DC seems to have finally got their act together and have gone 2 for 2 with Aquaman and now Shazam!. Shazam! is a movie with plenty of heart, comedy, lessons about family, and shows how fun being a hero could and should be.
Shazam! was the epitomy of "not taking itself too seriously" as it follows the story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel) an orphan desperately trying to find his mother who abandoned him and in doing so pushes away anyone who tries to care for him. Billy gets entered into a new foster home and finds himself defends his new foster brother, Freddy, played magnificently by Jack Dylan Grazer, from bullies at school the next day. As he's running away he running is chosen by the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) to become Earth's champion. The story is as corny and campy as it comes and it seems that the main characters all know it. They all played to the story's campiness perfectly and no one did it better than the Actor who plays Shazam (Zachary Levi).
Zachary Levi's performance was the highlight of the movie. He came across as a child trying to act as an adult, and not an adult trying to act like a child. If DC wants to reboot the DCEU they should center it around Levi's Shazam. Levi really seemed excited to be able to be Shazam and it shone through the movie and made it all the more brighter.
With all of it's strong points Shazam! did have it's drawbacks though. The action was very dull, it didn't have the hard hitting fast action of Man of steel, or the dazzling effects of Aquaman. Thus it took away from the excitement of the movie. It seemed that with so much power they had the potential to really show us what Shazam is capable of and we unfortunately didn't get to see it. Instead he acted as a child and when things got rough he ran instead of pushing his limits for most of the movie. The villain, Dr Sivana, was also a bit of a sore spot as well and although Mark Strong is usually great in his antagonist roles, such as his role in Kick Ass, he hammed this one up a bit too much. The monsters, the 7 deadly sins he would create also seemed a tad too fake, even in this world of CGI we live in now.
In all Shazam! was a great time at the movies and will have you laughing from start to finish and it felt like a very refreshing take on super hero movies.
Leave your comments below and let me know what you think.
Creative Genius, Jordan Peele, goes 2 for 2 as Us is another hit. Us is a movie unlike any other thriller, with a deeper meaning and twist at the end that will leave you questioning if you understood the movie at all.
Us centers around Lupita Nyong'o's Adelaide Wilson and her family as they go on a family trip to Adelaide's childhood home and go to the local beach. As a child Adelaide went to this same beach with her parents and when she wandered off and walked into a house of mirrors she saw something that traumatized her, another version of herself. Still as an adult Adelaide felt as if she was running away from that moment, until her past catches up with her, and the terror begins.
Like Get Out, the cast's acting was phenomenal. Us was led by Nyong'o, who delivered a powerhouse performance that stole every scene she was in. Winston Duke provided a good supporting role as her husband, Gabe Wilson, and the kids, Jason Wilson and Zora Wilson, played by Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph's acting was strong enough but Nyong'o shone through. As herself and as her doppleganger, Nyong'o gave a performance that demanded our attention.
Where Us succeeded was by giving us another original thriller with something to say, that feels refreshing and unlike any other horror movie, is thought provoking, creepy, action packed and still keeps to his comedic background because it is funny as well. The key words there are thought provoking, this movie is not as easily analyzed and understood as Get Out was, and is a deeper look at our humanity within all of "us" and the "U.S". If you do not pay attention then the ending's twist will not pay off for you.
Where it could have been slightly better was the actual scares. I felt like it wasn't scary enough because unlike Get Out, Us is a Monkey Paw production, Peele's own company. While Get Out is a Blumhouse production and they are responsible for a number of Horror movies such as the Conjuring franchise. Paired with Blumhouse the movie will naturally be scarier, but regardless Us still delivers and is more than just a typical horror movie.
Peele's sophmore film is a statement that he is a directorial force to be reckoned with and is here to stay. Us is another strong outing for Peele and I'm looking forward to what he does next
Leave your comments below and let me know what you think.
Marvel Studio's latest entry to the MCU "Captain Marvel" sets up a truly formidable hero to help lead the next phase of marvel movies. But this particular origin story was slightly underwhelming with it's slow pacing, dull antagonist and it's mere flashes of true greatness.
Captain Marvel centers around Carol Danvers and her pursuit to stop the skrulls (an alien race that can shapeshift) and their plans but also finding out the secrets to her past so she can move forward.
There was a lot I truly loved about this movie. I loved the glimpses of just how powerful Captain Marvel is, and Brie Larson's performance shined through even with all of the negativity that came her way before the movie's release. Carol's relationships with her friend Maria Rambeau and her daughter, and Nick Fury provided the heart of the film. The action sequences were strong enough, just not enough, and the comedic beats were there as usual like all marvel entries.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the twist that happened in the latter part of the film. It was a twist that was reminicient of Iron Man 3's "Mandarin", a twist that didn't feel needed, But to a regular movie goer and not someone who read's comics it should be fine. The pacing, as stated earlier, was a tad slow with parts that were almost boring. And we really didn't get to see what she is truly capable of until the end which was a bit of a let down. The antagonist was underwhelming at best and coming after infinity war where the stakes could never be higher the stakes for Captain Marvel never seemed high enough.
