Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Black Panther, some controversy, and Dead Shack


The latest feature based on Marvel comics, I’m going to be honest and say that I never really collected any attempts to maintain the title itself but always appreciated T’Challa’s presence in the Avengers, Daredevil, Captain America, and other guest appearances he would often make in other titles. His previous cinematic introduction in the last Captain America: Civil War film was clear cut perfect in my opinion and I thought he would make a great addition to the Avengers. But I was also looking forward to a great starring vehicle for the character.

AS far as action set pieces go, Black Panther packs a wallop! Featuring a great ensemble cast, we find that Wakanda is a technologically advanced society well into the next age as far as scientific advancements go. Utilizing the mysterious properties of the fictional “vibranium”, Wakanda has made these huge leaps under the leadership of its monarchal king. And here is where things get a little interesting, because we quickly learn that the Wakandans are NOT a united people…. They are five tribes, separate customs, separate beliefs, and they are as fractured internally as any other nation. Isolated from the rest of the world, they’ve advanced with one another but they still hold xenophobic views to the outside world and toward one another.

The new King, T’Challa, is forced to come to terms with how he will be King and how he will lead the nation that now sets on his shoulders. A mission to retrieve the international arms dealer, “Klaw”, has exposed the King to an enemy kept in secret for years. An outside force that will push the King to face the sins of his father’s past, and his responsibilities to his people and to the rest of the world. Chadwick Boseman is incredibly charming as the King, endearing and compassionate as a hero and leader. He shoulders much of the films nuance with the skill of a veteran actor, playing opposite Michael B Jordan’s “Killmonger”. Daniel Kaluuya has a smaller, but incredibly intense part to play as W’Kabi and Lupita Nyong’o is Nakia, T’Challa’s love interest and a skilled espionage agent in service to Wakanda.

With that said, there were some pacing issues in the early portions when the film attempts to insert an American CIA agent (Martin Freeman) to provide later exposition for a villains introduction. The film could have been better served with a little less storyline development on the character. It feels a little like an earlier draft of the script would have used Steve Rogers in this role, but decided that his presence would be too much of a distraction and they rewrote a new character in his place. Andy Serkis’ is brilliantly used as the Villainous “Klaw” but feels a little wasted by the time of his departure.  

8 out of 10. A definite “must-see” for fans of the Marvel franchise of films.

And we need a little controversy-- cuz it feels so empty without me... 
A little bit on the film’s drummed up “Controversy” and all that hogwash.

Never, in the history of going to movies and enjoying movies have I ever seen such a rampant and concerted effort to ruin a film from two completely separate sides of political spectrum. From the Neo-Con Right we have a slew of posts warning of racial violence, threats, and condemnation. From the SJW Left, we have accusations of “cultural appropriation” and that this movie “Is not for you!” and so on so forth, yadda yadda-blah blah. Luckily I have “advantage” of two arms, two separate hands, and five fingers with one that I can proudly display to both sides. Spinning in a circle as I walk around, offering both sides of the political agendas the well-deserved flipping off they richly deserve.

If you are wholly devoted to this film because of its Cultural Importance, bully for you. If you are devoted to the point where you feel that you need to tell people that the film is not “intended” for them… just shut up. A film is intended for as wide an audience as possible… it’s intended to make money, entertain, and occasionally make us think.

On the flip side, if you wholly against this movie because you don’t like “Dah Racial Stuff, bro”… seek mental health aid. You’re being a narrow, small-minded, arrogant POS and I don’t like you. I really don’t. I think you’re illogical, because racism is not logical. I think you’re insane- not just stupid, but insane.


Here we are with another “Shudder Exclusive” horror flick that seemed loss in release limbo for quite some time. It got a little buzz on the festival circuit, but not enough to really get my engine revving for the release. I think it suffers a little from Zombie over exposure, but let’s not go there quite yet.

So the story is about a family heading out to a rented cabin for the weekend… father, son, daughter, father’s new fiancée, and the sons teenage best friend. This isn’t exactly the happiest of families- the fiancée is a bit of a lush, recovering from a hangover throughout the drive up to the cabin. The father is an even bigger lush, trying to be “best buds” with his kids and putting in too much effort with the sons best friend. The sister and brother constantly antagonize one another, and the best friend is shy, nervous, and has a serious crush on the sister. They come across a neighbors cabin and hilarity ensues.


Because this plays as horror comedy, with the three teens wisecracking while coping with the zombie horrors that they encounter. The key to good horror comedy, however- is to take the horror seriously and let the characters just BE funny, which is achieved in this film. The characters are really at risk and the zombies never become slapstick or amusing. There is real horror on display and some truly gruesome scenes.

6.5 out of 10.

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