The Fabelmans is a 2022 American coming-of-age drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written and produced by Tony Kushner and Spielberg. It is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg’s adolescence and first years as a director, told through an original story of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, with Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch in supporting roles. It is dedicated to the memories of Spielberg’s real-life parents Arnold Spielberg and Leah Adler.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “The Fabelmans is a touching and mesmerizing film that celebrates the acclaimed director Steven Spielberg while recounting his origins as a filmmaker. The film is absolutely emotional; it’s mainly about family and deals with the vicissitudes of family interaction while paying homage to cinema.” See her full review below.
The Fabelmans By Zoë C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
The Fabelmans is a touching and mesmerizing film that celebrates the acclaimed director Steven Spielberg while recounting his origins as a filmmaker. The film is absolutely emotional; it’s mainly about family and deals with the vicissitudes of family interaction while paying homage to cinema.
As a kid, Sam Fabelman learns an important lesson from his father, one of the basic principles of filmmaking: retinal persistence. Like magic, films are a simple succession of still images which gives the illusion of movement. When Sammy attends his first movie projection the event turns into a life changing experience. The story follows his life while he discovers his passion for movie making supported by his family: his dad Burt (Paul Dano), his mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams), his 3 sisters, and his uncle Ben (Seth Rogen). His father is an electrical engineer, his mother a concept piano player and the fusion of technicality with art certainly shaped his craft. The family’s dynamic was beautiful yet cloudy at times; a source material turned in melodrama, perfect for great storytelling.
I love the humanity that The Fabelmans displays. And I loved the way the film showed and captured Sam’s life overall, in the sense that it didn’t just feel like you were watching a story. As the audience I could really understand and feel the emotions Sam was feeling. The core of the storyline are the characters and the relationships between them. Despite the Fabelmans are not a perfect family, they stand out in their unity and the bond between them. The relationship between Sam and his mom, masterfully performed by Michelle Williams, is mesmerizing to watch. There’s complicity that it is put to the test, generating wonderful conflict. Williams scenes are like study material for an actor. But every cast member is great at its craft in this film. The camera moves fluidly from the family dinners, to the action scenes contained in Sam’s early films through the corners of the houses where the family moved and the places that hide the deepest family secrets. Janusz Kaminski’s photography resembles the era and has the perfect warmth, and the score of John Williams stays in our hearts. The Fabelmans deserves a nomination on each major category in the upcoming Academy Awards: Best Film, Best Original Script, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score and Williams and Dana most probably will nod Best Actress and Best supporting actor respectively.
My favorite scenes are Sam experimenting and reproducing the train crash he watched in his first movie experience and Mitzi watching herself in his son family movie. My favorite quote: “Guilt is a waste of an emotion” which I consider profoundly meaningful of what this movie is telling its audience. The message of the film is to be able to find balance in adversity. Families are not perfect, but true bond should prevail.
The Fabelmans is PG 13 due to mature thematic elements and brief violence and drug use.
I give The Fabelmans 5 out of 5 starts and recommended for audiences 12 to 18 and adults. The Fabelmans opens in theaters November 23, 2022.
Eddie Brock struggles to adjust to his new life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, which grants him super-human abilities in order to be a lethal vigilante. Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like Venom: Let There Be Carnage because it is based on one of my favorite Marvel characters, Venom. I like that Carnage is a product of Venom, so watching these monsters clashing with each other is phenomenal.” Calista B. adds, “There are several things in this film that fall short for me. Its lack of development of Kasady and the way it seems quite biased towards Venom. It’s important to note that I haven’t seen the original Venom, but I had a pretty easy time understanding the characters and the important plot details. As far as I can tell, the first movie didn’t have much of an impact on the story of this film.” Zoe C. adds, “This movie kept me engaged throughout the entire 130 minutes it played on screen. Not only is it concise and to the point, which I love. It is also entertaining throughout the entire thing. I also love the character Venom. I think he is super fascinating and I love the ambiguity of something that is half monster, as well as vulnerable.” See their full reviews below.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 13
I like Venom: Let There Be Carnage because it is based on one of my favorite Marvel characters, Venom. I like that Carnage is a product of Venom, so watching these monsters clashing with each other is phenomenal.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is about a journalist named Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who has a dark black, Spiderman looking devil named Venom that lives inside his body. Most of the movie shows Eddie and Venom not getting along, because Eddie is sick and tired of having Venom inside his body and Venom wants to be free to eat people. Venom is very clumsy and destructive and Eddie is frustrated because his apartment is a mess. An assassin named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) knows Eddie and asks to speak to him before his death sentence is carried out. Eddie visits Cletus in prison, but Cletus antagonizes Eddie with his past and Venom comes out of Eddie’s body to choke Cletus. Cletus bites Eddie’s hand and tastes Venom’s blood. So guess what happens? You have to watch the film to find out.
