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Filtering by Tag: DC Comics

Pop Culture Happy Hour: "Shazam!" and What's Making Us Happy"

Chris Klimek

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in an enthusiastically punctuated superhero comedy.

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in an enthusiastically punctuated superhero comedy.

I had a nice time joining the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew this week to discuss Shazam!, a lighter, brighter DC Comics movie that is also… a nice time. Doubtless I got invited on this episode because of the profile I wrote for the Ventura County Reporter waaaaaay back in January 2003 of Shazam! star Zachary Levi, a Local Boy Made Good for whom God has opened many doors, such as co-starring with Bob Newhart and the modern rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo ("The Thong Song," peak position No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100). He admires men of integrity like Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson. The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Three, friends.

Shazam! is the polar opposite of The Shield, the early-aughts post-Sopranos, pre-Breaking Bad cop show I’m currently revisiting, which is what’s making me happy this week and shall be for many weeks to come, because I bought the big doorstop blu-ray set with all 88 episodes.

Pop Culture Happy Hour No. 307: Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad

Chris Klimek

Beloved Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes is at the Television Critics Association gathering in Los Angeles this week, so Tanya Ballard Brown and I joined regular panelists Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon for an uncharacteristically reserved episode. By which I mean, neither of the big summer movies we autopsied, Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad, is very good, though the latter is much worse. I had hopes for both of them, because I admire their directors, Paul Greengrass and David Ayer, very much, and I've tended to like their work. You know what late-summer release was not a big letdown? Star Trek Beyond. I endorse it.

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Self-Inflicted Wound: Suicide Squad, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

"I loved you in that movie  Focus."  Will Smith and Margot Robbie. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros.)

"I loved you in that movie Focus." Will Smith and Margot Robbie. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros.)

I was genuinely curious about Suicide Squad, because I admire many of writer-director David Ayer's films, and because I like the sturdy bad-guys-on-a-dangerous-mission premise in general. (I finally saw William Friedkin's 1977 thriller Sorcerer a few months ago, and I loved it.) But Suicide Squad is at least as awful as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and probably would've been lousy even if a panicked studio hadn't commissioned an edit from a company that specializes in trailers. Anyway, I performed an autopsy for NPR.

While can't endorse the movie, I strongly endorse my friend Neda Ulaby's All Things Considered piece about Kim Yale, who co-wrote many issues of the late-80s Suicide Squad comic with her husband, John Ostrander. He gets shouted out in the movie in the form of a sign for the "John F. Ostrander Federal Building," but Yale does not. I'm glad Neda stepped in to correct the record.