So That Black Panther Movie The Kids Are Talking About Was Pretty Good [SPOILER FREE]

Actually, it was pretty fucking awesome. Before the movie I took the boys to Five Guys- they had never been, and I thought it would be a nice treat. I’m not really big on these boutique burger joints that have become all the rage where they put all sorts of weird shit on a hamburger and then charge you 70 bucks, but Five Guys keeps it pretty simple and greasy, and I like that. I just want a cheeseburger, some lettuce, tomato, and pickle, and none of the rest of the nonsense. I don’t even really care for bacon on a burger. Plus, I love fries with malt vinegar, so it was good. I did look at the food before we started to eat and think “I could do this for a 1/4 the price at home,” but the boys liked it and it was a treat, so whatever.

The movie was great. I’m a Marvel stan, but I was still worried about how I would react because of all the hype and buildup. It surpassed my expectations. I’ve been thinking about it all day. I’m not going to give away anything, but I really enjoyed the casting, and it was nice seeing such a young cast with only Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker being my age or higher.

Visually, the movie was stunning and just beautiful. The colors were just dynamic and vivid, and I haven’t felt that way watching something since Season 1 of Sense8. The set design was impeccable, and the costumes and well everything was just super fun.

The biggest thing for me was the sound- I’ve listened to the soundtrack over a 100 times already, so it was super cool seeing how those songs were used and when, and I think Kendrick Lamar is a national treasure. But beyond the songs, the score was also impeccable. Throughout the movie every scene was framed with a contextualized sound, with sabar drummers throughout and they have talking drums for T’Challa, etc. But most of all, the sound just made it all feel so real. The only way I can describe it is it reminded me of Peter Gabriel’s work with Passion and Passion Sources for the Last Temptation of Christ.

Side note- if you haven’t check out the offerings from the Real World label, you should if you can still get your hands on them. Sheila Chandra- ABoneCroneDrone, the Drummers of Burundi, the AfroCelt Sound System, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the aforementioned Passion and Passion Sources, and so many more are still in my rotation. Probably one of my favorite labels out there, although the deceased Water Lily acoustics is close. Mickey Hart an Bob Weir have some really good stuff out there, too.

At any rate, it was all tied together into one fabulous experience. I highly recommend it.






82 replies
  1. 1
    RedDirtGirl says:

    I haven’t seen it yet. Hope to go soon.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    Chadwick Boseman is hosting SNL tonight.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    I took my housemates to it (for me) and out to dinner (for one’s birthday) too. It cost about 1/4 of my monthly income, but it was worth it. I am eagerly awaiting its release on Amazon or Netflix or whatever so I can see it again. The set and costume designs were Oscar-worthy, but I somehow doubt it will be nominated. Hope to be wrong.

  4. 4

    Damn it Cole, now I have a craving for a Tommy’s Burger.

  5. 5
    HinTN says:

    The Five Blind Boys from Alabama are AWESOME, Cole. Glad you like them. They rock the Gospel Tent at Jazz Fest. You should go sometime…

  6. 6

    I heard Trevor Noah ilnterviewing one of the cast (sorry, I don’t remember which), and Noah was able to pick out different African accents in the different groups. I thought that was cool.

  7. 7

    Fries with malt vinegar rock.

    I’ve been avoiding Black Panther because I’m not a big Marvel fan and was meh on Wonder Woman. (Don’t hate me, just not my thing, though I thought ‎Gal Gadot was amazing). But now you’ve made we want to see it on the big screen instead of waiting for DVD

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne says:

    I just had to explain to the waitress at this pub what a Tom Collins is. Really?

    ETA: At least they were generous with the gin.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    John Cole: glad to read that you enjoyed it. Also, some great and perceptive comments, especially about the music. I had forgotten how well music was used throughout the movie.

    The new Avengers movie opens April 27. Pre-sales supposedly are already $200 million. I’ve avoided trailers, but I hear that the latest tv trailer features a good deal of Wakanda.

    Wakanda, and In N Out Burger forever!

  10. 10
    lamh36 says:

    Welcome to Wakanda-standom John…LOL.

    Was just literally reading the headline about Black Panther passing Titanic on the list of all time grossing movies in the US…behind only The Force Awakens and Avator!

