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Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

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Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Old 04-07-19, 09:24 PM
  #51  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

OK ... second installment of Abob Teff’s Half Drunk Movie Review ...

Do NOT read this if you have not seen the movie ... MAJOR SPOILERS for Shazam ... and Avengers: Infinity Way ... and possibly Us ... and maybe Harry Potter.







You were warned ...

Our story starts with American Harry Potter on a road trip with his two dads. Well, his dad and his dad’s younger husband, Harry’s wicked step-dad. Thumbs up to DC for diversity! Anyway, wicked step-dad and dad are mean to young Harry, so Harry uses his Magic 8-Ball (not drugs) to transport himself to visit Black Hagrid at wizard’s school.

Once there, Black Hagrid offers Harry magic powers, but Harry chooses poorly. He is tempted by the Seven Deadly Sins, so Hagrid sends him back to live with his dads. Once transported back, Harry throws a temper tantrum and distracts his dads and they end up in a terrible car wreck.

Time jump … and we are introduced to another little boy and his mom. This little boy is our hero, Billy the Bad Son. Billy and his mom are at the local carnival when Billy wanders off. His mom doesn’t bother to look for him … EVER … because … we’ll explain that in a little bit.

Time jump again … and Billy the Bad Son is up to no good. He has burglarized a pawn shop (and I think he killed the owner) and called the cops to set them up. He tricks the cops into going into the pawn shop where Billy locks them in so he can steal their cop car and their lunch. He then goes and tries to pretend he is some lady’s long lost son so that he can break in to her house. He probably would have murdered her too, but she scared him off.

I don’t recall what happens next, but Billy is sent to a foster home where his foster mom is played by MARTA Milans … yep, Batman, Superman, and now Shazam. Mind blown. Oh yeah, and his foster dad is Jerry from The Kingdom. Good thing Jerry got that projector bulb for movie nights, because there are five other foster kids who get bullied by some Disney-Channel-esque bullies who drive a cool truck which they can park anywhere and run over crippled kids with. These bullies have super-powers: they make all adults disappear when they are around so they can act without consequence.

Jump back over to our bad guy story line … we learn that Harry Potter wasn’t just the boy who survived, he actually grew up to become Dr. Evil. He has found the door back to Black Hagrid’s house and has been trying to open it. He manages to open the door right as Thanos does his finger-snap in Avengers, so Dr. Evil’s assistant disappears into a cloud of ash. Dr. Evil goes to Hagrid’s house and steals the round Tesseract and sticks it in his eye. Now he controls the Seven Deadly Sins and intends to unleash them on his dads.

Back to Billy … After he pulls some more shenanigans, Billy is riding the subway train when he discovers there are miles and miles of tunnels under the United States. These tunnels lead him to Black Hagrid who tries to molest him (“Put your hands on my staff, say my name, I open my heart to you and my power will flow through you!”). Black Hagrid reveals he is Shazam the wizard, brother of Shaquille O’Neal’s genie character Kazam. Black Hagrid also reveals the big twist … at this point Billy the Bad Son is replaced on the surface world by his doppelgänger in a red jumpsuit. You see, in these tunnels are an entire society of superpowered doppelgängers — one for every foster child in Philadelphia. This is why Billy’s mom never looked for him at the carnival … she actually took the doppelgänger home and raised him!

Back on the surface world, doppelgänger Red, tries to go on a killing spree, but only attempting to kill petty criminals. Then … we get a re-enactment of the Spider-Man training montage while Red learns his powers.

Good guy and bad guy fight. Lots of DC merchandise is advertised. Red calls on the Tethered versions of his foster siblings and they form a team that stands in a line after defeating the Seven Deadly Sins, Dr. Evil, and the bullies.

Yeah, that’s about right.

Post credits — they really cheated here. In Batman vs. Superman we got a strange looking Henry Cavill because they had to digitally remove his facial hair. Cavill once again refused to shave, so they just don’t show him from the shoulders up. Damn, that is one powerful mustache.






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Old 04-07-19, 10:42 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Abob, this is an incredible write-up of the film. I do have to admit that the bullies almost crushing a physically disadvantaged kid with their truck with no consequences (well, kinda sorta consequences later in the film) had my suspension of disbelief working overtime.
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Old 04-08-19, 03:43 PM
  #53  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Saw it today and liked it a lot. This movie has the kind of tone DC should be trying for, aside from Batman. Light, fun adventure suits them much better than a dark and gritty tone (again, aside from Batman).

