Tag: Comedy

Bad Boys For Life

Bad Boys bad boys, Michael gonna Bay, Michael gonna Bay and explode on you.

As of last week, I had not seen either of the Bad Boys movies. I did make sure to check out the first two before this third one quite a few years later. I figured the plot would be relevant [Editor’s Note: It wasn’t] to previous movies and didn’t want to be lost. And honestly, neither were my jam at all. I can’t remember much about the first film, and only a few scenes from the sequel stand out. It was definitely a chore I had to put up with.

And let’s talk about this title? Bad Boys For Life. I guess they don’t have high expectations for future films, letting go of that obvious for for the fourth film there.

And yes, I know Michael Bay didn’t direct this one. Let me have my fun.

ooohyeah
Lawrence is mostly just excited to have work at this point. 

Set all the real life years after the other movies, we have our heroes Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) getting older and getting into slightly less trouble. Mike still feels he is king of the world and untouchable. Marcus is slowing down, ready to retire, and over a lot of this stuff. Hell, he is a grandfather now. He wants to make sure he can see his grandson grow up and now get shot at some point in the future.

At the same time, some Hispanic lady (Kate del Castillo) broke out of prison in Mexico, thanks to her son (Jacob Scipio), and they seem to have plans about getting their family back on top. Finding some lost money, getting the literal gang back together. All of that. And she wants revenge, for everyone who hurt the family, including a Mike Lowrey many years ago.

Oh yeah, they have history. But you don’t know about it, since it took place before even the first movie, because why not.

Anyways, not sure what else to talk about. Scary threat and scary bad people, and maybe some people will die.

Also starring Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano, Paola Nuñez, Charles Melton, and DJ Khaled.

panning shot
Oh yeah, everyone is getting too old for this shit. 

Bad Boys for Life could have been a better film. The ideas were there. Some of the characters were there. But it did not ever reach the potential and by the end, we were left with the same damn shit.

First I want to talk about Martin Lawrence, featuring a fatter head because he has been a lot more out of the spotlight. Honestly, it fits his character. And I loved his character in the first half of the movie. A grandson changed his life. He had new priorities. He prayed and stick to his prayers. It was actually a delight to see. And uhh, eventually, it was all just thrown away and hey, action movie, shoot gun, bang bang bang killing people. Okay.

Second note. In the middle of the movie we get a big speech from a character and it is meant to be this big moment. A change of heart speech. And then a really bad thing happens at that moment. Mike realizes at that point that everyone else was right, and that he was wrong. He was doing the bad stuff, he shouldn’t be involved, he needs to let others handle the current issue at hand. Hell, Marcus was right and Mike was wrong. They establish it, we all agree with it.

AND THEN RIGHT AFTER THEY GO BACK TO DOING THE BAD THING THEY ALL JUST AGREED SHOULDN’T BE DONE.

What in the hell? I feel like I was taking crazy pills.

This is a film that has some good laughs and scenes, and has good ideas, that get tossed aside on a whim to give us just another buddy cop action film. It didn’t stick the landing in terms of character growth at all, especially with the actual ending, which became a standard big kill fest with expendable bad guys, fire, and some underwhelming CGI.

Oh yeah, and there is no need to watch either previous movie. Despite having a villain from the past, it certainly isn’t one in the first two movies. Despite having a character that was in a relationship with Mike in the past, it is another thing that happened off screen. Completely lazy writing at points for these minor details, and, you know, the main plot of the dang film.

I am just so upset that it had potential and started off way better than expected.

2 out of 4.

Arctic Dogs

Ohhh, box office failures? Guess I have to see it.

Much like you all, I never heard about the movie Arctic Dogs coming out to theaters. It wasn’t given to the press. If it had an advertising budget, it went up someone’s ass.

Arctic Dogs went to theaters on November 1st, and completely bombed. It opened in over 2,800 theaters and currently (at time of writing) has the worst amount earned in an opening weekend for that many theaters at just $2.9 million. Completely, and utterly destroyed by its competition.

