Movie review: “Black Panther” (2018)

Black Panther

“You will destroy the world, Wakanda included!”

“The world took everything away from me! Everything I ever loved! But I’ma make sure we’re even. I’ma track down anyone who would even think of being loyal to you, and I’ma put their ass in the dirt, right next to Zuri!”

The Wakandan Board of Tourism must truly be a buzzing hive of state-sponsored propaganda and activity, secretive yet proud (with ample reason for each posture), by turns touting and tempering outsider interest in the emerging Central African nation’s rich, impressive, at times head-spinning history, cultural traditions, dangerous geographic beauty, anthropological complexity, philanthropic motivations, and booming industrial and technological concerns in relation to an unsteady, still-evolving position on the world stage. Damn good thing, I guess, that it doesn’t exist. Yet. Wakanda, the fictional swath of third world African flyover country with the clandestine first world pedigree and explosive new world potential, is the breakout star of the much-anticipated Black Panther, and stands tall and apart as the premier achievement in Marvel’s world building efforts thus far. Continue reading “Movie review: “Black Panther” (2018)”

Movie review: “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

capn

“Okay, anybody on our side hiding any shocking and fantastic abilities they’d like to disclose? I’m open to suggestions!”

Well, well, well…isn’t this conspicuous timing. Not even two months after DC Comics attempted to kickstart/defibrillate its own nascent cinematic universe with a wholly fabricated, varicose, mercenary, oft nonsensical apocalyptic grudge match between its two biggest stars, Superman and Batman – who, despite over a century of unparalleled name recognition, had a combined one film of sanctioned warm-up (2013’s grim, pulverizing Man of Steel) between them before the opening bell rang – Captain America: Civil War, the latest – which is to say the thirteenth – entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) lands with all the requisite bad blood and fists a-flyin’ one could possibly want, except, you know, also sane, and coherent, and almost singularly exciting. This, of course, assumes audiences are interested in those sorts of things. Continue reading “Movie review: “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)”