Archive for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category

Tomorrowland

Posted in Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

From Disney comes two-time Oscar (R) winner Brad Bird’s riveting, mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring Academy Award (R) winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world-and them-forever.

What people are saying:

“It’s important to note that Tomorrowland is not disappointing in the usual way. It’s not another glib, phoned-in piece of franchise mediocrity, but rather a work of evident passion and conviction. What it isn’t is in any way convincing or enchanting.” 2 stars

“An aggressively optimistic script admonishes the lazy and irresolute and urges humanity to end war and save the environment; the proselytizing burdens an already onerous plot.” 2 stars

“Fantastic! I hope this movie inspires more of our younger generation to create and explore. The message was sensational! If more people stopped listening to the depressing, action news network maybe they would begin to use their minds for something greater. I applaud this movie. Shame on those who continue to destroy our world by destroying our heart and minds” 5 stars

“Although i found the movie to be very complicated to follow plot wise and story wise especially for a disney movie, the movie itself was quite thrilling to watch due to the beautiful scenery, the good acting, and the philosophical message that it holds in the end of the movie” 4 stars

“The first 35 to 45 minutes was pretty darn good, and would’ve been great if done in half the screen time. Sadly, it quickly becomes mind-numbingly apparent that the reason for the loooooong opening stretch was because they were trying to stretch all the way to the ending. Yep, no story in the middle on this one. (And very few characters to hang it all on.) Worse, the ending is a formulaic snoozefest, complete with evil genius monologue followed swiftly by butt-kicking of said evil genius. If your constitution for vomit inducing endings isn’t ironclad, then make sure you have a bucket handy. Bright spots: Clooney, Laurie, and Robertson work wonders with the script, turning in three fine performances, but it’s Raffey Cassidy who steals the show—an utter joy to watch every second she’s on the screen. (500 extra sadness points for the actors bring their A-game to a script in search of a story. 1,000 extra-extra sadness points to whoever thought substituting some heart-string pulling at the end would make up for everything.)” 1 star

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Solo: A Star Wars Story

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

On the shipbuilding world of Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. Han and his lover Qi’ra make an escape from the clutches of a local criminal gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with a stolen sample of coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his family name, Han says he has no family, and is alone, so the recruiter gives him the surname “Solo” in his documents.

Three years later, Han has been expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination. While serving as an infantryman during a battle on the planet Mimban, he encounters a gang of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett. He tries to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast – a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Able to understand Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to work together to escape their confinement. In need of extra hands, Beckett rescues them and enlists them in the gang’s plot to steal a shipment of coaxium on the planet Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up with their leader Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife, Val, and the destruction of the coaxium.

Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’s yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and become Vos’s top lieutenant. Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on the planet Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits.

The team boards his ship, the Millennium Falcon, and heads for Kessel. After reaching the planet and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. They use the confusion to steal a consignment of coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, freshly hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship along a dangerous route through an uncharted maelstrom to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.

During a confrontation with Enfys, who has tracked the team from Vandor, Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and the Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’s strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’s superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’s position within the syndicate. She avoids telling him of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.

Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him. Han shoots Beckett first before he can shoot him, and with his dying words Beckett tells Han he made the smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys. She offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him one vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a smuggling operation.

REVIEW:

Han Solo has long been a fan favorite, but we have never really known much about him, how he partnered up with Chewbacca, won the Millennium Falcon, etc. Part of this mystery is what has made him such an endearing character, but there is also that part of all of us that wants to learn more about his past. This is what Solo: A Star Wars Story sets out to accomplish. Was the goal met?

What is this about?

With the emerging demand of hyperfuel and other resources, Han Solo finds himself in the middle of a heist alongside other criminals, where they meet the likes of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian in an adventurous situation exposing the criminal underworld of the Star Wars saga.

What did I like?

Kessel run. In Star Wars, one of the first things out of Han Solo’s mouth is how he made the Kessel run in 12 parsecs. When we meet Lando Calrissian in Empire Strikes Back, he also alludes to it, if I’m not mistaken. For something that is such a major bragging point, one would think we’d have seen it. Hell, i had no idea what the Kessel run was until halfway through this film. I was thinking it was some kind of race, a la Cannonball Run, so I am very pleased to learn what this was and see it actually happen.

All hail, Khalessi. Every review of this film that i have heard and/or read is praising Donald Glover’s performance as Lando Calrissian, and with good reason. With Han, the jury seems to be split, though. I want to speak about Emilia Clarke. First off, Solo better back up off my future wife!!! Second, anyone that has seen an episode of Game of Thrones is more than aware of the acting chops this young actress has, but one thing that hasn’t really been put on display are her action chops. Sure, she starred in the last Terminator film, but who actually watched that? If she keeps making these blockbuster films, she is sure to be one Hollywood’s “it” girls. Some would say she is more deserving that most of the current crop.

Bring the fun. Surely by now, you have heard of the massive backlash against The Last Jedi and most of the cast and crew. If you haven’t, go look it up on YouTube, or google some of the insane things the rabid fan have said while hiding in their parents’  basement eating hot pockets and breathing heavily through their mouths. For me, I feel these films dubbed “the new trilogy” are too dark and serious. Somehow, the makers of this film remembered that the original films may have had some dark themes interspersed with exciting action, but there was also fun and levity in there as well, something these new films seem to forget.

What didn’t I like?

