MCN Blogs
Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

BYO Wakanda (Hold Those Spoilers, Even Tiny Ones)

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Okoye (Danai Gurira)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Can we start without spoilers? End of the weekend, after more people have had a chance to see the film, there will be a place to freely spoiler!

Be Sociable, Share!

12 Responses to “BYO Wakanda (Hold Those Spoilers, Even Tiny Ones)”

  1. palmtree says:

    Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks!

    I guess without getting into spoilers, this movie is the real deal. Funny, poignant, relevant, exciting, and so woke. I mean, being a Marvel movie, I could still see the story moves coming from a mile away, but it’s what’s behind the story that matters. Somehow the MCU just keeps getting better and better and now the prospect of Infinity Wars coming has got me feeling like a 10-year old boy again.

  2. palmtree says:

    At the risk of just having a conversation with myself, anyone else wondering what is up with all the African tweets being upset the movie isn’t African enough? I mean, I understand the premise of the complaint, but this is a step in the right direction for a huge multinational corporation. To not see that is a bit short-sighted, isn’t it?

  3. Spassky says:

    Which Avengers movie began “Somewhere in Africa”… the world (let alone pop culture) does not understand the size and diversity (politically, culturally, geographically, etc…) of africa, but yeah this is silly american pop culture trash that was made for children… what do people want, a reel from le matre fou? Its a fake country. Cant wait to see

  4. JSPartisan says:

    That’s some cross sectioning bit of madness, Spassky. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing damn movie, and now the biggest franchise in the history of cinema has its strongest nation set in AFRICA! That’s glorious.

  5. Bulldog68 says:

    What’s fascinating about Black Panther, sight unseen, is that in a movie named after its male lead, there is a remarkable display of powerful females. And it seems not to be given a second thought. Ironically the actress who plays Ayo, was also in Wonder Woman. So on two fronts BP is staking a claim, yes, as popcorn cinema, but also as powerful messaging to various groups who have felt left out, disenfranchised, and underrepresented.

    As a black man, I don’t want the only stories told about me to be through the lens of slavery, or ghetto survival, or the black guy who dies in the first scene, lol. I want the stories that are also accessible to everyone, for everyone to look into a black actors eyes and say “I want to be him.” I wanted to be Superman, and Batman, and Hulk growing up. Because they embodied various aspects of goodness. I want little white kids to say they want to be Black Panther. Because they think he represents ideals that are good.

    Not to make this too political but it’s what most of us, even those of us living in Canada, miss about Obama. Agree or disagree with his policies or politics, he represented ideals and values and respectability that most wanted to emulate. The guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave right now, not so much.

  6. JSPartisan says:

    BD, I state this all the time, but I miss having a president. Obama was what the ideal should be, and that the US couldn’t follow that up… the kids learning history in 2030, are going to be really upset with their parents and grand parents.

  7. LBB says:

    Well said, Bulldog. And as a former little white kid, who wouldn’t want to wear that suit? (That goes for the non-superhero suits as well.) As a current old white dude, it’s thrilling to see superheroism presented with this cast. And I love that the special abilities are shared with the main hero’s colleagues despite their not having his super powers. Okoye may not have the “power of the black panther” but who else would you rather have backing you in a fight? And who wouldn’t want a brilliant scientist/inventor as a sister? Altogether these are abilities we very easily accept in every other story in this genre. The fact that this is creating “yeah, but…” responses is just another sign of how ignorant our dominant culture is. I’m too old to think that pop culture is in any way geared toward me or cares about my take on it, but I’m happy to see this happen and am excited that younger and future generations have at least this team of heroes to add to their superhero diet. T’Challa is a great hero full stop. But the story could be about any one of his allies and b great too. That’s how it’s done.

  8. Bitplaya says:

    @palmtree There are so few movies with black leads there is a ton of pressure to be all things to all people. Be fun, socially relevant, have the right skin tones represented, etc.

    It’s impossible. Hopefully the more of these kinds of movies that get made the less of that kind of shit will happen.

    Also a few online complainers do not a movement make. I wish more people realized that.

    BTW Poland where’s the box office story? This thing will be a monster. I worry about the drop though.

  9. palmtree says:

    Bitplaya, I guess my issue is more with people who are claiming a movie about Africa has to hire actual actors from Africa with authentic accents. It’s conflating that with whitewashing which this is not. Even if it’s just one person upset, it was an MCN retweet, making me wonder if this is a view many people share. I hope not.

