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

The Space Between Us ~ Movie Review

Last weekend, my brother and I went to see The Space Between Us. All of the trailers I had seen (well, the ones that had aired on television XD) looked really good, and I thought the entire concept was fascinating!

***WARNING: There will be some spoilers below, so if you want to have a 100% spoiler-free review, skip down to the very, very last paragraph***

With that said, on to the review!

Like I said earlier, I thought the concept was quite interesting – I had never even thought about that before, and so it was interesting to think about the real logistics of someone who had been born on Mars: how would it effect their growth? Organs? Social interaction? What would their life be like?

The main character, Gardner Elliot, brought up all these questions…because he was surprise! born on Mars. Yep. How’s that for a unique birth?

Image result for the space between usFlash-forward sixteen years. Gardner has been raised by scientists on Mars, and therefore is pretty much a science genius (I have a feeling Tony/Bruce/Peter and him would all get along amazingly). His only contact with Earth, is a girl named Tulsa. They communicate once a day, and all she knows (regarding why they haven’t met), is that he has a disease that causes him to be unable to leave his home.

His “mother” (not biological, since she died in childbirth), Kendra, realizes that it’s time to bring Gardner back to Earth. Even if he doesn’t survive, she has come to the rightful conclusion that it is not fair to keep him from Earth any longer.

And so begins the process of procedures and physical therapy to prepare Gardner for Earth. During this, he tells Tulsa that they have found a cure for his “disease” which will allow him to finally leave his “home” and meet her. He also mentions that there will be some travel involved. Space travel. Aka…seven months with no communication with her.

Thus, when Gardner finally found Tulsa at her school, and he was all ‘hey Tulsa! It’s me! Gardner.’ Tulsa was pretty much like…

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First impressions, right? XD

Anyway, quick note here, when Gardner came to Earth, they ran a ton of tests on him, and he realized that if something was not exactly right, or as it should be, they were going to send him back to Mars. Naturally, Gardner did not want to go back, and having the brilliant mind that he does, he managed to cause a pressure distraction and escaped the facility.

Flynn Rider is probably the most awesome male character to ever be produced by Disney [gif set] <--Agreed.Cue all his caretakers and the other scientists/astronauts freaking out.

Nathaniel Shepherd, the man who had started this, is going off to find Gardner along with Kendra. They are determined to locate him, no matter what.

Meanwhile, Gardner and Tulsa are hanging out, when SURPRISE! Nathaniel and Kendra show up in a helicopter.

Gardner is not about it. He starts running away from them, with Kendra chasing and Nathaniel jumping in the black SUV. They think they will have no problem catching him, but what they did not count on, was Tulsa picking up Gardner in one of those plane’s that farmers use.

And off they go, leaving Nathaniel and Kendra behind. Through the rest of the movie, the two teens go on a cross-country road trip trying to locate Gardner’s father, who he found with a picture of his mother on a hard drive.

There are so many cute moments, and a very Peeta-Katniss vibe between Gardner and Tulsa. She has this tough outer shell and does not open up easily to other people, because of how many times she’s been hurt. He, on the other hand, lacks any normal social skills and has this naivety that is very innocent and sweet. Yet, there is a major problem…

His Heart.

Gardner’s heart, because he was born on Mars, is too big. It cannot handle Earth’s gravity or atmosphere.

Gardner is dying.

Image result for the space between us picturesOne of the scenes, reminded me of a cancer patient. When you know you are going to die anyway, and that there is nothing anyone can do for you, some people go one of two ways: a) try to do the treatments that doctors prescribe that will hopefully let them live longer, or b) forgo all such in the decision to live as much as they can, while they still have time.

And that’s what Gardner decides. So, he and Tulsa manage to sneak out of the hospital and high-tail it out of that town. They are back on the road-trip to find Gardner’s father.

I don’t want to spoil the HUGE twist-around, so I’ll skip that part 😉

Overall, I thought The Space Between Us was a great movie. It was centered around an interesting concept, and had both romance, sci-fi, and humor. There were some really cute scenes and funny moments! A great romance, sci-fi story.

So, have any of y’all seen The Space Between Us?  If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

~ Southern Dreamer

Beauty and the Beast Analysis

Title: Beauty and the Beast

Author: Disney

Genre: Musical, romance

Audience: All ages

 

Characters

Belle: Belle is a young woman who has a love for reading. She enjoys delving into stories and exploring far-off lands with princes and princesses, through only her imagination. Belle has hazel eyes and brown hair; personality-wise, she is determined, smart, stubborn, introspective, and caring. Sadly, her mother is dead and she is an only child living with her quaint father.

Prince Adam/Beast: Adam is a boy-turned-beast. For ten years, he has been confined to a curse that he brought on himself – with only one way to escape…love. He is an emotional person, and used to doing whatever he wants – at least in the beginning. In his human form, he has blue eyes and dirty-blonde hair, while in his beast form, he is much larger and covered in fur.

