Is It Captain Marvel or Is It SHAZAM!

SHAZAM!

Good day to you all and welcome back to our little part of the internet! My name is Kay, and it is my pleasure to get to know all of you! The sun is out, and I am ready to go to the beach with my husband and friends! Nothing more amazing than a long day outside enjoying the sun kissing my skin.

This last Saturday was my 25th birthday, which was a lot of fun. I got a cake and balloons! I was able to talk to my family and friends. It was a long day of eating and laying around with our cat, Lucas Bucas (Luke for short as you all know). I knew that Chris was planning something for us to do later on in the night, but I didn’t really know what to expect. We showed up to our local theater, but for the life of me, I could not recall what movies were out that we would have been wanting to see. Then he let it out. SHAZAM! Confusion swept over me as we haven’t talked about this movie coming out since we hear of it’s release date.

Just like Captain Marvel (funny because they use to have that name in common), I was not all that excited to see this film. Not because I didn’t think it wasn’t going to be a good movie to watch. Not because of the critics either. By no means did I think that it was going to be trash. I knew that it was going to be good. DC has been taking good strides with the new direction that they decided to go. I just didn’t know that much about Shazam. I knew of his name. I knew of the general information about his character, but I just didn’t know all that much about him. The trailers seemed to portray him to be a super goofy person, to the extent that I thought it was going to bring me out of the experience.

Since this post is about this movie, I will be talking about some of the events that happened. If you haven’t seen it and want to, then you might want to wait reading this until after you see this film. The young child in this opening scene is Thaddeus Sivana from 1974 (Ethan Pugiotto) and the wonderful Wizard (Djimon Hounsou). Thaddeus’ father Mr. Sivana (John Glover Jr. I just have to share this, but he was Lionel Luther in CW’s Smallville. He was also in the 1997 Batman and Robin film as Jason Woodrue. He’s involved in many DC shows and movies. I was very excited to see him again…carry on.) Lastly, Sid Sivana 1974 (Landon Doak). 

If you would like to see the whole cast members then you can click the link below!

Understanding The Beginnings of A Villain

Imagine yourself being a young child of your family. A Black Sheep if you will. Imagine that no matter how hard you try, there’s nothing you can do to win your families affection. Traveling, quietly to your grandfather’s house for Christmas (1974) with your favorite toy in your hands. A Magic 8 Ball cradled into your tiny fingers to tell of your future that you so desperately want to know. Small sounds coming from you, start to inch into your father’s patience until he yells at you about bring a toy along with you when he told you not to. Your older brother is the wanted child. The football star. The perfect student. He doesn’t need glasses. You got all the “bad genes”. It’s obvious that your older brother is your father’s favorite. You’re still young and haven’t really figured that out yet, but all your life you’ve been yelled at or told that you weren’t doing it right. Nothing that you do makes the cut. Imagine that you were the least loved person in your family unit.

On your trip to your grandfather’s, something amazing happens. The family that you feel you don’t belong to, has disappeared. The car is going into overdrive as the windows start to ice up. Your heart starts to race. Sweat starts to pearl onto your skin. Your eyes are the size of saucers. Snapping your head from left to right to front to back…but then…silence.

Stepping out of the family car, snowflakes stick to your hair as peaceful as a morning dove to branches. Thoughts of peace and quiet mix into this mind of child.

"Hello!?"

No one answers. Why isn’t there an answer? Didn’t they bring you there? It’s cold here. Its dark here. Where are you supposed to go? Where is your family? Who is that old guy at the end of the room? Questions that soon will be answered, just focus on the old man with the glowing Thunderbolt on his chest. Shh now, let him speak. He’s speaking of ultimate power…of being a Champion. Is that you? Could you be that Champion? What’s he saying now…? What Eye? Is the Wizard talking about that glowing circle? It’s talking to you in low but firm voice…voices? One, two, three…seven? Right! The wizard said something about the Seven Deadly Sins, but what does that have to do with this glowing thing.

It’s telling you to reach out and take it away from it’s perch. It makes you feel powerful. Finally! The small field around it starts to open up as it invites you to grab it tight, but suddenly your gaze gets snapped back to the Wizard! What happened? What’s going on?

What did you do wrong!?

“You will never be good enough to be the Champion!”

A feeling of despair envelopes you, but this is a little different. Now it’s a Being of Power telling you that you will never be good enough. What are you talking about? Why would you say that? I can be good enough! Please! Just give me another chance! Panic fills your being as you start to lose the connection that you desperately carve!

