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Shazam Spoiler Review, Comic Book Recommendations, and How to Improve and Have Fun

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On this episode I have my movie review of Shazam(there are spoilers). 3 new comic book recommendations and I discuss how I exactly improve and have fun, and how you can as well.

How to Improve and Have Fun

How does one Improve and Have Fun?

I’ve never done a podcast explaining this.    I’ve mentioned it as part of the introduction numerous times. 

I believe we improve ourselves through being lifelong students and never considering ourselves masters.   Sharing what we've learned with the world reinforces that lesson.    Especially when and if the student asks questions or gives feedback.    This magnifies the reinforcement of the lesson.   Everybody wins.     

Why would one share what they've learned?    Why not hoard the knowledge, keep it secret?    Why not help the next man, right?    It feels good doing so.    You're spreading goodwill into the world and hopefully, that gets passed along.

This podcast ranges from motivational content to documenting my life and interests and expressing my creativity.   But once again, why?    Why do this?

You sharing your life experience might help someone going through a rough time or feel less lonely.   I know that if I'm feeling down myself, the best thing I can do to lift my spirit is to help someone else.    Why deny helping someone when in turn I'm helping myself.

What I'm ultimately saying is that doing this podcast is a way of being of service to the world while fueling my creative and narcissistic needs.   The 'narcissistic needs' will be another podcast episode.

I'm a creative type and putting this together is fun.   I throw everything in here.    Dancing, drawing, DJing, vlogging, testing out new tech, my musings and my thoughts on my interests.   In the future, I'd like to rap, do short stories whatever tickles my pickle.

On this audio/video platform available to anyone you can do anything you want.    By doing so I feel that it will help someone to come out of their shell and do their thing.    Once again why not just use Instagram, YouTube, Facebook to do this?    Audio is the way to go!    I personally listen to more audio than I watch video.    I spend more time with audio than I do on any social media platform.    One with no-to-limited audience can build a reach quicker with audio.

Putting this all together one eventually develops skills which strengthen through repetition.   Such as writing, researching, audio, and video recording, maintaining a website to name a few.    This is where the improvement comes in.   That proficiency can come in handy for future financial opportunities.    This comes all from doing this podcasting hobby.

To do this and communicate with you is a blessing.   I’m a regular person and if I can encourage you to do anything uplifting for yourself in any way, that would be incredible.    

Identify your god given talent, and improve on it.   If it isn’t fun, I say try it for a bit.   If you still dislike it, drop it and move on to the next thing.   Maybe you haven't found what you're good at.    Try many things and see what lands with you.

This is how I improve and have fun.

YouTube version of Shazam Review(quick review).

Shazam Movie Review-SPOILERS

When I was a kid, my older brother borrowed this beat up hardcover book which had a ton of Captain Marvel stories(Shazam's original name).   This is how I discovered this character.   It wasn't until DC brought him to the forefront within the last decade that I remembered who he was.   

When I first saw the movie production images for Shazam, I agreed with the internet.   This did not look good.   Seeing Zachary Levi in the muscle suit looked terrible.    Fast forward several months later, early reviews from screenings began coming out, and they were positive.    Seeing the film within the last 24 hours I can easily say this will be one of my favorite movies of 2019.

This movie doesn't play on the same level, tone-wise, grandeur-wise as an Aquaman or Wonder Woman.    For that reason, the producers of the movie accept that, run with it and succeed.

Batman V Superman, Justice League, Suicide Squad connect the DCU with mentions and appearances of other places, heroes, villains.    This film gives a lot of love to the universe.   By poking fun, but respecting, Batman and Superman.   

In the end credits, Superman appears and there's an animation which features Aquaman, the Flash, Wonder Woman. The character Freddy Freeman throughout the movie is wearing DC paraphernalia.

I liked the prevailing storyline of the child seeking something that would make them whole or so they thought.    The main villain Sivana seeking to be strong enough to show his dad and older brother that he belonged amongst them.    Billy Batson is looking for his mother which also represents a place to call home.    The aforementioned Freddy wishing to be a superhero.      They all find some version of what they are looking for.   I find it interesting with Billy that its what he finally attaches his heart and mind to that ultimately brings him what he wants.    The shift was inside him the whole time, but he had to have dramatic jolts in perspective to get there.    In Sivana's case, he thought a thing could bring him this belonging.   In real life, things only bring temporary happiness.    

I'm waxing poetic here.   I don't mean to be morbid.    But, as of late, I've been pondering 'what do you wish you'll have done with more of within your life when you on your death bed?'    Wouldn't that answer be(for many of us)to have been kinder, to have been more giving and compassionate?    To have been happier and spend more time around people and places that bring us joy.    I don't feel it would be making more money or working more or having lots of things.   I've heard this saying before, that you never see a pickup truck behind a hearse on its way to the cemetery.   

The weak parts of the film;   Mark Strong and Djimon Hounsou have been in multiple superhero films throughout the years.    If you've seen them in one you've seen them all.    These two actors are always solid, but they don't bring anything new to the table.   Asher Anger who plays Billy Batson was a handsome kid who was good but not great.    The scene that solidified this was after he finds his mother and she lets him know she didn't want him.    He was a little sad but ready to move on.   I would've had him emotionally broken for some time.    This was Billy's motivation for a large part of this story, and that was his ultimate reaction?

Between the kids and the adult Shazam versions; some actors had no lines and could've been played by anyone like the Spanish kid or the adult version of Mary Marvel.   Sometimes you get lines and sometimes you don't I guess.

Now what I did like.   The movie has some Hallmark/Lifetime channel moments with the foster family.    I liked this.    Darla who plays the little sister was adorable, and the gorgeous Megan Good played her adult self and she did a wonderful job.     

