May 23 New-Release Slate Includes ‘Creed III,’ ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ on Disc, ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Digitally

Among new home entertainment releases for May 23 are Creed III and Shazam! Fury of the Gods on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K disc, while John Wick: Chapter 4 becomes available to buy from digital retailers.

Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut Creed III, from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, arrives on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD May 23 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. Directed by Jordan, from a screenplay by Keegan Coogler and Zach Baylin, the film recently set a franchise record and scored the biggest domestic box office opening for a sports film in history, according to the studio. The film has earned $273.8 million at the global box office. Creed III stars Michael B. Jordan (Just Mercy, Black Panther), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Love and Thunder, TV’s “Westworld”), Jonathan Majors (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Devotion), Wood Harris (TV’s “Winning Time”), Mila Davis-Kent, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad. In the third installment in the franchise, after dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Jordan) has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian — a fighter who has nothing to lose. A three-film collection featuring Creed, Creed II and Creed III also will be available on Blu-ray and DVD May 23.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment releases the superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital May 23. Directed by David F. Sandberg and based on characters from DC, the film stars Zachary Levi (American Underdog) as Shazam and Asher Angel (TV’s “Andi Mack”) as Billy Batson. Shazam! Fury of the Gods continues the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word “Shazam!,” is transformed into his adult superhero alter ego Shazam. Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with having adult superhero alter egos. But when the Daughters of Atlas, a vengeful trio of ancient gods, arrive on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Billy — aka Shazam — and his family are thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives and the fate of their world. From New Line Cinema, the film also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (It Chapter Two) as Freddy Freeman; Adam Brody (Promising Young Woman) as Super Hero Freddy; Ross Butler (Raya and the Last Dragon) as Super Hero Eugene; Meagan Good (Day Shift) as Super Hero Darla; D.J. Cotrona (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) as Super Hero Pedro; Grace Caroline Currey (Annabelle: Creation) as Mary Bromfield/Super Hero Mary; Faithe Herman (TV’s “This Is Us”) as Darla Dudley; Ian Chen (A Dog’s Journey) as Eugene Choi; Jovan Armand (Second Chances) as Pedro Pena; Marta Milans (TV’s “White Lines”) as Rosa Vasquez; Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) as Victor Vasquez; with Djimon Hounsou (A Quiet Place Part II) as Wizard, Rachel Zegler (“West Side Story”), Lucy Liu (“Kung Fu Panda” franchise) and Helen Mirren (F9: The Fast Saga). The film earned $133.4 million at the global box office. Read a review here.

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release season six of “SEAL Team” on DVD May 23. The military drama follows the elite unit of Navy SEALs led by Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) as they must rebound from a devastating ambush on the battlefield that leaves the team forever altered and the team’s future unknown. The three-disc collection features every episode in the season, and nearly an hour of exclusive special features, including deleted scenes, a gag reel and more. In addition to Boreanaz, the series stars Jessica Paré (“Mad Men”), Max Thieriot (“Fire Country”) and Neil Brown, Jr. (Straight Outta Compton).

The Chilean martial arts actioner Fist of the Condor lands on digital, Blu-ray and DVD May 23 from Well Go USA Entertainment. The film features martial arts star Marko Zaror (John Wick: Chapter 4, Undisputed 3, Machete Kills) supported by a cast including Eyal Meyer (Too Late to Die Young), Gina Aguad (Mirageman), Fernanda Urrejola (Cry Macho) and Man Soo Yoon (Kiltro). Written, edited and directed by Ernesto Díaz Espinoza (Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, Santiago Violenta), Fist of the Condor follows a martial arts master as he battles the world’s greatest assassins to protect a sacred, ancient manual from falling into the wrong hands. In the film, upon the Incan empire’s fall to invading conquistadors, 16th-century Incan martial arts masters quickly hid a sacred manual containing the secrets behind their deadly fighting technique. But after centuries of careful safeguarding, the manual is again at risk of falling into the wrong hands, leaving its rightful guardian to battle the world’s greatest assassins to protect the ancient secrets within.