One question I have afterwards is do Billy's foster siblings all still have their Shazam powers at the end or not? (I assume they did, but it's not clear from the movie.)
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Old 04-08-19, 05:37 PM
  #54  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

The funny part is that this film has plenty of "dark" elements to it. The seven sins, the lair, Mark Strong, etc.
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Old 04-09-19, 01:44 AM
  #55  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by bd007h View Post
Why is Sinbad not in this?
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sinbad-movie-shazaam/
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Old 04-09-19, 06:43 AM
  #56  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
The funny part is that this film has plenty of "dark" elements to it. The seven sins, the lair, Mark Strong, etc.
That boardroom scene was one of the scarier scenes in a superhero movie. It made me regret bringing my young son.
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Old 04-09-19, 03:21 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I was a little surprised I didn't like this more. Levi was great. The ending redeemed it. But the kid was a douche, his brother was a bit douchy and his mom was a douche. Then add the villain and the bully and there just a few too many unlikeable characters. Probably B-
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Old 04-09-19, 04:20 PM
  #58  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Liked it though didn't exactly love it. Was still entertaining and the humor... mostly worked. Zachary Levi was great in the lead, though and story (and villain) were serviceable enough. Not sure where it ranks in the "DCEU", but it's better than Suicide Squad so... victory? Anyway, hopefully does well enough that a sequel will get made. 3.5/5
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Old 04-13-19, 06:23 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Finally saw it!

First off, it was a lot of fun, and some nice surprises that elevated it above a "kid's movie" at times.

The Good
The Easter eggs were nice touches in their subtlety. Tawny and Holy Moley.
+The "mass hysteria" of the wizard's search for a champion was clever. It gave the film a nice eeriness early on, and felt like Ghostbusters or alien abduction stories.
+The foster family was great, as were the actors for Billy and Freddy.
+The 7 Deadly Sins came across like Hellraiser's Cenobites! The boardroom scene in particular was excellent. But how are you going to have that frosted office windows scene and not have blood splatter?
+Billy and Freddy hijinks.
+Darla Marvel talking to Santa.
+Big references

The Bad
-I thought Billy came across as very likable and relatable but considering how the film went out of its way to show that only the pure of heart could receive the power of Shazam, we didn't see anything that demonstrated that for Billy. He locks some cops in a pawn shop just to use their computer to search for his mom (why not use the library's computer? Google? Facebook? Any of the various people-search engines?), but is spiteful enough to also steal their lunch. He goes to a strip club. In fact, Billy wasn't even going to help Freddy until the bullies mentioned his mother (Martha!). He even stole Freddy's Superman bullet to sell it.
-It seemed over-the-top that bullies would purposely hit a disabled kid with their truck AND park right in front of the school like that. The school's got metal detectors but no security or supervisors outside? Not even a cross guard?
-They didn't seem that threatening either. Compare their chase of Billy to the one in My Bodyguard.
-Music for the superhero scenes was super generic.
-I did NOT like the Shazam! Corps. It just seemed rushed. It's a big deal when Billy gets his powers, and he spends half the film trying to learn his powers. Because the films ending, they just rush everything by having the kids all say "Shazam!" and instantly knowing what to do. The film doesn't even follow it's own internal logic.
-By the time of the carnival, the 7 Deadly sins were not threatening at all. Shouldn't little kids like Darla and Eugene be in tears and hysterics when in the presence of these demonic entities? Don't one of the demons get kicked in the shin and called a big meanie by Darla? They terrify adults and slaughter them in boardrooms, but kids are made of sterner stuff and off-limits? And I thought it was going to be some knock down, drag out fights between Captain Marvel and the 7 Deadly Sins, but not really.
-I would have liked that they save the introduction of Captain Marvel Jr and Mary Marvel for the sequels. Have Black Adam played by Dwayne Johnson critically injure Freddy, and have Billy give him a portion of his powers to save his life. It felt too much like Power Rangers by the end of this film.
-If you can't get Henry Cavill to play Superman, don't have a Superman cameo. Also, it kind of makes Captain Marvel seem less important in his own film.

Conclusion
Despite all those criticisms, it was still an extremely fun film. The magic word/secret identity translated really well to screen. I think it could have been a lot better in spots, but overall, everyone involved did a great job.

