August 24, 2019, 01:45:56 AM

Author Topic: Black Panther  (Read 2729 times)

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Black Panther
« on: February 23, 2018, 08:32:17 PM »
I just noticed we're missing a thread on this. Have you guys seen it yet? There are a lot of things this movie did right

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 09:15:23 PM »
I understand that it's the norm these days: vastly overrated, and fun if you don't ever pause to think about anything.
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 10:12:09 PM »
Idk, hype usually makes me not want to see a movie, and in this case i was pretty hesitant.  I had no love for the Last Jedi, or any of the other movies everyone seemed to be excited about, but I enjoyed Black Panther more than a movie I've seen in ages.

I particularly liked the way they put the African and the African American experience in conversation with each other (instead of conflating the two or one co-opting the other), I liked the way they built a villain that was both villainous and sympathetic at the same time... and that the protagonists felt that sympathy, and the internal conflicts and factions that shifted over time.  Also there was something particularly badass about the royal guard.

I had a hard time finding things not to like about this movie, and that's pretty rare for me.

Offline Skip

Re: Black Panther
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2018, 12:08:41 AM »
The core story is solid. I have yet to see the movie, but I was a huge fan of the comic book in the 1970s, reading each issue as it came out.
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 12:17:21 AM »
Yeah, I loved Black Panther. Although, pretty sure I loved em all. Green Lantern and BP had the coolest costumes ever
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2018, 12:23:31 AM »
The core story is solid. I have yet to see the movie, but I was a huge fan of the comic book in the 1970s, reading each issue as it came out.
A tip. Try to see Civil War before seeing Black Panther. Its not absolutely necessary, but it does help.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 01:57:09 AM »
I'm dying to see Black Panther. Everything I hear about it just sounds like it's solidly good. In negotiation with the babysitting gods to make it happen. Haven't seen Civil War, but I'll try to hunt it down beforehand, or find a crib sheet.

Offline Nora

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2018, 02:06:18 AM »
I just saw it tonight and it was gorgeous but one of the worst written stories I've paid to see in recent years.
A total wreck when it came to character motivations. It made me a bit bored and a bit outraged in moments.
Mind you the art is great, and the two main ladies are stunners and their fight scenes and dialogue were awesome.
I'll do a spoiler review later but overall, I'd say the plot and the characterisation is 3/10... people will disagree if they enjoy mindless superhero stuff and don't mind about coherence. If you pay attention to the logic that pushes a character to act, prepare to be somewhat disappointed.
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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Black Panther
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2018, 01:48:51 PM »
It's rather overhyped, and there are some flaws, but overall I think it's pretty good. The portrayal of the African culture, cool techs, and action scenes are done really well. The villain, Erik Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan is also superbly cool (even more than T'challa himself), and his acting and music tracks stole away most of my attention on the movie. I was actually rooting for him through the film too.  :D

On what I doesn't like much: The plot is quite mediocre, that's a thing. The last scene, with the tribal battle, also seems quite anti-climatic. Black Panther is so overpowered against those warriors that I didn't got any feelings of excitement at all (the trails during his coronation was much better).

Andd I wish he'd use the old suit from Civil War, that looked wayyy cooler than the new one, for sure.

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 11:12:37 PM »
Achievement unlocked! (And we even managed to watch Civil War beforehand, which was good because otherwise the trailer for Infinity War before BP would have been even more indecipherable. My gosh, it looks so crowded.)

First up: RHINO CAVALRY HECK YEAH. (The concept was mentioned in passing in Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel and I am still starry-eyed about it, so when they showed up onscreen I made metal-hands at the screen.)

I loved it all. Visually magnificent, heaps of fun, I just loved T'Challa's arc. And Nakia's. And Killmonger's. And Okoye and Shuri's everything. I loved it all, basically.

It may have benefited from a little more rumination on that primary conflict--isolationism vs participation--but I think there was enough there to float the plot and character conflicts.