    “Titanic” sinks to number four. Sorry. via @HuffPostEnt

    I was already tickled at seeint the latest clip from Infinity War, which my peeps and I have dubbed “Black Panther and friends…” LOL.

    The clip is Wakanda heavy…wonder how soon Marvel knew what it may have had in it’s hands, becauce it’s obvious form many of the clips so far, that alot of stuff is happening in Wakanda…and the principal filming for Infinity Wars had been done way before Black Panther made it’s official debut.

    Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ TV Spot Sells ‘Infinity War’ As ‘Black Panther 2’ via @forbes

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    I was a little meh on “Wonder Woman,” too, and I LOVED “Black Panther.” It’s just a really good story, with a subtext that a lot of adults can identify with (what do you do when you discover that the parent you loved and respected made a huge mistake that you now have to try and rectify?)

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, John. I’m not going to give anything away to say that yes, the casting was excellent, even the Tolkien white guys.

  13. 13

    M’baku is best M’baku.

  14. 14
    Steve Holmes says:

    I don’t like most Marvel/DC/superhero movies (I did like Logan), but I thought Black Panther was really good. To me it seemed like more of a Bond film mashed with Lord of the Rings, both of which are more in my lane.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    glad Cole liked the movie. I only read movie posts when then have spoilers, so I’m outta here to go do something or other.

  16. 16
    Nicole says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you liked it! Killmonger is one of the best antagonists in a superfilm ever.

    Although my most favorite moment was when (SPOILERS BUT NOT REALLY), in the 1990s flashback, when T’Challa’s dad took off the Black Panther mask and an older woman a few rows in front of me firmly murmured her approval. That was a very attractive cast.

    Here’s io9’s link to the new TV spot for Infinity War. Okoye has a very funny line in it. Don’t scroll to the bottom of the article, where they quote it; just click on the video.

    I saw Wonder Woman 3 times in the theater, though the script, especially Act 3, is clunky. I still really liked it, though. Between that and Black Panther (in which the screenplay is NOT clunky), and The Last Jedi (which I also loved) it’s been so nice to have a run of superhero/sci fi films where the woman characters are not objectified by the camera.

    (As opposed to Justice League, which I saw on DVD, where the women are very much objectified. Boo.)

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    @lamh36:

    The clip is Wakanda heavy…wonder how soon Marvel knew what it may have had in it’s hands

    In a way, it might be smart to sell The Avengers as Black Panther 2, to make it easier to market the film to casual moviegoers. True fans already know what the deal is and have seen most or all of the earlier films.

    I recall seeing somewhere that some movie goers thought that Rogue One was the sequel to The Force Awakens and were confused to see new characters.

  18. 18

    @Mnemosyne: I’m really leaning toward it.

  19. 19
    Nicole says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Oh, go see it on the big screen if you can! The production design is outstanding.

  20. 20
    Mike in NC says:

    Having a Five Guys in your neighborhood is awesome. We hope they might be opening one close to us very soon.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Glad you enjoyed it, John. I’m not going to give anything away to say that yes, the casting was excellent, even the Tolkien white guys.

    I kind of thought it was a bummer when they all died due to the Wakanda Super Volcano explosion after the unobtanium became unstable.
    .
    .
    .
    Too soon?

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike in NC: Good burgers. Their fries suck.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator: Rogue One sucked.

  24. 24
    Redshift says:

    I’ve been going to Five Guys since before it was a franchise (not the first location, but the third.) It’s always been nothing fancy, just good food. And for an order of fries, they give you enough to feed a small army.

    And yeah, Black Panther was great. Good action and visuals, and more thought-provoking than any superhero movie except perhaps Logan.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nicole:

    in the 1990s flashback, when T’Challa’s dad took off the Black Panther mask and an older woman a few rows in front of me firmly murmured her approval. That was a very attractive cast.

    Billy Dee Williams?

  26. 26

    Glad you enjoyed it. I haven’t seen it because I’m seriously burned out on superhero movies, going to rent it from Amazon one of these days though.

  27. 27
    opiejeanne says:

    The costuming is impeccable and beautiful. The fabric designs, the interior and exterior decor (is that the right term?) are just great and evocative of Africa. The modern designs of the city are great too. I really liked this movie a lot.