In all it was another strong outing for marvel but just not as strong as I hoped for. But I am looking forward to her showdown with Thanos.
Leave your comments below on what you thought of the movie.
Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse might just be the best Spiderman movie ever, and the animated movie of the year. Spiderverse offers a stylized animation with eye popping visuals, true heart, great action, and a fantastic plot which sets it apart from all of it's proceeder Spiderman movies and offers a new spiderman that is here to stay.
This is an original story centering around Miles Morales, voiced flawlessly by Shameik Moore, and his journey from regular new kid in school to the new Spiderman. Spiderverse starts with Miles leaving his parent's house to go to Brooklyn Academy. Having a tough time he goes to see his Uncle, Uncle Aaron played by Mareshala Al, a decision that will change his life. He gets big by his own mutated spider and the movie then kicks into high gear and doesn't look back. Noticing the many changes happening to him he goes back to where it happened and sees Peter Parker battling it out to stop Kingpin from using a machine that will tear a whole into the space time continuum, creating access to other universes. Peter saves Miles and sees that he's like him, and sets him on a mission to help him destroy the machine. But before this happens a slew of spider people get sent to Mile's universe. A new Peter Parker, Spider Gwen, Spider-Noir, Spider Ham and an Penny Parker get sent to Miles' universe.
Miles and Peter's relationship of mentor and student is a beautiful thing to see on screen and one of the stand out parts of the movie. Peter voiced by Jake Johnson was hilarious as a grizzled and older Peter Parker. The New Girl Alum, Johnson naturally offered the most laughs and the some of the moments with the most heart in the movie. It was nice seeing sparks of Miles and Gwen's romantic relationship and Haliee Steinfeld played the role perfectly. And Nicholas Cage offered a dark, brooding, and equally hilarious Spider Noir the way only Nicholas Cage could.
Spiderverse was nothing short of an awe inspiring and truly fun time at the movies, and for an animated movie it was full of jaw dropping action and still managed to balance a great original story, and a theme of anyone being able to be a hero. Definitely see this in the theater!
Daredevil Season 3 is the first 10/10 entry being reviewed on my site. Season 3 masterfully dove into a broken and lost Matt Murdock after the explosive events of "The Defenders". Here we see
Charlie Cox's Matt, who has always been extremely strong in his faith, have it shaken to it's core and nearly broken entirely. His faith in God, his friends, his allies, even his purpose were all extremely tested and for the first half of Daredevil we see a Matt so dark and brooding you would think it were a DC show.
Besides the fascinating exploration of Matt, season 3 also introduces some key new characters in Ben Poindexter, Ray Nadeem and Sister Maggie. Ben Poindexter, aka Bullseye, was played to perfection by Wilson Bethel. He brought to life an extremely mentally unstable, deadly and skilled character who even put fear in the "Man without fear".
Joanne Whalley's "Sister Maggie" had the joy of having one of the most captivating story arcs. Playing Matt's estranged mother and who's reemergence fueled the fire that burned within him of anger and abandonment even more to where it almost consumed him.
Jay Ali's "Special Agent Ray Nadeem" was a great addition as well, playing a federal agent who means well but is no match for the will of Wilson Fisk. And speaking of Fisk, somehow Vincent D'Onofrio keeps making Fisk better and better. With a demanding performance that is so true to character it's scary. Fisk steals every scene he's in easily and we even see Fisk slowly turn into the character we all know and love to hate "Kingpin". Also, hearing Daredevil actually called Daredevil instead of the dreadfully long "The Devil of Hells Kitchen" and hearing Fisk called "Kingpin" is more satisfying than one might think. Seaon 3 also dove more into already established characters like Karen, Foggy, and even Karen's boss Mitchell Ellison, which was a nice touch.
Season 3 offered the most ambitious "Hallway Scene" ever done with a 10 minute long hallway fight that somehow put to shame the Hallway fights from the previous seasons. Season 3 had the most brutal and amazingly choreographed fights that we've seen, great dialogue and acting, and a flawless story line. I was so glad that we actually see Matt fall and manage to get back up unlike the other netflix counter parts, like Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Who also found their characters being broken, losing their way, but they never really found their way back. I'm glad Matt found his way back, thus giving us a complete story of redemption.
In all season 3 is a 10/10 worthy addition to the Daredevil Saga and I'm looking forward to the future.
Venom, sony's first spinoff of the spiderman universe came out with a slew of mixed reviews and I'm here to tell you that it's better than the bad reviews are saying but not by that much. Venom centers around Eddie Brock, famed San Francisco reporter. He sets out to interview scientist, Carlton Drake at his corporation the Life Foundation. Brock realizes that Drake is not the man he says he is, and his company is a lot more evil than how it appears. At the life foundation Drake is researching symbiotes and will unlock their potential at whatever and whoever's cost.