Language barrier. This whole time we’ve been under the impression that Han and Chewbacca just understood each other. Well, throw that assumption away because, according to this film, Han speaks Wookie. Now, i will give the film credit for introducing that aspect of their relationship because it explains how they got together in the first place. However, they way  they bring it up in their initial meeting and it is never mentioned or used again is what i didn’t like. No, we didn’t need to hear Han butchering the Wookie language (it is explained that he isn’t a Wookie linguist), but perhaps gradually show the growing relationship and understanding of the two, rather than two Wookie lines and bam, they can understand each other perfectly.

Cat scratch fever. I was just made aware as i was setting this review up that the character of Dryden Vos was originally to be played by Michael K. Williams, but was recast with Paul Bettany because of scheduling issues. My problem has nothing to do with Bettany nor does it involve some comparison of the two actors. My issue is with the look of the character. Had Williams been able to return to the set for reshoots, we’d have seen a true alien life form, much like we are used to seeing in this universe. Instead, we get Bettany who appears to have had a run in with a lion, tiger, or something along those lines. I guess if this was a last minute addition, i could understand it was a quick fix, but given all the money that this production has, surely something more imaginative could have been done. Unless this was a case of Bettany not wanting to sit in the make up chair for hours on end as I’m sure he has to do to play Vision in The Avengers films.

Low stakes. Through no fault of its own, this picture is flawed. How so? Well, no matter how perilous situation they were put it, we all know nothing is going to happen to Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian, as they appear in the holy trilogy. Much like every character in Rogue One was killed off because they weren’t in the actual films, we have the same scenario here. As much as I liked Lando’s droid L3 and the Emilia Clarke’s character Q’ira, we know what fate awaits them, whether it is in this film or beyond. This is a problem with prequels, you can’t really give the audience a heart attack because of a situation involving the main character because it is already known they survive.

Final verdict on Solo: A Star Wars Story? Something amazing is happening with the Star Wars franchise here in the last few years. We’ve had 4 films. The 2 that continue the main story have been well-received, but reaction has been average at best, most of that coming from The Force Awakens. The other 2 films, this and Rogue One, exist outside the main story, weren’t super hyped-up (personally, I was avoiding this film) and yet, they have been some of the best films in the franchise since the holy trilogy. I could list a laundry list of complaints about this film and end up typing all night, but instead the thing that is most important to know about this film is that is has everything we have come to love about the Star Wars franchise, action, comedy, romance, adventures in space, characters we wish we could be, aliens, etc. For that reason I say this is a must-see!

4 1/3 out of 5 stars

Fullmetal Alchemist

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the country of Ametris, Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse live in the rural town of Resembool with their mother Trisha while self-learning alchemy at a young age. When the brothers commit the taboo act of Human Transmutation to resurrect Trisha after she dies of illness, it backfires and they suffer the consequences via the Law of Equivalent Exchange: Edward loses his left leg, while Alphonse is dragged into the Gate of Truth. Edward then sacrifices his right arm to save his brother’s soul and bind it to a suit of armor via a blood seal, later replacing his missing limbs with “automail” prosthetics. Edward later receives an invitation by Colonel Roy Mustang to join the military so he can research a means of restoring Alphonse’s body. After becoming a State Alchemist with the title “Fullmetal Alchemist”, accompanied by their childhood friend and Automail mechanic Winry Rockwell, Edward begins his quest with Alphonse to find the legendary philosopher’s stone which could repair their bodies.

Years later, Edward and Alphonse confront a cultist named Father Cornello, whom they believe is using a philosopher’s stone to recruit the people of Liore. As Mustang arrives to personally handle the situation, Edward exposes Cornello while the stone is revealed to be a fake. After reaching East City and spending the night at the home of Major Maes Hughes and his pregnant wife, the brothers are provided with lodging when Major General Hakuro introduces them to Shou Tucker, a bio-alchemy authority who obtained his State Alchemist credentials by creating a talking chimera. As the brothers become fast friends with the man’s young daughter Nina and their dog Alexander, Tucker suggests Edward to find Dr. Tim Marcoh as he created a philosopher’s stone prior to going into hiding. Alphonse remains behind to be examined by Tucker, who causes Alphonse to question his existence, while Edward and Winry head to Marcoh’s last known whereabouts.

Though Marcoh was murdered by Cornello’s benefactor Lust as he and Winry find him, Edward acquires the man’s notes and asks Hughes to decipher them while unknowingly alienating Alphonse to keep him safe. Hughes later makes a horrific discovery from his investigation and ends up being killed by Lust’s associate Envy, who assumes Mustang’s form to frame the colonel for the murder. Edward manages to escape being interrogated with help from Mustang’s aide Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, using what he could deduce from the notes to investigate the clandestine Fifth Laboratory. At the same time, after revealing the new talking chimera that he created from Nina and Alexander, Tucker forces Alphonse and Winry to accompany him to the Fifth Laboratory, where they find Edward as he verbally realizes that the Philosopher’s Stone is created from humans.

Tucker confirms Edward’s realization, justifying their respective actions of selfishly manipulating life before Lust kills him while revealing herself as a homunculus. After Lust cryptically hints of her group’s reach in the government and an upcoming event that Edward has a vital role in, Hakuro reveals the Mannequin Soldier homunculi and gets killed when he prematurely activates them. Mustang has Riza and their men keep the Mannequin Soldiers from flooding out of the laboratory while he confronts Lust and Envy, killing the former while ripping her philosopher’s stone core from her body. While Mustang gives Edward the stone so he can restore Alphonse, Edward instead uses it to appear before his brother’s body and promises to find another way to restore him. Edward then returns to his reality to reaffirm Alphonse’s existence to him. Sometime after, as Gluttony mourns Lust’s death, Envy is revealed to have survived Mustang’s attack but has been diminished to its true parasitic form as a result.

