Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Shazam!

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know my routine, I watch a movie and blog about it.  This time out, we're watching Shazam!.  This is in my notes at August 3, 2019.

Oh, what a wonderful world we live in when even Shazam, formerly known as DC's Captain Marvel, has a movie. 

(Yeah, for those who don't know the history, Shazam was also originally known as Captain Marvel.  DC and Marvel finally had a lawsuit over the name, in which Marvel won.  But, DC could keep calling their Captain Marvel Captain Marvel, but they couldn't name his comic after him.  So, the comic was re-named The Power of Shazam.  As time went on, people started referring to DC's Captain Marvel as "Shazam," and in their last reboot, DC finally said, "Screw it, we're changing his name to Shazam.)

Hee hee.  I've enjoyed dropping nuggets like this about Shazam.  It seems like, all my life, I've had at least one friend who is much more into comics than I am, and would always kindly answer my questions about continuity and back stories and such.  But with Shazam in theatres, it seems like I've finally become that friend, as I've had a few friends asking me to clarify a few things. 

I was really looking forward to picking up the movie on Blu-Ray, because, when I saw it in theatres back in the spring, I was having a bad day.  Usually, watching a movie is enough to lift my spirits, but, the day I saw Shazam, my day was so bad that I just couldn't get into the film.  So I really wanted to give it that second chance.  And I'm glad I did, because I finally had a lot of fun with it. 

Billy Batson.  Orphan.  Constantly running away from foster homes as he searches for his mother.  His latest foster family is welcoming enough, but he's driven up the wall by his superhero-obsessed foster brother Freddy Freeman.  Then, one day, an enchanted subway car whisks away Billy to the ancient wizard Shazam.  By speaking the wizard's name, Billy becomes the superhero Shazam.  And, like all kids who instantly finds himself in the body of a superpowered adult, his first instinct is to figure out how to use these powers...to get rich and buy beer. 

But, of course, evil is afoot.  Shazam's arch-enemy is tweaked a little.  Originally, Dr. Sivana was just your generic mad scientist type.  But here, it's revealed that he was one that the wizard Shazam once considered for the power, only to turn him away.  And Sivana has been working his way back to the wizard ever since.  But, when he arrives, he doesn't take the powers.  Instead, he takes the powers of the Seven Deadly Sins...rendered here as seven very deadly demons.  With these demons in tow, Sivana sets out to take his vengeance on the world. 

Like a lot of folks, perhaps the biggest quibble has to be the characters of Billy and Shazam.  They're supposed to be the same character, but it doesn't feel like.  Billy is a brooder.  Shazam is more cheerful and upbeat.  The two just aren't on the same page sometimes.

But that's not to say it isn't fun.  This is a very fun film.  Shazam is so cheerful, that it's really welcome, as Sivana turns out to be a rather grizzly villain, bringing about some rather grizzly deaths. 
And you have to love that ending.  Finally realizing that the only way to defeat these seven demons is with help, Shazam shares the power with his foster siblings, and suddenly we're treated to the entire Marvel Family.  I guess they're known as the Shazam Family now.  But still, it's great to see the whole team in action. 

But this is just another fun superhero film.  Between this and Aquaman, it's nice to see that DC has finally found their sense of humour with their heroes, and they're going to have more fun on the big screen.

Oh, and because it's the number one question I get asked:  that guy in the post-credits stinger is Mr. Mind.  An alien caterpillar and enemy of Shazam, he unites all of Shazam's greatest enemies as the Monster Society of Evil...the first supervillain team in comics.  In fact, Shazam vs. the Monster Society was the first ongoing storyline in comics. 

Oh, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gets an executive producer credit because he's been attached forever to play Black Adam, Shazam's evil twin.  Although, in recent years, they've rebooted Black Adam into an anti-hero.  Sounds like they're going to save Black Adam for a solo film now instead of a Shazam sequel. 

But I'm ready for more! 

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