SHAZAM!: COMPLETE LIVE-ACTION SERIES
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By uttering a single magic word young Billy Batson transforms himself into the world's mightiest mortal Captain Marvel. The acronym of the first letters of the names of the six elders who train Billy with their respective special gifts: Solomon wisdom; Hercules strength; Atlas stamina; Zeus power; Achilles courage; and Mercury speed in a word SHAZAM! Now the entire series is available in this 3-disc set featuring every exciting episode of this classic television show!
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Viewed now from a more cynical perspective, the show itself is the epitome of 70s cheese, and it doesn't hold up well in the new millenium. Still, it's good viewing for nostalgia's sake. Teenager Billy Batson and Mentor perpetually travel the "highways and by-ways" of America in a Winnebago, like Jack Kerouac with wanderlust, yet never seem to leave California. "The Elders" (six animated Greek gods whose initials provide Shazam with his name) deliver fortune cookie riddles to Billy, which then become clear later in the episode - after Billy has encountered a troubled youth of some kind. "In times of dire need," Billy turns into comic book hero Captain Marvel by uttering the word "Shazam" and being struck by a bolt of lightning... but the Captain Marvel of the show isn't your typical superhero: he never fist fights, he stops wrong-doers by lifting the rear wheels of their car off the ground or jamming their car between two trees, he brings in the cops when things get too intense, and he provides a brief moral lecture directly to us at each episode's closing. This Cap doesn't throw punches, he "develops understanding." Parents will love the lack of violence and the lessons in humanitarianism. Kids will love the cape. And if you were a fan of the show then, you'll love the 70s flashback now.
Oddly enough with this DVD transfer, the "moral" section of each episode is of much poorer film quality than the rest of the episode(s). I don't know why this should be so, but it is. (Did they film those segments independently of the rest of the episode, and on lesser film stock?) Warner is aware of the problem and apologetically notifies the DVD watcher before viewing; they also give you the choice of watching the episodes with or without the moral segments.
Good fun and a must have for collectors of live action superheroes.
Acting isn't great and special effects are sometimes very cheesy but the show does have some fun and is entertaining.