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Showing posts from April, 2019

Vic Flix Movie Review: Shazam!

We enter the latest DC Comics origin story with young Thaddeus Sivana in the back seat of a car, speeding through a dark and stormy night in the year 1974. His abusive older brother and father are in the front seat, proving how abusive they can be, when Thad’s Magic 8-Ball (remember those?) starts flashing mysterious symbols and messages, ultimately causing Thad to experience a hallucination. Emerging from a mental trip to a wizard’s lair, he freaks out, startling his father, who freaks out even more and crashes the car. Thrown from the car and face down in a pool of blood, is the elder Sivana dead?   Signs point to yes. Flash forward to adult Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), who has spent his entire life searching for instances of similar, let’s call them abductions, and occurrences of the seven mysterious symbols throughout the world. We quickly come to understand that he has become evil. Much like wealthy Bruce Wayne, he runs a shadow organization that covers for his secret i

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Us

A good science fiction movie asks us to suspend disbelief by cleverly walking the line between plot elements based on science facts, and the manipulation of those facts into a realm where we can imagine a world in which the improbable becomes possible. For instance, in Jordan Peele’s Oscar winning directorial debut,  Get Out  (2017), the science of brain transplantation (fiction) through neurosurgery (fact) is combined with hypnosis (fact) to trap and victimize visitors at a wealthy family’s estate. From there, unsuspecting youthful marks are lured and their bodies stolen for use by aging conspirators. Both  Get Out  and  Us  are being promoted within the Horror and Thriller genres, but as detailed above, I consider  Get Out  to be a Science Fiction film, and believe that  Us  belongs there as well. That said, they are both thrilling and horrifying. In an opening flashback we visit a seaside carnival in Santa Cruz, California during 1986, where a couple and their young daughte

Vic’s Flix Movie Review: Dumbo

Perhaps Disney needs to think harder about making live-action movies from its library of animated classics. In the case of  Dumbo  the wait was since 1941. The more recent  Aladdin  (1993) takes flight later this year and looks promising. Several generations of fans have given birth to several more generations since a cute flying elephant captured our hearts. But maybe they should have left this one on the library shelf. I initially questioned the choice of Tim Burton as director, given his dark, other-worldly style, but he has a long relationship with Disney, with hits that include  Alice in Wonderland ,  Frankenweenie ,  The Nightmare Before Christmas  and of course,  Beetlejuice . Burton actually began his career by illustrating animals for Disney films. But the  Dumbo  story may have lacked sufficient leeway to allow Burton’s typically twisted creative approach. That, and there was the need to sanitize the original production of its World War II era racist elements. We’re talk