Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)

Director:

Ryan Coogler

Writers:

Ryan Coogler

Joe Robert Cole

Starring:

Chadwick Boseman

Michael B. Jordan

Lupita Nyong’o

Danai Gurira

Letitia Wright

Winston Duke

Plot:

T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past.

Review:

T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, has come home to be crowned the new King of Wakanda after the death of his father in the events of Civil War. His ex is a spy for Wakanda and he can’t face his coronation without her because there is clearly love still there. Everything goes swimmingly with the coronation, though, there is a challenger that makes T’Challa work for it.

Still, things seem to finally be calming down for T’Challa. He’s mourning the loss of his father, but death appears to be a positive thing for Wakandans. He’s thinking about the future of his kingdom and whether to reveal their true nature to the rest of the world, when suddenly a notorious criminal responsible for the deaths of many of his people, shows up. Naturally, he must go after him. It ends up snowballing when Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan, shows up and takes the crown.

Here’s the thing, what makes Black Panther so incredible is the cast and the development given to their characters. This is easily one of the most creative Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, if not the most creative. It wasn’t just Black Panther’s costume that was created and imagined it was an entire country. It was incredible the amount of detail that was included. I would watch a TV show or read a book that had nothing to do with Black Panther set in Wakanda.

Women appear to be treated equally, Okoye, Danai Gurira, is their best fighter. Shuri, Letitia Wright, is the smartest person in the country and possibly the world. She certainly puts Tony and Bruce in their places in Infinity War. Even Nakia, Lupita Nyong’o, pushes T’Challa to be better and he listens to her. Each of the women here have personality and character and history. They aren’t just there to support the lead, though there is that, they are their own people.

Okoye is a general and stands by her oath to the very end, even when it goes against her wishes. Shuri doesn’t appear to back down from anyone, facing everything head on with her brain leading the way. Nakia loves T’Challa but refuses to compromise her career for that love because she believes what she’s accomplishing with it is more important and T’Challa knows that. He is able to find a compromise for them at the end. They are all strong, capable women, but with their own strengths and weaknesses, and they aren’t just props to further along T’Challa’s story.

This movie means so much to me because of those women. We’ve had Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, to a lesser extent Valkyrie, and a few others, but these women are the first time that I feel like we’ve gotten some fleshed out female superheroes and it’s just been one movie. They make me so excited for what’s to come for the MCU future.

Original Review

5/5

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Dynamite Review Best of 2018

Each year I try to make a list of all my favorites for the year. Most years I don’t see or read or play much that came out in the actual year, but for once I was able to make lists of stuff that exclusively came out in 2018.

Black Panther

Movies
I feel like I should place a warning here before anyone can read my list. It is going to be heavy on the Superhero films. I watched Hidden Figures and Girls Trip for the first time in 2018 and loved them, but because they didn’t come out in 2018 I decided not to include them. So I apologize for the following boring list of movies.
1. Black Panther
Holy shit I still love this movie. I watched it recently, wondering if it would hold up from my original viewing and it did. If anything I like it more than I did the first time around.
2. Deadpool 2
I really need to re-watch this. I was finally able to get ahold of the unrated cut and I haven’t yet watched it. Still, the first viewing was incredibly memorable and I’m looking forward to seeing what was added. Also, they fucking made a PG-13 version with a tie in to my favorite movie, The Princess Bride!
3. BlacKkKlansman
This movie stands out like a sore thumb on my list, but I can’t help it. It was a great movie and hit me right in the soul.
4. Ant-Man and the Wasp
I loved the Wasp, she was such a badass.
5. Avengers: Infinity War
I’m still not sure about this movie. It was great, hit all the right notes, and got me super excited for the 2019 Marvel movies, but my final opinion of it is not going to be settled until those come out.

Honorable Mentions
Incredible 2
Oceans 8
The Hurricane Heist

Magic Triumphs

Books
The wonderful Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is not on the list since it didn’t come out in 20118, but it is definitely one I loved reading. Sadly, this will also be the first time I’m not including a Patricia Briggs book on my list, Burn Bright just did not cut it for me. I debated whether or not I should add Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews to my list since it’s a novella, but ultimately decided I liked having a nice round number for my total.
Like my movie list, my book list is kind of heavy on one side, namely Ilona Andrews’s book. Often in the past I’ve just listed them as one entry, but I did not read much this year, and my list would be bare without them.
So without further ado, my best of 2018 books!
1. Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) By: Ilona Andrews
This was THE climactic conclusion of possibly my favorite series. It was well worth the wait.
2. A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) By: Alyssa Cole
This was my favorite find of the year. I freaking LOVED this book and I’m so excited for the books to come.
3. Ocean Light (Psy-Changling Trinity #2) By: Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh is such a great author and I was so happy to finally have a human love interest in this series. It was all so sweet.
4. Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacies #3.5) By: Ilona Andrews
This may have been a novella but it packed a lot into the limited pages. I’m beyond exited for the books coming up and looking forward to seeing more of Catalina.
5. Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) By: Ilona Andrews
Before I read this I was not excited that Hugh was getting his own series, but I have now been converted. I never should have doubted Ilona Andrews.