Last edited by brayzie; 04-13-19 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 04-13-19, 06:47 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Finally Warner/DC gets one right! If only they started the DCEU with this instead of the mediocrity that is Man of Steel, and kept this tone going for all the movies. Unfortunately it's probably too late to recover for the shared universe.
I liked this movie, but I would hate if every DC movie, minus Batman, had this tone. Every DC comic has its own style and tone. Applying a one-fomula-fits-all approach would be boring IMO.
A Joker/Suicide Squad film should be a very heavy PG-13/light R.
I imagine Wonder Woman should be a mix of the first Conan the Barbarian film and the Donner Superman film.
A good Superman film is neither Sky-High, nor Kick-Ass.

They should make a Marvel Family (I know they can't call it that) cartoon and slap it up on DCU. The kids would eat it up.
The concept in the film reminded me of an old cartoon Bionic Six. I guess this is going to be a superhero team movie from now on.

Originally Posted by Mr. Flix View Post
Just got back from this and absolutely LOVED it. Tons of heart, humor, and fun, with just the right dose of action and even some scares. It really was like watching something out of the E.T. / Goonies / Raiders of the Lost Ark era.
The early part with the people recounting the wizard experiences, the explanation of magic and the ancient deities gave off the high adventures/mysticism of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The kids at the Rock of Eternity was definitely Goonies.

Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I don't understand why they didn't leave her as Mary Marvel. She was an adult anyways and in the books the Marvel Family weren't aged, only Billy was.
Same here. I thought she would have made a great Mary Marvel.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Wow ... I get to be the dog here ... I was really conflicted with this movie, I had a lot of fun with it, but it felt as if it were written by a 12-year old. Certain story and character beats were straight out of a Disney Channel tv show. Tonally, it was all over the map. When it was good, it was really good. When it was off, it was really off.
Yeah, they wrote down to the audience at times.
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Old 04-14-19, 12:17 AM
  #61  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Saw this earlier today.

Echoing the thoughts of a few others, the film was enjoyable but I didn't love it.

Felt the final act was a bit long in the tooth.

I absolutely loved the Superhero Montages though as they were probably my favorite part(s) of the entire film.
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Old 04-15-19, 10:22 AM
  #62  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I caught this last week and thought it was a lot of fun! There are parts that feel like hitting the beats they're supposed to hit on an obligatory way, but overall it moves along. Funny parts, good acting. Jack Dylan Grazer is a standout, liked him in It, as well, hope he keeps it together as a child actor because I think he has potential. I'd be up to seeing it again, would see the sequel, and even pick up the blu-ray on sale. And this is coming from a lifelong DC rejecting Marvel fanboy.

I agree with Orbi-Wan, this movie is definitely too scary for my kids. They love stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy, but the seven deadly sins would probably make them cry, especially when they're eating off people's heads and dragging women away in the board room. We'd have to do a lot of prep work, show them photos, narrate through the scenes, skip some parts, etc.

The lost kid part, too, may be really intense for them, and if they really pick up on the mom leaving him on purpose, that may be tough, too. Younger kids can get really turned off by "violence" toward kids. When my oldest was 5, for example, she loved the fantasy scares of Ghostbusters, but she lost her mind when Viggo was trying to hurt baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II. Children in peril can seem "too real." Heck, I remember watching tons of R-rated movies and being fine and then seeing Lord of the Flies when I was 12 or so and I was scared the entire time.
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Old 04-17-19, 08:14 AM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I don't understand why they didn't leave her as Mary Marvel. She was an adult anyways and in the books the Marvel Family weren't aged, only Billy was.
Agreed. In fact, at first I didn't realize they had a different actress, they've gotta be relatively close in age. But it is faithful to the Geoff Johns New 52 reimagining of the Marvel family (and at least they didn't keep the long blonde hair on Jr.), where both Jr and Mary age up with the rest of them, and it makes it slightly easier to hide a secret identity even though anyone with a brain can kind of figure it out like the characters in the movie did, especially given the makeup of the family.

edited to add: I forgot that the Mary Marvel aging thing happened in Ordway's run first, though he kept Jr. a kid, reasoning that the form the kids took was based on their idealized versions of themselves.

I have no idea how Adam Brody got near top billing in this though, given his part.

Originally Posted by story View Post
I caught this last week and thought it was a lot of fun! There are parts that feel like hitting the beats they're supposed to hit on an obligatory way, but overall it moves along. Funny parts, good acting. Jack Dylan Grazer is a standout, liked him in It, as well, hope he keeps it together as a child actor because I think he has potential. I'd be up to seeing it again, would see the sequel, and even pick up the blu-ray on sale. And this is coming from a lifelong DC rejecting Marvel fanboy.

I agree with Orbi-Wan, this movie is definitely too scary for my kids. They love stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy, but the seven deadly sins would probably make them cry, especially when they're eating off people's heads and dragging women away in the board room. We'd have to do a lot of prep work, show them photos, narrate through the scenes, skip some parts, etc.