REVIEW:

I can imagine that if you are reading this you have at least some knowledge of the adventures of the Elric Brothers. if you aren’t familiar with these boys, well, i can tell you that this film doesn’t necessarily need prior knowledge going in, unlike the other Fullmetal Alchemist (animated) films did. With this being the first foray into live-action, let us delve into what works and what didn’t with Fullmetal Alchemist, shall we?

What is this about?

The plot takes place at the beginning of the 20th century, in a reality where alchemy is real, extremely developed and respected. The plot features brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who, after attempting the forbidden technique of human transmutation, suffer the consequences. Alphonse loses his entire body while Edward loses his left leg. Edward then sacrifices his right arm to save his brother’s soul by attaching it to a metal suit of armor. Edward is then given mechanical prosthetics known as “automail” in place of his missing arm and leg. Upon acceptance into the State Alchemists, he is given the nickname “Fullmetal Alchemist”, all while searching with Alphonse for the legendary philosopher’s stone, that will repair their bodies.

What did I like?

Bring me to life. As someone who watched both iterations of the anime, it was a real treat to see that the filmmakers didn’t try to change anything to the general audience, but rather stayed as close as possible to the source material. Perhaps this is a Japanese thing, because other films like this have employed similar tactics, unlike here in the US where filmmakers feel they have to change so much of a character and/or story just to make it “grounded”. Some reviews I have read called this a living cartoon, as if that is a bad thing!

Familiarity. Not only does this feel like the anime brought to real life, but the costume and character design are something to take note of. For instance, Ed’s iconic red coat is unmistakably there. Al’s armor, Lust’s nails, Gluttony’s rotund physique, the military’s uniforms’ etc. Anyone who has watched even 5 minutes of the anime will be able to recognize what this is, and that’s a major plus in my book, especially for a film that is probably not going to reach a mainstream audience very easily.

Action. Two things always stood out in the anime, especially the first iteration, comedy and action. Now, i would have liked for there to have been more comedic scenes, the action is pretty nice. The feel of Ed, Al, and even Col. Mustang doing their alchemy whilst fighting off hundreds of mindless mannequins is def a climactic fight to be seen. There are other places where the action scenes are done nicely, as well.

What didn’t I like?

Asian-washing. Here in America, there is a long history of whitewashing. I think the most recent instance came with Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell. Why do i bring this up? Well, every actor in this film is Asian, much like every actor in the Harry Potter films is British. This isn’t a problem, per se, but when i look at the manga and anime versions of these characters, i don’t see Asians (except maybe some mix in Mustang’s genealogy). Ed and Winry are supposed to be blonde, almost to the point of being the perfect specimens for Hitler’s “supreme race”. Most everyone else in the cast is your usual dark-haired variety. I may just being too picky, but as much as they brought this straight from animation cells to the big screen, i would have liked to have seen more accurate casting, but i respect that they went with an all-Asian cast.

Cliff notes. This seems to be more in line with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood than the original anime, though there are a few times it switches back and forth. What i found interesting is how they tried to fit some 6 seasons, give or take, into a 2 hr movie. What we ended up with is i think 3 or 4 major storylines and they were cliff notes versions of those, meaning we got the main parts, but characters, subplots, etc, were taken out for time purposes. I personally think the Shou Tucker/Nina saga could have been given more time, also more time should have been given to Maj. Hughes. These are 2 storylines that are a gut punch to viewers in the anime, but not so much in live action. Then again, i felt the same way when i watched them in Brotherhood, as opposed to the original, so it may have something to do with the source material they used. Either way, i feel as if too much was crammed in to this film for its own good.

Ouorboros. The homunculi have been a major part of FMA lore since the beginning. However, I didn’t feel the actress cast as Lust was a good choice. I wasn’t lusting after her! They needed to enhance her curves somehow to really make that character what she needed to be, looks-wise. Don’t get me wrong, the woman is gorgeous, but when i think of Lust, i see more of a Jessica Rabbit type, rather than Victoria’s Secret model. The other homunculi, we only get Envy and Gluttony for this one, are acceptable, though i wish we would have had a chance to see more than just a tease of Gluttony’s true self and not even a trace of the annoyance that is Envy.

Final verdict on Fullmetal Alchemist? As i stated in the opening, i don’t think many non-FMA fans are going to be interested in this, especially with is being made overseas (the threat of subtitles scares Americans!) That said, it is obvious this was made for the fans…the people that will actually enjoy it. Yes, there are plenty of flaws with this film, from casting, to over reliance on CG, to blah, blah, blah. However, if you put that aside, turn your brain off and just sit back and watch, one can enjoy the pleasure that the filmmakers put into making this, and it is sure to increase your enjoyment…then you can bitch about all the things that are wrong. Also, in the English dubbed version we get the original voices of Ed and Winry, so that’s a bonus! Do i recommend this? For fans of the series, yes, but to the casual or non-fan, meh…you probably won’t appreciate it as much as the rest of us.

3 1/4 out of 5 stars

Avengers: Infinity War

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Having acquired the Power Stone from the planet Xandar, Thanos and his lieutenants—Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive—intercept the spaceship carrying the survivors of Asgard’s destruction. As they extract the Space Stone from the Tesseract, Thanos subdues Thor, overpowers Hulk, and kills Loki. Heimdall sends Hulk to Earth using the Bifröst before being killed. Thanos departs with his lieutenants and obliterates the spaceship.