  10. YancySkancy says:

    In a Facebook movie forum the other day, I was arguing with some chump who pooh-poohed the notion of BP being in any way a “game-changer.” He said it was just corporate hype and nothing at all new, because there have always been hit movies with black leads. As if Blade had anywhere near the cultural impact 20 years ago that BP seemed to be having even before it opened. After a bit of back and forth, it became rather clear that the guy’s “arguments” were just coded racism. Why would anyone have a problem with people getting excited about the prospect of a black superhero film becoming a blockbuster success in the current cultural moment (which this guy seemed to think wasn’t even a thing)? In the wake of Black Lives Matter and eight years of a black president, in a time of racial divisiveness stoked by his successor, to see this film become a phenomenon can’t help but be heartening, even if it had turned out to be just another decent entry in the Marvel Universe. I probably won’t get to see until next week, but if it’s remotely as good as the general reaction seems to be, it’ll be icing on the cake.

  11. Geoff says:

    I thought it was a very strong movie, probably the best from Marvel Studios since The Avengers – the pacing was as bit off and a decent amount of the CGI was very wonky but the cast all delivered, the story was compelling, and it was nice to see a movie from this franchise that just allowed itself to be sincere and not shove in quips whenever possible.

    Danai Guerera and Michael B. Jordan were definitely the standouts – I watched her for years on The Walking Dead and here she is just dazzling again, I just wanted more! And very nice turn from MBJ, he is the real deal and I will see anything he’s featured in at this point. Boseman is really good too but it feels like they limited him a bit with that accent – I completely get how he’s supposed to sound regal but it would have been nice to hear him raise voice above a mid-whisper for most of the movie. Still his role was KIND of thankless as written – he’s the center of this universe and he grounds it so he did his job.

    The world-building was fantastically done for the most part and not a strong actor was wasted – even Bassett and Whitaker were allowed their moments. More, more, more of this….REAL directors bringing a genuine vision to this genre and less Whedon/Russos generic big screen TV stuff.

    And I get the arguments for and against this being a “game-changer” – it is in many respects, all black cast directed by a black director with a large-scale budget of an iconic fictional black character. And props and kudos for Disney/Marvel for selling the everloving shit of it…..and putting the African-ness of it all upfront, they marketed this film into the event it deserved to be. At the same time, we shouldn’t just diminish what Blade accomplished 20 years ago: it wasn’t only the first successful comic book movie starring a black hero but it was THE first successful adaptation of a Marvel property brought to the big screen – after years and years of Howard the Duck, straight-to-video shit, aborted Spider-Man projects….fucking BLADE was the first one to connect and that shouldn’t just be forgotten either. Goyer, Feige, and Arad were all there at various levels of those Blade films…if the first one didn’t make profit, you might not have seen X-Men greenlit or Spider-Man finally given the big budget treatment it deserved…or eventually the MCU. So I think it’s fair to acknowledge the doors that will opened by Black Panther while also still acknowledging the mark that was made by Blade 20 years ago.

    And yeah, seeing the incompetent ass-clown that is Donald Trump get reported on EVERY fucking day gets tiresome – his agenda has mostly been stalled which is gratifying but it’s also sad to see how much progress has stalled for now and how much good can be done if the White House wasn’t just turned into a Adult Daycare center as at least one Senator has pointed out. Movies like this and Wonder Woman DO serve a purpose in times like these even if they do get over-blown…..still better to see the real deal in the Oval Office but we can still hope for the future…

  12. JSPartisan says:

    I’ve always felt this way, but Blade started everything. Why no one wants to remember it kicked off the comic book movie genre, is probably revisionist history on people’s part. Does anyone else remember seeing Blade, and thinking to themselves, “This is a comic book movie, that doesn’t suck!” It was staggering to me, that a comic book movie could be done right, and it slowly built from there.

    I get that a 20 year old today, wasn’t around to see Blade, and that the original film wasn’t aired nearly as much as the sequel or the last film while they were growing up. Still… Blade is what showed the world what could happen. If you take this shit seriously, as well as having fun with it.

    And the need for Wonder Woman and Black Panther is not overblown, because they are the modern equivalent of what people have needed from films during trying times. It gets frustrating that anyone would state it’s overblown, when what’s happening in the white house is not normal, and continues to be the strongest of shitshows in modern history. People need hope, and they need a belief. A belief, even if it’s a comic book movie, but a belief that shows the world can be better. People, can be better, and the better people can triumph over those who want to destroy us.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon