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Pete (121 KP) rated Black Panther (2018) in Movies

Feb 23, 2018 (Updated Feb 23, 2018)  
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Fight scenes (3 more)
Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
Letitia Wright (shuri)
Story line dragged a bit (1 more)
Michael B Jordan (Killmonger)
Different to most avenger films
A must watch for Avenger fans. Fits in nicely within the Marvel universe. Story drags a bit but the fight scenes and comedy make up for it.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Over rated and disappointing
Way too much hype for a distinctly below average/bad film. Civil War is by far the better Marvel film. Black Panther (character) was great in a supporting role but he has zero on-screen charisma and fails to carry a film solo. I struggle to see how anybody was entertained by those awful challenge fight scenes and that ludicrous end battle. it was not a good movie. It looked cheap, the characters had no development. It played like low-rent TV show with unnbearably cheesy & clunky dialogue, boring unoriginal fights and god-awful CGI. I didn’t care about the fate of Wakanda because I wasn’t allowed to care for any of the characters in the film. The only consolation was the comic relief provided by Letitia Wright and Andy Serkis. For all the records it smashed and the praise it received, it wasn’t even the best Marvel film of the last 6 months. Thor Ragnarok was a lot more entertaining, genuine and had actual heart.

Steph Freeman (26 KP) rated Black Panther (2018) in Movies

Feb 21, 2018 (Updated Feb 21, 2018)  
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Excellent character development within the movie. (3 more)
No need to be a comic book "nerd", this story has something for everyone.
Accuracy in the culture (as much as can be expected for the genre).
Cinematography and costumes were superb.
The creators pandered to the 3D audience, which resulted in a dizzying experience in 2D. (0 more)
Not Just Another Origin Story
As someone who knew nothing about comic books, their stories, and their characters prior to the last 15 year influx of Marvel and DC movies, I love the origin stories. It allows me to learn about the character, the world, and the connections between them without having to figure it out between punches or laser beams. This story delivered all of the above, with a fair amount of ass kicking in the meantime.

Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, and Danai Gurira were an amazing protagonist team, with Martin Freeman and Michael B. Jordan rounding out the character archetypes beautifully. The costumes, make up, and cinematography were gorgeous, but the real star of the movie for me was Letitia Wright. Her comedic timing and her elegance made Shuri the best supporting role I have watched in a long time.

I don't know a lot about the culture in Africa, a terrible oversight of my American education, but I do have friends from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Togo who were very excited to see their culture represented in such a blockbuster film. It was refreshing to see something so beautiful that will hopefully inspire young Americans to learn about a culture outside of our borders.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Rightly, this one has sailed over everything else that's out there at the moment. Yes it's a Marvel film, but honestly, it's also not. It still has it's funny moments (and I will always snigger at that sneakers joke) and you still get the Stan Lee cameo, but the rest of it really takes a diversion from what has become a very in your face franchise.

With a completely different pace it has shown us a wonderful possibility of how the MCU can diversify.

A few familiar faces pop up by way of our villain, Klaue, CIA Agent Ross and obviously Black Panther. We're also given a whole new array of strong and formidable characters.

I have to say that my favourite is definitely Shuri, played by Letitia Wright. What is not to love about this young woman who is taking technological Wakanda to the next level? While she clearly loves the fast paced life outside tradition, she still ultimately believes in the Wakandan way. She's fierce, she's brainy, and she's hilarious (Sneakers... still chuckling), she's everything you'd want in a role model. Just. Yes.

Hopefully we'll see more of these characters sneaking into other movies. There's definitely potential to have more Shuri as Wakanda opens it's doors to the oblivious world outside its valley, and she could certainly drag some others along with her.


LeftSideCut (3650 KP) rated Black Panther (2018) in Movies

May 19, 2019 (Updated Jun 8, 2019)  
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
A by the numbers origin story, with some great performances that elevate
Black Panther was introduced into the MCU during Civil War, with little time for much backstory. And Ryan Cooglers efforts to illustrate said back story works for the most part.

