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EPIC REVIEW: Black Panther

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’m finally talking about a film I’ve been waiting to watch for almost 2 YEARS! I am of course talking about Black Panther. Since watching Captain America: Civil War in the cinema, I have been ready for this film and the wait has been AGONISING, but luckily time passed along quickly and I finally got to see the film last night. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “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.”

I enjoyed the story quite a lot, and while a lot happens in several locations and at certain points, the stakes have potential global ramifications, they felt suitably scaled and revolved the key characters in the right way. Since Phase Two, the MCU has changed its approach to tone, genre and story elements and this film has had the most significant change in terms of tone, character-driven nature and culture. The story dealt with family issues, revenge, power and control, secrets and lies, and the trials and tribulations that come with being a king, and all of these issues and others were handled with care and attention and I also appreciated the film’s commentary black history and current topics as it was relevant yet not overbearing. But what I really loved was how much of a character-driven drama this film was, everything that happened had a purpose and affected the main characters as the story progressed, so when the drama and emotional moments kicked in, it had SO much impact. And I also believe this is one of the most intense superhero films I’ve seen in a while, because of the story and the way it affected the characters, after the film ended I felt like I needed to take some time just to breathe and process what I just watched as I was emotionally gripped the whole way through. Oh and one more thing, even though I only have a minor amount of knowledge when it comes to the Black Panther source material, I was surprised and delighted with the way the source material was adapted into live-action.

As for the characters I really loved everyone in this film as they all had a role to play that fit into the overall narrative, they were all useful, memorable and fun. Firstly Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther killed it, he was already a great character in Civil War, but in this film were got to see more of his personality, more his strengths and weaknesses and see trying to accept his new responsibilities as a king and Black Panther. Boseman was likeable, funny, powerful and badass. And then there’s Michael B. Jordan as Eric Killmonger… Damn, this dude was awesome, Killmonger has an interesting backstory with solid villainous motivations and you can understand and to some degree agree with some of the stuff that he says and all of those elements definitely put him in the better MCU villain category for sure. And Jordan was excellent in this role, the guy oozes charisma and coolness, has a great screen presence and can be scary as hell at times. Danai Gurira as Okoye was frigging badass, absolutely awesome. When Gurira signed on to this film I knew the people at Marvel were gonna make good use of her combat skills from The Walking Dead, but my god she got so many scene-stealing moments not only on the battlefield but also off of it while interacting with T-Challa and other key characters. Okoye was a no-nonsense and proud warrior and I loved what Gurira brought to this role. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia was quite good, at first I wondered how’d she’d factor into the film, but I really enjoyed her character, she had a great rapport with the other main characters and I liked what she brought to the story.

Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross got involved in the story far more than I expected, and I loved it. We only got a little bit of his character in Civil War, but in this film we learnt more about him as a person, he had some great interaction with several of the main characters and Freeman was delightful in the role. Letitia Wright as Shuri was quite good, at first I thought her attitude and cocky nature would annoy me, but she ended up being one of my favourite characters because of her smarts but also because of how she was integrated into the main story beats. Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi was really good, this character has a rough backstory and seeing his character progress through the film was interesting to watch. Winston Duke as M’Baku was really good with a powerful and intimidating screen presence, Angela Bassett as Ramonda was great as always, adding that dramatic flair that only Bassett can, Forest Whitaker as Zuri was really good, he had some great moments with T’Challa and I enjoyed learning about the significance of his character, and Sterling K. Brown was solid as N’Jobu too. And finally, there’s Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, man I loved this dude! Serkis left a good impression in Age of Ultron, but here we got to see more of the character’s unhinged, tactical and funny nature, he’s a bit of a nutter, but is whenever he’s on-screen it is a good time.

When it comes to the presentation it was great. Visually the film looked great, the filmmakers did a great job at not only bringing the world of Wakanda to life but also presenting a great mixture of futuristic and old school/tradition African material whether it be through the technology, costumes, city landscape, etc. The use of CGI was also solid, though at times wasn’t as solid, and the cool action scenes were really good, there was a lot of creativity, style and power that came with some of these scenes whether you were talking about car chases or fight scenes, it was all handled so well. And just to elaborate on those fight scenes, I loved how the combat scenes shot with a lot of long shots and not too unnecessary cuts, the fights had the right amount of realism, acrobatics and dramatic weight because of what was at stake, and T-Challa’s bodyguards, the Dora Milaje was frigging awesome, these female warriors kicked ass! Also the soundtrack was awesome, the use of certain music was nice and Ludwig Göransson’s film score has a varied sound that incorporates African instrumentation and vocals, a traditional orchestrated sound and a hip-hop kind of style, sometimes these sounds mix and on paper it feels like it shouldn’t work, but in the film these different styles work well together and separately.