Hulk crash-lands at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, reverting to Bruce Banner. He warns Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos’ plan to kill half of all life in the universe; in response, Strange recruits Tony Stark. Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone from Strange, drawing the attention of Peter Parker. Maw captures Strange, but fails to take the Time Stone due to an enchantment. Stark and Parker pursue Maw’s spaceship, Banner contacts Steve Rogers, and Wong stays behind to guard the Sanctum.

In Scotland, Midnight and Glaive ambush Wanda Maximoff and Vision in order to retrieve the Mind Stone in Vision’s forehead. Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Sam Wilson rescue them and take shelter with James Rhodes and Banner at the Avengers Compound. Vision offers to sacrifice himself by having Maximoff destroy the Mind Stone to keep Thanos from retrieving it. Rogers suggests they travel to Wakanda, which he believes has the resources to remove the stone without destroying Vision.

The Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call from the Asgardian ship and rescue Thor, who surmises Thanos seeks the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector on Knowhere. Rocket and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir, where they and Eitri create an enchanted battle-axe capable of killing Thanos. On Knowhere, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis find Thanos with the Reality Stone already in his possession. Thanos kidnaps Gamora, his adoptive daughter, who reveals the location of the Soul Stone to save her captive adoptive sister Nebula from torture. Thanos and Gamora travel to Vormir, where Red Skull, keeper of the Soul Stone, informs him the stone can only be retrieved by sacrificing someone he loves. Thanos reluctantly kills Gamora, earning the Stone.

Nebula escapes captivity and asks the remaining Guardians to meet her on Thanos’ destroyed homeworld, Titan. Stark and Parker kill Maw and rescue Strange. Landing on Titan, they meet Quill, Drax, and Mantis. The group forms a plan to remove Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet after Strange uses the Time Stone to view millions of possible futures, seeing only one in which Thanos loses. Thanos arrives, justifying his plans as necessary to ensure the survival of a universe threatened by overpopulation. The group subdues him until Nebula deduces that Thanos has killed Gamora. Enraged, Quill retaliates, allowing Thanos to break the group’s hold and overpower them. After Stark is seriously wounded by Thanos, Strange surrenders the Time Stone in exchange for Thanos sparing Stark. Thanos departs for Earth.

In Wakanda, Rogers reunites with Bucky Barnes before Thanos’ army invades. The Avengers, alongside T’Challa and the Wakandan forces, mount a defense while Shuri works to extract the Mind Stone from Vision. Banner, unable to transform into the Hulk, fights in Stark’s Hulkbuster armor. Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrive to reinforce the Avengers; Midnight, Obsidian, and Glaive are killed and their army is routed. Thanos arrives and despite Maximoff’s attempt to destroy the Mind Stone, removes it from Vision, killing him.

Thor severely wounds Thanos, but Thanos activates the completed Infinity Gauntlet and teleports away. Half of all life across the universe disintegrates, including Barnes, T’Challa, Groot, Maximoff, Wilson, Mantis, Drax, Quill, Strange, and Parker. Stark and Nebula remain on Titan while Banner, M’Baku, Okoye, Rhodes, Rocket, Rogers, Romanoff, and Thor are left on the Wakandan battlefield. Meanwhile, Thanos recovers on another planet.

In a post-credits scene, Nick Fury transmits a signal as he, Maria Hill, and others disintegrate. The transmitter displays a star insignia on a red-and-blue background

REVIEW:

The moment has come! The big payoff! The reason we have sat through seemingly endless Marvel Cinematic Universe films, though they have all been enjoyable to varying degrees. 10 years in the making, complete with developing an entire universe, setting up some high stakes, and teasing us with the big bad, Avengers: Infinity War has arrived! Will it be the payoff all of us comic nerds, as well as the general public have been expecting?

What is this about?

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

What did I like?

Spread the wealth. From the moment this film was announced, it was clear that the cast was going to be huge. What we didn’t know was how the balance of screentime would play out. Would we get a heavy dose of Iron Man and Captain America, while Hulk and Dr. Strange are relegated to what amounts to glorified cameos? I can assure you that is not the case. Every character that we have been introduced to in the MCU to this point, with the exception of Hawkeye, Ant-Man (who has his own sequel coming later this summer, which takes place before this film, apparently), and a couple of others who i can’t think of at the moment, is included in this film. While not all time on screen is equal, each character is allowed to show their strengths and why we have grown to care about them over this time.

Mad Titan. Yesterday, I saw Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 and, while he was good as that character, he feels more at home as Thanos. That’s not to say Brolin can’t play a cyborg mutant from the future, or that he should always seek out roles where he is a delusional psychopath with delusions of grandeur who has a strange misconception of what kind of balance the universe needs. Rather, he just seemed to have more fun as Thanos. I think he even said so himself. I can’t blame him. One the one hand, he could be a really strong time traveling cyborg who has to listen to Deadpool all day or be a universal titan that is nigh unstoppable. The latter seems to be the better option. As far as his plot is concerned, i think this is one of Marvel’s stronger villains. I won’t spoil it for you, but he does lay out and execute his plans with precision, rather than dawdle and monologue the way some earlier MCU villains have done (some in his employ).

Impact. The impact of the MCU has been felt ever since the first Avengers was released and other studios started taking notice of universe building. Now, if you notice there are many duplicators and imitators. DC has come the closest to recreating the formula, but something just isn’t right with them. When all is said and done with this film, though, the way it ends is sure to make a lasting impact on fans and probably moreso on those that aren’t fans. I can’t go into much detail about it without dabbling into spoiler territory, but i can say that something happens that will send shock waves through the audience, as it is something no one saw coming.

What didn’t I like?

Short end of the stick. Earlier, i mentioned the enormous cast and how not everyone was given equal screentime. For some reason *COUGH* ego*COUGH*, Iron Man gets the majority of the screentime. Meanwhile characters such as Bucky (Winter Soldier), Black Widow, Nebula, etc. have maybe 5 min on screen. In Nebula’s defense, she was a prisoner being tortured by Thanos for most of her time. This brings me to Black Panther. He, and the nation of Wakanda, play an important role later in the film, but that is all we get. Some have speculated that since this was filmed before the release of Black Panther, the studio had no idea of the impact that film would have and thus didn’t give T’Challa much to do in this film. There is an argument to made there, but my point is many characters, both major and minor didn’t receive as much time as they could have because of the amount of characters in this film. I’m not saying there were too many, just that, and I’m going to sound like Thanos here, ironically, more balance needs to be brought.

Offspring. Unless you are a fan of the comics, then you probably have no idea who Thanos’ “children” were. Myself, not being up to date on Thanos’ history, didn’t know who they were, either. Apparently, they are, much like Nebula and Gamora, the last children from worlds Thanos has conquered and destroyed who now serve him. That little bit of history doesn’t mean much, other than explain why they are fighting so hard for this big purple guy. They view him as their father and will do anything  for him. The way they seem to be portrayed in the film is equivalent to Stormtroopers, mindless clones who only serve one purpose.

Ground support. Granted, there isn’t much they could do and i just went on about too many characters, but i can’t help but think that the Defenders (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones), the Punisher, Ghost Rider, and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. , along with anyone else that could help out with this (Inhumans, Deathlok, etc.) The world is in danger! I find it hard to believe that these heroes/anti-heroes would just sit idly by, especially Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. (note…i have not been watching this season). Real talk…the only reason none of these guys are making an appearance is because Marvel is desperately wanting to keep the MCU away from the Netflix universe. Don’t ask me why. It makes no sense!

Spoiler alert. This isn’t a complaint against the film, but rather internet culture. As you know, i am nearly a month late getting to see this. Life/work kept me away from the theater. In this day and age, spoilers are very hard to avoid, especially when you are in a Facebook group for comic book and movie nerds. However, i believe it was the Sunday after the film’s release that i was checking out the Venom trailer and had the film spoiled for me. How was it spoiled? Well, right as the trailer is about to end, some @#%$!^ inserted a 10 second clip of himself telling the world what happened. I ask you…who does that?!?

Final thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War? Man, what a ride! The emotional roller coaster this film takes you on from the opening beat down of the Asgardians, to the triumphant return of Steve Rogers (that entrance was…wow!), all the way to the events that happen in the second half of the film are sure to keep one on the edge of their seat. There are some things that could be cut as well as some scenes that probably should not have been cut. All in all, though, i had a great time watching this and can’t wait for the next one. Do i recommend it? Yes, very highly!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Deadpool 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

After successfully working as the mercenary Deadpool for two years, Wade Wilson fails to kill one of his targets on his anniversary with girlfriend Vanessa. That night, after the pair decide to start a family together, the target tracks Wilson down and kills Vanessa. Wilson kills the man in revenge, but blames himself for her death, and attempts to commit suicide six weeks later by blowing himself up. Wilson has a vision of Vanessa in the afterlife, but the pieces of his body remain alive and are put back together by Colossus.

Recovering at the X-Mansion, Wilson agrees to join the X-Men as a form of healing. He, Colossus, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead respond to a standoff between authorities and the unstable young mutant Russell Collins / Firefist at an orphanage, labeled a “Mutant Reeducation Center”. Wilson realizes that Collins has been abused by the orphanage staff, and kills one of the staff members. Colossus stops him from killing anyone else, and both Wilson and Collins are arrested. Restrained with collars that negate their powers, they are taken to the “Icebox”, an isolated prison for mutant criminals. Meanwhile, the cybernetic soldier Cable finds his family murdered by Collins in the future, and travels back in time to kill the boy before he ever becomes a murderer.

Cable breaks into the Icebox and attacks Collins. Wilson attempts to defend Collins, but is defeated by Cable who takes the Skee-Ball token that was a final gift from Vanessa. Wilson is able to force himself and Cable out of the prison, but not before Collins overhears Wilson deny that he cares for the young mutant. Near to death again, Wilson has another vision of Vanessa in which she convinces him to help Collins. Wilson organizes a team of mutants to break Collins out of a prison transfer convoy and defend him from Cable, whom he calls X-Force. The team launches their assault on the convoy by parachuting from a plane, but all of the team’s members except for Wilson and the lucky Domino die in the landing. While the pair fight Cable, Collins frees fellow inmate Juggernaut who repays Collins by agreeing to help him kill the abusive headmaster. Juggernaut destroys the truck they are in and they escape.

Cable offers to work with Wilson and Domino to stop Collins’s first kill, and agrees to give Wilson a chance to talk Collins down before attempting to kill the boy again. They arrive at the orphanage to be overpowered by Juggernaut while Collins attacks the headmaster. Colossus, who had at first refused to help Wilson due to his murderous ways, arrives and distracts Juggernaut long enough for Wilson and Cable to confront Collins. After Wilson appears to fail in talking down Collins, Cable shoots at the young mutant. Wilson leaps in front of the bullet and dies, reuniting with Vanessa in the afterlife. Seeing this sacrifice, Collins’s future is changed and Cable’s family now survives. Cable uses the last charge on his time-travelling device, which he needed for returning to his family in the future, to strap Vanessa’s token in front of Wilson’s heart before they arrive at the orphanage. This time, when Wilson leaps in front of the bullet it is stopped by the token and he survives. Collins still has his change of heart.

