Weekend Watchlist | Superheroes

By The Pitt News Staff

Can you have too much of a good thing? Objectively, yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun with superheroes! Caped crusaders aren’t going anywhere soon, so here are some of The Pitt News Staff’s movie favorites.

Megamind (Peacock) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

OK, we all know the drill. Superhero fights supervillain, reporter girlfriend is kidnapped, banter is exchanged, bad guy goes down and good triumphs, etc.

But what happens when the bad guy wins? Well, Megamind (Will Ferrell), a large-headed blue alien with a flair for the dramatic who accidentally kills his superhero nemesis, discovers it’s really boring. So, he goes about trying to recapture the magic by creating a new nemesis. What follows is one of Dreamworks’ funniest movies, that both mocks and embraces all the corny fun the superhero genre can bring.

Megamind has great banter with Lois Lane expy Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey), and the film has a lot to say on toxic masculinity and self-described “nice guys” who automatically think they should get the girl for being the hero. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out. It holds up.

 Shazam (HBO Max) // Shreya Singh, Staff Writer

There has probably been a moment in everyone’s childhood when you’ve desperately wished to have superpowers — or in my case, wished to be a mermaid. Of course, no matter how much I searched for a way to transform into one, my attempts were futile. Many others had that same experience trying to gain powers like super speed and telekinesis. However, imagine if you could’ve had superpowers at a young age. What would you do? 

Shazam follows 14-year-old foster child Billy Batson who is chosen by some almighty wizard to inherit powers from him. Once the wizard says “shazam,” Billy is transformed into an adult man (Zachary Levi), while still possessing a 14-year-old’s mentality. With the help of his younger foster brother Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), Billy attempts to explore and master his newfound skills as evil lurks around the corner. 

As always, Zachary Levi’s comedic acting skills make for a movie well-watched as he plays an adult with a teenager’s personality. It’s a change from DC’s usual superhero movie, which contains minimal humor and darker undertones. Shazam breaks this mold as it focuses more on being a kid rather than being an adult with a more serious mindset. So, if you need a movie that offers laughter and jokes, Shazam might just be the perfect choice. 

The Dark Knight (Netflix) // Patrick Swain, Staff Writer

“Do you want to know how I got these scars?”

The movie that spawned a million bad Heath Ledger impressions, “The Dark Knight” turned superhero cinema serious. It was a novel approach to comic book adaptations — a dark reimagining of Batman, practically an American myth, launching a trend of other gritty takes on beloved characters that persists today. 

The long-awaited followup to Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” infuses post-9/11 anxiety, globalization and government surveillance into a hard-hitting crime thriller. The Caped Crusader faces the Joker, an unpredictable madman who seeks to sow chaos in Gotham City through a series of sadistic social experiments and spectacles. After the adversaries clash and the credits roll, the audience must perpetually question whether the Joker prevailed in the end.

Though Christian Bale portrays charismatic billionaire Bruce Wayne and his masked alter ego admirably, Heath Ledger steals the show as the Joker. “The Dark Knight” was his final, chilling performance before his tragic death, earning him a posthumous Academy Award. The tales of Gotham have been told many times, and they inevitably will see innumerable reboots in the future – try to count them on both hands — but Christopher Nolan’s masterful retelling of an American parable was a milestone.