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Shazam!
Fury Of The Gods

Director – David F. Sandberg – 2023 – US – Cert. – 130m

***1/2

Three Daughters of Atlas enter present day Philadelphia to repossess a staff which contains power that has been stolen from them; immature teenager recast as adult superhero Shazam! and his six superhero companions must stop them – out in UK cinemas on Friday, March 17th

Something of an oddity in the DC Comics canon, Shazam! concerns Philadelphia teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who inadvertently absorbs superpower energy which enables him to transform into the adult superhero Shazam! (Zachary Levi) by merely uttering the word “Shazam!” However, despite the adult physique, he still thinks like a teenager. Outside of superhero life, he is one of seven orphans who, since the end of the original Shazam! (David F. Sandberg, 2019), have had the same thing happen to them. So, seven children, seven superheroes. And their two put-upon foster parents, Rosa and Victor Vásquez (Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews).

To be honest, I could take or leave the title character (as played by teenager Angel and adult Levi) but the other kids are likeable enough at least to the extent that their characters are fleshed out here… and some are fleshed out far more than others in the narrative.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

The Personal History
Of David Copperfield

Director – Armando Ianucci – 2019 – UK – Cert. PG – 119m

***

What the Dickens? A Victorian recalls his life from birth to middle age and the many people he encountered along the way – on VoD in June

The mid-19th century novel The Personal History Of David Copperfield is considered Charles Dickens’ masterpiece. Narrated in the first person by the eponymous David, it tells of one man’s life from birth through a series of adventures and encounters with a motley crew of relatives, friends and associates that seem to span the social breadth of Victorian England.

To cut the novel’s tale down to a manageable movie length, director Ianucci and his co-writer Simon Blackwell have dumped certain characters and subplots to focus on others. As with the director’s previous outing The Death Of Stalin (2017), the final film half works yet is beset by strange casting choices – actors playing Russians sporting a variety of English dialects in Stalin, various BAME actors playing roles that aren’t always entirely believable in terms of their ethnicity in Copperfield. That includes the film’s lead Dev Patel, who plays David convincingly as a wide-eyed innocent… [Read more]

The Personal History Of David Copperfield is out in the UK on Friday, January 24th.… Read the rest