Movie Review: Shazam! Fury of the Gods

The big shame about the second Shazam installment, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is that the first movie, “Shazam”, released 3 years ago, was actually good, and received high ratings of 91%. Unfortunately, the producers for this sequel went down the typical special effects chute and created another bad action and effects movie that will probably end this franchise for good. Considering the amount of money that could have been made creating a great movie – this one is a giant blunder from all involved. Did they find it so hard to spend a solid year and write a great story and screenplay? What is this story all about, I have no idea.

The special effects are spectacular but thrown together with no connectivity, logic, or continuity. Nobody seeing this mess will know what is really going on from one insane special effects scene to the next. There are hugely growing trees, Lucy Liu riding on top of a flying dragon, giant trolls and other creatures, unicorns, explosions, people running for their lives, and for some unknown reason – Helen Miren? What is she doing in this bad action movie? How much was she paid to take this big a hit on her acting career? When will the people in charge learn that just because of “name recognition” from a previous movie, does not mean that corners can be cut, starting with a major multi-million dollar film having no good screenplay and no story?

The same actors reprise their roles from the previous movie, with most of them having much smaller roles, including Zachary Levi, Adam Brody, Djimon Hounsou, Meagan Good, Grace Caroline Currey. Lucy Lui and Helen Miren for some reason read this script and decided to join the cast.

The ratings for this bad sequel is a correctly low 54% and I agree with this number and rate this movie, which probably has ended a promising franchise, as a big pass.

Movie Review: Living

One of the 10 Oscar-nominated movies for 2022 was the movie “Living”. The star of this film, Bill Nighy was rightfully nominated for best actor. The good news about Living is that it is an actual, normal, rather old-style movie. It has a screenplay, a plot, a story, a beginning, middle, and end, and an actual important message about life. Considering some of the insane movies that came out in 2022, it was good to see a normal film be both nominated and appreciated for its quality.

The story of Living is about the necessity of human beings to get up in the morning, go to work (no matter how much they hate their jobs), and then make a living. Living anywhere costs money, buying food, having a car, health costs, and education. It is staggering how much so many things that are considered basic necessities of life, actually cost. It should not be this way, but it is – it’s called Living. The main message of this very good movie is all about the realities of time, the day-by-day repeating grind, and what all of us have to do in this life to survive.

The main character of this story Mr. Williams, played by Bill Nighy, is a dedicated civil servant who works in a very crowded, paper-filled, and depressing office in London, in the 1950s. One of the best things about this movie is the extremely stark depiction of real-life of working in a crowded office, sitting down all day surrounded by huge stacks of papers. In the 1950s, long before the invention of desktop computers and laptops the clutter and piles of paper are overwhelming.

From some flashbacks, Mr. Williams lost his wife some time ago, but life goes on, he still must make a living. There is no escape from his job, just because his wife died. There are references throughout this story about how time seems to fly by, because of necessity that includes the repeated ritual of sitting in the same office all day, making money so you can survive.

Halfway through this story, Williams receives a terminal Cancer diagnosis and realizes that because his time on Earth is so short, sitting in an office, waiting to die is no longer an option. Mr. Williams takes time off work and tries to understand the meaning of the remaining days of his life, including getting a playground built in a lot adjacent to the office building where he works.

A secondary story involves a light romantic relationship that Williams has with a much younger employee in his office, but due to the major age difference, nothing comes from this relationship other than a friendship. For me, the main message in this story is that once you know you have a very limited number of days to live, the mundane repeated rituals of making money – become meaningless very quickly.

I thought the acting throughout this film is outstanding, starting with Bill Nighy, whose very calm and subtle portrayal gave him a very deserved best actor nomination.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this film is a very high 96% and I agree with this number and highly recommend this movie.

Hulu Movie Review: Triangle of Sadness

The year 2022 hopefully will not mark a new trend in the movie industry where disgusting, terrible, and stupid will be considered something that is either artistic or good. One of the 10 nominated movies for 2022 is “Triangle of Sandness”, and only because it was on Hulu, I was able to finally see this film. In summary, this movie is garbage, almost as bad as Babylon – that as I predicted was out of the theaters very quickly and did lose money. It makes absolutely no sense that a movie this bad could ever be nominated for any movie award, much less the best picture Oscar.

The story is about some rich people on a boat, there is a storm, and because of all the swaying and rocking of the boat, just about everybody who is having dinner vomits all over the dining room. Nonstop, sometimes projectile vomiting, pretty much everybody. Then there are scenes of people, especially one woman who is vomiting over a toilet bowl, and then, because of the constant rocking, she falls to the side of the bathroom and then rolls around in her own vomit. This is supposed to be entertainment of some kind? Then as the storm gets worse, all the toilets overflow, and we can all guess the nightmare of sewage that follows. Then the boat has an explosion and several people have washed ashore on some island. There are arguments between a maid who worked on the boat, her Captain, and some of the passengers. This is essentially the movie – that was voted one of the 10 best of the year. The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this horrific mess is only 71%, way too high for a film this bad.

God knows why Woody Harelson took a small role in this very bad movie. There are no other well-known actors in this embarrassment.

What is going on in 2022? A new and rapid downward trend of different and very bad being considered good. All we can all hope is that this is the last year of this very bad series of movies.

My rating for Triangle of Sadness is 10%, and a recommendation that this movie is never seen again, anywhere