Black Panther: Film Review

WAKANDA FOREVER!!

To put this simply, this is the film the MCU/Marvel studios needed to continue to be both current and influentially fresh. its groundbreaking, mostly because it IS groundbreaking


Director: Ryan Coogler Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole, Full cast and crew: Runtime: 2h 14m

There isn’t much wrong with this movie when one looks at the technical and creative choices made. I can split hairs over the lack of practical jungles (it’s not hard to film in them; films of old have had to shoot in them) I can even split hairs over the lack of a main score to hum to yourself for years to come much akin to anything made by John Williams. I could even say that the action to the film is a tad slower than I’d like. But these things are minimal hairs to split over…

Black panther comes at the right time when you objectively look at our current modern history. Black Panther certainly gives viewers something they haven’t seen in a hero flick before.

What could possibly be fresh from a studio who has shown us both space and Asgard(and made it believable)? Black Kings, Queens, Black Princesses and a plethora of Royal armies and families from An African nation.

I remember when Kevin Feige said that creating Wakanda was a challenge because they don’t think audiences would believe in the idea of Wakanda (being such a powerful, proud, profitable African nation I imagine). Pre-sale numbers have shown people are ready. I can’t begin to describe the joy I got watching a black film like this. For a brief, moment lets appreciate that a black director got to tell the story of an African King with a healthy number of black cast and key crew members, in Atlanta of all places. There’s a joy from not seeing slaves, addicts, or thugs in a high-profile film. Yes! These tropes exist and ought to be represented as well. But, if ever there was a historic site for all movies ever made, we have made enough for the next 50 years of black hardships from the slave era to the crack baby. We have other stories too! and Ryan Coogler did one hell of a job to bring our truths, our impressions of self, and bring up questions about why certain things didn’t happen post slavery.

Even if you feel like you will only root for the hero because of the hero being right, this film asks the viewer for a moment to ponder the motivation behind the flick’s “Big bad” in Eric Killmonger (M.B.Jordan). If you haven’t been living in Latveria, you know that there’s been a steady movement in the US of A called Black Lives Matter. Main news media outlets and the woefully ignorant, would love for you to believe they’re a militia group who solely believe that blacks and ONLY the lives of blacks matter. That they are ready to kill like other blacks have been killed by the boys in blue. In truth what they are simply saying is “Hey, you know we see how you have been treating our race, as opposed to others…. right?!” (How this concept is lost on some is beyond me but here’s a picture of MBJ in a suit).

BP premire

SO. All that said, Killmonger’s motives are that which the media would have you believe. But he’s not wrong in just his methods aren’t democratic. I Kinda hoped his character won in a way. T’Challa on the other hand was very much more poise. He has a long-term goal that wont impede on the world, but rather co-exist with the rest of the world. Where Killmonger wants his comeuppance to be immediate almost akin to Magneto aka Malcolm X, T’Challa is very much a calculated individual who understands that, that way of thinking does no one any help and is much more akin to MLK/ Professor X . No one wants a tyrannical leader, regardless of race. the leading men both give portrayals that can be seen from a multitude of perspectives. it is something that can be enough of a reason to see this film multiple times before it makes its home viewing debut. Killmonger’s best scene was the museum. There was a lot of truth in those words. and I feel hd a great flair of improv on the tail end. I hope he takes on more villainous roles
T’Challa with his father just felt so organic. Eerily familiar to Lion King
Danai’s character, Okoye, is catching flak for not being like the Source Material. Look I understand how important representation is. BUT WITH THAT SAID, can we not?! The movie ‘ about her, her sexuality is only relevant for the means of making a certain scene come to an end in the back half of the film. There will be sequels and I’m sure something can be done. That said, Danai seems to get some of the best bad ass roles. Her Korea scene is definitely some of her finest work action wise. she’s so good in this film its hard to pinpoint her stand out scene, but I’d argue it being the loyalty scene with Nakia.
Lupita’s Nakia does well with her role. I loved that she seemed to give new meaning behind the old saying “behind every great man…” in many ways she is T’Challa’s equal minus the powers.

DWFwnn5VwAAwsZG.jpg-large.jpeg

There’s so much talent in this film. Honourable mentions come from the two Caribbean actors playing Shuri (Letitia Wright, Guyana) and M’Baku (Winston Duke, Trinidad) the two added much-needed grounded comedy after the not really needed over the top comedy in Thor Ragnarök. I hope to see them in more roles in the MCU or even becoming stars in their own right.

In no way was anyone Oscar worthy(acting) here but there was considerable effort from everyone (Hi, Ms Basset).

