Back left
Back right

Shazam! Blu-ray Review – Lots of cool extras!

The home entertainment version is a fun addition to your home video library.

Jul 15, 2019
Shazam! Blu-ray Review – Lots of cool extras! - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Jul 15, 2019
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Kidzworld reviews the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital version of Shazam! It offers funny, informative and entertaining extras.

By: Lynn Barker

Shazam! is a DC superhero created when his name is spoken by just the right person. He is a macho adult but also 14-year-old streetwise kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel who plays Jonah in “Andi Mack”).  When he is sent to yet another foster home, he plans to run and continue his quest to find his birth mom but he is magically transported to the amazing cave home of the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou). Shazam tells him Billy he must take on the weakening wizard’s powers, morph into an adult superhero and fight off the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana who will misuse the power of the seven deadly sins to corrupt the world. Can Billy succeed?

Shazam! Trailer

 

Dr. Sivana’s Backstory

Young Thad Sivana is on a 1974 Christmas car trip with his older brother and dad (John Glover) who constantly puts him down. Thad’s magic 8 ball transports him to the Rock of Eternity cave where he meets the wizard Shazam who shows him the huge stone statues of the Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Wrath and Sloth. The weakening wizard needs a new champion to continue his magical work for good. Thad is tested for being pure of heart but he is seduced by the eye of envy and fails. Zapped back into the car, his dad gets angry when he tries to tell him where he’s been and a horrible wreck occurs which badly injures dad.  

Does Billy have what it takes?Does Billy have what it takes?Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Billy Batson

Today, 14-year-old street-wise kid Billy Batson distracts some cops in Philadelphia so he can look up an address on their squad car computer. He is turned in to child services and placed in yet another foster home. He always runs away, searching for his mother from whom he became separated as a young child at a carnival. The Vasquez foster family is nice and consists of dad Victor (Cooper Andrews of “The Walking Dead”), mom Rosa (Marta Milans) and foster kids crippled teen Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), Darla (Faithe Herman), Eugene (Ian Chen), Pedro (Jovan Armand) and older teen Mary (Grace Fulton). Billy seems to give up on finding his mom.

Billy and Freddy meetBilly and Freddy meetCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Meanwhile

Adult Thad has become research scientist Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong). He is pretending to research mass hysteria while really collecting the experiences of those called to the cave by Shazam to possibly take over his powers. Sivana, finding the symbols that open a portal to the wizard Shazam’s lair, goes there not to take on the powers of good but to grasp the eye of envy thus releasing the creatures representing the Seven Deadly Sins. They are sucked up into dust and enter the Dr.’s body through the glowing stone which has attached itself to his eye. He knocks out the old wizard and leaves.

The foster kids at dinnerThe foster kids at dinnerCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Billy the Hero

Billy is shown around his new school by superhero-obsessed Freddy who is his age. Billy comes to Freddy’s defense when he is bullied by two older kids. He whacks them with Freddy’s crutch and runs into the subway to escape them. While on the train, weird symbols appear and zap Billy to the Rock of Eternity lair where the now ancient wizard tells him about Sivana and the released Deadly Sins demons and begs him to take on his powers. Billy reluctantly says the wizard’s name as requested and is pure of heart enough to transform into the adult hero Shazam (Zachary Levi). The wizard turns to dust.

Freddy and Shazam test his powersFreddy and Shazam test his powersCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Superhero Fun

Shazam returns to Philadelphia and after introducing himself to a shocked but totally stoked Freddy, the two decide to find out what superpowers Billy/Shazam has. He can shoot lightning from his hands, has super speed and strength and bullet and fire immunity. Freddy posts videos of the trials that go viral. Shazam can also turn back into Billy by saying “Shazam” again. Further adventures include stopping a convenience store robbery and getting free snacks, charging random folks’ cellphones, zapping a teller machine for money, trying to buy a super lair, going to a strip club (which we don’t really see) and more.

Shazam and Freddy stop a robberyShazam and Freddy stop a robberyCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Taking Revenge

Dr. Sivana barges into a Sivana Industries corporate meeting chaired by his now crippled dad and his older brother. He ends up throwing evil bro out the window and calling forth the Deadly Sins demons from within to slaughter the entire staff including his dad. Learning that another has gotten the wizard’s Shazam powers, he must find and kill him before he reaches his full potential.

Freddy videos Shazam and it goes viralFreddy videos Shazam and it goes viralCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Getting Cocky

When the school bullies taunt Freddy and Billy again, Freddy tells them he knows the now famous Shazam. When they don’t believe him, Freddy promises them that he’ll get him to show up to lunch tomorrow. Freddy and Billy argue over Billy/Shazam’s new cocky attitude. Next day Billy ditches school, goes looking for mom again, turns into Shazam and takes selfies with people for money leaving poor Freddy to face the entire school and the bullies at lunch when Shazam doesn’t show up. Freddy finds him and Shazam accidentally fires lightning bolts which knock a bus off the road almost killing the passengers. He is able to save the people but Freddy reminds him that he caused the accident!

