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.

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

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Justice League

While Justice League comes nowhere near Wonder Woman, it is loads better than Batman V Superman.

We learn that Parademons have been sighted across the world, abducting people associated with Star Labs. After an attack on the Amazons by Steppenwolf, Diana approaches Bruce and they begin getting the team together.

As with a typical intro team-up, it does not come together the first time. We get snippets of backstory for the new characters to the DCEU: Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Just enough to give us a hint of where their solo movies may go.

Part of the plot is bringing Superman back after the League fights Steppenwolf, but cannot stop him. Superman’s inclusion does bring everything together.

The plot is decent, but does feel rushed. You can tell DC/Warner Bros are playing catch-up to the Marvel movies. But it is still a fun movie.

The CGI was … not great. The very first scene of the movie opens with Superman and a CGIed out mustache. The main villain is all CGI as well. Poor CGI.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Henry Cavill, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds, JK Simmons, Connie Nielsen, Joe Morton, Amber Heard, Diane Lane, Amy Adams

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Wonder Woman

This is the best DC movie since the Dark Knight, in my opinion. Easily blows away Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.

We are introduced to Dianna as a child. The only child on Themyscira. Literally portrayed as a paradise island – protected by a magical barrier. We see her learning the art of war from her fellow Amazons as she grows older.

The Captain Steve Trevor crashes his plane into the waters off the coast of Themyscira. Steve’s entry to the island ultimately leads to Dianna joining him in “Man’s World”. His mission – to stop a new deadly gas attack that is not stopped by gas masks. Her mission – to kill Ares, god of war.

The movie starts out light in tone, but gradually darkens. First as Diana leaves the bright colors of Themyscira and enters the grey fog of London. And from there to the horrors of World War 1.

Any more would totally spoil the movie. And you should see this one in theaters.

I would say that Wonder Woman earns the dark tone it holds. It is set during World War 1, after all. But it does get back to a lighter tone at the very end. Not quite as bright as it was before Dianna experienced war firsthand, but not as dark as wartime.

Wonder Woman has taken some of the trepidation I felt for the upcoming Justice League movie away.

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya

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Suicide Squad

Official Site: SuicideSquad.com

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Kinnaman, Karen Fukuhara, Jay Hernandez

SSposterThis movie takes place after the events of Batman v Superman. Amanda Waller meets with some people and pushes her idea of Task Force X in a world without Superman. We spend a good chunk of the first part of the movie team-building. We get little snippets of how each person was apprehended. Which includes a few Batman scenes and one Flash scene. After the higher ups get a glimpse of what the Enchantress can do, Task Force X gets the greenlight.

Task Force X gets deployed after a failed mission by Rick Flagg and the Enchantress to stop a meta human threat in the subways of Midway city. Much gun play and violence ensue. Throughout the film, we follow the Joker as he works to get Harley Quinn out of custody.

TL;DR Didn’t feel like a complete story – had good segments. Kinda Meh.

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