Weekly Watchlist: Week 5

On this edition of Weekly Watchlist, an overwhelmed editor works through his backlog, and Eduardo might as well call this “the superhero edition” considering that he watched 11 superhero movies.

I’ve been on a s**t ton of student film sets this semester and these past 2 weeks were fairly busy for me so I didn’t have as much time to watch as many films unfortunately. AlsoRIP Stan Lee; you created a childhood for a lot of people. Not gonna lie though, I’m gonna go back to watching normal movies not filled with action and spandex outfits for a while. Anyways, here’s what I watched this time around.

Friday (4.5.19)

Shazam! (2019) – 2.5/5

  • Score was ass; the acting was the trashiest of trash. The cheap dialogue accompanied by the weak subplots almost ruined it completely. I guess it was really more for kids with adult jokes here and there. Zachary Levi did wonderful and was a great casting choice that saved the movie but other than him, I was thoroughly disappointed

Saturday (4.6.19)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – 4.5/5

  • A fun time viewing this and one of the MCUs most stylistic film but groot probably didn’t have to die ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ they honestly could’ve figured something out but oh well

Sunday (4.7.19)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – 2.5/5

  • Not much to say about this one; wish we got to see more of Quicksilver. Not a terrible movie but not a bad one I guess?

Tuesday (4.9.19)

Raging Bull (1980) – 4/5

  • The only non-marvel movie I was fortunate enough to see. The character development is what sticks out most to me as we see De Niro’s character evolve from a boxer to a bum. Great performances with great directing; the cinematography was pretty well done but the sound design is a technical aspect that was very unique (animals sounds during fights and some experimental stuff thrown in); an overall enjoyable and good film if you don’t mind seeing chubby De Niro and hella blood

Wednesday (4.17.19)

Ant-Man (2015) – 2.5/5

  • Pretty decent and good casting with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas; not my favorite though and boring-ish at times; Luis is my fav character prob with his story rants

Wednesday (4.24.19)

Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 3/5

  • I think we all feel bad that this is titled as Captain America when it’s literally a marvel movie; this movie has more Avengers in one scene that Avengers: Age of Ultron.        ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Pretty good though and sets up Infinity War/Endgame really well.

Doctor Strange (2016) – 3/5

  • A good origin movie I think and a good cast; ending credit sets up a sequel that will be coming out within the next 2 years.

Thursday (4.25.19)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – 2.5/5

  • Honestly disappointing; it’s all about Starlord’s dad in this one and it’s not very interesting; not necessarily important either but there’s some good tunes

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 3.5/5

  • I think it’s safe to say that this might be my favorite Spider-Man but it’s hard to say. It feels way too high-schooly for me and was a severe change watching this after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and then Thor: Ragnarok. Tom Holland is great in this role though and Michael Keaton makes a great Vulture; I’m sure that Scorpion will be a villain in either Spider-Man: Far From Home or the next one after that.

Friday (4.26.19)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – 3/5

  • The best Thor movie in the trilogy and seals him as the most badass dude; nice to see more of the Hulk in this as we all know he ain’t gonna get his own solo movie ever again. Jeff Goldblum is awesome in this and I loved the director cameo.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 3.5/5

  • Had to watch this before Endgame and I’m really glad I did; it’s so pleasing to see almost every single character they’ve created in one movie. I have too much to say about this and the whole series to jam into this article.

Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 4/5

  • Honestly extremely good and a wonderful end to the 11 year movie timeline; so many subplots and beautiful moments; there was some flaws in the plot and in the film overall but this was a gift to the fans and well executed. I honestly have quite a lot to say but it’d take several several paragraphs that I don’t have time to write.

Thank you for reading along for this week; I hope these comments offer insight into your choice of what to watch and what to avoid.

Make sure to check in next week to see what I watch.

Written by: Eduardo Orozco

Is Shazam! Worth Your Time?

