Shazam! is an emotional journey that’s full of laughs and a lot of heart. It’s well directed, the cast is phenomenal, and Billy Batson/Shazam will definitely be sticking around in the DC Expanded Universe. The marketing for this movie is done phenomenally well, and major props to the marketing department for their choice in footage and sequences to keep the best surprises hidden. Most of the movie is spent developing Billy as a character, and the last third is your giant action scenes like typically superhero movies. The film focuses on Billy discovering who he is and who his family is. You can always find your way back home to family and that’s what this movie really tries to drive home.
The plot staggers in certain points. I’m a huge fan of Mark Strong, but he felt underutilized here. We struggle to really connect to why he is the villain here. A couple more minutes on him and his backstory, and we really could have connected to him and understood him more. But the time spent on Billy was well worth it. We see his idea of family go from one thing, to another, as he learns that not every definition is black and white. 
Most of the action happens towards the end of the film, but Shazam learning how to use his powers is one of the best parts of the film. It’s really pushed, and they manipulate it well for the day and age. It’s how Freddy and Billy bond and learn more about each other. You can see Freddy slowly wear on Billy and it affects him, but eventually he figures out it was for the best. After he does figure it out, you can see him still struggle with the concept of family, which makes the character arc Billy takes all the more real. Not everyone turns on a dime when they learn something, most times it still takes them awhile to get used to the new concept.
The cast is absolutely phenomenal. Levi and Angel kill it together as Billy/Shazam, and Darla is probably my favorite from the film. The chemistry is great all around, so I’m looking forward to the future sequels we will get from this cast. Billy’s foster family is great, really understanding. I like the foster parents as well. Can’t say more than that otherwise I fear spoiler talk. 
This film is just filled with joy and wonder from the kid cast and Levi. When Shazam first appears, Freddy and Billy are just having fun learning about Billy’s new powers. Its full of laughs and “whoops how did I do that?” moments. It’s not as strong plot wise as Wonder Woman, or Man of Steel, it falls in a more traditional origin movie plot line but it still plays on its strengths of being an unknown hero. 
Overall I really enjoyed this movie. It doesn’t prove DC “can” be joyous, there’s plenty of joyous moments in the DCEU. This movie focuses on a kid becoming a superhero, something I know we’ve all wished for at some point in our lives. The wonder, the amazement that comes with those powers, is the focus, and the theme pulls in there’s a place for everyone, you just have to find it.

Plot: 4/5
Character Development: 4.5/5
Laughs: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5
Main Character of Focus: Billy Batson/Shazam!

Shazam! will be out in theaters April 5, 2019. Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as Shazam, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy, and Asher Angel as Billy Batson. It’s directed by David F. Sandberg.

Captain Marvel is a fun but flawed flick. The first half of the movie is slow, and uncoordinated, with the filmography struggling immensely to handle the beginning action. The second half of the movie amps it up, with Ben Mendelsohn stealing the spotlight as Talos. The film very much takes on a buddy cop kind of feel, with Carol Danvers(Brie Larson) and Nick Fury(Samuel L. Jackson). Brie and Samuel work extraordinarily well together, and you can really feel their chemistry.

The plot definitely struggles, but I like the idea behind it. It feels like a Phase 1 movie, in where it tries to bring an unfamiliar character to the screen, and make them familiar, but that’s where it fails. Many people knew nothing about Captain Marvel, who or what she is. They should have capitalized that and made the film more unique in the manner. The twist is predictable, but a good motivator for knowing all the facts before making a decision. Captain Marvel is a powerful woman, and this movie fails to carry that powerfulness. The movie is impactful, and I heard multiple people around me, little girls included talking about how the Captain is their new favorite hero. It is a good movie, but it should have been better.

The action scenes work well in the context of the film. Thanos is screwed. The flight scenes, and the Kree scenes are some of my favorite. Jude Law, Gemma Chan, and Lashana Lynch were great additions to the cast and really help the movie shine. Jude and Gemma help provide some levity and development to the story and add to the action of the movie. Lashana has great chemistry with Brie, and helps the emotional aspect of the story, reuniting Carol with her past self.

Brie’s take on the character kind of shocks me. I can understand the necessity for some stiff acting in the beginning, and Brie shines during those moments. But as Carol begins to remember her background, you should be able to bond to the character more and relate to them on an emotional level and that’s a failure here. Emotional moments don’t have as much of an impact, and I wish they did. Brie is a great soldier though, and I hope in Avengers: Endgame and potential sequels they choose to hold her in that realm. Brie is a great actress but she feels out of her realm in some scenes.

The score works, and the 90’s Easter eggs are fun. Some, I could have done without, as they just seemed a moment to reinforce that the movie was set in the 90s. Goose, despite all of my cat reservations is probably my second favorite character in the movie, second to Talos. Goose has many moments where he is just the defining character and is all about the spotlight.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It’s fun, it’s reminiscent of Captain America: The First Avenger in a sense. It feels like a middle of the pack Marvel movie, and it should have been so much more. The cast is phenomenal, and the de-aging technology used for Samuel and Clark Gregg(Phil Coulson) is great. There could be some plot hole or retcon issues for the movie, but that’s reaching into spoiler territory.

Plot: 2.5/5

Character Development: 3/5

Cast: 4.5/5

Buddy Cop: 4/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Character of Focus: Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers

You can find Captain Marvel in theaters now!