The animated prequel The Swan Princess: A Fairytale Is Born will be released on digital and DVD May 23 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The story travels back to the beginning of the 20-year Swan Princess journey to see how it all began. Before becoming queen, Uberta lived a humble life with her husband Maximillian when she is suddenly thrust into royalty. Through triumph and tragedy, she learns the lessons needed to become a beloved queen, all while raising the next generation of rulers. When it’s time for Uberta to pass the royal scepter to Odette and Derek, rival Queen Wixom has plans of her own to ruin the kingdom’s greatest coronation.

The action thriller John Wick: Chapter 4 arrives for digital purchase May 23 from Lionsgate. Directed by Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 4 stars Keanu Reeves (“The Matrix” franchise) as he returns in the titular role, joined by franchise regulars Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix” franchise), Lance Reddick (TV’s “Lost”), and lan McShane (“Deadwood”) while welcoming Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Bill Skarsgård (“It” franchise), Hiroyuki Sanada (Avengers: Endgame), Shamier Anderson (Race), Rina Sawayama (TV’s “Turn Up Charlie”) and Scott Adkins (Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday). In the film, John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe, and forces that turn old friends into foes. It arrives on 4K Ultra HD  combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and on demand June 13.

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RLJE Films will release the Shudder original horror sequel V/H/S/99 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 23. A Blu-ray/DVD combo Steelbook set also is available. The film is the fifth entry in the “V/H/S” series of horror anthology films. In V/H/S/99, a thirsty teenager’s home video leads to a series of horrifying revelations. Featuring five new stories, V/H/S/99 harkens back to the final punk rock analog days of VHS, while taking one giant leap forward into the hellish new millennium. V/H/S/99 stars Steven Ogg (“The Walking Dead”), Ally Ioannides (Synchronic), Keanush Tafreshi (Weird: The Al Yankovic Story), Emily Sweet (Castle Freak), and Archelaus Crisanto (“The Chosen”). It was written and directed by Maggie Levin (Into The Dark), Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down), Flying Lotus (Kuso), Tyler MacIntyre (Tragedy Girls), Vanessa Winter (Deadstream) and Joseph Winter (Deadstream); Zoe Cooper (V/H/S/85) and Chris Lee Hill (Tragedy Girls) also served as writers.

Japanese filmmaker Shohei Imamura’s final film, Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001), will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital May 23 from Film Movement. Brimming with magical realism, sensuality and humor, the Palme d’Or-nominated classic tells the story of Yosuke Sasano (Koji Yakusho), an unemployed salaryman who arrives in a remote fishing village following a rumor of hidden treasure. Instead, he meets Saeko Aizawa (Misa Shimizu), a charming and unusual woman with a unique problem: a well of warm water inside her longing for release. Saeko faces both shame and adoration for her condition, which the local anglers believe feeds the river and its fish. Intrigued and enamored, Yosuke decides to take up a new life as a fisherman. Through their passionate affair, Imamura paints a picture of longing, fantasy, and the search for true happiness.

The Filipino zombie thriller Day Zero will debut digitally May 23 from Well Go USA Entertainment. An official selection at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in 2022, Day Zero stars recently retired MMA fighter Brandon Vera (BuyBust), Pepe Herrera (“The Killer Bride”), MJ Lastimosa (Damaso), Joey Marquez (On the Job 2: The Missing 8) and Ricci Rivero (Rabid, Happy Times). In the film, after serving eight incident-free years in prison, a former elite soldier is released, finally free to reunite with his estranged wife and young daughter. However, he re-enters civilization only to discover that the outside world has been completely overtaken by a dangerous virus with terrifying effects on the human body. Chased by hordes of the undead, he races through the dangerous urban landscape in a final desperate attempt to redeem himself and rescue his family. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD July 11.

