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Reviews and Editing by R. Allen Leider
with Andrew Johnson, Monis Rose and J. Brad Staal

April 5th, 2019
 

x"Shazam"

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 superhero Shazam.

More of a kid's film than the serious srerial form 1941, Shazam is much better than the 1970's daytime TV program. Billy Batson is a delinquent foster kid who becomes theprotege of the wizard Shazam and finds himself coping withhis new persona as a superhero while fighting a dealy threat to mankind - Dr. Sivana who is possessed by demons and determined to become all-powerful.

The History of ShazamThe first appearance of the original Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics was in Feb. 1940 and the Captain Marvel character was called "Captain Thunder." The cover art for the first issue showed Captain Marvel throwing a vehicle at a wall, and was inspired by the cover of Action Comics #1, which shows Superman lifting a car. This led to a lot of litigation.Created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, Captain Marvel was basically Superman—then the most popular superhero—but if his alter ego were the kid who reads the comics instead of a square-jawed beat reporter from the Midwest. And if said superhero had a command of, rather than a vulnerability to, magic. Eventually, DC Comics filed a copyright lawsuit against Fawcett Comics, on the grounds that Captain Marvel and Superman were too similar. Fawcett discontinued its title in 1953, and Captain Marvel lay dormant for 20 years, until DC licensed the character in 1973, and relaunched Captain Marvel alongside Superman, under his own title: Shazam!


The Players: Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Strong Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer

Directed by David F. Sandberg
Screenplay by Henry Gayden
Released by Warner Brothers

 

x"Captain Marvel"

Reviewed by J. Brad Staal

It's fitting that the MCU's first female led super hero movie was released on International Women's Day. Captain Marvel has a central theme that becomes more clear as the film progresses, nothing is as it appears.

From the shapeshifting Skrulls to the cat, take nothing for granted. Our hero played by Brie Larson is first introduced as Vers (pronounced Veers) but later revealed to be Carol Danvers but you already knew her real name if you had even the basic knowledge of the comic character. They chose to start the story a little ways in and fill us in on her history as we go along. It's a fitting method since even Carol doesn't remember her own history in the beginning.

Even the previews for the film fit the overall theme. They paint the picture as all action and grit. For example my wife went in to the movie with apprehension thinking it was a dark DC style movie. She was pleasantly surprised to find the movie more in line with the normal Marvel mix of action and humor.

This movie takes place in 1995 before all but the first Captain America. So we get to see some history of side characters such as Nick Fury getting his iconic eye patch and even rookie Agent Coulson. I will never understand when people walk out of a Marvel movie right when the credits start. There's a mid credit scene that is crucial to the next Avengers movie and a cute silly one at the very end of them.Overall I would say this is an excellent addition to the MCU, especially because Captain Marvel is supposed to play a big part in the upcoming Avengers movie.

Synopsis

Carol Danvers us really an alien agent Vers whose memories have been lost. She joins forces with Nick Fury and Phil Coulso of S.H.I.E.L.D. and becomes Captain Marvel an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.


The Players: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn Jude Lww Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Directed by Anna Boden
Screenplay by Ryan Fleck
Released by Disney

 

 


 
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