Brightburn Review

Relatively spoiler free review here – though if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the film.

This is a Superman film for a post/during-Trump world, one that’s seen the rise of populism and the far right over the last few years, a nihilistic film that holds out no real promise for us. I don’t mean it’s promoting any of those ideas – it’s not – but it can be read as a miserable take on the Superman origin which, arguably, can be seen as a reflection of the times we live in.

This is almost an Elseworlds Superman story – a baby is found in a spacecraft by a childless Kansas couple and raised into a 12 year old, happy go lucky kid who’s a little odd – he’s intelligent and intense and doesn’t mix well with other kids – but is otherwise normal. Until, that is, the craft he arrived in sends out some subconscious command that he take the world. Soon after that, he’s developing a standard set of powers (super speed, heat vision, flight) but rather than fight for truth, justice and the American way, he’s using them for his own ends.

The film’s quite predictable and holds no real surprises in terms of plot . . . but it is sort of interesting when viewed as a film of the current times. Is this the Superman film this generation, this time deserves? If Kal-El had arrived in that spaceship twelve years ago and looked at the world now, would he behave like this, despite the loving family he grew up with? It’s hard to answer that as the film puts a fair bit of emphasis on the spaceship waking up and triggering him; had that not happened, maybe things would have been different. It’s not brilliant, but it was interesting.

As Mrs Earth-Prime said as we left the screen, “Was that film made by Lex Luthor?”

Avengers: Endgame (Sort Of) Review

Art by Axel Medellin at https://axelmedellin.tumblr.com/

Mrs Earth-Prime and I saw Avengers: Endgame this morning/afternoon and there’s a LOT going on in that film . . . and all of it is done really, really well.

I’m not going to do a full review as it would be difficult to discuss without spoilers (and I hate spoilers) but suffice to say, if you thought Avengers: Infinity War was good, you should love Endgame.

Go see it – hopefully you won’t be disappointed.

Hellboy Review

Spoiler free post here – unless you count the fact that the movie stinks as a spoiler.

If you’ve read THE WILD HUNT then you know much of what to expect in this latest Hellboy film. And if you enjoyed THE WILD HUNT, you will likely be disappointed by this film.

Credit where it’s due, David Harbour looks the part but then most people would under that amount of make-up. Ian McShane looks mostly bored throughout and the rest of the cast are forgettable, there to deliver a handful of lines peppered with F-words that are supposed to make you laugh, but fail throughout. The first trailer was criticised for focusing on the humour – I only wish that had carried over into the film.

It’s a mess: bogged down with exposition, moving from one CGI-heavy fight scene to another, with a tired, old seen-it-all-before ending where the protagonist is brought back from the brink by a timely pep talk.

It would be easy to blame director Neil Marshall – and Cthulhu knows I blame him for The Descent and Doomsday . . . Dog Soldiers was great but after that, it’s all been downhill – but nothing really works here. It’s just a mess of disappointing scenes bundled together.

The first Hellboy was great and even though Hellboy II: The Golden Army wasn’t brilliant, it was still much, much better than this offering.

You get two strong right hands, Hellboy, but only just.

Shazam! Review

A spoiler free review here for you, folks, so fear not.

Young Billy Batson is an orphan with a persistent habit of running away from foster homes before he ends up in his last chance home with loving and understanding foster parents and five other foster kids. Chief among them is Freddy, a wise-cracking, self-professed superhero expert and, while Billy tries not to get attached, he can’t help himself defending Freddy when the local bullies torment him. Billy runs and ends up being transported to the Rock of Eternity where the wizard Shazam grants him his powers to save the world from the Seven Deadly Sins that have been released by Dr Sivana.

Billy gets back to the real world and confides in Freddy that he has powers; Freddy’s response is to film Shazam testing those powers, uploading the clips to the net and basking in the views. Eventually, though, Sivana comes calling, wanting Shazam’s powers for himself. Cue various fights before the big finale where Shazam gets some help from some others and – no real surprise – defeats the bad guy.

Story-wise it’s not a great deal more than that, but that’s not saying it’s bad by any means. Most of the main characters have enough screen time; Rosa and Victor (the foster parents) seem to genuinely like their rag-tag family of kids; and the leads of Billy, Freddy and the adult Shazam are clearly having a blast – the last two particularly.

And it’s funny, too – not belly achingly hilarious, but enough to make me smile and chuckle plenty of times throughout; the big villain speech scene towards the end was great, for example. It’s clear that with this, Zack Snyder’s grimdark version of the DCU has finally been laid to rest, and not a moment too soon.

A little slow in some places, and a little too long in others, it’s still a fun film so gets three lightning bolts out of five.