The 2016 documentary Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is being released for digital rental (VOD) and purchase May 23 from Virgil Films. Merrily We Roll Along is one of the most legendary musicals in the history of Broadway. Originally a play from 1934, Hal Prince decided to do a musical version in 1981 — with a cast almost exclusively of teenagers and young adults — and brought on his friend and long-time collaborator Stephen Sondheim to do the music and lyrics. Everyone thought it was going to be the lauded team’s next big hit, but instead it closed after just 16 performances. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened draws back the curtain on the extraordinary drama of Merrily’s creation and tells the stories of the hopeful young performers whose lives were transformed by it. Directed by Lonny Price, a member of the original cast, the film is a bittersweet meditation on the choices we all make, and the often-unexpected consequences of those choices through success and failure. The film features exclusive appearances by the late Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince as well as Jason Alexander, Mandy Patinkin, Adam Guettel, Frank Rich and the original Broadway cast of Merrily We Roll Along. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened appears on many “best of” lists, including the “best of the year” (New York Times, The Wrap, Newsweek), “best theater documentaries of all time” (Playbill, Broadway World) and Esquire’s list of “20 Documentaries That Will Change Your Life.”

The complete series set of the TV comedy “Go On,” starring Matthew Perry, will be released on DVD May 23 from Mill Creek Entertainment. In the 22-episode series, after taking some time to deal with the death of his wife, sportscaster Ryan King (Perry) is ready to push his feelings down and get back to work. However, Ryan’s boss (John Cho), preferring that Ryan work through his grief first, refuses to let him back on air until he gets counseling. Reluctantly, Ryan joins a support group, where his lack of interest in healing not only makes therapy interesting but also may just serve as the breath of fresh air needed to get his fellow group members back on track to health. In addition to Perry and Cho, “Go On” also stars Julie White (“How We Roll,””NCIS: Hawai’i,” “Designated Survivor”), Laura Benanti (“Life & Beth,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Gilded Age”), Brett Gelman (“Stranger Things,” “Inside Job,” “Strays”), Suzy Nakamura (“Inside Job,” “Dead to Me,” “Avenue”), Sarah Baker (“The Kominsky Method,” “Young Sheldon,” “Big Little Lies”), Tyler James Williams (“Abbott Elementary,” “Everybody Hates Chris”) and Piper Perabo (“Yellowstone,” “Billions”). The release is timed for May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. “Go On” was nominated for — and won — several awards during its time on air, receiving recognition from organizations focused on representation in media, including GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Alliance for Women in Media (Gracie Allen Award), NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and the Entertainment Industries Council (Prism Award, honoring the creative community for accurate depictions of substance abuse, addiction and mental health in entertainment programming).

Bonanza: The Official Complete Series arrives on DVD May 23 from Paramount Home Entertainment and CBS. The series collection includes all 14 seasons — 431 full-length episodes — together for the very first time, along with an exclusive bonus disc containing nearly two and a half hours of rare content not seen in more than 60 years. Every episode has been restored and remastered from the original 35mm film camera negatives. The multiple award-winning series “Bonanza” (1959-1973), which follows the Cartwright family of Ponderosa in the West, was created and produced by David Dortort and stars Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon, plus appearances by Victor Sen Yung, Ray Teal, Bing Russell, David Canary, Mitch Vogel and Tim Matheson.

Lionsgate will release the crime thriller Crank as a Best Buy exclusive 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray and digital) Steelbook on May 23. In the actioner, hit man Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) needs to raise his adrenaline to stay alive. He has one hour to settle the score and say goodbye to his girl and go out with a little style. The film also stars Amy Smart (Rat Race, The Butterfly EffectThe Single Moms Club), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Disturbia, ElysiumAmbulance), Efren Ramirez (Mad Families, Casa de mi PadreNapoleon Dynamite) and Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade, Wedding Crashers, Bandidas). 

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/23/23;
Warner;
Action;
Box Office $57.64 million;
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, $39.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of action and violence, and language.
Stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Rachel Zegler, Grace Caroline Currey, Ross Butler, Ian Chen, D.J. Cotrona, Jovan Armand, Meagan Good, Faithe Herman, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, Helen Mirren, Marta Millans, Cooper Andrews.

If ever there were a poster child for a studio undercutting its own IP, it’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

It’s not that it’s a bad film — it’s fun and highly entertaining. But in the leadup to its theatrical release, the newly constituted Warner Bros. Discovery announced plans to reboot the entirety of the DC Comics film franchise — of which the sequel to 2019’s well-regarded Shazam! was a part. On top of that, the character’s historic comic book arch-nemesis, Black Adam, got his own solo movie just a few months earlier, amid widespread rumors that its star, Dwayne Johnson, was so adamant about downplaying any connection to Shazam that he nixed any potential crossover cameos.

