One of many DC films shuffled and rescheduled multiple times, Shazam! Fury of the Gods arrives on 4K UHD Blu-ray from Warner Bros.
The Production: 3.5/5
When we last left Billy Batson/Shazam (Asher Angel and Zachary Levi, respectively), he had shared his powers with his foster brothers and sisters. They are still getting then hang of being superheroes, often leaving a wake of destruction behind them despite saving lives, so much so that the press has dubbed them the “Philadelphia Fiascos.” Even though oldest sister Mary (Grace Caroline Currey) aged out of the foster system and parents Victor and Rosa (Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans) allowed her to stay with the family, Billy fears that as he is about to turn 18 that he will have to leave the family. Not helping matters is that his other foster siblings, particularly best friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), are allowing their super powers to go to their head.
But the daughters of Atlas – Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) – have stolen the Wizard’s staff broken by Shazam at the conclusion of the previous movie. They have kidnapped the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) to force him to repair the staff, and want to use the staff to not only steal back the Shazamily’s powers, but destroy the world as well. It is now up to Shazam to save the world.
I really enjoyed the first Shazam!, and have been looking forward to this sequel ever since it was announced. Seeing the movie after most of the studio politics were made public that have also doomed any chance of a future sequel made the final product feel rather inconsequential, especially the two end credit scenes that setup the next installment. Putting all that aside, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is an entertaining 2+ hours. Levi shows he is still perfectly cast as the title character with his man-boy charm, while Mirren and Liu are obviously having fun playing the villains. Rachel Zegler is charming as the conflicted Atlas daughter Anthea, and has nice chemistry with Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy.
3D Rating: NA
Shazam! Fury of the Gods was captured in 4.5k resolution on Arri Alexa LF, Alexa Mini LF, and Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision high dynamic range for its premium format presentations. Warner’s HEVC-encoded 2160p transfer retains the film’s theatrical aspect ratio and also includes both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range. This is a very good transfer, but not necessarily great. Colors are bold and vivid when necessary, never appearing oversaturated. Fine detail is excellent, from the intricate fabric textures of the Shazamily’s costumes to facial features to set design. Contrast on the whole is also excellent, with deep blacks and strong shadow detail and bright highlights such as lightning strikes and flames of fire. There are a few effects shots during darker sequences that lack detail, though.
The default Dolby Atmos track is fun and immersive once you dial up the master volume a few notches. It’s never as bad as a Disney Atmos track, with beefy LFE and active surrounds and heights. The track has a wide front soundstage, and sound effects move seamlessly around the listening area. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 4/5
Warner continues their recent tradition of including the commentary track on the UHD disc, with the rest of the special features found on the included Blu-ray edition of the film.
Audio Commentary with Director David F. Sandberg: Sandberg casually reflects on various aspects of making the film, from casting to easter eggs, visual effects, etc. Included on both UHD and Blu-ray discs.
“Shazam!” Let’s Make a Sequel (1080p; 24:49): An entertaining look at the making of the film.
The Rock of Eternity: Decked Out (1080p; 5:42): Converting the Rock of Eternity into a hangout den for the Shazamily.
“Shazam!” The Zac Effect (1080p; 4:20): Zachary Levi goofing off on set, with the cast and crew singing praises.
Sisterhood of Villains (1080p; 7:54): A look at the Daughters of Atlas.
“Shazam!” Scene Deconstruction (1080p; 10:06): A look at five key scenes from the movie.
Mythology of “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” (1080p; 4:59): A look at the inclusion of Greek mythological figures.
Shazamily Reunion (1080p; 5:01): Reuniting the old team.
Deleted Scenes (1080p; 31:06): Director David F. Sandberg introduces thirty scenes cut from the film.
Digital Copy: A Movies Anywhere redeemable code is included.
It is probably best to go into Shazam! Fury of the Gods without knowing any of the studio politics that went on between completion and release, as this is a very enjoyable and entertaining film.
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