Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mighty Mouse and Captain Marvel



Shazam! was a lot of fun and pretty much what it was advertised to be - Big crossed with Superman.  I liked the emphasis on family (and positive depiction of foster parents, something not seen often enough in films), and the cast was very good overall, including the kids. Zachary Levi was great as Captain Marvel (even if they never settle on a name in the film), and clearly had a lot of fun with the role.  The scene where Sivana gives his villain speech in mid air to him had me cracking up.  Sivana was suitably evil, though I prefer the classic hunched over short version of the villain rather than the new one that just looks like Lex Luthor with a scar on his eye.  A minor complaint is that Billy acted a lot more mature in child form than he did as an adult, it didn't always seem like the same character.  I still think they should have cast younger for the role of Billy, Asher Angel will be pushing 20 years old by the time a third installment is released if they want to keep making these. I loved that the advertising didn't spoil all the surprises, and that mid-credits scene featuring one of my all-time favorite villains has me hoping for a sequel.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ross.

I think this is the first time you have taken up one of my suggestions, although you may already have done some covers suggested by my namesakes. (Even if that is not the reason for this cover, thanks.)

These two work really well together.

det_Tobor said...

The Big Red Cheese & the Mouse of Tomorrow on track to save lives? Yeah, I can see it, as long as neither was new and still in train-ing.

Anonymous said...

I honestly have to say that I preferred CAPT. MARVEL over SHAZAM. And for the very reason you mentioned. Billy's adult persona showed less emotional maturity than his younger self. More like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde than any kind of superhero.

And that immediately turned me off to wanting a sequel to it ever being made.

Unknown said...

I agree. Seems someone forgot that the S in SHAZAM is for Solomon's wisdom, and he acted really stupid. In addition, except for Envy at the end, the Seven Deadly Sins just acted like monsters, irrelevant of their essence.

Harry Tzvi Keusch

Daviticus said...

"Zachary Levi was great as Captain Marvel (even if they never settle on a name in the film)"...

Honestly, I'm starting to think it might be time to let go of that.

Ben said...

@Unknown, not only was Solomon's Wisdom ignored, but there was also a scene or two that ignored Achilles' Courage. The movie had its good parts and qualities, but I'd still call it a disappointment to fans of the classic character.

Bob Greenwade said...

I agree with the criticisms here regarding the characterization, something that I blame the director for (though the screenwriter and actors are also complicit). Two actors playing the same character in the same piece need to try to match tone, cadence, body language, and so forth so they seem like the same person, with any differences being attributable to the reason for the change (age, transformation, shapeshifter's disguise, body-hopping, whatever).

And yes, the moments where I realized that the Wisdom of Solomon or the Courage of Achilles were being ignored, it made things seem sufficiently "off" that it brought me out of the moment.

[[SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH]] The multi-actor problem persisted with most of the other five kids as well, Mary being the main exception, though there was little enough of Pedro and Eugene in the rest of the film that it was a bit hard to pin anything down. As for Darla, though, it was hard to care; both versions stole just about every scene they were in -- especially the moment where Superhero Darla (Meagan Good) has a moment with Santa Claus. [[END SPOILERS]]

Regardless of these and other flaws, though, I still give it a high grade. It's loads of fun, and may become my favorite Christmas movie.

Jay Johnson said...

I'm not sure you can totally blame the movie folks for Shazam's immaturity problems. The Golden Age Cap acted like an adult, but DC started playing up the boy-in-an-adult body aspect during the Bronze Age, and Geoff John's New 52 reboot of the character took it over the top, with Billy's personality in Cap's body. And the movie folks followed John's take.

In their defense, even good boys at that age are sociopathic monsters. You can feel the strength and speed and flying changes, but you have to stop and think (and/or get your ass kicked by somebody stronger than you, like Black Adam) to get the wisdom and courage, etc. to kick in.

If they tone down the comedy a little, the second movie could be really good.

Jim Burrows said...

Mouse and Cheese. Good combo.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed both Captain Marvel movies.

Yes, this one uses a 21st century style of comedy that isn't quite the same as the original 1940s style that CC Beck, Binder and Parker would have produced, but the Big Red Cheese has a history of not being quite as stuffy and serious as his blue equivalent or the vast majority of Superheroes. His story features Mr. Tawky Tawny, Mr. Mind, the hunchback toothy Sivana with his children, Beautia, the Empress of Venus and her brother Magnificus, aided by Uncle Dudley, Tall Billy, Fat Billy and Hill Billy Batson, as well as Freddy and Mary.

How dare they make a movie lacking the gravitas of the original?

It's made for modern audiences—because the 1940s audience don't sho up as often—but the Shazam movie was genuinely funny, entertaining and very reasonable addition to the tales of the Original Captain Marvel.

As much as I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the other Captain Marvel movie more, but they were both excellent, I thought.

Back to #2567: An excellent team-up for the Big Red Cheese as Dr. Sivana called him.

Bob Greenwade said...

@Jim: Mouse and Cheese! I don't know how that one slipped by me.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I can't believe that I missed that too, not even when I suggested the match!

Ideas Man 2

Carycomic said...

@Jim Burrows: there's a difference between refreshing light-heartedness and needless self-parody. And, sadly, "Shazam!" definitely crossed that line towards the latter.

:-(

Anonymous said...

@Jay Johnson: I both can and do.

Anonymous said...

Just like I blame the costume designer of "Batman & Robin" for the box office failure of that sequel.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Great art choices!! This image really comes together with the costumes, poses, all of it! Brilliant! And with Captain Marvel's existing talking animal characters, this makes perfect sense! Love it, Ross!

Ross said...

Thanks, Shag!

nlpnt said...

As an origin-story movie it felt like an extended pilot to a TV series (Fridays at 8 PM on The CW) in terms of character development. It spent an almost excessive amount of time on Sivana's back story, almost none on the other kids (we still don't know Freddy's revised backstory, or any of the rest except Mary who had a flashback in the comics) depicted Billy as having gone through a steep learning curve in terms of accessing (or in the case of electricity, controlling) his superpowers while each of the other five had one aspect of the powerset they could use right away - flight for Freddy, strength for Pedro, electricity for Eugene...I suppose Mary got the ready use of the wisdom.

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