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Bastard of Boston

Black Panther Spoiler Topic -- because someone had to do it

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Without giving it much thought, I think it's in my top 5 MCU films, but I need to see it again this weekend to feel comfortable making such a profound declaration. If I could criticize anything, it was that I wanted more...which really isn't a knock because the mythology was so rich, you can't help but go, "Hold up, can we rewind and unpack what I just watched?" The tech, the TRIBES, the history. Marvel releases art books for these movies, and this will definitely be the first one I'll buy.

The overall design and function of everything was next level. I threw my hands up -- literally -- when W'Kabi and the Border Tribe used their CAPES as shields. And then they gave us Rhino Tanks, and my face melted at the brilliance.

I've seen people market this movie as a "James Bond" flavored addition to the MCU pantheon, and I get that, but hell, this was more in line with Ice and Fire, with the dynamic world building. I did not expect to love M'Baku as much as I did. The brief time spent in his throne room had me wanting a spinoff. But I'll take a Marvel short. Someone bring those back. A character I fully expected to love was Shuri. She is the shit. Letitia Wright is a star. She is brilliant in every scene -- no matter who she's with, she steals the show. Put her in all the movies.

Everyone delivered, though. Even Sterling K. Brown in his small part. His scene with Killmonger was one of my favorites in the movie. I thought it was pretty damn great that he could do so much with a character who had less than five minutes of screen time.

Speaking of Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan truly did get his redemption for the Fantastic 4 fiasco. This goes back to my original point -- I wanted more with him. I needed to see his stint in the military. I wanted to see some of his early black ops work. When I was seeing the reviews, he was consistently lauded, so I was expecting to see more of him than we did. It was kind of a buzzkill to see that he wasn't in the movie that much. He was effective and left an impression, but they could've made this movie 15 minutes longer to give him some more flesh. I don't think anyone would've complained. Okay, nobody should've complained.

I both hate and love that they killed him. At first, I was irritated...Marvel has a bad habit of killing villains. The big bad doesn't always need to die. Keep them around and evolve them through the sequels...have them grow with the protagonist. Maybe people wouldn't ding you in the category if the villains stuck around for multi-movie arcs. That said, the line about death being preferable to life in captivity sold it. He had to go out like that. It was the fucking mic drop moment -- I couldn't be mad at that.

Chadwick Boseman, from what I've seen, hasn't been getting as much love in the reviews as the rest of the cast, but make no mistake, I can't see anyone else in the role of T'Challa. Marvel just kills it with the casting. I think the most difficult characters to play are the ones who play it straight, as actors can do a lot when they're playing flawed. The flaws make them compelling, and they can hide behind that in their performances. Or, if not hide, really use it as the fire to give their performance momentum. Chadwick put in the work with a relatively "what you see is what you get" character, similar to how Chris Evans manages to keep Steve Rogers interesting. Shuri was the standout and Killmonger was the fire, but Boseman is the backbone of this movie.

All that said, some of the CG in this movie was hurting. Just the stuff with the characters -- the tech looked amazing, but Black Panther looked like Gumby at times. Loved it.

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Yep, I agree with everything you said. Some of the best lines had the theater goimg nuts. It was impossible to hear the movie for about ten seconds after the "Bugatti spaceship" line. No one could get their shit together, but it was worth it. 

Other most hype moments for the raucous crowd, when T'Challa, Okoye and Nakia came in front of the UN and the ladies were in formal dresses got a great l and well deserved collective "Daaaaaaaaaaamn". M'Baku and his vegetarian line was the hardest I laughed.

I can't get over how beautiful all the costumes and architecture was. This movie has the Best Costume design so wrapped up, it might as well not even have any other nominees.

I have moviepass and will probably see this like five more times.

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Agreed with wanting more. In fact, there was enough set up here that I wish this had been a TV show.

One thing that bugged me was that T'Challa found out about Killmonger too soon. Given what he knew and how angry he got at his cousin being left in America, why would he ask Killmonger to just leave, in the Throne Room? It would have made more sense for him to try reconciliation. And if they Killmonger initially accept, only to betray T'Challa, the story would have been stronger. And we'd have gotten more Michael B. Jordan to boot. There was too little of him.

Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright were excellent. Much, much more of them please. Lupita N'yongo was underused a bit, I felt. But this was also the first time in a super hero movie where I got the mutual attraction of the characters, and wanted to see them end up together.