The voices that you were hearing speak to you. They want you to come back for them. That’s the last thing that your child like ears hear as you are whisked back into your family car, with the family that hates you.

It’s like it never happened…but you remember everything. It stays with you forever. Panic.

With that imagery, if I am at least half as good as I think I am, how do you think that you would feel in this situation? Would you become obsessed with the thought of getting back to the voices so that they can bless you with the power that you deserve? Could you let it go or work hard enough where you didn’t need that power? I don’t know what I would do.

So right off the bat, this movie is pretty dark. Not just because of the color schemes, but also with the atmosphere that I had just got done describing. DCEU has become the masters at creating uncomfortable but compelling storylines that make you gawk at the screen, but just as quickly as you were introduced into this small window of this young boy’s life, you are pulled out of it and planted in 2019.

Who is the Champion you ask? Well, that will just take a second to get to. The beginning of finding the new Champion will start off with us being introduced to a trouble making, Billy Batson (Asher Angel). An adolescent foster child that runs away from home after home in hopes of locating his long-lost mother, which comes with a fascinating story and imagery.

His side of the story:

Billy remembers this memory being a happy one with his beautiful and responsible mother. The weather is pretty and bright. Her hair is perfect, her smile is to die for, her clothes are freshly washed, and the love that she had for him was unmeasurable. They are playing the balloon game where you have to throw a dart at the balloons to win a prize. The more that you hit, the bigger the prize that you’ll get. Billy obviously wanted to get the bigger prize, but she just can’t hit the balloons! Finally, she hits one and the game is over. Billy didn’t get the prize that he wanted but at the end, his mother gently hands him a small compass so that he can, “always find his way.”

It seems like the whole park was leaving at one time, because the crowd was so thick as they were walking away from the game to go home. Billy drops the compass, people kick it while walking, he runs off to retrieve it, getting further and further away from his mother. The small child picks up his prize, but then realizing that his mother is no where near him. A panic consumes his small body. Next, we see the police have him sitting on the top of the police cruiser hood, trying to find his mom.

Going forward to when Billy is caught from running away from another Foster Home, we meet a lovely couple by the name of Victor and Rosa Vasquez (Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans). They seem like a very fun-loving couple, and Billy is out of places to go. I believe that he ran away from 20 homes by this time. They have 5 other foster children in their house, but they have more than enough space for number 6. Even if you didn’t know all that much about Shazam, it’s pretty normal for superheroes to have their “_______ Families” Like the Flash Family or the Bat Family, there’s a Shazam Family, and we just got introduced to them.

First, we get to meet Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman). She is the cutest little girl! She reminds me of my little cousin Ni-Fearia. She’s so open with everyone and loves to talk to everyone and anyone that will listen. You can see that family is really important to her. Luckily, the Vasquez’ got her. Secondly, we get to meet Eugene Choi (Ian Chen) sitting in the living room playing a game online with other players. He’s shouting at the screen/shouting at his teammates to do better. He knows he isn’t allowed to play games after dark and plays it off as smooth as a kid can. I believe that we get to meet Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton) next. From the sounds of it, she is applying to college’s and is very goal orientated. You don’t get too see too much of her because she’s a busy girl, but you can tell she is a sweet young lady. Second to last is Pedro Pena (sorry I can’t make my Spanish N on here Ha-ha!) (Joven Armand). He’s a quiet kid that seems to take time to warm up to others. Though I think that is true, I think that he could be silently rooting for your success in the meantime. There’s a small part after they come out of the strip club (funny part of the movie) that makes me laugh. Go see the movie and see if you can hear what he says. I loved it (Ha-ha!) Lastly is Freddy Freeman (Jack Grazer). He has a physical disability which causes him to stand out amongst his peers. He ends up being the one that gets to room with Billy. Funny enough, we get to see a bunch of Easter-Eggs because of this one character.

So, what we’ve all been waiting for, the part when young Mr. Batson becomes the famous hero that we all paid to see, is finally here. Dr. Sivana has come and gone for his power, leaving the old Wizard alone and desperate for his Champion. Luckily, Billy was already up to be “interviewed” for his shot at power, but this kid doesn’t know when to stop talking. The Wizard doesn’t care much for wasted time, so he puts a stop to any unnecessary questions or actions.

The old Wizard (can also be called Shazam) asks Billy if he believe that he could be the next Champion. In all honesty, he tells the Wizard that he doesn’t think he is worthy of such a power. This is the most grown up answer he could have possibly had said. He showed no sign of greed but humility. Obviously, this was the correct answer, because next thing you know, the Wizard is barking orders at Billy, which is being followed to a T.

