Archive for February, 2018

I finally got to see Marvel’s Black Panther a couple of days ago so I’ll throw my thoughts out there. There are some minor spoilers in this review in case you haven’t seen the film and want to remain spoiler-free, although most of what I have to say below you can figure out from the trailer.

Black Panther is one of the few films to get a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes’ famed Tomatometer. I would give it 4 stars out of 5, my quibbles with it to be explained below.

First, it is a movie applauded for a lot of good reasons – a majority black cast, starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett; and a black director (and co-writer), Ryan Coogler. The setting is the fictional African country of Wakanda. The plot is this: the King of Wakanda has died, and T’Challa, his son, is set to take over, if he can defeat any challengers in hand-to-hand combat. He has the advantage of having taken a potion made from a flower that gives him superhuman strength. Or it’s supposed to, anyway. This is where one of my quibbles comes in – if he has this strength why is it he tends to get the crap beaten out of him more than once?

Anyway, T’Challa becomes King of Wakanda, which is not the third-world country the outside world thinks it is, but is in fact very technologically advanced. Some of its people believe they should share their knowledge with the rest of the planet, others are wary of what will happen to their country if they do. As it is, they are largely left alone, with (almost) no one outside of Wakanda the wiser as to what is really happening in their country.

Their other big advantage outside of technology is vibranium, an element that is used, among other things, to make Black Panther’s spiffy suit bulletproof. Wakanda has managed to keep this to themselves with the exception of the devious Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), an arms trader and one of the two main baddies in the film (the other one being Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)). Martin Freeman shows up as a CIA guy trying to take down Klaue (shades of Bilbo meeting Gollum)!

There are some very fierce female badasses in this one, as T’Challa’s guards (led by Danai Gurira as Okoye) are all female and definitely not to be messed with.

The visuals are all pretty amazing, as you would expect from a Marvel film. I will be surprised if it doesn’t garner some awards for costume and/or set design, not to mention special effects.

My other main quibble about the film is that T’Challa doesn’t spend enough time as Black Panther for me. Overall, however, it’s a small quibble for what is otherwise a groundbreaking Marvel movie. That Marvel made this movie with an almost entirely black cast and a black director, with the political themes it has, well, that is in and of itself a very big deal. But it should not be forgotten that now 95-year old Stan Lee (who yes, does have a cameo in this film), and the late Jack Kirby wrote the original Black Panther comic back in 1965, only one year after the Civil Rights Act was passed. Kudos to them for having the vision to create a black superhero, not on some distant planet but right here on Earth.

Below is a trailer:


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Here’s the spot for Avengers: Infinity War that was shown during the Super Bowl. You can see the film on May 4th:

And finally, after much waiting, here is a teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is supposed to be Han’s origin story, but I just can’t get into Alden Ehrenreich as Han. Maybe I’ll just call him Fred. It’s Fred Solo, Han’s brother or something.

Anyway, here’s that trailer – the film is out May 25th:

#AvengersInfinityWar #HanSolo #StarWars

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