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Saw it last night. I was expecting it to be good and it absolutely delivers. Agree that it's in the top five MCU films easily, top 3 even. So imaginative, so beautiful, so well acted, so well shot. Everything came together.

I felt the same way also about Killmonger. The comics character is so problematic that I can see the logic of 'fix him, but also get rid of him'. But the way they do get rid of him is absolutely perfect. And he sort of wins the ideological battle. 

The final fight... I could nitpick about some of the CGI but I didn't care, because that battle - particularly the bit outside - had real stakes. It felt more real because I cared about the characters on both sides and could understand their motivations. Such a simple thing but it matters so much. (The choreography of the fight was also clear and well done.)

The performances were uniformly amazing. Coogler just seems to always get the best out of his actors. Angela Basset was so good. Danai Gurira. Daniel Kuluuya. Letitia Wright. Boseman. Serkis. and top of them all, Michael B. Jordan. So good. 

Wakanda itself looks astonishing. Comic book stuff right on the screen. 

I liked that, particularly in the South Korea scenes, there really is a catlike movement to Panther in the suit, and during the weapon fights the choreography was well done. 

But it's the script that makes it all come together. Thematically very powerful, one of the best in the MCU so far. 

It's a real 5/5 movie, for me. I've said for a while this is going to blow up the box office: it should be up for multiple awards as well.

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Totally agree with @Bastard of Boston that despite being in only two scenes Sterling K, Brown might've given the best performance of the film. This guy is the real deal. Danai Garira also fucking killed it. Forget Black Widow, get her character a spin-off film NOW!

Probably my favorite thing about this film was Wakanda. I wish we could've gotten some more time exploring the place and its people and tribes. That opening scene explaining the history of the nation really made me want a movie totally about the first Black Panther. Or even better, a TV show just called WAKANDA. Maybe if SyFy's KRYPTON is a hit then Marvel will take that into consideration.

The way Killmonger went out was weak for me. That entire battle felt anti-climactic compared to their earlier waterfall battle. I also feel like ya guy from Get Out was conveniently overlooked at the end regarding his fate. He betrayed T'challa & the rituals of his people to basically start a mini-civil war. So what was his punishment? And could Okoye really love him after what he did? Seems like a big cheat to not address those issues. Actually, W'Kabi's his death would've been a much more impactful and layered one to the story rather than Killmonger.

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Did W'Kabi betray T'Challa? Arguably. Did he betray the rituals of his people? No. Not as far as W'Kabi is concerned. N'Jadaka did have a right to challenge for the throne. Whether the challenge was won or not is a matter of interpretation. T'Challa's argument that since he didn't die and never conceded, the challenge wasn't completed, can fairly be described as a technicality. Okoye and the rest go with it, but let's be honest, N'Jadaka won that challenge fairly. W'Kabi sticking with him on that basis is completely reasonable. 

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Just back from the cinema. Some random thoughts in no particular order:

1) Why did they need to use so much CGI for the fight/action scenes when the main star of the action is just an athletic guy in a bodysuit? No crazy gods or flying cyber suits here. Good stunt work would have been so much better. The MCU still has yet to produce a better action sequence than the highway scene from Winter Soldier, and that was four years ago.

2) Michael B Jordan definitely stole the show. I think most of the praise for Killmonger definitely came to down to his sheer screen presence rather than any particular depth of character writing.

3) Andy Serkis was also great, clearly having loads of fun with the role.

4) I get the impression that the rhinos were supposed to be epic or threatening when they showed up, but really they just felt kind of silly.

5) The movie looked absolutely gorgeous. Really beautiful visual design and cinematography.

Overally I'd say this is comfortably a top five MCU movie, but I'm not sure I'd put it in the top three. Definitely worth seeing.

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I'm pretty sure all the other Marvel movies got their own threads....

I thought it was great. Though also infuriating in the end because: 

They kill off arguably two of the best villains in the [MCUl]

 

Also fuck that little kid from IM3, Shuri needs to headline the next Iron uh...Person. Trilogy. With the plot being she's not idolizing a retired Tony, she's showing him how it's done.  I also would not object to Black Panther II splitting the narrative between present and 1992/whenever ala Godfather II

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I loved this movie so much. T’Challa was great and Shuri was wow!! Also I’m in love with the Dora Malajie, just wow. But I LOVED MBJ’s character Killmonger. He was definitely the standout. This movie was more different than every other Marvel movie cause it played more like a drama than a superhero movie IMO. 