In conclusion, Black Panther was everything I wanted it to be and then some, it was thrilling, dramatic, intense and fun. Everyone involved should be proud of the film they’ve created as this is the Black Panther film the character deserved, and while it doesn’t change the superhero game, it was a wonderfully unique experience that I think everyone should check out. 🙂

So have you seen Black Panther and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Black Panther Teaser Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how are you? So this morning I woke up to the new teaser trailer for Black Panther and I’ve been giddy ever since! I knew the trailer was gonna drop after I read about it when the first poster was revealed but I wasn’t gonna stay up all night for it, so when I woke up and saw some people had reviewed online I knew I had to check it out. So let’s talk about that teaser!

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “This is pretty damn cool.” Last year Chadwick Boseman’s performance as T’Challa/Black Panther really stood out in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther ended up being my favourite character because of his story arc, unique skill set, lineage and badass costume, and now that we’ve got a new trailer that only enhances the character and the world he’s a part of.

What I liked about this teaser was the following things:

  1. The tone: Even though the teaser was less than two minutes it was plenty to demonstrate that this film’s story would have a more personal and mature atmosphere than what we’ve seen from Marvel Studios.
  2. The visuals: I like the use of colour and sense of scale when it comes to various locations of Wakanda, I also like the way there is a nice a balance between traditional and futuristic elements that applies to the environment and the citizens.
  3. Cool action: The brief scenes we get of Black Panther kicking ass in the jungle or seeing Killmonger and T’Challa squaring off or some of these other fight scenes, I like the practicality of it and it looks like fun.
  4. The cast: Starting this trailer off with Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman aka Ulysses Klaue and Everett Ross from Age of Ultron and Civil War was not only a cool reminder for fans but it also was fun as the both acted together in the first Hobbit film. In addition to that we got to see more of not only Chadwick Boseman again, but cool glimpses of Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett among others.
  5. The direction: One thing that stood out to me was the style of trailer and the way the characters were handled and it felt like a Ryan Coogler film. Coogler has a notable style with his directing and while watching this trailer I could feel his presence all over this film like Creed and Fruitvale Station beforehand. Only a handful of MCU films have a unique sense of style brought on by their directors as a lot of them just fall into the same style, only Kenneth Branagh, Shane Black, The Russo Brothers and James Gunn have been able to leave a unique mark on the MCU through Thor, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Winter Soldier & Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2.

In conclusion the teaser trailer for Black Panther was awesome, I was very happy with what I saw it delivered everything I wanted and then some, the tone, visuals and cast looks very unique and different to what we’ve seen from the MCU so far and that is exactly what this property and genre needs. February can’t come quicker! #BlackPantherSoLit 😛 😀

So have you seen Black Panther trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2: Green Lantern

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #4 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’m going to be talking about a film I thought I would never have to see again, but because of this blog series I am once again going to talk about Green Lantern.

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SIDE NOTE: At the time of writing this particular review it is February 5th, so by the time it is actually published it would have been just over a month since I experienced this film. I had to get this one out of the way early for timing purposes.

Oh Green Lantern, what can I say about this film that hasn’t been said by many people already? I even did a video review for the film many moons ago and it wasn’t exactly glowing. I never thought the film would be great, but I had hoped for much more. The first trailer was terrible, the subsequent trailers gave me hope for the film. Then I saw this film in the cinema with a friend and was just so disappointed with the end result, and since then I have not watched the film… Until this year. So how does the film fare almost 4 years later? Well read on and find out.

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Story-wise the film can be summed up as the following:

“A test pilot, Hal Jordan, is granted an alien ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers that inducts him into an intergalactic police force, the Green Lantern Corps.”

