When it comes to superhero movies, origin stories are the bread and butter for the genre. While the concept of seeing heroes get their start has been done excessively it has proven to be effective as the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Iron Man have paved the way for many movies to follow this trope. Regardless, the origin concept remains alive and well as evident in the new superhero blockbuster: Shazam. Directed by David F.Sandberg Shazam is the next movie in the DC Films lineup and brings the iconic Captain Marvel (well DC’s Captain Marvel) to the silver screen. Despite the character’s longevity bringing this DC hero to the big screen would be no easy feat as the character is rather unbeknownst to most general audiences. In any case the movie has made its way to theaters and despite the array of superhero origin movies out there, Shazam proves that the concept has not lost its muster.
At this point heralding the accomplishments of Marvel Studios would just be unnecessary. With the movie studio finding success with the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and a perefula of other heroes, the implications that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had in the movie world truly goes without saying. However the franchise is reaching an impasse as Avengers: Endgame looms on the horizon. To get to this conclusion the MCU has bridged off into two different movies with the first being Ant-Man and the Wasp (which came out last summer) and the other being the film in question: Captain Marvel. Directed by the team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel is not only the studio’s first superheroine film but the movie has also been marketed as a major point in the MCU as it serves as a prequel to many of the previous entries. Needless to say there is plenty riding on Captain Marvel and with the franchise’s track record one cannot help but wonder: what could possibly go wrong? Well after seeing the film I would have to say plenty because this superheroine film was anything but marvelous.
If there is one anime/manga that has transcended into pop culture it is none other than Dragon Ball. The work of Akira Toriyama has enthralled fans for years and its popularity continues to escalate even to this day. The series has seen a resurgence of sorts with Dragon Ball Super, but this renaissance may not have been possible if not for the series’ success on the big screen. In 2013 the franchise made a return with the film, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, which was followed up by the 2015 sequel Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F and both were successful in their own right. Now with its momentum in full force the series comes back to the silver screen with perhaps its biggest movie to date-Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine the new movie not only continues the story of Goku and company, but it also brings back the fan favorite Broly to series now reimagined by Toriyama himself. Despite its limited release Dragon Ball Super: Broly was an anticipated film to see this year for the likes of Dragon Ball fans, myself included, but could the new film power up to expectations? While the movie did not go as I anticipated this anime film managed live up to the exciting nature of Dragon Ball.
Since 2013 Warner Bros has taken DC Comics in a new direction with their movies as they seek create a cinematic universe of their very own. So far the DC Films (or the DC Extended Universe) has had five films to its name but the new franchise has been, more or less, met with criticism-both sensical and a bit ridiculous. Personally I have enjoyed the DC Films as, despite some issues, the films have ranged from enjoyable, different, solid and down right underrated. I realize this not a popular statement to make but that is the curse of having my own opinion. Be that as it may, despite the setbacks this cinematic universe presses on with its next film in the series: Aquaman. Directed by James Wan Aquaman centers on the iconic hero known for talking to fish. The character made his official debut in last year’s Justice League but now the hero sets out on his own; but the question is does Aquaman sink or swim? Seeing the film for myself I can safely say that Aquaman does not just swim but rides the cinematic ocean with the greatest of ease.
When it comes to superhero movies the likes of Spider-Man remains a prevalent name in the genre. Whether he is swinging in solo adventures or teaming up Earth Mightiest Heroes, the Wall Crawler continues to grace the silver screen and play an important role in both and pop culture. This year has been a unique one for Spider-Man as the series saw its first spin-off with Venom; which managed to find success in the fall season. Now the franchise swings into new territory with the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Directed by the team of Bob Perisichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman Into the Spider-Verse was developed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who are known for their work in films such as The Lego Movie. Since the first trailer I have been enthralled by this movie as the animation alone was enough for me to check this movie out; plus I am a Spider-Man fan. After seeing the movie for myself all my senses tingled as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not just a great animated film but perhaps the most dynamic superhero film to swing into theaters this year.
Since Disney has entered a new renaissance in their animation studio there have been several films to leave their mark in the cinematic world. Among these decorated movie is the film about a video game villain of all things. In 2012 Wreck-It Ralph crashed onto the silver screen and what a treat it ended up being. Along with its references to all things gaming Wreck-It Ralph featured a fantastic adventure with colorful characters. With the film’s success it did not surprise me that a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph would find its way to theaters. It took longer than expected but at long last the Ralph(John C.Reilly) and Venelope(Sarah Silverman) return in Ralph Breaks the Internet; or other wise known as Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnson, Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the Disney Videogame characters to a whole new world leading to a much bigger concept. Initially I was excited for the movie but after seeing trailers for the film my anticipation for Ralph Breaks The Internet wavered a bit. However that did not stop me from seeing the new Disney film, and after seeing if for myself I can say that Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel that while entertaining was rather lukewarm.
For years Harry Potter has played a major role in pop culture as the popular book series transcended from the page to the silver screen with 8 movies to its name; and it has become a big role in the world of cinema ever since. However, just when it seemed we had seen the last of the Wizarding World, the franchise would expand with 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film told the tale of Newt Schamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his adventure through a 1920 New York City. The movie was a hit to say the least and when it came to this Film Adventurer’s opinion it is among one of the best films in the Wizarding World franchise. Needless to say I found myself curious just where this new series would go next and it looks like I will get that answer in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Grindlewald. The Crimes of Grindlewald once again sees David Yates return to this Magical World to direct the new installment. This sequel had plenty riding on it as it not only had continue the story of the first film but also be the bridge to its sibling series. The end result was a sequel that, while not possessing the same magic of its predecessor, was still an enjoyable continuation.