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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 8:16pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I liked the "computerized version" in Winter Soldier, it was a nice nod to the Kirby version.  I'd have to put him in the "close enough" group.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 8:35pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Michael, I'm often referred to as the "old man" on the board but after your review of BLACK PANTHER I think you've got me beat.  By a long shot.  I can't help but read it and feel like in order to be considered even moderately good it had to adhere to a preconception derived nearly 40 years ago.  I don't feel there's any room in your critique for growth or expansion past what you read as a kid in the 70s.  Superheroes were frozen in amber in 1982 and any deviation, however small or inconsequential, is considered "wrong" or "bad".  

I get it...to a point.  Although there was much I loved about SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, I hated the Tony Stark suit.  Thought that it would have been a much better film without it.  BUT I can forgive it because at the end of the day it gave us the best live-action Spider-Man I believe we've ever seen.  

Specific to your problems with BLACK PANTHER, I find them less than compelling with all due respect. You entered the theatre with preconceived notions and you found a way for them to be met.   You may say that you didn't, but by reading your critique that's exactly what you did.  So, through that lens,  it's hard to imagine anything approaching impartiality.  

At the end of the day, you didn't rain of my parade or rob me of my enjoyment, but I do feel sad that you can't see the joy in a film like this and, instead, choose to knock it down for whatever reason.

That's my 2 cents.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 11:19pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

No one can rain on my parade, in regards to this movie. It's more than quadrupled my expectations. That just gives me so much hope for the future in terms of movies like this. Hopefully this permanently shatters all the various myths about "Black movies" (and other media). 

I mean, I think about things like the SPAWN movie from 1997. Here you had  movie based on one of the then-top comic books of the time. And yet the movie studio insisted on changing the race of one character from Black to White in order to justify the $40 million budget, because if the movie had "too many" Black characters (which, in this case, would have been THREE) they said it would considered a "Black movie" and the studio worried it wouldn't appeal to the "mainstream" audience, and therefor would be too expensive to make. And Spawn (like Blade) was already a "race-neutral" character, who's Blackness was irrelevant in the comics (he usually wore a full face mask, and when he took it off his face was burnt beyond recognition, and when he tried to use his powers to look human, he could only turn into a blonde-haired blue-eyed White man). 

And now, 21 years later, we have a superhero film with a 99% Black cast, set mainly in Africa, with a plot that involves race and racial issues, that had a (rumored) $200 million budget, and it's breaking records left and right and resonating (albeit for different reasons) with people of all races across the globe. It's feakin' AMAZING, man!
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 3:23am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I agree, but at the end of the day I just want a good movie regardless of race, politics, creed or religion.  I think BP gives us that and then some. It's a great film that just so happens to touch on everything that's important at this time and this place.  Marvel/Disney never dreamt that an arguable B-list character (love him or not, but that's what he's been in the comics) would ever vie with the Avengers for the top spot re: superhero box office. That's amazing.  
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 3:54am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I appreciate your 2 cents, Matt. They are consistently worth more.

If you noticed in my original comments, when I listed what I disliked about BLACK PANTHER, I did specifically not mention whether the characters adhere to what I originally read as a kid. Rather, when I prefaced with my complete lack of information anything about the character for nearly 40 years, I meant it to be understand that I came into the movie without a positive preconception -- and not that I walked into like a grumpy old man demanding perfect fidelity to, say, whatever Black Panther was as originally presented by Lee/Kirby. Even from the distance of a non-reader I realize that Black Panther, in particular, has been revitalized over the past 20 years in ways that have been noted as socially and culturally significant and which are certainly important to, it seems likely, virtually all contemporary comicbook fans. So if the movie was faithful to that, then, excellent for them. And for me? I was open to the character as the movie presented him -- believe it or not. I did not know that much about Black Panther and his cast even as a kid reader, as opposed to, say, the X-Men (going back to the original team). 