    Even the tiny bit of graffiti visible in one exterior shot seems correct.

    A small thing that made me laugh in delight was recognizing the earrings on the older woman leading the Fulan delegation; those were Fulani earrings. They used to be made from gold, part of the family fortune passed down through generations of women. The Fulani. pastoral lifestyle disappeared more than 20 years ago.

    Fulani earrings

  28. 28
    RobertDSC-Mac Mini says:

    Wakanda Forever.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Redshift:

    And for an order of fries, they give you enough to feed a small army.

    They need to fry those fries, not soak them in a bath of apathy.

  30. 30
    lamh36 says:

    @Brachiator: Oh…I agree…if there is one thing you gotta give to Marvel DC…when it comes to PR and marketting for MCEU vs DCEU…Marvel beats DCEU hands down…they’ve managed to take Disney’s marketing prowess and bring it up a notch since they began this 10 year MCEU jouney…other companies have taken note.

    What I mean though is…BP was done filming way before they were even starting big production on IFW. If IFW is as Wakanda heavy as it seems, wondering how much of that was by design or prediction, and how much of it was dictated by the success of BP…like did they see Feige see screeners of the finished product and think…WHOA…we need more of this place?

    Either way…I was woindering just how much of BP and Wakanda was actually in IFW…I admit, I hyped for IFW, but I’m even more hyped to see BP and Wakanda favs in it

  31. 31
    phein58 says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I’ve got three college age sons, so we have the Marvel movies on all the time. I can never tell them apart (the movies, not the boys), don’t care about the characters, always feel like, so, what was that about?

    Black Panther was different. Many people said it was because it had a mainly black cast, but I grew up in the blaxploitation era, so that wan’t impressive.

    What separates this from the other super hero movies is character development. By the end of the movie, the main participants are recognizable as individuals.

    With the other comic book movies, I’m not even sure who is who and really don’t care. (And it’s not because I’m anti-comics; I still have my Magnus, Robot Fighter comics among the Freek Brothers and Dopin’ Dans.)

  32. 32
    Miss Bianca says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it, JC. I remember you saying you were digging the hell out of the soundtrack before i had gone to see it, and so i paid some extra attention to it. It is fabulous. Thanks for the heads-up on those label artists you spoke of! I love Afro-Celt Sound System, myself – look forward to checking out some of the others!

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Rogue One sucked.

    It definitely split some fans. It obviously made money, and I know some people who didn’t like it, and others who think it was markedly superior to The Last Jedi.

    Tony Gilroy admits that he came on board after the first director’s cut was done, and then did rewrites and reshoots. They still had to keep a lot of the original shoot and even those who like it have to acknowledge that a chunk of it is jagged and messily stiched together.

    It is almost miraculous that apparently the studio gave the director of Black Panther the freedom to do his movie without a lot of interference.

  34. 34
    Joy in FL says:

    I love Black Panther. After reading this, I may go see it again tomorrow. Also now I want the soundtrack. Can’t wait to buy the blu-ray.

  35. 35
    J R in WV says:

    I’m not much for film criticism nor analysis, although I have audited college level film classes, and have seen a lot of classic movies.

    But I know when I enjoy a movie, and I enjoyed Black Panther a whole lot. I tried to encourage other movie-goers to stay to see the little film clips embedded in the credits, but even after I told folks there was more of the movie in the credits, by the time the actual finale rolled, Wife and I were the only customers left. Sad!

    I will confess some of the acting was a little leaden, perhaps they should have shot some of those scenes a few more times, with encouragement from directors to get the actors to be more fired up… I dunno how to get more lively speech from actors, tho.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @lamh36:

    What I mean though is…BP was done filming way before they were even starting big production on IFW. If IFW is as Wakanda heavy as it seems, wondering how much of that was by design or prediction, and how much of it was dictated by the success of BP…

    Great questions. I was already wondering how they were going to give enough screen time to all the main heroes and also squeeze in more Ant Man, Spiderman and Bucky.