Where the film is able to excel is that in turth, Black Panther is relatively unknown to many. So liberties can be taken ll thruout

As far as Comic book films go, This isn’t Chris Reeves superman bar setting, but it definitely sets itself to be among the most favoured on an ‘all-time’ list. At the end of the day its a great film, one that MCU had in the making since Iron Man 2 (Fury, Stark, Bunker scene) and have been teasing ever since. It’s about time this particular film was made. I’m happy with whom the studio got to tell this story. I just wish they didn’t do the Marvel thing and Spoiler: Kill their villains all the time.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.4 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8.8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the B? IMAX or nothing. The costume dept alone is worthwhile in Imax. But grab the blu-ray.. I want a sequel.

ps. Anyone else notice he got his powers from grape drink?

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”.

Creed: Film Review

You don’t have to be the product of your environment. You don’t even have to be a product of your family name.


Director:  Ryan Coogler WriterAaron Covington & Ryan Coogler Runtime: 133m Cast

After some six Rocky films the question, as always, remains, how do we keep the franchise fresh? With the seventh in the franchise you had to wonder can we listen to Rocky’s inspirational quotes… again. The answer is: of course.

Being the son of globally known parent can’t be easy. The relentless pressure from the media to take up what the father (or respective parent) is doing can be unbearable. But so can trying to fit in when your heart belongs else where. The film explores both those aspects; but for the sake of the story, it does favour one more than the other. On the surface it’s an origin story, it’s a bit of a redemption story, it is actually quite a few things. The best one being that it’s a great film consistently. I worried if knowing about the previous films would become a problem while watching. It wasn’t. The story is pretty favourable with respect to the franchises’ history. They do make mention to previous moments but I imagine they were for both older fans and for those wanting more of Rocky. There are some cliche moments but I’m sure it won’t be as cliche for the typical viewer. I will say I miss the use of training montages.

creedpostersmallMichael B. Jordan is really on the come up. Aside from the recent Fantastic Four, there hasn’t really been in a bad film. At least not one I’ve seen. His dedication to his craft is amazing. This is arguably a better performance than the one he gave in Fruitvale Station. I don’t say that as one being bad, simply put, they are both excellent performances, its hard to say which I liked more. One of his better moments have no sound, yet is so powerful in its delivery. Even though his character starts out in a shady place you root for him not so much as underdog, but for seeming going thru some sad situations. I really loved his story arc and characterization. His best and most emotional line comes in the final fight. That scene had me near tears. The limited screen time with Rashad had me wanting more. I think the two would have great chemistry on screen. Shame she didn’t have a bigger role.

Stallone has been playing Rocky for some 40+ years now and if this be his final send off, I’m okay with it. There was such a humility that he brought this time around (I’m not sure if it was always there in previous films). He’s somewhat of a man out of time both literally and figuratively. He comes off as a guy waiting for his time. I thought the extra element of his health a bit too much on the nice but I liked the contrast it created for team Rocky. Its quite amazing how much you can give a viewer beyond the surface. I hear rumblings of this being the new direction for the franchise, if that be true, the manner in which he was written was stellar. I have a great amount of respect for Stallone. His acting for the type of character he needs to be was spot on.

Relative new comer and scene stealer, Tessa Thompson, brings a lot of depth to her role. Aside from being eye candy (its hard to deny how beautiful she is), she… Its hard to sum up her performance. But I will dare to say she was one of those dream, chill girlfriends that are a level headed and very supportive(I probably insulted someone, my bad). I loved her character, I wished they used her flaw a bit more.

The cool thing about the movie is that they used real boxers. It added a level of realism. The first big fight was seemingly shot in on take. I love that. Long takes are awesome when the action inside of the take is elaborate.

We all watch movies to be entertained. But sometimes you watch a movie and it just moves you. Or the story is so good you apply it to you life in a way that is so profound, it shocks you. That happened to me and I get that in this day and age we are all rather desensitized to the one another that emotions are odd when shown. But in the case of the performance from MBJ, for me, it was hard not to connect to his reason for everything. You don’t even have to connect to it on the same level. But when you’re given a shot, a chance… at something and there’s people you reasonably look up too; its hard to not feel that pressure of being that lead that makes up the spelling error. It’s your determination to do the best you can that leads to you overcoming that fear.

The biggest upsets for me came down to editing and/or the on set supervision. When Rocky’s health begins to deteriorate, the inconsistency bothered me to no end.

 

Bottomline: If this film does start a new franchise, Count me in. I loved it from start to finish.

 

Rating 8

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s definitely worth seeing on any platform.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW