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Old 02-17-2018, 10:40 PM   #11
JoeBanks
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Default Re: Black Panther

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I actually got a chance to see this one today. And what I am going to say next pretty much sums it up... The Lion King.

The story is basically the Lion King retold with some bad gumby style cgi.
The Lion King was just Hamlet with safari animals, so it's hard to say exactly which story Black Panther was ultimately derivative of (and all stories are derivative).

all in all it was pretty great. doesn't really transcend the comic book genre -- still hits all the usual beats of a Marvel movie -- in the way i was fully hoping. but it's super fun getting to the obligatory final CGI showdowns. and has something more to say about things like colonialization and cultural appropriation than any run-of-the-mill action tentpole.

and the female characters in particular are awesome. funny but totally badass.

Last edited by JoeBanks : 02-18-2018 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Black Panther

I thought it was pretty good. It had some good light moments, some cool action scenes, cool designs, and I liked the brother/sister banter (reminded me of me and my sister). It had a hopeful message and I appreciated the social importance of its success.

On the downside, the plot was incredibly predictable. It utilized the major superhero film tropes in a pretty telegraphed, superficial way. Coogler's use of shaky-cam nearly ruined the beginning of the first big action set piece of the film (in the secret casino).

As noted above, it's basically The Lion King but also mixed with the season 3 midseason finale of Arrow (anyone who watches Arrow will immediately see the entire plot of that episode retold in BP with T'Challa subbed in for Oliver Queen). CGI Black Panther looked goofy, Gumby-like terrible and was the worst CGI I've seen since Justice League's Steppenwolf.

Those criticisms aside, though, I still enjoyed it. It's certainly not "a masterpiece" as I read one (likely paid) film critic hyperbolically call it. The Winter Soldier is still by far the best Marvel film imo. But, BP is still good and still worth seeing.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Black Panther

I can't wait to see this one. It, at least, looks a little different from some of the other Marvel movies, who are beginning to look all the same.

I am surprised that there wasn't a thread made for Phantom Thread. That was such a great movie.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:13 PM   #14
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Finally saw it.

I can't imagine the kind of pressure that was on Ryan Coogler's shoulders when he took on this project. 30 years old, only 2 feature films under his belt and Marvel comes knocking with an offer to co-write/direct a $200M blockbuster about their first black superhero. This could have turned out very badly... but I'll be damned if he didn't pull it off (mostly).

This isn't the Dark Knight, nor is it Captain America: Winter Soldier

However, it's one of my top 5 superhero movies, maybe top 3.

First off, Ruth Carter is going to walk off with the Oscar for costume design, Ludwig Gorransson for the score, and Hannah Beachler will get a nomination (possibly a win) for production design. I'm pretty confident that Michael B. Jordan or Danai Gurrira will get a Golden Globe nomination in the best supporting actor categories. Maybe a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble?


Overall, the action is fine. I did have a problem with an early jungle sequence that's poorly lit for night action and even worse for dialogue among dark-skinned characters. The best stuff doesn't involve bulletproof cgi cat suits. My favorite is the sequence at the casino. Honestly, if Marvel was looking for John Wick or The Raid style action sequences, Coogler would not have been the guy to hire.

Wakanda feels like a lived-in place and character. In fact, World of Wakanda is arguably a more appropriate title than Black Panther. The world-building and fleshed out characters are really where the movie stands out from the rest of the MCU. Also, it has some of the best female characters I've seen in a superhero/action movie. Great performances across the board.

A tremendous amount of credit should go to Chadwick Boseman for being gracious enough to share the spotlight with his co-stars. Michael B. Jordan has the flashier role (best MCU villain?), Danai gets some great action scenes, and people like Letitia Wright and Winston Duke are terrific scene stealers. The story benefits from this immensely.

This isn't some twisty-turny story with edge of your seat reveals. It's palace intrigue stuff, Game of Thrones-lite, eyeing merchandise and kiddie toys. Which leads me to...

Parts of the third act and the final showdown between T'Challa and Killmonger are a little too video-gamey for my liking but The Mouse knows better. I did like their exchange afterward.