Shazam! is a very fun, likable, superhero film! One of the best in the DCEU!

Shazam! (not the music app on your phone) was directed by David F. Sandberg and stars Zachary Levi. The best way to describe this movie is the superhero version of Big, starring Tom Hanks. In this film, young Billy Batson is a foster child who was abandoned by his mother when he was very young, and now roams from place to place looking for his mother once again, while running off from all the foster homes who attempt to take care of him. However, he one day gets zapped away while on a subway in Philadelphia, and meets the wizard Shazam who quickly informs Billy that he needs to transfers his powers to him in order to fight an oncoming threat. When the wizards manages to do so, Billy finds that he now becomes a god like super hero whenever he yells the word “Shazam!”. Not knowing how to handle these powers, he gets help from his roommate, Freddy Freeman, who helps him test out what powers he does and doesn’t have.

Shazam! was a ton of fun! Super light hearted, very funny, and very touching. This seems to be the DCEU film with the most amount of heart and thought placed into it. I still think Aquaman is better for its technical scope and as an epic action film, but Shazam! is a better film altogether, despite its down to earth setting.

The film doesn’t really boast much visual grandeur. Instead, it simply gives the audience a good experience.

Shazam! definitely seems to be a movie that is more concerned with developing its characters and its themes rather than boasting grand action scenes with elaborate cinematography. I will say, at times I was disappointed as I wish this film could have more epic action scenes and grand shots, but I really admired the characters and the journeys they all went through. Billy Batson is a very likable character that I found myself rooting for given his snarky personality and tragic backstory. Freddy Freeman was a character I really admired as I found myself oftentimes relating to him, which was a pleasant surprise. He tries to be very funny and in your face, but ends up coming off as aggressive which is a struggle I know many kids can definitely relate to. These two characters essentially make up this entire film. The relationships Billy develops with every character, in fact, is really the bread and butter of this film. It was really fun seeing Billy Batson as “Shazam” as he does many things that a fourteen year old boy would absolutely do if he was able to transform into an adult himself. Although many of these moments are expected and even at times obvious, having the added factor of him being a super hero as well made these moments not feel tired.

After seeing this film I was able to discern a trend that seems to be going on in many Hollywood films. Many of these films disguise themselves as Hollywood blockbusters, but actually end up serving as coming of age comedies instead. The first instance I would say where I noticed this recent trend was in Spider-Man: Homecomig and Bumblebee, and Shazam! seems to follow in that trend. When I realized this is what has been happening in films recently, I initially wasn’t sure what to think. One the one hand this is a flawed concept as we go to coming of age comedies and blockbuster films on different occasions depending on the mood, but it also serves as an opportunity to present some very clever and creative stories that could potentially be interesting on a budget. Personally, I probably wouldn’t make a movie like this because I think what makes them both work are very different, but I can understand that from a business decision, this makes sense. My one hope for this trend going forward, however, is that they can manage to properly mix the tones that these movies intend to present so that it doesn’t feel uneven. That’s been my main issue with these movies so far, and that is my main issue with Shazam!. The characters and the struggles they go through are great, but it undermines the action at times. It’s almost as if the action really isn’t given a ton of time to shine, which is unfortunate. With that being said, I’m curious to see the route in which these movies will take, and I even support it.

So do I think you should See Shazam?

Yes, I absolutely think you should see Shazam! at some point if you haven’t already. I know that will be challenging as Avengers: Endgame is right around the corner, and this movie came out about a month ago, but I feel that it is at some point worth your time. The movie is an absolute delight from start to finish and I think it is a great time for all. The characters are great, the story can get very interesting and even at times dark, and the action scenes, while not spectacular, are fun and offer some fun surprises too. If you are concerned because you feel DC has never made a good movie in their own cinematic universe, I think you’ll find yourself enjoying this one. From the reviews I’ve seen, it has even the toughest of film critics cheering and on board, which is awesome!

Written by: Christian Scognamillo