    And even if they liked what they saw in Black Panther, the Russo brothers, who are directing Infinity War, would also have to care enough to make room for Wakandan characters. I’m really curious to see how all the elements get juggled.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: Yeah, they do get kinda carried away on the fries. I got a bag full of them with a tiny cup which I guess was for the “tiny fries” that were about four times what the cup would hold.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J R in WV: The best EVER “mini clip” in the credits was at the end of the credits for Spiderman: Homecoming in which Chris Evans (as Captain America, of course) deadpanned about sometimes waiting a long time for something can be disappointing.

  39. 39
    Mike in NC says:

    Expect very soon that Trump will be warning his base about “caravans of refugees coming here from Wakanda”.

  40. 40
    dp says:

    Told you you’d like it.

    For anyone into the use of sound in cinema should see “A Quiet Place.” It’s amazing generally, and its use of sound (or lack thereof) is off the charts.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @J R in WV:

    I will confess some of the acting was a little leaden, perhaps they should have shot some of those scenes a few more times, with encouragement from directors to get the actors to be more fired up…

    This is an excellent piece of film criticism. But I won’t tell anyone. ;)

  42. 42
    opiejeanne says:

    @dp: I will not be seeing “A Quiet Place”. I’m sure it is an excellent horror movie because the trailer has given me nightmares.

  43. 43
    Feathers says:

    @phein58: And the character development was subtle (and thus realistic) shadings and the growth mature individuals go through when they find themselves. So often character development is just give everyone a huge morbid backstory and dial the grimdark up to 11. In Black Panther, Killmonger is given the tragic past, but no one else accepts it as justifying his bad behavior.

    I just got home from A Wrinkle in Time. Glad I saw it in the theater, but it is kind of a mess. Part of the issue is that all of the characters speak at the same deliberate pace. It really cuts the characters off at the knee. In the early scenes, I was really noticing how Chris Pine’s charisma was dimming everyone else on screen. I was thinking, why couldn’t they have found an actress to match him. When the credits rolled, I realized Meg’s mother was played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who can more than hold her own on screen, so something went wrong. There also wasn’t a shift between the regular world and the magic one. It wasn’t felt. Oh, well, my old writer’s hat comes on whenever a movie doesn’t work, and I have to figure out why.

    Funny. Afterwards there was a woman really bent out of shape that the mother hadn’t gone on the adventure to rescue the father. It was like Ava and Oprah, Reese, and Mindy had done this to personally diminish her importance as a parent. Her friends were talking her down, but clearly trying not to openly disagree with her.

    Apparently it hasn’t done great at the box office, I’m guessing everyone is just going to Black Panther again instead.

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Expect very soon that Trump will be warning his base about “caravans of refugees coming here from Wakanda”.

    I don’t know. I hear that T’Challa said that Trump had turned the US into a “shithole” country.

  45. 45
    opiejeanne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We are gradually working our way through the Marvel universe movies, not in the order they were released but in the order that seems to be chronological according to one website. We just watched ?The Winter Soldier” today and next up is “Guardians of the Galaxy” which we own and have seen a zillion times but it’s fun so not a problem. I just realized that all of “Agents of Shield” season 1 is wedged in between “Iron Man 3” and “Guardians” but I think we’ll come back to that later, when we’ve run through all of the movies.

  46. 46
    opiejeanne says:

    @Feathers: We saw Wrinkle and it was visually gorgeous but I realized that my husband hadn’t read the book, he was at least 18 when it came out, so the whole thing was just weird to him. He enjoyed it but didn’t understand a lot of it. He’s reading it now.
    That woman needs to take up her complaints with the author. The book was a book for kids, so the protagonist was the girl, not the mom. Otherwise it would be in the literature section of the library and have a title like Meg’s Mom goes on a magical adventure.

  47. 47
    John Cole says:

    @Brachiator: Rogue One was great. People just didn’t like it because the whole fucking cast dies. Americans don’t do unhappy endings.

  48. 48
    JMG says:

    Funny thing, John, I just saw Black Panther for the first time myself this afternoon, visiting my son and his girlfriend in Brooklyn. I heartily second your sentiments, especially about the use of color (so vivid) and the music. Acting was fantastic by one and all (it’s a’s a superhero movie, so broad strokes are what’s needed).