“Speak. My. Name.”

Is it just me or is this whole movie intense? From the first scene to this one that I ended on, it’s been nothing but sad or dark experiences.

Flash forward a bit past Billy shows Freddy who he is and what he’s become. They figure out how to get him back to his normal size. Now this is what I would like to touch on. Them trying to figure out what powers he has. Its all new to them, so why not try them all out, and since Freddy is the only one that Billy knows that it into Superheroes, then he would be an excellent person to share this with.

So, this is my favorite part about the movie, them figuring out what powers he does and does not possess. Even though super powers like flying or super speed are way out of reach, this is the most down to earth acting I have seen in a long time. Each time that Shazam does something off of the list of abilities there’s a check mark next to the word, like super speed. And a cross/scribble out when he doesn’t complete the challenge like being fire retardant. A big whopping NO! (Ha-ha) Shazam did not like being set on fire, while he was in a box two sizes too small.

I do want to comment on one thing that I didn’t like seeing in the film. I thought that the first flight scene that Shazam was in was a bit cheesy. Not because of the acting. It just felt a bit unnatural and uncomfortable. The later flying scenes were up to standards, and I understand that the flying and acting are hard things to do. I honestly would be terrible at doing one or the other. I would definitely fall face first if I have to do both at the same time. I get that. It’s just for that first time seeing it (the mall scene, trying to get away from Dr. Livana as fast as possible) it brought me out of the movie.

And this is no way a disappointment at all, but the villain figured out how to get to Shazam superfast. It’s not hard to remember that we are watching a 15-year-old in the body of an upper 20 to lower 30-year-old. Freddy has been adamant about talking to Shazam in public, where videos can be taken. Also, the news is always around so there is no chance that people wouldn’t see the relationship that they share. It’s not hard to figure out if I (the villain) were to take this kid, I could get the attention and obedience of the person I’m trying to take power from.

Billy gets in trouble and sulks in his room. Freddy isn’t there (obviously because Dr. Livana captured him and is interrogating him). His foster parents leave the room, telling the other kids that he needs some alone time. Not one second later, they all walk into the room, ignoring the instructions that were given to them. Pedro was the one that found Billy’s old notebook (that he threw into the bathroom trash when he arrived at the new home). Eugene used his computer skills (that he just had to learn to play video games better) to track down the true address of Billy’s mother. ZOOM!

Guess who was living, conveniently, two blocks away from his exact location. Movie magic is the real deal! She didn’t go by Batson anymore, so that’s why no one could find her. Rushing out of the house, he makes his way to the apartment complex. One door, two doors, three…finally. After years of searching, getting in trouble, running away, being alone, her door is in front of him. Billy knocks and is amazed as he sees his mother for the first time in probably 9-10 years. Billy’s Rose-Colored-Glasses are still on. She is absolutely beautiful and all he wants is for her to match his wanting to be together again. Arms from this young man comes towards her but shockingly, to him, she pushes him away. A loud gruff voice comes from inside of the apartment that she was leaving. The audience is left to figure out that Billy was a secret from her new life.

In this time as well, as the mall is being covered by the media, the other foster kids (Mary to be exact) figures out that Billy is the new superhero of Philly. Darla already knew but was told not to say anything, because good sisters don’t tell other people’s secrets. This is the first superhero movie that I’ve watched, that wasn’t a joke movie, to actually have supporting characters figure out the big secret on their own. And I highlight again that Billy and Freddy are just kids. They don’t know how to keep it a secret. They want to show off and do cool things. Maybe make some money in the meantime. They didn’t have a strong structure about what it is like to be a real-life superhero. I thought this was a really cool and different approach to this film.

His mother’s side of the story:

The day is cold and gloomy. She is in old winter gear and frustrated that she cannot hit a balloon to make her wanting child quiet. He wants the big prize, but she can’t hit anything. She was running low on money, so Billy only got a small toy. Her hair is put up, so she won’t have to deal with it, her smile hasn’t been seen in ages, her clothes are dingy looking, and the love that she had for him was measurable. His mother gruffly hands him a small compass so that he can, “always find his way.” Snatching him off of the counter as they quickly try to leave the Christmas Town.

It seems like the whole park was leaving at one time, because the crowd was so thick as they were walking away from the game to go home. Billy lets go of her hand and before she knew it he was gone. Quickly she tries to look for him, pushing people out of the way and shouting his name angerly. Next scene, we see the police have him sitting on the top of the police cruiser hood, trying to find his mom. She sees that Billy is safe with the police and decides then and there that she and he would be better off separated. Quickly, she disappears into the crowd, leaving her only son with the Law.

