Posts Tagged ‘Michael B. Jordan’

Black Panther (2018)  —  movie review
Today I went to the new Marvel super-hero movie, “Black Panther“.  The movie stars Chadwick Boseman as the title character King T’Challa / Black Panther;  Michael B. Jordan as the main bad guy Erik Killmonger;  Andy Serkis as the secondary bad guy Ulysses Klaue;  Letitia Wright as Princess Shuri (T’Challa’s little sister);  Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, the King’s girlfriend / love interest;  Danai Gurira as Okoye, the general of army and the King’s personal guard;  Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, the King’s best friend and husband of general Okoye;  Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, a US CIA operative who risks his life to save Nakia;  and Winston Duke, as M’Baku, chief of the gorilla tribe.  There are also noteworthy appearances by Angela Bassett as Ramonda, the King’s mother and Forest Whitaker as Zuri, a high priest and counselor to the King.
This is a stand-alone movie within the “Extended Marvel Universe”.  As such, it is the origin story of the super-hero – “Black Panther” who comes from the fictional, Central African country of Wakanda.  Basically, there are five tribes in the country, each of which is patterned after an animal deity, but the Panther symbol is the primary one for all but the gorilla tribe.  T’Challa’s father dies and he must become king.  He is challenged by the chief of the gorilla tribe, who T’Challa defeats, but who T’Challa allows to live because his tribe needs his leadership.
Blah, blah, blah, T’Challa’s cousin (Killmonger) uses Klaue as an entry into Wakanda, and then claims the throne as his own.  Killmonger defeats T’Challa in personal combat, but fails to kill him.  Blah, blah, blah, T’Challa recovers and defeats Killmonger in personal combat (Killmonger chooses death over subservience).  Blah, blah, T’Challa announces to the United Nations that Wakanda wishes to share its technologies with the rest of the world.
So, is this a “great” movie?  Probably not.  Is it a “great” comic / super-hero movie?  Yes!  Definitely.  I would rank it up with IronMan and Wonder Woman as among the best in its genre.  It’s entertaining (action), visually striking (colorful and with great special effects), and it has a better than average story-line which transcends the typical “comic-book” genre.  In its own way, it is very political and ethics driven.  Basically, do the wealthy and advanced countries have an obligation to help those with less?  Alternatively, does military might give one country the right to subjugate the rest of the world?
Did I have any criticisms?  Yes, but they are minor.  I would have liked to see a little more development of the five tribes.  The Panther and the Gorilla tribes were introduced, but I really got no idea what was going on with the other three.  The second minor point was the two main battles were in dark environments which made it difficult to follow the martial arts.  While this is a not, strictly speaking, a martial arts movie, I like to see the actual moves.  Like a few of the “Transformer” movies, sometimes the shot was too close to see what was happening, and, sometimes it was just too dark with the combatants both in black costumes.  They did give us a bit of help by altering the color of the striping and necklace between the hero and the villain.  Again, these were minor points.
I would also like to add a side comment…  IMHO this is not a “pro” African-American film.  It is an African film.  The good part of that is that it presents people of color in roles (King, Queen, brilliant scientist and general) which are not common in American films and which can hopefully help all peoples of color start to visualize themselves in similar roles (that of good people in impactful lives).  The bad part is that the “African-American” (Killmonger) is portrayed as no better than any of the white / European colonizers whom they (he) purportedly are criticizing.  Killmonger attempts to destroy Wakandan heritage and to turn the nation into a new-age British Empire.  We must also be careful to recognize that, in the end, the hero is victorious by force of arms and combat skill and not because of enlightenment, moral superiority or any oral argument.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and give it a very highly recommended rating (if not a must see).  As I stated with the Avengers movies, we really are in a golden age of movies based on comic-book super-heroes.
On This Day In:
2017 In Defense Of A Free Press
2016 Lost Opportunity
2015 Are You Listening Ladies?
2014 Practice, Practice, Practice
2013 A Fist Full Of Confusion
2012 Teaching Faith
2011 The Heart Of Terror
The Proportion Of Gravity And Probability

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Creed”  —  movie review
On Tuesday I went to see the new “Rocky Balboa” movie with my son (James).  My son is a BIG fan of the series, owns the DVDs and has many of the lines committed to memory.  So, we went to see the seventh episode in the life of Rocky.  The title character is Michael B. Jordan playing Adonis Johnson Creed, Apollo Creed’s son, with Sylvester Stallone reprising the role of Rocky Balboa.  For those of you living in a cave for the last 40 years, Apollo Creed was the boxer Rocky fights in the first and second movies in the series.  Supposedly, the Apollo character is loosely based on Mohammed Ali and Rocky is loosely based on Rocky Marciano.  Adonis (“Donny”)  needs a coach and mentor – two guesses who he picks…
Anyway, all of the Rocky movies follow a standard MO – be tough but show human frailty, train hard, struggle heroically and win or lose you can still be a champion.  This movie follows the rules and touches all the bases.  It is an excellent addition to the series.  Both James and I really enjoyed it.
As with all of the movies you have to suspend belief in reality (or have little to no idea how punishing boxing really is), but the Rocky series is not really about boxing.  What it (each movie and the series in total) is really about is facing life and the challenges it can throw at you and how you deal with them.  This spirit of human endurance and the will to move forward despite all punishment while at the same time remaining a decent person is what “makes” the Rocky Balboa character a cinematic icon.
Final recommendation:  highly recommended – particularly if you are a fan of the character, the series or the genre.  You will find this a welcome addition and enjoy the story, the acting and the final fight.
On This Day In:
2021 What Should Be Universal Exercise
I’m So Glad
2020 Trying To Keep On Keeping On
2019 Ooops (Again)
2018 Two Start Up Front
2017 I Love America Because…
An Act Of God
And So It Came To Pass (Act Of God part 2)
2016 As Far From
2015 Rocky 7
Just Like Politics
2014 Game And Legend
“Scientific” Pride In Humanity
2013 Real Honor
Catching Up
2012 Thoughts And Communications
2011 But How Does Peter Feel?
2010 Name That Regret

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