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  • April 9Four members of the debate team qualified for States at their Super Regional tournament on April 6. States will occur April 26 and 27 at JMU.
  • April 9Prom guest forms are available in the front office. Guests who do not attend FCHS must be approved by Mrs. Bruce. Tickets go on sale next week.
  • April 8Culinary will be selling Cake in a Cup, sweet tea, and lemonade during April. Cakes are $3 while sweet tea and lemonade are $1 each.
  • April 8SOL retests will take place April 24 at 8:40 am in room 3110. Contact Ms. Blevins ([email protected]) to sign up.
  • March 26The FCHS Speech team won the State Championship on March 23 at Dominion High School. Five students placed first, two placed second, and one placed third.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The movie poster for “Blue Beetle.” Photo courtesy of IMDb

An Underrated Movie About an Underrated Superhero

While superhero movies have been the rage the last two decades, the quality of these flicks seem to be declining like a balloon with a slow leak. DC Comics is one company that seems to be a main culprit of this trend. There was an era where DC seemed to hold its own with Marvel in the battle for the superhero movie genre, but DC seemed to lose that battle years ago.

Now, however, even Marvel is losing its “movie magic,” and the entire genre seems to be dying, with a few exceptions.

One such exception is the “Blue Beetle,” which was released on Aug. 15. I was pleasantly surprised to say that it was a little unexpected. You see, Blue Beetle is a bit more of an obscure character in DC Comics. Blue Beetle may be less obscure than characters like Detective Chimp, Atomic Knight, or Condiment King, but when people talk about superheroes, especially DC superheroes, Blue Beetle is a character that rarely appears in conversation.

So, let’s delve into this character. Blue Beetle first appeared in 1939 in Fox Comics’ “Mystery Men Comics #1.” (Fox Comics was later absorbed into the DC Comics brand). An alien scarab fuses with a host, forming a symbiotic relationship and giving the bearer the abilities of the Blue Beetle. Dan Garrett, a scholar, is the first to discover the scarab. Ted Kord, heir to Kord Industries and Garrett’s protégé, inherits the scarab after. However, this film is about the third iteration of Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes.

The movie begins with Reyes, played by Xolo Maridueña, returning to Palmera City, his hometown, from university. Upon his arrival at the airport, Reyes reunites with his family, who are all visibly apprehensive as they prepare to deliver some unfortunate news. During a family dinner, they reveal the distressing information that they are on the verge of losing their house. This information prompts Reyes to search for employment to help his family’s situation.

Reyes finds a job as a cleaner at Victoria Kord’s (Kord’s sister, played by Susan Sarandon) mansion. He overhears a fight between Jenny Kord (daughter of Kord, played by Bruna Marquezine) and her aunt about the militaristic direction Kord Industries is heading in. It is through this that Reyes ends up meeting Jenny Kord and inevitably connects with the scarab.

While the events leading up to now are not exactly faithful to the comics, I do want to point out some things with the visuals of the movie. The costume design pays respect to the comics while also adding some cinematic flair. I’m personally happy to see that the Blue Beetle suit isn’t entirely CGI, which is an issue DC has had for a few years.

Even the villain, Carapax, played by Raoul Trujillo, has amazing costume design. Watching his suit come out is extremely cool. The scenery, on the other hand, looks artificial. In some scenes, particularly the beginning, Palmera City just looks synthetic. Not all scenes have this issue, but enough did to where it distracted me from the overall plot.

I also want to mention the unique color coding going on in the movie. When we’re dealing with Reyes’s issues, there’s a lot of warmer colors. When there are issues pertaining to Blue Beetle, though, there are a lot of intense blue and purple tones going on in the backgrounds or just the lighting. In the final fight, there is a lot of fire and intense, warm colors going on, which likely suggests that that particular moment is less about Reyes and more about Carapax. I loved this feature because it conveys more emotion in the current moment using only visual effects.

The cast of this movie is pretty unique, as it brandishes a few well known people along with lesser known actors. For example, Uncle Rudy is played by George Lopez, a very well known actor who has played in “The Smurfs,” “Cats and Dogs,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “Rio,” and more. On the other hand, the scarab’s AI is voiced by Becky G, a singer and actress, who featured in “Power Rangers” and “A.X.L.,” who has had minimal exposure with her film career. The main star of the movie, Xolo Maridueña, was featured in Cartoon Network’s “Victor and Valentino,” but is better known for the character of Miguel Diaz in “Cobra Kai.”

Ultimately, I think “Blue Beetle” is a very well-executed movie that puts the spotlight on an underrated superhero. The acting, the cast, the CGI, the fight choreography, the visuals, and everything else was well done about this movie. This movie gives me hope that the superhero genre can come back refreshed and brand new.

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