  49. 49
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    Rogue One was great. People just didn’t like it because the whole fucking cast dies. Americans don’t do unhappy endings

    A lot of people, including me, liked it precisely because everyone dies. Tony Gilroy, who was brought on to save it, claims that the original cut of the movie was messy and unclear about its themes, and he saw clearly that the movie should be about sacrifice.

    But you also make a good point. Some people think that Star Wars movies in particular should be “happy” and “fun.”

  50. 50
    James E. Powell says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m not going to give anything away to say that yes, the casting was excellent, even the Tolkien white guys.

    If that’s what you meant to write, than I love it. If it’s a mistake, than it’s better than what you meant.

  51. 51
    James E. Powell says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I kind of thought it was a bummer when they all died due to the Wakanda Super Volcano explosion after the unobtanium became unstable.

    True, but they did destroy Darth Vader and his ring of power.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: Bullshit. You could have plugged those characters into any sci-fi story never made and it would have been a big fucking yawn. The only reason it got a greenlight was because they wanted to cash in on the SW mythos. Big Fucking Yawn that did not advance any backstory or story line or anything else in SW until the last 5 minutes when Real Vader got his Force on.

  53. 53
    West of the Rockies says:

    @John Cole:

    I concur on both counts.

  54. 54
    Feathers says:

    @opiejeanne: That was the jist of what the friends were saying, but you could tell they knew how batso she was being. It was actually kind of funny if you weren’t the one having to interact with her.

    Fun thing was hearing kids going, I remember this part.

  55. 55
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    @Corner Stone: too funny!

    My own sense re Wakanda & the whole MCU arc is that Marvel goes with what works. Thanos appears at the end of the Avengers and then the Avengers is a super hit so all the rest of movies are fit into the Thanos-Infinity-Gems storyline. My proof is that the Infinity Gems are not a thing in the first Captain America or the first Thor movie.

    Then Age of Ultron bombs so apparently just having Josh Whedon helm the ship is not a sure thing so Marvel starts trying other stuff (e.g. an Infinity stone powers the first Guardians of the Galaxy but family drama powers the second).

    Now Black Panther has put the whole series back on track, so I’m guessing Marvel will order some reshoots to secure all those eyeballs for the rest of its movies.

    And since Disney/Marvel is the 900-pound gorilla in terms of Hollywood contracting, everyone who signs with them signs a contract to make 6+ movies & to come back for whatever reshoots are required and there’s more than enough money to retool any special effects so every next movie, even if it’s fully finished & edited, can benefit from some Wakanda-heavy additional scenes so I expect we shall be seeing everyone from Wakanda in every Marvel movie until there are a string of duds and that will probably take a couple of years at a minimum.

    And why not? The Marvel characters are good roles & they pay the bills, so everyone involved can go off & do whatever other projects please them knowing they’ll just come back to star in a big budget hit even if they have to leave some of their schedule free for the reshoots.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @West of the Rockies: Remove the Death Star (firing scene)* and the last 5 minutes of Vader and tell me what you have.

    ETA *

  57. 57
    Nicole says:

    @Feathers: I thought it was slow, too, but my 7-year-old had a really emotional reaction to Wrinkle in Time, to the point where he was very upset that I didn’t have the same reaction he did. I think it’s not meant for adults; it’s really meant for kids, in a serious, sincere way that few movies these days are. I think it’s going to be a touchstone for a certain generation of kids, in the way that Labyrinth and Neverending Story and the Dark Crystal are for an earlier generation.

    My kid saw it with a friend, who whispered to me, during the film, “This movie is making me think deep thoughts.”

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Chacal Charles Calthrop:

    Then Age of Ultron bombs so apparently just having Josh Whedon helm the ship is not a sure thing so Marvel starts trying other stuff

    Age of Ultron grossed $1.4 billion. I don’t think that’s a bomb.

  59. 59
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I found the characters and story compelling, CS. You did not. I don’t think either of us will be argued out of those positions.

  60. 60
    J R in WV says:

    @Brachiator:

    This is an excellent piece of film criticism. But I won’t tell anyone. ;)

    Well, what can I say? Ya got me fair and square!! I gotta tell ya what I thought about it, right? Right!

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    Just got back from “Isle of Dogs.” Because daughter and dogs. Anyhoo, knew nothing about it, had no expectations, was bowled over by the ambition and sophistication and heart. All thumbs up. Dad.