Shazam uses many elements of the original lore such as the train scene, the talking worm, and the Marvel family, which was one of the best and unexpected moments in the film.     

Zachary Levi playing a grown man-child delivers.    He's always great when he's on screen.    His chemistry with Freddy works.    They deliver the laughs in this action comedy.    I liked Freddy's hero worship as he partly represents the fans coming to see this movie.    I enjoyed the high school stuff with the bullies.   I loved seeing this John Glover who has old school DC ties.   Originally playing Lex Luthor's dad in Smallville.   He's always tremendous!

I would say, comparing superhero movies dealing with the central theme of family and family issues, this worked better than Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

I enjoyed this immensely.   I wonder how it will hold up with a second viewing.     Would I still consider it one of my favorites of 2019?   We'll see when it comes to streaming.     Fantastic movie for the whole family.

Comic Book Recommendations.

The three comic book recommendations.

Aquaman Sub Diego 
Daredevil-Man Without Fear 
Darth Vader Volume 1 

Here's the YouTube(quick)review.

I have three new wonderful comic book recommendations for you.    I suggest using the Comixology app.    The guided view option is the way to go to consume these books.   The Kindle app has the same function but I don't find it as smooth.    There will be NO spoilers in these recommendations as I wish for you to enjoy them thoroughly.

The first book I recommend is Aquaman 'Sub Diego' from the 2003-2006 run of the Aquaman comic book.   

So I am one of those readers that when the movie of a character comes out, I'm curious to read some of their best-published stories according to fans.    Thankfully podcasts like Geek History Lesson are around, where I can get that information.    I've recommended that podcast so many times when it comes to these comic book recommendation episodes.   Hosts Jason Inman and Ashley Victoria Robinson have both been reading comic books for years, and have even created their own.

I read this and 'The Trench' which was announced to be an upcoming spin-off movie by Warner Bros.    That story was cool, but Sub Diego had much more substance and felt more like a 'real world' event.

The premise of Sub Diego?    An earthquake has rocked San Diego and sunken most of the city into the bottom of the ocean, the death toll of animals and people is astronomical.    Something strange happens, however.    Aquaman discovers survivors, but they have changed.    Now they can breathe underwater, but cannot do so on dry land.   Their family members, loved ones think they are dead, but because of this change, they can no longer live alongside them. 
Aquaman being the protector of the oceans must deal with this turmoil and find out why this is happening.

It's a story that has multiple layers, and you get to see Aquaman use some of his powers and discover how much of a badass he is.    My criticism with the book is that I feel there is a supplementary villain shoehorned into the comic, but overall I recommend this excellent book.

2. Daredevil the Man without Fear from 1993-1994 Marvel comics run.    I've heard for years that Frank Miller's Daredevil books are amongst the best of the character's stories.    I read this book after the 3rd and final season of the Netflix show.    

This was available through the 'Unlimited' section in the Comixology app where by paying a monthly subscription fee, you have a ton of books available to read that does not cost any extra to do so.    Aquaman 'Sub Diego' I purchased separately to read, this I didn't have to.

Reading this book gave me the feels of New York in the 70s, and I've gotten that from movies, TV, or photos I've seen from that era.    Hells Kitchen during this time wasn't very safe from what I've heard.    For years I've loved John Romita Jr.'s artwork.   Whenever I think of his artwork, I think of characters with broken noses and how cool they look.     I've loved his work on older X-men books(during the 80s)and on Kick-Ass which I read around the time those movies came out.

Frank Miller's Sin City series was excellent, and this book gave me those feels, and that's why I enjoyed it.    He was working on that a couple of years before doing the 'Man without Fear,' so you see the influence.   In this story, we're introduced to Matt Murdoch's relationship with Elektra and their romance.    He also meets Foggy here and their lifelong friendship begins.    This book is Daredevil's origin story.    I haven't read 'Born Again' yet, another classic(considered by many), after reading this, I'm open to it.

3. Darth Vader Volume 1.    Published by Marvel comics 2015-2016.   I came to this comic by way of the Collider YouTube channel.     They have a weekly Star Wars based show called Jedi Council.    I heard the hosts on multiple occasions discuss how good the Vader comics were.   They were available on Comixology Unlimited once again, and I decided to give it a go.    I wasn't disappointed. 
These books are considered canon in the Star Wars timeline, meaning this isn't an off-shoot story but something that happened in this universe.    This story takes place after the events of 'A New Hope' the first Star Wars movie released in 1977.

I enjoyed seeing Vader on his own.    As a fan of the films, we've followed Anakin's tragic story and transformation into this character but never spent a lot of solo time with Darth.   In this series, Vader gives the feeling of ultimate confidence, no hesitation.     If you cross him, he will end you.   I found it fascinating to follow him.    In this book, he butts heads with the Emperor and is tested.    He also wants to get his revenge on the Rebels for the events from a New Hope and is looking to build an army.   If I have one thing I didn't like, is he feels very stiff.   Not a lot of movement but that might be on purpose.   I only read the first volume of this book.   There are multiple, and I might read those as well.     If you're a Star Wars fan, look out for this.

When it comes to graphic novels, I'm always open to suggestions.   I want to read something great and self-contained.     

Thoughts?    Comments?    Please do so below.   There are affiliate links for these comics.    By purchasing the books through those links, you will be supporting both myself and the author.

Links and Affiliate Links

Collider's Jedi Council 

Geek History Lesson Podcast 

Thoughts? Comments? Do so below or you can contact me by calling, texting, or WhatsApp at 1-201-472-0429. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.   This is a US number.

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