But surely an animated film about some doggos can’t be that bad?

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Oh. Foxes. Maybe. Never mind.

Swifty (Jeremy Renner) is an arctic fox, living in, well, the Arctic. He is super white, blends in with the snow, and thus, others seem to just ignore him and let him do his own thing.

Oh, yeah, this is a animals as humans movie. And the coolest animals in this small town are the Arctic Dogs super hero animals. What do they do? Oh. They deliver mail and packages to other small towns. Cool.

So naturally Swifty wants to be an Arctic Dog sledder, despite being a fox. And he meets the weight requirements, but isn’t really strong. So he is sent into the warehouse to help stamp packages, looking on the outside in.

Well, one time, Swifty has to send out a package. And it is to a weird Walrus recluse (John Cleese) who has Puffins working for him, all weird. And apparently that is enough for the Walrus to get rid of all the Arctic Dogs, just in case.

Now it is up to Swifty to deliver the packages, and, maybe, one day, also save the day.

Also starring Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Huston, Heidi Klum, James Franco, Laurie Holden, and Omar Sy.

redacted
Yep, Walrus on a robot spider bod. The ladies love it.

You see, Arctic Dogs isn’t bad enough to warrant its record. I mean, it is bad sure. But it is straight to DVD bad, not let’s scorn this movie so it never tries this nonsense again, bad.

Voice casting, most of it is uninspired. Not even John Cleese could save it with his wonderful words and accent. Hero is generic. We have had plenty of times someone who wants to be something, that he literally shouldn’t be able to do, but does it anyways because perseverance. But they keep doing it with animals or inanimate objects so that the real message is lost.

At least this time in this movie he didn’t just train hard enough to eventually get the job and prove people wrong. No, he got the job because all of the others were captured. Why? Because of plot reasons that don’t make at all any sense. Why would the villain want to take out all of the mail delivery dogs, when he still needs to get mail delivered to finish his evil plot? … … … Ohhh, because of poor writing.

Our female lead has the personality of Engineer, which is at least slightly different than the personality of scientist. And she unknowingly helps the bad guy the whole time, because I guess she isn’t smart enough to know what she is building? And there could be plot resolved from this earlier, if the main characters could talk better.

Oh, and let’s not forget the bad guys motivations. He is used to represent Global Warming, because its great to have a single source for the blame and make things fixable.

I just…I don’t know why the plot is so, so, so, so bad. The animation is definitely okay/average. But the terrible plot, nonsensical decisions and overdone tenants of the story line make this a disaster from the start. Good thing no one watched it.

0 out of 4.

Good Boys

Two movies were hailed as being the next Superbad for 2019 (12 years after Superbad came out. I don’t think movies were really compared to it before?). The first was Booksmart, or Superbad for a modern age with ladies! And it was amazing.

The next was Good Boys, or Superbad for middle school (and for a modern age)!

And Booksmart was great, one of my favorites of the year. And I am disappointed with myself in missing Good Boys in theaters, as it would have probably been even better surrounded by other assholes like me laughing my asshole off.

thief
Is this some sort of middle school fantasy film? 
The Bean Bag Boys have been best buds since the early years, and now they are in middle school, ready to kick butt. However, they interests are no longer all lined up the same way, and now it is considered uncool to have passions. Like singing, or niceness, or smarts.

Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) are trying to navigate the new waters, and dealing with bullies, dealing with drugs, alcohol, nicknames, and pursuing their passions.

And like every plot line in middle and high school, a lot of this revolves around a party. Max was invited to a kissing party, with his friends able to come to, but first they need to figure out how to kiss. This leads them on a wild adventure in town, skipping school, getting chased by high schoolers (Molly Gordon, Midori Francis), dealing with perverts, cops, and more.

Also starring a lot of adults, like, Sam Richardson, Enid-Raye Adams, Retta, Lil Rel Howery, Mariessa Portelance, Stephen Merchant, and Will Forte. Also some kids, like Izaac Wang and Millie Davis.

drone
It’s also great to see puberty effect people differently. 