This film is filled to the brim with vibrant colours, and an extremely likable cast.
Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira (literally throwing wigs at one point), Daniel Kaluuya, and Lulita Nyong'o are all great, and really paint a picture of the tribal togetherness that is Wakanda.

The two villains are where the cast really shines however, and of course, mainly Michael B. Jordan.
Here we have a layered Marvel villain, someone who you can truly sympathise with, whose backstory is fleshed out enough to almost side with him. Almost.
Jordan does a great job of bringing Killmonger to life.
Similar props to Andy Serkis. After a tiny roll in Age of Ultron, he gets a chance here to play Klaue like and absolute psychopath, and it's clear just how much fun he has in to roll.

A few negatives.... The way that Klaue's story arc is concluded is hugely unsatisfying.
The CGI is dodgy in parts, especially during then climatic battle.
The last battle itself is fun for the most part, but the fight between Black Panther and Killmonger falls into the age old MCU trope of 'the-hero-fighting-an-evil-version-of-themselves-in-a-similar-oufit' (see Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Ant-Man for reference)
Martin Freeman's character seems and largely unnecessary addition here, but it's always fun to see characters from other MCU movies.

All in all, Black Panther can be bland in places, but it's done the important part of finally establishing Wakanda in the MCU, and I for one am looking forward to what other stories will occur there (fingers crossed for a Sub-Mariner story line in a sequel!)
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Chadwick Boseman as Tchalla/Black Panther Michael B Jordan as Erik killmonger Letitia wright as shuri Danai Gurira as Okoye Wakanda's world building The ancestral planes sequences (0 more)
The cgi isn't that great considering the budget of the movie (0 more)
"Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from the ships, 'cause they knew death was better than bondage"
Full of life, joy, sorrow, and hilarity; Ryan Coogler's Black Panther just has a vibrancy you rarely find in the superhero scene, let alone blockbusters. Enriched with a deep, abiding love for African culture and Afrofuturism; the movie just feels purposeful. Important. Meaningful. Context matters here, as Black Panther will become one of very few films populated by African Americans not dealing with slavery or black history to thrive financially. And that cast is phenomenal. Boseman's soft-spoken panther-of-few-words is the rare MCUer to opt for a moment of silence rather than a snarky comment. Michael B Jordan brings an unmistakable swagger to the perpetually weak slate of Marvel villains, conveying a crushingly sad and challenging story that could just as easily be regarded as the true hero of the film. Letitia Wright as the genius tech maestro was a blast, a character who could give Tony Stark a run for his money both technologically and charismatically. And these are just three of Coogler's creations; drawn from a slate of inspired, unique and wonderfully represented roles for black actors...many of whom will deservingly use this as a career springboard of sorts.

I remember years ago I read a book about the cultural significance of various comic book locales, and the Wakanda entry struck me as uniquely sad and inspiring. Wakanda, a place busting with innovation, tradition, and pride...hidden from the world. Sort of an alternate-timeline Africa which wasn't poisoned irreparably by colonialism and all its horrors. There's a sad duality obvious in this Wakanda, that being for it to exist, it must be hidden. Must be quietly nurtured, developed and treasured. It's an apt metaphor in relation to black pride, culture, and history; something constantly being reworked, reshaped and reimagined to put a sordid past (and present) in the rear-view mirror by those who perpetrate it, knowingly or not. This idea, that for something to thrive it must be isolated, is at the heart of Black Panther. You can understand why T'Challa, and generations before him, sacrificed anything to preserve the myth of Wakanda. But you can also understand Killmonger's feeling of betrayal. The profound moral objections inherent in a small community turning it's back on a larger suffering population in the name of self-preservation. There's no heroes and villains when Black Panther is at it's best, just two sides to a terrifying moral question *loaded* with historical weight.

