Tag: review

Shazam!

Here’s Our Review & Sneak Peek of ‘SHAZAM!’

Okay, this movie is way better than it had any business being.

I was not expecting a lot, especially after the forever lingering sting of Joss Whedon’s Justice League (Yes, I do believe that Zack Snyder’s film was basically redone), and the seemingly beginner’s-luck-success of James Wan’s epic Aquaman (which I legitimately enjoyed). However, DC has done right with bringing us Director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! 

(Some spoilers ahead)

 

Billy Batson spent his entire childhood searching for his biological mother, and has landed in countless foster homes along the way. His latest detour finds him in the care of a family that he actually grows to love. He will have to protect his new family, and the world, against a villain who wants to steal and abuse the abilities bestowed upon him amidst a centuries old crisis.

 

Asher Angel
IMAGE VIA DC COMICS MOVIE.COM

 

Asher Angel and Zachary Levi as Billy Batson/Shazam have an unusually good consistency in their joint performance. Angel nails the angsty yet kind-hearted teen act, while Levi effortlessly portrays an excited version of the same teen who can transform into an alpha-body-builder physique equipped with magical powers at will.

Shazam!’s emotional beats are the kind you’ve come to respect as the only redeemable qualities of DC’s movies. There are moments where the characters’ emotional honesty and vulnerability really stand out among the jokes and punches. For the sake of huge spoilers, I must keep silent, but you will find yourself surprised each time you arrive at the film’s more dramatic moments.

 

Shazam Gary Frank
IMAGE VIA GARY FRANK

 

The stakes are simultaneously low and high. It never feels as though the world is in any danger, but the intensity increases as the people that Billy has come to love become more and more at risk. The comedic moments are also so well placed that it never feels as though they stand out unnecessarily. The jokes in general are real good too, and never feel forced.

Now, the key to DC’s recent successes, including Shazam!, are likely due to adapting the comics written by super-star writer, Geoff Johns. Many of Johns’s Aquaman arcs were adapted for James Wan’s film, and the same is true of Shazam! Fortunately for DC, the writer’s comic book contributions are endless, and that means more successful adaptations should be on their way.

 

 

Featured Image Via Warner Bros.

Stephen King Loves Books

Stephen King Calls This Gritty Debut A Masterpiece

Gabriel Tallent’s debut novel My Absolute Darling was released on Tuesday, August 29th, and the lit world is collectively losing its mind. 

 

Since the suspicious drowning of her mother, fourteen year old Turtle Alveston has been isolated by her father Martin, a charismatic and sociopathic survivalist convinced the world is due for a large-scale ecological disaster. An expert markswoman already, Turtle freely roams the northern California coast for miles through woods, creeks, and tide pools, while her social existence is confined to her middle school and abusive home life. My Absolute Darling tells the story of an emotionally reserved heroine determined to save herself.

 

My Absolute Darling has captured all the attention the literary world has to offer.

 

My Absolute Darling

 Image Courtesy of WSPU

 

Stephen King offered his unsolicited endorsement of the novel, his blurb reading “the word ‘masterpiece’ has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one.” Considering King has a ‘guilt table‘ of books awaiting his critique, this is really something! 

 

King’s praise continues, “it’s a first novel and he’s got everything working. When I read it the first thing I thought was, I couldn’t do this, and I’ve been doing it for 40 years. There are books we like well enough to recommend, but there are a very few… that we remember forever. To my own shortlist I can now add My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent…This book is ugly, beautiful, horrifying, and uplifting.”

 

It’s not just King who is going wild for Tallent’s novel. He’s been raking in praise from all sides. Get a load of these endorsements: 

 

“With its unconventional heroine and unflinching portrayal of an abused girl’s fight to save herself, “My Absolute Darling” seems poised to become the breakout debut of the year,” says Alexandra Alter from the New York Times.

 

Phil Klay, whose story collection Redeployment won the National Book Award, described it as “one of those books where you start reading and you can’t stop. Every scene in this astonishing novel packs so much tension, so much insight, such beautiful prose and such masterful handling of detail, I simply could not stop reading.”

 

Celeste Ng, New York Times-bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You said it was “impossible to put down… a heartrending debut that will shock, then shake, then inspire you”.

 

Joanna Cannon from The Times (London) took to Twitter to followers to pick up “one of the most important books you will ever have the opportunity to read,” before going into more detail on a thread of replies. “We read for so (so) many different reasons: to be entertained, amused, intrigued, to be taken away from the place in which we find ourselves. But, for me, the most memorable – and the most valuable – stories are the ones that challenge me. This book has challenged me like no other. It’s almost certainly the darkest book I have ever read, but it was a story I COULD NOT LEAVE. It’s a masterpiece. A work of art on a page.”

 

“There’s no shortage of things to admire in My Absolute Darling,from NPR, calling it “a devastating and powerful debut from a writer who’s almost certain to have a wonderful career ahead of him”.

 

Gabriel Tallent

Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

 

“Our generation’s next beloved literary heroine….this is one of the most important books you’ll pick up this decade.” —Harper’s Bazaar

 

“My Absolute Darling is a novel that readers will gulp down, gasping…Tallent [is a] prodigiously talented new writer.” —The Washington Post

 

“A gripping introduction to a seriously brave little girl… My Absolute Darling is an affecting read but also an important one.” — USA Today

 

“A major American debut that incorporates psychological realism of the highest order, juxtaposed with nature writing that at times is so lyrical, you might as well be reading poetry.” — The Houston Chronicle

 

“Extraordinarily unsettling and ambitious…an amazing debut.” — The San Francisco Chronicle

 

“Brilliant and terrifying, told in expansive, wild and bold prose…Reading this book is like watching an electrical storm, both beautiful and dangerous.” — The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 

“Explosive…There are many elements of this story we would rather not believe — all so convincingly rendered that we can’t help but believe them.” — The Boston Globe

 

“The year’s must-read novel…Tallent in this debut makes an old story — the drama of coming of age — feel original and full of youthful power.“ — The Times (London)

 

The praise goes on and on and on, and we can’t wait to see what the very aptly named Tallent does next. 

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Prezi.

Feature image of Daenerys's ships sailing to Dragonstone.

Game of Thrones Can Get Confusing, but Ozzy Man Is Here to Help

With so many characters hatching schemes, even diehard “Game of Thrones” fans can get lost. Luckily, Ozzy Man has got us covered. Take a look at his hilariously understated, rapid fire recap and review of last week’s episode.

 

 

Here’s one of our favorite quotes: “[Samwell Tarly] discovers Jorah Mormont is in the sick bay. It’s got to be so hard not to pick all of those scabs.” Seeing the return of Jorah was wonderful, even if it was only his scabby arm.

 

Picture of Jorah Mormont showing off his sickly, blistered arm.

Image courtesy of Daily Express

 

New episodes of “Game of Thrones” come out Sundays 9pm EST on HBO.

 

Featured image courtesy of The Independent