Friday, February 23, 2018

Black Panther

I recently saw Black Panther and I liked it. I know there's been quite a bit of speculation about political messages or other statements the movie is trying to make but I didn't get too caught up in that and just enjoyed a good super hero movie.

One of the best things about this movie is that Marvel finally got some good villains. It's easier to get involved when you have a believable adversary. Michael B. Jordan does a great job as Killmonger and his rival Chadwick Boseman comes off as composed royalty and is well cast for the lead.

Martin Freeman's character is very dull, quiet, and almost invisible, but Andy Serkis is another great villain in the film. His voice alone is mesmerizing. I remember seeing him play a villain in Oliver Twist years ago and he is a great actor even though he is mostly known for his computer generated characters. I thought it was interesting to see that the only two white guys in the movie were Bilbo and Gollum so I got a kick out of the meme below when I saw it.

The rest of the supporting cast is also good. There is a strong female cast with Danai Gurira as the military general, Lupita Nyog'o as Black Panther's girlfriend, and Leticia Wright as the young technology expert of Wakanda. She reminded me of Q in a James Bond movie. The entire cast was good, but I'm getting tired of seeing Forrest Whitaker pop up in so many movies.

There were a few short remarks or jabs that some might take offense with. In one scene the young teenage girl calls Freeman's character 'white boy" which is kind of rude just considering their age difference let alone any racial message.

The first post credit scene was the most boring and anti-climactic seen I've ever seen in a Marvel movie, but overall I liked this movie and really enjoyed the costumes, design, and African feel to it. I give Black Panther 7.8 stars.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Past Due Movie Reviews

And the Winner is...
As usual I am behind on posting reviews. Here is a brief summary of the movies I've seen since I've been back to the United States over the last two months.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- I was really looking forward to this movie. I liked many things about it but I also disliked several things. Some of my hangups included Poe Dameron being a wreckless dork in this movie, Princess Leia floating around in space and bring herself back to life (it would have been such a clean way to let her exit the series. The worst part had to be Finn and Rose Tico and their whole piece of the story which I found to be a worthless distraction that detracted from the movie. But... I like Star Wars so I give it 7.3 stars.

Thor: Ragnarok - This movie was fun. I liked the humor but I also felt they kind of went overboard with it. It was hard to take too seriously. I also didn't even recognize Cate Blanchet as the villain until the end of the movie. This was my favorite Thor movie so far by a long shot. I give it 7.8 stars.

Justice League- Marvel has really cleaned up against the DC movies with the exception of Wonder Woman so I wasn't expecting too much with Justice League but it was still alright. I thought it was a little more entertaining than the prior Supermen movies. It makes it more entertaining with the additional characters and back stories. I give it 6.8 stars since I didn't think it was as bad as the critics said.

Jumanji- I wasn't a big fan of the original movie that came out back when CGI was so new. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. I thought it  was well done and was funny and had an entertaining cast. I give it 7.4 stars.

The Commuter- I enjoy Liam Neeson and he always gives a good performance in anything he does, but this script was ridiculous. This movie had so much potential but was too fake in so many ways. It was kind of like a remake of Nonstop but on a bus instead of a plane. I wanted to like this and get more involved but there was way too much unrealistic crap so I can only give it 6.5 generous stars.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure- I never even saw the second installment of these movies but I don't think it mattered. The special effects were pretty good, but it still felt too bubble gummy with such a young cast. Maybe I'm just getting old and can't relate to the demographics of the film. I give it 6.7 stars.

The Greatest Showman- I don't remember seeing a musical in the theater since when I was a little kid and my parents took me to see Willy Wonka but I've heard nothing but good about this movie so I decided to give it a shot. I'll admit it was pretty good and the music was catchy but I still don't buy into the concept of people spontaneously breaking out into song and dance in real life. I suppose it was good, but I'm just not into musicals so I only give it 7.0 stars.

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