Good Boys was first and foremost hilarious. I was worried going into it that this would be about middle schoolers who curse a lot and that is the amusement factor. But since they were good kids, they weren’t doing bad things, they were trying to do the right thing and getting into bad situations. It provided a much better humor type.

It is funny to be in these extreme circumstances, since they don’t know what is going on and aren’t familiar with all the words/terminology that are being used. The banter between the kids feels realistic and they feel like real best buds, even if it is trying times between them.

The real stand out to me was Williams, who much best embraced the ideals of being a good kid. He was given the best lines and situations, and I hope to see him in a lot of things in the future.

I laughed like a kid and I watched it on my own, and that is a weird thing for a person to do. It was a good simple comedy, and a nice bright surprise in this year of film.

3 out of 4.

Spies in Disguise

Ah yes, the last major animated film to be released in America in 2019.

Ah no, I am not including Playmobil: The Movie, because I said major release, major damn it. I am talking about things that probably felt they were good enough to come out and get awards or nominations or sweet Holiday money.

And it looks like Spies in Disguise is trying to get that sweet, sweet, Holiday money. Hard to make any money these days against a Star Wars release, but there is some to go around and not a lot of kid friendly movies coming out this Christmas day.

And hey, this one has Will Smith, and some people still think he is the best thing since 1999.

pigeon
But have you seen him as a bird???????????????
It turns out our main character isn’t going to be the cool spy, but the weirdo inventor! We know that Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is the main character, because he gets a backstory at the beginning of the film, with his mom clearly going to die soon, who encourages him to keep up his science stuff and save the world with hugs.

Years later, Walter is working for the spy agency, but his gadgets are rarely picked. One of his is finally used when Lance Sterling (Will Smith), famous amazing spy that everyone loves, emits his gadget because Walter switched out Lance’s bag. Whoops.

This gets Walter fired, but because Lance is getting framed at the same exact time, Lance finds himself at Walter’s house needing help to disappear. And sure enough, Walter can do that. He doesn’t really warn him, but really he just wants to turn him into a pigeon for some sick fetish game.

Hah! Pigeons.

Anyways, now they have to save the world, when their very capable spy is a pigeon. Role credits!

Starring Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, Reba McEntire, Ben Mendelsohn, Masi Oka, and DJ Khaled.

penis
Pigeon penis. 
Walter wants to change the world, but no one wants to listen to him. He has to put a spy’s life in danger in order to get it done and is shocked to be fired.

Better question, why does he even have a job at this place if they don’t want to use his stuff? Like, who are the hire ups to kept him working, with zero guidance or feedback? If he didn’t produce, you’d think they’d tell him to stop it and design specific stuff or get walking. But nothing? And why does a spy in the agency have the ability to even fire him at all? They clearly have oversight, and I don’t think agent would be a boss level about the scientists to fire them. That is just silly.

Oh, that’s all stuff I shouldn’t care about? Okay.

They made Will Smith into a pigeon and then didn’t do enough fun stuff with the pigeon. His character is way too antagonistic after the point when he should have stopped being so mad and learned to try to make the best of his body. The science is too dumb that is being showcased to make him a pigeon, along with the other gadgets used. And the pigeon transformation seems to work differently at the beginning and end of the movie. Because.

This could have been an okay movie.

But you know what? They even had a character named Ears act so stupid, just because DJ Khaled was his voice, and it never seemed to match the actual character. Did they let Khaled just improvise? Stop that, his ego doesn’t need that.

1 out of 4.

Uncut Gems

Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie (or The Safdie Brothers) released a movie called Good Time in 2017. And it was way better than anyone expected it to be.

Robert Pattinson was a great lead, it was high energy with a banging edge of your seat soundtrack. It made quite a few best of lists and was nominated for some of the more independent film awards.