The headmaster is run over by Wilson’s taxi driver friend Dopinder, and Wilson accepts that he and his friends have formed their own strange family. In a mid credits sequence, Wilson has Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio secretly repair Cable’s time-traveling device to allow him to: save the lives of Vanessa and X-Force member Peter; visit the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and kill that film’s version of Deadpool; and kill actor Ryan Reynolds while he is considering acting in the film Green Lantern

REVIEW:

Well, here we are getting ready to go guns blazing into the summer movie season. Avengers: Infinity War got us kicked off, Solo: A Star Wars Story is waiting in the wings, but the one that people are really wondering about is Deadpool 2. After the surprise success of the original, some are wondering if there will be a sophomore slump or, perhaps this will be an even better flick. That is something each individual must decide for themselves, but these are my thoughts on the matter.

What is this about?

Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.

What did I like?

Action. Some films, like Logan, can get away with having very few action scenes. Those that it does have really count, though. The Deadpool franchise, however, needs these scenes if for no other reason than to keep us from having too much of his mouth. Funny enough, the best action scene in the film doesn’t even involve our titular character, but rather a couple of big guys, one of which would be a spoiler if I said his name. Aside from that, though, there really isn’t much to say other than Deadpool kicks ass and takes names.

Domino. When it comes to the character of Domino and how she was portrayed on the screen, I’m torn. On the one hand, this is the first time she’d appeared on the big screen, so kudos to that. Her powers aren’t exactly easy to show to John Q. Public. Unlike having optic blasts, blue fur, metal bone claws, etc., being lucky isn’t a run of the mill power. I feel the film did a good job of showing her pull off the, pardon the phrase, “Domino effect”. On the other hand, and this is nothing against Zazie Beetz, I feel the race switching was pointless. Making it even worse is that she comes off as the opposite of her comic counterpart. Instead of being white, she’s African-American. The black spot on her eye? It’s a white spot on her other eye. As a matter of fact, everytime I look at it, I can’t help but think of Barf from Spaceballs! Still, having a badass chick that can handle Deadpool, and even throw some quips back at him is awesome!

No one is safe! Deadpool went after everyone, starting with Ryan Reynolds and just kept going from there. This film does the same, but ups the ante a bit. I hear there was a joke about the Disney/Fox merger, but they were advised to cut it. Instead we get jokes about the DC Universe being dark, Josh Brolin being Thanos and, of course Ryan Reynolds failed “Deadpool” in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and his bad decision to make Green Lantern (both films I am a fan of, btw). The jokes all land and I felt as if Reynolds himself had a hand in writing, or possibly ad-libbing, some of these.

What didn’t I like?

Pick on the little guy. You’d think with this topic, I’d be referring to the kid, Firefist, and how seemed to be picked on through the whole movie, resulting in the climax, but that isn’t where im going with this. I want to mention how T.J. Miller was just laying into Dopinder in the scenes where they were working together. Dopinder has become on of those characters, I think he actually does exist in the comics, that has taken on a life of his own after the first film and was a welcome bit of comic relief (in a comedy). Miller’s picking on him came out of nowhere, though. Perhaps there is some deleted scene that can explain why he was doing this?

It worked once. Many of the jokes in the film are rehashes from the first film, if I’m being honest. Some are the exact same joke! Others are just an extended version of the same joke, just done a different way. For instance, in the first film, Deadpool cuts his arm off and a baby hand replaces it (while it is growing back). This go around, he gets ripped in half, and there is a rather long sequence where he is sitting on the couch  with baby legs (and no pants/diaper). This goes on even when Cable enters the scene and attempts to bring some sanity to the proceedings. Should there be a third film, let’s hope we don’t get more of the same jokes again.

Low budget CG. It is no secret that these Deadpool movies aren’t as flush with cash as say, The Avengers franchise, but one would expect that there would be at least enough cash flowing to get some decent CG. There are two times that this really came off as bad to me. First was anytime Colossus was talking. Maybe I didn’t notice it in the first film, but there was something off about how his face moved when he was speaking. While I’m on this note and before I go on…why doesn’t he go back to his human form in these movies?!? The second was in the aforementioned big guy fight. I was taken back to the really bad Gateway 2000 CG in The Matrix Reloaded watching what should have been an awesome fight. Maybe they’ll fix this before it comes out on DVD/Blu-ray.

Final thoughts on Deadpool 2? There really isn’t much to say, honestly. If you liked the first one, then you’re going to like this one. Nothing about this flick is going to suddenly make you a Deadpool fan, though I’m sure google searches on Cable, Black Tom Cassidy, and Firefist went up this weekend (I looked up Firefist, myself, so don’t feel bad). Josh Brolin as Cable works, but I think they should have gone with Stephen Lang, a guy that literally looks the part. The X-Force scene(s)…well, you’ll be entertained, I’ll put it that way. Morena Baccarin is still gorgeous! Long story short, this is a solid film worth watching in the theater. More than likely, if you’re reading this than you’re a fan and have already seen it, so I don’t need to tell you to rush out and check it out, now do I?

