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Black Panther

(8 posts)

  1. Ron
    Member

    Chicago Reader capsule review:

    Black Panther
    Video Rated PG-13 · 134 minutes · 2018

    Action, Adventure, Fantasy

    The first black superhero in mainstream American comics, Marvel's Black Panther came with an African pedigree: in real life he's the ancestral king of a small, impoverished sub-Saharan nation that conceals a secret empire, the whole operation empowered by an asteroid from outer space. That premise provides most of the fun in this big-screen adaptation, particularly in the form of the Dora Milaje, the king's security team, who are badass women with shaved heads, neck rings, and flaming-red uniforms. Chadwick Boseman is appropriately noble and dull as the title character, and director Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) brings along the compelling Michael B. Jordan, his frequent collaborator, to play the Panther's philosophical antagonist. As in the recent Warner Bros./DC Comics outing Wonder Woman, the identity politics provide a fresh spin to the genre's increasingly tedious narrative formula (like the fake climax three quarters through, which has you looking for your coat before you realize there's a half hour to go). With Lupita Nyongo, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, and welcome cameos from Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker.

    By J.R. Jones

    Posted 6 months ago #
  2. Marian
    Member

    I saw it and found it a wonderful, fun movie. Don't take it too seriously. I'm not into the Marvel universe so I missed some plot references but that's minor. I wondered about the language spoken and if it was made up like Klingon. Nope. It's a genuine language. Bottom line, well worth watching.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  3. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Just saw it this weekend, and I'm still absorbing and reflecting. Unlike most superhero movies, there's enormous depth to this one, and I'd call it the best of the Marvel movies to date, by a significant margin.

    So let's get the elephants in the room out of the way first: Yes, it's a BLACK movie. Suck it up: it's a great movie first and foremost, and that's all that should matter to you. I hope it makes a shitload of money and spawns several sequels. Best joke so far about the racial balance (not mine): Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins) and Andy Serkis (Gollum) are the two Tolkein white guys. Second, like any other Marvel movie, there's a ton of action sequences combined with some huge plot holes. Handwave them and focus on the good parts.

    The core of this movie is identity: who you are depends in large part on where you've come from, and those roots run deep. Here, the roots are African and American, allowing some pointed examination of how these different origin stories shape one's outlook and how they can merge comfortably or uncomfortably. And from those roots arise some thorny problems that drive the plot. Wakanda has its little domestic paradise whose existence depends, to some extent, on wearing the guise of an impoverished African nation. This lets them fly under the radar. But when one of their expatriate sons returns home, seeking vengeance for having been abandoned in the U.S. and wanting to use Wakanda's powerful technology to make a difference in the world, Wakanda faces a difficult choice: remain in blissful isolation, or try to tackle some thorny problems about poverty and oppression*. This pits his willingness to abandon Wakandan pacifist tradition to overthrow the existing order against our hero (T'Challa) and his desire to preserve that tradition. This is a very real balancing act that lay at the heart of the real-world Black Panther Party: peaceful change versus violent self-defence and possibly even revolution. T'Challa must find out where his personal balance point lies and the rest of the film is just scaffolding on which to hang his struggle to find that balance.

    * Leading to a huge plot problem: Without spoiling the ending, I'll just note that the assumption that the world's problems can be solved through technology is deeply flawed. Human problems require primarily human solutions.

    The acting ranges from competent at worst to excellent at best, mostly weighted towards the latter end of the spectrum. There's lots of fun characterization, such as the loving but irreverent relationship between T'Challa and his genius sister (here, delightfully playing the role of Q from the Bond films), some conflicts between life partners (actual or prospective), and generally clever plotting. The writing is snappy, clever, and in several places, profoundly moving.

    Definitely worth a viewing, and probably a second viewing after you've let the first one sink in.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  4. Chris DeVito
    Member

    geoffhart1962: What you said! Ditto. Coincidentally, we just got back from seeing the movie. All I'd add to your excellent review is that the movie also has a great sense of humor -- I had several LOL moments. ("Just kidding, we're vegetarians...")

    "I hope it makes a shitload of money and spawns several sequels." I wouldn't worry about that ... it's grossed almost a billion $$$ worldwide after 2-1/2 weeks. Did you stick around till the end of the final credits? The sequel is already set up. ("Call me Bucky...")

    Posted 6 months ago #
  5. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Chris: Yeah, what you said about the humor. Love it when characters banter back and forth.

    And yes, I've learned to stick it out to the bitter end of the credits for spoilers. All the slash fans in my circle were oohing and ahing about Bucky. *G*

    Posted 6 months ago #
  6. Chris DeVito
    Member

  7. geoffhart1962
    Member

    Chris, thanks for sharing. Adds lots of depth to what I'd written.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  8. Marian
    Member

    Black Panther is first movie shown in Saudi Arabia in decades https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/black-panther-saudi-arabia-screening-riyadh-mbs-vision-2030-islam-women-a8316556.html

    Posted 5 months ago #

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