Shazam! (2019)

Robert Crawford

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Well, I had a few laughs watching this movie. It had a lot of humour and therein lies the problem. It was the way the humour was derived that becomes an issue because it impacted the characterization of the main lead. I found it strange how Billy Batson as an actual kid acts more like what a 15 year old would really be like than when he is Shazam. The actor that played Batson as a teen plays him pretty straight and seriously. He actually did a better acting job than Levi did as the "adult" Shazam. It became problematic that Batson, as Shazam, turns into a complete 12 year old goofball while in his teen form he comes across as a somewhat troubled teen.

The film was entertaining but the characterization for Batson was pretty badly done as far as consistency goes. It was hard to believe that a fairly serious character as an actual teen would turn into a 12 year old moron in a spandex suit. From just the standpoint of humour, the film is probably a B, but if the spastic characterization is accounted for then the overall quality of the film is probably a C.
Looks like you and Colin share the same criticism of the film.
 
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Matthew_Millheiser

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As far as mischaracterization of Billy when he turns into Shazam, how he seemed more adult/serious as a teen, and more like a teen as an adult -- this could have been expanded upon a bit in the movie, as it has been in the comics. Basically the transformation of a teen/child brings out a change in personality, as they become imbued with Shazam's magic, children become more "purer of heart", more child-like (but not child-ish), etc. It's not the same for adults, hence the turning of Black Adam.
 

Edwin-S

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As far as mischaracterization of Billy when he turns into Shazam, how he seemed more adult/serious as a teen, and more like a teen as an adult -- this could have been expanded upon a bit in the movie, as it has been in the comics. Basically the transformation of a teen/child brings out a change in personality, as they become imbued with Shazam's magic, children become more "purer of heart", more child-like (but not child-ish), etc. It's not the same for adults, hence the turning of Black Adam.
Unfortunately, for this film that explanation doesn't work because a lot of Batson's behaviour as Shazam was anything but a demonstration of a pure heart. In fact, his behaviour really becomes a huge plot hole as to why he is found worthy of being imbued with Shazam's powers.

I found the film entertaining and humourous, but if I judged this film strictly by its story mechanics then it would have to be rated as poorly thought out. The crew writing Marvel's Cinematic Universe have done and are doing a much better job in creating cohesive films and believable superhero characters than the people writing the live-action films for DC's properties. The Marvel crew has been much more focused in building the cinematic world while the films written for DC's characters seem to take the "shotgun" approach: Fire something off and see what hits.

On the other hand, the people writing and producing DC's animated straight-to-video fare are better at writing decent stories than the Marvel animation unit. The people writing DC's animated films have a better handle on the characters than any of the people involved on the live-action side.
 

Hanson

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Shazam picked Billy out of desperation and didn't bother testing him before transferring his power. So Billy wasn't necessarily worthy, and his actions after getting his powers indicated he wasn't.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Amazon just sent over an email confirming that my pre-order of Shazam! will arrive on July 16, so we must be getting close to the disc announcement. July 16 is a Tuesday this year, so that must be its release date.
 
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Jake Lipson

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This is not exactly a Shazam! sequel, but certainly a spinoff/related project and since it seems a bit early to give it its own thread, I thought I'd put this news in here first.

The Black Adam solo film will be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. He directed the remake of House of Wax, a bunch of Liam Nesson action movies and The Shallows. He also just recently finished shooting the Jungle Cruise movie, which Disney is releasing next year, with Dwayne Johnson (who of course is playing Black Adam.)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/h...dam-finds-director-shallows-filmmaker-1216617
 

Joe Wong

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Randall Park in Ant Man and Aquaman
Just found out Florence Kasumba is a member of the rare group of actors who have appeared in both the MCU and DCEU.

She was in Civil War, Black Panther and infinity War in the MCU and Wonder Woman in the DCEU.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thought the movie was just "okay." My issue was the way it was dumbed down for tweenies. The whole thing with the foster kids didn't make me too happy.

The 3D was pretty non-existent. I should have gone 4k.
 

Jake Lipson

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My issue was the way it was dumbed down for tweenies.
Huh? The movie is about tweens. I'm not one, but I didn't feel it was dumbed down at all. Can you be more specific about your issue?

The whole thing with the foster kids didn't make me too happy.
What, exactly, are you referring to here? The whole movie is fundamentally about foster kids. I'm not sure what you were expecting, but if you have an issue with that, it might just be a case of the movie not being for you. The marketing made very clear that Billy was a foster kid and that his foster family would feature in the movie.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Huh? The movie is about tweens. I'm not one, but I didn't feel it was dumbed down at all. Can you be more specific about your issue?



What, exactly, are you referring to here? The whole movie is fundamentally about foster kids. I'm not sure what you were expecting, but if you have an issue with that, it might just be a case of the movie not being for you. The marketing made very clear that Billy was a foster kid and that his foster family would feature in the movie.

I didn't want to spoil the film for anyone that had not seen it so I avoided being too specific.

I am going to be more specific hereonin, so if you have not yet seen the film don't read further...

I am not a fan of Super Hero movies on a whole. However, those that I have seen tend to be much darker in tone and geared towards adults.

I have no problem with SHAZAM and its attempt to take a lighter, more humorous tone on the Super Hero genre. In fact, that is what drew me to the film. On a positive note, I liked some of the humor.

I had nothing against the foster kids or that aspect of the story, that is until they were made into Shazam clones. That I thought was too damn silly and reduced the film, in my eyes, to a 'tweenie" spectacle.

