Black Panther ~ Movie Review

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Over spring break, my dad and I went to see Black Panther. It was my second time seeing it, and his first. With the upcoming Infinity War, I thought I would hurry on up and get in my review of this movie first! 🙂

Black Panther takes place after Civil War, with T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, returning to Wakanda, after the death of his father, to take his place as king. Wakanda is a nation in Africa, however, its actual country is concealed from the world. Most people believe that it is a poor nation, that happens to have a small amount of the strongest metal on earth – vibranium.

The truth, though, is that Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and is far from being helpless.

During the course of the movie, T’Challa’s reign gets challenged by a foe that is surprisingly connected to Wakanda, and he is forced into a difficult position of what to do when your entire worldview and belief about your country and family is rocked on its axis.

His family is there to support him each step of the way however, with his sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright (I did a post on her here), and his mother, Queen Romanda, played by Angela Bassett. With their help, T’Challa strives to do the right thing, while having the weight of Wakanda on his shoulders in the process.

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Black Panther is an amazing movie that combines action, humor, and culture into a two hour and fourteen minute film, and if you haven’t seen it, you definitely need to.

Alright, as per usual, there’s the spoiler-free version 😉

SPOILERS AHEAD.

WARNING Y’ALL.

ANYTHING BELOW WILL HAVE SPOILERS.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

With that out of the way, full-speed ahead into spoiler territory!

There’s so much to unpack in this movie, that I’m just going to jump right in and ask that y’all bear with me.

 First of all, can I just say that Marvel does sibling relationships fabulously??? I love Shuri and T’Challa’s relationship. There’s Shuri, who at sixteen, gets a huge kick out of the fact that her brother is being made king. This is never more apparent than at the ceremony, when she asks, “can we get on with it already?” and mentions that the corset is really killing her.

And T’Challa, who bless his soul, finds himself continually roasted by his little sis. I saw something on Tumblr that I just have to restate here – “being a good older brother: reassuring your sister after she unknowingly ran over someone in the street.” xD

So funny.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie, is at the very end, when the antagonist of the movie, Erik Killmonger (also I LOVE NAMES WITH PUNS, and like the fact that his last name has the world “kill” in it is hilariously ironic considering his reputation), is about to attack Shuri. At this point, Shuri has used all the firepower in her weapons and stumbles to the ground.

In the distance, T’Challa is taking some serious hits from basically the entire tribe under W’Kabi. You can see him getting tired and becoming weary, when all of a sudden, in his line of sight, he catches view of Erik about to attack Shuri.

Pretty sure you can guess what happens. T’Challa ain’t having NONE of that dude hurting his little sister, and instantly, you can physically see him becoming reinvigorated as he races toward them and knocks Erik away from Shuri.

It reminded me so much of in Star Wars, when Vader is taunting Luke. And Luke is doing an awesome job of keeping his cool, until Vader mentions Leia…starts threatening her. Farewell calm persona, hello protective anger.

Lesson of the day, ladies and gentlemen, don’t mess with someone’s siblings. Just. Don’t. Seriously, you will live a much longer life if you listen to this piece of advice xD

On the mention of Star Wars, I can’t help but also notice that there were some other elements that echoed the space series. For one, did anyone else get Padme Amidala vibes from Queen Romanda’s outfit, when she greets T’Challa upon him arriving home? Cause I totally did. The more obvious touch, I think, were Shuri’s buns – reminiscing of Princess Leia.

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I thought Black Panther also did a great job of showcasing the culture of Africa. You can tell they really put a lot of thought and effort into the research for the different tribes and such.

Additionally, they did a great job of showing so many different type of women. There’s not just one stereotype. You have Nakia, who has a compassionate spirit, desire to help others, and is a spy for Wakanda. You have Okoye, who has strong leadership qualities, not very emotional, and is the general of the Dora Milaje, an elite female special force that protects the king. You have Queen Romanda, who is wise, more traditionally feminine (if that makes sense), and an advisor to T’Challa. You have Shuri, a light-hearted teen, who has one of the most brilliant minds in the world.

In terms of the villain, I did not see Erik Killmonger being related to T’Challa coming at all! So, I think they set that up very well to be a surprise. I liked how they tied in the storyline of helping others with the villain, without making what Erik did right.

#blackpanther #erikkillmonger #tchalla #marvel #mcu #michaelbjordan #chadwickboseman

And Everett Ross was such a great addition. I felt like he was pretty much everyone in the audience if we were in the movie: “Hey, don’t know what I’m doing, or what’s going on, but I’ll totally help with anything.”

Personally, Shuri was one of my favorite characters in the movie. I loved her humor and the light-heartedness she brought to the film, which was much needed with some of the seriousness.

If you’ve seen Black Panther, what did you think about it? Favorite scenes, characters? If you haven’t, I encourage you to go watch it! And definitely see it before Infinity War!

