March 20, 2023

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: Mystery Men (1999)

Just like the “Because You Watched…” lane that pops up on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

Did you enjoy last week’s latest entry in the DCEU? Did you like Shazam’s sarcastic quips and his struggle to build a team with super-powered siblings? If you enjoyed Shazam! Fury of the Gods, then you might also enjoy Mystery Men (1999), another superhero team-up movie all about overcoming one’s self-doubts to kick some serious butt. Starring Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, and Kel Mitchell as the titular superhero team, Mystery Men has all of the wacky flavor of those 90s superhero movies (I’m thinking of you, Batman & Robin). But like the latest Shazam! entry, Mystery Men also has heart. Our ragtag crew of heroes has to constantly prove their worth to others and themselves before squaring off against the weirdest crew of gangsters collected in a movie since The Warriors. Look out for the Michael Bay cameo in the climax. At least we can also agree that Geoffrey Rush makes for a much more menacing supervillain than Lucy Liu riding a dragon ever was, right? So, we might be dealing with blue-collar heroes instead of teenagers from Philly, but if you want some underdogs coming together to save the day, then you can’t go wrong with Mystery Men.

Comments 1

  1. What We’re Watching: March 24, 2023 – Now Playing Podcast

    […] Have you ever just gone down a genre rabbit hole? This week I got into legal thrillers, starting with Sidney Lumet’s 1982 hit The Verdict, starring an aging Paul Newman as a washed up ambulance chaser who’s given a final shot at a “real” case and redemption after a woman is left in a coma during childbirth at a Catholic hospital. Newman, who decides to take the case to court rather than settle, is up against a high-powered law firm fronted by James Mason (stellar as the lead attorney defending two doctors and the hospital), the endless resources of the Catholic diocese, and pissed off judge Milo O’Shea (whose haircut should have gotten a nomination). Maybe The Verdict was breaking new ground in terms of storyline back in ’82, but if you’ve seen enough courtroom dramas, you know where this is going — although a couple of twists might catch you by surprise. When it comes to watching an older movie like this one, you just have to toss out all that knowledge and enjoy what’s on the screen. The performances, David Mamet’s dialogue, and Lumet’s direction are all on point, and though it was released in ’82, this one might have you longing for some 1970s cinema. Maybe Network or a William Friedkin movie might make a good watch after this one. On that subject, if you want some “If you like that, you’ll like this” recommends, check out Chris’s new weekly feature. […]

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