  62. 62
    West of the Rockies says:

    @trollhattan:

    After Anomalisa, I think I’ve sworn off puppet/claymation movies, but Isle does look original.

  63. 63
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @lamh36: I don’t think they really understood until it happened. I heard that in January they were estimating “Black Panther” would open around $100-120 million on its first weekend (in other words, that it’d perform like “Spider-Man: Homecoming” or “Thor: Ragnarok”, both quite successful movies). It did $200 million. It basically pulled in twice as much as they expected.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: “Age of Ultron” is an interesting case–it was far from a bomb, but I think it performed a little below expectations domestically, and the critical reception wasn’t great. But overseas it did monster huge numbers, just as well as “The Avengers” basically. International audiences really seemed to like it.

    “Black Panther” is almost the opposite–sure, it’s done very well overseas (enough to give the lie to the idea that movies with black casts don’t travel well), but in the US it’s the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time. At least until “Infinity War” comes out, though frankly I’m not quite as jazzed about “Infinity War”.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @West of the Rockies: We can agree to disagree. But you’re still wrong.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    Rogue One is a garbage ass movie. It has no plot. No compelling characters. No character development. Take any single piece of the SW mythos out of R1 and tell me what you have. I will tell you. A movie that never gets made. That is what you have. It is garbage, and boring and nonsensical and no one would have ever shown up to watch it if they had not tagged SW into it somewhere in the SEO lexicon.

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I have always been jazzed about IFW, but I freely admit, I’m more jazzed now because Black Panther and the World of Wakanda plays a bigger role in it hant I ever expected even after Civil War and how well the Black Panther character scene was received.

    And of course after seeing BP, the anticpation has increased, but unlike BP, I probably won’t be seeing IFW opening night screening on Thursday, but I still should be seeing it by the end of the 1st weekend or so.

  69. 69
    Msb says:

    Wakanda Forever!

    And the Five Guys burgers are good but the fries are a waste of calories.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @James E. Powell: Oh, that’s DEFINITELY what I meant to write, and Serkis and Freeman both got the joke and laughed along with it when it was first introduced by someone before the film came out.

  71. 71
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @lamh36: Seeing the first trailers, Sam’s reaction was “Ehhh… is this gonna be another Age of Ultron? If so, maybe give it a miss” and I kind of felt the same way.

    I think part of the problem is that Thanos, at least in his movie incarnation, just doesn’t seem that compelling yet. We’ve been teased about him and the Lucky Charms he’s been trying to collect for several years now, but he just seems like another Big Bad who wants to destroy everything for vaguely defined reasons. I know he has this completely bonkers rationale in the comics (he literally has a crush on the personification of Death, and thinks it will impress her) that would actually be pretty hilarious if they played it up, but all we have of that so far is a sidewise allusion in the mid-credits scene of The Avengers.

    But this latest spot that played up the Black Panther angle makes it look more interesting. Of course, there has to be so much crammed into this movie, it’s possible that we don’t get much more of Wakanda than is in that trailer.

  72. 72
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chacal Charles Calthrop: that Wired review of Age of Ultron is precisely accurate as an analysis of everything that’s wrong with Age of Ultron, but the author’s declarations that Marvel movies can never be good again is pretty funny to read now–it feels to me like they pulled back from those tendencies in a big way with Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther. In very different ways, even though the movies strangely share almost the same A-plot, about a superpowered king seeking to recover his throne from a usurper (a long-lost relative with disturbing revelations about the sins of the old king).

    But Thor: Ragnarok brought back the buddy-comedy aspect and added a lot of wild Saturday Morning cartoon flash, whereas with Black Panther they let Ryan Coogler just make a really good political character drama and also put in all this cool worldbuilding from the comics. In neither case did I see a lot of the kind of meddling that messed up Age of Ultron.

    I don’t know if I trust them to let Infinity War be good, though. Certainly the Russos have made good stuff before.

  73. 73
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @TaMara (HFG): It’s totally worth seeing in the theater just for the stunning visuals alone.

  74. 74
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …also, the Wired review was incorrect when it predicted the movies would be incomprehensible without watching Marvel’s TV shows–they’ve purposefully not gone in that direction at all; the TV shows are almost a separate fictional universe, though it’s theoretically still the MCU.

