Tag Archives: zachary levi

Movie Review: Shazam!

Shazam!

If you watched the advertisements for the latest DC Cinematic Universe film Shazam! (and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not, it absolutely is), you’d think the film was Big but with superheroes. That description might get at some of the basics but in reality it misses out on so much of what makes this film not just work but also stand out as one of the best live action superhero releases of the modern era.

Shazam! follows Billy Batson, a foster kid who’s searching for his birth mother. He’s eventually recruited by the Wizard and given power to turn himself into the adult superhero Shazam but shouting SHAZAM!

What follows over 2 hours of having fun with, fun of, and love of superhero tropes and films.

Played by Asher Angel, Batson is a troublemaker with a heart. He’s on a mission to find his mother and by doing so running away from various foster families and facilities. Enter the Vasquez family headed up by Rosa (Marta Milans) and Victor (the always amazing and loveable Cooper Andrews). They run a foster home and are the parents you both love and roll your eyes due to their corny jokes. Each kid exudes personality and cuteness. Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman and Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley standing out. Those two get the most screen time out of all of the children with Darla delivering moments where you just want to hug her and others where you want to adopt her yourself. Grazer’s Freddy though is fandom personified guiding Billy through his learning his powers.

From there, the film is jokes about superpowers and some of the sillier aspects of being a superhero. And it does it all with a smile and infectious enthusiasm. Much of that is due to Zachary Levi as Shazam. Levi along with Grazer combine to form a team where it’s hard to not enjoy their journey of discovery. It’s just over the top silly at times and that’s exactly what it should be. Action sequences are broken up with segments using social media to explore Shazam’s powers. Freddy acts as Yoda to Billy’s Luke. This all works due to the amazing comedic chops of Levi and Grazer who nail the delivery of every scene and when things get serious, play it all off as believable kids.

The film is about excitement and the discovery of the hero in us all and it wears that on its sleeve with a giant smile.

That enthusiasm and discovery is juxtaposed with Mark Strong‘s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana who years earlier was rejected from the power of Shazam and has been searching for it ever since. The villain is the weakest part of the film, though Strong’s performance is strong. The film falls into a fight we’ve seen so many times before and is a bit reminiscent of the original Superman films down to the special fx. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was done on purpose as an example of the film’s clear love of superhero films.

What stands out to me for Shazam! is not just how much fun I had watching the film, but how much the audience enjoyed it. I haven’t seen a crowd cheering and applauding since Black Panther and Wonder Woman. There was also sniffling during the more serious and touching moments. The film nails the emotional moments delivering an experience that’s hard to not have fun watching. If you found yourself smiling or laughing at the various television spots, the film takes that humor to the next level. It’s unafraid to take the silliness that extra step and nail the joke.

Shazam! is a film that exceeded my expectations delivering an entertaining film that I immediately wanted to see again. It’s the first live action superhero “family film” since the original Superman. Judging by the audience reactions, from kids to their parents, it was enjoyed by people of all ages and genders and catapulted itself to being one of the best superhero films of the modern era to be released.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Movie Review: Shazam!

Shazam!

If you watched the advertisements for the latest DC Cinematic Universe film Shazam! (and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not, it absolutely is), you’d think the film was Big but with superheroes. That description might get at some of the basics but in reality it misses out on so much of what makes this film not just work but also stand out as one of the best live action superhero releases of the modern era.

Shazam! follows Billy Batson, a foster kid who’s searching for his birth mother. He’s eventually recruited by the Wizard and given power to turn himself into the adult superhero Shazam but shouting SHAZAM!

What follows over 2 hours of having fun with, fun of, and love to superhero tropes and films.

Played by Asher Angel, Batson is a troublemaker with a heart. He’s on a mission to find his mother and by doing so running away from various foster families and facilities. Enter the Vasquez family headed up by Rosa (Marta Milans) and Victor (the always amazing and loveable Cooper Andrews). They run a foster home and are the parents you both love and roll your eyes due to their corny jokes. Each kid exudes personality and cuteness. Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman and Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley standing out. Those two get the most screen time out of all of the children with Darla delivering moments where you just want to hug her and others where you want to adopt her yourself. Grazer’s Freddy though is fandom personified guiding Billy through his learning his powers.

From there, the film is jokes about superpowers and some of the sillier aspects of being a superhero. And it does it all with a smile and infectious enthusiasm. Much of that is due to Zachary Levi as Shazam. Levi along with Grazer combine to form a team where it’s hard to not enjoy their journey of discovery. It’s just over the top silly at times and that’s exactly what it should be. Action sequences are broken up with segments using social media to explore Shazam’s powers. Freddy acts as Yoda to Billy’s Luke. This all works due to the amazing comedic chops of Levi and Grazer who nail the delivery of every scene and when things get serious, play it all off as believable kids.

The film is about excitement and the discovery of the hero in us all and it wears that on its sleeve with a giant smile.

That enthusiasm and discovery is juxtaposed with Mark Strong‘s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana who years earlier was rejected from the power of Shazam and has been searching for it ever since. The villain is the weakest part of the film, though Strong’s performance is strong. The film falls into a fight we’ve seen so many times before and is a bit reminiscent of the original Superman films down to the special fx. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was done on purpose as an example of the film’s clear love of superhero films.

What stands out to me for Shazam! is not just how much fun I had watching the film, but how much the audience enjoyed it. I haven’t seen a crowd cheering and applauding since Black Panther and Wonder Woman. There was also sniffling during the more serious and touching moments. The film nails the emotional moments delivering an experience that’s hard to not have fun watching. If you found yourself smiling or laughing at the various television spots, the film takes that humor to the next level. It’s unafraid to take the silliness that extra step and nail the joke.

Shazam! is a film that exceeded my expectations delivering an entertaining film that I immediately wanted to see again. It’s the first live action superhero “family film” since the original Superman. Judging by the audience reactions, from kids to their parents, it was enjoyed by people of all ages and genders and catapulted itself to being one of the best superhero films of the modern era to be released.

Overall Rating: 9.0

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PTSD

We’re still recovering from watching the Oscars last night! What’d you all think of the show and the winners? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

CNET – Zachary Levi asks fans to stop pitting Captain Marvel against Shazam – Fandom can really suck some times.

iO9 – This Exclusive Into the Spider-Verse Deleted Scene Features Another Emotional Spider-Pep Talk – Check it out!

Critical Hit – Netflix secures film rights for The Old Guard comic series with Charlize Theron set to star – Can’t wait for this.

Newsarama – Syfy’s Wynonna Earp Future In Question – This is a popular one. A hell of a fandom.

The Comichron – January comics sales start 2019 strong, up 14%; Batman Who Laughs #2, Conan top charts – For those that like the horse race.

The Comics Journal – Dammit Jim, I’m a Comics Retailer, Not a Doctor! – A rather interesting read. What are your thoughts?

Reviews

Talking Comics – Captain Marvel #2
The Beat –
PTSD

SDCC 2018: Shazam! Gets Its First Official Trailer


As expected, Shazam! gets its first trailer revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. David F. Sandberg directs New Line Cinema’s Shazam!, the origin story that stars Zachary Levi as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam, courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton; Darla, played by Faithe Herman; Eugene, played by Ian Chen; and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand. Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard.

The film is firmly set in the DC universe but has its own distinct voice, fun, family-centric tone.

Shazam! is set for release on April 5, 2019.

Shazam!’s Zachary Levi Heads to Baltimore Comic Con

The 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con takes place this September 28-38, 2018 at the Baltimore Convention Center in the Inner Harbor. Get your tickets now! The convention has announced the addition of movie and television star Zachary Levi as a guest of the show both Saturday and Sunday. This is currently Zac’s only North America signing event in 2018 and will be your only chance to meet him in person.

Zachary Levi’s exuberance and charm have made him a Hollywood first pick and a favorite among his devoted fans.

On the big screen, Levi will be appearing in DC Entertainment’s Shazam! in the starring role of Captain Marvel. Shazam! is currently slated to arrive in theaters on April 29, 2019. Levy plays the adult super-hero alter-ego of Billy Batson, a boy with the power to transform in times of need with a single magic word.

Levi previously appeared in the Marvel film Thor 2 in the role of Fandral the Dashing, and made an appearance in Thor Ragnarok. Levi also commanded the lead role opposite Mandy Moore in Disney’s twist on its classic Rapunzel; entitled Tangled. The Oscar-nominated film was a huge success at the box office and DVD release.Other notable big screen appearances include the 20th Century Fox film

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel which broke box office records in its Christmas release, the independent feature film Spiral with Amber Tamblyn, and a starring role in the franchise film Big Momma’s House 2 with Martin Lawrence.

Fans saw Levi’s return to television with the Netflix drama Alias Grace. He also reprised his role as the delightful Flynn Rider, reteaming with Mandy Moore’s Rapunzel for Disney’s Tangled television series. Levi  appeared in the NBC series Heroes Reborn, the revamp of the fan favorite show which premiered in the fall of 2015. This marked a return to NBC for Levi, who portrayed the beloved Chuck for five seasons. Additionally, Levi hosted and produced Geeks Who Drink, a game show based on the pub trivia contest of the same name, for SyFy network.

Levi recently had a successful run in the Broadway revival of She Loves Me also starring Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski. He earned a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Georg in the hugely popular show. Previously, Levi had his Broadway debut opposite Krysta Rodriguez in the witty musical First Date. The romantic comedy also received critical acclaim, as did Levi for the run of the show.

Levi grew up in Ventura County, CA. He began acting in theater at the early age of six, performing lead roles in regional productions such as GreaseThe OutsidersOliverGodspellThe Wizard of OzBig River, and Marvin’s Room. It was this early training that ultimately brought him to the attention of Hollywood.

Levi devotes much time and energy doing philanthropic work as an ambassador for Operation Smile, through his company The Nerd Machine, and his annual Comic-Con event NERD HQ that has raised over a million dollars for the charity to date.

Shazam! Finds Its Billy Batson with Asher Angel

Last week it was announced that Zachary Levi would put on the cape for Warner Bros.Shazam! based on the classic DC Comics character. But, the question remained, who would play Billy Batson, the kid who gains the power to turn into the hero? We have our answer as it’s been announced that Asher Angel is taking on the role.

Asher is primarily known for his role as Jonah Beck on the television show Andi Mack in his rather short career. At 15 years old, he’s the perfect age the play the character who is usually portrayed in his early teens. This is a case of an actor being cast to play someone about their age and seems like it’ll be a solid choice. Also great is that Asher looks like someone who could turn into Levi when he gets older.

Shazam! is based on the comic series and follows a boy named Billy Batson who can transform in a superhero by speaking the word “Shazam!” The word is an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba1rFtIn5Up/?taken-by=asherdovangel

Zachary Levi to Star in Shazam!

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that actor Zachary Levi will star in Warner Bros.‘ upcoming Shazam! film based on the classic character. Shazam! is reported to be the next DC Cinematic Universe movie to film, ahead of the Flashpoint, Joss Whedon’s Batgirl and the Suicide Squad sequel. A dual movie focused on Shazam’s villain Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson is also being developed. No release date has been announced but Shazam! will begin filming in February 2018 in Toronto.

Shazam! is based on the comic series and follows a boy named Billy Batson who can transform in a superhero by speaking the word “Shazam!” The word is an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.

David F. Sandberg is directing Shazam! for New Line. Sandberg has excelled in small budget horror films with large returns. The screenplay is by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke.

Levi brings his action and comedic chops to the role and this isn’t his first step into the comic movie realm. Levi was Fandral in Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.

Magnetic Press’ The Adventures of Basil and Moebius in Four Ways

The Adventures of Basil and MoebiusMagnetic Press and Red Circle Productions have announced that writer/director Ryan Schifrin’s original property The Adventures of Basil and Moebius has launched simultaneously in four different formats: as an award winning short film, a series of hardcover graphic novels, digital comics via ComiXology, and a campaign of serialized short stories to be published by Magnetic Press. The series chronicles the pulp-style adventures of Basil Fox and Alaric Moebius, two scoundrel thieves who find themselves caught up in the machinations of “The Collector,” a mysterious patron who recruits them (not often willingly) to find rare and rumored artifacts that may or may not have fabled supernatural powers.

The short film, entitled No Rest For The Wicked, has won numerous awards including Best Short Film at multiple fan-favorite pop culture events including Cinequest, Gen Con, and DragonCon. Written and directed by Schifrin, the all-star cast includes sci-fi icons Ray Park, Zachary Levi, and Malcolm McDowell. Although originally limited to festival circuit viewing, the full movie can now be viewed by the public for free.

Volume One of the hardcover graphic novel series, entitled simply The Adventures of Basil and Moebius is co-written by Ryan Schifrin and comic book legend Larry Hama, containing three early tales of titular characters Basil and Moebius, setting the stage for volumes Two through Four which will be released quarterly. The next volume, The Shadow Gambit will be released in July in time for the annual San Diego Comic-Con International.

In addition to the print and film components, the series offers digital components and supplementary adventure as well. The first issue of the comic series is now available on Amazon’s comiXology platform, with new issues releasing every 3-4 weeks. Amazon will also host monthly prose short stories via their Kindle service, written by some of sci-fi’s most recognized and respected award-winning authors, including Timothy Zahn, Richard Lee Byers, and Greg Bear. Zahn also provides the foreword in the first graphic novel volume.

Magnetic Press to Publish The Adventures of Basil and Moebius Series by Ryan Schifrin

The_Adventures_of_Basil_and_MoebiusWe’ve got the scoop on the first announcement of the year by Magnetic Press. The upstart publisher announced today the publishing lineup for the original graphic novel series The Adventures of Basil and Moebius created by award-winning writer/director Ryan Schifrin. Schifrin was dubbed the “Future of Horror” by ABC’s Nightline following the release of his independent film Abominable, which ranked as the SyFy Channel’s #1 rated show the week of its debut. The Adventures of Basil and Moebius marks the launch of his newest project, which will be released as four quarterly hardcover graphic novels, digital short stories, and a star-studded short film in 2015.

Produced by Schifrin’s Red Circle Productions, the series chronicles the pulp-style adventures of Basil Fox and Alaric Moebius, two scoundrel thieves who find themselves caught up in the machinations of “The Collector,” a mysterious patron who recruits them (not often willingly) to find rare and rumored artifacts that may or may not have fabled supernatural powers. Created by Ryan Schifrin, the series is adapted and co-written by legendary comic writer Larry Hama, and illustrated by a collection of established and up-and-coming artists.

The graphic novel series will be supplemented online between releases by a series of prose short stories written by some of sci-fi’s most recognized and respected award-winning authors, including Timothy Zahn, Richard Lee Byers, and Greg Bear. Zahn also provides the foreword in the first graphic novel volume.

In addition to the short stories, the series will see the release of the award-winning short film No Rest For the Wicked, starring fan favorite actors Zachary Levi, Ray Park, and Malcolm McDowell. Written and directed by Schifrin, this live-action short introduces audiences to the tongue-in-cheek, madcap hijinks the titular duo find themselves amidst on a regular basis. While the film has won numerous festival awards nationwide, it will see its public debut online with the release of the first graphic novel volume.

The first volume of the hardcover graphic novel series is due to hit shelves in March, followed by volumes 2-4 quarterly thereafter, with short stories released digitally monthly in between. Each hardcover volume will run 120-160 pages with a retail price of $17.99-$19.99.

You can check out a trailer for the film below.

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Just to warn you, the coverage might get a bit sporadic over the next few days as I attempt to take a vacation.

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Bleeding Cool – Walking Dead Officially Renewed For Fourth Season But It’ll Need A New ShowrunnerI’ll do the job and stick around a few seasons.

IGN – Levi, Sturgess Frontrunners for Guardians of the GalaxyLevi could be cool.

IGN – Gail Simone Back on Batgirl -Congrats on being rehired!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – A+X #3

Prairie Nerds – All-New X-Men #1-5

Flickering Myth – Avengers #2

The Beat – The Black Beetle #0

Comicvine – Deathmatch #1

CBR – Hawkeye #6

CBR – Journey Into Mystery #647

Ely Standard 24 – Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration

Talking Comics – Wonder Woman #15

Talking Comics – X-Factor #249

The Beat – The Beat Comic Reviews for 19/12/12: Spiders, Birds, Harbingers and Dazzlers

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