Movie Reviews

Black Panther – Movie Review

Black Panther is the 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it continues the story of T’Challa, otherwise known as Black Panther, that was set up in Captain America: Civil War. After the death of his father, T’Challa must take up his mantle as king of Wakanda, a secluded, technologically advanced country in Africa. When his power is challenged by Erik Killmonger, he realizes what it takes to be king. Ryan Coogler directed the film, and this is his third feature film after Fruitvale Station and Creed, two near-perfect movies, and Black Panther is no different.

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Image via Variety

This is the first major blockbuster movie with an entirely Black cast, so the expectations were extremely high. They took this on by highlighting the African culture in Wakanda. They didn’t shy away from the mysticism of the Black Panther lore. Everything about the origin was straight from the comics.

Marvel let Coogler go all out with the set design in the movie. It’s absolutely gorgeous, especially scenes in Wakanda, with vibrant colors, extravagant architecture, and Oscar-worthy costume design. All of the technology also added to the uniqueness of the scenery. The country was so beautiful, well-realized, and detailed that it became a character in the movie.

The story is incredibly exciting and thoughtful. They give you a fun superhero movie while highlighting some of today’s most pressing issues. This is one of Marvel’s most serious movies up there with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it can certainly still be enjoyed like any other comic book movie.

Although the story is what makes the movie special, the action is still prevalent and well-done for the most part. The choreography should be commended, especially in a one-take scene in a casino. All of the scenes with Black Panther and the scenes with the Dora Milaje were impressing enough to get reactions from the audience.

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Image via Marvel.com

Chadwick Boseman is becoming one of my favorite actors, with this after 42 and Get On Up he’s getting great at playing influential Black people. His powerful performance as T’Challa drives the movie because he brings a certain regalness that coincided with him still learning how to be a king.

The supporting cast is phenomenal and integral to the movie’s structure, the cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, and Winston Duke. M’Baku was probably my favorite supporting character, he commanded the screen whenever he was featured with his presence, yet he had some of the funniest moments of the movie. Winston Duke gave a great performance, and he’s definitely someone to watch out for.

In the supporting cast, a group that was highlighted prominently was the Black women. Danai Gurira plays the leader of the Dora Milaje, and she is badass along with the rest of the group. Not only are the warriors put into the spotlight, but Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia was a female that wasn’t necessarily a warrior but could handle herself. Letitia Wright was one of my favorites as Shuri, she is T’Challa’s sister and creates most of his tech. Their relationship felt authentic and brought levity to the movie.

As consistently great as the Marvel movies are, one of their problems is that they have trouble making writing good villains for their heroes. Michael B. Jordan completely inhabited the character of Erik Killmonger, and the combination of his performance and the writing made him one of the best Marvel villains yet. He was a character who knew exactly what he wanted, and he pushed past all barriers to skip straight to that.

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Image via The Verge

When he explains his backstory and why he’s doing what he is, you feel for him and maybe even agree. This does what Marvel rarely pulls off by having the audience understand and empathize with the villain. You almost want his ideas to come to fruition because of the perspective he comes from and the way Michael B. Jordan sells the character.

Of course, the movie isn’t perfect. Some of the CGI is overabundant and ends up looking like a video game. This was most obvious in certain parts of a car chase sequence and the final fight between Black Panther and Killmonger.

With those issues aside, I absolutely loved this movie. It’s a giant step forward for diversity in film, and it’s just a great movie from Ryan Coogler. The story is gripping, the cast creates some great characters, and Marvel gives us a fantastic villain, which is rare.

As late as this review is, you’ve probably seen the movie by now, but go see it if you haven’t. The movie has been immensely successful in the box office already, but it still deserves to be seen and supported by everybody.

Rating: A

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Image via Variety

Have you seen Black Panther? If so, what did you think about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Movie News

Marvel San Diego Comic Con 2017 Recap

Marvel had a huge show at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend. I’ve already covered DC’s presentation at the convention, and now I will be going over Marvel’s panel.

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Cate Blanchett talking about Thor: Ragnarok

Like I said in the DC review, I was not at the convention, and I am just compiling all of the news from various blogs and articles. The panel started with a sketch with Paul Rudd and Michael Pena doing a recap of the past ten years of the MCU. (I hope this is released online) They then showed concept art of Ant-Man and the Wasp, and also revealed the logo for the movie. They showed the new suit for Wasp, which apparently looks more yellow. They showed a smaller Ant-Man riding his daughter’s back, Ant-Man growing and flipping a car over, and a giant Scott Lang peeking around a street corner. They also revealed some new casting for the movie: Hannah John-Kamen will play the Ghost, Randall Park is Agent Jimmy Woo, and finally Laurence Fishburne will be Dr.Bill Foster, aka Goliath.

