BLU-RAY REVIEW

Shazam! 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 242, August 2019

Picture5
Sound5
Immersive4.5
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
(Studio/Distributor):
Warner Bros . Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number):
3000081159
(MPAA Rating):
PG-13
(Rating Reason):
Intense sequences of action, language, and suggestive material
(Retail Price):
$44.95
(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
(Widescreen Edition):
Yes
(Full Screen Edition):
(Running Time In Minutes):
132
(Color Type):
Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
Yes
(Closed Captioned):
Yes
(Regional Coding):
A
(Theatrical Year):
(Theatrical Release):
Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release):
No
(Disc Release Date):
7/16/2019
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
(Director):
David F. Sandberg
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Story):
(Music):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Co-Producers):
(Producers):
(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio):
(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(DTS Bit Rate):
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
(Additional Languages):
(French Language):
(Spanish Language):
(Subtitles):
(Italian Language):

It takes a bit of magic to bring out the superhero inside us. In Billy Batson's (Angel) case, by shouting out one word––"Shazam!––this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam (Levi), 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 (Strong). (Gary Reber)

Special features include the Shazam exclusive motion comic "Superhero Hooky" (HD 04:05); five featurettes: "The Magical World Of Shazam" (HD 27:09), "Super Fun Zac" (HD 03:19), "Carnival Scene Study" (HD 10:23), "Shazamily Values" (HD 06:06) and "Who Is Shazam? (HD 05:42); 16 deleted and alternate scenes (HD 37:27); a gag reel (HD 03:16); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini and Arri Alexa SXT and Panavision camera systems at a native resolution of 3.4K and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. A 3D Blu-ray Disc, with conversion by DNEG, is available but Warner did not provide this for review.

The color palette is naturally warm and rich with excellent hue density. Color shadings are nicely defined due to the wider color gamut of the HDR format. No color is exaggerated, though, primaries pop amazingly well and jump out in darker scenes. Contrast is excellent and perfectly balanced throughout with well-defined blacks, revealing shadow delineation and natural bright highlights. Set lighting is excellent with effective spotlighting, Lighting effects such as laser beams of light shooting from hands are bright. Shazam's flowing cape is a brilliant white, especially when light is cast on it. His glowing electrified chest emblem is richly yellowish. The Wizard's underground haunted lair is shadowy and nicely defined. The HDR element delivers impressive intensity in the range of deep blacks, shadows, and whites. Resolution is superb with fine detail exhibited in costumes and attire. The carnival scene is incredibly well lit and spatially dynamic and resolved. Facial features throughout reveal the full range of complexions and appearances. WOW! segments are from 34:48 to 37:02, 46:52 to 47:24, 50:10 to 55:02, 01:09:49 to 01:12:12, 01:29:37 to 01:33:35, 01:36:50 to 01:41:51 and 01:55:17 to 01:56:18. "Shazam!" is a spectacular-looking movie that is sure to be a hit with the entire family. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack effectively uses the capabilities of the channels available, especially with respect to the ear-level seven channels, especially during the action sequences ignited with magical effects. The orchestral/pop score is virtually a constant and very dynamic sounding with a deep bass foundation. The music occupies a very wide and deep soundstage presence that fills the entire soundfield with strong wrap-around surround energy. Deep bass is energized throughout, especially with the numerous sound effects that blast with dynamic transients. Deep bass extends to sub-25 Hz frequencies. The seven deadly sin demons are always punctuated with bass energy. Dialogue is intelligible throughout. Spatial integration varies from good to ADR forward.

The Immersive Sound element features an orchestra/pop score that extends actively and strongly to the height channels. Numerous sound effects are engaged as well, such as whiz sounds, powerful demon voices, the "Next Stop" subway woman's voice, a whizzing subway car sound, a panned back to front embers sound effect, an electrical charge sound, a crunch sound as a head is bitten off, a truck vanishing and the key fob sound, an "I Am A Tiger.." male singing voice, a bus fall, an"Round n' Round" music toy, a laser strike and broken glass, a kid's voice, a helicopter overhead, ice and water disturbance, thunder and other transient sound effects, all of which add a fun layer of dimensionaliity.

This is a very fun holosonic® spherical surround soundtrack that is entertaining throughout. (Gary Reber)