murphy-brown-season-11-cast-photo

TV Shows
I watch a LOT of TV. I also, rarely write reviews for what I watch. I try to do season recaps after I binge, and I succeed at that about fifty percent of the time. I do better reviewing pilot episodes.
Like everything else, I’m going to limit myself to seasons that aired in 2018, which means that one of my favorites, Dramaworld, won’t be on the list. I’ll also try and include shows that I wrote reviews for, but sadly I haven’t gotten around to writing a review for The Good Place and I have to include it on my list.
So here we go!
1. Murphy Brown
You have no idea how much I love this series. I honestly had no idea how much I loved it until it came back and I actually set my little rabbit ears up and watched it live. I know the likelihood that I’ll actually get another season is slim to none, but I can’t stop myself from hoping for more.
2. The Good Place
Holy shit this show does not fail to deliver. Every episode I have no idea what the fuck is going to happen and it does not disappoint. It’s one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched.
3. Westworld
Just when I think I’ve got a handle on what’s going on I’m thrown for a loop. Then they have an episode that shows an entirely new side of the hosts and I learn even more. It’s an interesting and beautiful show.
4. Jane the Virgin
Apparently, I love twists. That’s what my list is teaching me this year. Jane the Virgin gave me the biggest twist of the year with the season finale and I’m still on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next.
5. 12 Monkeys
The final season wrapped up a complicated story very well. It gave me closure and had me guessing right up until the very end. It was a fitting conclusion to a great time travel sci-fi TV show.

Honorable Mentions

Timeless

Doctor Who
Anne with an E
Sense 8

20180924183849_1
Games
I love playing games, but it is one of my hobbies that ends up getting pushed aside for other things, so I don’t play as much as I would like. I also, don’t review many games, but here’s a list of my 2018 favorites.
1. No Man’s Sky: Next (PC)
I’ve enjoyed No Man’s Sky since the beginning, but the Next expansion brought me back to the game. The added content was amazing, and was quickly followed by more expansive updates. I spent well over 100 hours playing it this year and had so much fun doing it.
2. Smash Bros Ultimate (Switch)
Smash Bros Ultimate just came out and I haven’t had much time to play it. I’ve definitely not beaten the “story mode” yet, but I’m having a blast. I haven’t liked a Smash game since the original on N64 and I’m so excited to finally be enjoying the franchise again. There is so much content that it’s going to take some time before I’m able to finish it, if I’m able too.
3. Splatoon 2: Octoling Expansion (Switch)
It honestly feels like this came out forever ago. I downloaded it day one and somehow ended up beating it. The Octoling Expansion felt like the story we should have gotten with Splatoon 2 originally. It was fun and creative, several times infuriating, and just an all-around pleasure to play.
4. Civilization VI (Switch)
I love the Civilization franchise. I’ve been asking for it to come back to consoles ever since I moved away from playing on the XBOX 360 and I finally got my wish this year. I’ve only had it for about a month, but I’ve already spent over 60 hours playing. It’s so easy to say just one more turn and since I can play in bed, instead of at the PC, I’m playing it more than ever. It doesn’t have as much as the PC version, but so far I’ve been incredible happy with all that’s been included and with how it runs. I tend toward the Standard map, so I’m not sure how well it goes on larger maps, though.
5. Overcooked 2 (Switch)
My husband and I beat the original Overcooked together and for Christmas we started the sequel. Overcooked 2 is everything that I love about the first, but with polish. It looks nicer, the mechanics are better, and it still has all the fun and frustration of the first. It’s been a great game to coop with my husband and we’ve both been enjoying it.

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther (2018)

Director:

Ryan Coogler

Starring:

Chadwick Boseman

Michael B. Jordan

Lupita Nyong’o

Danai Gurira

Martin Freeman

Plot:

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.

Review:

There is no way I can do this film justice in my review. I’m just not skilled enough and I’m still surfing on a buzz of awesome, but I’ll try.

T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, is now not only the Black Panther but he’s king. Well, he will as soon as he completes a traditional ritual that involves fighting anyone that challenges him.

This is an incredibly technologically advanced culture and yet they are still able to honor their traditions, it was really quiet lovely. Embracing one did not, necessarily, take away from the other. However, it did end up causing some problems and they might want to think about a change in the future.

Anyway, as king he makes a vow to finally capture the colonizer that killed so many of their own decades ago. He’s given a chance, but is blindsided by a new player and loses his opportunity. This angers one of his friends and ends up providing an opening to the true villain, Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan.

Marvel is really winning on the villain side of things lately. They had a horrible, lets please forget the movie ever exists, misstep with Age of Ultron but got things right with Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doctor Strange. They’re on a real winning streak which has me really looking forward to all the future movies.

Anyway, back to Black Panther. Killmonger could have very easily been not evil enough. He was incredibly empathetic, you could easily see how he’d become what he had become. He’d suffered and seen his people suffering all the while knowing that there was an entire country where they weren’t. Where they advanced beyond anything in the rest of the world. If he had stopped there, pleaded his case to T’Challa and tried the more humanitarian route that Nakia, Lupita Nyong’o, wanted to go then the movie wouldn’t have been as good. He went further and in so doing nearly destroyed what Wakanda stood for, but he also forced T’Challa to really see what life was like for those outside of his country and also see that his father wasn’t perfect.

Villains that make the hero change, to see other perspectives, are the best. Black Panther was a great hero, he was everything I like in a super hero. He was a good man, that strove to do the right things and make the right decisions, even when it wasn’t always the easiest route. Without Killmonger, though, I don’t think the movie would have succeeded so well in my eyes.

The supporting cast in Black Panther was also incredible. I freaking loved General Okoye, Danai Gurira, she was so freaking awesome. That red dress billowing in the breeze while she destroyed shit around her. So cool! Then you’ve got T’Challa’s sister Shuri, Letitia Wright, who was hilarious. It was so much fun to see her interactions with T’Challa. I also enjoyed how Martin Freeman’s character, Everett Ross, was the token white guy. He wasn’t killed in the first few minutes, he was actually given something useful to do so that was nice for him.

Black Panther is my second favorite Marvel movie, it was so good, and I hope that everyone is able to go see it.

5/5