Black Adam hits theaters next week, so what better time than this weekend to catch up on his greatest foes in the DC universe? HBO Max has all the DC movies fans need to get the most action, comedy or even heartbreak out of their systems. But this weekend isn’t all about the DC excitement going around. Avenue 5 premieres its second season, which has been long-awaited since the COVID-19 pandemic delayed filming for Season 2. Plus, there are more scary movies and television shows to get in the Halloween mood this month. Here’s what you should be watching on HBO Max to get the most out of your superhero/sci-fi/horror-filled weekend.
Avenue 5 Season 2 Continues the Chaotic Mission in Space
Avenue 5 is somewhat of a hidden gem on HBO Max. It’s a sleeper hit that may find its footing in Season 2, where the characters are still working on getting out of the messy situation they’re in. Created by Armando Iannucci (Veep), the series takes place on a luxury star cruise line that was set off course in Season 1 and forces the crew to figure out how to get the guests back on Earth on time. Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad lead the series as captain Ryan Clark and billionaire owner of the ship Herman Judd, respectively. Their dynamic, while set in a dark and terrifying environment where anything can go wrong at any moment, makes for an exciting partnership that only escalates as things worsen.
Avenue 5 is the perfect series for fans who miss For All Mankind on Apple TV+, which finished streaming its third season this year. But the HBO Max series has something that the Apple TV+ series rarely had: comedy. The sci-fi series uses comedy against the backdrop of disastrous events to ease the tension and even allows things in the show to happen that may not happen in real life — as actors Zach Woods and Lenora Crichlow point out. After all, this is a sci-fi show where humans are stuck in space on a cruise ship. There aren’t any expectations for what the show should depict — unless there’s already a cruise ship in space.
The Baby Highlights the Horror of Parenting
Like Avenue 5, The Baby has some stiff competition on HBO Max. While others may turn to Barry to fill their dark comedy desires, others might want to check out The Baby. Anything titled The Baby might seem lighthearted on the surface, but with recent trends in movies where children are the true horror (see: the unsettling dancing child in M3GAN‘s newest trailer), that is anything but true. The Baby finds 38-year-old Natasha suddenly taking care of a baby that turns her life into a horror show. The baby proves to be more than what she bargained for — considering she didn’t even bargain for the baby at all — and she has to figure out how to turn her life around while also discovering why the evil and violent baby wants her so badly.
Annabelle: Creation Delivers Horror Through a Different Lens
Leaving HBO Max next week is Annabelle: Creation, another horror movie to indulge in before Halloween arrives. The movie is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and is the fourth installment of The Conjuring franchise. Many critics have noted Annabelle: Creation as an improvement on its predecessor, with Annabelle’s origin story utilizing old-school psychological scare tactics to reel the audience in. Its unsurprisingly terrifying nature relies on the audience’s fear of dolls that they obtained from watching Annabelle, and the decent amount of shocks and silence in the darkness only heightens the stakes in this creepy origin story. The movie is also important to watch for those closely following The Conjuring Universe, as the ending connects to The Conjuring in a big way.
Shazam Captures the Heart of Billy Batson
Black Adam is one of the biggest movies of 2022, with Dwayne Johnson starring in the titular role. The film is as a spinoff to Shazam!, in which Johnson was originally supposed to play the anti-hero, but the producers later decided to give him his own film, which Johnson fought hard for. Nonetheless, it’s worth going back and revisiting Shazam! since the two characters are so similar — yet so different in many ways. Who knows? Maybe there’s a Shazam and Black Adam showdown in the future.
DC has a rough path toward redemption with its own cinematic universe, but Shazam! proved that it’s heading in the right direction. The movie stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenager who is chosen by the wizard Shazam as his new champion and gives him the ability to turn into an adult superhero played by Zachary Levi. The movie is particularly known to be the first comedy in the DC Extended Universe, competing with the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok. Levi and Angel both excel at playing two sides of Batson while also keeping his gentle soul and fun nature at the forefront in each of their portrayals — something that hopefully will arise if Shazam and Black Adam ever meet.
Man of Steel Sets the Tone for the DCEU
Shazam isn’t the only superhero people want Black Adam to go up against. Even Johnson is hyping up the return of Henry Cavill’s Superman, which people have been asking for since Justice League. Whether or not that’s going to happen anytime soon, it’s still nice to reminisce about the only solo Superman film of the DCEU: Man of Steel. The movie began the DCEU back in 2013, and while it’s still heavily divisive among fans, it created a trend of darker superhero films that will continue within the cinematic universe. Man of Steel follows Clark Kent throughout his life from birth to adulthood as he discovers his abilities and adopts the title of Superman. As part of his new role as mankind’s protector, he must face General Zod from his home planet to prevent humanity’s extinction.
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