Because Killmonger isn't really a villain. The best illustration of this is the contrasting "dream" sequences, in which T'Challa shares a promise with his father within a transcendentally beautiful African landscape, and Killmonger is confronted by all his pain, suffering and moral rigidity in the vast concrete jungle of Oakland, in the tiny apartment where his father was murdered for trying to make a difference. They both wake up with tears in their eyes, some from pain and some from catharsis. Coogler marks the chasm between T'Challa's and Killmonger's pasts so perfectly, and illustrates exactly why they feel the way they do with such wisdom. Black Panther so clearly empathizes with Killmonger and understands where his pain was born, and the horrors that nurtured it.

And so there's no hero and no villain to this movie. Just two men in nearly identical black panther suits, clashing over how Wakanda ought to venture into a new era. Nobility and passion, conservation and sacrifice, incremental change against a vengeful redistribution of power and oppression. Both men are correct in their aspirations, being "right" here doesn't matter. it's tough for a good man to be king. Killmonger made T'Challa the hero he is, by instilling in him a mission, a perceived duty to turn around, face an oppressed people and finally lend a hand. But more than that, there's something miraculous here. An apology from a good man. A recognition of a sin even when it's perpetrator was, until now, helpless to prevent it. A declaration that not contributing to hate and prejudice doesn't equate to actively working to prevent it. A plea for a humble brand of superheroism, for countless ghosts of the past to be heard and change to erupt in their name. Divides to be bridged, chasms to be crossed and wrongs to be righted.

Black Panther has a complex, meaningful and profoundly challenging thematic framework; offering a fresh dissection of what it means to grapple with the sins of those who came before. Sure, there are some technical issues along the way, the machinations of Marvel storytelling are evident and errors could be found; but if you understand that superhero stories were meant to ask these sorts of questions and push boundaries since their inception; Black Panther is a dream.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Inwardly focused SuperHero film mostly works.
THE BLACK PANTHER is the first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that relies - predominantly - on characters (and actors) of color to carry it. Of the main characters, only 2 are Caucasian, the rest of the cast (including almost all of the supporting cast and the extras) - AND the Director are people of color. This has, rightfully so, created a "buzz" about the significance of this. It is a watershed moment for SuperHero films (much like last year's WONDER WOMAN was a watershed for a female led SuperHero film). But the question remains - is it a good film?

The answer: Good Enough.

Diving deeper into the character/hero T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) who was first introduced in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. In this film, we learn more about the backstory of this man/character as well as the world in which he lives and the burdens he bears. It also, interestingly enough, pretty much ignores the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for much of it's 2 hour 14 minute timeline. It mostly concerns itself with interior issues in the hidden kingdom of Wakanda and I think this tactic is a welcome relief from the giant, CGI-laden, characters-heavy Marvel films of recent memory.

Director/Writer Ryan Coogler (CREED/FRUITVALE STATION) decides to focus the attention of this film inward, rather than outward and we are rewarded with a rich, Shakespearean family drama that works because of it's simplicity.

Much of the effectiveness is due to the charismatic cast that has been drawn to this picture because of the significance of it as well as the richness of the characters they inhabit. Bozeman is regal and strong in the title role - no hint of the suffering, "I don't want this" SuperHero angst so often seen in these types of film. Academy Award winner Lupito Nyong'o joins in just as strong and independently as Nakia a "Spy" and erstwhile romantic foil for T'Challa - though Coogler is wise to avoid the "will they/won't they" cliche as well as eliminates, entirely, the "damsel in distress" subplot that would have been so tempting.

Helping these two out are a veritable "who's who" of actors of color - Angela Bassett, Forrest Whitaker, current Best Actor nominee Daniel Kaluuya and Sterling K. Brown - all turn out for fun (albeit brief) turns where each one of them gets a chance to show what they can do. Special notice should be made to Danai Gurira (TV's kick-ass Michonne in THE WALKING DEAD) as Okoye - T'Challa's chief general and bodyguard who must choose duty over honor (or does she) and, especially, Letitia Wright as T'Challa's younger, wise-cracking sister - who also happens to be the "Q" of this film. She jumped off the screen and shone brightly (but not so bright as to wash things out) in every scene she was in.

