Movie Review: Shazam! (2019)

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Summary: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM. – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam.
Full disclosure. This is the only “DCEU” movie I have whole heartedly enjoyed. This is the only one I have to say I enjoyed from start to finish.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Asher Angel and Zachary Levi as William “Billy” Batson / Shazam. So, this character is played by two people obviously. Billy is a troubled orphaned boy who is searching for his mother. As a child, he was lost at a fair and has searched for his mother ever since. He has a hard time fitting in with his foster families (even if they do want him) because he’s so hell bent on finding his birth mother that this current family really wants to make things work with him. When he meets the new family, he still has a hard time connecting to the kids because he’s so ready to leave. However, Billy isn’t mean though. I mean, he’s hard to connect to and he does do some mean things, but he isn’t like spiteful. He’s sad and really wants to find where he belongs. I quite liked Asher Angel. I’ve never seen him in anything, but he handles that one particular emotional moment really well, I really felt for him. I also think he has good comedic timing when he needed to have it and I wish we got to see more of him, but I guess people go for Shazam! As for Levi who is Shazam, he is basically Billy just physically an adult. He has the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Stamina of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles and the Speed of Mercury. He learns these powers along the way but also, he’s a 14-year-old so he’s having fun. I like Zachary Levi, he has a nice charm to him that makes him fun to watch. He isn’t who I would have pictured when I thought of Shazam but he’s clearly having fun and he does a good job. My only problem is I think Asher Angel kind of has this coolness to him and Zachary Levi, as his adult version, didn’t have that same coolness. Otherwise, I believed they were the same person.
  • Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. He is a physicist who is pretty much the black sheep of his family. His dad is played by Lionel Luther from Smallville! lol, Thad was a kid, he was summoned by the Wizard Shazam but was not chosen so he has dedicated his life to finding out a way to get back there. He’s obsessive and clearly won’t stop at anything to get what he wants. When he does get the powers he gets, he uses them for his goals, which was mostly to get back at his family. Later, he decides he also wants the Champion’s powers, so he goes after Shazam. I mean, Mark Strong is a good actor and Sivana is an interesting character, but I didn’t really care that much about him to see what kind of trouble he might cause. I mostly just loved him physically fighting Shazam. Mark Strong is always imposing though.
  • Jack Dylan Grazer as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman. Freddy is the first person in the new foster family that Billy connects to. He is disabled but he does his own thing because he doesn’t care. He’s a superhero enthusiast and of course becomes the only person who knows about Shazam. It’s his idea to test out what his powers are, among other things. Freddy is likable, but I think that has a lot to do with Jack Dylan Grazer who is very likable himself. He just truly enjoys life and it’s great to have a character, with his circumstances who is like that without feeling forced or annoying.
The Foster Family. So, the foster family that Billy is “adopted” into has a lot of people floating around. They’re all likable and I won’t go through them all, but I think it’s important to mention them.
  • Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley. Billy’s youngest foster sibling at his new home, an energetic and effusive little girl. She’s very sweet and just pure innocence. I’m so impressed at how much Faithe was close both physically and characteristically to the comic version of her.
  • Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield. Billy’s foster sister at his new home, the “den mother” who helps take care of the other kids and is debating attending college in California. Mary is the oldest, so she takes on the role of making sure everyone does what they’re supposed to and making sure they’re okay at school. She’s also very smart, so she’s thinking about what she might do for college. She’s likable and though her role isn’t large, she seems to be a protector and a kind of ‘go get ’em’ kind of girl.
  • Ian Chen as Eugene Choi. Billy’s foster brother at his new home, an obsessive gaming enthusiast and budding techie. He’s a smarty-pants, as there always needs to be one. We really don’t see a ton from him but he’s cute and likable and you get to know him enough.
  • Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña. Billy’s foster brother at his new home, a shy, sensitive kid who has trouble opening up. We don’t see a lot from him, but I like his willingness to help at the end.
  • Marta Milans as Rosa Vasquez and Cooper Andrews as Victor Vasquez. The foster mother and father of the group home where Billy and his friends live. He is a beautiful man lol. But anyways, they’re fine, they do what they’re supposed to, and they have great chemistry. They’re cute.