~ Southern Dreamer

Thor: Ragnarok ~ Movie Review

*cue music*

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With the third installation of the “Thor” movies, Thor: Ragnarok comes on the heels of the first two films – Thor and Thor: The Dark World respectively. The entire aesthetic in this one is very different from the others, but different in the best way. Personally, I feel that Thor: Ragnarok was the most well-made and enjoyable out of all the “Thor” movies.

Returning actors, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, join the newcomers to Marvel: Cate Blanchett as Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkryie, and Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. Director Taika Waititi also plays a more minor character, Korg.

If my estimations are correct, the movie spans a little less than a week’s time, and boy, oh boy does a lot happen!

*Warning: spoilers below*

**Spoilers Coming Soon*

***WARNING: SPOILERS***

**LAST WARNING**

*YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*

Between realizing that the brother he thought was dead, is actually alive (surprise!), all the way to getting his hair chopped off, Thor has had a pretty rough week. Not to mention that he apparently has an older sister who wants to take over Asgard???

Cue Hela.

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Firstborn of Odin, who their father did not find relevant to mention, until literally seconds before he died. Conflict avoidance much?!

Instead of guiding his sons on how to deal with their psychotic sis – which is saying a lot, considering Loki, Odin decides to check out and hightail it to the afterlife. Thor and Loki are then left to deal with the repercussions of their older sibling being the goddess of death – something that is not an exaggeration in the least. She literally adores dying and war and bloodshed.

In fact, with one of the Asgardians working in the palace – Skurge, Hela thinks that it is actually an honor for her to offer him the job to be the executioner.

On another note, I was glad to see in this movie that Thor did not fall for Loki’s tricks again. Being someone who almost always believes-the-best in other people, for a long time, Thor seemed surprised by Loki betraying him. In Ragnarok, then, I was glad that he realized that Loki could change, yes, but might not and he should be prepared if that were the case.

I also appreciated the history that was revealed in this film. As the viewers, we get to learn more about the royal family – hello Hela – and that Odin used to be pretty ruthless as a king and conqueror. In addition, we are exposed to one of the elite warriors in Asgard – a Valkryie. With Loki’s powers, a scene from one of the Valkryie battles is shown and the reason behind the last Valkryie being so reluctant to return to Asgard starts to take on a more definite shape.

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And guys, like the humor??? A+++

SO GOOD. I absolutely loved all the funny moments, quirks, and hilarious quips.

From Thor’s interior design remarks, to the entirety of the fighting scene with Hulk, all the way to the little moments like Mjolnir pretty much wrecking Doctor Strange’s house, fireworks shooting out of the aircraft during the chase on Sakaar, and Korg’s silly statements, there was some great and clean humor.

Further, there were definitely some moments where I was like ohmyword WHAT just happened?!

Exhibit A – Hela destroying Mjolnir as if it were made of glass (as Loki so poetically put it)early in the film. Yep, basically in the span of less than ten minutes, Thor has lost both his father and his prized possession, while also learning that he has an older sister who apparently wants to take over Asgard.

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Thor: Ragnarok, otherwise known as, Thor: And the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Exhibit B – While Thor is fighting the Hulk, the green guy just starts smashing him into the ground and during this incidence…his eyes start to turn a blinding white. Cue lightening, flying, and all around awesomeness.

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On another note, I could be wrong, but I sense a future romance between Thor and the Valkryie being hinted at? Anyone else?

Anyway, overall I loved Thor: Ragnarok and thought it led to a great set-up for Avengers: Infinity War, along with the amazing humor and fun, new characters that were introduced.

What did y’all think of this third film? Like it, love it? Favorite parts? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

 

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

Image result for guardians of the galaxy movie posterRecently, I watched The Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time. This was definitely different than any Marvel movie I’ve seen before, with it being set in a much bigger universe than the others. Of course, Thor’s movies have also been set in space, with some Earth scenes; this, however, was different. It gave you a better idea of how wide the scoop of the Marvel universe is in terms of Earth not being the only world concerned.

There were some great fighting scenes, as with any Marvel film, complete with weaponry, space ships, and acrobatic/martial arts. The main character, Peter Quill – or Starlord as he calls himself, reminded me of Marvel’s version of Han Solo. He’s quirky, funny – gets himself into a slew of trouble, and despite everything, at the end of the day, he has a good heart. Like the famed Star Wars character, Peter is high on people’s list to capture, and is definitely not buddies with the majority of the star studded, space neighborhood. And so, when he gets captured after so long, he finds himself stuck in a high-security prison with several other beings that he managed to run into along the way.