For as goofy and fun as this movie could be, it sure does have a dark side to it, but what is balance if not light and dark. Even if we didn’t know her side of the story, if she would have called the cops asking for help into finding her young son, the stationed police would have tracked her down and returned her son to her. But she didn’t. You wouldn’t just give up on looking for your son if you really wanted him. She gave him up willingly because she was out of her depth and wanted a way out. Like everything, it can be a tricky subject, but that’s how it played out in this universe.

 

She asks him if he’s been okay, and that he seemed to have become a stand-up young adult. More for just lip service. You can see that she is uncomfortable with this transaction and just wants it to go away. I can tell that Billy is getting the hint and decides to distance himself with the thought of his mother. His Rose-Colored-Glasses slipped off of his face, onto the ground, and under her feet. He sees what really happened. He needs to get back to his real family. Not looking back, Billy walks down the hallway. On his way out, his phone goes off…it’s Freddy…no it isn’t.

SHAZAM!

How are you all feeling about what you all just read? Though the movie has you giggling the whole time, there are some dark themes to it. How do you feel about Billy’s mother? Do you think that she is going to try an get into her son’s life? Can she even call him her son? I think the resolution, though it wasn’t happy, was the most realistic thing that could have happened. Like I said before, if she wanted to find him and be in his life, there isn’t a thing in this world that would keep her away from him. She left him when he was a toddler. She didn’t want to be apart of his life. It’ dark but I’m glad that she didn’t stick around him. I don’t think that he would have been able to grow up to be this amazing person if she decided that she was finally ready to be a mother. She, figuratively, threw Billy at the police and ran away.

  • Going forward we see that Dr. Livana is weakest when all of the Deadly Sins are out of the Eye.
  • There’s a point where Shazam takes the glowing staff away from our villain.
  • Villain gets upper hand.
  • Shazam has the upper hand and turns all of his family into Shazam heroes.
  • Shazam comforts a young girl, with a plush tiger, hiding from the monsters with her father.
  • Mary tells Shazam that Dr. Livana is weak when the Sins are out of the Eye.
  • Idea forms.
  • Uses the weakness of the Sins to draw them out.
  • Good guys win and the citizens rejoice to the image of their own superhero team!

Now, all of those bullet points are very important, but it is the fight scene, and just like a joke, no one likes to be explained a fight scene. So, were just going to move on to our next talking point (Ha-ha)!

Since we already have the quick line of events, we can focus on two of the last things I want to mention. Christ was actually the one to bring this up, and it was the last part of the movie, where they were all sitting down for dinner. While it’s a really nice scene and Billy finally releases the anger from his small body and joins in on the dinner traditions, there is a question that popped into Chris’ head…did everyone tell the parents what all happened? Most likely not, because who would be fine with their child fighting super villains? How did they keep the fact that they were all out of the house at the same time while there was a SUPER VILLAIN attacking part of the city? What lie could they have possibly told their caretakers to make up where they were all that time?

Lastly was when Freddy is at lunch at school. Everyone is watching him and staying away from him because earlier in the film, he claimed to have know Shazam (Captain Sparkle Fingers (probably making fun of the whole Captain Marvel title that he once shared))). He sits down at the back table alone, but suddenly, all of his foster siblings sit down at the table.

But they all had different lunch periods. *you say to yourself* How are they all here at the same time *as you grow more and more intrigued and confused*

The shot is that of Freddy being equally confused as you are (but you aren’t really confused because you see a doorway in the back of the shot.) Suddenly, Shazam stands in the door, and it’s just jokes all the way around. Saying things like, “He’s the coolest!” and “Oh yeah! We go way back!” Instantly making his status go up in the school. Most likely won’t be bullied anymore…but that wasn’t the last surprise. The collective lunch room dropped their jaws even further as soon as they seen the most famous hero in all the world (besides Batman). Superman comes in on the right. But here is the little trick that they did. They didn’t show his face. They didn’t have to have to pay Henry Cavill for a small guest appearance. Genius.

Thank you all again for coming to read my new post. I appreciate all of our viewer and hope that comes across in each post. Thank you all again for the lovely comments and e-mails. I always love hearing from you all. If you are new here, please feel free to contact us at candm.bodenmiller@gmail.com we check our mail regularly to keep up with any thoughts or concerns you all might have.

-Kay