And yeah, it caught me by surprise, but didn’t elevate itself to my best list. However, I was very intrigued with Uncut Gems, going in knowing nothing about the plot except it was their movie and Adam Sandler starring. After all, Adam Sandler is actually known for acting good in movies he had nothing to do with production or direction. Like The Meyerowitz Stories or Reign Over Me (I haven’t seen Reign Over Me, I’m just assuming).

Bring on the almost Bear Jew.

sandler
This looks like a man who could collect many Nazi scalps. 
I don’t think anyone would disagree that Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a fuck up. Sure, he has his own diamond/jewelry shop in a classy part of NYC and deals with high figures and big clients, lives in a nice fancy house and has a family. But his judgement is questionable.

For one, he owes a lot of money to various people. One guy about $100,000, but smaller amounts to others. He likes to gamble money away in hopes of getting rich. He likes to pawn peoples items to secure funds to gamble them away. Don’t worry, he will pay it back.

Oh, he is going through a divorce with his wife (Idina Menzel) but they are keeping it a secret until after Passover. His new lady (Julia Fox) lives in an apartment with him in the city and works in his store.

But things are finally going to change for Howard. He is getting a package he has waited a long time for in the mail, and Kevin Garnett (Kevin Garnett) is walking in to his shop before a big playoff game. Yep, things might finally start looking up.

Also starring Tommy Kominik, Keith Williams Richards, Eric Bogosian, Jacob Igielski, Jonathan Aranbayev, and of course Lakeith Stanfield.

lakeith
Ah yes, Lakeith, you should be in all of our movies. 
For about two-thirds of the film, I already knew most of my final thoughts. I knew this film made me feel uncomfortable. It made me feel disgusted at points. I was nervous the entire time. And I figured I’d never want to see it again, but I also knew I loved it.

Much like Good Time, once again, the soundtrack has to be experienced with excellent speakers. It almost feels like half the movie. The “action” in this movie is a lot less serious than that in Good Time, but the soundtrack still elevates his stakes and puts us in his ever more and more agonizing shoes.

Sandler is definitely giving it his all in this movie, really diving into the character. Enough to make me forget about Sandler at some point and just think of this crazed diamond dealer. I don’t know if he has ever been better, but I do know this has to be near his best and is worth the agonizing nature of the film.

The level of detail these brothers put into this movie, setting it in a specific period in 2012. The real events, the concerts, the games. I have never cared more about a 7 years ago NBA playoffs match up than this movie, and I was happy I was in a situation where I couldn’t just find out the results of the match on my phone real quick.

Finally, I was wrong with the thoughts I had two-thirds of the way in through this movie. I would totally go through the experience again.

4 out of 4.

Jumanji: The Next Level

Jumanji: The Next Level is the sequel to the sequel/reboot that was actually the second sequel to a movie that is based on a book from the 1980’s.

But this one has characters from the last one, and is also in a video game, so people like that.

Honestly, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was better than I expected, even with dumb video game inconsistencies that movies just refuse to ever get right when we have real people sucked into video games.

And knowing that this movie had Dwayne Johnson pretending to be Danny DeVito? That was really enough for me to make sure I could see it!

awk
Seems like some glitches have affected the Avatars!
Alright! Time for more video games!

This takes place I guess about two years after the events of our first film. All of our heroes went off to do things. Spencer (Alex Wolff), our main kid I guess, went off to NYC for college, while the girl Martha (Morgan Turner) whom he started to date, went to a different school. She seemed toooo cool for him now and he broke up because of his anxieties and low self worth.

But the four of them still agree to meet up over the holidays, Spencer, Martha, Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), a strange Breakfast club that didn’t end.

This time though, Spencer doesn’t show up, despite coming back home. So they check for him at home and only see some old dudes, Eddie (Danny DeVito) and Milo (Danny Glover). It’s his grandparent and old business partner!

Turns out Spencer went back into the game Also turns out that Spencer even has the game again, despite being all broken. So they agree to go back in, but uh oh, old people get sucked in instead of Bethany! Now they have to explain it all to people who are bad at video games. Not only that, but the game seems to be a sequel, and a new quest!