It's apparent that is the age group the film was geared towards. I didn't dislike SHAZAM as a whole, but that aspect of the film kind of ruined it for me.
 
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Jake Lipson

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I had nothing against the foster kids or that aspect of the story, that is until they were made into Shazam clones. That I thought was too damn silly and reduced the film, in my eyes, to a 'tweenie" spectacle.
I don't read the comics, so I don't know this firsthand, but it is my understanding based on other discussions we've had about the film over in the movies forum that that twist comes from the source material. Therefore, the film can't really be faulted for following the material it is supposed to be adapting. I understand why you might not like it, but if indeed it is from the comic book, I think they were right to include it.

And as to safeguarding the film for those who haven't seen it yet, you can always hide the spoiler in a spoiler tag.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I don't read the comics, so I don't know this firsthand, but it is my understanding based on other discussions we've had about the film over in the movies forum that that twist comes from the source material. Therefore, the film can't really be faulted for following the material it is supposed to be adapting. I understand why you might not like it, but if indeed it is from the comic book, I think they were right to include it.

I get that. However the original story played out, so be it.

I am not a comic book reader, so that's probably a huge mark against me. I think those that grew up on comic books are more used to these kinds of storylines.

For me, it just got too silly at the end.

However, I greatly respect the fact that this film works for younger audiences and fans of the genre.
 

Jake Lipson

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I am not a comic book reader, so that's probably a huge mark against me.
Not in my book, because I'm not a comic book reader either. I just enjoy good movies.

However, I respect the fact that they stayed true to the source material with regard to such a significant plot point. As a fan of other things that have been adapted for the screen before, I would have been upset if things I'm protective of had been messed with. So I'm glad this one stayed true to what it was.

I also think that that twist can be made retroactively better by further development of those supporting characters in any subsequent films.
 

Robert Crawford

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However, I greatly respect the fact that this film works for younger audiences and fans of the genre.
Based on the trailer, I didn't think much of "Shazam". However, one night I decided to see this film during a sneak preview before it's wide opening and watched it twice again in a movie theater since then. Of course, that means I liked the film quite a lot. Your criticisms is what I liked the most about the film as my sneak preview was one of the most enjoyable theater experiences I had in the last year as I laughed throughout the film. Oh well, to each his own. Yes, you should have bought the 4K/UHD release.
 

Thomas Newton

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I am not a fan of Super Hero movies on a whole. However, those that I have seen tend to be much darker in tone and geared towards adults.
Stories involving these characters can be dark and geared towards adults. Comics told a pretty dark story of Black Adam trying to reform, but upon suffering a personal loss, going on a full psycho killing spree. They also told a story where Mary voluntarily "turned" to the Dark Side.

I had nothing against the foster kids or that aspect of the story, that is until they were made into Shazam clones.
I don't know about all of the kids, but I'm pretty sure that Freddy and Mary have shared powers (and a costume design) with Billy for a very long time.

That I thought was too damn silly and reduced the film, in my eyes, to a 'tweenie" spectacle.
Mr Mxyptylk ("World's Funniest") also seemed to find the Marvels too silly. Finding out that Mr. Mind's Monster Society of Evil was led by a worm and had members such as "Mr. *#$%# Banjo" put Mxy's temper over the top. Soon Mr. Mind was lamenting that his "great" brain was being spread like so much apple butter.

Then an extended Marvel Family showed up, with (Fat | Tall | Hill) Billy, Tawkey the Talking Tiger, and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny (a rabbit with superpowers) in tow. Oops! Lightning-fried rabbit, anyone?
 

TonyD

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I finally got to Shazam a few days ago.

Ron I’m not sure why you watched this movie.
Spoilers to follow.


.
.
.
.

Everything we saw in the movie and what it was going for was almost fully laid out in the previews.
I even saw one preview just before the home releases that revealed that all the kids become Shazams.

Up until that I had no idea that would happen.
I even saw action figures in Target of all the kids versions of them being a Shazam but didn’t actually expect it to happen.
It was a thrilling moment when it did.
I think it was a huge point of the movie to have all the foster kids become heroes.

I loved this movie and knew going in that it was geared to younger audience then other comic book movies from the previews.

As a Philadelphian I also loved that they used Philly as the stand in for Fawcett City.


Anyway this is a great DC movie.

Ron for a dark and more grown up, even rated R version of a Shazam like character you might read Miracleman.
That comic book series turns this idea of switching places of a young teen with a superhero in its head.
 

Jason_V

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Ron:

Re: the ending. I had the same issue right after seeing it. It felt silly to me. But, I really can't argue with the source material. This is the Billy Batson story. I can't ding the movie for following it's inspiration. I'm certainly with you, but I will take another 20 DC movies like Shazam (humor and all) if it means we never have to see something like Justice League again.
 

Ronald Epstein

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The absolute real reason why I even considered watching SHAZAM?

The 3D. I am trying to collect as much 3D as I can, unfortunately, no matter what it is.

If not for the fact this was made available on the format and easy to obtain domestically, I probably would have never watched it.

I didn't see any of the previews.

I get it -- this follows the comic book story fully. I don't read comics. I couldn't relate to that aspect.

I didn't hate the film. Actually, I thought the first 2/3 of the film were quite good.

I can't quite put a finger on it. I think I get tired of being preached to in these kinds of films where foster kids can become Super Heroes too, or in the case of the last Star Wars film, the downtrodden children can become Jedi's as well.

I get it. Films should have a positive message for the young generation.

I guess I have seen that kind of preaching done too many times (particularly in Disney films) and it just becomes kind of silly when you are now much older, much wiser (and in my case) more of an old crank.
 
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