Connor Bynum // Film Critic
When we reviewed SHAZAM in theaters earlier this year, we gave it overwhelming praise for being yet another pleasant surprise in the perpetually struggling DCEU series of films. And as Marvel continues to dominate the big screens this summer, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for reminding home theater enthusiasts of DC’s little movie that could.
Movie Grade: A
From our theatrical review:
“Director David F. Sandberg’s SHAZAM! marks a sea change for the DCEU. Not only is this a colorful, vibrant and vital addition to the franchise, but more importantly, it doesn’t devolve into a tired climax where the hero and villain square off in a zero-stakes CGI-assisted battle. There are real stakes and funny gags in this superhero comedy about a 15-year-old foster kid uncovering his superpowers. Vivid character-driven action, heartrending central relationships and fully earned, totally satisfying emotional moments make this a super-powered BIG (a comparison the filmmakers thoughtfully embrace). It’s super hilarious, super thrilling and super awesome.
Sandberg’s vision is wonderfully executed without any pretension. One of the best in the DCEU canon, SHAZAM! is a triumph. Superb, sweet and smart, this is a feel-good superhero movie you’ll want to see over and over again.”
Video/Audio Grade: A-
SHAZAM! is presented on 4K UHD using a mild upscale treatment from a 3.4K digital intermediate. However, Warner Bros. continues to show that it is more than capable of getting the absolute most out of its 4K home releases, even if they are not native 4K films. Everything in SHAZAM! looks simply gorgeous. Costume and skin textures are excellently clear, while the practical set design also gets a significant boost in clarity over the 1080p Blu-ray version. Thankfully, the computer-generated effects suffer only ever so slightly due to the increased resolution.
The real highlight of this release is the inclusion of Dolby Vision and HDR10. The opening scene is particularly dark in both tone and lighting, but the deep blacks and blues of the night sky come in with vibrant clarity and not a hint of compression. The practically lit yellow lightning bolt on the wizard’s armor shines with dramatic intensity, but never overpower the more shadowy details of his tattered robes and ancient beard. The increased color pallet of this film is the stuff of wonders.
The same Dolby Atmos audio track from the standard Blu-ray version of the film makes its way onto the 4K disc as well, and they are both mastered to utter perfection. The deep rumbling voices of the deadly sin demons in the wizard’s cave will give your subwoofer plenty to work with. The finer details featured in the opening car crash are equally balanced on the front and rear side channels. The lightning bolt effects featured throughout the film also make excellent use of the overhead and side channels. This is an audio track that truly makes the most out of even the most elaborate home theater setups.
Extras Grade: B+
No special features are included on the 4K disc, but can be found on the included 1080p Blu-ray. The eight features compile a little over an hour and a half of content with the longest being a compilation of deleted and alternate scenes. They’re worth a look, but these features will likely not inspire multiple viewings.
All extras are listed below:
- The Magical World of Shazam (26:56)
- Super Fun Zac (3:13)
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes (37:27)
- Gag Reel (3:16)
- Who is Shazam? (5:42)
- Carnival Scene Study (10:22)
- Shazamily Values (6:06)
- Exclusive Motion Comic: “Superhero Hooky” (4:05)
Final Grade: A-
SHAZAM! is the breath of fresh air the DCEU films desperately needed, and its outstanding 4K presentation is more than enough reason to add this one to your collection.
SHAZAM! is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.