Next, they showed Captain Marvel concept art. They confirmed that Nick Fury will appear in the movie. It will be set in the 90’s, so Fury will have two eyes, and the villains will be the Skrulls. After that, they had the cast and crew of Thor: Ragnarok talk about the movie. Tom Hiddleston said that Loki has been pretending to be Odin for the past four years. Mark Ruffalo said Hulk refuses to be Bruce Banner because he is a popular gladiator on Sakaar. He also said that because he hasn’t changed into Bruce Banner in two years, Hulk has the vocabulary of a two year old. Something I found interesting was that Jeff Goldblum revealed that his character, the Grandmaster, and the Collector are brothers. They are Elders of the Universe, so they are the oldest living being in the universe. Now, he rules Sakaar and puts on fighting games. They did a Q&A with the fans and showed the new trailer.

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Captain Marvel fighting Skrulls

Marvel had the Black Panther cast come on stage and talk their experience, and the whole cast seems to be very invested in this movie. You can find what they said online, but they all seem to understand their characters really well. Ryan Coogler, the director, said he walked into a comic store, asked what he should buy, and was given Black Panther. They also showed some footage, which they made clear would not be released online, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. It’s been described as a James Bond like scene with T’Challa and Okoye tracking Ulysses Klaw, and then fighting afterwards. Also, apparently Klaw has a robotic arm… that’s cool. Then, as expected, they showed that famous trailer for Avengers: Infinity War that they showed at D23.

All of this news is pretty exciting. I guess Laurence Fishburne left DC, because now he’s in Ant-Man and the Wasp. So, don’t expect to see Perry White anytime soon. Seriously though, I am really excited to see the sequel to Ant-Man because of how funny and unexpected that movie was. Captain Marvel being set in the 90’s is interesting, it’ll be nice to see what the MCU was like in that time period. We’ve never had a full movie set in the past. I hope they don’t reveal how Nick Fury lost his eye because I personally want that to stay a mystery, but there is a good chance they will reveal it. I don’t know much about the Skrulls, but it seems like they are a big part of the comics. So, I guess I’ll wait and see.

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New Black Panther Poster

I’m even more excited for Black Panther now. The first teaser trailer got me very excited to see what Marvel could do with the character. I can’t wait to see what Ryan Coogler can do after his work on the phenomenal Creed. The Thor trailer was amazing! I have’t been a fan of the Thor movies thus far, but but this movie looks like a lot of fun. It seems funny, crazy, wild, and Hulk! They didn’t show Doctor Strange, even though they said he would be in the movie. I don’t want them to, I would rather see him in the movie proper. Marvel always does a great job at Comic Con, they haven’t let me down since Thor: The Dark World in 2013.

What do you think of the Comic Con news? What movie are you most excited for? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Movie News

‘Black Panther’ Teaser Trailer is Released

Marvel’s Black Panther just got its first trailer during Game Four of the NBA Finals.

The trailer starts out with a conversation between Andy Serkis playing Ulysses Klaue from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross who was introduced img_1010in Captain America: Civil War.

Klaue asks Ross what he knows about Wakanda. OSS responds that it’s a third world country. Klaue tells him that everything he knows is a front, and that it is really a highly technologically advanced civilization.

We then see a scene with a group looking around in the woods. They look up and see Black Panther in the trees, and he uses his powers to take them out. The rest of the trailer is mostly various shots of the movie with some good music behind it.

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The first takeaway from the trailer, for me, was how amazing Wakanda looks. It looks very high tech and sleek. I really love the design. Stylistically the movie looks pleasing. People say that it looks the same as most Marvel movies, but I would disagree due to the use of img_1012costumes and sets with it being set in Africa.The action looks stellar so far, and Michael B. Jordan’s character looks really cool. If you look close, you can see a shot of him fighting.

My only complaint with the trailer was the last scene where Black Panther jumps over the car. The scene didn’t looks finished, therefore taking away some of the awe of the scene. But, they have plenty of time to fix that.


Overall, now I’m even more excited to see Black Panther. He was set up very well as a character in Civil War, and I hope this movie does a good job of continuing his story.

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