Have I disliked most superhero movies? Yes. Is it because in most of them I see (my opinion) deviations from the essentials of the original characters that I (personally) find unacceptable? Yes. Others on the forum, I think, feel this way, including JB himself. Maybe we all have nostalgia glasses two inches thick and ten shades too dark. Or, maybe we have our own views about what is essential that have nothing to do with nostalgia but an indispensable fidelity to what is central by definition and, compared to others' tastes, all we can say in the most polite fashion is... YMMV.

What I disliked in the BLACK PANTHER movie wasn't about that, and I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear enough. What I disliked was what I listed. The CGI, he's yet another-Iron-Man, some silly action scenes, some truly awful dialogue, yet another gratuitous dig at that f@cking piece of sh!t Trump, and what I -- in a mixed race family -- thought was a muddled message about race. I wasn't, as others suggested, looking for anything "feel good." Racism is real. My black relatives, my half-Korean niece, they know, they let me know. The issue is important to me. So, what I would have appreciated in the film is, as I said, a more nuanced approach that attacked the unreality of "race" itself. Others here have disagreed with me, and stated their reasons, and that's OK. It's even good. The more racism is discussed, sincerely and with the intent to expose and fight it, even the disagreements are healthy.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 4:50am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Racism is real. My black relatives, my half-Korean niece, they know, they let me know. The issue is important to me. So, what I would have appreciated in the film is, as I said, a more nuanced approach that attacked the unreality of "race" itself.

-----

I'll trot out my favorite Ursula K Le Guin quote once again:

 QUOTE:
I think it is possible that some readers never even notice what color the people in the story are. Don't notice, don't care. Whites of course have the privilege of not caring, of being "colorblind." Nobody else does.

I mean, it's wonderful and all to argue that skin color doesn't matter. From some abstract perspective, it's absolutely true. In the real world, minorities are still treated differently, not just by the overt racists, but by well-intentioned people, in subtle, unconscious ways, who would be horrified to think of themselves as racist. When people trot out the "race doesn't matter" argument, they imagine themselves to be champions of equality, but from the perspective of a person of color, it comes across more as "Hey, let's ignore all that shit you have to deal with and all that shit I'm doing, because it makes me uncomfortable." I could not imagine BLACK PANTHER making that argument and still feeling authentic.

The path to fighting racism lies in acknowledging and confronting the biases that WE ALL have, and from there using the unreality of race to dismiss them. Jumping to the latter, without doing the former, is just ignoring the problem and allowing it to fester.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 5:15am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

My fellow brother Michael, I don't know how I could have said more clearly that racism is real except by saying that "racism is real." I do not advocate "ignoring" anything -- including the unreality of race itself, which is what BLACK PANTHER ignores.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 7:01am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Matt, I think I have told you before how much I enjoy your posts, but just in
case I haven't… MATT, I REALLY ENJOY YOUR POSTS!
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 8:48am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

 Matt Reed wrote:
Marvel/Disney never dreamt that an arguable B-list character (love him or not, but that's what he's been in the comics)

No argument there at all. He is. That's why I was comparison that, at the time of his movie, SPAWN was a top 5 comic-book, yet the studio worried about its viability. While Black Panther was B-list.

But then, arguably, so was everyone else in this movie universe. I swear I'm no uncritical Marvel fanboy, I've recognized the "formula" which, in many ways, is playing it save. But I have to give them credit for the way they've launched and guided this Cinematic Universe. Especially as we've seen, not only from WB but also Universal, that that's not so easy, even when you have A-list known characters at your disposable. But Marvel didn't have all their big guns. X-Men, Spider-Man, and FF were all elsewhere, so they launched with Iron Man, who didn't have anywhere near the same brand recognition with the general public. But it worked! And Thor, and Guardians of The Galaxy. Ant Man, for Pete's sake! 

They've done a great job. And that definitely also helped Black Panther. It's not only a great movie, but this was the perfect time to do it, after the previous 16(?) Marvel films had built the brand up. So it brought that crowd in, in addition to attracting newbies. We'll never know, of course, but I don't this movie would be hitting a billion dollars if it came out before the first Avengers film, or probably even before Civil War.

And now BP is set to return the favor, as there's no doubt that most of those superhero newbies who saw and enjoyed that film will come back in the summer to see him in Infinity War, which will bolster that film's already expected to be huge audience. 

 Michael Roberts wrote:
When people trot out the "race doesn't matter" argument, they imagine themselves to be champions of equality, but from the perspective of a person of color, it comes across more as "Hey, let's ignore all that shit you have to deal with and all that shit I'm doing, because it makes me uncomfortable."

Nailed it.

 Michael Penn wrote:
My fellow brother Michael, I don't know how I could have said more clearly that racism is real except by saying that "racism is real."

And if only you stopped right there.

 Michael Penn wrote:
including the unreality of race itself, which is what BLACK PANTHER ignores.

Because, for all practical purposes, it's irrelevant. At least to those of us living under this "social construct." 



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Michael Penn
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I hear you, Jabari. 
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

BP is an excellent popcorn movie that's breaking all sorts of expectations and records not in spite of its direct engagement with ideas of race but because of them.  It's in that latter bit that it transcends itself.  That it was written and directed by a black american and 90% of the on-screen roles are portrayed by people of the African diaspora is what gives it resonance.  The MCU is historic for a lot of entertainment-y reasons - interconnected universe, box office records, etc.  But Black Panther is the first MCU film that is historic for reasons that are... well, historic.  I'm a white half jew (ashkenazic) and I was deeply moved by those metathematic aspects - maybe all the more so because T'Challa is a character that I never engaged with in the comics.  I can't even imagine how meaningful it was to the 70-year-old black man sitting next to me in the theater.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 12:18pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I went with my 67 year old mother and 81 year old stepfather. They both loved it.
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 7:44pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

It is interesting how different people see a movie. I thought it was a good movie. I think I did not see the same one most here seem to have seen. It was fun and well paced. I still hate the supersuit I prefer a Black Panther that avoids getting shot. 
 I do not understand why it is considered significant that the majority of the main cast are Black; it was mainly set in an African Nation, it just makes sense. I would not have known the director or writers were Black except for all the hype. It does seem they did a great job of making a popcorn movie for some and a deeper meaning movie for others. 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 7:57pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

 Michael Sommerville wrote:
...I do not understand why it is considered significant that the majority of the main cast are Black; it was mainly set in an African Nation, it just makes sense...


It sure does, but when has Hollywood even been sensible? The thing is that, in the past, Hollywood would not have attempted to make a major blockbuster motion picture with a nearly all-black cast. When a movie was made with an all-black cast, or mostly all-black, it was thought by the studios to be something that would appeal only to a limited, mostly black audience, and therefore would not typically be allotted the kind of budget that "Black Panther" was given.

This movie is significant in proving there is a mass audience that will support a film with mostly black actors. It would have been a game-changer in Hollywood if it just opened at expectations, but it has exceeded those expectations.
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

That train of thought still confuses me a bit. It has done amazing but a factor is Marvel movies have a built in audience to start with. This movie had a huge budget because it was a Marvel movie. I doubt the racial make up of the production had any factor good or bad. I think that in society today anything seen to break the stereotypical roll also gets a boost for many reasons. I think I would say it was significant if it was not a Black Panther movie, I have a similar opinion about the Wonder Woman movie.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 11:16pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I doubt the racial make up of the production had any factor good or bad. I think that in society today anything seen to break the stereotypical roll also gets a boost for many reasons. 

——

These sentences seem contradictory.
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Brad Brickley
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Posted: 08 March 2018 at 2:17pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. Fun and action packed. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.
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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 08 March 2018 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Sorry I was not clearer. The racial factor I believe had no factor on the budget but had a impact in the Box office. My point is, proven franchise movies are not the indicator of where the bar has been moved too.
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Jabari Lamar
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Posted: 10 March 2018 at 1:01pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply


 QUOTE:
Marvel’s “Black Panther” continues its record-breaking streak, passing the $1 billion mark at the global box office in just 26 days.