The best trick Ryan Coogler managed to pull off is creating a story that appeals to everyone, but if you're familiar with black and/or African culture, the appeal is even stronger. The movie crossed $500M worldwide today and a billion might not be too far off.

Black Panther isn't a masterpiece, but 'I've never seen anything like this.'


My rating: 8.8/10

Might have to see it again next week.

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Old 02-25-2018, 10:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Black Panther

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The best trick Ryan Coogler managed to pull off is creating a story that appeals to everyone, but if you're familiar with black and/or African culture, the appeal is even stronger. The movie crossed $500M worldwide today and a billion might not be too far off.

This. It succeeds in being a popcorn movie that is fun to watch, and can appeal to anyone. It's not the best, but it's solid to really good in this respect. And yes, the production design is exceptional.

But it works on another level like you said that some folks may not pick up on. It's as if Ryan Coogler inserted a James Baldwin essay into the story themes - the protag/antag conflict becoming an internal dialogue writ large amongst black people about the relationship between African-Americans and Africans. For example, to a general audience, Wakanda is a comic book world, but Ryan Coogler has managed to add another layer by making Wakanda a symbol of a set of ideas, hopes, etc that have been debated and discussed for generations (again James Baldwin, Malcolm X, W.E.B DuBois, etc) with respect to pan-Africanism.

Yes this will go over many heads but it seems like Coogler added this layer not for the general audience, but for those who understand the history of black culture in America (and why it's especially resonated with African-American audiences beyond just "being a good movie" - it's this layer that's speaking directly to them).

Some other things to chew on:

Oakland, 1992. Both the city and location are not a coincidence. Coogler could've just chosen Oakland arbitrarily simply because he grew up there, but it's highly unlikely given who he is and his knowledge of the city's history (his first feature being FRUITVALE STATION), a city which also *happens* to be the birthplace of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and the debates within the African-American community about pan-Africanism, the use of violence to defend themselves and/or attack others, etc. Also, there was no reason to be specific about the year (1992), but if you know what was going on in California in the early 1990s, you know it's not an arbitrary choice. And coupled with the age we live in now (and when the script was written with BLM) which Coogler was very well aware. No one ever says it in the film, but a lot can be inferred. The elephant is hiding in plain sight.

Michael B. Jordan's vernacular in the film. It's carefully constructed and deliberate. Actually more than that - hair/makeup/costume and his build in contrast to Chaswick Boseman, and their expressions of masculinity.

Same with the world building of Wakanda, and the role of women in the story (not just strong female characters for its own sake, but done in a way that is loaded with subtext).

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Old 02-27-2018, 05:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: Black Panther

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This. It succeeds in being a popcorn movie that is fun to watch, and can appeal to anyone. It's not the best, but it's solid to really good in this respect. And yes, the production design is exceptional.

But it works on another level like you said that some folks may not pick up on. It's as if Ryan Coogler inserted a James Baldwin essay into the story themes - the protag/antag conflict becoming an internal dialogue writ large amongst black people about the relationship between African-Americans and Africans. For example, to a general audience, Wakanda is a comic book world, but Ryan Coogler has managed to add another layer by making Wakanda a symbol of a set of ideas, hopes, etc that have been debated and discussed for generations (again James Baldwin, Malcolm X, W.E.B DuBois, etc) with respect to pan-Africanism.

Yes this will go over many heads but it seems like Coogler added this layer not for the general audience, but for those who understand the history of black culture in America (and why it's especially resonated with African-American audiences beyond just "being a good movie" - it's this layer that's speaking directly to them).

Some other things to chew on:

Oakland, 1992. Both the city and location are not a coincidence. Coogler could've just chosen Oakland arbitrarily simply because he grew up there, but it's highly unlikely given who he is and his knowledge of the city's history (his first feature being FRUITVALE STATION), a city which also *happens* to be the birthplace of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and the debates within the African-American community about pan-Africanism, the use of violence to defend themselves and/or attack others, etc. Also, there was no reason to be specific about the year (1992), but if you know what was going on in California in the early 1990s, you know it's not an arbitrary choice. And coupled with the age we live in now (and when the script was written with BLM) which Coogler was very well aware. No one ever says it in the film, but a lot can be inferred. The elephant is hiding in plain sight.

