The Worst Of Grindelwald’s Crimes Is That This Movie Exists!

Oh man this movie. The first Fantastic Beasts movie wasn’t perfect, but it was fun, and it expanded the Wizarding World in some interesting ways, but Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald flushes that all down the toilet. It takes a fun, wonderous, and exciting world and makes it sad, muddled, and boring.

In the Crimes of Grindelwald, Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escapes from wizard jail, so he can kill babies and talk to people. Sooo much talking, and it is not just Grindelwald who talks to everyone, everyone wants to hunker down and chat about ‘serious’ things. Oh yeah, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his beasts are here from time to time.

The Crimes of Grindelwald feels like the middle part of a long book where they are introducing new characters and growing old ones, so that the climax will have more meaning. The problem is that they don’t really have time for any of that in this movie, so people just kind of show up and we are supposed to care about them, and then nothing happens and the movie ends because they don’t have time for the climax either.

It was also strange that they replaced Newt with Grindelwald as the protagonist of the film. Newt is just trying to find Tina (Katherine Waterston) and doesn’t really care that much about what is happening until he is forced to. Which means we are forced to watch Jonny Depp growl and snarl his way through dialog as he executes his ‘plan’.

There are so many things wrong with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald that I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. It is a real shame too because Edie Redmayne is still great as Newt, and he is a cool character. Had this movie continued to focus on him and his beasts, Warner Bros probably would have had another hit on its hands, but instead we are getting the dark, grim and worst of all boring prequel to the fun stories about The Boy Who Lived. Unlike the babies in this movie. They died.

Give Us A Chance!

It is hard to believe that Us is only the second movie that Jordan Peele has written and directed. He is already proving himself to be a master, and he has once again used the horror genre to shine a light social issues without being preachy. This time the focus shifts more to classism instead of racism, but not completely. However, if you are in the theater for thrills instead of sociology lessons, never fear, Us has them in spades.

Us is about a family on vacation at their summer home in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, CA, but instead of rest and relaxation, they are attacked by murderous doppelgangers of themselves. They will struggle to survive and keep to their family alive.

The first two thirds of Us are just about perfect. The building sense of dread, and the initial attack, but it falters a bit at the end. It explains the in universe origins of the doppelgangers a little too much. Horror works best as a nightmare with no explanation needed. Because once you start explaining things and adding logic to them it invites the minds of the viewers to start picking at the movie as well. Making the flaws a little more apparent, but honestly that is a nitpick. The film is fantastic otherwise.

The best part of Us is the performances. With each actor having two roles to play, and all of them doing a great job, but Lupita Nyong’o is the real standout. She manages to play off of herself brilliantly. Which I am guessing is not super easy to do. Elisabeth Moss gives a very fun performance as well. She was clearly having a lot of fun making this movie.

Us delivers chills and thrills a plenty, and quite a few good laughs. With just a small helping of social commentary. Like they say, “A spoonful of colored corn syrup helps sociology go down.” I can’t wait to see what Jordan Peele has next. If his first two movies are anything to go by it will be chilling and thought provoking.

Shazam! Teaches DC The Importance Of Fun And Family!

Somehow here in the year 2019 DC has released a “Shazam!” movie. With this film, DC and Warner Bros are really testing if audiences are willing to see minor heroes make their way to the silver screen. Now to be fair, Shazam was in theaters before. Albeit he was then known as Captain Marvel (no, not that Captain Marvel), and that was nearly 80 years ago, so your grandparents may remember him if you alert them to the name change. Despite all that, Captain Marvel “Shazam!” is the best movie beginning to end so far of the new DCEU.

“Shazam!” like most superhero movies is about an orphan, but what makes this movie different is that he is still fourteen. You see an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou in his second Captain Marvel movie of the year) needs a champion to protect the world from the Seven Deadly Sins, but when things go south, he needs to settle on a troubled foster kid name Billy Batson (Asher Angel). When Billy says the wizard’s name, Shazam, he is transformed in to the perfect man. Who in this case is Zachary Levi.

If this makes you think the movie is a little like Big, but with superheroes, you would be right. Though, that would be unfair to “Shazam!” because it makes the most of its premise. Because while the trailers show that this film is funny, they don’t show all the heart, and its focus on the importance of family. Whatever that looks like. In this case a group home that Billy is placed in, and the movie is at its best when Billy/Shazam is with his foster brother Freddy Freeman played by Jack Dylan Grazer. The three leads have great chemistry. The rest of the family is very good too, but they are there mostly filler.

The villains on the other hand are not as good. Mark Strong’s Doctor Sivana is not given anybody to really play off for his scenes, so he falls a little flat, though I think his story pays off really well at the end. Also, the Sins are CGI characters that push the budget for this movie a little too much, so they stand out in a bad way, and they make the movie too creepy for younger children. Otherwise, this probably could have been a PG movie, but these are minor flaws in a great movie.

Wonder Woman would have been perfect if it had found a way to have a third act without a big grey thing to fight, and “Shazam!”‘s third act pays off the movie’s themes in a creative way, so while Wonder Woman is a better movie in parts, “Shazam!” is better as a whole. What I am saying is, “Shazam!” is probably the best movie in the DCEU and you should see it. Maybe take your grandparents, it might bring back some memories.

They Are Actually Making A Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2?!

There is not really a lot to gather from this trailer. Mostly that Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is a go, but other than that, there is no gameplay or real story shown here. Just that they are shooting to release in early 2020, and that it clearly takes place in Seattle. What is also interesting is that at the end video it says it is coming to “Xbox” not Xbox One, so I am guessing they are hoping for this to be a launch “window” game for the new console. Though it does say it is coming to PS4, so maybe I am just reading too much in to it. Either way, I will be looking forward for this in Q1 2020.

Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom Is Dumb

Some movies don’t deserve to be reviewed. Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom is one of those movies. I am not sure what happened with this movie, but oh man this movie dumb. The plot is dumb, the dialog is dumb, all the character “motivations” are dumb, and whoever thought that a manor basement was a better location than an island is dumb, but even more than that, my mind is still struggling with a dinosaur aiming gun. WHY NOT JUST SHOOT THE PERSON WITH THE @#$%ING GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

In conclusion, don’t watch Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom. It isn’t even the fun dumb, or so bad it is good. It just isn’t worth your time, and Universal should feel bad for releasing it.