And...of course...there is Coogler favorite Michael B. Jordan (he's been in all of Coogler's major motion picture) as the villain of the piece - Erik Killmonger (the name says it all). Jordan does a nice job of bringing 3 dimensions to a character that was written a little too 2 dimension-ally, if you ask me. This character could have just been an "angry young man" cliche, but with Jordan, he becomes something much, much more.

This being a Marvel SuperHero film, the Special Effects are terrific, showing a highly secretive, highly technolized Wakanda that is hidden beneath the surface.

Is it a perfect film? This is, in essence, a "family drama" with some hi-tech action scenes and the obligatory "two armies fighting" finale, and while the acting is good enough to hold interest throughout, I would have liked to have seen a little more action thrown in.

But...ignoring the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a good move - as was casting such strong, believable and likeable film actors.

Letter Grade: A-

8 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
The cast (2 more)
The villain
Some side characters feel under developed (1 more)
Some CGI not great
Following on from the light-hearted romps that made up the MCU last year, Black Panther comes along and reminds us that the franchise can be dark, it can be gritty, and it can combine comedic elements with its more serious stories seamlessly when it puts its mind to it.

Last seen in Captain America: Civil War, we re-join T’challa not long after that films conclusion. He’s about to be made king and he’s apprehensive about what that means and what the future of his country, Wakanda, holds. On top of that, he’s struck with a disturbing secret from his now deceased fathers past that threatens to alter everything.

First up, the cast. Chadwick Boseman is once again superb in the lead role. He plays T’challa with a degree of calmness that really makes him feel like a real and well-rounded character. But the surprise here is just how well everyone else does. Some characters don’t get quite as much attention as they deserve (there are two romance plots that feel a little shoehorned in) but when it comes to the people playing these roles- they all do superb work. Danai Gurira has shown what she can do on The Walking Dead (a show she is now so much better than), she brings a whole new level to her performance here and steals many scenes she’s in. Andy Serkis is another highlight. He reprises his role as Ulysses Klaue from Avengers: Age of Ultron and is clearly having a ball in the role. Always an underrated actor, he brings life and comedy to the role here and he’s another scene stealer. Props too to Martin Freeman. He is able to turn his character from an unlikable smug man to someone I found myself truly rooting for. Best of the bunch for me though is Letitia Wright as Shuri, in fact I think she could well be one of my favourite characters in the whole MCU so far. She’s a delight every single time I saw her and I really hope her role continues to develop as the franchise continues.

Now, about the villain. The MCU has almost always had a villain problem (one not exclusive to the MCU to be fair). The list of memorable villains for me only really consists of Loki and Vulture (Spiderman: Homecoming), now though- Killmonger can be added to that short list. His backstory isn’t overly original, but thanks to the always dependable Michael B Jordan he is utterly compelling. The performance here sells it and I found myself feeling sympathy for him despite the things he was doing. Hell, there were even times that I was rooting for him. That doesn’t happy very often and I’ve got to give the film credit for pulling it off.

Onto Wakanda, this is a fully realised and fascinating place to spend time. It was so much bigger than I expected and I’m excited to rewatch this (in 4k) to see all the details about I may have missed. It does however lead me on to a fault with the film. The CGI here isn’t always as great as it could be. There were numerous times when I felt I was watching actors perform against green screen and the mountain location was one of the more notable. It wouldn’t be such an issue if this wasn’t a prominent location that is used repeatedly for some of the movies biggest moments. There’s other instances too where Black Panther’s ideas aren’t realised as well as I’m sure they hoped. It doesn’t ruin the film by any means, but it is disappointing when lesser movies have managed better.

All in all though, this was a delightful movie and my favourite entry in the MCU since Guardians of the Galaxy. Director Ryan Coogler continues to bring the goods to the work he does and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Even more so I can’t wait to see what Black Panther does next. Now, onto Avengers: Infinity War in just two months’ time.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018)
2018 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Black Ops.
There was a joke on the internet the other day that made me laugh and laugh. Virtually the only white people in “Black Panther” are the Hobbit/LOTR stars Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis…. they are the Tolkein white guys! It’s actually getting to feel quite isolating as an ‘average white guy’ at the movies! After a plethora of #SheDo films about empowered women, now comes the first black-centred Marvel film… stuffed full of powerful women too!

The setting is the hidden African kingdom of Wakanda, where due to an abundance of a an all-powerful mineral called McGuffinite… so, sorry, Vibranium… the leaders have made their city a technological marvel and developed all sorts of ad tech to help the people keep their goats well and weave their baskets better (there are a few odd scenes in this film!). T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) succeeds his father T’Chaka (John Kani) to become the king and adopt the role of The Black Panther, being bestowed superhero powers by drinking a glass of Ribena.

But it emerges that T’Chaka has a dark secret in the form of Eric Killmonger (Michael B Jordan, “Creed“) who is determined to muscle in on the king-stuff. ‘It never rains but it pours’, and the whole of Wakanda’s secrets are in danger of being exposed by the antics of the vicious South African mercenary Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis, “War For The Planet Of The Apes“), trying to get his hands on vibranium to sell on to CIA operative Everett Ross (Martin Freeman, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies“, “The World’s End“).

After “Thor: Ragnarok“, this is back to the more seriously-played end of the superhero spectrum: there are a few jokes but it’s not overtly played for comedy. Holding the film together are some sterling performances from the ensemble cast with Michael B Jordan very good as the villain of the piece. Adding to the significant black girl power in the film are Angela Bassett (“London Has Fallen“) as the queen mother; Danai Gurira (“Wonder Woman“) as the leader of the Dora Milaje: the all-female king’s guard; and Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave“, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens“) as the spy and love interest Nakia. But the star performance for me, and one I found absolutely spot-on as a role model for young people, was Letitia Wright (“The Commuter“) as Shuri, the king’s chief scientist. She is absolutely radiant, adding beauty, rude gestures and energy to every scene she is in.

Man of the moment Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out“) also adds to his movie-cred as a conflicted courtier.

On the white side of the shop Andy Serkis has enormous fun as Klaue and I really wanted to see more of his character than I did. Martin Freeman feels rather lightweight and under-used, and I couldn’t quite get past his dodgy American accent.

In terms of storyline, the film is a hotch-potch of plots from multiple other films, with “The Lion King” featuring strongly (but almost in reverse!). But that’s no crime, when the Shakespearean-style narrative is good, and interpolating the strongly emotional story into the Marvel universe works well.

Where I felt a little uncomfortable is the element of racism – that is, racism *against* white people – reflected in the story. If there was a movie plot centred (basically) on the topic of whites killing blacks and taking control of every black-controlled country in the world (yes, I know, I’m British and we have historically been there!) then there would be justified uproar, and the film would be shunned.

In the technical department, I had real problems with some of the effects employed. Starting with a dodgy ‘aircraft’ shadow, things nose-dive with an astonishingly poor waterfall scene with Forest Whitaker (“Rogue One“, “Arrival“) as Zuri, green-screened against some Disneyworld cascades and hundreds of cut and pasted tribesmen randomly inserted onto the cliffs. Almost matching that is a studio-set scene in a jungle clearing, where if feels they could hardly have bothered to take the plants out of their pots. Think “Daktari” quality (kids, ask your parents/grandparents).

But overall, the film, directed by Ryan Coogler (“Creed“), is a high-energy and uniquely different take on Marvel that absolutely pays off. And it is without doubt an important movie in moving the black agenda forward into properly mainstream cinema.
Black Mirror - Season 4
Black Mirror - Season 4
2017 | Sci-Fi
USS Callister - 7.5

A fascinatingly geeky episode, all else aside. Not only are there references to almost every significant sci-fi meme (in the true sociological sense of the word) you can think of, but there are also many links to past and even future Black Mirror episodes. It really is a spot the clever touch piece of the ensemble. Deceptively colourful and lively, this is a dark idea – taking identity theft to the next level and using stolen DNA to replicate and then trap a person in a virtual world where you are god. Jesse Plemons takes on two personas and has never been seen to such effect as in this rare lead role for him. Nominated for 8 Emmys and winning 4, the start to season four in late 2017 was a strong one, and a real indicator that the Universe of Black Mirror is all intrinsically linked. As I say, geek heaven! Points for spotting Kirsten Dunst in an unspoken cameo…

Arkangel - 6

Notable for the first big guest director credit of one Jodie Foster. This one moves from creepy idea to hard to swallow nonsense very quickly. Returning to the idea of brain implants and using the eyes of a person as a recorder than can be manipulated, the idea of aparent using such tech to protect a child is fine on the surface. But when you go deeper, it is impossible to imagine a parent stupid enough not to see the drawbacks and dangers of it, and fantastical to imagine the child not questioning it as they get older. Apart from a memorable moment of violence that works well in the context of the story, this episode largely doesn’t really work.

Crocodile - 7

An almost unrecognisable Andrea Riseborough is the best thing about this bleak thriller type episode, often compared to Scandi-dramas like The Bridge. It starts with a haunting accidental death and cover up scenario, progressing to a breakdown manifested in two very different ways. Once again, the tech on display is a machine not unlike the Voight-Kampf of Blade Runner, which can translate memory into images. The intrigue and tension are great, and when things really kick off, we find ourselves yelling “just stop” at our screens! Trouble is, the final twist undermines it all, by crossing the line of irony and into comedy. Memorable, but not in the top ten for me.

Hang the DJ - 8.5

Now, this one I really like! The unlikely chemistry of Joe Cole and Georgina Campbell, as two guinea pigs using an intense dating app in some vague dystopia, hits the right tone from the start and keeps you gripped. The basic idea being that the app tells you how long a couple can be together, before parting, whether they want to or not. The promise of the system being that in the end there is a 99.8% chance of finding your “perfect” partner. The empathy for the leads is huge by the time it comes to the inevitable conclusion that they must rebel to escape their fate and be together. What happens next: the simplicity, yet detail of the twist is absolute genius! Leaving you with a wry smile and a very strong lasting impression. Artistically, not he strongest; in terms of pure writing, one of the very best.

Metalhead - 7

Perhaps unfairly, this episode, shot in gorgeous black and white, is the lowest rated of all Black Mirror episodes on IMDb. David Slade, the man responsible for films such as Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night directs, and it is apparent this is going to be a minimal mood piece, with standard psychological horror elements. The most obvious comparison is The Terminator, but there is more going on than that. What I like about it is the ambiguity. How we got to this place and where “home” is and who is left there, are all left to our imagination, as we watch Maxine Peake struggle to survive against a machine that will not stop. I think many reject it out of hand because it is too vague and has little in the way of a clever twist. But, as a character study it works fine. Shorter than most, at 41 minutes, perhaps even that is a push, given the simple idea, which does have short film vibes pouring out of it. I can’t say I don’t like it though…

Black Museum - 8

A fitting end to season four was the trick of paying homage to old anthology horror movies of the 70s, where artifacts that link to dark stories are collected in one place and re-told by a perhaps sinister narrator. There are plenty of clever nods to recognisable props and images from earlier episodes, as well as new stuff that may have future significance, that,even more than USS Callister, this episode is basically one big Easter egg. Letitia Wright, best known from her role in Black Panther, to date, shows star quality in a tricky part that basically requires her to listen and wait patiently until the satisfying pay-off. The three linking tales of a doctor who becomes addicted to pain via an empathy implant; a dead mother whose soul is trapped in a childs toy forever; and a murderer condemned to relive his execution over and over for the gratification of paying customers – are all captivating within themselves, and fit into the macabre tongue in cheek vibe well. Thankfully, the climax does make it all gel and make sense, and we leave the season on a high, reflecting our own sense of “justice”.