Superhero Aspect. I like that the powers of Shazam had to be given to someone who was worthy and while Billy may not be the perfect kid, he is a good kid and he has potential to be great. I liked that that was something that didn’t just happen to him, he was chosen, even if he wasn’t the first choice. That was pretty cool. Plus, he’s a kid who is magically aged up to an adult (I used to think that Shazam inhabited Billy Batson’s body and whenever he said his name, they like switched places, not that Shazam is the aged-up version of whoever has his power) but he’s still a kid. That’s a neat idea. Plus, going on the journey to find out what his powers are, it’s always fun to see a person discover their new abilities along the way. Plus, Billy learns a lot of lessons in there as well.
Awesome Action. The action, especially in the latter half of the film is handled so well. I like the choreography of the fights between Shazam and his villain. I also really liked how Billy was quick enough on his feet to understand how he could use his powers to an even bigger use. Like when he gets smart and “SHAZAM” to evade the fight for a moment, or to make the villain lose him in the crowd. I thought that was handled well. Also, the big battle at the end, was fun. Good job movie.
Fun, Energetic and Hilarious. I didn’t expect much but I laughed quite a bit throughout the movie. It has a light nature to it even with its darker elements. It doesn’t try too hard, it just is. Jack Dylan Grazer and Zachary Levi, and by extension Asher Angel have good chemistry and whenever they’re on screen together, it really builds like a friendship into perhaps a brotherhood. There are some pop culture references, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with the jokes nor does it feel forced. It’s also just a lighthearted movie so it doesn’t feel like a long slog.
Nice Story. In the end, this movie is about family and being true to who you are. Billy’s entire journey is him discovering himself and just how important family is but it’s not always going to be the family you expect. It’s a sweet message and it also makes Billy relatable because sometimes you find family in the places you expected the least. Not to mention, it’s all about who you are on the inside. That is what allows Billy to be chosen and become Shazam and realize his fully powers.
Cons:
Pacing Issues. I think the pacing of the movie is inconsistent. There are some slow moments, or moments where the movie slows down to the point where it begins to feel too long. I think the climax at the end, while cool, took too long to happen.
The Designs of the Deadly Sins. In the comics, these characters have a look that makes them stand out from each other. In the film, they’re all rock creatures and while they seem to have their own design, we never know which sin they are. I guessed throughout the film who might be. Gluttony at least had an obvious design. He looked like Gluttony from Fullmetal Alchemist. I also know Envy because he was the smallest, other than that, no idea. I just wish they had more of a unique look to them. Plus, they reminded me of the rock generals from TMNT.
Freddy and Billy’s Argument. So, they have an argument about midpoint through the movie, while Billy is full Shazam. People record it, but I thought it was a little left field. I mean, Freddy knows the secret and they’ve been training for a good amount of the movie to test his powers, but then Freddy says something at school that Billy does not agree too but I guess he decided he would do it anyway but Billy forgets about it and Freddy is all upset because Billy didn’t do the thing that Billy never said he would do anyway. So, Freddy calls him out on the things THEY WERE DOING TOGETHER! If anything, I believe what Freddy was accusing Billy of doing was Freddy’s idea first and Billy just went along with it and furthered it. So, I thought, while this argument served its purpose, it came out of nowhere to me. Like Freddy, you aren’t a victim here.
One Dimensional Villain. So, spoiler alert but Mark Strong plays the villain in this movie. I mean, he always does lol, I was surprised when his character in Kingsman was a good guy and remained so lol. Anyways, while I think Mark Strong is a good actor and he looks like his comic book counterpart (from the New 52 anyway), his character left a lot to be desired. I did not care about what he wanted to do at all. I didn’t think he was that much of a threat. After he did what he’s wanted to do for years, his story was really kind of over. They combined his plot in the comics with Black Adam from the first Shazam! (New 52). I don’t mind that, but I just think he was very cookie cutter and I feel like he could have been more sinister than he was. He looked cool but that was about it for me.
Overall, I really liked this movie A LOT. Like I said, this is the only DCEU (is that still a thing these days?) film that I have liked from beginning to end. The main characters are all interesting and I really liked the chemistry between Billy (Both versions) and Freddy. I thought Asher Angel had a coolness about him while also maintaining a kind of tragic feeling considering his background. Zachary Levi, I felt was a little different than Asher Angel, like he had way more childlike glee than Asher did. The superhero aspect was fun in how it was handled and how Billy and Freddy worked it out together. It was fun and energetic, and quite funny. The action is also handled well. I was into it. The story is also nice and has a sweet and relatable message. Now, for a few of the cons, I think the villain was one dimensional even though he was imposing physically, I don’t think he was that interesting once he completes one of his ultimate goals. The is a bit of a pacing issue and I didn’t care for the Seven Sins’ design nor did I think the argument between Freddy and Billy that prompts a lot of the third act was founded. BUT Shazam! is a great movie and I think everyone should give it a chance.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Shazam! What did you think about it? Tell me your thoughts down below!
What is your favorite DC movie overall?
Thanks for reading!
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Anticipated Movies of 2019

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2019 is going to be an amazing year, that’s what they all say. I’m interested in seeing the number of movies that come out this year. 2018 was a great year for movies but it was a weird year for ME seeing them lol. I hope I can do even better this year and see the ones that I really want to see.
I’m sure there is also going to be a lot of movies that pop up during the year that won’t be on this list but that’s fine because this list contains the movies that I know about.
So, just like last year, I’m going to do my most anticipated movies by month.
January
Glass- January 18: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. I still have to watch Unbreakable, but Split was legit so I’m down for this movie.
February
What Men Want- Feb 8: A woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear their thoughts. This has Taraji P. Henson in it, and it’s like What Women Want, which I really enjoy lol. I hope it’s good since 2018 wasn’t very nice to Taraji with those other two movies.
Happy Death Day 2U- Feb 14: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one so I’m down for this one.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World- Feb 22: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. The first two are fantastic movies, so I would imagine that this would be the same. The animation looks better than ever and I’m excited!
March
Chaos Walking- March 1: A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. Apparently, it’s based on a YA novel, these don’t usually do well when they’re “dystopian” at least not consistently, but Tom Holland is in it sooo I’m there.
Greta- March 1: A young woman befriends a lonely widow. I saw this trailer on YouTube and it looks bonkers! I’m down.
Captain Marvel- March 8: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Need I say anything more? I’m excited. I just hope Brie Larson kicks butt in the role because I love her, and I think she’s a great actress, but the trailers don’t do anything for her acting ability.
Us- March 15: A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. But Alyx, I thought you didn’t like scary movies… I don’t know. However, I want to support the culture lol and it looks interesting. Sooooo I’ll be there… scared, watching through my fingers.
Dumbo- March 29: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. I know people don’t like these “live action” Disney remakes but I’m optimistic and open to them. I have always loved Dumbo the animation movie so I’m excited about this one! Dumbo is so precious!
April
Avengers: Endgame-April 26: The Plot is unknown. Listen, Infinity War kicked me in the stomach so I’m ready. I don’t even care if they have the Care Bears come down and do a Care Bear stare, I’m there.
May
John Wick: Chapter 3- May 17: Plot Unknown but it’s the third installment in the series. John Wick kicks ass and I’m there.
The Sun is Also a Star- May 17: A teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life. I really loved the book so I’m looking forward to the film. I wasn’t too impressed with the casting (I like Yara Shahidi but Natasha is Jamaican and described as having darker skin). Plus, Everything, Everything the film was okay so I’m like hmmm but I am optimistic.
Aladdin- May 24, 2019: A live-action retelling of the 1992 Disney film of the same name. I AM SO OPTIMISTIC! I’m curious because Guy Ritchie has a certain style and I wonder if it’ll fit this kind of movie. I really hope it’s good and I’m there.
June
Dark Phoenix-  June 7: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. I’m optimistic lol, I don’t think X-men Apocalypse was that great but there were parts of it I liked. The last time dark phoenix was done it wasn’t very good, so we’ll see how this turns out. I mean, the promo photos were pretty great so… optimistic.
Toy Story 4-June 21, 2019. When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Do we really need another Toy Story film? Not really… but will I be watching it? Most definitely.
July
Spider-Man: Far from Home-July 5, 2019: Peter Parker and his friends go on summer vacation to Europe, where Peter finds himself trying to save his friends against a villain known as Mysterio. I AM SO EXCITED! I really enjoyed Tom Holland in Civil War and I thought Homecoming was great, so I hope they keep that vibe they had in the first movie and make the sequel even better.
The Lion King- July 19, 2019: CGI re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic. I wouldn’t call it “live action” it’s a CGI remake and I’m there. I thought the teaser was lovely, Simba was so precious and I’m curious to see how they’ve updated it. I’m into it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood-July 26, 2019: A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles. This has a great cast.
August
The New Mutants-August 2, 2019: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Another year and no movie, so I’m still waiting to see it!
September
It: Chapter Two-September 6, 2019: Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. I loved the first one…. another horror lol I know, I might even go past my “3 a year” quota if there are some I want to see, and I want to see this one. Great cast (though I still don’t like Chastain as older Beverly) and I’m interested to see how our adult Losers Club takes down Pennywise.
