Shazam!

Shazam! was a much lighter DC movie than we have been getting.

Shazam! is the story of Billy Batson, a foster child, gaining the power to turn into a super powered adult by saying Shazam. We get the tried and true story arc of the protagonist not being heroic right away, but they grow as the movie goes on.

Shazam! takes more of a New 52 story direction for the character as opposed to his history from Fawcett comics.

Shazam has a lot of beats that are going to jump out at comic fans, but not interfere with anyone’s movie going experience. I mean, we get a Mr. Mind cameo. Mr. Mind. A tiny alien worm with a speaker box around his neck. We do get all the basics. Billy Batson. The wizard, Shazam. Mary. Freddy. Tigers. Dr. Sivana (a lot different than I recall). The Seven Deadly Sins. Etc.

The mid credits scene promises something to come in the next film or the third. The after credits scene is not needed – but was a fun addition.

Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews

Synopsis:
We all have a superhero inside of us — it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In 14-year-old Billy Batson’s case, all he needs to do is shout out one word to transform into the adult superhero Shazam. Still a kid at heart, Shazam revels in the new version of himself by doing what any other teen would do — have fun while testing out his newfound powers. But he’ll need to master them quickly before the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana can get his hands on Shazam’s magical abilities.

Us 2019

Us

Seeing Us in a theater of people was a blast. As in most horror movies, the characters on screen do things that we the audience know is no good. Having various people in the crowd react was perfect. From the “no no no no”s to the “Don’t go in there!” Just a good horror movie going experience.

Us’ trailer gives too much plot away. It just does. But the idea of your evil doppelganger coming after you is powerful. Especially if it is doppelgangers of your whole family.

The scope explodes far beyond what you think.

Music plays heavily in Us. The soundtrack is good and has some entries I am not familiar with.

All the actors kill it in Us. Even the supporting players.

There is a twist that horror movie fans will see coming a mile away. But that does not detract from the movie.

Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Madison Curry, Ashley Mckoy

Synopsis: Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.

Happy Death Day 2U

Not quite as fun as the original. Happy Death Day 2U gives us a bit of a genre swap. More SciFi film than horror.

We start off the film with someone else stuck in a murder loop. This transitions to Tree in an alternate reality in another murder loop. An alternate reality where her mother is alive and Carter is dating Danielle.

The cause of the loops is explained. It’s ok. But I would have enjoyed it more if there was no explanation and the phenomenon hit different people. Almost like It Follows.

Still this was a fun film to watch. I hope they can make a third film since the after credits scene leaves it wide open for another.

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin, Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine, Steve Zissis, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Missy Yager, Jason Bayle, Rob Mello

Synopsis: Collegian Tree Gelbman wakes up in horror to learn that she’s stuck in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend Carter is now with someone else, and her friends and fellow students seem to be completely different versions of themselves. When Tree discovers that Carter’s roommate has been altering time, she finds herself once again the target of a masked killer. When the psychopath starts to go after her inner circle, Tree soon realizes that she must die over and over again to save everyone.

Polar

Interesting tale of a retired hitman and the lengths his former employer will go to to keep from paying out his pension. A group of young hitmen going after the grizzled retiree shows a nice examination between experience and training.

It is a nice alternative to the John Wick series. The fight scenes are not as frenetic as John Wick, but still enjoyable.

When Dominic visits a school and gives a talk to a group of children is one of my favorite scenes. He shows then knife techniques and photos of a 3 day old corpse.

It does set itself up for a sequel.

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Fei Ren, Ruby O. Fee, Matt Lucas, Robert Maillet, Anthony Grant, Josh Cruddas, Lovina Yavari

Synopsis (from IMDB): The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger killers.

Aquaman

Had some misses in the middle. But a good Hero’s Journey. Very King Arthur.

Of the recent batch of Warner Brothers DC movies, it is second only to Wonder Woman. But it does meander some in the middle. I appreciated the way Arthur’s young life is sprinkled throughout the film in small bits.

Aquaman is set after the events of Justice League. There is a mid-credits scene, but it is not needed. It basically tells you what you expect. Remember, if you do not see the body, they are not dead.

Synopsis from IMDB:
Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world. And prevent war between land and sea.

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin

Vía Letterboxd – AngryTownsman