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  1. #1

    Default SHAZAM! Movie Reactions and SPOILER thread!

    Since this is day 1 of the official release of Shazam!, I wanted to create a new thread where those of us who saw the movie can discuss it openly without spoiler tags and those who haven't seen it can avoid this thread until they have.

    In general, I liked Shazam! a lot. For me, DCEU is 4 out of 4 for great solo movies. Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam have all been solid and have each had a different directorial vision that the director had been able to execute without studio interference.

    The 3 team up movies each had varying degrees of studio bigwigs sticking their nose into things and each was less well received to say the least. Go figure.

    Anyway, I had no idea that John Glover was in this movie -- once again playing a douchebag dad in charge of a large corporation. Great to see him again. He's 74 now and still holding up well.

    I liked all the kids and their foster parents. The family aspect of the movie has gotten a lot of press, and it was nice to see these people from diverse backgrounds getting along and being supportive of each other. A lot of times in movies where a new kid enters the house, he's treated as an outsider and spends the movie being morose and feeling unwanted until something happens at the end to make him be accepted. I'm glad they didn't go down that tired route and made the story arc about Billy accepting the fact that he could trust that he found a place where he is cared for and loved.

    However, now that all the characters have been set up and introduced and Billy has accepted his heroic destiny, we need to have more family/character stuff in the sequels. In spite of all the praise the family got and how it reminded critics of Spielberg, I think they could have tugged at the heartstrings even more than they did.

    I liked Mark Strong as Doctor Sivana, and I liked that they had him powered up by the Seven Deadly Sins. This made him more of a physical threat to Captain Marvel instead of just being a Lex Luthor clone.

    It was interesting to see Mr. Mind with a connection to the Rock of Eternity and am curious to see him in the sequel.

    I'm glad Black Adam wasn't in the first movie so they didn't blow their whole load like Aquaman may have. I believe the plan is to give The Rock his own Black Adam movie and then cross him over with Captain Marvel in a Shazam sequel. Maybe the 2nd sequel could be Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind teaming up and causing something to happen that frees Black Adam from his imprisonment in an end-credits scene. Black Adam can then be the main focus of Shazam 3. The Black Adam standalone can be an origin prequel. I'm liking the idea of each DCEU movie being able to spin off other connected movies as we're seeing with Aquaman and The Trench. It's a great way to establish an expansive, shared universe that is different than the way that Marvel is doing it.

    It was interesting to see DJ Cotrona as the Green Lieutenant Marvel. Cotrona was cast as Superman in George Miller's Justice League Mortal before that project was shelved, so it was nice that he finally got to play a superhero.

    Some have mentioned that there were CGI had problems due to its $90 million budget, but I actually found it to be just fine. Hopefully, a sequel can get a bigger budget, not to improve the CGI, but to add another rescue scene or two. The battle scenes were fine, but I really liked the bus rescue and would want to see more of that in the future.

    I'll probably have more thoughts as the thread progresses, but I was wondering what everyone else thought of the movie and what specific things did you like and not like.

    For me, my initial reaction is to rate Shazam! a B+, which for me, is a very good score as I don't tend to go above A-. B+ is the same grade I initially gave Aquaman, but then raised Aquaman to A- as I had more time to think about it. Maybe some of you will convince me to reassess and score upward.
    Last edited by Comic-Reader Lad; 04-05-2019 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2

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    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I thought the Superman cameo was done ingeniously considering that they couldn't get Henry Cavill.

    Quite frankly, it saved them some moolah and it was just as effective.

  3. #3
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    Oh good a spoiler thread. Now I don't have to hold back on my comments.

    Things I liked:

    • Loved Freddy Freeman. I'm glad he was allowed to have dark hair and Adam Brody did a good job as Captain Marvel, Jr.

    • Loved Darla. And the bit with her super-hero self and Santa Claus was worth all the previous scenes with Santa.

    • All the comedy bits with Captain Marvel were great. Had me laughing out loud.

    • Liked all the running gags in the movie, such as the strip club (that we never see inside), the suitcase wedgies, the different names for the hero of the movie.

    • Saying SHAZAM! always causes the transformation--which continues the gag from the original comics, where Billy could never say it without changing. And the say my name bit, where they all say "Billy."

    • Liked the Rock of Eternity and the Easter eggs that were there.

    • Even though the horror elements might scare little kids and the darkness starts to work against the comedy, I did appreciate David Sandberg's talent for making truly scary creatures.

