Some things have gotten harder since the pandemic started. Going to the grocery store, traveling, seeing friends, and the latter. No one feels completely safe as they used to in school, at work, or in line waiting. The air seems to pulsate with the question, "will this trip get me sick, is this person vaccinated, I don't feel safe." Sometimes we don't even feel safe in our homes, no matter how much we sanitize, test ourselves, and clean. I gained weight during the pandemic, my usual walks became stifled by masks, I went less into the city, and less on long strolls, and bike rides through my neighborhood. Now people think the pandemic is over, and for many it is. I'm triple vaccinated, but I know I can still get sick if I'm not careful.
Recently I reconnected with an old friend, someone I had not seen since the start of the pandemic, 3 years it feels like only a few months sometimes. We decided to go see a movie and decided upon Black Panther, Wakanda Forever. I have not been in a movie theater since seeing 1917 (2019) which by the way, phenomenal film. I used to love going to the movies, in fact, I would say many films do better in the theater. Some movies sure will always be bad, but some are even more enhanced in a theater. 1917 is for sure one of them. My friend and I chatted like no time had passed, we laughed, and we made fun of the bad commercials. It was easy, sitting there in the new recliner seats that many theaters have opted for. At some point I pointed out, "are we getting old, my ears hurt." The theater sound system was so loud, our relaxed bodies shook. "No, you're not crazy. I feel it too," my friend reassured me. Finally after what seemed like hours the movie started. I hadn't read reviews, I had notions of what the movie might be about. Before the movie, we talked about what we predicted would happen. I mentioned that maybe there would be a female lead for this film, Black Panther queen maybe?
Black panther does not follow the norm of most of marvel films. It isn't just a superhero movie or good vs evil. It's never outright romance. If you took away the costumes, and fancy gadgets, and Vibranium, you would still have an amazing story of struggle, politics, family, dynamics of what outsiders see of other worlds and what other worlds see as outsiders. Wakanda encompasses a following that surpasses heroic goals and hopes. The struggle is real and so the story becomes real as well. I've watched most of the marvel films, so far guardians of the galaxy franchise and Black Panther are my faves.
I would say I was pretty enthralled by the new Black Panther film, it captivated a very well-told story, with very strong female leads. I would say this film took us on a very emotional rollercoaster, that without side effects and light shows would ordinarily be a very sad film, and it was for me. I don't think many people would agree with me on this, but it has to be said regardless. Sure the sadness was not drawn out, except for one character. It wasn't like nightmare land, there was light peeking through and even at the parts where I thought I would cry I held back the emotion because I knew something good was just around the corner.
Many marvel films lack the sincerity that Black Panther has, raw emotion. As I mentioned before, family plays heavily in this film and its predecessors, friends as well make up the brunt of the cast, but friends with history, they become more like sisters and brothers rather than people you live near.
Another pro for me for this film is that the story is a bit more original than most of the other marvel films, it actually isn't solely about good vs evil, because in reality if you took away Wakanda the new indigenous Aztec people would be the good fighting the world for Vibranium control. They are portrayed as bad in the film because they don't want others to have Vibranium knowing what they could do with it.
Like its predecessors Wakanda forever is shot the same way many of the marvel films are, they remind me of candy, hot bright colors, bright spaces, large explosions, seemingly its is hardly ever night, no one rests, no one eats. It's fully make-believe, Wakanda reminds me in many ways of Thor, of course, different places, people and faces, bu they still follow similar paths. Wakanda City and Asgard are almost identical of structure except one is not found in deep space.
All in all I was not disappointed going back to the theater, it was a really good film, all of my above notes are pro in my opinion, and in my cons I only have a few short notes. The film was exceedingly long, I'm used to most super hero movies being 2 hrs at least, Wakanda forever was 3, I was not expecting that. I'm not mad, but after close inspection, there's always something you can cut even further. There were a lot of scenes where "the gang gets ready." My term for when people are doing their rock video trying on dresses like 13 going on 30 or any teen girl film. If you've done it once in a series, no need to do it again. There were also a lot of scenes where characters ask for favors, help me save my daughter, help me fight the bad guys, help me do this, help me make that. Much of the story was just that. Even though it is I'm sure helpful to ask, in many other marvel films, someone says, "We need a knife." And within the same scene, someone brings the knife. There's no waiting around for 30min while someone looks for the knife. There are exceptionally a lot of scene changes, which I think is good, but hard to follow when you have a 3-hour long film. Sometimes there can be too many small stories intermixed with the larger ones and you forget what you're actually watching and which story your mind actually wants to listen to or see. In reality, this film was an endless circle. We started with death and then waited a long time for rebirth. The stuff in the middle was mostly fluff, sure good fluff, but just a tad too much. We didn't need the gifted young student to finish the film, we could of been introduced to the Aztecs earlier, this could have been war without ever saying it was.
Leticia Wright is amazing and full of remorse and revenge and rightfully so. She drags us on a great adventure of what it is to lose it all and gain it back in a short period of time. You know she's impetuous and young and her niceties are thrown out the windows when the family is put on the line. The story takes her there, to the edge, and us along with her. And she knows the writers know just when she's had enough when it's time to live in reality. We all need a break sometimes. We can't go at it alone. I'm glad I watched this film. It made me think about all the times I was enthralled by an actor and actress before. their faces bright on the screen with the promise of a better story than the one before. I'm looking forward to the future for more great films and can only hope marvel can play it up as well as this one.
Story 4.5 script 3.5 scenery 4 characters 5 soundtrack 4
Costume change 89.5, Q status update 73% Vibranium tech 9/11
Black and purple cat hearts 💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤 (8.3)