Shazam! Fury of the Gods - 4K Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods


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Movie: :3.5stars:
4K Video: :4.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :4stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



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Movie

This year is the sad end of the DCEU, and it’s been a final year FILLED with controversies and troubles behind the scenes. The Flash was notoriously almost canceled due to the, shall we say “antics”, of Ezra Miller, and Aquaman 2 was plagued with the whole Amber Heard fiasco to the point that they ended up recasting her and pushing the film all the way to the end of 2023. The big “Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope” rested on the shoulders of David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the follow up to the highly successful Shazam! a few years back. Unfortunately, Fury of the Gods god absolutely massacred at the box office, and panned by critics everywhere, which wasn’t helped by Zachary Levi sort of throwing a hissy fit on Twitter about how people weren’t giving it a chance. Needless to say, the last dying gasps of the Snyderverse are having some problems.

I think we’ve also hit a sort of superhero fatigue. Not that people are sick and tired of caped crusaders (though some are), but rather we’re sick and tired of constant setups and ground laying for “next product” (as the Drinker would say) rather than making room for a good superhero film. And that’s exactly what Fury of the Gods is. A GOOD superhero movie, not a great one, but a good one. I personally think that part of the tepid reaction for anything not truly ground breaking and amazing stems from the fact that we’re at saturation overload. Back in the 90s Fury of the Gods would be considered a very good sequel, and a solid super hero film. But now that we’ve become SOOOOO market saturated with top notch comic flicks, a middle of the road popcorn film seems “underwhelming”, so to speak. That being said, Shazam! Fury of the Gods does have some issues, but at the end of the day I thoroughly enjoyed Sandber’s follow up film.

The film hits the ground running, re-introducing us to Zachary Levi as Billy Batson/Shazam!, and his now super powered foster brothers and sisters (end of the previous movie). Unfortunately for him and the world, his attempt to keep the wizard’s staff from Dr. Sivana by breaking it in two has some unintended consequences. The creation of the staff also was keeping the world of the Titans at bay from humanity, and with the breaking of the staff, the 3 daughters of Atlas (Kalypso, Hespera and Anthea, played by Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren and Rachel Zeigler respectively) are able to come into the human world, and they’re .

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It seems that the Wizard didn’t really tell Billy WHERE his powers comes from. Turns out the staff was a creation of Atlas, and was able to take and give powers at will. The Wizards council stole said staff from the Titans, and stole the powers of the Gods as well, which in turn they could use to soup up Human heroes. Now Hespera, Anthea and Kalypso are back with a vengeance and they want the power that was stolen from them back, along with a healthy dose of revenge.

As stated, Fury of the Gods is a good movie. It’s not great, but it’s a good super hero flick. The sequel has not one, but THREE villains, and amps up the action quite a bit. Zachary Levi is having an absolute ball as Shazam! And it really shows. He puts his entire goofy heart and soul into the role and the movie is definitely better because of it. However, there’s some hits and misses with the goddesses. Rachel Zeigler is decent as Anthea, but the BIGGEST villain, Lucy Liu, looks bored out of her mind. Her performance is flat and bland, giving you the impression that she was barely able to get through filming before it was nap time. Luckily Helen Mirren can’t turn in a bad performance to save her life, and her enthusiastic take on the arrogant Hespera elevates the goddesses a good bit. It’s still rocky and uneven, but at least palatable with the legendary actress turning up the volume a tad.

The film itself is good, but once again, never great. Cheesy one liners get in the way of plot development, and the shoe horning in of Wonder Woman really felt kind of awkward (and probably the last time Gal Gadot will done the bracelets and lasso of truth). However, some of the humor really is quite funny. Zachary has a great ability for self depreciating humor and you have to admit, feeding skittles and whispering “taste the rainbow!” to a demonic unicorn is pretty stinking funny.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and language




4K Video: :4.5stars: Video: :4stars:
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If you’ve seen 2019’s Shazam! Then you know exactlyhow good Warner treats their super hero films, and Fury of the Gods is no exception. A very warm and bright aesthetic, with dark browns and deep blues for night time shots really boost the CGI heavy film. The 4K UHD handily outshines it’s 1080p counterpart, with lots more detail levels in the Titan’s world (for example) as well as much better blacks (you can see way more shadow detail on the unicorns for example) along with some amazing colors that really pop with the HDR10/Dolby Vision application. There’s much more bold highlights going on, with subtle color tweaks to the outfits (you can actually see more nuanced shading on Mary’s outfit for example). The black are GORGEOUS with Dolby Vision and I must say I noticed far less artifacting, even when the CGI was in full swing over the 1080p Blu-ray.








Audio: :4stars:
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It looks like Warner Brothers is taking a cue from Disney as the Dolby Atmos track found on the disc is recorded at a shockingly low volume level. I had to boost the volume a full 7-8 decibels before it go to reference level, and just to make sure it wasn’t my ears no my equipment I popped in the first film and it’s night and day different. Now luckily they didn’t take the Disney habit of anemic bass, but instead just recorded the whole thing at a low level (which is a minor irritant, but still can tax lesser systems by taking away headroom). Anyways, this is a very dynamic and robust track when boosted to the proper levels, giving us tons of bass, hefty surround activity (creaks and groans as our heroes walk through the hall of doors is especially noticeable), and strong dialog. Action sequences are a blast (sometimes literally) and the final battle between Kalypso and Billy is an earthquake inducing bit. It’s not perfect, and that 7-8 db drop is annoying, but it’s still a very good track.







Extras: :4stars:
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• Director's Audio Commentary with David F. Sandberg
• SHAZAM! Let's Make a Sequel – featurette
• The Rock of Eternity: Decked Out – featurette
• The Shazamily Reunion – featurette
• The Zac Effect – featurette
• The Sisterhood of the Daughters of Atlas – featurette
• Pay By Play: Scene Breakdown – featurettes
-- Ben Franklin bridge collapse
-- Rooftop battle of the gods
-- Unicorn ride in Philadelphia
-- Epic showdown at the baseball stadium
• The Mythology of Shazam! – featurette
• Deleted Scenes, Alternate & Extended Scenes











Final Score: :4stars:


I had a good time with Fury of the Gods and am really sad to see it go. Honestly, these movies are the most disappointing to me out of all the DCEU. Not because they’re the worst movies (not by a long shot), but just how much fun they were and how depressing to not see what might have been come to fruition. Dr. Sivana and his wormy master mind are wasted as usual, and the Rock having his way with Black Adam means we’ll probably never seen the face off between the magic titans we always wanted. Ah well, at least the 4K UHD is good, and the movie itself is perfectly fine popcorn adventure. Fun Watch.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Written by: Henry Gayden, Chris Morgan, Bill Parker
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 130 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
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Recommendation: Fun Watch

 
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