/Art from Tomb of Dracula (1972) #24)


Trailer Alert: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home is more like Far From Good…what the hell was that?!

Walking around with no mask…we’re done with “secret” identities?

Mysterio as a “good guy” that “twist” is what rendered Iron Man 3 and Captain Marvel as inferior MCU movies.

Quentin Beck / #Mysterio: “Regarding Beck’s relationship with Parker, Director Jon Watts says that “If Tony Stark was sort of the mentor in the previous films, we thought it would be interesting to play Mysterio as almost like the cool uncle.”

That’s Stupid Not Clever. So Fired.

Even “I wanna be the next Iron Man” emotions? That’s not Peter Parker at all.

Pink Slips to all involved. This opens on July 2, 2019 as the next phase of the MCU however it might be time to start phasing out Marvel movies. We had a great run!


Trailer Alert: Avengers: Endgame

Alright new Avengers: Endgame trailer!

You gonna have the balls to call a movie Endgame than you better also have the balls to end the game of some Avengers. Cue the grave digger from Kraven’s Last Hunt.

Lay em out with utter ruckus.

So following Avengers: Endgame Marvel’s next phase “appears” to be Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5, 2019) then…

Morbius (why?!)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (because online losers had a hissy fit over James Gunn tweets. These are the same fools that should be outright ignored over Michael Jackson and other similar celebrity scandals.)

Shang-Chi (really? Why?! This is a rude and disrespectful kung-FU to Daredevil who got relegated to TV. DD contributes far more to Marvel than Shang.)

Black Widow (eh…I sat through Red Sparrow and that was awful. Maybe if they add Winter Solider to up the spy-ruckus?)

Dr. Strange 2 (why do I feel like this is doubtful?!)

Black Panther 2 ($$$)

The Eternals (ugh no thanks)

Instead of Marvel wasting everybody’s time with unnecessary movies like Morbius, Shang-Chi (“I know kung-fu!” Errr, thanks) etc. it’s time.

It’s time for Fantastic Four and X-Men to return to sci-fi ruckus. “Disney has set March 20 as the closing date for its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.”

I’ve been dragging my feet with Captain Marvel (read the Endgame related spoilers online) but I’m 100% in for Avengers: Endgame.


The Bedazzled Nerd

They mocked us. Said we weren’t cool. Rejected us. They exiled us…probably to what they imagined is a wood-paneled basement.

They tried vilification doubling down on isolation thinking we’d crumble. But all it did was prepare us to rumble. When we couldn’t fit in we decided to break out.

Risk! Risk Is Our Business.

Nerds everywhere in every way are shaping pop culture: we bedazzle a culture thirsty for leadership…the visionary cure for rampant myopia: sculpturing stories, prompting righteous ruckus and establishing legacies…if not for ourselves than for our beloeved characters.

Because as Pharrell Williams can attest N*E*R*D means No-one Ever Really Dies.


Lazy Sunday

There’s some Thing special about lazy Sundays: a comfy couch, a fantastic book…not wearing pants and a rock solid friend.

One of 4 of my favourite Sunday elements the others being… a break from all the heat of the week being stretched thin and just being invisible for a few hours.

Thanks Culture Snap Photography for the photo!

Trailer Alert: Venom & The Spider-Verse

Sony’s Spiderific Fall…

October 5, 2018

The Girl in the Spider’s Web
November 9, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
December 14, 2018

One of these has to catch you in their box office web…

So I know today’s focus is all Venom however Sony (Sorny!!) is also releasing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on December 14. This is a Mile Spider-Man movie.

As for the main event: you know Venom has decent…Carnage: I’d be willing to bond with this odd movie.

Thing is: Is Venom gonna be Sony’s Iron Man and kick off a new (Marvel-ish) universe or just be another weak monster movie like Tom Cruise’s Mummy taking with it all the glorious possibilities of the Dark Universe? 

I still long and fiercely hope Dark Universe returns. I’m probably the only one.

Sammy’s Status: I believe Tom Hardy can have fun with this and I’d be willing to take a chance on it.


Promising the Moon Knight

I made this joke when Andrew and I recorded Back Issue Bloodbath episode #102: A salute to Moon Knight by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey. (Excellent series, highly Recommended Reading!) I’m repeating my joke again because…it’s funny cos it’s true and also I like my jokes!!

Are we still selling representation matters? Because this is all I got as an Egyptian comic book reader: a Jewish mercenary with dubious powers from a fictional Egyptian god who became a schizophrenic Avenger. So Inspiring! Crazy does make good cinema though…

As always this is not an official announcement; I share because this Feige is talking about Moon Knight which lends itself more to cinema than say the Netflix Marvel shows. As Avengers wraps up and Marvel moves forward introducing Captain Marvel, maybe Nova and Eternals…for Marvel Studio’s success to continue they’ll hafta to pimp cool and creative characters. Moon Knight could…work.


Marvel Has Plans For Moon Knight, Says Kevin Feige https://heroichollywood.com/moon-knight-marvel-kevin-feige/


DC Films Fail at Hip Hip Hooray!

Remember at the beginning of a mighty Marvel movie that classic comic book flipbook logo and how it made your spider-sense tingle?

And courtesy of J.J. Abrams who has a flare for the dramatic the iconic Lucasfilm logo is now restored; it’s no longer a menacing disturbance in the force: Star Wars has returned.

In 1977 LucasFilm practically invented logo cheer with Star Wars. By 2008 Marvel Studios immediately and successfully established logo cheer with Iron Man; managing to keep the positive sentiment flowing through 16 plus movies despite some occasional faulty offerings (i.e. Thor: The Dark World).