Very rarely do I sympathize with villains or understand their motives but I got Erik. As a African American I got him in so many ways. I understood when he asked the Wakandans where were they when others that looked like them were being oppressed(and still are) I loved when he said “Can you believe that? A kid from Oakland running around believing in fairy tales” it made me tear up. I liked how the movie showed the disconnect between Africans and African Americans. I really sympathized with Killmonger never knowing Wakanda and how he was called an outsider by them even though he spoke the language, knew their culture and had the royal blood. But he was just a kid from Oakland. I actually found myself agreeing with Killmonger a few times even though he went about it totally wrong. And the conversation between Killmonger and his father just broke my heart. Especially when his father asked where were the tears for him and the little boy offered no tears ~sniff~ But Wakanda left him behind and just like the others in Kenya, Ghana, and so many more around the world Wakanda left them so I understood his pain, anger and trauma.

This movie had one of the most powerful lines I’ve ever heard, when Killmonger said “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors, who jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage” ~sniff~

Such a fantastic movie, one of the greats. 

Edited by The Wolves

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How does this still have no replies?  I need to know if it's worthwhile to see Sunday.  And, frankly, I trust (some of) you more than any other outlet.  Get on the criticism!

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^^^ There is actually another Black Panther thread already, and it's talked about mostly in the MCU thread.

I thought it was pretty good but not as good as most, it seems. I do agree with OP that Shuri was awesome.

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7 minutes ago, Ramsay B. said:

There is actually another Black Panther thread already

Thanks.  That thread needs a better title.

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Since my lengthy post was lost because it was part of the other thread, and they got merged before I hit "reply"... I'll just say that I loved it.... I'll probably post again later when I'm not annoyed...lol

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1 hour ago, dmc515 said:

Thanks.  That thread needs a better title.

That topic isn't so much a BP topic as much as it's a general MCU film topic. I was surprised nobody made a BP-specific topic by the time I made this one and noticed people were posting non-spoiler reviews in the MCU spot.

One thing this movie confirmed for me, that I didn't mention originally, is that Marvel Studios has a golden opportunity, if they're looking to phase Robert Downey, Jr. out, to put Shuri in the Iron Person role. In the comics right now, there's a teen Black girl named Riri Williams holding down Tony Stark's spot. She's "Ironheart."

After BP, Shuri can hold down her own movie as far as I'm concerned. Put her in the suit, and if Downey wants, cast him in the next Iron Person movie as a mentor type to pass down the mantle to Shuri. I really want a movie with those two together.

Also disappointed we didn't get a post credit scene, confirming the Soul Stone is in Wakanda. I'm convinced it was trapped in the Vibranium meteor that hit Earth, and it's the reason why Wakandans can commune with the dead.

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Seen it, enjoyed it, certainly one of the better MCU movies thanks to its last 45 minutes or so, but at the same time "one of the better MCU movies" does not say too much (except, certainly, better than most DCU movies).

Really liked Shuri and Okoye, and the Dora Milaje were awesome. The fight scene in Seoul was the only one I really liked (the ritual combats underwhelmed me, OTOH). Serkis was terrific in his scenery-chewing way. Jordan has always been terrific at conveying emotion and feeling, and he certainly looked the part. Boseman was solid in a role that didn't demand much of him.

The costuming and production design, especially the all-too-few glimpses of the Wakandan city as seen in the streets, were stellar.

A massive blockbuster with a cast that's 95% black is a watershed moment. The film itself, I think, is pretty muddled in its social and political messaging, but this is inevitable when you're dealing with a Marvel comic book property that was all too hamfisted in its world building. Autocratic Wakandan nobility, who rely on inheritance or violent combat to determine succession, being the primary protagonists and antagonist will never not be a weird thing to have in a utopia.

Circling back to Killmonger, I have to say that his extreme ruthlessness -- casual murder of innocent bystanders and allies alike -- undercut any amount of sympathy I could have. The beats were right, I could see the underyling idea, but they made a hash of it by simply having him offer an unpalatable alternative to Wakanda's unpalatable isolationism.

Also, instead of Seoul, that whole sequence should have happened in Johannesburg, and instead of Oakland, T'Challa really should have been embracing Pan-Africanism and offering to assist his neighbors who had had their development depressed by the legacy of colonialism. I know it's a corporate franchise film hoping to win hearts and many, many dollars in the U.S., so I guess it's not unexpected, but I feel like it undercut the wonderful embrace of African culture that featured in the film.