The Ryan Coogler tentpole is the 33rd movie to gross $1 billion. It’s the 16th Disney film to reach this milestone, and the fifth Marvel film to do so — joining the ranks of “The Avengers,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3,” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

Black Panther” has grossed $521 million domestically, making it the ninth-highest release of all time. In its fourth weekend, “Black Panther” is heading for a $40 million-plus weekend, which would make it the No. 2 superhero release of all time over “The Dark Knight’s” $535 million.

It would also give “Black Panther” the third-highest fourth weekend of all time, taking the title from “The Avengers” with $36.7 million. “Avatar” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” currently hold the one and two spots, with $50.3 million and $42.4 million respectively. A 44% drop for the tentpole’s fourth weekend would be on par with its third weekend decline of 41%.

‘Black Panther’ Crosses $1 Billion at Global Box Office

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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I wonder if I caught a Black Panther reference in JJ season 2?  

SPOILER ALERT!

Recall when there was a discussion with Trish and the chemist she hire to study and possibly replicate the drug from Simpson’s inhaler?  The doctor identified all the potentially deadly toxic components….but could not identify the mysterious “plant based” organic element that made it all work.

I suspect that the Heart Shaped Herb is the FOUNDATION of all the MCU super soldier serum attempts.  But only the Wakandans know how to use it effectively in its raw state. 

Everyone else has to make their version of it…with varied results.

I think Howard Stark got some of it when he got the vibrainium shield (a great story waiting to be told) and he and Dr. Erskine perfected their version of it which became the super soldier serum used it on Steve Rogers.  

I think the same plant based component was essential to Bruce Banner while seeking a cure for his gamma radiated exposure to his version of the super soldier serum.  Recall in The Incredible Hulk where Bruce was actively seeking a plant that would become the cure for his problem….but it was the wrong plant so it failed initially.  

It’s looks to me like Wakanda is becoming more and more like ‘ground zero’ for the MCU.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Iron Man's armor. The Red Skull's Tesseract-based weapons. Klaw's vibranium arm-blaster. 

All have similar looking and sounding discharges...that come from three different energy sources...


...or DO they???


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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I suspect that the Heart Shaped Herb is the FOUNDATION of all the MCU super soldier serum attempts.  But only the Wakandans know how to use it effectively in its raw state. 

——-

I think that’s an extreme reach. Setting aside the rivalry between Marvel Studios and Marvel proper (which still handles the TV portion), the difficulty of coordinating these things is why the TV side avoids all but the broadest strokes with its movie tie-ins. The Netflix shows pretty much ignore the Sokovia Accords.
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 3:56pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

What’s to coordinate?   Hypothetically…..Somewhere in Avengers 4 or even Black Panther 2 it is implied…..The Heart Shaped Herb is a plant that grants anyone who consumes it an increased measure of physical ability.  In my mind…a Wakandan agent secretly presented America’s foremost weapons designer (Howard Stark) with some tools he could use to help win WW2.  They chose to aid in the war effort in this way so as not to expose themselves outwardly.  Thus the shield was created (but never duplicated) and the super soldier serum was created (and presumably improved by Stark and Erskine (who added the Vita Ray element of the treatment to make the serum’s effect permanent ala Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes (unlike T’Challa’s purely herb based powers which can be “striped away” (Thanks Zuri!) by consuming an ‘antidote’ (maybe the elusive plant that Banner was seeking).

And going forward it can be implied that many of the efforts to create ’super soldiers’ in MCU history has sprung from the Heart Shaped Herb.  

Whats so hard about that? 


Edited by David Allen Perrin on 13 March 2018 at 3:59pm
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 4:42pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Whats so hard about that?
 
----

I can't tell if you are being ironic here or not.

Regardless, you are reading WAY too much into a plant reference. And it's pretty clear by now that beyond a few Easter Egg type references that Marvel Studios and Marvel TV don't do much coordinating. There were two versions of Tina Minoru!
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 8:22pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

But reading into what the movies present is kinda what you do as a fan.

What fun are these movies and TV shows if they are so shallow in scope that possibilities like the one I laid out are literally impossible?

I’m having fun with these movies, man!   FUN!


Edited by David Allen Perrin on 13 March 2018 at 8:24pm
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