4 out of 5 stars

War for the Planet of the Apes

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

What people are saying:

War for the Planet of the Apes is an excellent closing act to this rebooted trilogy, but also one that does enough world-building that the series can potentially continue from here – and it’s a rare case where, after three movies, we’re left wanting more” 4 1/2 stars

“With its allusions to Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, the Bible, American slavery and the civil-rights movement, “War” may not be subtle but it’s ultimate proof that summer sequels and blockbusters don’t have to be brain-dead bottom-feeders either.” 4 stars

“Let me start by saying I have seen all the Apes movies, and enjoyed most of them. Sitting in the theater, it didn’t take me long to realize I had been betrayed by the critics who were apparently enthralled by some progressive message or other. The movie was not complete rubbish; the effects and acting were good. The script, however, was miserable; the most improbable series of unlikely events…each one telegraphed, each one somehow coming to pass despite it being the easiest most lazily written way. The musical score was supposed to make me sad, and indeed I mourned my wasted afternoon. The worse thing about War of the Planet of the Apes was it was nearly joyless. I didn’t care if any of the characters would die, didn’t care when they did die. The best thing about this movie was it finally ended. I considered booing. ” 2 stars

“Goes on and on and on and on and ….well you get the point. Then about 15 mins from the end it thinks how do we rid the Earth of mankind? Oh I know there’s that leaking fuel bowser that if it explodes will surely set of a chain of explosions that will destroy one human army. Oh and its been pretty snowy lately so lets let a biblical avalanche destroy the other human army whilst the apes shimmy up the trees for safety. And after that we’ll have a quick trek over a mountain until we find Centerparcs. Masterpiece ? Yeah sure.” 2 1/2 stars

“It’s frustrating to see the diminishing box office return on the third installment in this series. It’s hard to get studios to invest large amounts in original works; understandably so, when considering the amount of risk involved in blockbuster movies. What the audience often receives, then, is a cookie-cutter, generally enjoyable movie that lacks the passion and punch of the director. The Apes trilogy was in my opinion, the spiritual successor to the Dark Knight trilogy, in which enormously talented and creative directors found a way to combat this trend from within, pouring their identity into a previously campy franchise, taking a serious look at a silly premise to explore new and interesting themes. Much like Dark Knight Rises, War is the weakest entry in the trilogy, but brings the same high standard overall quality of product between effects, script, atmosphere, themes, and acting. I enjoyed that War introduced more humor than I remember in the previous entry, and once I got over the initial surprise of the inaccurate title, I appreciated that the final entry went big by going small.” 4 1/2 stars

Black Panther

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Centuries ago, five African tribes warred over a meteorite containing vibranium. A warrior ingested a “heart-shaped herb” that was affected by the metal and gained superhuman abilities. He became the first “Black Panther”, and united all tribes (except the Jabari Tribe who declined) to form the nation of Wakanda. Over time, the Wakandans used the vibranium to develop advanced technology and isolated themselves from the world by posing as a Third World country.

In 1992, King T’Chaka visits his undercover brother N’Jobu in Oakland, California. T’Chaka accuses N’Jobu of assisting black market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue with stealing vibranium from Wakanda. N’Jobu’s partner reveals himself to be Zuri, another undercover Wakandan, and confirms T’Chaka’s suspicions.

In the present day, following T’Chaka’s death at the hands of Helmut Zemo,[N 1] his son T’Challa returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. He and Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment, extract his ex-lover Nakia from an undercover assignment so she can attend his coronation ceremony, along with his mother Ramonda and younger sister Shuri. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and convinces him to surrender rather than die.

Klaue and Erik Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a museum. T’Challa learns that Klaue plans to sell the artifact in an underground casino in Busan, South Korea. W’Kabi, T’Challa’s friend and Okoye’s lover, urges him to either kill Klaue or return with him. T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia travel to the casino where T’Challa learns CIA agent Everett K. Ross is the intended buyer. A firefight breaks out, Klaue escapes, and Okoye, Nakia and Ross pursue. With Shuri’s help, T’Challa captures Klaue.

While Ross interrogates Klaue, Klaue reveals that Wakanda’s international image is just a front for a technologically advanced civilization. They are ambushed by Erik, who extracts Klaue; Ross is severely injured intercepting a bullet for Nakia. T’Challa notices Erik is wearing a ring identical to his own. T’Challa decides to take Ross to Wakanda, where their technology can save him, rather than pursue Klaue.

While Shuri heals Ross, T’Challa confronts Zuri about what happened to N’Jobu. Zuri explains that N’Jobu planned to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors. As T’Chaka arrested N’Jobu, N’Jobu attacked Zuri, forcing T’Chaka to kill him. They left behind N’Jobu’s son, Erik, as returning with him would complicate their lie that N’Jobu had disappeared. Erik would eventually grow into a U.S. black ops soldier, earning the name “Killmonger”.

Killmonger kills Klaue, then takes his body to Wakanda. He is brought before the tribal elders, revealing his identity and claim to the throne. He challenges T’Challa to ritual combat; after killing Zuri, he defeats T’Challa and hurls him over a waterfall. Nakia extracts one of the heart-shaped herbs before Killmonger orders the rest incinerated. Killmonger, supported by W’Kabi and his army, prepares to distribute shipments of Wakandan weapons to operatives around the world. Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid, where they find a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by Nakia’s herb, T’Challa requests aid from M’Baku, who declines.

T’Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who commands W’Kabi and his army to attack T’Challa. The Dora Milaje, joined by Shuri and Nakia, battle Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit. Shuri instructs Ross to remotely pilot a jet to shoot down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons. M’Baku and the Jabari eventually arrive to assist T’Challa. When confronted by Okoye, W’Kabi and his army stand down. Fighting in Wakanda’s vibranium mine, T’Challa disrupts Killmonger’s suit and fatally stabs him. Fearing imprisonment, Killmonger declines an offer to be healed, instead choosing to die a free man.

