Review: Shazam (2019)

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“Billy Batson, I choose you as champion.”
– The Wizard

SYNOPSIS: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM. – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam. – via IMDB

I caught this on opening weekend and have just been faffing around about publishing. This wasn’t really on my radar until Zachary Levi was cast in it, and then I was sold. I mean really? Chuck Bartowski? Beyond sold! Then it was forgotten until a few months ago and I saw the trailer, and it looked like plenty of fun. When it was released, it was legitimately the first movie in months I was willing to go to the cinema to see. Glad I did.

Shazam certainly is a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it. It is not the greatest movie of all time, but it is an easy watch. Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer have fantastic chemistry, and you can certainly tell that Levi is having a total ball. Asher Angel, too, is quite sweet as the young Billy Batson. I really liked how Victor and Rosa try to make a difference in these kids’ lives, and they seem to be such genuine, sweet people.

The third act of the movie is just a little bit too cheesy for my taste. It got a little bit too much and was a bit cringy, but not so much that it spoils the movie. I also feel that Mark Strong’s villain was very flat and generic and not really developed as much as he could have been. Also, some of the humour was most certainly geared at kids, but that isn’t really a problem because I think this is a great movie for kids.

Anyway, while Shazam has some issues, it is still amusing, and was certainly worth a watch.

Rapid Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

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kingsman poster

“The suit is the modern gentleman’s armour. The Kingsmen are the new knights.”
– Harry Hart

SYNOPSIS: A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. – via IMDB

kingsman what it iskingsman meeting

GRADE 8I was so stoked to finally get to this. Kingsman: The Secret Service got so many great reviews, and people who loved Bond loved this, so I just had to know what it was all about. British? Spies? Suits? Colin Firth? I was so in. Unfortunately, I missed it in cinemas, which sucked, but I finally got to seeing this. It has been my only break between exams, and damn it, it was a really great one! I had so much fun with this. I thought Colin Firth was absolutely brilliant here, but then, Firth is always good. He is like the epitome of British class, and I love him for it. He was so well suited here (hehehehe – just leave me and my exam brain be). Aside from him, the rest of the cast was highly entertaining, too, what with Samuel L Jackson stepping in as the odd villain, Michael Caine standing as a fancy head of a fancy, top secret institution, Mark Strong as the great technical mastermind (think Q). I enjoyed the throwbacks there were to the Bond franchises, and I have to admit that Kingsman was funny and fresh. I had so many genuinely good laughs throughout. I am so glad that the glasses were explained, because each time I saw something about this movie and saw Colin Firth in those glasses I was like “WTF”. However, it all makes sense eventually. The unknown for me in here was Taron Egerton, though I think he did a really good job with Eggsy, and I enjoyed his character. The action scenes were so exaggerated and the style in was shot and presented in was different, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it fit so well with what was going on. There was so much that was predictable (do not take that to mean boring) and then there were also places that were plain down shocking, things happening I didn’t really expect. The extreme Britishness of this movie was just so awesome, though some places didn’t seem quite as convincing as they should have, and I loved the suits that we got to see in here (because suits… come on). The costume design overall was very good (aside from the suits now). There were so many absurd moments laced throughout this movie (think McDonald’s) and there were scenes that were perfectly captured (think the church) and dialogue that got you giggling (think politicians), and bringing them all together you get a fresher comedy than we have seen in quite some time. I had such a blast with Kingsman and  highly recommend it – funny, action-filled, entertaining and well shot. What more could you possibly want from a film like this?

Rapid Review: Kick-Ass (2010)

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kick ass poster

“In the world I lived in, heroes only existed in comic books. And I guess that’d be okay, if bad guys were make-believe too, but they’re not.”
– Dave Lizewski

SYNOPSIS: Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan with a few friends and who lives alone with his father. His life is not very difficult and his personal trials not that overwhelming. However, one day he makes the simple decision to become a super-hero even though he has no powers or training. – via IDMB

kickass fuck you mr bitey

So I had never seen this, and I know that a lot of people are quite fond of it. Looking for a bit of a lame laugh the other night, I popped this one in and let me tell you, I got my money’s worth! I was astounded that the chipper lead for this film was none other than Godzilla’s wet rag, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Who knew the dude had some spark in him? I might have to reassess my opinion with some more of his work. We will see.

I loved Kick-Ass. A lot. I didn’t actually have faith that I would, but I did. I can see there are going to be a lot of haters out there, but different strokes and all. Kick-Ass was cringe-worthy more often than not and dead embarrassing at the best of times and had some real lame moments laced through it all, but most importantly, it was fun. I had a few giggles at Nic Cage, who was absolutely ridiculous in this and he knew it. I was beyond thrilled to see McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico. I think he rocks, he’s too damn sweet, and what a twit. This movie? No exception. I loved it when he was Red Mist and had that ludicrous wig on. I was wondering if he actually had a stylist that teased the hell out of his hair like that and streaked it for his nights on the town. And his Mist Mobile? Hahahaha!

kick ass and red mist being idiots

Anyway, this movie didn’t have any right to work, and I was thinking it was something like a spoof, but considering how much love it gets I thought it might not be conventional. Well, it definitely wasn’t! Dave is such an awkward dude, and I was happy to see Evan Peters (you all know I adore the guy) and Clark Duke (who is quite entertaining at times) alongside him. Chloë Grace Moretz worked very well in her role, too, and I think she was super badass. I liked that she wasn’t a sissy and stood her ground and didn’t take nonsense. Upon further reading I saw that a lot of people had issues with her character before the film because she was too young, etc. Thank goodness she was not changed! I know she cussed and killed people and was not conventionally normal, but it worked for her. Mark Strong is still such a great villain, and I enjoyed the dash of cheese that was laced through his character. I actually think the whole cast was right, they all brought something to the screen with them.

This was hilarious at the best of times, and I can see that I am going to go back and watch this a few times. There are no epic back stories and intense losses or anything like that, just a kid who decided he was going to be a superhero because he could. But seriously, dude, that outfit?! What were you thinking?! I can’t explain why this silly movie worked so well for me, but I loved it. It was a breath of fresh air!