Breaking Down 'Shazam!'

The Big Picture


Finds itself at an interesting inflection point. I would say I thought she was a very fun and entertaining movie, but it did not really feel like anything that had come in the DC universe before. And you kind of explain to me. What should I am is? And what it's trying to do. Sure. I mean, I kind of had the. To do the same thing after watching the movie because like right around the time the post credits scene with a evil Caterpillar happened. I was kinda like I've no idea what any of this stuff is. So thankfully, Mike does have a a piece on the ring dot com. A great website kind of breaking down the kind of Kazan origins. But yeah, he's he was actually originally called captain marvel and like in the movie there was like a wizard named 'schisms who gave him like all these superpowers. But when he sorta got folded into DC comics because marvel had its own captain marvel he then became Zam. But the whole spiel is basically the same thing like the wizards powers you activate it by saying Zam, and then I guess in the big conversion you just become buff, Zachary Levi. Yeah, I didn't even know buff Zachary Levi was going to be a thing that I would ever have to talk about. I can't say when I was watching Chuck ten years ago. That this ever crossed my mind that he would be a superhero, I think Tony Lee. This movie is pretty significantly different from superman vs Batman and the Justice league films and even wonder woman, which I thought was you know, is a very charming and obviously hugely successful movie. But there is a lightness in the tone, and it's not quite as operatic goofy. As was l-. You know, what did you make of the kind of movie that Sam was trying to be yet? No, I thought it was fun at kind of had like almost throwback Amblin entertainment coming of age vibe like something you'd see from like Amblin in like the eighties. But with the caveat that instead of a kid going on venture or something he can just become a superhero. But I thought it was a it was it was kind of an appropriate tone for for the kind of here that this guy is and I kind of like that, you know, a kid like a teenager becoming Kazan like he has like a bit of an aimlessness to him at the beginning. Like, there's not the sort of great power with great with great power comes great responsibility type speech. You just sorta has to learn things on the fly Yemen. One of the first things that the character does after he realizes his powers as he just goes to a convenience store in buys beer and candy. And you know, I it, you know, the movies clearly pitched as sort of what if big, but superhero, and it's very effective in showing us like maybe not with the real world ramifications would be because it's a little bit different in tone in the real world. But some of the like aspirations that you have as an adolescent, and the things that you wish you could do when you were thirteen sham does for the first hour of this movie, and the movie ultimately just becomes a story about like friendship and the way that we act bigger and older than we are. And what we can get away with in that time. And then it does turned into a little bit of a superhero movie. What did you make of the kind of balancing of those tones? Yeah. I mean, I think I did prefer sort of the the first half of the move. In that respect, as you know, there are so many superhero movies out there. And I think for the most part it's sorta gets derivative to when the movie gets the guy discovers his powers, you know, like Peter Parker, like scaling skyscrapers type of thing. But it was fun for Suzanne because it felt very like very genuine response. What if a fourteen year old kids suddenly had powers like, yeah? He would try to buy beer. He would go to script strip club in like beam about the chicken wings because this is a PG thirteen movie. You know, if he's in a world where superman Batman exists, and he doesn't really know. What to do is? You just if he can't find people to save is he just going to he's going to try to make cash and become a YouTube star. It was an interesting approach. But I think like I preferred that half of the movie versus like, the Mark strong shows up with seven CGI deadly sin, archetypes, or whatever. And it's time to punch him a lot. Yeah. I agree. I don't think part was active. It's funny because it feels like a movie like this, which is not exactly a reinvention. But is a is a reconsidering of what these kinds of movies can be still does arrive and its conclusion at the notion that needs to feature a lot of punching and a lot of fighting the bad guy. I'm curious to see if as we grow inside, the D C E U, I guess much like Zam. If they'll ever change the the the approach that they take having kind of the final showdown in the final forty five minutes of the movie that was also one of my struggles. Honestly with wonder woman, which I thought as I said was really clever and well made and then ultimately just turned into Diana fighting a demon monster who was played by David through Lous. What do you make of the decisions that DC is now making to singular is each of their movies? I mean, it's interesting because like, you know, they they did a pretty quick pivot from like fast-tracking their Justice league movie which end up being like relative to the expectations a bit of a bomb for them. Also, it didn't really track critically. But you know, they're kind of like making these films that have this very little interconnectivity like aquaman was only really playing the seeds for Auckland to and I guess a trench spinoff, which I could go on like a twenty minutes handed about the trench about the trend. Can't wait for the trench. And like kind of the same thing with wonder woman sequel in feels that way, which is. To you know, if it does well enough at the box office like affiliates just leading into sham two or maybe like a black atom movie, which is like a sham villain. That's supposed to be played by Dwayne Johnson. If you look at like the C projects that are in the air like a rebooted suicide squad, James Gunn, new bad movie. Perhaps a flash movie there's all these other projects like the one glaring omission is there are no plans to make like a Justice league to and not to say that would never happen again. But clearly like the D C you right now is content. Just kind of throwing stuff out there and seeing what resonates with audiences yet. If you look down there slate, we talked about this a little bit during the release of aquaman, but I was just in add an in Vegas at cinema Khan. And they were very proud of the approach that they were taking telling their stories because the next the next handful of movies. They have is of course, Zam, and you know, they also have joker which is coming in October. Which also feels quite standalone seems to have virtually nothing in common with the movie Lakesha Zam. And then there's also a birds of prey which is. Theon story of sort of five superhero team that will also include Margot Robbie Harley Quinn, and that totally and visually looks completely different from those other two movies. And so they've taken this decision to not just make that flash movie and not just make whatever inevitable green lantern movie. And with the same kind of stormy visualises that that Zack Snyder created, but to just kind of individually each story, which is what a lot of comic books are actually a lot of comic books have separate illustrators. They have separate writers their tones are quite different amazing spider. Man could be quite different from x men and superman could be quite different from, you know, detective comics, and what's going on with that, man. And of course, I guess next year late next year. We'll have the Batman which Matt Reeves Batman movie. Do you know, your your very closely track the comp films for us is it more interesting to you of all of this the fits together or do you like it better? If it stands alone and the movies get to be what they are. Well, I. Kind of like maybe I just have a bit of a marble fatigue. Just because it feels like we've been preparing for endgame like just just forever. But yeah, I kind of like this approach because you know, like, if something doesn't, you know resonate with with audiences like I personally wasn't as big of a fan as as wonder woman as other people were which is fine. You know, I I like parts of it. But, but you know, for the most part people really enjoyed it. And I think you know, it's an interesting approach. I think what will probably be most interesting is with wonder woman command and Zam they've all been pretty well received. And they've made a good amount of money. I'm curious what happens like how the DC EU responds when something flops with critics audiences in the box office. Do they like shake it off? Or if it's like, if it's bracing a certain tone, like, you know, let's say joker is actually quite terrible. And and you know, it's like a Scorsese prestige that. Just kind of doesn't work like will the DC you kinda void being that experimental. Again. I I'm curious to see what happens when there's kind of like a speed bump on the road for them. I am too is an interesting question because it does seem like in with Shas AM and most likely joker and handful of these other movies. They don't come with that two hundred and fifty million dollar production price tag. You know, they're definitely smaller movies with more modest ambitions, at least in terms of the execution of the movie. And so the risk is lower. So if let's say joker is not the sort of world-beating, cultural colossus that many would have us believe this week. That's okay. I think that they could probably survive that. And it's an you're right. It is a really interesting pivot away from all of that interconnectiveness. Is there anything else about his that you you really liked and you responded to? Yeah. I really like that, you know, I thought Zachary Levi was was just so good at like kind of capturing basically like, you know, a kid in a swollen dealt spot ended it so well like there were times where you almost felt to childlike for guy who's still like fourteen years old, but you could tell he was just having such a blast. And and yeah, I would have never expected Chuck would be like a swollen superhero. But I never expected Jim from the office to like, you know, make some hard movie also become buffer like Michael bay film. So I I guess, you know sick. I'm stars. They can transform. Yeah. Could you cast a sitcom debauche sitcom figure into into a superhero movie right now is there? Anybody springs to your mind? Is Jim Parsons our next. Green lantern. You think? Oh god. No, no. I'm trying to think of like if someone from parks and rec ado that transformation that isn't Chris Pratt. Because I mean, he's he's just forget about this point. He's he's like a discount printing. Frazier. But he he has done that as well. I mean, I guess maybe if if Adam Scott were cast as as galactic that would probably that. That's as close as we're gonna get

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