Offline JMack

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 01:37:44 AM »
Saw it today, and really liked it. It’s a visual stunner, filled with imaginative... stuff.  ;D
The story is good, but not great. But I’ve pretty much given up on great story telling from Marvel movies. Occasionally you get it. This one was good. Like Cup, I liked a number of the character arcs. But just so many plot short cuts and conveniences.

My least favorite:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Killmonger drags the body of the Andy Serkis villain up to a village and just happens to meet the head of that tribe right off. Then T’Challa doesn’t bother to tell his friend that it was Killmonger who interrupted his capture of  Serkis. It would have been so easy to tell that truth and skip the whole thing. These people are supposed to be smart.

Meanwhile, since the movie is intentionally political, I’ll comment on it. I think the strength and role of women is much improved and welcome. Of course, women still aren’t in charge of anything, except other women or things that serve men. The movie, of course, gives prime of place to Africans and people of African descent. And I loved this for its beauty, art, music, pride, and progress. That said, it seems to argue that Africa was victimized (true, but simplistic) and that African Americans have to be “saved” from the outside rather than from within their own resources.

Going back to the story, the two ritual challenges were really fun, while the penultimate mano-a-mano was meh. The big car chase was a hoot. The air chase was sort of fun, but a bit muddled. And the rhino calvary was awesome.

All in all, a good time with great visuals.
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 02:33:30 AM »
Seems like sort of a back-handed compliment to have a film with a distinctive African focus, describe their society as advanced, but then give them a society that isn't advanced or even stable. It's like a bunch of white guys tossed some technology at brown people and imagined what the 'savages' would do with it: violence-based transitions of power, third-world markets and farms, skyscrapers with huts in their architecture, etc. The application of technology is so bizarre; it works for Iron Man because of the expense and proprietary nature of the suits. The jungle-juice makes you wonder - why not just grow a bunch of that and have a nation of Kryptonian-like badasses?
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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2018, 07:02:21 AM »
But just so many plot short cuts and conveniences.

These are things I'm becoming more forgiving of in storytelling, especially movie storytelling. Having the villain's plan get path-of-least-resistanced is fine, imho, because the story is about overcoming him anyway. And if the narrative imperative--the thing all the themes and structure of the story are building to happen--means a thing must happen, having the characters do stuff that delays the thing for a bit is really just busy-work, not actual plot. To get more specific and therefore spoilery in response to JMack's excellent examples:
Spoiler for Hiden:
There almost certainly were a lot of things that could've been said and done differently in the initial Killmonger/T'Challa stand-off, but the pressures of the story (that these two were coming into personal conflict exemplifying the thematic conflict), of Killmonger's arc (that he was never going to be talked down), of T'Challa's arc (his anger at his father for creating this situation being internalised) meant it was going one way. Perhaps they didn't take the most elegant path through the scene, but if you try to include everything, the scene loses all elegance and goes for way too long. It's a tricky one.

Just to note, this isn't so much a "I will defend this movie to the death on every single point" and more of me taking this opportunity to ruminate on the general difficulties of elegant storytelling vs completeness.

Seems like sort of a back-handed compliment to have a film with a distinctive African focus, describe their society as advanced, but then give them a society that isn't advanced or even stable. It's like a bunch of white guys tossed some technology at brown people and imagined what the 'savages' would do with it: violence-based transitions of power, third-world markets and farms, skyscrapers with huts in their architecture, etc.

Hard disagree on this one. From the aerial shots of Wakanda city (...does it have a name?) I marvelled (lol) at the lack of slums, and the great integration of city with landscape. It's borne out throughout what we see of the society. This is a place without want, living in balance with the environment, and without sacrificing tradition, culture, spirituality or humanity. It is not built to the detriment of the land or of other people... except, as the story outlines, of the people who are not permitted to partake of its bounty. (I'd have liked that inequality to be more fully explored.)

In short: Wakanda gives a vision of "advanced" that doesn't have the problems of Western advanced (though has its own problems) and I think that difference is very important.

