Ticket It or Stream It? Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Boston Strangler, Bono or The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming
- Published: Saturday, 18 March 2023 22:25
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Should you take a trip to the movie theater or stay home and stream a new movie? The SHAZAM! sequel hits movie theaters while Keira Knightley and Carrie Coons' true-crime thriller BOSTON STRANGLER premieres on Hulu.
Or if you're a U2 fan, the documentary BONO & THE EDGE: A SORT OF HOMECOMING, WITH DAVE LETTERMAN is now streaming on Disney+. Depending on what you're in the mood for, better options are available at home this week.
Ticket It - SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS
As a big fan of the original SHAZAM!, FURY OF THE GODS is a disappointment. The sequel attempted to recreate the magic, but it felt repetitive and bland and the humor is clearly aimed at a young audience.
There is no growth with the returning characters. Billy/Shazam is still marveling at his superpowers although he should be much wiser at this point. If anything, that playfulness better suits his new superhero siblings which they do to some degree but not as much as Zachary Levi's big kid shtick which grows tiresome 30 minutes into the film. The dynamic between Billy (Asher Angel) and Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) is non-existent. That relationship was the heart of the original.
As much as I love Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu as goddess villains, the urgency or threat was not there.
However, there’s plenty of spectacle and some endearing moments that'll play well with families but the big kids will be bored.
STREAM IT - BOSTON STRANGLER
Matt Ruskin's BOSTON STRANGLER is a riveting story of two investigative reporters who broke the Boston Strangler case in the 60s but the female journalists were erased from the history books. This true crime thriller sets out to correct that omission and examine how rampant sexism was at the time which led to the women going largely unnoticed.
Record-American newspaper journalist Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) connected the various murders of older women occurring in Boston in the 1960s and broke the story, coining the phrase the Boston Strangler along with her colleague Jean Cole (Carrie Coon). The Boston police were not taking the cases seriously and wrote them off as random violence. Once the story broke nationally, it forced the police department to solve the crimes and launch a manhunt.
While there's plenty of mystery and intrigue surrounding the case, BOSTON STRANGLER also tackles the subject of sexism in the workplace and in police departments. The murders of these women were largely dismissed by the police, and the newspapers barely made a mention of them. Loretta, a lifestyle writer, volunteered to investigate one case of murder on her own time because her editor refused to put her on the story. Once she researched other similar murders and connected the dots that a serial killer was on the loose, the editor finally came around.
Loretta was a mother and wife as well, and her investigation also impacted her home life. Ruskin also provides a contrast between the two women. Jean Cole (Carrie Coon) was a seasoned investigative journalist and knew how to play the man game. Loretta, on the other hand, was new to the hustle and tenacious about getting the story told, but she learned from Jean how to navigate the sexist environment. Knightley and Coon make a dynamic pair with compelling performances that keep you glued to your television screen.
There's a satisfaction to watching BOSTON STRANGLER. Watching these two women outsmart the police department, and forcing them to act is an inspiring tale of resilience and determination, and a win for women.
Stream It - Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman
It's hard to believe U2 is still going strong after 44 years but after watching Bono and The Edge's Disney+ documentary, it's easy to see why these friends are in it for the long haul.
Bono and The Edge return to Dublin, Ireland with former late-night host David Letterman in tow to examine how the city shaped their lives and music.
Bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. are missing from the documentary due to Larry’s injury and Adam is shooting an art film. The documentary largely serves as a biography on Bono and The Edge.
Dublin is as much of a character in U2’s history. The tumultuous history of Northern Ireland is a big part of the story since U2’s songs were largely about the violence that plagued their country for decades. The advances of equal rights are also a topic of discussion. The band brought awareness of their country’s divide to a global audience.
After watching this Disney+ documentary, there will be two things you’ll want to do afterward, listen to U2’s early albums, and visit Dublin.
As someone who watched U2 in concert three times, the documentary reminds fans, like me, why millions fell in love with these charismatic rock stars.