Hey there everyone—by now you must all be in the thick of holiday preparations…gift-buying and all that sort of thing, I’m sure? You’ll be happy to note that there are a couple of nice flicks new at the theater, just in time to help take that edge off: Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Second Act are hitting theaters. Check it out!
Alright! DC Movies puts its best asset up front and center as much as possible, so you’ll see a lot of Shirtless Jason Momoa. Which is nice, because he makes a very nice god (to look at, that is). You’ll see a lot of sea battles, each of which last about two minutes. You’ll see entirely new species of people, such as the Crustacean people, and the Fish people, again for all of two minutes, so you can see them in a battle. Entire new worlds are created and destroyed all for your viewing pleasure. Yeah! The biggest chunk of the budget probably went to keeping the CGI teams happy, and Jason Momoa wet. Seriously 🙂 Not that I’m complaining. Oh God, no… not when all this is the best part of the movie.
There is a story. Aquaman/ Arthur Curry (Momoa) is the son of the Atlantean queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) and Maine lighthouse keeper Tom Curry (Temeura Morrison), and he’s happy being human, until his brother King Orm (Wilson) decides to wipe out humanity for polluting the oceans. So he has to return to Atlantis and team up with Orm’s unwilling bride-to-be to get back his magical fork and claim his throne. Pretty straight-forward stuff. There is a fair amount of humor, which is nice to see after an endless line of grim DC flicks. One of the comedic highlights has to be Dolph Lundgren and Willem Dafoe discuss serious statecraft while bobbing about on goofy sea creatures.
But, as I mentioned earlier, there are serious problems with this flick. The writers have managed to cram a surprising amount of irrationalities in to the plot—the worst of which is when Mera, with all her cool powers and cooler attitude, has to step aside and install a complete dumb a** as the leader of her people. However, what I thought ultimately hobbled this feature is the lack of depth in its characters. For instance: Momoa’s certainly pretty, but his character just does not have the sort of emotional clout to hold up something of this magnitude. There’s no character depth there. The script does not help, either. Still, this nicely sets up Aquaman as another viable option for the DC universe, and so… let the sequels commence!
JLo fans have probably put this one on their calendar—so I don’t need to advise them. All others, I’m not so sure you should waste $ on this. It’s about Maya, a super store manager, who loses a well-deserved promotion to a dork who got it simply because he had a degree. Frustrated, she decides to shed her sweet image for that of a corporate climber and lands a consulting gig for a famous beauty company. The cast features JLo as Maya, Leah Remini as the best friend, Milo Ventimiglia as the boy friend, and Vanessa Hudgens as the snarky young nuisance daughter of the corporate boss (Treat Williams) Maya consults for.
The first half is lovely, but it ends up being a tease, since the ‘big reveal’ in the second half pretty much crushes any built-up momentum; all sorts of questions in the plot are left hanging, and you wind up feeling disappointed by the end. Despite it borrowing from all sorts of office-related flicks (The Office, I Feel Pretty, Working Girl), none of it helps JLo. You ‘ll still see her in the role of the peacekeeper and meek sweetie you just wish would show more bite and initiative. Oh well. Here’s hoping!
Don’t go in expecting a lot of action—you’ll be disappointed. Set in the 1980’s, the story is about Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), an eighteen-year-old woman, who’s struggling to come to grips with the death of her father. She buys a VW Beetle from the local junkyard and then discovers it’s not a car, not really. Soon she’s in the tussle between Agent Burns (John Cena) and the Decepticons, both of whom want to exterminate Bumblebee. It’s in fact a nice little flick that incorporates a bit of emotion—a bit of a relief from the usual Transformers-style feature. Not that there’s anything wrong with that franchise—it’s just that a break from the usual is nice now and then.
And that’s it for me! Have a super holiday, and see y’all next time!