After the juggernaut success of 2018’s Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler and the Marvel team had the insane task of recreating the magic, power, and culture of the Oscar-winning original.
Then beloved star Chadwick Boseman died. It thrust Marvel and Coogler in an even more impossible position of either having to callously recast the role quickly after his death or honor Boseman's legacy while making a movie that appeals to the masses looking for escapism and thrills.
Last Saturday, Coogler and the Black Panther cast took to Hall H at SDCC 2022 to unveil the first teaser trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and, while they opted for the latter, it's the best movie trailer in MCU history.
As a lover of entertainment, I'm not ashamed to admit that instead of lolling myself to sleep by counting sheep or Catwomen, as Sheldon Cooper famously does, I do so by casting movies. Recently, I sent myself to land of dreams by imagining Supernatural star Jensen Ackles playing Batman in the newly written Batman film, replacing the ho-hum Ben Affleck.
It was only in morning light that I realized that Ackles is actually a provocative choice that could actually revitalize the Batman franchise. Here's why...
During a pivotal scene in Bradley Cooper's directorial debut A Star Is Born, there is particular striking bit of dialogue: "Music is essentially 12 notes between any octave. Twelve notes and the octave repeats...All the artist can offer the world is how they see those twelve notes."
The same can be said for a love story: there are only two options--person wins love or person loses love--and the power and variety comes from how its interpreted. Through Cooper's directorial gaze, the fourth A Star Is Born remake is a textured, haunting, albeit dragging film that examines a relationship with a sprawling luxury. Jackson Maine, bourbon-and-leather voiced rock star, uses the dying the light of his star to ignite that of an up-and-coming musician.
One of the most traumatizing moments for this movie lover was the last 10 minutes of Avengers: Infinity War when--SPOILER ALERT!--Thanos snapped his fingers and half of the world's popular vanished into dust. Our intrepid heroes had lost, and the universe had perished. It was an emotional uppercut that I hadn't been prepared for. But now that horror of that moment pales in comparison to what happened yesterday on Twitter instead of the silver screen.
As if Americans weren't struggling with enough in this political climate, Chris Evans, AKA Marvel's Captain America, took to Twitter Thursday night to commemorate completion of filming of the fourth Avengers movie, which has long been rumored to be his last yielding his indestructible shield.
Is the #BigChopChallenge a thing yet? If it's not, I imagine it will be after Netflix's Nappily Ever After, romantic comedy (based on the book by Trisha R. Thomas) about a black woman's complicated relationship with her hair debuts.
Ocean's 8, the spin-off of the 2001 Ocean's 11 movie, is a decent way to spend a drizzly, foggy Saturday afternoon. It's lowkey escapist fun in a slickly directed package, and sometimes, that's all a moviegoer needs to make a film worth the price of admission (especially when we're three tweet away from going to war with CANADA). However, Ocean's 8, even with its trophy-hogging cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sara Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna and Awkwafina, exemplifies exactly how stifling with Hollywood's obsession with remakes and reboots can be.
With Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War's releases in the rearview mirror, there's really only one 2018 superhero movie that I'm looking geeked about. In it, none of the characters wear capes, are from fictional universes, or have cool weapons--a few of the players brandish Oscars. It's the new film, Widows, directed and written by Academy Award winner Steve McQueen and co-written by Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn.
After seeing Avengers: Infinity War, this fangirl is shaken, stirred, emotional and a little angry that I have to wait a year for the next installment. In the Anthony and Joe Russo's hands, this movie is a budget-less spectacle that not only exploits the talents and chemistry of its sprawling cast, but seamlessly integrates characters from more than a half-dozen franchises and nearly 20 films. Marvel Studios celebrated their 10th anniversary with an intense, emotional, universal adventure that dazzles as much as it demolishes.
I'd love to review this film, but I'm so terrified of spoiling the fun and the horror, so I will can say that this movie will go down in cinematic history as one of the best of its genre. I do have some spoiler-free takeaways that I HAVE to share.
After watching the trailer (below) for the new rags-to-riches rom-com, Crazy Rich Asians, I was flooded with an overwhelming and intoxicating sense of FINALLY...
Attending a screening of Black Panther is nothing short of a celebration. I went to two separate screenings and it was pure superhero pandemonium. The largely black audience was decked out in vibrant African dashikis, headwraps, Black Panther shirts, and even full-fledged costumes of the characters themselves. The theater had even hired African drummers to entertain the crowds as they waited in line for food and flooded into one of six theaters playing the film.
When I was growing up, I worked at that very theater which is situated in an small, affluent white suburb. It took a black Oscar-winning actor moving within driving distance before they began to regularly screen black movies. So to witness it imbued with the spirit of Wakanda—for capitalistic gain or not—is just one of the reasons why Marvel’s Black Panther is so revolutionary.
However, the most important question remains: does film itself hold up to the bombastic hype from fans who have waited more than a decade for Marvel to finally make a movie about a black superhero?