Such PR negativity so dampened enthusiasm for any remaining DC sequels still tied to the old continuity that the studio’s marketers decided to spoil one of the film’s major cameos in a TV spot in a desperate attempt to reignite fan interest. It didn’t work, with Fury of the Gods generating about one-third the box office of its predecessor four years earlier.

The pandemic probably didn’t help matters either; taking two years off the timeline of when a potential sequel could come out doesn’t do any favors to maintaining audiences’ familiarity with a relatively niche character in the DC Comics canon.

The shame of it is, this is a decent, if imperfect, sequel to one of the more irreverent superhero properties to hit the big screen in a while.

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Picking up a couple years after where the previous film left off, Shazam (Zachary Levi), the adult superhero form of Billy Batson (Asher Angel), is joined by his family of foster brothers and sisters in a full-fledged superhero team of kids who turn into adults imbued with the powers of the mythological gods when they say the word “Shazam.” And they are apparently horrible at it, being lambasted in the media for causing more harm than they try to prevent. On top of that, Billy’s best friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) is having too much fun in his superhero form (Adam Brody), often going on solo adventures to the chagrin of Billy.

In the midst of the Shazam Family trying to find its balance, a trio of sisters visits Earth from the Realm of the Gods in order to reclaim the Shazam powers, which they say were stolen from them by the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) who gave Billy his powers in the first film. The Daughters of Atlas (Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Rachel Zegler) also seek the means to restore life to their own realm through a golden apple hidden somewhere in the Rock of Eternity, which happens to be the Shazam Family’s headquarters.

To force Shazam’s cooperation, the Daughters kidnap Freddy and remove his powers, having retrieved the magical staff that empowered the team in the first film. But they imprison Freddy in the same cell as the Wizard, and the interplay between Grazer and Hounsou as the pair plot their escape is among the film’s best material.

The sisters also encase Shazam’s home city, Philadelphia, in an impenetrable magic dome, which at least explains why other DC heroes aren’t getting involved in the fight. One downside to storytelling in a shared universe is that if the villain’s plot registers on a global scale, it raises the question of why the other established heroes of the franchise aren’t all showing up to try to stop it as well (a prime example of this is Marvel’s Eternals, in which the potential destruction of the Earth apparently drew the curiosity of zero Avengers).

To save Freddy, free the city and prevent the Daughters’ from unleashing monsters upon the Earth, Billy must figure out how to retrieve the staff and return the sisters to their realm.

Levi continues to have all the fun as a teenager inhabiting a middle-aged adult’s body, though he seems to be even more immature as Shazam than the teenage Billy, who is nearing 18 and demonstrates more self-awareness than his adult self. The film at least has other characters call out how Shazam’s shtick is getting old, pointing out that the “S” in his name is supposed to represent Solomon’s wisdom — a trait he has been lacking thus far.

Also a bit weird is that the film has retained all the adult/kid cast from the first film, with the exception that Grace Caroline Currey is now playing the adult hero version of Mary in addition to her younger form. The filmmakers cite the character now being over 18 as the reason for the change, as Michelle Borth played the older form of Mary in the previous film. It’s a bit weird visually just compared with all the other characters changing actors in their superhero forms (especially considering they reshot a flashback to the first film, but used Currey instead of Borth, and this film’s updated costume designs). As the film establishes that both Billy and Freddy are about to turn 18, this logic would have Angel and Grazer playing their own Shazam versions in any future installments instead of Levi and Brody, which doesn’t seem a likely direction for the filmmakers to go in (not that any more sequels are likely forthcoming given this film’s dire box office pronouncements).

However, the film’s best running gag, at least for anyone with an appreciation for comic book history, involves the Shazam Family trying to figure out superhero names, since they can’t just introduce themselves as “Shazam” without turning their powers on and off. That’s because their superhero names in the comics were variations of Billy’s original alter ego — Captain Marvel, a moniker now controlled by DC’s rival, Marvel Comics, thanks to a complicated legal history.

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The film looks great in 4K and on Blu-ray, filled with some dazzling visual effects and an amazing array of mythological creatures with designs that draw inspiration from Ray Harryhausen.

The disc and digital editions of the film offer a number of good bonus materials. In the 4K combo pack, all the extras are on the regular Blu-ray, not the 4K disc.

Both the Blu-ray and 4K disc do offer an informative commentary track with director David F. Sandberg, who discusses how the production sidestepped a number of challenges in the visual effects and editing of the film.

Sandberg refers to a lot of material cut out of the film, many of which are included among the deleted, alternate and extended scenes, 29 of them totaling 31 minutes.

The Blu-ray also includes more than an hour of making-of featurettes.

The primary behind-the-scenes video is the 25-minute “Shazam! Let’s Make a Sequel,” which offers a nice overview of the production in general. The four-minute “The Zac Effect” focuses on the film’s star and his impact on the film, while the five-minute “Shazamily Reunion” shines a light on the other members of Team Shazam, and the eight-minute “Sisterhood of Villains” details the creation and portrayal of the Daughters of Atlas. “The Rock of Eternity: Decked Out” is a nearly six-minute featurette about how the Shazam Family have decorated their lair. The five-minute “Mythology of Shazam! Fury of the Gods” chronicles the real Greek myths that inspired much of the film’s premise.

Rounding out the extras is “Shazam! Scene Deconstruction,” a 10-minute video about the making of five action sequences.

 

Black Adam

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 1/3/23;
Warner;
Action;
Box Office $167.87 million;
$34.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray, $49.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of strong violence, intense action, and some language.
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Bodhi Sabongui, Pierce Brosnan.

Turmoil surrounding the DC Comics film franchise put Black Adam in an unenviable position. On the one hand, it has the baggage of being connected to a cinematic universe many fans aren’t satisfied with. On the other, it was released just before creative changes at the studio fueled speculation that the whole franchise would be rebooted, which isn’t exactly an incentive for the remaining fans of the DC universe to rush out to see it.

The film was a passion project for star Dwayne Johnson, who said Black Adam was his favorite character growing up.

In the comics, Black Adam was the arch-enemy of Shazam — a malevolent force from ancient times whose powers derive from the same magic as Shazam. In more recent times he has been depicted as less of an all-out supervillain and more of an antihero. His existence is alluded to in the 2019 Shazam movie, though he doesn’t make a full-fledged appearance.

Black Adam’s own film thus depicts his origins as the champion of the fictional Middle East nation of Kahndaq, which in ancient times was ruled by a tyrant who enslaved his people to mine for a powerful ore. The Council of Wizards sought a hero of the people to imbue with their powers, but they were instead corrupted by Teth-Adam (Johnson), who used them to seek revenge against those who wronged him. As punishment, Adam was imprisoned by the wizards within the Rock of Eternity.

In the present day, 5,000 years later, Kahndaq is controlled by a criminal conglomerate known as Intergang, which similarly exploits the nation’s resources in search of the legendary Crown of Sabbac, which would give them untold power. A group of resistance fighters led by Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) hopes to find the crown first to keep it from falling into the wrong hands, but in doing so end up freeing Adam from his tomb and unleashing him upon the modern world.

As a safeguard, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) from some of the other DC films enlists members of the Justice Society to neutralize Adam. The team is led by Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), whose cinematic depiction is something of a combination of Marvel’s Falcon, Thor and Iron Man; Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), who is basically DC’s version of Doctor Strange, but also has visions of people’s futures; Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), the Ant-Man equivalent who can grow very large; and Cyclone (Quinessa Swindell), who can manipulate wind not unlike the X-Men’s Storm.

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Adrianna and her son, Amon (Bodhi Sabongui), want to help Adam rid their country of Intergang, putting them in conflict with the Justice Society, who claim Adam’s power is too dangerous. Meanwhile, agents of Intergang plot to steal back the crown to unleash the powers of the ancient demons that can defeat Adam.