Tom Hardy did a fine job making Eddie Brock his own and seeing Venom in action was actually pretty great, when you could actually see what's happening. Big CGI fights at night don't really work out that well, like Transformers 1 and the first Hulk movie for example, so the finale didn't feel as satisfying as it could have been. But while Tom Hardy was great as Brock and Venom, the antagonist Riz Ahmed's Carlton Drake and Riot wasn't as good. He simply wasn't Riot long enough for us to really see Riot as a strong threat and his plot didn't feel like it was ever going to work. Throughout the movie Venom fought cops more than he actually got to fight Riot, and when he actually did get to fight Riot it just wasn't that good of a fight.
As a regular movie goer who is not a big comic book fan, Venom will be just fine for you. As a comic book fan there are some things that might bring the movie down for you. I myself am not a fan of the "Villain without the hero" movies. They have this way of taking a known villain and having him save the world, like Suicide Squad. Starting Venom off without Spiderman completely takes out his growth from Villain to Antihero. And in this movie Venom is just a hero now, a world saving hero who "only hurts bad people". Because of this any beef he has with Spiderman in the future will never reach the levels of hatred from the comics. There are more questions and issues I have that I have but I won't spoil it. Feel free to talk to me in the comment section.
"Venom" had a solid story, action and acting, It just didn't have enough of an edge that would have really made this a really memorable movie. In all it's not so bad but just not that good, but it is an enjoyable time at the theater.
"My Hero Academia: Two Heroes" is a movie that falls within the continuity of the anime, between season 2 and 3. The movie takes All Might and Deku to America when All Might receives and invitation to the I-Expo on I- Island. The I-Expo is the world’s leading exhibition of Quirks and hero item innovations. Because of the scale of this Expo, to Deku's hilarious surprise, the rest of the UA class each find their way to get there as well. All Might introduces Deku to his former partner and scientist, David Shield and his daughter Melissa. Melissa manages to get the class tickets to the party before the expo and that is when drama ensues. The island is taken over by villains with a goal none of us were ready for, and a startling leader. "Two Heroes" followed suit of the anime and was full of heart, comedy, and action that might be some of the best the anime has ever offered us. The climax is the stuff of "My Hero Academia" fan dreams, and alone is well worth the price of admission. "Two Heroes" has cemented the anime as one of the most popular and best anime's of our time. If you are a fan of the show or even someone that hasn't seem the show but wants to start, this movie is a must see.
Netflix's newest addition to it's slew of hits comes in the form of an animated, action packed film called "Next Gen". Next Gen is set in a future where robots are used for everything and they're Steve Jobs-esque creator and head of the company manufacturing them, Justin Pin, voiced by Jason Sudeikis, may not be what he seems. The film centers around a young teenager "Mai" voiced by Charlene Yi. Mai went through a pretty rough childhood dealing with a broken family and as many can relate, had a rough time finding out how to deal with the anger she was feeling. In her anger towards everything and everyone she stumbled across a different type of robot, a robot built for a very specific purpose (cough "Irobot"). This robot voiced by "John Krasinki, who has just been flexing his acting muscles, showing everyone he is much more than just Jim from The Office, and Mai struck up a friendship and found themselves in the middle of Justin Pin's plot. Besides the surprising amount of action, Next Gen is full of heart, due to the amazing performance from Krasinksi and Yi. Next Gen is a stunning movie that if animated movies with a good plot, that make you feel feelings, and keep you on edge during a fanstasic climax, then Next Gen is for you.
A Simple Favor starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively is a surprisingly enticing thriller powered by the compelling performances of both stars. Dire Paul Feig had all of the elements to make a great thriller but just fell slightly short on the thrill part. The story is about Anna Kendrick's 'Stephanie Smothers' a stay at home mother who just can't seem to get enough of volunteering. Whether it's volunteering her time at her son's elementary school or her efforts on her vlog for other mothers she just can't stop helping people. She meets 'Blake Lively's' mysterious 'Emily Nelson', through their sons at school and strike up a budding friendship rather quickly. The story takes a turn when Emily asks Stephanie "A Simple Favor" to pick up her son but then seemingly goes missing and Stephanie's life is changed. The film then goes on a roller coaster of twists and turns keeping the viewer on edge. This was an extremely enjoyable film that I just wish pushed the boundaries of the actual thrills a little more, but still a great watch.
Netflix's newest animated series, "The Dragon Prince" is a must watch for anyone who was a fan of "The Avatar: The Last Airbender". Aaron Ehasz, one of the writers of Avatar, has managed to make another epic tale where similarities in tone, comedic beats, and style are extremely apparent in the best of ways. Dragon Prince is set in a world where elves, dragons, magic, mythical beasts and mages exist. The story centers around Jack Desana's "Callum", who also voiced Sokka in Avatar, as the adopted prince of the king of the magical land of Xadia and young mage, the crown prince Ezran, and elven assassin, Rayla. The three of them have banded together when they stumbled upon the last dragon egg, thought to be destroyed, and set out on a journey to return the egg and bring peace to Xadia. In it's 9 episode season 1, it has managed to form a solid story with compelling characters and has left us wanting more. Hoping season 2 comes soon.