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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: Re: Shazam!
Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 at 12:52:42 pm EDT (Viewed 74 times)
Reply Subj: Shazam!
Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 at 05:51:55 pm EDT (Viewed 117 times)

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This movie's premise is basically BIG as a superhero flick and even includes an homage of the BIG piano. It works well while it's light and doing BIG. It works poorly when it tries to be serious with the superhero part which comes off more cheesy than dramatic. Part of the problem is that despite an interesting origin story, antagonist Dr. Thaddeus Sivana is a completely one-note evil dude. Mark Strong is a good actor who is given nothing to do except be a generic villain. The movie even makes fun of this when he begins monologuing and the film keeps cutting out what he's saying it's so generic. Perhaps a case could be made that the writers purposely made him a bad villain, but purposely bad is still bad.

Djimon Hounsou as the wizard Shazam and Grace Fulton as Mary don't fare much better in dull supporting roles, but the three leads shine. Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddie Freeman, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, and Zachary Levi as his superhero alter ego (alternately called the Red Cyclone, Captain Sparklefingers, and Thundercrack but never Shazam or Captain Marvel) all pull off difficult parts and entertaining to watch.

With a budget around $100 million, SHAZAM! is lower than many superhero movies these days, and it shows. The F/X is mediocre when it comes to bringing the Seven Deadly Sins to life, and the set pieces lack pizzazz. The costuming is probably intentionally campy, but that doesn't make it good.

The best parts are the human moments revolving around the foster kids and Billy's seeking his mom (whom in reality the authorities would have found really quickly). It's decently funny especially the part of Darla keeping a secret and the bit with the foster kids teleporting into a strip club. An extended joke on Santa Claus however was not funny. Overall, I liked the movie about as much as Marvel's recent CAPTAIN MARVEL, not bad, not great.

Very good movie, IMO. Incredible story of one kid learning to be a hero. Did anyone else get the 80's "Punky Brewster" tv show vibe when Batson got separated from his mom when he was young, and was (almost) never able to find her?

In "Punky Brewster" (for those who weren't around then in the 80's), was an under 10 year old girl who was left in the car by her Mom as she went into a store, and never came back. The cops tried to find her, so she was temporarily-adopted by a man named Henry Warnimont, played by George Gaynes, for the time being. Turns out the cops couldn't find the Mom, and theorized she didn't want to be found, for some reason, so Henry became her new permanent guardian. It also made me think of Tom Hanks' 80's flick "Big," were a boy's wish made him a grown up with a kid's mind, and he did stuff with his kid-friend while trying to live as an adult.

I wish the kids had decided on the name SHAZAM before the end of the film. It's a shame they can't call him Captain Marvel, besides rights with Marvel, but also the other "Marvels" towards the end. What will they be called, if there's another movie?

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana: From the pics I've seen of the comic-character from post-crisis New Earth and New 52 Prime Earth on dc wikia, the film version looks like the latter. I'm guessing the staff thought that look looked better.

The one thing I really liked the most was how SHAZAM was still kid Batson mentally, and eventually had to go from weak, powers-showoff to brave, powers-understanding, responsible hero to take down the villain.

Did the adopted parents also figure out Batson was SHAZAM?

What happened to the beer SHAZAM and Freddy got? Can't remember.

Overall, I'd give it about an 8 out of a 10. Hope they do a sequel.

- Rodimus

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