One of the most family friendly and outright entertaining superhero features of the year, “Shazam!” is a movie that will appeal to children of all walks of life. It’s a movie that promotes the power of family, promotes the appeal of adopted families, and explores the effects of bullying and toxic masculinity. “Shazam!” is one of the bigger surprises of 2019 as the DCEU keeps delivering on entertaining and bright action features that spotlight the lesser explored and rarely discovered characters from the DC Comics stable.
There aren’t many very good video game-to-movie adaptations out there, but “Silent Hill” manages to stray from the video game to movie curse by embracing what makes the classic games so entertaining while also telling its own tale. It’s a shame that “Silent Hill” never became a full fledged horror movie franchise, as Christophe Gans’ adaptation of the classic video game allows for a visually stunning horror thriller that spooks in all of the right places.
Spider-Man entrance in to the MCU has been a god send as Marvel had managed to touch on areas of the character that we haven’t seen before, while also fleshing out much if his universe and world. After the epics of “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame,” Jon Watts’ “Far from Home” is a nice detour in to the MCU where the studio is able to book end their biggest event thus far. Closing out phase three of the MCU, “Far From Home” is a vastly superior film to “Homecoming” that benefits from the lack of Iron Man, believe it or not.
Before 1994 our only real animated Spider-Man fix was the 1981 series “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Intent on rethinking the Spider-Man mold for the nineties, FOX forked over a ton of money to New World Corporation (and then Saban) to create Spider-Man: The Animated Series. With a completely different animation style, and small uses of computer animation, “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” premiered in 1994 with the episode “Night of the Lizard” and managed to take off as a ratings boom for FOX in the wake of similar successes like “X-Men” and “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”
“Men in Black International” should have worked. On paper it’s a great idea for a reboot, one that doesn’t bring with it the marquee name of Will Smith and the class of Tommy Lee Jones. I respect Sony for wanting to revive the “Men in Black” franchise after so many years, and I respect them even more for side stepping the whole “21 Jump Street meets Men in Black” movie they were planning. But in the end, this new attempts to jump start “Men in Black” for a new audience is a swing and a colossal miss. Worse, it’s absolutely boring.
“Captain Marvel” is one of the most popular contemporary Marvel superheroes and Marvel has taken advantage of the popularity of Carol Danvers, using her to pivot us in to the new generation of Marvel Cinematic Offerings. Captain Marvel is being tailored as the new leader that one that helps Marvel’s superheroes charge in to battle. Much in the vein of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s origin film will prove to appreciate in cinematic value, especially with Brie Larson at the helm as a powerful, and engaging cosmic heroine.
No matter what you feel about “Batman and Robin,” you can’t deny that it almost killed the comic book movie as a sub-genre. It also about killed the careers of Alicia Silverstone, Chris O’Donnell, and Uma Thurman, all of whom took years to recover. Even today with so much nostalgia and looking back on classically bad movies, “Batman and Robin” is still just bad. I understand Warner wanted kid friendly, and Joel Schumacher delivered on kid friendly, but in the process he also delivered a nigh unwatchable sequel that also killed Batman on film for years until Christopher Nolan swooped in to reboot the whole kit and caboodle.
The FOX “X-Men” movie era is officially over marked as the end with “The Dark Phoenix.” Now that Disney has absorbed FOX’s properties, there’s a strong chance we will be seeing the “X-Men” again on film and or television very soon, just not in the way FOX Studios imagined it in 2000. As an “X-Men” fanatic, I can’t say that the series delivered very much but it did offer some small nuggets that are worth appreciating. What did you think of FOX’s “X-Men” series overall?