Article

A post that is representing a written movie review.

Review: Shazam! (Carson’s View)

Billy Batson is a young boy who has been given the ability to turn into a superhero by saying the magic word, “Shazam!” Shazam! is a fun, light-hearted, humorous, but ultimately forgettable installment into the DC Cinematic Universe.  It is a superhero movie made for kids.   Those that will enjoy Shazam! will add that additional disclaimer; It is good… “for a kids movie.” Unlike last year’s animated movie Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse which is just a great movie and needs no caveat.

All of the young actors did a wonderful job in Shazam! Most notably Jack Dylan Grazer and Asher Angel. These two have bright futures ahead of them and I am looking forward to their next performances.  Zachary Levi was a good choice to play the title hero.  He has the look and personality to pull off a grown man-child. The villain always makes or breaks the movie. Mark Strong is a good choice when looking for a sinister adversary, however, the script and tone of the movie does not let him become anything more than your stereotypical underwhelming super-villain.

With the sheer volume of comic book movies that have been released recently, Shazam! will fall into the abyss as one of the least memorable movies in the past decade.  There are no cool takeaways or scenes to look forward to on a second viewing.  But if you are bored on a Sunday afternoon, it is an entertaining watch… for a kids movie.

Review: Us (Garrett’s View)

Peele delivers another modern classic thriller, but you will have to overlook the plot to truly enjoy it.

Review: Captain Marvel (Carson’s View)

Captain Marvel has finally joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe!  Brie Larson headlines as Carol Danvers in this historical debut.  Brie is a great fit to play Captain Marvel, but she is only scratching the surface of the character in this film.  Largely in part to the relatively inexperienced directors who somehow convinced Marvel Studios they were ready for a movie of this magnitude.  They weren’t, and it shows.

As a fan of comic books and Captain Marvel, I had been looking forward to this movie for a long time (even before the pager).  I knew there was a need to do some adjusting from the source material going into the movie.  Carol Danvers has such a complex and convoluted backstory that there is no way to do it justice in under 10 hours. The simplification of the origin story was necessary, but not some of the changes to fit the social narrative of this movie.  Mainly everything to do with Annette Bening needs to be omitted and changed back to their original script.  I am sure Annette is a very nice lady, but she does not belong in this movie in any capacity.

Captain Marvel needed to show why Carol Danvers is a complete bad-ass.  It needed to let Brie Larson be that bad-ass.  The action scenes were too confined, few and far between, and hard to tell what was going on.  Captain Marvel has such a grand power-set that having her fight in a tiny room truly limits how awesome she can be.  The emotional core of this movie also misfires as attention on young Carol should have been front and center to give more weight and motivation. These two directors shoulder the blame on what should have been an epic introduction.  An incredible actress like Brie in the hands of the Russos has limitless potential.  Avengers: End Game will be her true introduction into the MCU.

Review: Fighting with My Family (Garrett’s View)

The undisputed champion of movies made by WWE Studios.

Review: Captain Marvel (Garrett’s View)

A solid entry, somewhat cookie cutter entry into the Marvel cinematic universe with strong performances that make it a cut above most other Marvel origin stories.

Review: Triple Frontier (Carson’s View)

Triple Frontier (I still don’t understand the title) is a military-style heist movie with an impressive cast.  Reminds me of the 1999 Gulf War film Three Kings with George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube.  A group of soldiers decide that stealing from bad guys isn’t really stealing.  That they should be paid for their time served and their sacrifices from the millions of dollars that their enemies have socked away. While Three Kings is an action-adventure with comedy movie, Triple Frontier is more of a drama with some action sprinkled throughout.

Triple Frontier has a good set up and general direction from the start.  We are introduced to Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, and Ben Affleck in their lives after their military careers have ended.  Then Oscar has a plan.  A plan to set them all up for life.  When you listen to how they rationalize their involvement in the heist, it is hard to believe that this type of thing doesn’t happen often in real life.  Men with a particular set of skills, who have a network of informants and contacts, who feel cast aside by society choose to go hunt down bad guys and take their money. Makes perfect sense to me.

It is during the second half that Triple Frontier started to unravel.  Questionable decisions are made by both the characters in the movie and by the writers who wrote it.  Triple Frontier more than most movies in the genre, could have greatly benefited by Netflix new gimmick of Choose Your Own Adventure.  Almost exactly 1 hour into the movie, you should get three options of what the crew should do.  Do you continue down the path of poor choices that we saw in the movie or do you make a different decision and make this one of the best movies of the year?  The choice is yours!

Even with it’s flaws, Triple Frontier is a big step forward for Netflix movies.  Big names, big budget, solid directing. I am looking forward to where they go from here.

Review: Triple Frontier (Garrett’s View)

A slight misfire but doesn’t totally miss its target.

Review: Paddleton (Garrett’s View)

Brutally honest and bittersweet, yet satisfying.

Review: Happy Death Day 2U (Carson’s View)

Happy Death Day 2U picks up right where Happy Death Day leaves off… Finally Day 2!  If you have not seen the first Happy Death Day, it is a slasher movie that is caught in a time-loop (think Groundhog Day but with a murderer).  A baby-masked killer murders college student Tree Gelbman, and she continually wakes up at the beginning of the day she died. Over and over she is killed and starts the same day again until she can unmask the killer and survive the day.  Fantastic concept for a horror movie; poor execution.  The sequel had the chance to take this concept into so many different directions and learn from the mistakes of it’s predecessor. Unfortunately, Happy Death Day 2U makes all new mistakes and seemingly kills the franchise going forward.

Happy Death Day franchise completely dropped the ball here.  They were the first-to-market in the “Horror-Time-Loop” space and they switch genres into a goofy, run-of-the-mill, sci-fi cluster. It focuses more on why there is a time-loop than enjoying being in a time-loop.  The audience doesn’t care why there is a time-loop, we just accept that they are in one.  Sequels often fall into this trap of over explaining things that we don’t need to know.  In the movie series Final Destination, Death is hunting a group of teenagers because they escaped a tragedy.  We don’t know or care why they escaped the first time or how Death is chasing them, it just is. And it is fun.  Happy Death Day 2U could have had a different person in a time-loop or have Tree stuck in a different time-loop.  No explanation needed.  As soon as you try to bring in the physics involved in how this could be possible, you lose the focus and interest of why we came.  We came for a fun new twist on a horror/slasher genre.  We left disappointed.

I am excited for the reboot of this franchise when they get to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.