The plot is functional, but hardly original or entertaining. Besides the GL mythos and villains of the film, this story feels like it belongs in 2001 rather than 2011 with all its cliché and generic plot points, overly comedic tone, cheesy character moments, the standard love interest and standard evil villain. Add on top of that an origin story of not only the hero, but two villains and the backstory behind the whole Green Lantern Corp, all it feels rushed and meshed together without enough time to process things. While keeping a swift pace in films these days is a good thing, here it comes at the cost of any character development. And it is annoying because there is potential here and had the writers given us better dialogue and an overall coherent plot then this film could have ushered in so many new fans to a DC property other than Batman and Superman, but instead they done fucked it up.

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As for the cast they were fine, but only a few people actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Ryan Reynolds is really the only person who does a good job as Hal Jordan. Now before this film came out I was a growing fan of Reynolds, he was one of the only likeable aspects of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and his performance in Buried is still underrated and unappreciated. In this film he does his best with the material he is given and the film does play off of Reynolds’ comedy talents, that being said, sometimes it can be a bit much and you can’t take him seriously. Also it doesn’t help that Hal Jordan is a jerk, is not responsible and even after his journey I don’t feel like he’s become any more likeable. Also as a superhero I know he’s just starting out, but the things he imagines with his ring are so lame and lacking in flair and creativity. Blake Lively as Carol Ferris is comparable to Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four; gorgeous woman but is only there to be the love interest. Lively is so pretty but I can’t take her character seriously at all, plus Carol’s so dull and generic that you don’t buy into or care her relationship with Hal. And then there’s Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond, oh god, let’s just say that his performance is one of the worst aspects of the film. Prior to his transformation Hammond is a smart yet closed-off individual, however once he gets his powers the dude becomes a little more twisted and creepy… And annoying. I didn’t know it was Sarsgaard under that make up, I’ve seen him in other films and he’s been good, however here his performance is so over-the-top and loud. This guy screams A LOT and I can’t take anyone like him seriously when he scream like such a little bitch.

Mark Strong does a decent job as Thaal Sinestro, Strong brings a good amount of charisma and his own personality into the role. Angela Bassett as Dr. Amanda Waller is fine, but she is completely wasted. I didn’t know until now that 1) Bassett was even in this film and 2) That a character as important as Waller was even in a film. The film done two injustices in one go. Tim Robbins is another hidden face I didn’t know was in the film until I saw it again today. He played Robert Hammond and was fine, but like Bassett before him he was wasted. Temuera Morrison was alright as Abin Sur. Taika Waititi as Thomas Kalmaku was kind of funny and annoying at the same time, plus he distracted me because he looked like some imitation of Moss from The IT Crowd. Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan did nicely as the voices of Tomar-Re and Kilowog but their characters weren’t on-screen long enough for you to get attached to them.

GL-01484 (L-r) PETER SARSGAARD as Hector Hammond in Warner Bros. PicturesÕ action adventure ÒGREEN LANTERN,Ó a Warner Bros. Pictures release.GL-8924r

When it comes to the presentation its a bit messy. Some of the CGI looks nice, well, when it is static shots of Earth, space and certain planet surfaces. However everything else looks rough, blurry and unpolished, like it was made for television and while I understand that some films can’t afford to have the best special effects, this film looked like it just needed more time to be polished as it didn’t look very realistic or blend well with the live-action shots. Also what the hell did they do to the GL costume? I know elements things need to be updated for film, the new design was so ugly, illuminated and wrong. The soundtrack by James Newton Howard is weak, rarely does it sound epic or important or even leave an impact, the best track in the film is when the first set of credits roll. Howard is good composer, but here the music feels a little off.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well since the only DC characters I know a substantial amount about are limited to Batman and Superman to some degree, I can’t say much about Green Lantern in comparison to the comics. I’ve seen the character appear in the Justice League animated series and The Batman, but that’s all I really know him from. From what I’ve read from certain fans of the source material, certain aspects were kept intact like the mythos behind the Green Lantern Corp, but everything else got changed and/or butchered.

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In conclusion my feelings on Green Lantern haven’t changed much. This film has some decent moments and Ryan Reynolds was the best aspect of the film, but the cons definitely outweigh the pros with so much potential wasted with the source material and talent involved. I hope DC have learnt from this film and will give us a better GL experience in 2020.

Rating: 5.5/10 (A disappointment for sure)

So there’s my review people, only 26 more to go. So have you seen Green Lantern and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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