Offline JMack

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2018, 10:16:06 AM »
Besides which, as I understand it, this was imagined (or re-imagined from the original comic book) by a bunch of brown guys and gals. Have to agree with Cup.

Meanwhile, it’s not a fruitful path of thinking here, but the economics involved in Wakanda are hard to figure. What exactly are all those tall office buildings for even as they fit so nicely into the landscape? But I’m not seriously asking that. Their purpose is to look cool.  This is a comic book, after all.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 10:17:48 AM by JMack »
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Offline Nora

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Re: Black Panther
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 10:58:12 AM »
Ok, and what about the fact that :

Spoiler for Hiden:
The best buddy makes a hissy fit when T'challa doesn't bring killmonger back on his first try? Dude has a gun that incapacitates their tech, and allies (who found out the CIA hideout SOMEHOW, guess we don't need details on that hey?)
So that when a total stranger shows up with Killmonger's corpse and flashes his credentials, a man we saw as nothing but good and friendly, husband to the badass, loyal general, and long time friend of T'challa, decides to rebel, and support a total fucking stranger. Why not going "wow, man, good job! Let me get you to the king, we can work out some compensation for you, figure out where you fit and everything."
More than anything, that should ease his grudge toward his friend, since the origin of the grudge is gone.

But no, he shows up in session like a conspirator, and then Jordan goes "I'm your cousin!" and everyone looses their minds, instead of being the composed politicians, heads of their respective tribes, who must deal with drama often enough (maybe their country is too good, and family drama is new to Wakanda? *scoff*)
And then, Jordan makes a challenge outside of the designated time offered for challenge, and not only did the entire fight bore me to tears because I had already SEEN that same chalenge in that same place, and I could predict the outcome of it the instant it happened, but I was mightily displeased to see all our "smart" character decide to go along blindly with tradition that says that anyone, including, apparently, crazed killers they don't know and never heard about, are fit to be king if they can beat their beloved king in a fist fight.
How deliciously primitive. They go with it even though they can tell he's crazy. And where are your traditions gone at when the new King orders the plants gone?

Anyway, what the hell were they doing with the friend and his tribe?? Did they all suddenly turn to become pro "flooding the world with our weapons for free"? Because they certainly go all heartedly to attack the General's women. Even the two of them, a couple. Serisouly, like, they didn't interact before that? Sorting their life out? And then he gives up because his missus would rather dump him.
*cries*

Ok, and WORST of all : T'challa does a hissy fit of his own against his dad, who behaved like a total dick for no good reason (he legit has no explanation for us), and says he won't be the same! He then proceeds to go and KILL HIS COUSIN, after reproaching his dad to have killed his uncle!!!
He drags him half dead to the entrance of the cave, that is objectively long minutes away, (whilst the sister's medical facility is in that same cave) so he can enjoy a last sunset! "Hey we could still save you, ya know?" (Not that I give a shit, obviously!), "Nah thx bro, I'm for clean, uncomplicated dramatical endings. I'd rather die."

If it were a seriously lethal strike and T'challa was bringing him up to resolve a last favour, fine... couldn't help it. For for him to not even try to save him after skewering him and doing such a dressing down sermon to his dad rankled.

This film had zero character consistency besides for the three main women, the sister, the ex and the general all kept their heads and a solid motivation in their arc.

The men were mental and made no sense. The people of Wakanda were depicted as politically stupid, and one tradition was presented one way only to be broken up later.

The CIA agent was the cringiest walking plot explainer alive. His goal was only to be here to state what the characters didn't know, like what Killmonger was doing and why.  ::)

So yeah, the whole thing was a very painful mess that was just somewhat compensated by being pretty and having decent female character that kicked ass. Seeing what could have been good characters in a good plot suddenly jerk around nonsensically to make the plot twist one way or another was really disappointing and towards the end it made me want for the movie to hurry and be over, because nothing made much sense and everything was painfully predictable.
I think I won't bother with marvel in Theatre any more. The last Thor was funny and ok, but then again I knew the director, who is pure awesome. So.
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