Ack. Okay. Find Spencer. Finish the game. Don’t die. Also starring the same avatars of Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, Jack BlackNick Jonas, and Kevin Hart. Also Awkwafina, Rhys Darby, Rory McCann, and Colin Hanks.

upsidedown car
In this new level, it takes place in Australia! Clearly.

I came for the Rock as Devito, but it turns out the real star was Hart as Glover. It is already hard to see Kevin Hart as anyone besides Kevin Hart. Even in the last film, it was still basically Kevin Hart. But when he was imitating Glover, his voice was deeper, his voice was more thoughtful and slow. And sure, the slower speech was important enough to the plot so that everyone would notice it, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it.

The Rock as DeVito? Honestly, a bit more disappointing. At first I thought it must be my own hype ruining it, and maybe DeVito wasn’t as obvious as I thought. But later in the movie, ANOTHER character had to act like DeVito for long periods of time and they nailed it. It was exactly what I was hoping the Rock would do, and he didn’t deliver. And for spoiler reasons I will keep it vague, great job other acting person. You and the previous mentioned Hart description knocked it out of the park.

Now on the other fronts, the plot of this one is really weak. Not just the video game plot, which is part of the point. The real world plot. The old guy anger isn’t worth our time. The plot to get Spencer and friends into the game was terrible this time around. Why does it happen? Because they want a sequel to exist, I guess.

This film still has some fun, and some tricks up its sleeve. And still, like the first, it ends up being just okay.

2 out of 4.

Dolemite Is My Name

Where you been, Eddie Murphy? What you doing, pseudo-retiring on me like that?

Sure your last two real films, Mr. Church (2016) and A Thousand Words (2013) were bad, but that is probably…uhh, your fault. Trying to do some spiritual family stuff instead of letting your real humor out.

Surely, giving yourself a role where you get to talk and swear and joke is just the role for you.

Telling a true story of a different stand up comic that influenced his whole career seems like a good tribute to that actor/comedian, while also getting Murphy back on his feet again. Dolemite is my Name? Well, make me laugh and I’ll call you anything.

pimp suit
No, I won’t call you daddy though, even with that suit.
Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) is the baddest motherfucker around. Or at least he is in his own eyes.

He wants to be famous, he knows he can do it, and he has tried it all. He has released songs, has done stand up, and he is now middle aged and still nowhere. He can’t get a damn thing going.

But while MCing at a local club, he decides to try a little bit of material he has taken from older homeless people in his neck of the woods. He asked them their stories, and listened to their jokes. They spoke rhythmically and told ridiculous stories, and he thinks that audiences might really enjoy it with the right delivery.

And this content takes off. He builds the character Dolemite, and people love his swears and graphic humor. He is able to sell records of his material, mostly on his own, and get popular in the hoods all over the world. And after all of that, he still wants more. He wants to make a movie. Who cares if he has never made a movie before.

Also featuring Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Snoop Dogg, T.I., Ron Cephas Jones, Barry Shabaka Henley, Chris Rock, and Wesley Snipes.

hall
Fact: Snipes and Murphy have never been in a movie before together.

Dolemite is my Name is one of those films that comes along that you didn’t know you needed until you had to see it. I never knew anything about Rudy Ray Moore. I knew about the blaxploitation films of the 70’s and 80’s, only a tiny amount, enough to enjoy Black Dynamite. But I didn’t know who the real precursor to all of that was.

And sure, as research, I watched Dolemite just to really get the whole picture, which is not necessary for those who don’t want to have to go searching for it.

I haven’t seen Murphy this on fire in quite a lot of time. Over a decade probably. This is a great return to form and it is like he was never gone in the first place. Snipes was also on point in the film, and similarly, haven’t seen him like this in a good while, but part of this is thanks to prison I guess.

A large cast of characters bring their own quirks and fun moments, but this is the Murphy show and they are all just a part of it. A funny comedy and a good story overall.