So, the set-up is a bit similar to 1999’s The Mummy, though Adam’s personality is much more complex. Seeing Adam acclimate to modern technology is amusing, especially as Amon tries to tutor him in how to be a superhero (complete with a coming up with a catch-phrase). On the other hand, Adam’s instinct to kill his enemies first and ask questions later cause quite a bit of friction with the Justice Society.

Stylistically, director Jaume Collet-Serra imbues the film’s confrontations with the sensibilities of a spaghetti western, a conscious choice he discusses in the bonus materials. The film also benefits from the undercurrents of a flashback structure that tells the parallel story of Adam in both ancient and modern times, representing thematically how the meaning and interpretation of historical artifacts can be misconstrued.

The film maintains its distance from the Shazam side of the DC franchise, aside from the fact that their powers derive from the same source (and Djimon Hounsou reprises his role as the wizard who guards over the magic). This also means several characters say the word “Shazam” to activate the powers, which makes it a bit weird that no one would mention that being the name of another superhero (particularly Amon, who has a sizeable collection of superhero merchandise, including a Shazam action figure). But it would probably be a bit less confusing if the hero known as Shazam were still allowed to go by his original moniker from the 1940s, Captain Marvel, before rights issues involving the ownership of different comic book companies made that name the purview of Marvel Comics.

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Still, as its own standalone movie, Black Adam is a slick-looking adventure with a lot of delicious visual effects that stay true to their comic book influences. Most of the supporting characters arrive with exposition-heavy explanations of their powers, hinting at complex backstories that make them seem like they wandered in from other movies that were never made. And that ultimately is what Black Adam feels like — an addendum to the larger DC franchise cobbled together from components of other characters’ stories. It’s entertaining for what it is, making it disappointing to think there won’t be much follow-through on the story points it establishes.

The Blu-ray includes more than 70 minutes of behind-the-scenes materials, in the form of 10 separate featurettes covering everything from the history of the characters, to the development of the film, and the design of the costumes, sets and visual effects. In the 4K combo pack, the extras can be found only on the regular Blu-ray.

 

Lego DC: Shazam! — Magic and Monsters

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Animated;
$19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Voices of Sean Astin, Troy Baker, Nolan North, Grey Griffin, Christina Milizia, James Arnold Taylor, Imari Williams, Fred Tatasciore, Ralph Garman, Zach Callison, Dee Bradley Baker, Jennifer Hale, Tom Kenny, Johnny Rees, Erica Lindbeck, Josh Keaton.

The “Lego DC” movies are like a throwback to the days of superheroes being light and fun, like the old “Super Friends” cartoon.

The latest installment focuses on Shazam, the red-suited mystically powered hero who has gotten a bit higher profile of late thanks to his own live-action motion picture last year.

In this new adventure done in the Lego style, Shazam is a rookie superhero on the verge of joining the Justice League. But he doesn’t believe the team will accept him if they discover that his secret identity of Billy Batson is just a kid who only takes on adult form when he gains powers by shouting “Shazam!”

His fears become secondary, however, when his archenemesis Mr. Mind and Dr. Savana discover a way to turn the Justice League members into children so that they may more easily brainwash them into doing evil.

That leaves is up to Shazam, and the kid version of Batman who escapes, to save the day.

The movie has a lot of fun playing with the Shazam mythology, particularly all the gods from whom Shazam derives his powers. There’s also a fantastic final fight that might fulfill a lot of fanboy crossover fantasies.

The Blu-ray includes a Lego Shazam minifigure and three bonus cartoons: an episode of “Teen Titans Go!” and two episodes of “Unikitty!”

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Warner Releasing ‘Lego Shazam’ Movie Digitally April 28, on Disc June 16

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the new full-length animated feature film Lego DC: Shazam! — Magic and Monsters through digital retailers April 28, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD June 16.

The latest entry in the direct-to-video line of Lego DC Comics movies features Shazam (Sean Astin) becoming the newest member of the Justice League. But to join, he must reveal his true identity as Billy Batson, a 10-year-old boy granted the power of the gods when he says his name, a gift bestowed upon him by a wizard (Ralph Garman). While fighting off the evil Mr. Mind and Black Adam, Billy learns that he must trust others — and that nothing creates trust like helping those in need.