Third time’s the charm right? One more crucial production company logo before the movie properly starts. You’ve seen it but can you recall it with the same warm-fuzzy-nostalgia as you do the Marvel and Lucasfilm silver screen logos?

DC Films Logo.jpeg

On August 5, 2016 when Suicide Squad opened to Waterworld-like disdain it introduced a new DC logo.

Simultaneously that logo debuted on DC comics to coincide with Rebirth and in a way that’s what Suicide Squad was supposed to be…a cinematic rebirth following the regrettable Man of Steel and the forgettable Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unfortunately for this rebirth Warner Bros. decided to skip the midwife and deliver this baby at home. In a WebMD world what’s the worst that could happen right?

Suicide Squad failed to generate any positive logo sentiment. Recall how eerily quiet it was when the movie commenced? The DC Films logo was quickly becoming kryptonite and not earning any of the cheers, hollars, imaginary bust a cap up in here-free love that the Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm logos comfortably garner. (Does anybody cheer the Warner Bros. logo?) Thus it was up to Wonder Woman to save the day and the DC Films logo.

DC Films came back strong with Wonder Woman who lassoed a new animated style logo featuring the popular cast of characters known as the Justice League. So far that fresh production logo is tied to a well received movie; so finally for DC…it’s begun.

For it’s first 3 movies DC Films stumbled; there was no justice and certainly no united league of movie goers. In Hitch Will Smith promised: “But what I can tell you, is that it happens in the blink of an eye. One moment, you’re enjoying your life. And the next, you’re wondering how you ever lived without them. Three dates is all I need. Three dates, and I’ll get you here, to the high-stakes medal round…”

So with Justice League set to open on November 17 can DC Films successfully build on Wonder Woman’s affirmative feelings to begin generating DC Films logo cheer to get fans (and critics and civilians) to the high stakes medal round?


Justice League will be followed by Aquaman on December 21, 2018; Shazam! on April 5, 2019; Wonder Woman 2 on December 13, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. Plus sorta kinda maybe Flashpoint the newly renamed Flash movie, Joss Whedon’s Batgirl, Ben Affleck’s The BatmanSuicide Squad 2 and if you’re feeling as optimistic as a Las Vegas gambler a Justice League Dark movie.

Over the next 3 to 5 years the release dates and titles will change; what won’t change is the marketing. Each movie will be preceded by the DC Films logo and of course many trailers.

Logo cheer is imperative: it’s the cinematic version of rubbing your hands with eager glee.

Characters, directors, style, tone all will change movie to movie; sequel to sequel but the production company logo opening each movie will always be present in some incarnation. With all these dynamic changes the production logo is the faithful North Star.

Marvel Studios is on it’s third logo incarnation (the flip book is the second logo; currently there’s dramatic music as the camera zips through Marvel’s letters like a suburban go cart track). When the Marvel Studios logo appears…even if people are just watching a trailer in front of a non-Marvel movie they cheer! That logo has become synonymous with infectious fun.

The Lucasfilm logo creates anticipation and engages expectations. It’s the same visual cue as when the lights go down in a movie theatre or at a concert.

Equally important and impressive is Marvel Studios consistently scoring logo cheer from civilians. Logo cheer is an uncommon yet valuable metric to measure success…when you have civilians excited and celebrating your logo you can expect to earn profitable box office returns. A strong and healthy box office cannot happen if Marvel Studio is only appealing to its fans and nerds. Sadly DC Films still has to earn logo cheer from nerds; that’s not good which means it has an even longer path to building warm box office allure with civilians.

Marvel movies succeed in part because of 3 significant touchstone points consistent across all their cinematic offerings: the opening studio logo which fosters excited cheers. The Stan Lee cameo in the middle-ish which typically prompts laughs. And lastly the stinger…the post-credits scene that either confuses moviegoers (who is the purple bad guy?) or creates cliffhanger like suspense (until next time…). Beginning, middle and end Marvel Studios has it covered.

Wonder Woman was a decent start however starting on November 17 we’ll see if Justice League along with the solo movies can continue connecting favourable emotions to the DC Films logo. Like every great story it all starts at…the beginning.


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Better Batman Than Sorry

So…Joel Schumacher apologized for Batman and Robin. Which is nice I guess but ultimately it doesn’t erase them from history. Joel’s Batman movies continue to exist in life and worse in my head…where’s that handy Men In Back eraser thingie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Bat-Mind.

It’s weird but it’s not his fault (oh Schumacher is still fully fired…banker box escorted out by security fired but still). This is Batman’s life cycle…Adam West just died yet when his Batman came out nerds howled in anger. That’s not Our Batman.

Thankfully Adam West’s campy Batman lead to the necessary course correction of a darker violent Batman…Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke etc. That’s Our Batman. Then inevitably once the proceedings get too dark The People (corporations are run by people) overreact and you can crap movies like Batman and Robin…to lighten the mood. Which proves to be one of those I told you so mistakes. Which brings us back to darkness with Nolan’s movies and to Snyder’s recent and phenomenal New 52 run.

Right on track Lego Batman is ruining Batman (back to Batman 66 style jokes) but this means eventually we’re heading back to violence and darkness…back to Our Batman. Well not Andrew my Back Issue Bloodbath co-host’s Batman but for the rest of us… (Our Batman is a country club Batman; it’s an exclusive club with specific rituals and responsibilities; we can’t just let anybody into this club).

Now…anything we can do about all 3 Tobey Spider-Mans? Sam Raimi has only apologized for the third one…but what about those first 2 sucky movies?

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