Black Panther

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: MBlack Panther

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Written by: Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

Based on the Marvel Comics by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Produced by: Kevin Feige p.g.a

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis.

Growing up, black panthers were my favourite animal.  I remember whispering to my cat, asking to bring one of their cousins home for a visit.  Probably a good thing the wish never came true as a super hero I am not.  Nor have I been a big fan of super hero movies.  But Black Panther is a powerful and rich story that is beautiful and unique.

And yeah, there’s some pretty cool action as well.

The character, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) made his debut on film in, Captain America: Civil War (2016).

Well received, we now have the story of the Black Panther; a script based on the Marvel comics written by Stan Lee (who’s making a habit of popping up in films based on his characters) and Jack Kirby.

This is a story of T’Challa, the son of the African King of Wakanda who becomes the Black Panther after his father is murdered by Ulysses Klaw (Andy Serkis).

It’s a unique tale of the tribal nature of Africa combined with futuristic technology made from the hardest metal on Earth – Vibranium.  There’s also the mystical here with a black panther showing the Wakanda ancestors where to find the Vibranium, and how eating an herb of blue flowers enhances abilities making the Black Panther super-human.

See an informative and interesting article here describing the history of the comic of Black Panther written by: David Roach and Peter Sanderson.

Directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed 2015), Black Panther the movie is filled with colour, expansive landscapes (Rachel Morrison) and strong, layered characters.

There’s a lot of elements brought together by an emotive soundtrack (Ludwig Göransson) that soars and causes that swelling in the chest you get when the characters are doing right no matter what the cost.

It’s not often you get such a visual, action-packed sci-fi that causes such an emotional response.

The politics and message of the film could have turned the tone saccharine, but the careful handling of director Coogler and strong acting from the cast made the message poignant and thought-provoking.

It was a pleasure to embrace the beauty of the colourful nation of Wakanda – the costuming (Ruth E. Carter) of the inhabitants also a standout.

And the layering of characters with good and bad in all; where people can be the products of circumstance, allowing an understanding of why people behave the way they do.  Where integrity and the strength and clarity to make the right choices are needed to make any change worthwhile.

There’s a reason this film has been so successful as the appeal is wide and the message runs deep.

What a fantastic story and what a successful adaptation to the big screen.

Black Panther is not only exciting and beautiful to watch, an emotional chord is struck, provoking thought of what it is to be human.


All Eyez On Me

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: MA15+All Eyez On Me

Director: Benny Boom

Screenplay: Steven Bagatourian

Producers: L. T. Hutton, David l. Robinson, James G. Robinson

Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Jamie Hector, Annie Ilonzeh, Kat Graham and Jamal Woolard.

After being hit in the stomach by a patient at work (hospitals aren’t always the safest places), I was feeling feisty going in to see the biography of controversial rapper, Tupac Shakur (AKA 2Pac) in, All Eyez On Me.

I didn’t expect to get into the film as I wasn’t a fan, but I became absorbed by the tenacity of the man (rhyming intended).

Taking me back to the late 80s to early 90s, back to a time when I was still at high school, put off rap when lyrics from, The 2 Live Crew’s track: Me So Horny, were sung by oh so horny teenagers – the story of Tupac was unfamiliar.  Sure, I’d heard of him.  Anyone alive during that time would have, and that’s a testament to his fame, but I didn’t know the details of his life.

By the time Tupac was 25 when he died a week after being shot by, to this day, persons unknown, Tupac Shakur had sold over 75 million records had starred in six films and one TV show all in the space of 5 years, including his time in jail for ‘indecent touching’. This guy was a trail blazer.

All Eyez on Me is a biography and thankfully not a rap music video featuring gangsters and tits and arse, for which 2Pac was famous, there’s also his political side, his poetry and his relationship with his mother.

Both his step father and mother were part of the Black Panther’s back in the 70s, his mother jailed while pregnant with Tupac only to be released after her self-representation.  His step father also jailed after being charged for armed robbery whether a set-up by the police for being a Black Panther leader or because he did the robbery or for all of it.

It’s interesting how times have changed and how artists who survived those days such a Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube have been washed and rinsed and sanitised.  And I felt that the perspective of the film laundered Tupac’s life for the big screen.  Yet, there’s effort to show the controversy, the gangster attitude and misogynous stance to then switch to Tupac’s defence to give a little understanding as to the why.  And the, Why not?

It was interesting to be shown a slice into the life that was Tupac.  From his life as a child to his final hours as partner of Death Row Records, still dreaming, still creating, still getting out there to stand.

The opportunity for Tupac to defend his life style was shown through an interview with journalist Kevin Powell (who’s now suing for copywrite infringement, see article here) while he was jailed.  The premise being just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  And although sometimes disgusted, I admit I got into the film and the charisma of the character, Demetrius Shipp Jr, well-cast as Tupac.   But wow, the man himself would have been so much better.

A few pieces of old footage are spliced into the film which I would have liked more if possible without taking away from the drama and character of the film.

And 2Pac’s music was a slow reveal and used in triumph as Tupac makes a comeback, again and again.

All Eyez On Me is an interesting film if you can stomach the macho BS that is the attitude of the 80s rapper.  Particularly the history of West Coast Rap and where artists like Dr.Dre, Snoop Dogg and 2Pac come together.

Products from