Michael B. Jordan's vernacular in the film. It's carefully constructed and deliberate. Actually more than that - hair/makeup/costume and his build in contrast to Chaswick Boseman, and their expressions of masculinity.

Same with the world building of Wakanda, and the role of women in the story (not just strong female characters for its own sake, but done in a way that is loaded with subtext).
People will be studying the storytelling and marketing of Black Panther for years.


The global box office is at $727 million and counting. It's on pace to become the highest grossing superhero movie in North America. A billion dollars worldwide seems like a lock. Incredible!
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Black Panther

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People will be studying the storytelling and marketing of Black Panther for years.


The global box office is at $727 million and counting. It's on pace to become the highest grossing superhero movie in North America. A billion dollars worldwide seems like a lock. Incredible!
A lot of people predicted this one would smash records for months.

My question is: "What's up with Jumanji?" Considering that worldwide this could be at around $950 million, before it even opens in Japan, in April -- there's a chance this could be another billion dollar movie.

Who saw that coming? (Not bad for a movie that opened at around $60 million, against Star Wars.)
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Old 02-28-2018, 08:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: Black Panther

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A lot of people predicted this one would smash records for months.

My question is: "What's up with Jumanji?" Considering that worldwide this could be at around $950 million, before it even opens in Japan, in April -- there's a chance this could be another billion dollar movie.

Who saw that coming? (Not bad for a movie that opened at around $60 million, against Star Wars.)
With the exception of Scott Derrickson's tweet from last summer, there weren't 'a lot of people' predicting Black Panther's success months in advance. And why would there be? No one had ever created a $200 million dollar sci-fi/superhero film with a black cast (no box office draws) before. Hell, I'm having a hard time coming up with $100M+ films with predominantly black casts. After Earth is the only thing that comes to mind, and we all know how that turned out. People weren't saying it was going to bomb, but there wasn't this overwhelming confidence either.

Early tracking was around $85-90 million, at best, for the opening weekend. There was obviously hype surrounding the movie, but after the world premiere is when things went into overdrive and people started talking about record openings.

While Disney/Marvel can sell almost anything at this point, there still were a lot of questions about how it would fare with mainstream audiences, especially when you consider how polarized the country has become. The Rock is more of a box office draw than anyone in the Black Panther cast. Even Kevin Hart is more bankable. Jumanji had an impressive run, but it's not the lead here.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:03 AM   #19
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Default Re: Black Panther

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With the exception of Scott Derrickson's tweet from last summer, there weren't 'a lot of people' predicting Black Panther's success months in advance. And why would there be? No one had ever created a $200 million dollar sci-fi/superhero film with a black cast (no box office draws) before. Hell, I'm having a hard time coming up with $100M+ films with predominantly black casts. After Earth is the only thing that comes to mind, and we all know how that turned out. People weren't saying it was going to bomb, but there wasn't this overwhelming confidence either.

Early tracking was around $85-90 million, at best, for the opening weekend. There was obviously hype surrounding the movie, but after the world premiere is when things went into overdrive and people started talking about record openings.

While Disney/Marvel can sell almost anything at this point, there still were a lot of questions about how it would fare with mainstream audiences, especially when you consider how polarized the country has become. The Rock is more of a box office draw than anyone in the Black Panther cast. Even Kevin Hart is more bankable. Jumanji had an impressive run, but it's not the lead here.
I'll take your word for it. I admit that I tune out comic book movies, so this one was predicted as "going to be huge" by the time it got my attention.

I did go watch the trailer after I read about it and was impressed because this was a mainstream movie with a mostly black cast. I don't think I'd ever seen that before.

(As far as Jumanji goes (I know it doesn't belong in this thread), I'm just trying to figure out why. I guess I might have to watch it.)
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:35 AM   #20
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Even Forbes is figuring it out:

'Black Panther': The Key Lesson Hollywood Refuses To Learn
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