You have the intelligent raccoon called Rocket, the living tree that is a mystery to everyone and only speaks three words – “I am Groot,” the green, Black-Widow of space named Gamora, and another guy who tries to kill Gamora early on, Drax. This rag-tag group of people, who really only cares for their own self and interests, comes together in a hilarious and intense way. Throughout most of the movie, conflict arises between one or more parties, and poor Peter Quill continually tries to step in and smooth things over. Or as he said, no one is getting killed on my ship! (Something like that XD)

If you like Marvel movies, or just movies with action and humor in general, then I think you will find The Guardians of the Galaxy very enjoyable! Alright, that was my spoiler free review! If you read on any farther, fair warning, there are going to be some spoilers – though, I will try to steer clear of major ones.

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***

***LAST WARNING***

***TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS***

Ok, with that out of the way, here are some of my favorite things about this film (in no specific order).

1. Introduction of new species/beings Image result for corpsman dey guardians of the galaxy

I thought it was cool how they brought in different species and beings that have not been seen in the Marvel universe before. Some of them looked exactly like humans, except for the color of their skin. Others were not similar to humanity in any way, shape, or form. It would be great if we could ever get some of their specie names and see how they’re all related.

2. Star Wars similarities

I really could not go through this list, without bringing this up. I’ve already mentioned that Peter Quill reminded me a lot of Han Solo, being someone rough-around-the-edges, but at the end of the day, he makes the right choice and helps people. I noticed, additionally, that when Gamora, Peter, Rocket, Groot, and Drax are entering the planet/city/etc – I think it used to be a mining community if I’m remembering correctly? – to sell the orb and get the money, some similarities to the Star Wars planets and more dangerous cantinas.

Image result for yondu's arrow guardians of the galaxy3. That arrow weapon

Yondu’s arrow is freaking awesome XD How does that thing work??? It’s kind of eerie if you think about it. There’s this blue guy whistling some tune, and an arrow floating in the air. Then before you know it, everyone around him is dead! Crazy. I thought that was a really cool weapon addition though.

4. Earth references

It was hilarious how no one understood Peter’s references XD Especially, the one where he makes the cutting-the-head-off-motion and Drax, along with the others, is literally like, “WHAT IS THIS GUY DOING.” So funny. And when he calls Rocket a raccoon, and says there are a ton like him on Earth, Rocket goes off on a, “THERE IS NO ONE LIKE ME,” rant.

5. ThanosImage result for thanos guardians of the galaxy

Wow. Like…WHAT. First of all, the entire idea of Thanos having a family is weird. Galaxy murderers should not have children. Just say’in – life lesson there y’all. I thought both Nebula and Gamora were awesome, creatively done characters. I am curious, however, as to why Nebula is so hateful towards her sister, and why she stayed with Thanos. I mean, he’s not exactly in the running for “Father of the Year” award. And, apparently she can regrow lost body parts. Well, that’s certainly a unique ability.

Furthermore, did anyone else wonder why if Thanos is so powerful, he chooses to live on a rock? It’s not even a nice rock. Literally looks like he dropped a boulder on a boring ‘ol rocky planet and decided that was going to be his throne. Personally, I’m not really getting take-over-the-universe vibes from that. Anyone with me?

Overall, I really enjoyed watching The Guardians of the Galaxy. I appreciated the creative touches that the film’s team added to this, and can’t wait to see how they expand on that in the next one. I thought baby Groot was seriously so adorable, and as a romantic, enjoyed those moments between Gamora and Peter. To those of you who have seen it, what did y’all think of The Guardians of the Galaxy? Favorite moments? Loved it, hated it? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

Antman: Movie Review

antman

I watched Antman a few months ago, but until now have been too busy to write a review on it. With it being summer, however, I finally found the time to do it! 🙂

Antman follows the life of Scott Lang – a thief who was just released from jail. His friend and fellow partner-in-crime picks him up. The viewer quickly learns that he has a daughter. Cassie. Scott tells his friend that he’s done with the life of being a thief – he has to start doing better. For his daughter.

The entire film is packed full of hilarious interactions between both the villain and the heroes. From unintended childlike remarks by Cassie – Antman’s daughter – that can be humorously appreciated by the older viewers for their meaning, to the laughable reactions of Scott Lang during his journey, it has many hilarious moments.

Scott, in my opinion, is one of the most relatable Marvel characters in terms of realistic reactions. When Hank – inventor of the Pym particle, asks him to sneak into a high security building to steal something from the *music escalates* bad guy, he responds with a, “I think our first move should be calling the Avengers.”

I love that. It’s so realistic to how most of us would react if we were in his situation.

Father-daughter relationships are really emphasized, I think, in Antman whether it be Scott and Cassie or Hank and Hope. They each have their struggles and issues, although, Hank and Hope’s more so. I enjoyed how Hank and Hope both in their own way offered advice or helped Scott in terms of Cassie with their own experiences and stories.

And of course, there was action as every Marvel movie has. Though this one was neat, since it was from a different perspective than the typical fighting: fighting at bug-size.

Overall, I really enjoyed Antman and would definitely recommend it. So readers, if you have seen Antman, what did you think of it?

~ Southern Dreamer