The lost kid part, too, may be really intense for them, and if they really pick up on the mom leaving him on purpose, that may be tough, too. Younger kids can get really turned off by "violence" toward kids. When my oldest was 5, for example, she loved the fantasy scares of Ghostbusters, but she lost her mind when Viggo was trying to hurt baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II. Children in peril can seem "too real." Heck, I remember watching tons of R-rated movies and being fine and then seeing Lord of the Flies when I was 12 or so and I was scared the entire time.
I took my kids to see this, blind, and yeah my son and daughter were really scared during that board room scene (the mom flashback part I don't think he fully understood until we talked about it later). But I kept reassuring him that the good guys would win, and my son especially loves the character so it was fine. I think. I guess we'll see the status of his sheets this morning.

It was kind of messed up that Sivana got passed up for not being "good enough" and that along with his family drove him to what he became, and yet Billy was clearly not good enough but was all the Wizard had at the time. I'm not sure if they were hinting that he was pure enough in heart to resist the temptation of the seven deadly sins and that's why he was ultimately chosen, but man the Wizard's finding spell kind of sucks. I'm not a huge fan of John's delinquent Billy Batson, I prefer the superhero who's actually an idealistic kid at heart, but I realize that's a super outdated concept and they need to make this at least somewhat relatable to kids. At least they kept the Holy Moly. And I enjoyed the character arc he went through.

After all that talk they didn't address what his name is, and they seemingly gave him the old crutch of transforming whenever he says Shazam so he can't exactly call himself that (maybe that changes by the next movie).

Last edited by fujishig; 04-17-19 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 04-17-19, 08:23 AM
  #64  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Surprisingly, the Mary and Mary Marvel actresses are 18 years apart.
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Old 04-17-19, 08:32 AM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by majorjoe23 View Post
Surprisingly, the Mary and Mary Marvel actresses are 18 years apart.
Wow I didn't realize Michelle Borth was 40.

Also reveals what super power she got. Each of the Shazam siblings seemed to focus on one aspect:
Pedro got strength
Eugene got lightning
Darla got speed
Freddy got flight
Mary got... the ability of Zach Levi to not look her age. Plus the ability to get captured by tentacles.

Last edited by fujishig; 04-17-19 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 04-17-19, 12:02 PM
  #66  
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

^ We've talked about Borth and Fulton on page two.
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Old 04-17-19, 12:14 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
^ We've talked about Borth and Fulton on page two.
I didn't see mention that Borth was 40, though, maybe I just missed it.

Actually, I just looked up all the ages, besides Ross Butler they're all around 38-40 years old, though I'd say none of them look it.

Last edited by fujishig; 04-17-19 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 04-17-19, 09:27 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Saw this last week and wasn't really sure how to rate it. I think I'm around a 3-3.5 right now.
Again, origin movies are tough. Gotta get the origin in. I read somewhere Levi/Shazam doesn't show for around 49 minutes.

It's a pet peeve of mine when a super hero tv/movie doesn't have the hero in there very much, or out of custom a lot.
There were, what, 2 flashbacks?
As others have lamented, liked it, didn't love it. Nothing great, but enjoyable for the most part.
I think the sequel could be a lot better. Full fledged Shazam from the start.

Levi was great. Kid playing Billy was pretty good.
I never really read Shazam comics, except when he showed up in Justice League. So I didn't remember anything about the Shazam family. So that was cool when they showed up.
I kept waiting for the blood splatter on the glass of the boardroom too.
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Old 04-21-19, 10:44 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Finally saw this. I would say it’s one of DC’s better efforts overall and I liked it, but I didn’t exactly love it.

I feel like tonally it was a bit all over the place. There are parts where it’s super dark, but then there are also parts where it’s goofy and it knows it. I liked that the film has heart and Billy coming to learn that his family are the people who care about him and not his mom who just ditched him. I overall liked Levi as Shazam and most of the other actors (the kids and the foster parents too) were good as well. The reveal of the Marvel Family was cool to see at the end battle.

Mark Strong as the villain was a bit on the meh side to me. He just feels somewhat forgettable to me. His backstory as to why he’s the way he is felt a bit forced as far as his dad and brother being such dicks to him. I feel like the scene in the boardroom must have been inspired by Robocop to a degree with some alterations obviously. Another minor complaint is I felt like the film was a bit drug out and could have been trimmed.

