Friday, February 23, 2018

Phil sees BLACK PANTHER at the Cinelux Plaza Theatre Campbell - February 20, 2018

Marvel Studios has been on an unstoppable winning streak for the past several years and they continue their MCU juggernaut at theaters this past weekend. It goes without saying that not even Satn Lee or Jack Kirby could've predicted that their creation would become so successful and becoming already a pop culture phenomenon. With the release of BLACK PANTHER, Marvel Studios and Wald Disney have released on hell of a film!!

The film's official synopsis: After the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

I never thought that I would see a film like this: an African cast, filled with African clothing, African beliefs and traditions, and the lead is an African superhero. When "The King" Jack Kirby and Stan "The Man" Lee unleashed the Black Panther in The Fantastic Four back in 1966, little did they know that they were making history. He was the first black superhero to appear in mainstream American comics. That is something truly revolutionary. This year marks T'Challa's and his superhero alter ego 52nd anniversary, and for this special occasion, Marvel Studios has brought us his solo movie.

Everything in the movie is perfect! Absolutely perfect! Chadwick Boseman returns as our hero who brings class, intelligence, and dignity to the role. His adversary Erik Killmonger is played by the talented Michael B. Jordan, who's resume includes RED TAILS, FRUITVALE STATION and CREED. Marvel fans will also remember him as Johnny Storm in the infamous 2015 movie FANTASTIC FOUR. Like Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans before him, Jordon is given a second chance and is redeemed in one of his best performances! Killmonger is the best MCU villain since Tom Hiddleston's Loki!! Vicious, ruthless, and brilliantly evil, I sincerely hope we get to see this character again!

Another aspect that sets this movie apart from the competition is the strong female cast! Angela Bassett shines as the captivating and regal Ramonda, mother of T'Challa. Letitia Wright portrays T'Challa's little sister Shuri, who gives Tony Stark a run for his money as she's supremely intelligence and an uncanny inventor and scientist. Lupita Nyong'o's character Nakia is not only T'Challa's love interest, but is a former Dora Milaje who became an international spy for Wakanda. She is both beautiful and dangerous! Lastly, there's Danai Gurira who plays Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment. Fans know her well as Michonne from AMC's The Walking Dead. To put it bluntly: Okoye would kick Michonne's ass completely!! Okoye is one of the toughest women I have ever seen in any of the MCU films!! She is fearless in the role and is just awe inspiring!!

The film was directed by Ryan Coogler and was co-written by him and Joe Robert Cole. Coogler made a name for himself with the 2013 indie film FRUITVALE STATION, a true story about "Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008." The film (as well as his lead actor Michael B. Jordan) became a sensation, which led him to his next project CREED. Starring Jordon and Sylvester Stallone, the film received critical acclaim, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Stallone, but won four awards at the African-American Film Critics Association! Coogler has been tapped to direct the much anticipated sequel CREED 2.

BLACK PANTHER IS THE BEST MARVEL STUDIOS FILM OF ALL TIME!! For a long time my favorite MCU movie was the Russo Brothers' CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE WINTER SOLDIER, but know it has been moved to my #2 position. With its fast paced action, beautiful cinematography, entertaining script, larger-than-life characters, talented and diverse cast, and fantastic directing, the movie is now the measuring stick for all other MCU films to follow, not to mention movies from Hollywood! Here is a black cast, directed by a black director, is one of the highest grossing films of all time!! It's time to wake up Hollywood and smell the change!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

BLACK PANTHER is playing in 2D, Real 3D, and in IMAX in theaters nationwide, including at the Cinelux Theaters here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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