3 out of 4.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

When it comes to cartoons that needed a live action remake, Nickelodeon knows where it is at, not Disney. In a year where Disney did it four times, Nickelodeon did it one time, and off a tv show, not a previous film.

Dora the Explorer? Loved by trillions.* It also involves going on an adventure, following maps, doing puzzles? Shit, this is just going to be Tomb Raider but for kids.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is exactly what we deserve at this point for putting up with these Disney remakes.

adventure
And let’s hope it doesn’t get ruined by creepy pedos.

Dora (Isabela Merced) wants to be an explorer! Like her parents (Eva Longoria, Micahel Peña), she has lived in the jungle most of her life, learning its ways and wanting to find more new things! She is not a lousy treasure hunter, she is an explorer, damn it.

But her parents send her off to the city for high school to socialize. Ugh. She can reunite with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), but school is weird, people are mean. And in a museum trip, she is tricked by the staff into getting shipped back to the jungle! Some bad people want to use her to find her parents an the lost city of gold! So now, with the help of Diego, her friends (Madeleine Madden, Nicholas Coombe) and a friend of her parents (Eugenio Derbez), she is going to have to combine their wits, outsmart the baddies, and not allow any more swiping.

Also starring Natasa Ristic, Christopher Kirby, Temuera Morrison, Pia Miller, Joey Vieira, Madelyn Miranda, Malachi Barton, and Danny Trejo as Boots the monkey and Benicio del Toro as Swiper the Fox.

tomb
Tenn power can solve all problems in the world!

Dora was a great family film, with jokes for everyone to get involved with. Some quick fart sounds when necessary, but the scene didn’t last too long. Some songs and many show references for those who have seen it, but still a cute adventure story for teens to get behind.

It points out problems of movies like Tomb Raider, keeping it all tongue and cheek, while also doing a lot of its own thing. The puzzles are in the way to be solved quickly by our heroes, and just a stepping stone. The real purpose is the adventure and the jokes.

Many times I was laughing out at scenes different from my own kids, while they got enjoyment from more of the slapstick stuff. And hey, whatever works.

I think the next appropriate follow up for Nickelodeon is to make a movie about Stick Stickley. If Forky can get big, why not their OG piece of trash?

3 out of 4.
* – No source to back up this stat. 

Christmas Break-In

Christmas Break-In seems to be a straight to Netflix movie that they released, without really wanting to let people know it was released.

I only found it accidentally, going deep into one of the genre lists. When I saw it, I was surprised that it carried a 2019 label with it. They didn’t put it on any sort of recommended list that I could find. I am not sure how people would know it is there?

Well, based on the description, it would probably pop up for people who searched for Home Alone and were sad to find it not on Netflix. That is my only guess. I also imagine that the list of people looking up Home Alone is relatively high.

“Oh, this is like Home Alone but a school? Fine, that’ll do.”

It turns out no, it will not do at all!

tie
The Red vs Blue series has gotten very realistic.

Izzy (Cameron Seely) wants one thing in her life for Christmas. An electric guitar. She dreams of being a rock star, and she has been taking lessons. The lessons have come from her school’s janitor (Danny Glover), who in his free time (and in her class time??) has been teaching her cords.

And you know what? Her parents (Denise Richards, Sean O’Bryan) are totally cool with it too. They are going to get her a guitar the day before Christmas when the local shop has a big big sale. It just happens to be on the same day as a big winter storm coming in, so they have to be right on time.

But apparently, Izzy’s parents are extremely forgetful of her all of the time and often forget about plans no matter how hard she reminds them. They will just work work work. What is a rich house without caring parents? So she is left at school, everyone gone, and who should arrive? Why, three criminals (Jake Van Wagoner, Katrina Begin, Douglas Spain) who are looking for shelter overnight after stealing bags of coins from a charity.

Guess she is going to have to hide from them and stop them, while hoping eventually she gets picked up.

Also starring Dawson Ehlke as the caring older brother.

phone
Got a phone, and you are a genius now, eh? 