Overall though pretty good and I’ll probably pick it up when it releases. I’d probably give this around a 3.5 out of 5 upon first watch.
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Old 04-22-19, 07:59 AM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I think the concept behind Sivana's obsession was sound: always being belittled, he had a major opportunity to have all the power he wanted and he was told again that he wasn't good enough, and on top of that "caused" the accident. Then after he seizes power for himself, another kid who clearly isn't the prototypical supeheroic figure gets the prize instead.

The other thing that was a bit of a disconnect was that the characters played by Asher and by Levi seemed completely different personality-wise. You can probably explain it by saying that the Shazam form was Billy Batson letting loose and being a kid, but his kid form was so sullen in comparison to the goofiness of the adult form, and I don't think it's just the optics. But we got kid-like Captain Marvel instead of brooding teenager Captain Marvel so I'm ok with it.
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Old 04-22-19, 09:15 AM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Yeah, Sivana being the way he was ultimately made sense. I just felt like having both the brother and his dad be such jerks to him was a bit much to set up that aspect. I almost think if there had been a short scene prior to the car crash scene with him getting bullied by kids or something and that led into the car scene, and then his brother giving him crap it would have worked better. I guess some parents can be that way too, but it just didn’t quite work for me.
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Old 04-22-19, 09:26 AM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Saw this over the weekend, meh. Entertaining at times, overlong and repetitive at others. I agree with the other poster that wondered how Billy was pure of heart, he was a total dick most of the time. Honestly I put this movie on the same tier as Green Lantern.
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Old 04-22-19, 12:08 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I really enjoyed this...but didn't LOVE anything until the Marvel family scene. That was by far my favorite part of this. A totally cool scene and some applauded in my theater.

Mark Strong was great, as always, and I'm glad they didn't kill him because I want to see more of him. I love that both
Spoiler:
Shazam and Aquaman kept the villains alive
I enjoyed the fanboy stuff with the kids being exited to be heroes but I m hoping future Shazam films has CM act slightly more adult. Him being a big kid in the 1st film was cool, but I like Billy more mature than his age, and CM being an adult hiding his true age. Less big kid acting like a big kid....You know what I mean?

I enjoyed the 7 Deadly Sins but I kinda wished they had been less generic looking and designed more specific to their respective Sins.
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Old 04-22-19, 12:14 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Mark Strong as the villain was a bit on the meh side to me. He just feels somewhat forgettable to me. His backstory as to why he’s the way he is felt a bit forced as far as his dad and brother being such dicks to him.

The "explanation" for him being a bad guy was so simplistic. The brother AND the dad are complete assholes in the first appearance we see them in. Their 2nd appearance 40+ years later and they act the SAME, EXACT way?
Adult Thadius Sivana seemed like he was a normal scientist with an obsession, but he doesn't even raise an eyebrow when his colleague turns to dust for touching the magic door? So what was he doing his whole adult life up to this point? Had he already killed people before? Is he used to seeing people dying? I think Mark Strong did a solid job with the dialogue. But I think the writers could have made him a little more three-dimensional. Then again, this film seems to be aimed at even younger audiences then the typical DC/Marvel stuff, so maybe I can't fault them too much.
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Old 04-22-19, 12:23 PM
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Re: Shazam! (Sandberg, 2019) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
The "explanation" for him being a bad guy was so simplistic. The brother AND the dad are complete assholes in the first appearance we see them in. Their 2nd appearance 40+ years later and they act the SAME, EXACT way?
Adult Thadius Sivana seemed like he was a normal scientist with an obsession, but he doesn't even raise an eyebrow when his colleague turns to dust for touching the magic door? So what was he doing his whole adult life up to this point? Had he already killed people before? Is he used to seeing people dying? I think Mark Strong did a solid job with the dialogue. But I think the writers could have made him a little more three-dimensional. Then again, this film seems to be aimed at even younger audiences then the typical DC/Marvel stuff, so maybe I can't fault them too much.
Papa Sivana blames him for the wheelchair, though, I didn't see it as too out of place that they cut him out and continued to treat him like a pariah from that moment on, also dismissing his claims of magic and being chosen.

The death of the scientist seemed odd to me because at the very least, how was he going to explain her disappearance to the rest of the staff? But then he went through the door right after that and by then didn't care about any consequences or even having his face exposed, so I guess that was consistent enough. He didn't exactly force her to touch that door either.

I get that he could've been fleshed out more, but I just don't see how they do it without making it into a Sivana movie, which I'm not sure anyone really wanted. Like we barely got characterization with the rest of the foster family.
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