“I FEEL BAD & “AQUAMAN”

By Tim Riley Film Critic

AQUAMAN” Rated PG-13  The half-human, half-Atlantean superhero, a DC Comics character known as Aquaman, finally gets his due for his very own feature length film, the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe.

“Aquaman,” swims along for over two hours in an extravaganza of stunning visual effects in a deep sea adventure, but it does allow for an origin story for the half-man (Jason Momoa) who would be king of the undersea nation of Atlantis.

The story begins with Massachusetts lighthouse keeper Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) rescuing Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) when washed ashore during a storm. They fall in love and end up bringing a boy named Arthur into the world.

The love story turns to tragedy when Atlanna, a princess from Atlantis, has no choice other than to abandon her interspecies child after being forced to return to the ocean where she’s betrothed to the King of the undersea world.

Young Arthur, raised by his human father, grows up to be the fearsome Aquaman, muscle-bound with tattoos and long hair, an imposing marvel that seems so fitting given the combination of Jason Momoa’s Hawaiian heritage and superb physique.

From his childhood visit to an aquarium where he demonstrates a surreal connection with sharks to his first encounter with ruthless pirates at sea, Arthur is a force to be reckoned with.

It’s only natural that Arthur would be drawn to the sea where a whole new world awaits him. Atlantis is a wonderous place where the inhabitants speak our language and resemble the landside humans they consider to be somewhat inferior.

A haughty attitude seems be what motivates King Orm (Patrick Wilson), the younger half-brother of Aquaman, to organize the other oceanic kingdoms to join his quest for world domination.

Maybe it’s not a coincidence that smug King Orm, whose blond hair and chiseled solid frame suggests a disturbing Aryan context, is driven by an imperialistic vision of planetary conquest.

While Orm’s jealous rage erupts when his half-breed brother ventures into the sea, Aquaman would have easily been willing to be left alone but for the treachery that Orm has unleashed with his petty familial grievances.

Joined by ocean Princess Mera (Amber Heard), Aquaman embarks on a journey to the seven undersea kingdoms in pursuit of the magical trident that would prove his rightful claim to the throne.

Flexing not only his muscles, Aquaman utters enough witticisms to undergird his undeniable charisma, such that rooting for this superhero easily surpasses any thoughts of dismissing the overall silliness of the underwater battles.

“Aquaman” gets plenty of mileage from Jason Momoa’s irresistible charisma and his credible physical strength so easily displayed in the mammoth underwater fight sequences elevated by impressive technical innovation.

Have you ever seen a movie where an octopus plays drums or soldiers ride giant sea horses into battle? These are just a couple of the many special effects that bring a sense of fun to “Aquaman.”

I FEEL BAD” ON NBC NETWORK

The feeling that sitcoms on network television are in a state of decline is palpable when looking at the crop of new series of the current season.

About five or so minutes into the first episode of ABC’s new comedy “Single Parents,” the show was so unfunny and the characters so annoying or unrealistic that it was clearly time to move on.

Thus, I decided to take a look at NBC’s “I Feel Bad,” if only because the title was weirdly uninviting, causing wonder of why the network made this choice, or maybe suggestive of something entertainingly subversive.

In reality, the title of “I Feel Bad” is evidently tongue in cheek, given that an empowered woman of Indian heritage juggling work and motherhood doesn’t really seem to feel bad that she wants to take care of herself before her family.

In the first episode, Emet Kamala-Sweetzer (Sarayu Blue) is dreaming of being on the beach in the loving embrace of some hunk, before waking up with a voiceover of how she sometimes cheats on her husband in her sleep.

Her husband David (Paul Adelstein) is a caricature of the man who is often either clueless or disengaged. Engaged in a whirlwind of activity, Emet is constantly seeking “to preserve my precious 20 minutes” of alone time.

Working at a video game company, Emet is older than her all-male coworkers, Chewey (James Buckley), Norman (Zach Cherry) and Griff (Johnny Pemberton), each one a parody of the typical nerd.

This trio of millennial gamers wear their nerdiness as a badge of honor, with Griff proclaiming that “nerds are cool now. We date models,” a notion unlikely to apply to any of them.

In this age of Harvey Weinstein-type sleaze, it seems odd that a network show runs with a lot of sex jokes. After all, what’s up with Emet asking her male colleagues if she’s “still doable?”

Watch “I Feel Bad,” if you wish to give it a try. At least, it has funnier moments than the ABC show I gave up on.