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The cast also includes Troy Baker as Batman/Bruce Wayne; Nolan North as Superman and Alfred; Grey Griffin as Wonder Woman and Lois Lane; Christina Milizia as Green Lantern Jessica Cruz; James Arnold Taylor as The Flash and Dummy; Imari Williams as Black Adam and Teth Adam; Fred Tatasciore as Lobo and Oom; Zach Callison as Billy Batson and Jimmy Olsen; Dee Bradley Baker as Jeepers, Dr. Sivana and Crocodile Man; Jennifer Hale as Mary Batson and L.N. Ambassador; Tom Kenny as The Penguin and Perry White; Jonny Rees as Mr. Mind; Erica Lindbeck as a greeter and a farmer; and Josh Keaton as Terrance and an executive.

The Lego Shazam! Blu-ray and DVD will include three cartoons from the Warner Bros. Animation vault: The “Teen Titans Go!” episode “Little Elvis,” and the “Unikitty!” episodes “Spoooooky Game” and “Pool Duel.”

For a limited time, the disc versions of the move will include a Shazam minifigure.

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‘Shazam!’ Lights Up Disc Sales in July

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Shazam! was No. 1 on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for July 2019 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The superhero movie was released July 16.

Fox’s sci-fi actioner Alita: Battle Angel, released toward the end of the month on July 23, was the No. 2 seller for the month.

Another late-month release, Lionsgate’s Hellboy remake, on disc July 23, entered the monthly chart at No. 3.

Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake was No. 4 during the month after debuting in the second spot the previous month.

Disney’s Captain Marvel, the previous month’s top title, dropped to No. 5 for the month.

Other new releases on the top 10 monthly chart include Fox’s faith-based Breakthrough at No. 6, and the horror remake Pet Sematary, from Paramount, at No. 7.

Disney’s 1994 The Lion King, pushed back onto the chart at No. 8, no doubt enjoying a resurgence due to the theatrical release of its live-action-style remake.

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The list of the year’s top 10 disc sellers was relatively unchanged from the previous month.

Warner’s Aquaman remained at No. 1, Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody was still No. 2, and Captain Marvel held onto the No. 3 spot.

The only change in the year’s top 10 was Paramount’s Bumblebee and Universal’s The Grinch switching spots. Bumblebee rose two spots to No. 8 and Grinch dropped two spots to No. 10.

According to NPD, the July 2019 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Shazam! (Warner)
  2. Alita: Battle Angel (Fox)
  3. Hellboy (2019) (Lionsgate)
  4. Dumbo (2019) (Disney)
  5. Captain Marvel (Disney/Marvel)
  6. Breakthrough (Fox)
  7. Pet Sematary (2019) (Paramount)
  8. The Lion King (Disney)
  9. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Universal)
  10. Harry Potter 8-Film Collection (Warner)

 

Year-to-date Top 10 (through July 2019):

  1. Aquaman (Warner)
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
  3. Captain Marvel (Disney/Marvel)
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner)
  5. Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
  6. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  7. A Star Is Born (2018) (Warner)
  8. Bumblebee (Paramount)
  9. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
  10. The Grinch (Universal)

 

‘Captain Marvel’ Commands Disc Sales in June

‘Shazam!’ Remains Top Redbox Rental, ‘Alita’ Tops On Demand Chart

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Shazam! remained No. 1 on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental chart the week ended July 28.

The top newcomer on the disc rental chart was Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel.

Another newcomer, Lionsgate’s Hellboy remake, debuted at No. 3 on the kiosk chart.

The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

Fox’s faith-based drama Breakthrough dropped to No. 4 on the disc chart.

Paramount’s remake of the horror film Pet Sematary slipped to No. 5 on the kiosk chart.

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The Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals, saw Alita debut at No. 1, with Shazam! dropping to No. 2.