I can shoot lightning from my hands!I can shoot lightning from my hands!Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Confrontation

Dr. Sivana sees the televised bus rescue and confronts Shazam demanding he turn over his powers. During their fight, Shazam discovers he can also fly. He turns back into Billy and escapes but Sivana sees Freddy there and makes him take him to the Vasquez house. Earlier, the kids, hoping to make Billy feel better, tell him they have found his mom. She is nearby. The foster parents follow him, leaving the kids home alone when Sivana arrives with Freddy. He traps the kids while Billy confronts his mom who is a loser who admits she basically ditched him. She was only 17 and couldn’t really raise him.

Shazam confronts Dr. SivanaShazam confronts Dr. SivanaCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

A Final Battle?

Using Freddy’s phone, Sivana calls Billy. He zaps into Shazam and flies home agreeing to give up his powers to save his new brothers and sisters. Will this happen or will Shazam be able to rescue the kids and defeat Sivana and his Deadly Sin demons? Will the foster kids also play a role in Sivana’s defeat?

Actors playing the foster kidsActors playing the foster kidsCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Watch at the end for a mid-credits scene involving Sivana’s fate and a post credits scene in which Shazam tries out yet another power…to silly results.

Special Extra Features

This Blu-ray/DVD/Digital set looks and sounds great. Extras are entertaining, often funny and well worth a watch.

  • Motion Comic : Superhero Hooky – This is a cute comic story in which Shazam is in trouble for taking the kids (aka superheroes) out of school on an unauthorized “field trip” which we see is really a superhero battle involving the Shazam family.
  • The Magical World of Shazam is the “making of” extra on this Blu-ray and it covers actors on wires on set doing fight scenes, storyboards and Pre-Viz, Zach Levi on getting the lead role (he tried out for another role in the movie), costumes and costume malfunctions, first day of shooting, ad-libbing lines, music, sets, special visual effects and more. Very thorough extra!
  • Super Fun Zach – features our lead actor being funny on set and getting along great with the kid/teen actors. He plays music on set to keep energy up. Cute.

Zach Levi on set with his directorZach Levi on set with his directorCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes – a lot! The longest is the “Wizard Prologue” which gives us a better idea of what the Shazam wizard suffered at the hands of the Deadly Sins Demons. Nice to watch for more background. An “Alternate Opening” is slower but gives us more insight into why villain Thad Sivana hates his family so much. “Billy on the Subway”, “Introducing Orphans to Their new Home”, “Alternate Interview Scenes”, “Billy Sneaks Out”, “New School with Darla”, “Darla’s Tea Party”, all are short and worth a once through. “Sivana Christmas Party” is really interesting as Sivana kills his family there rather than in the Board Room. “Alternate Lightning with My Hands” shoots Shazam goofing around on a street corner that was later re-shot in Philadelphia.
  • “Additional Montage Beats” just gives us a few more ad-libbed “tests” Freddy does with Shazam to figure out his powers. “Alternate Carnival Fight” is pretty cool to watch as Sivana and Shazam duke it out at the carnival rather than over the city. “Family on Thrones” just shows the Shazam superheros sitting on their cave thrones. “Alternate Ending Family Beats” shows the superhero kids and Shazam going into action.

Freddy is obsessed with SuperheroesFreddy is obsessed with SuperheroesCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Gag Reel features line flubs but mostly messing around on set, giggles, dancing and more silly fun.
  • Carnival Scene Study takes apart the shots done at the real-life carnival including toppling over a real Ferris Wheel and guys in grey motion capture suits standing in for the Deadly Sins Demons (really funny-looking). A nice Behind-the-Scenes featurette.
  • Shazamily Values is a nice piece in which both young and older actors playing the same parts, talk about getting together to discuss their characters. We get statistics on each superhero and more. Fun!

Wrapping Up

Although the movie is long and needs another editing run-through, watching it at home allows for snack and bathroom breaks that make this more workable. Lead actor Zach Levi’s enthusiasm for the character and fellow actors is evident in the extras. It’s infectious and uplifting.

Shazam accidentally wrecks a school busShazam accidentally wrecks a school busCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Special Extras cover most everything except the comic book character’s origin etc. which is always interesting and there is no audio commentary but you get enough of “how we did that” stuff in the “making of” and on set featurettes.  We can award four stars.

Shazam! Bly-ray Rating: 4

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
 

Buy Shazam! in stores now!

Will You Collect Shazam?

Do you like a more humorous DC superhero? Do you like the family of superheroes formed from foster kids? Do you want to buy or gift this home entertainment set? Let everyone know with a comment. Don’t be shy. We want to hear from you!