‘Shazam!’ is a superhero movie for kids, and that’s a great thing

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It’s been a long time since superheroes could be dismissed as mere kid stuff, thanks to stories as intelligent as Black Panther or as disturbing as The Dark Knight or as gleefully inappropriate as Deadpool.

But lost in all the praise over how mature and thoughtful and boundary-pushing these films can be is the fact that, well, superheroes are kid stuff. Most of us first fell in love with these larger-than-life crusaders as children, over comic books or Saturday morning cartoons or family trips to the multiplex.

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Today in Movie Culture: Jordan Peele’s Guides to Horror Movies, ‘Us’ as a Superhero Movie and More

Today in Movie Culture: Jordan Peele’s Guides to Horror Movies, ‘Us’ as a Superhero Movie and More

 

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:

Genre Guide of the Day:

As his new horror movie, Us, arrives in theaters this weekend, writer/director Jordan Peele teamed up with the Wall Street Journal for a video guide to the genre of scares and iconic slashers. Find out Peele’s feelings about horror tropes, final girls, and the best scary movie villains to team-up for an Avengers of horror:

 

Film History Lesson of the Day:…

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Trump’s economic report gets loaded with fake superhero, ‘Star Wars,’ Monty Python names

A list of interns who worked on President Donald Trump's new "Economic Report of the President" includes the "real-life" names of Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America, "Monty Python" member John Cleese, and "Star Trek" character Kathryn Janeway.
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Inside Marvel’s Long Road to Finally Putting a Female Superhero Front and Center

Captain Marvel, Movie PosterWelcome to the MCU, Carol Danvers. It’s been waiting for you.
With the arrival of Captain Marvel on Friday, March 8, the 21st film in the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe…

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‘Shazam!’ Set Visit: The Superhero Inside All of Us

‘Shazam!’ Set Visit: The Superhero Inside All of Us

Superhero movies are experiencing a minor trend at the moment – the idea that anyone could or might be a super-powered hero is at the heart of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Glass, and there’s even a bit of that in Aquaman, despite Arthur Curry’s birthright. DC will continue the trend this year with Shazam!, a comedic superhero movie that deals with wish fulfillment.

Hitting theaters on April 5, Shazam! is about Billy Batson, a foster kid who is granted superpowers by a…

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‘Shazam’ Set Visit: A Different Kind of DC Superhero Movie

‘Shazam’ Set Visit: A Different Kind of DC Superhero Movie

The promise of a “standalone” movie within a greater cinematic universe can be tricky. But DC has been doing a good job with its recent “solo” superhero installments, namely Wonder Woman and Aquaman, where you can start with those movies even though their title characters were previously introduced and had significant screen time in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

With Shazam!, which opens in theaters on April 5, we get to meet a main character…

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M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ Is a Big Middle Finger to His Superhero Fans

Jessica Kourkounis/Universal Pictures

I stumbled out of Glass, the third film in the M. Night Shyamalan superhero trilogy that began with Unbreakable, suspicious that I’d just been punked. The movie’s final act, a spectacular implosion of incoherent twists and turns that hijack a functional thriller and drive it off a cliff—playing off the wreckage like a triumph, no less—felt like it had to be a prank. A morbid extension, maybe, of the movie’s meta attempts to deconstruct the superhero-movie machine that has consumed pop culture in the 19 years since Unbreakable. (“Comic books are an obsession!” a character shrieks at one point, while another narrates superhero clichés aloud as they happen, with all the grandeur and insight of lines like, “The collection of main characters!”) A fake-out for sure, pointless but preferable to the confused mess I’d seen, to be unveiled as the ultimate “twist” before the real movie hit theaters today.

But denial is just the first stage of grief and I’ve since cycled through to acceptance. This whole movie, including its catastrophic ending, is real, and they’re charging real money to see it. People who loved Shyamalan’s sterling 2000 film Unbreakable, tantalized by the surprise revelation at the end of 2017’s Split that both films take place in the same universe, will show up to see reluctant hero David Dunn (Bruce Willis), his mastermind arch-nemesis Elijah Price aka Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), and the amalgam of two-dozen split personalities known as the Horde (James McAvoy) together onscreen for the first (and last) time. Many will leave disgruntled, others bamboozled, eye-twitching and stupefied like the institution-bound title character. I left a conspiracy theorist.

Glass only muddles the ideas Unbreakable and Split surfaced about modern myth-making, trauma, and our minds’ capacities to manifest miracles. It takes its characters nowhere new. (It actively regresses one or two, in fact, insulting them before bowing out.) Shyamalan’s wicked humor, his knack for conjuring wonder and dread from the mundane, his stubborn commitment to zigging where you want him to zag—it’s all here. None of it saves Glass. It can’t seem to decide whether it’s a “fuck you” or a love letter to superhero movies and their audiences. It gestures vaguely at both, satisfying as neither. It does pull off a shock that might have been admirable as a stone-cold statement about IP-driven movie-making, except it’s executed with the lethargy of a deflating balloon, and just as devoid of meaning.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Next 3 DC Superhero Movies: ‘Shazam!,’ ‘Birds of Prey,’ ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Next 3 DC Superhero Movies: 'Shazam!,' 'Birds of Prey,' 'Wonder Woman 1984'

James Wan's highly-anticipated Aquaman has exceeded all expectations, establishing Jason Momoa as a superhero on both land and sea. The action-adventure has a light heart while dealing with serious issues, bolstered by spectacular visual effects and strong performances by Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman.

Now that Aquaman has launched successful into theaters, what's next for DC Films? We take a closer look at three of their upcoming productions.
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This Program Empowers Kids By Helping Them Create ‘Superhero’ Prosthetics | NBC Nightly News

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Black Lightning Just Did One Thing Superhero Shows Rarely Do

This interview contains spoilers for the Black Lightning Season 2 premiere, titled “The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies.” A full review will be posted later tonight.

In countless comic book movies and TV shows, cops who are tight with a superhero are usually the last to figure out their identity (unless it’s purposefully revealed to them), despite the fact that they’re supposed to follow clues and solve mysteries for a living.

The Black Lightning Season 2 premiere dismantled that trope pretty quickly, with Jefferson’s long-suffering friend and neighbor, Bill Henderson, finally figuring out Jefferson Pierce’s secret and confronting him over his deception. It’s a heartbreaking moment, seeing the trust between the two men shatter after decades of friendship, and star Cress Williams tells IGN it’ll be a long road back for Jeff and Bill – if their bond can be repaired at all.

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