Movie: Black Panther (2018)

First: If at this time next year I am not saying to myself: “I wrote a blog about that, let me just edit with this year’s Oscar hashtag…” then something is wrong in the universe and people are gonna be in trouble. And, I do not mean the obligatory “Best Original Song” category (although it should be nom’ed for that as well).  This should have a Best Picture nom.  But the Oscars hate a super hero. I hope Black Panther breaks that trend.

From a comic book perspective: I was completely unfamiliar with the story and the characters going into this movie. That is a shame. That will be corrected.  I would like to know if the written characters read with as much charisma as the screen characters.

The colors. Just, wow. The wearable colors, the surrounding colors, the cinematography colors.  Loved it all.  In the animated world, I was wowed by the colors of Coco and wondered how that would translate into live action.  In Black Panther… the cliff side, when the people of Wakanda were watching the challenge to be king – their robes were so beautiful and they seemed to reach to the heavens.   I am happy that this movie was made, that it received the reception it did and that it is breaking records.

There will be spoilers – my thoughts while watching the movie:

  • Wow! All of the super hero previews!
  • Deadpool, Bob Ross “Hugs Not Drugs” ha ha ha
  • I am curious – with the Day of the Dead – orange blossoms are used as a connection between worlds.  In Black Panther, they used an orange (I think it is) sand.  Is there a correlation between orange and the afterlife mythologies?
  • What language are they using – need to look that up.
  • Their ships look like bugs.
  • You serve the world, I will save the world.  LOVE LOVE LOVE that line.
  • Alex was upset that Shuri, knowing that her suit invention uses kinetic energy, kept hitting Killmonger and the energy stored could be used against her.

A couple of interviews and pieces:

IMDB Synopsis: T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.

Starring:

I will come back and edit the “starring” section as IMDB crashed my computer more than once with this movie.

Trailer:

Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 79% liking it.  Average Rating: 4.1/5 with a number of User Ratings: 65,968.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 16 February 2018 (USA) / Runtime: 134 minutes / Budget: $200M

IMDB Trivia:

  • Three out of every five people in Wakanda go barefoot, a deliberate decision by the costuming department.
  • Director Ryan Coogler compared the Wakanda vibranium mines to the real-life situation of the Congo mines, where the valuable mineral coltan (used in manufacturing digital products, found only in the Congo region) is being mined.
  • Wakanda was mentioned as a location on a S.H.I.E.L.D. monitor in Iron Man 2 (2010). The location pinpoints the country as being situated at Lake Turkana, on the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia. The region in real life is special for holding great mineral deposits (properties similar to Wakanda).
  • The fighting in this film is based on African martial arts. The filmmakers also cited the action scenes in Creed (2015) and the Kingsman films as an influence on the style.
  • The Black Panther was created in July 1966, two months before the founding of the Black Panther Party. Many people mistakenly assumed the name referred to the Party, so the character was renamed the Black Leopard. However, neither the readers nor the creators cared for that title, and it didn’t last long.
  • Ryan Coogler describe the film’s central theme as responsibility and identity: “What do the powerful owe those in need? It separates the good-guys from the villains. What value is strength unless you’re using it to help someone? Wakanda pretends to be just another struggling African country, but some of its neighbors are struggling for real. If Wakandans don’t stand up for themselves, who will? But if they stand only for themselves, then who are they?”
  • The name “Wakanda” comes from the Wakamba tribe of Kenya, also known as the Kamba.
  • Black Panther is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have its opening weekend domestic box office surpass it’s production cost. It cost $200,000,000 to make the movie, Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday opening weekend domestic box office was $ 202,000,000.
  • During an interview with Michel Martin on the radio program “All Things Considered,” Danai Gurira (Okoye) said that the language spoken by Wakandans is a real language, Xhosa, a South African language characterized by clicks and glottal stops: “It’s the same language that is native to Nelson Mandela. It’s from the Cape region of South Africa. And Mr. John Kani, who plays T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, he’s Xhosa. And so he – they started and agreed to that language being the language of Wakanda in Captain America: Civil War”
  • The scars on Erik Killmonger’s body are a form of body modification called Scarification: a dying tradition carried out by some African tribes. Some tribes use it as a form of identity/social status and some to mark milestones achieved in life; for Killmonger, each scar represented a person he had killed. Him doing this to his body can also be seen as a misguided way for him to connect with his African ancestry.
  • In the comics, Shuri takes over as the Black Panther from T’Challa. This is an homage in the film where she appears to challenge her brother for the throne.
  • Composer Ludwig Göransson traveled to South Africa and visited the International Library of African Music in Grahamstown to listen to the musical archives “thousands of different tribes in Africa”. He also traveled to Senegal and South Africa to record local musicians to form the “base” of the music.
  • W’Kabi tells Killmonger that the war dogs in New York, London, and Hong Kong are ready to execute his orders. New York, London, and Hong Kong are the locations of the sanctums as mentioned in Dr. Strange (2016).
  • There is no Infinity Gems involved in the movie.
  • Bucky is given the title of the White Wolf. In the comics, the White Wolf was a white man who was adopted and raised in Wakanda; in the film, Bucky is not adopted but he is accepted by some Wakandan citizens.
  • In the opening scene, one of the young children playing basketball calls out to another child as “E”, a common nickname for the name Erik. This is a clue toward one of the children being Erik Killmonger.

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