We all have a superhero inside of us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In 14-year-old Billy Batson’s case, all he needs to do is shout out one word to transform into Shazam. Still a kid at heart, Shazam revels in the new version of himself by doing what any other teen would do — have fun while testing out his newfound powers. But he’ll need to master them quickly before the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana can get his hands on his magical abilities. What will happen when the two come face to face?
Plot: 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.
Director: David F. Sandberg
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 132 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre’s real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
“Funny, lighthearted and enjoyable depiction of a kid finding powers and turning into a super hero.”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa Mini & SXT cameras and finished at a 3.4k Digital Intermediate, so you will get a bit of an upscaled 4k image for this release. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision and HDR10.
When it comes to the grain levels, there’s a light layer present — the only time you’ll see it consistently is in the Hall of Champions with the work of atmospherics. There are a few soft shots during a few night scenes, but nothing to poke at — even though this film was shot digitally I felt like there was a bit of a filmatic aspect to it, but maybe that was just me.
This is another case where the HDR plays a bigger factor than the upgrade in resolution with UHD. In Shazam! the HDR adds its touches of work in almost every frame — you will see heightened textures on rocks, walls, pillars, buildings, asphalt, etc. You will see this a bunch of times in high action scenes and every time lightning is in play, it looks amazing. On top of this the black levels hold true to tone in various scenes in the car in Chapter 1, scenes that take place in the Hall of Champions, under the darkness of night, etc. Don’t get my wrong, it is a jump over the Blu-ray in all aspects, including resolution — it’s just that the HDR steals the show.
When it comes to those details, you will notice more on the UHD like the scale textures on Shazam’s suit, wool on gloves and other pieces of clothing, plus the sweeping shots of snowy Philadelphia look great too! You will get some up-close shots (something that UHD shines in) enhancing pores, wrinkles, blemishes, facial hair, cuts and sweat — just not in abundance.
Something I was worried about with this disc is the question of: would the CGI hold up? The 7 deadly sins monsters are full-blown CGI so I was worried the added resolution and HDR would enhance the fact that they weren’t actually in the shot. Good news! Warner Bro’s did a great job on the rendering on this film, it’s not distracting at all. The Chapter 7 reveal looks great and the up-close detail can be noticed when the opportunity arrises.
One highlight that I noted was a scene that took place in Chapter 9, the scene where Shazam saves a group of citizens on the bus. It’s a very clear, high quality scene that showcases the red suit against the bright white snow from multiple angles. The HDR shines pushing color, brightness and detail all over the screen. Eye-candy.
I’ve read mixed reviews on this movie, but nothing too negative — it varies from very positive to right in the middle. I’m on the very positive side of things because the movie knew exactly what it wanted to achieve, and it did just that. The way I would compare this movie to those who haven’t seen it; it’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It isn’t at the level of Guardians, but it’s DC’s lighthearted, funny superhero movie — something to take away from the dark and serious nature of previous films. I hope we see more Zachary Levi as Shazam! for not only a sequel, but with other DC hero’s on screen.
With all that in mind you easily have my recommendation to pick this movie up, it’s a great addition to add to your UHD collection.
Did you enjoy the movie? Hate it? Who cares? Let me know in the comments below. You can pick this up on July 16th at your local retailer or watch it on Digital today!
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