Hellboy was No. 3, Breakthrough was No. 4 and Universal’s Little was No. 5.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended July 28:

  1. Shazam! — Warner
  2. Alita: Battle Angel — Fox
  3. Hellboy (2019) — Lionsgate
  4. Breakthrough — Fox
  5. Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount
  6. Little Universal
  7. Dumbo (2019) Disney
  8. Missing Link — Fox
  9. Captain Marvel — Disney
  10. Us — Universal

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended July 28:

  1. Alita: Battle Angel — Fox
  2. Shazam! — Warner
  3. Hellboy (2019) — Lionsgate
  4. Breakthrough — Fox
  5. Little Universal
  6. Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount
  7. Aquaman Warner
  8. The Upside — STX
  9. Missing Link — Fox
  10. Us — Universal

‘Shazam!’ Shines on Home Video Charts

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Shazam! debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended July 20.

The superhero movie based on the DC Comics character earned $140.4 million at the domestic box office.

Another newcomer, Fox’s faith-based drama Breakthrough, was No. 2 on the overall sales chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

The week also saw several older titles re-emerge among the weekly bestsellers thanks to “Prime Day” sales held by Amazon.com July 15 and 16.

For example, the Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection rose all the way back up to No. 3 on the overall list and No. 2 on the Blu-ray list.

Disney’s Dumbo live-action remake was No. 4 on the overall sales chart in its fourth week, and was No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart.

Rounding out the top five overall was another superhero movie, Disney’s Captain Marvel, in its sixth week on disc. Captain Marvel was the No. 3 Blu-ray.

The previous week’s top seller, Paramount’s remake of Pet Sematary, dropped to No. 6 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 72% of first-week Shazam! unit sales, compared with 36% for Breakthrough. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format comprised 18% of Shazam!‘s total, while a Best Buy-exclusive 3D edition was good for 3%. Breakthrough saw 2% of its overall sales come from UHD Blu-ray.

The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended July 21 also saw Shazam! bow in the top spot, followed by Breakthrough.

Pet Sematary slipped from the top spot a week earlier to No. 3, with Universal’s Little at No. 4 and Dumbo at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 7-20-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 7-21-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 7-20-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 7-20-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 7-20-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 7-22-19

 

‘Shazam!’ Zaps Redbox Rental and On Demand Charts

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Shazam! debuted at No. 1 on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental and On Demand charts the week ended July 21.

The offbeat superhero film stars Zachary Levi as the the DC Comics character.

The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks. The Redbox On Demand chart tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals.

Fox’s faith-based drama Breakthrough debuted at No. 2 on both charts.

Paramount’s remake of the horror film Pet Sematary dropped to No. 3 on both charts. It debuted at No. 1 on the disc chart and No. 2 on the digital chart the week before.

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The Universal Pictures comedy Little slipped to No. 4 on both charts a week after debuting at No. 2 on the kiosk rental chart and No. 1 on the On Demand chart.

Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake was No. 5 on the kiosk chart.

Warner’s Aquaman rounded out the top 5 on the On Demand chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended July 21:

  1. Shazam! — Warner
  2. Breakthrough — Fox
  3. Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount
  4. Little Universal
  5. Dumbo (2019) Disney
  6. Captain Marvel — Disney
  7. Escape Plan: The Extractors — Lionsgate
  8. Us — Universal
  9. Wonder Park — Paramount
  10. The Professor — Lionsgate

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended July 21:

  1. Shazam! — Warner
  2. Breakthrough — Fox
  3. Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount
  4. Little Universal
  5. Aquaman Warner
  6. The Upside — STX
  7. Us — Universal
  8. After — Universal
  9. Escape Plan: The Extractors — Lionsgate
  10. Five Feet Apart — Lionsgate

Merchandising: The Magic Word is ‘Shazam!’

Retailers offered a couple of exclusives for Warner’s Shazam! upon its Blu-ray release July 16.

Best Buy had an exclusive 3D Blu-ray combo pack of Shazam! for $29.99, in addition to a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook for $34.99.

Walmart offered a $29.96 gift set of the Shazam! Blu-ray combo pack with a pack-on Funko Pocket Pop keychain of the main character. Walmart also sold a single-disc DVD version with just a single “Who Is Shazam?” featurette for $16.96, as opposed to the regularly available two-disc special-edition DVD with the full range of extras for $1 more everywhere else.

Target continued to offer 20% off movies on Blu-ray and DVD, excluding new releases, through July 20 via the Cartwheel coupon function on the Target app.

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