    • Liked the shot of Annabelle.

    • Some nice heart moments with the family.

    • Little Billy's global positioning device. Asher Angel Billy's smarts.

    • The times when Mr. Mind showed up. Will the next movie be about the Monster Society of Evil?

    • The positive messages in the movie were good and gave me a good feeling going out. The third act was better than the third act in most super-hero movies.



    Things I didn't like:

    • Opening the movie with Sivana was an odd choice. It helped to set up the background for the story, but those scenes went on for so long and were so dark that it gave me a bad feeling going into the movie.

    • I found the Mark Strong Sivana too one-dimensional and not much fun. Although making fun of him by the other characters was cool.

    • I hated that Billy's mother was such a weak person (and apparently his father is just as bad)--I was pulling for little Billy and I felt manipulated by the writing. Is this a Geoff Johns plot element? It didn't feel organic--it felt like I was being pushed away from the biological parents so I could embrace the foster family. There should have been a less "hand of god" way to redirect Billy toward his new family. If I added an extra scene it would show that the parents were taken over by the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man and in fact really loved Billy and wanted him in their lives.

    • Didn't like headless Superman. It just reminded me that Henry Cavill didn't agree to be in the cameo. WB should have done everything they could to get Cavill and the Rock to make cameos in the movie. I think that would have pumped up the word of mouth and the box office. And if they couldn't get Cavill then they should have just dropped the Superman bit or changed it to another character.

    • Shazam the wizard doesn't get a lot of screen time. There's not much development of his back story. The bit about Solomon Hercules Achilles Zeus Atlas Mercury is skipped over and we don't get any reference to how these beings are influencing Billy in the rest of the movie.

    • Even though the movie is being pushed as SUPERMAN meets BIG, I didn't get a lot of that BIG feeling from the movie--although the one little nod to BIG was much appreciated.

    • I wish we could have seen Tawky Tawny. In the door opening sequence at the Rock of Eternity, there could have been a tiger behind one of those doors. The stuffed tiger was nice, but also a sad reminder of Billy's fate.

    • I think little kids can take the wrong messages from this movie. If you get lost, your parents aren't going to find you--they don't want you. The level of cruelty is so great that it almost overtakes the acts of kindness in the movie.

    • Mary is not that interesting. She's okay, but not the Mary Marvel I wanted to see.

    • Didn't like that there were so few people at the screening I went to. I think if there were more people and a bigger reaction to the movie, then I would have had a better time with the movie.


    These are my thoughts after seeing it the first time. Now that I know what to expect and what not to, I'm sure I will have a better time with the movie when I see it again. Hopefully I can find a packed screening with a responsive audience.

  4. #4
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    One minor, oddball observation: did it seem to anyone else that Sivana's dad barely aged in the 45 years between 1974 and 2019? It seemed like that man was frozen at the same middle age for 45 years!

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    Actually the age for Glover worked better for me than the age for Thad's brother. Thad is a little kid and his brother is an adult. Then Thad ages about forty years and his brother looks like he's aged ten years in the same amount of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Actually the age for Glover worked better for me than the age for Thad's brother. Thad is a little kid and his brother is an adult. Then Thad ages about forty years and his brother looks like he's aged ten years in the same amount of time.
    I was momentarily confused because I thought Sivana's father (Glover) had died as a result of that car crash, and when he showed up in the boardroom 45 years later, I thought it was Sivana's older brother grown to resemble their father in middle age.

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  7. #7

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    I have no major complaints and I'm probably gonna see it again, only in 2D. I got a 3D showing cause it was the earliest showing.

    Actually, two minor complaints that doesn't take away from the score (easy A-). 1, never given an actual name and it was a running gag. I'm guessing there's some legal stuff going on that prevents him from being called Captain Marvel. 2, I kinda wanted to see the parents Shazam!-up, that would have been interesting.

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    Since apparently they cannot use Captain Marvel they should use the knock Off name DC created in the 1970s Captain Thunder.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post

    [*]Didn't like that there were so few people at the screening I went to. I think if there were more people and a bigger reaction to the movie, then I would have had a better time with the movie.
    I saw it today at my local theater at 11 in the morning. Given that my theater is not a central hotbed of activity in a busy district, I was surprised to see the size of the audience. It wasn't packed to the rafters, but there were a few dozen people in there including what appeared to be a bunch of school kids with either parents or teachers. Anyway, for 11am, I thought the size of the crowd was encouraging.