 

 

Edited by Ran

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I really enjoyed. It's not my favorite MCU movie, but one of the better ones. 

Killmonger is one of the best villains that the MCU has had so far, and a good character (especially since villains tend to be kind of the weak point of the MCU - they're usually disposable from movie to movie). He had an understandable, sympathetic motivation even if it had been warped into a desire to dominate and rule. You could even argue that he ultimately "wins", because T'Challa decides to end the isolationism and take a more pro-active stance vis a vis the world. Good thematic tie-in with his movie background as well (special forces guy who specialized in destabilizing governments).  It's a pity he had to die, but I think he ultimately had to as part of his character arc. 

The visual design of the costumes and Wakanda were great as well. I want all MCU movies going forward to be that visually striking and original. 

Lots of good female characters, something which the MCU can hopefully do as well in future movies. 

My only real complaints are pretty minor nitpicks. Act III feels a bit short and over quick - it could use another 15-20 minutes to flesh things out. T'Challa doesn't seem that much stronger after he undergoes the "become the Black Panther" ritual than when he's doing stuff before that. Wakanda is a super-advanced society that is also an . . . elective absolute monarchy where succession passes father to son unless they get challenged in a ritual one-on-one fight?

And what was with that Bucky end of credits scene? They put him on ice until they could find a cure for his brainwashing - if he's awake mere months or a year later, does that mean they figured out how to treat his brainwashing just like that and unthawed him? 

EDIT: Martin Freeman was fine in the film, too, although I kept thinking "Hey, Bilbo Baggins is in Wakanda!" when I saw him on screen. I don't really understand what the purpose of his character was, though. He does help blow up the aircraft at the end, but it feels almost more like they had to give him something to do rather than being a loose plot end. I wonder if his inclusion is either a relic of an earlier version of the plot (hence why he has a more prominent role in the trailer), or some kind of set-up for Black Panther 2. 

Edited by Fall Bass

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13 hours ago, Bastard of Boston said:

 

Also disappointed we didn't get a post credit scene, confirming the Soul Stone is in Wakanda. I'm convinced it was trapped in the Vibranium meteor that hit Earth, and it's the reason why Wakandans can commune with the dead.

That was my assumption.  I kind of figured the Soul Stone is purple and was powering those flowers (and would regrow some after the fire).

To respond to this, I went digging through the last MCU General thread until I found this write up I did with a status update on the whereabouts/Powers/color of all the stones.

Quote

Just as a refresher (since I had to look it up) here's all the Infinity Stones in the MCU:

Space Stone - Blue - Tesseract - Presumably taken by Loki in Thor 3 (and seen in the trailer)

Mind Stone - Yellow - Loki's Scepter - Stuck in Visions Head

Reality Stone - Red - Aether - Presumably with the Collector on Knowhere

Power Stone - Purple - Orb in GotG - Nova Corps has it

Time Stone - Green - Eye of Agomotto - Wong has it in Nepal

Soul Stone - Orange - Not yet seen in MCU

 

So we think maybe the Soul Stone is in Wakanda?  Could we possibly see in in Black Panther?  Or will they leave it for IW?

Orange was not a theme for anything in Wakanda.

Even so... it’s the only place that makes sense for it to show up and the Powers should fit.

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Oh and for the record... I loved that movie

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Also, I’ve only seen Civil War the one time in the theater.  Can someone help me with the timeline in this one?

They mention that Bucky (bomber that killed T’Chaka) has been captured early in the movie.  Then we see T’Challa in the jungle.  So does the entirety of this movie happen between the chase sequence in CW and the end when he gives Cap and Bucky asylum in Wakanda?

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2 hours ago, Rhom said:

Also, I’ve only seen Civil War the one time in the theater.  Can someone help me with the timeline in this one?

They mention that Bucky (bomber that killed T’Chaka) has been captured early in the movie.  Then we see T’Challa in the jungle.  So does the entirety of this movie happen between the chase sequence in CW and the end when he gives Cap and Bucky asylum in Wakanda?

It . . . could have? It feels like the movie only stretched across a few days, although that would make the scene kind of weird - did they try out some type of therapy with Bucky, only to freeze him later? Otherwise that would mean they only froze him for a couple of weeks or months before waking him up again (or Shuri has unfrozen him without authorization). 

Maybe it's just one of those "Where was Iron Man during Winter Soldier?" moments. 

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