We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word–SHAZAM!–this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart–inside a ripped, godlike body–Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
Shazam is one of my favorite films of 2019. Zachary Levi is fantastic as Shazam and all of the kids in the film are spot on. Only time will tell, but depending on re-watchability, Shazam! could land in my top ten superhero films of all time. This one is my Blu-Ray pick of the week and one to grab in stores.
This one might be the biggest surprise of 2019 for me (thus far, of course). It is a very pleasant surprise as Shazam is one hell of a flick. If DC can accomplish more of the same, the future feels just a bit brighter. At the very least, Shazam will keep you entertained throughout.
Alita: Battle Angel
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez really tried to raise the bar with visual effects and for the most part, they succeed. Alita: Battle Angel suffers from new, overrated sports car syndrome. It’s new, shiny and amazing to look at, but what’s under the hood doesn’t always justify the sticker price. Go out and rent Alita from your local Redbox or preferred streaming service. It’s fun but instantly forgettable.
If I could describe this one using one word it would be weird. Scott put it perfectly in his take. This one is cool to look at and can be fun at times, but that’s about it.
BREAKTHROUGH is based on the inspirational true story of one mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. When Joyce Smith’s adopted son John falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope seems lost. But as John lies lifeless, Joyce refuses to give up. Her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for John’s recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction. From producer DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven) and adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte (Seven Pounds) from Joyce Smith’s own book, BREAKTHROUGH is an enthralling reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle.
Here we go again. Breakthrough is a cheaply produced film designed for church groups looking to scoop up tickets. It’s not that I’m against movies centered around miracles and religion, hell, I sat through a couple God Is Not Dead movies. My problem centers around shoddy production value hiding behind a preachy narrative. This one is an easy pass for me.
My wife absolutely wants to see this one because of what’s her name from that show. I am desperately avoiding the day when it happens. May I should just WORK a lot more and wait for the day when she tells me she couldn’t wait any longer to watch it. Good plan, Steve.
Hellboy is back, and he’s on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola’s seminal work, this action packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour, “Stranger Things”) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil series), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.
What a mess. You have to feel for David Harbour. Fresh off his star-making turn as Hopper in Stranger Things, he follows it up with this dud. Currently sitting at an obscene 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, Hellboy asks one simple question. Why? Did the producers of this film think they were going to make a better film than Guillermo del Toro? This version just ups the gore quotient and makes you want to go home and re-watch the original. Just. Walk. Away.
Hellboy is absolutely in discussion for the worst flick of the year. I don’t know anyone that said they were eagerly anticipating this one. If they did they were too ashamed to admit it. Don’t invest any of your hard-earned cash in this one. You are so very welcome. Oh and if you can’t follow my directions and you have Amazon Prime, just wait for 7/23 and it will ALREADY be available then.
Okay class, what did we learn this week? My pick of the week is Shazam. Go rent Alita: Battle Angel. Stay the hell away from Breakthrough. Last and certainly least, forget that a Hellboy reboot even exists. Next week we have Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in Long Shot and something called Ugly Dolls. Have a great week you filthy animals.
This is an easy week for recommendations. Shazam is your easy choice. That’s the only one that I would tell you to make the effort to watch. Alita? Meh, if it’s a rainy day and it’s the 1am showing in your casa. Oh, and I will talk to Scott and let him know that it’s 2019 in America and we can also get our flicks all-digitally. Yay! Until next week, enjoy some of our shows on The CineSportsTalk Radio Network on Spreaker, Spotify, Castbox, iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite shows!