Gaston: Gaston is what we would probably call the “it” guy of the town. He thinks very highly of himself and has an ego bigger than his brains, which, it seems he lacks much of anyway. He has black hair and is muscular, causing many of the town girls to swoon.

Maurice: Maurice is Belle’s father. He enjoys tinkering with different inventions and finding new ways to make things work. He believes in his daughter and encourages her in her dreams. He is short and has a little bit of white hair.

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Point of View

The narrator tells the story in a third-person point of view.

 

Setting

The setting is set in France. I’m not exactly sure what time period, but I would guess sometime during the 1700s or 1800s.

 

Plot Outline

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Beauty and the Beast is a story about a young woman, with a love for reading, who is looked on as unusual in her town. Her father, an aspiring inventor in France, leaves on a short trip, yet when he takes a wrong turn, Maurice ends up in a dark forest…and a castle. Naturally, Belle is worried when he does not return with the horse, and so, she goes after him. Arriving at the castle, she is horrified to see not only her father in a cell – but a gigantic…beast! Courageously, she offers to take her father’s place, in order to let him go free. The beast agrees, and so begins their relationship of mystery, struggle, and perhaps, love.

 

Conflict

Conflicts in the story would be man vs. man (ex: when the Beast and Gaston fight, and the disagreements between Belle and the Beast) and man vs. himself (ex: the Beast learning to not be as selfish and love someone). I think, however, the main conflict would be man vs. man, since much of the story is about Belle and the Beast learning to interact civilly, and then affectionately, towards one another.

 

Theme

I think two themes of Beauty and the Beast would be one, to see beyond someone’s outer surface and to who they really are inside; secondly, love is sacrifice (Belle taking her father’s place, the Beast saving her from the wolves and letting Belle go).

 

Literary Devices

Literary devices used in the story include personification – the animated household objects, metaphor – the prince being turned into a Beast, reflected his selfishness inside, and the characterization – how both the Belle and Beast’s viewpoints of each other changes from the beginning to the end.

 

Feedback

I love this story. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories in all of literature, as well as Belle being one of my favorite female characters (yay for reading!). I think there are so many layers to this story, if you even think about it more in-depth. There is looking beyond the outer surface – loving someone not for their physical beauty, but for their spirit, mind, and character; the sacrifice that love requires – the Beast letting Belle go, even though he might not ever see her again, and how our actions affect those around us – the curse affected not only the Beast, but all of his servants as well. I think it is a beautiful picture of a redemption tale, as well as, a stunning love story. I would rate this as 5 stars.

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Dolphin Tail 2

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Hello again my lovely readers! 🙂 I know all of you have just been itching to read another movie review! And so…here it is!

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

Last Saturday, my family and I went to see Dolphin Tail 2 in theatre. Excitement flowed through me as I eagerly awaited the start of the movie…all the while gobbling up a box of Reeses Pieces! (I have braces, alas, and so I must temporarily forgo popcorn for chocolate and peanut butter! Not too bad of a trade though…;)) With the lights dim, and a hush over the room, the movie began!

And what a wonderful, family film it was! If you have seen the original Dolphin Tail, then rest assured you will love the sequel. Returning to the screen, are all of the characters from the previous movie – Hazel, Sawyer, Dr. Clay, and of course Winter!

Continuing the dolphin’s journey, we learn that Winter’s beloved companion – Panama, has died. Although this creature had lived a long life, it was nevertheless quite shocking and difficult. Interestingly, it was Winter who had the hardest time with Panama’s death. And so the search is on for a female friend for the tailless sea-animal.

In their facilities, is Mandy…a female dolphin who was brought in because of a sunburn and other wounds which I shall not name. At this point in the movie, I immediately start to think – why what a wonderful turn of events! They can pair Mandy with Winter! At this time, Mandy’s injuries have in fact healed. The people at the aquarium are now at a crossroad. Do they risk losing Winter? Or do they release Mandy back into the wild?

The decision of what to do weighs heavily on everyone, at last one is made: Mandy will be released. As our hearts are torn in happiness for Mandy yet grief for Winter, we remain unaware that hope (pun intended;)) will soon be here.

Towards the end of the movie, Dr. Clay gets a call regarding a juvenile, female dolphin. Could this be the companion Winter has been waiting for? Hazel and the others seem to believe so, and the young dolphin is then named Hope.

Although Hope did not accept Winter at first, curiously, when the prosthetic tail was put on, the younger dolphin did not have an issue with the older one.

All in all, this film was wonderful and had a great ending! If you have not seen it, I definitely would recommend for you to go and watch it.

As you go about your day this week, remember to cling to the hope which Jesus gives.

For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.
Psalm 71:5

“I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”                                                           Lamentations 3:20-26

– Southern Dreamer