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MOVIE REVIEWS: Shazam! and Pet Sematary

VVNG- Shazam! – Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel

When I was a teen, I used to ask for things like baggy pants, skater shoes, and to get my portrait taken at the indoor swap meet. Boy, was I dumb! Why da heck didn’t I ask for superpowers? Imagine being a kid and all of a sudden gaining powers like super-speed, super-strength, and the ability to fly. If that would have happened, people would have stopped focusing on my acne and started admiring my glorious muscles. Well, there’s no need to imagine anymore. Instead, you can just go watch this hilarious movie about a 14-year-old who can transform into a superhero by saying…. SHAZAM! That way you can see exactly what would happen if you would have received the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury, when you were a youngster, instead of a burnt CD containing all of the greatest Smash Mouth hits.

Even though this is a superhero flick, it is primarily a comedy. It made me and the audience laugh more than a few times. Zachary Levi is great as the magical hero, and his sidekick Fredy (played by Jack Dylan Grazer) is absolutely hilarious and probably the best part of the movie. The bad guy and his evil partners are kind of lame and don’t really wreak the havoc they promised they would wreak. However, the main story about a foster kid who has always been on his own, and now has to learn how to allow himself to be loved, while dealing with his newfound powers, is great. It also has a surprise in the third act that had a lot of people in the theater cheering. I recommend you check this out on the big screen, you are sure to have a blast watching this lighthearted flick that is not afraid to be silly or make fun of itself.

The Rating: “Checky Seal of Approval!”

Official Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us — it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In 14-year-old Billy Batson’s case, all he needs to do is shout out one word to transform into the adult superhero Shazam. Still a kid at heart, Shazam revels in the new version of himself by doing what any other teen would do — have fun while testing out his newfound powers. But he’ll need to master them quickly before the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana can get his hands on Shazam’s magical abilities.

Pet SemataryJason Clarke, John Lithgow, Jeté Laurence

The day either one of my dogs leaves me to go to doggo heaven, will undoubtedly be a horrible day and I will turn into a complete and utter hot mess. If someone comes along and offers me the opportunity to resurrect my doggy, I would be tempted to follow his instructions… But only for a quick second! I have seen too many zombie movies to do something as stupid as raising the dead! And that’s just what the characters did in this movie… Something stupid, something that could have and should have been avoided, and they did it in a slow and boring way too.

Besides having characters making frustrating choices, the movie also throws in a whole lot of horror movie tropes into the mix that are never fully fleshed out. There are useless ghosts, sinister hauntings, vengeful spirits, jump scares you see coming miles away, evil children, and evil animals in the flick. It is very disappointing that despite having all of these plot elements in the movie, everything still felt empty… Wait, I meant SOUL-LESS (ha). The little girl that comes out and turns evil, is great, and I didn’t mind watching her part of the story. She and the cat (that also turns evil) are the best parts of this movie. Unfortunately, it is not a good enough reason to have resurrected this story in the first place.

The Rating: “Checky Stamp of Disappointment!”

Official Synopsis: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbour Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.

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