Guys and Gals, this is a tough one to write. I don’t want you to think I have gone soft. I haven’t. I just have too much time on my hands during Coranatine, so I’m watching a lot of movies with my son, discussing them, and after much debate, I have to say Shazam! is the best movie DC has put out since “Dark Knight Rises”
That’s right, better than any of the crappy Superman (I’m looking at you “Man of Steel”) movies. Better than Batman vs Superman. Better than “JLA”. Even better than…sigh…”Wonder Woman” (but not by much)
When of my many character flaws is I don’t care to do things alone. I especially hate to go to the movies by myself. To me, that is the ultimate act of loneliness. Movies are to be shared, to enjoyed with friends, or a honey. I’d rather see a bad movie with friends, than see a good movie alone. (in the theater)
So to get me out to see one alone, I have to really want to see it. And also, I can’t find anyone else to go with me, even if I try to bribe them. (I’ll pay)(I’m pathetic and lonely) I don’t go alone often, and often skip them and just buy a DVD (I like them, don’t judge me)
When Shazam! Came out, nobody would go with me, so in a panic, I went by myself. Super hero movies should be seen in a theater, and I had missed out on a few movies waiting for someone’s schedule to free up So off I went, got my popcorn, my alleged large drink (mediums are now large…bullshit), and some chocolate covered raisins, or Kit Kat bites (chocolate and popcorn mix amazingly well) and off I went.
I didn’t have high expectations. I grew up watching the Shazam/ISIS power hour, and to be honest, the ISIS portion of it was always better. This was in the 70’s, and guys liked buys things, and I still liked the girl show better. They were both pretty bad, but I’m sure they were better than whatever was on rival channels, and bridged two good cartoons.
Initially, I came out unimpressed. I thought it was too campy. I thought it was played for laughs (and didn’t get them) too much, and though I liked Zach Levi, there was a shit ton of kids in it, and well…you know how much I like kids. I bought it when it came out, and it started to get play in my rotation.
The more I watched it, the more I understood it. What I thought was just dumb humor geared towards kids, started to become clever. It all became clear to me…
To start off with, Mark Strong as Dr Sivana is so amazing. I like that he plays the character straight, doesn’t go for laughs. It reminded me of the old Batman series (not near as cool) He’s very focused. He has a great look about him. He talks just enough that you feel his presence, but not so much that you get the feeling he’s trying to steal Shazam’s thunder.
Zach Levi was also great as Shazam. He did a great job of playing a young kid thrust into the role of being an adult. His dialog was that of a kid, his actions was of that of a kid (eventually growing into the adult super hero), and his jokes were definitely that of a kid. The parts where he took advantage of his new found adulthood were some of my favorite acenes. (And exactly what I’d have done)
What I missed initially was that he was a kid (with really poor examples of adults in his life), who was thrust into being an adult, and had zero clue how to do it. He didn’t have the knowledge of superheroes like his foster brother, so he did what he always did, took the easy way out, used his new found powers to do tricks for pocket change, which would seem like big money to a 14 year old.
Now I see it as a great twist on the coming of age story. There’s a gap where he should have learned a lot, but is forced to learn really fast. It has a nice back story of how he learns that family is important, but the family you have isn’t always blood.
Now, that’s all nice, but why do I say that it’s better than the ones mentioned. It’s complete. It has a good beginning, the plot is well developed, but not rushed, and the ending not only makes sense, but also leaves them open to a sequel, as well as a potential crossover if DC ever gets it’s act together, and gets a cohesive plot for a long term run, like Marvel has with Kevin Feige.
The only other DCEU movie that comes close is Wonder Woman. I wasn’t a fan of the casting of Ares, there were a few parts that dragged, but overall, it is also in heavy rotation, and also made me appreciate the character more, and I collect the back issues of her character.
Until the DCEU can get one vision, not hire directors who want to interpret characters poorly (Snyder), rush out movies because a director fired (Snyder, Whedon), lock up some characters for the long run (Batman, Superman), and concentrate on stories instead of special effects, it will continue to be a clusterfuck. Marvel has all sorts of cool special effects, CGI, all that cool stuff, but more importantly, the stories fit together, they flow into one another, and even when they are a bit stand alone (Ant Man), they still slid into the puzzle.
I don’t think Shazam is a strong enough character to carry the DCEU. I think the character is a great tool to add a little humor on occasion, definitely lend a helping hand for some of the more serious characters (Jason Momoa can only do so much), and add spice to the stew.
THAT is why Shazam! Is the best movie since “Dark Knight Rises”, and as a story, probably better than them as well. I’d give it serious consideration as the best DC movie yet, and would listen to arguments as to why. (Though I prefer the Dark Knight series still because it’s grittier)
It is also why Robert will have kittens when he reads this, and will argue all his art bullshit, and soundtrack, though he never seems to care about story. Explains his Star Wars obsession though.
Gang, if you can’t find me on the mean streets of LaSalle, you can find me on IG and Twitter @jaycanchu. By the time you read this, I will have an official Spoiler Country email account, so you can send me naked pictures and tell me why I’m wrong.
If you’re tired of my bullshit, I strongly suggest you look up Colton’s stuff, and definitely “The K Files”, Eli’s articles on Meme’s, or give some of the shows a listen.
Or maybe just go buy a shirt, or donate to the patreon. I cannot confirm this, but people wearing the shirts have never contracted dengue fever. (I made that up, but odds if you are in the US and not in southern Texas, it’s pretty good you haven’t gotten it)
Viva La Revolution
Author: Jay Roach
Jay was born and raised within a 30 mile radius of Ottawa IL, home of Scotty Bowers and a guy who was in soap operas. His family was Catholic, somewhat filled with ’50 Ideals and conservatism, which they attempted to pass down, and lifetime Democrats.
Jay am none of that nonsense, though he is probably more liberal in social views than most of them. He's tattooed, has two wonderful boys who are both talented, one a musician, the other designing games. He have two ex wives that he still get along with. Jay have two cats (Chloe and Panda Lucifer) who are ambivalent towards Jay's existence unless wet food is involved.
Previously, Jay was the cohost of My Worst Holiday, and left on good terms but will still fill in on occasion. He now write nonsense articles about whatever grabs his fancy, from old Universal Monster movies, to lunch health, to lists that get stuck in deep in his head and has to purge them.
Jay is pretty sure he is allowed to hang around because he have watched a LOT of Burt Reynolds movies. (This is true)