  75. 75
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @JMG: If you love the use of color and particularly the wonderful way that BP was able to light Black people in a way that really highlights their skin tone, beauty etc., I strongly suggest you check out: Underground, Queen Sugar, Luke Cage and of course Moonlight. All of them show a great trend of Hollywood finally putting some people on the production side that understand and care about the way their film captures people with darker skin and it’s a trend that is long overdue. Also, Insecure is supposed to be great in this aspect, though I haven’t seen it yet.

    @John Cole, if you like the use of African-inspired drumming in BP I think you would love Underground. It also features a very young cast and is one of the most overtly political shows about Resistance in the Trump era (though it was mostly filmed during the election.). There is a Harriet Tubman episode called Minty in the 2nd season that should be a must-watch for anyone involved in the Resistance.

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    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chacal Charles Calthrop:

    (e.g. an Infinity stone powers the first Guardians of the Galaxy but family drama powers the second)

    Guardians 2 had a strange weightless effect on me: immediately after coming out of the theater I thought it was better than the first one, but at some distance I find the movie is just not that memorable–Thor: Ragnarok did way, way better with the “wacky comedy plus colorful Cosmic Marvel spectacle” combo. Maybe it was that Guardians 2 muted the comic interplay between the main cast of characters by splitting up the team.

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    rikyrah says:

    Glad that you liked it, Cole 😄

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    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    …also, the Wired review was incorrect when it predicted the movies would be incomprehensible without watching Marvel’s TV shows.

    Don’t know if this thread is still active…

    The Wired review is wrong-headed. You are right that the tv shows are not super relevant to the movies. Also, while hard core fans may absorb everything Marvel, the casual movie goer who enjoys the movies does not care at all about the totality of the Marvel universe. I’m not even sure that comic book readership has increased significantly since the movies started coming out.

    Also, we are seeing that February is not a dead zone for good films.

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    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: I keep expecting Marvel Studios to just hit a point of diminishing returns with these superhero movies, and at the time, Age of Ultron seemed like the moment. It wasn’t that terrible–I thought Spader was a hoot as Ultron–but it was just mediocre and had all kinds of problems. The genre seemed exhausted.

    But they keep finding ways to keep it fresh, I think in part by pulling in smaller-time indie directors like Waititi and Coogler and giving them a lot of room. I’ve heard speculation that cutting Ike Perlmutter out of the movie division was some of it, though I guess he’s still running the TV side.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I keep expecting Marvel Studios to just hit a point of diminishing returns with these superhero movies, and at the time, Age of Ultron seemed like the moment.

    Hollywood churned out westerns for decades. I suppose that people will eventually tire of superhero films, but it’s impossible to predict this stuff. Also, audiences may reject these films even though they may be very good.

    I thought that Ultron was OK, but didn’t think about whether it might be connected to genre fatigue. Also, I had no interest in seeing the Captain America follow-up movie. In fact, I have never seen all of the first film. But strong word of mouth from friends and colleagues that not only was it very good, but that it was as much a political thriller as it was a superhero action movie.

    So, as you note, maybe they can find ways to keep things fresh. We shall see.

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    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    Since this thread seems to be still active only for diehard Marvel fans, maybe there could be a balloon juice meetup organized around seeing Infinity War?
    I would love to see it in the company of people as knowledgable as the people here….

  82. 82
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: Captain America: The Winter Soldier was my favorite superhero movie ever until Black Panther–I’m still not sure which one I like more, they’re both so good. Black Panther probably gets the edge just for aesthetics, but they’ve both got great stories.

    Captain America: Civil War was solid too, continuing the Cap-and-Bucky arc from Winter Soldier, but it was hurt a bit by the sheer proliferation of characters and subplots; it was really Avengers 2.5. The studio gave it the burden of introducing both MCU Spidey and Black Panther, on top of telling its own story, and it did as well as it could with that.

    The Russos, who directed both Winter Soldier and Civil War, are directing both Infinity War and the sequel; if there’s a reason to feel optimistic about those, it’s that they’re in charge, and Civil War showed that they can do a pretty good job telling a convoluted story with a really large cast.

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