#TheBestOfEnemies, #SHAZAM, and more – Movie Reviews

Table of Reviews

The Best of Enemies – Review

The Best of Enemies – Budget of $10 million – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Best of Enemies

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C.P. Ellis is a husband, father, friend, and proud member of the KKK.  He believes in segregation and only serves white customers at his gas stations.  His wife believes he should serve everyone because they need the money.  He has one son in a psychiatric facility and the other his failing math.  His daughter is a spit-fire, just like her mother.  Ann Atwater is a mother, friend, activist, and fighter who doesn’t like to listen.  When her daughter’s school is damaged by fire, Atwater is ready to start a fight for school integration.  Atwater says the school is uninhabitable even though the fire marshall disagrees.  The council votes against it.  That result leads the NAACP to file suit against the city.  The judge worries that his judgment, for any side, could cause him to lose the election.  But Wilbur has an idea.  He calls Bill to stage a Charrette.  Its where opposing parties sit, discuss problems, and work out solutions.  After everything has been introduced, the committee will come to a decision on each problem.  In 10 days, the co-chairs will present their results and the council must follow.  Normally, Bill’s first step is the easiest: Picking co-chairs.  But with Ann and C.P., it will be the hardest.  When they all sit down and talk, they realize they are fighting for the same thing but hoping for a different result.  They are both fighting for their children.

Based on the novel, one fact remains true in this movie, everyone just wants to be heard (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  C.P. explained it was his major reason to join the klan.  In a world of the haves and have nots, C.P. was a have-not.  Ann lives in a world of white and black, she feels discriminated against because of her race.  Both want better for themselves and their small community.  Seeing their similarities is necessary for the viewer.  While both are harsh, strong individuals, seeing their wants and needs gives them a vulnerability and compassion.  Also, its good to see the contrast between those who want segregation and those who don’t.  Not everyone on each side is the same race.  Some had their hearts change with time and others with war.  So watch this movie for the moment each of their hearts changed.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Whatever it is you do, don’t do it for me – C.P. Ellis

Why does this phone call worry me – Bill

Not yet – Ann Atwater

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Shazam! – Review

Shazam! – Budget of $80 – 100 million – 2 hours and 12 minutes

Shazam!

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After losing his mother’s whereabouts in a carnival, Billy Batson has held on to the hope that he could find her one day.  Until he finds her, he vows to run away from every foster home so they can be a family again.  His latest foster home doesn’t want him back, so his social worker places him with Victor and Rosa Vasquez.  They were foster kids so they understand how Billy feels.  Also, they have 5 other foster kids.  Mary (college applicant), Freddy (comic book lover and disabled), Eugene (video game obsessed), Pedro (very shy), and Darla (sweet, open-hearted) have all found their place in Vazquez home and feel like family.  After meeting the family, Billy is planning his next escape.  The next day, Freddy is bullied and Billy starts to walk away.  But when they trigger his rage, Billy fights back.   He runs to the subway to escape.  Soon, lights are flashing, strange symbols are everywhere, and windows are fogging up.  The doors to the train have opened and Billy sees a temple with a wizard.  Shazam normally gives the champion a test but he can’t because the 7 deadly sins have escaped.  Shazam is too weak to fight them.  So he must choose a successor now.   Billy is the only option.  So Shazam transfers his powers to Billy, making him a superhero.  While Billy enjoys the life of a superhero, Thad has 7 new friends.  Years ago, Thad failed Shazam’s test and he has been obsessed with returning to the cave.   Now, that Shazam has passed his powers on, Thad must destroy Billy and get his powers or Thad will die.

This movie is a lot funnier than the trailer would have you believe.  Also, it has a lot of heart and a deep message about what bonds a family.  Billy changes from a wide-eyed child to temperamental teen to a mature young man in less than 2 hours.  But this transition doesn’t feel rushed.  The character arch for Billy was extremely well written.  Parents, children under 10 may become frightened by the 7 deadly sins monsters.  But rest assure they will be comforted by the ending.   3D is not necessary. Never the less, IMAX is a nice option. Stay past the end credits for a few laughs.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

When did it get dark – Eugene

He didn’t mean it. It’s a game – Victor

I need to go home – Billy

Shoot him in the face – Freddy

Thanks, Officer Moron – Shazam

I’ve been really good this year – Darla

No, I got in – Mary

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Disney Dumbo – Review

Disney Dumbo – Budget of $170 million – 1 hour and 52 minutes

Disney Dumbo

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In 1919, Holt returns from the war and back into a battle.  His circus in on its last leg. The owner Max needed money so bad, he sold Holt’s horses.  Since Holt was gone, his wife succumbed to the flu, and Holt’s children couldn’t ride, Max felt horses without riders were not necessary.  Now, Holt has to find a new act.  On the other hand, Max has decided to do something he has never done before: invest.  He bought an elephant and named her Jumbo. This elephant is special because she is pregnant.  Max believe a baby elephant will bring in a lot of money.  After Jumbo Jr. is born, Max sees the baby elephant has very large ears and wants Holt to fix it.  He believes the ‘deformity’ will turn away customers.  So, Holt adds a bonnet and Baby Jumbo is put on display.  Subsequently, a circus accident leads to Jumbo Jr. being renamed Dumbo.  And horrifically, Jumbo killing a circus roadie.  Jumbo was labeled a killer elephant and Max sold her.  Max decided to keep Dumbo because Dumbo could still draw in money as a sideshow.  No one knows that Dumbo has a secret which Holt’s children, Joe and Milly, discovered.  Dumbo can use his oversized ears to fly.  When they show Max he sees dollar signs.  Joe and Milly hope they can use their new money to get Dumbo’s mom back.  Unfortunately, when Dumbo’s abilities make the mainstream paper, Vanverder sees dollar signs too.

This live-action movie tells the story of Dumbo, based on the book by the same name (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  But nothing interesting was added to the overall plot.  While the Dumbo scenes are incredible to watch, the plot was too slow.  At the core, this movie is about family bonds.  Whether is the one you were born into, like Dumbo, or the family you create, like the circus, family bonds bind the world.  This bond just takes too long and the beauty of a flying elephant just loses steam.  If you don’t have kids, wait to see it.  If you do have kids, see the matinee.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Never do what I tell you without checking with me first – Max

We make the impossible possible – Queen

I can do a handstand for almost 10 seconds – Joe

I can do it with one hand tied behind my back – Holt

Maybe I don’t need people staring at me – Milly

Cancel my dinner with the president. I got business with an elephant – Vanverder

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