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Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

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Opening night at Black Panther was an all-out celebration. All six showings at my cinema were sold out, and showings continued to sell out through the weekend. But the audience was ecstatic at my premier, completely into the event, dressed in traditional African attire, laughing, cheering, applauding, hooting, and having a killer time. It makes me want to give Black Panther the very highest grade. There’s nothing like a good party.

My A- is still a very good score. I honestly preferred the recent Thor – Ragnarok and Spiderman – Homecoming…those were better plotted stories, more tightly woven into the later Marvel Cinematic Universe, with sprightlier humor, and people I cared about.

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[UPDATE: Black Panther did get  better with every viewing. It really is one of the best films of the MCU. But after I saw Avengers – Infinity War, I now have to place IW a bit higher. Let’s just say Marvel really knows how to craft a film by now, period, and gets better every year.]

Black Panther (an origin story that suffers by introducing an entire NATION of new characters) moved along so quickly I was often lost, and didn’t get to know much about anyone. The title character himself, with so much else this movie had to accomplish, had surprisingly little to say or do. The actual titular superhero had more action in Captain America – Civil War.

However, Black Panther is a spectacularly gorgeous film. The cinematography, location shots, the CGI, the total aesthetic appeal — all was topnotch. There was an epic feel to the proceedings, decent humor (mostly from the scene-stealing Princess Shuri), and standout female performances by the aforementioned Princess, the Queen, the Girlfriend, and the General. The women were clearly the best part of the narrative.

Wait, of course, through the entire credits: this is a Marvel movie, after all. The final movie stinger provides a long-awaited payoff.

Updated Note: With Avengers: Infinity War coming out this week, and Black Panther STILL in theaters, this is the first time we’ve had two MCU movies playing at once! I might make my movie day a double feature…

Movie Grade: A-

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  • Debra McKnight

    Denai Gurira as the General is my favorite character. Her warrior character in Black Panther is awesome. She has practiced her fighting technique as the badass Michonne in “The Walking Dead” TV series. Almost didnt recognize her without the Michonne dreadlocks.

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    Jill Florio Administrator

    I loved her too. The women STOLE the movie right out from T’Challa’s feet. I haven’t seen Walking Dead (horror is not my genre), but I’m impressed with this actress’ work just from this. I bet she looks good in dreds.

    Not that the bald Wakanda look isn’t stylish too. 🙂

    It’s interesting that the fighting contingent in this movie is almost all comprised of women. I guess I’d have to read the comics to get a sense of the history we only see glimpses of in the movie.

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    Jill Florio Administrator

    Heading out tomorrow to see Black Panther a third time, before it leaves the theaters for good! I’m going to pay special attention to the ending…I have a theory about something I think will happen next.

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    Jill Florio Administrator

    I watched the ending again and am still not sure what I saw. But since this is Marvel I’m sure they could bring back Killmonger if they wish.

    Infinity War Spoiler:

    Also, I don’t see why Shuri can’t be the Black Panther with the events of IW, til things get put back pre-snap. She’s got the royal blood, could see her ancestors (if they’re any heart shaped flowers left), and has her own job that she would happily return too if T’Challa comes back.

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