    Mary Poppins Returns opened with Aquaman and had a $32 million opening weekend. It has now grossed $172 million.

    Since Shazam is forecasted at $48 million or better that would mean that Shazam is opening 1.5x better than Poppins. If Shazam can stay at that level throughout its run (and that's debatable given Avengers Endgame opens at the end of the month and the school break is ending), then Shazam would do around $260 million domestic.

    That wouldn't be bad at all considering Shazam cost $40 million less than Poppins. Worldwide Poppins is now at around $350 million. I'd like to see Shazam make it to $500 million worldwide.

    As with Aquaman, I'll be watching box office very closely and will report results as we know them. Anyone should feel free to post results that you find out.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by regnak View Post
    Since apparently they cannot use Captain Marvel they should use the knock Off name DC created in the 1970s Captain Thunder.
    My understanding was they could never use the Captain Marvel name on the cover of comics, but within the comics they could call him Captain Marvel however many times they felt like it. The MOVIES however is a different beast altogether, and I'm guessing Marvel put the cabosh on using the name on both marketing AND within the movie. *shrugs*

    Captain Thunder, though, I guess that would be a decent compromise.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by regnak View Post
    Since apparently they cannot use Captain Marvel they should use the knock Off name DC created in the 1970s Captain Thunder.
    I've been saying this for the longest time, but apparently the honchos at DC are stuck on the idea that he should be called Shazam. Maybe that's what DiDio and Johns called him in their respective childhoods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nate Grey
    I have no major complaints and I'm probably gonna see it again, only in 2D. I got a 3D showing cause it was the earliest showing.
    So, how was the 3D version? I saw it in 2D and will likely buy the 3D Blu-Ray, but did the 3D really impress at the theater?

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    I was also confused by Glover appearing in the board room as I thought he had died in the crash--I'll have to pay attention when I see the movie again, to see if that's actually set up. He's 74 in real life, so he was playing younger in the earlier scenes.

    Not giving the Big Red Cheese a name was actually a positive for me. I don't want his name to be "Shazam"--as I want it to be that he always changes when he says the full word (he can say "Shazabingo" but not "Shazam"), whether he intends to or not. And I like the various names he's given as a running joke. It would have been funny if "Captain Marvel" had been included as a name that they reject--but I guess they didn't want to go that far--but calling him "Captain Sparklefingers" comes close.

    One way of phasing out the older kids as they get too old to be cute anymore, would be that they lose their attachment to the magic. Like in the Narnia books, where the Pevensie kids have a harder time believing in Narnia as they age, so that little Lucy is the last one who retains knowledge of Narnia. This would give Darla and Eugene a bigger role in the sequels--and I happen to like the little actors who play them, so it would work out well.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Actually the age for Glover worked better for me than the age for Thad's brother. Thad is a little kid and his brother is an adult. Then Thad ages about forty years and his brother looks like he's aged ten years in the same amount of time.
    Likewise. At first I thought that was a random exec that just didn't like Sivana. Why not use the same actor just greyed up?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    I've been saying this for the longest time, but apparently the honchos at DC are stuck on the idea that he should be called Shazam. Maybe that's what DiDio and Johns called him in their respective childhoods.
    How would that work for Mary, though? I guess Freddy can be called Shazam Jr but would Mary be Mary Shazam?

    So, how was the 3D version? I saw it in 2D and will likely buy the 3D Blu-Ray, but did the 3D really impress at the theater?
    It was ok. I mean you had the effect of some things being closer (like the counselor with all the smiley things in her office), but nothing to write home about like, say, Aquaman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    I saw it today at my local theater at 11 in the morning. Given that my theater is not a central hotbed of activity in a busy district, I was surprised to see the size of the audience. It wasn't packed to the rafters, but there were a few dozen people in there including what appeared to be a bunch of school kids with either parents or teachers. Anyway, for 11am, I thought the size of the crowd was encouraging.
    The best audience experience I had at a comic book movie was for the first Tim Burton BATMAN, opening day. I was working a graveyard shift downtown at the time and got off at 6 AM and walked over to the theatre to line up for tickets for the 11 AM show. The line was around the block and once you got your tickets you had to join the ticket holders line, which also went around the block. It was just a lot of fun standing in line with all those people and talking about Batman and movies. Of course, the theatre was packed, but the best thing was the sense of community, all being together for this experience. And then I went home and slept.

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