This film has amazing CGI graphics. The graphics look so real and the buildings falling apart when Venom climbs between them look real as well. The fighting scenes between these two titans are so incredible that it makes you want to see more. I expected there to be more encounters between Venom and Carnage and was disappointed that there weren’t more. The movie has a good combination of comedy and action. The music is appealing in every scene. My favorite part is, of course, the battle between Venom and Carnage in the church. Carnage is huge compared to Venom and looks more powerful than him because Carnage has multiple extremities which Venom does not have.
The moral of this film is to never underestimate yourself no matter your size or strength. You do not know if you can win the war if you don’t go to battle.
I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres Friday, October 1, 2021. Remember, like all Marvel movies, you have to wait until after the credits for a huge bonus. You have to stay seated for this one!
Venom: Let There Be Carnage By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18
There are several things in this film that fall short for me. Its lack of development of Kasady and the way it seems quite biased towards Venom. It’s important to note that I haven’t seen the original Venom, but I had a pretty easy time understanding the characters and the important plot details. As far as I can tell, the first movie didn’t have much of an impact on the story of this film. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the sequel to Venom (2018) and it continues the story of Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote Venom (Tom Hardy). In an attempt to restore his journalism career, Eddie interviews the serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) right before he receives the death penalty. However, Kasady ends up becoming the host of a new symbiote, named Carnage and escapes. Now Eddie and Venom must stop Kasady and Carnage. My biggest issue with this film is its pacing. The film is 90 minutes long, and it feels like it ends before the climax really starts. If I could make a suggestion, I would have preferred that they spent more time developing Kasady, as well as his childhood love interest, Shriek (Naomie Harris). We see small glimpses of their history with each other, but we never really learn why they’re so attached. Considering that Kasady’s main motive is to be with Shriek, she definitely should have been more developed; she doesn’t really feel like a character her, she feels more like a plot device. Another thing that bothered me about this movie is the way it treats Eddie and Venom. Venom is an interesting character, because he starts as a villain and morphs into an antihero over time, and the movie hints at this duality. However, the movie seems very biased towards Venom. When Eddie calls out Venom for causing problems for the both of them, Eddie later has to apologize to Venom. Meanwhile, Venom is never held accountable for the fact that he does cause a lot of problems. Eddie was completely in the right in that situation. The film wants us to believe Venom is super funny and edgy, but he acts like a spoiled child for most of the film and I felt bad for Eddie the entire time. The message of this film is that it’s important for people to work together and communicate, so they can come to an understanding. I also would like to warn people that it is quite a violent and loud movie with a lot of action scenes. I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. It releases in theaters October 1, 2021.
Kudos to Andy Serkis, Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, because they absolutely carried Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The original Venom came out around in 2018 when I was 10 years old and I never really got a chance to see it, therefore I wasn’t exactly familiar with the storyline. But Venom: Let There Be Carnage definitely makes perfect sense without seeing the original. I will definitely not be comparing the two films in this review, so I can’t exactly say that you’re going to like this one more than the original, but I can say I am definitely a huge fan now. I love this film! The story is basically about when serial killer Cletus Kasady proposes a threat to humanity and Eddie Brock tries to resolve conflicts in his life and tries to rebuild relationships specifically with his ex and with Venom. Everything collides and you experience the Carnage and you’re just in this huge experience which is action-packed, funny and a hero vs villain. This movie kept me engaged throughout the entire 130 minutes it played on screen. Not only is it concise and to the point, which I love. It is also entertaining throughout the entire thing. I also love the character Venom. I think he is super fascinating and I love the ambiguity of something that is half monster, as well as vulnerable. His character is, first of all, hilarious and I also love his incredible relationship with his vessel, or host, Eddie. I think Tom Hardy performance as Eddie Brock and his relationship with Venom together beautifully. Fun fact – Hardy is a producer and co-writer of this film and you really see how the deep level of connection he has with his character resonates with the audience. You can definitely feel the level of intensity and the heart that he puts into his performance in the film. Next we have Woody Harrelson who plays Cletus Kasady; he’s perfect for this role. I cannot see anyone else playing him. He is wicked and brilliant at the same time. That leads me to my next topic, which is about the relationships and couples, because first we’ve got Venom and Eddie and their bromance is spectacular. First of all, they’re hilarious together and make a really good team. We’ve got Eddie and Anne who, despite the fact that they’re not, you know, still together and in a relationship. But, they’re still there for each other, which is vital for this film. Finally we have Francis and Claire – they are madly in love with each other and, honestly, their relationship is something I loved. Seeing them be evil, but together, was amazing One of my favorite parts of this film is when Anne is looking for Eddie and they run into a musician and she completely steals the show. I also love that this film is not pretentious; it is a dark kind of humorous, comic-book type of vibe, with crisp humor and absurd, but very well narrated storyline. I love that this film fulfills its main mission, which is to entertain. We have got to give it to Andy Swerkis for that. He blew it out of the water with this one. He definitely knows how to tame his creatures and how to really deliver his assertive storytelling. If you have seen the trailer or the first Venom you already know that the CGI special effects are on point and the cinematography by Robert Richardson leaves his imprint on this film. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is fun and has strong language and images that may disturb some people. I give Venom: Let There Be Carnage 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres Friday, October 1, 2021.
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