Christmas Break-In would be like Home Alone, if Home Alone had some burglars knock on the door, the kid tell them to go away there’s people here, and then the cops arrest them.

It feels like almost nothing happens. It does take forever to just get us to the point in the story, where we have girl and criminals in the school at the same time. It requires a lot of coincidences. Her parents work together in the same building, and both forget? The snow storm hits right then? The criminals were dumb and went the wrong way for awhile? The phone dies? Everyone fucking leaves the school knowing she is sitting there waiting? Unrelated, when the hell does she have time to learn guitar from the janitor during school? I can’t imagine they are all fine with her skipping classes so often for that, especially if they are paying the janitor (the only janitor in the whole school) for a different job.

Anyways. Once the criminals get there? She does like, two things. There aren’t fun traps, there isn’t a lot of ingenuity, there is really basic stuff that wouldn’t trick…well, anyone.

And eventually, this ends, the day is saved, and hooray, guitars.

Just a complete waste of a film. They could have made it fun and cool, but they went for pointless and dull.

Lastly, no one would ever believe that Denise Richards and Sean O’Bryan could be married.

0 out of 4.

Shazam!

Wham, bam, thank you maam, Shazam is crammed with ham, rams, and not giving a damn.

Since the DCEU has begun, it has looked very bleak. They have had great people to pick their movies apart to make fantastic trailers, and almost never lived up to them. The closest up to this point [coming from someone who will get around to seeing Aquaman…eventually] was Wonder Woman, which had an actual good story and visuals and felt great. Until the end where it decided it needed to go full DCEU with its final reveal/battle scene to end it pretty shitty.

But Shazam! No, they brought in Zachary Levi, and everyone knows that Levi is not serious. His face is too goofy for serious. He would need a beard for that. They are now going for a Superhero comedy. Marvel has those, and people like Marvel.

DC wants that Marvel money, damn it, so they are going to start with their former Captain Marvel himself.

Spark
And this time he´s also part Storm!

Billy Baston (Asher Angel) is your typical foster kid. He is mad at the world, he wants to find his real mom, and thinks it is easy to not care about the regular stuff in life, like school, homework, or bath time.

Long story short, Billy is found to be pure of heart by some ancient Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) and given some ancient Greek magical powers once he says the words Shazam! And he also becomes an adult (Zachary Levi), strong, and all of the basic super hero stuff.

His foster brother (Jack Dylan Grazer) also knows the truth about his new powers, and given his comic book knowledge, is there to help him through this change. Can they use these powers for good? Where are the villains?

It turns out the villain is Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), who has a kid was given the power but failed the test. This made him lose his family and since then he has spent his life looking for them, gaining wealth and power in the real world. He wants the power for himself, at whatever cost.

And you know, Billy just wants to find his mom, and be liked, and not care about any of this responsibility. Oh golly.

Also starring Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews, Grace Fulton, and Jovan Armand.

Drink
Got an adult body? Time to drink a lot of soda!

Shazam has a lot of heart and humor, things that seem to have been missing from the DCEU. And that extended universe has slowed, slowed down. I haven´t even seen Aquaman from last year, and Shazam is the only entry for 2019. The whole group of movies needs to rethink its existence and how to put out films that do not feel like crap on arrival (COA).

Levi is probably the perfect choice of kid in adult body and walks that line perfectly. It always brought a smile to my face and felt incredibly accurate.

The foster home was wonderful, and the sad scenes were the right level of sad. A lot of emotions in this movie.

And it still had some awkward scenes. I thought the entire intro with the kid future villain was awkward. The other dimension or whatever with the powers? It looked cheap and fake. The ending had some cool fan service and implications for the future, but also didn´t have a lot of high stakes.

Strong made an okay bad guy in this one, with the board room scene in particular being a great insight to evil.

DCEU needs to realize this was a good start in fixing its image. Not every film should be like Shazam, that would not make sense. But to balance the humor with the dark, to not just be a gross CGI fest, and all of that? Here is hoping 2020 and onward is better.

3 out of 4.