Shazam! – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Shazam!

Although Shazam! isn’t the first superhero film to cater to families, it’s the first to actually feel like a family film. It has the feel of the family-friendly films back to the 80s and 90s. Films such as Big or Beethoven where family and comedy rule the day. It’s a bit refreshing to see Warner Bros finally embracing the tones around its DC characters. Shazam in the comics has a kid-friendly tone and that tone is what we get here. This isn’t a situation where they force a tone on a character because that’s what’s trending in Hollywood tone at the time (see: Superman).

But this isn’t a typical family film either. This time around the family is actually a foster family. Typically, Hollywood has a tendency to add a bit of a negative connotation to the concept of foster families. Yet all of the negative connotations of foster families in other Hollywood films are basically non-existent here. The family aspect is a huge part of the film, and even though they’re not blood, they still really care for each other.

That’s the film’s biggest strength. Shazam! is more of a character piece than a straight-up superhero action film. Don’t misunderstand, there is a lot of superhero action in this film. However, the film’s heart and soul comes from Billy’s story. Billy growing up and finding his family is some of the best parts of Shazam!

Of course, some of the other best parts of Shazam involve the one-and-only Zachary Levi. The man was born to play this kind of role: A large man with the heart and soul of a teenage boy. Then again, if you follow him on Twitter or see him interact with fans, this should come as no surprise. His natural personality IS Billy Batson as an adult.

That being said, the film does have its fair share of issues. For one thing, the film never feels like the stakes are big in any way. The Seven Deadly Sins were being built up to be this world-ending threat but the film never raises the stakes to feel like it. Not to mention, the film does tend to drag in a lot of various scenes. Thus, the film feels a little too long.

Overall, Shazam! is one of the most heartwarming superhero films ever made. Oh, and the film is incredibly fun too. Although the DCEU, has gone through a LOT of growing pains, their solo films seem to be going on the right track. Let’s hope this trend continues in Shazam 2.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Video

Shazam! - Asher Angel
Shazam! hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The brightness is relatively high in this video transfer. The vibrant whites just pop from the screen. Luckily, the high brightness doesn’t cause any bloom in the bright areas. On the other hand, it does cause the black levels to be a lighter shade of black instead of a pure black. A majority of the colors look natural, but Shazam family’s suits definitely seem to pop more on the screen than the rest. When it comes to the clarity of the details, it’s crisp all-around. Thus, the smallest details can be seen like Shazam’s suit or the fur on Sivana’s coat. There is some slight softness in the edge details and a discreet, even amount of film grain, but overall the video looks pretty great.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Audio

Shazam! - Jack Dylan Grazer and Zachary Levi
Shazam! hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Shazam!‘s Dolby Atmos track. Right from the get-go, you can tell just how immersive the audio mix is going to be. The lightning creates this dome-like effect which completely encompasses the soundstage from the front, sides, and above. Basically, this is the kind of mix you’re going to get with Shazam!

However, because of the dome effect, there are not a lot of pans that go from the left to right or front to back. Regardless, the static sound effects are accurate in regards to the context of a scene. In addition, the music and atmospheric effects are subtle but distinct and clear. Not to mention, the dialogue is crystal clear as well. But when it comes to the subwoofer, it’s boisterous and loud—it adds a lot of weight to the audio mix. Overall, this is a fun and immersive Atmos mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

Shazam! - Zachary Levi and Mark Strong
Shazam!‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the regular Blu-ray disc:

  • Superhero Hooky
  • The Magical World of Shazam!
  • Super Fun Zac
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes (With Director’s Intro)
    • Wizard Prologue
    • Alternate Beginning
    • Billy on the Subway
    • Alternate Intro to Group House
    • Alternate Dr. Crosby and Dr. Sivana Interviews
    • Billy Sneaks Out
    • New School with Darla
    • Sivana Christmas Party
    • Shazam and Darla Tea Party
    • Alternate Lightning with My Hands
    • Alternate Montage Beats
    • Freddy Hung From Locker
    • Alternate Carnival Fight
    • Freddy Flies By Airplane
    • Family on Thrones
    • Alternate Ending Family Beats
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes
    • Wizard Prologue
    • Alternate Beginning
    • Billy on the Subway
    • Alternate Intro to Group House
    • Alternate Dr. Crosby and Dr. Sivana Interviews
    • Billy Sneaks Out
    • New School with Darla
    • Sivana Christmas Party
    • Shazam and Darla Tea Party
    • Alternate Lightning with My Hands
    • Alternate Montage Beats
    • Freddy Hung From Locker
    • Alternate Carnival Fight
    • Freddy Flies By Airplane
    • Family on Thrones
    • Alternate Ending Family Beats
  • Gag Reel
  • Who is Shazam?
  • Carnival Scene Study
  • Shazamily Values

Superhero Hooky is a cheesy yet fun motion comic where Zachary Levi reprises his role of Shazam. “The Magical World of Shazam!” is this release’s behind-the-scenes featurettes. This fun featurette covers a lot of subjects from the three stages of production. In fact, the featurettes also include some of the production difficulties. These include the glitching of the suit’s lightning bolt. It’s definitely a must-watch for those who love behind-the-scenes featurettes.

If you couldn’t tell from “Magical World,” “Super Fun Zac” shows you more reasons why Zachary Levi was cast as Shazam. You’ll see that he’s naturally a giant ball of energy who’s also a kid at heart. What else do you need in this role?

For the deleted and alternative scenes, there are two separate versions of this and not a switch that you can simply turn on. Regardless, you can choose any of the options to your preference. When it comes to the scenes, they’re all long (38-minutes total) but there are a few gems in there. A few good ones are “Billy on the Train,” “Alternative Intro to Group House,” “Billy Sneaks Out,” and “Alternate Montage Beats”—just to name a few.

Unfortunately, the gag reel has some funny moments but it’s a skippable bonus. “Who is Shazam?” is an informative featurette which covers the history of Shazam in the comics and also his characteristics. “Carnival Scene Study” goes more in-depth in the filming of the film’s climax. So for filmmaking aficionados, this is a must-watch. Lastly, “Shazamily” breaks down each individual member of the Shazam family. Some heroes get more of the focus than others, though.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, Shazam! is a fun and joyful superhero film that families can easily enjoy. Not only is the video great but the and audio is too. In addition, the special features are robust too.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1488 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.