It’s another blog about what I’ve been watching! What can I say? I’ve seen a lot of stuff lately 🙂
(Spoilers for Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War)
Black Panther first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in Civil War, which is my favourite superhero film ever. In a film where Captain America and Iron Man took centre stage, I was pleasantly surprised that it was Black Panther’s story arc that showed the most growth. He also rounded off the film with a great message.
The Black Panther film picks up shortly after these events, seeing T’Challa take up the throne after his father was killed at the signing of the Sokovia Accords. What ensues is a story of family, royal responsibility, and how tribes and nations of the world should treat each other. It’s an impressively dense film with multiple layers to peel away.
The casting is great with lots of recognisable faces – including a couple of Black Mirror actors. It’s also worth pointing out that women’s representation here is stronger than any Marvel film we’ve seen to date. While I do love the MCU, there is no denying it needs stronger female characters. This film rectifies that problem with a vengeance. Something else I love is the humour, which is timed to Marvel’s usual standards. “Just kidding. We’re vegetarians.”
The mid-credits sequence sees a speech that made me want to stand and applaud. It’s about how countries and cultures should build bridges between each other, not retreat into our own borders and throw up barriers. It’s a timely speech that put a smile on my face. Yet another Marvel film lets Black Panther bring it home with a message of morality and compassion.
One issue I had with the film was the level of violence. Marvel films have always contained a lot of fighting, but Cap Winter Soldier and Black Panther take it just a little too far for my personal tastes. I wouldn’t take my son to see this before he’s 12 years old (please don’t judge me… the point of the 12a certificate is to let the adult decide).
Overall, Black Panther is a great success on many levels. Marvel is off to a great start this year 🙂 I am so ready for Infinity War!
The Cloverfield Paradox
(Spoilers for all three Cloverfield films)
I really wanted to like this. I liked Cloverfield and loved the incredibly tense 10 Cloverfield Lane (until the ending anyway). Alas, despite answering questions from the previous two films, The Cloverfield Paradox just didn’t work for me.
I also feel like the tension and claustrophobia that could have been gained from setting this on a displaced space station was killed by the story constantly zipping back and forth between Earth (which was supposed to feel far away so the crew felt stranded and alone). The crew are intended to be some of the world’s brightest individuals and humanity’s greatest hope, yet they’re not particularly smart. Something is screeching from behind this bulkhead… Let’s all stand in front of it while we open it up!
None of the strange events are explained either.
How can this weird stuff be happening? Well you know… we fired the dimension-breaking engine so obviously monsters showed up and obviously a severed arm can act independently. Luckily Chris O’Dowd throws out a few comedic lines to make us laugh along the way “What are you trying to tell us, arm?” He definitely had some fun with his role and it’s greatly to the film’s credit.
Even when things are explained, they are done so clumsily. I know this is a common gripe for me and it’s only a minor one, but it’s still hard for me to accept when I hear characters plainly spelling things out for the audience. It just doesn’t sound like natural conversation and this something that affects a lot of sci-fi. It almost makes me long for the pretentious ambiguity of The Architect’s dialogue from The Matrix Reloaded.
One thing the film does get right is casting. There is an excellent array of talent here and they all deliver their lines convincingly. This film really could have been something quite special… a tense space survival story mixed with paranormal horror. Instead it’s a rather unexciting combination of tropes seen before and executed better.
Bottom line… if you like the first two Cloverfield films and want some answers, check this out for a bit of closure. If you’ve never seen a Cloverfield film, there’s little reason to start with this one.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters
This is a new anime that’s streamable and downloadable on Netflix.
I’m not a Godzilla fan or anything, but I’ve seen a few Godzilla films in the past just for the hell of it. The last one I saw was the 2014 version directed by Gareth Edwards, which I thought was competently done. Before that, I saw the 1998 version directed by Roland Emmerich, which I really don’t like.
After only 10 minutes, this new Godzilla became my favourite one of the lot.
I already wrote about this last year. I just want to point out that it’s now on Netflix to stream and download. I loved this film and whole-heartedly recommend checking this one out 🙂
So that’s what I’ve been watching. Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments – thanks for reading, folks 🙂