With the exception of the exceptional “Wonder Woman,” most of the recent superhero movies from the DC universe have been dark and dour or dumb and dull. Thankfully, “Shazam!” has come to the rescue! Zachary Levi leads the cast in this witty, heartfelt work of escapism that that brings the fun back to the DC universe. Smart, funny and well-cast, “Shazam!” is fresh and refreshing.
“The Best of Enemies” is based on an unlikely true story. Taraji P. Henson plays a civil rights activist who forms an unlikely bond with KKK leader Sam Rockwell over the issue of school desegregation in the early 1970s South. The cast is fine and the movie has a good-natured vibe. But “The Best of Enemies” is overlong and awkwardly paced.
“Storm Boy” is an adaptation of a 1964 Australian children’s book. This gentle tale is about a young boy who saves and befriends a pelican that winds up having a major impact on the boy’s life. Geoffrey Rush plays the boy as an adult who tells the story to his granddaughter. While underwhelming as a drama, it’s a sweet-natured and sentimental ode to environmentalism.
“The Wind” might have been titled “Little Horror on the Prairie.” Told from the female point of view, “The Wind” is about an evil entity that drives some homesteaders nutty on the American frontier in the 1800s. Not everything works in this austere thriller, but it marks an impressive debut for director Emma Tammi.
Also opening this week, “Pet Sematary” is a remake of the Steven King horror classic. “The Public” is a story about a library that get into trouble for opening to the homeless during an Arctic blast. Alec Baldwin and Emilio Esteves lead an impressive cast. “Starfish” is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about a mixtape that just might save the world.