SHAZAM! Blu-ray Review


EDITOR’S NOTE: BOF received a copy of this Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for reviewing purposes.

I loved Shazam! and said so back when we recorded an episode reviewing the movie on the Batman On Film Podcast back in April.

BOF also posted multiple reviews on the website, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time revising my thoughts on the film.

I will say that I think this is a fantastic movie that I believe will find an expanded audience on home video. The movie has a very sweet heart at its core and I believe it will be one that families can enjoy together (while skipping over one particularly disturbing scene) at home.

One of the critiques I had initially was that some of the scenes feel a bit small in scope in comparison to other big-screen comic book spectacles. Watching Shazam! at home I didn’t have the same feeling for some reason and I think it relates to this movie having an old school 80’s Amblin vibe to it that suits home viewing perfectly.

The picture quality is sharp and the original aspect ratio is preserved. I reviewed Shazam! In 1080p, and the special effects (while not as perfectly rendered as some larger budget superhero fare) were effective and their weakest points, as in some of the 7 Deadly Sins shots, were not as distracting as they were on the big screen. I’m looking forward to watching the movie again in 4K when I get the chance.

Still, in 1080p, there is a brightness to the picture that doesn’t fade out some really gorgeous texture work in costume and set design. Contrasts are also displayed beautifully with Shazam’s white cape standing out in dark backgrounds that present varying levels of black well.

From a sound standpoint, the mix is handled well. The dialogue is easy to hear and stands above the score and effects without making the presentation sound disjointed. My home theaters surround sound showed off the different channels and audio effects well. There was a little thinness were other films may have gone a bit bigger or deeper, but that could have been the result of my personal set up just as easily as the film itself.

As far as the special features I think this WB/DC release may have one of the best selection of more recently released (Man of Steel to today) films. There are hours of supplemental material, though sadly not commentary track from director David F. Sandberg. Instead, there are a number of deleted or alternate scenes that can be played with introduction/commentary from the director. While I enjoyed all the scenes, two really stood out.

The first is an incredibly impressive steadicam shot where Billy meets his foster family for the first time and the second is a scene featuring the Shazamily sitting on their wizarding thrones and teasing Black Adam.

While Sandberg gives a good explanation as to why the steadicam shot didn’t make the final cut, it was fairly baffling why the thrones scene wasn’t included in the feature film, if indeed WB was feeling solid about a sequel and Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam.

I enjoyed all of the special features even if some of them felt a little light and of stock nature (I’m looking at you, gag reel) but two others really rose above the rest.

“The Magical World of Shazam!” is essentially a mini-documentary on the making of the film, providing some incredible insight to the hiring of director Sandberg and star Zachary Levi. It is also very forthcoming about how this movie was made on a budget and how that approach was tweaked a bit as the studio became more confident in the product.

“Super Fun Zac” is a bit highlighting Levi on the set. This isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it’s a really fun look at the actor and his interactions with his co-stars and presence on set. It’s clear what got Levi the role and why he was such a good fit to portray this character.

Overall this is an excellent home video release of a film that I very much enjoyed. The presentation is wonderful and it is heavy on special features compared to other WB/DC releases. Don’t miss out. – Garret Grev