October
Zombieland 2- October 2019: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. I LOOVE the first one and it seems like the original actors are back so I’m there!
November
Kingsman 3-November 8. Plot unknown. I loved the first one, the second one was just okay, so I hope this one brings the trilogy back to being solid.
Frozen 2-November 27. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf are going far in the forest to know the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom. I don’t even care, I love the first one. It doesn’t bother me at all nor is it annoying so I’m ready to see what happens next. The only thing that annoyed me was them playing that super long Olaf Christmas short in front of Coco. That was uncalled for.
December
Jumanji 2- December 13. Plot unknown. I really liked the first one to my surprise so I’m curious to see what they do for the sequel.
Little Women-December 25: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. I LOVE Little Women and I’m excited for this adaptation. I love Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and the other great acting talents in this film. It’s also being directed by Greta Gerwig who did Lady Bird which I loved so yeah, exciting.
Star Wars: Episode IX-December 20. Plot unknown. I have come to terms that I am not a big Star Wars fan. I enjoy the movies and I have enjoyed the new trilogy, so I’m interested in seeing the last one.
Not really Anticipating but want to see: 
January
The Kid Who Would Be King- Jan 25: Looks like it’s about King Arthur. I mean, it might be terrible, but the trailers seem fun.
Serenity- Jan 25: I have no idea what this movie is about, but I like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.
February
Miss. Bala- Feb 1: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film. It reminds me of all the other films that are similar to this but it looks nice and I enjoy Gina Rodriguez.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part- Feb 8: No idea what this movie is about but the first one is cute so why not.
Alita: Battle Angel- Feb 14: The trailer seems interesting, it reminds me of Astroboy… I mean if anything the graphics look good.
March
Five Feet Apart-Mar 22: A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love. I’m not to sure if I think it’ll be any good, but I want to see Cole Sprouse not in Riverdale and I wonder if it’ll make me cry.
April
Shazam! – April 5: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. I’m not really anticipating this one, I’m just interested in seeing it because it looks fun.
The Best of Enemies- April 5: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. I saw this trailer when I saw The Hate U Give and it looks good and Taraji P. Henson is in it so even more reason to see it.
Little- April 12: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. I’m definitely going to see it to support! Plus it looks like it’ll be a good time.
May
Pokémon Detective Pikachu- May 10: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective. I just want to see what happens, plus I think the Pokémon designs are pretty dope.
Rocketman- May 17: The story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. Taron Egerton is playing Elton John… sure lol. I like Taron, so why not.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters-May 31: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. I enjoyed the first one minus the boring human stuff but this one seems interesting.
June
The Secret Life of Pets 2-June 7: Plot unknown. The first one is cute so I’m into seeing the second one.
July
August
Hobbs And Shaw- August 2, 2019: A spinoff of The Fate of the Furious, focusing on Johnson’s US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs forming an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Deckard Shaw. I like both characters in the franchise, they were both fun in The Fate of the Furious, so this should be fun to watch.
Artemis Fowl- August 9, 2019: Artemis Fowl II, a young Irish criminal mastermind, kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Holly Short for ransom to fund the search for his missing father to restore the family fortune. I read the book in middle school and I remember liking it, so I’m curious to see how the movie holds up. I will read the book again to truly compare but I can’t help but think this will be another A Wrinkle in Time mess.
September
Spies in Disguise- Sept 13: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. Voice talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the trailer was charming so sure, I’ll watch it.
October
Gemini Man- Oct 4: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. It’s basically like Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt it seems like, but I’m interested in seeing it.
Joker- October 4. A failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic murderer. lol sure, why not.
The Addams Family-October 11. An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. It has a great cast being led by Oscar Isaac who is always a win in my book… but I’m not like off my seat for it even though I really enjoy The Addams Family. I’ve always thought that if they ever did anymore live action films Oscar Isaac should play Gomez Addams.
November
Charlie’s Angels- November 1. Plot Unknown. LOL sure. I’m curious.
Sonic the Hedgehog-November 15. A cop in rural town of Green Hills will help Sonic escape from the government who is looking to capture him. lol I’ve always liked Sonic… I think he looks a little weird on the poster, but I will wait to pass judgement when it’s released.
December
I’m sure there are movies that will pop up throughout the year that won’t be on this list but I’ll probably add more as I discover more.
What movies are you anticipating this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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