T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Shuri continues to help Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.

REVIEW:

Perhaps the most anticipated film to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the past few years, Black Panther has finally arrived! Much like Iron Man, was when his first film was released, the Black Panther isn’t a household name when it comes to superheroes, but perhaps this will do something to change that. There is so much riding on this film. Will it live up to the hype? Will it show that an almost exclusive African-American cast can have success at the box office? Will there be a sequel? Most importantly, though, is this worth watching?

What is this about?

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

What did I like?

His time. Black Panther is the first African-American superhero to appear in comics. He is revered as one of the smartest beings alive, alongside Tony Stark and Reed Richards. In other media, he has been featured prominently as a member of the Avengers and was even given his own animated series, Marvel Knights: Black Panther. It seems like the only thing that was missing was for T’Challa to appear in the MCU, which he finally did in Captain America: Civil War. Since then, we have been patiently counting down the days until the release of this film to see more of Chadwick Boseman’s take on this important character. A friend posted a video on facebook over the weekend showing a couple of boys playing as Black Panther and Killmonger. The caption she put on it was something to the effect of “This! Not pretending to be hard gangstas!” That is all you need to know about how needed this film was.

Technology. Wakanda is known for mining vibranium. What isn’t known is how much vibranium is used in everything from their clothing, to medicine, to advancements far beyond the rest of the world. The best example of this happens fairly early on in the film as we see Black Panther and his companions go on a high speed car chase through a city in South Korea. One of the gadgets used allows Shuri, T’Challa’s genius little sister and tech guru, to drive the car from her lab in Wakanda. The use of this and all the other gadgets and gizmos we see in the film will just wow the audience! Q has nothing on these people!

Balance. A few film critic friends that I have were under the impression that this would be a very dark, serious film, akin to the Daniel Craig James Bond films. Having not reached those Bond films, yet, I have no basis for comparison. However, I can say that this is not as serious as you would think. There are jokes and moments of levity, serious moments that will make you think, and of course, kick-ass action. There is a perfect blend and balance amongst these differing tones, that it creates an interesting cacophony that is a welcome change from the norm.

Humanism. Of all the heroes in the MCU, I can’t think of one that we really have had the chance to get to know on a human level. I guess Captain America, given his origin in Captain America: The First Avenger, but other than the opening scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we haven’t had the chance to see him do much other than lead the Avengers and defeat evil. Spider-Man, perhaps, but I still feel like something is missing there. Ant-Man? Perhaps, but the thing that we don’t get from those three is a genuine sense of they are actual human beings. T’Challa, for all his royal riches, stoic demeanor, and enhanced abilities, still gets nervous around his ex-girlfriend. He bickers with his little sister, but also shows his love for her. The pain in eyes when he learns of a dark family secret was clearly there. These are things that make this character relatable and I applaud the director for giving us that extra little insight into this man.

What didn’t I like?

Hype. The hype for this film has been unprecedented. I’ve seen people show-up to screenings dressed like they were going to a formal African shindig. This causes me to wonder, where was this support for the other African-American superheroes that have had cinematic releases? Meteor Man? Blankman? Spawn? Steel? Or how about this little film that many say is responsible for kicking off the superhero craze, Blade? As I was telling my best friend the other day, people are treating Black Panther like cured cancer and freed the slaves! When this film was released Friday, I know there were a few high schools that took field trips to see it for Black History Month. Man, I wish I could have gone to see a superhero film when I was in high school for Black History Month! Don’t get me wrong, the hype is more than deserved, but isn’t it a bit much?

Politics. A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about how T’Challa is like Trump. W…T…F?!? As I was watching, I was careful to see if there were any similarities, which there weren’t. T’challa is kind,  respectful, cares about his people, and isn’t a petulant child. If anyone is like Trump, it would be Killmonger, at least in his beliefs and the way he insisted that he run things. Politics are laced all through this film and, in the world we live in it is needed, but don’t accuse the film of leaning one or the other when it does no such thing. Just enjoy badassery!

Step aside, ladies. Last I checked, this was supposed to be a movie about Black Panther. However, like almost everything else these days, the females take over. Nothing against Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, or the other ladies, but we finally get a Black Panther movie, can he have his moment in the spotlight before ya’ll take it away? The overuse of these women didn’t make T’Challa weak or anything of that nature, but rather at times he felt as if he were a secondary character in his own movie.

Copy-paste. Kilmonger has been praised as one of the best Marvel villains to date. Some even have compared him to Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. Admittedly, Michael B. Jordan gives a great performance as the film’s antagonist. My issue doesn’t rest with him, but rather this cut and paste formula that Marvel seems to keep using. Iron Monger, Abomination, Yellow Jacket, all are reverse copies, to some extent, of their adversary. Kilmonger is the same, what with his gold jaguar suit. I don’t even know where that came from because Kilmonger in the comics has his own style; a style that is hinted at in the film with the African mask. They should have gone with that, but instead they ruined a perfectly good villain, by making him a close of the hero.

What is my final verdict on Black Panther? This is a film that people in the African-American community have been looking for. It shows a strong, educated black man with no ties to drugs, pimping, alcohol, or any of those things. There are no negative stereotypes in this picture, only positive images. Can those who aren’t African-American relate to this film? By all means, yes. There is something for everyone here. As I sat in the theater this afternoon, when I really should have been at work, I was awestruck by how well-crafted this film was. The script, the visuals, the attention to detail. It truly is a work of art with very few flaws. Do I recommend it? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Stop reading this and go see this again and again!!!

5 out of 5 stars