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The Movie: 8/10
Zombies, outer space, super heroes? I’m in. This movie has no zombies, but it does have a connection to outer space, and as for super hero well, yea. I have to confess first and foremost that I could watch and listen to T’Challa all day long. That being said, the whole thing is a great movie watching experience. I like the story of T’Challa and how the traditions of Wakanda, his nation in the middle of Africa feels like a real legend. I can’t quite get to that bubble of belief with a lot of super heroes when their origins are less interesting to me. Those include Thor, The Hulk, or even The Batman. Yes, I know they are from different comic universes. I don’t care. 🙂
The Black Panther is a character created more to protect the whole of his people and country from the outside world, the rest of humans on Earth, instead of our standard story of a super hero who fights street crime and/or aliens who want to enslave us all. This time our hero is a guardian more than a defender, I like that.
At the heart of the tale about Wakanda is that they have a very powerful resource and to keep it out of the hands of the jerks of the world, they stay hidden and let all the rest of the planet just get on with what they are doing. This is very political, of course, the idea of an isolated nation letting people suffer while they thrive and benefit from their own advances. It’s a way to talk about such big ideas while also adding in some giant rhinos, and a visual feast of a different take on utopia.
The performances are awesome. The power and commitment to being super hero and fictional characters with a huge amount of action tossed in can go one of three ways, boring, hokey, or hypnotizing. I was hypnotized through this whole movie. Yes, there was some really poor “rag doll” special effects on some of the movement of a few characters, but barefoot driving in a car chase and those claws used just enough to convince me they are super duper powerful, was enough to override it.
The music is lively, fun, and strong at times when it needs to be, but never drives the movie into a big showcase like a music video. Some super hero movies have suffered from this in the past, so hopefully we are going to take a lesson from The Black Panther. It uses the music to lift it from already being a fun movie, not carry it along because it’s weak or needs for us to be distracted.
I’m happy to watch this movie again, and then again just before the next Black Panther comes out. Yes, I’m actually looking forward to any sequel they make, and for anyone who has followed me for years you know I have not always been a fan of franchise mentality. This time I see this first installment as an introduction to more “episodes” about a place and people I want to know more about.
- Crowning A New King (6 Minutes) – A look at Black Panther and his start in the MCU during Civil War.
- The Hidden Kingdom Revealed (7 Minutes) – Wakanda is an amazing place, here we get to look at it in a little more detail.
- The Warriors Within (6 Minutes) – A look at the “Grace Jones” looking women from the movie, True fans will get that one.
- Wakanda Revealed: Exploring The Technology (6 Minutes) – A look at the substance known as Vibranium.
- Gag Reel (2 Minutes) – Funny mishaps on the set.
- Deleted Scenes (7 Minutes) – Four scenes that didn’t make the final cut.
- From Page To Screen: A Round-table Discussion (20 Minutes) – Easily the best extra on the disc as the comic writers and Director of the movie sit down for an in-depth discussion.
- Marvel Studios: The First 10 years (9 Minutes) – A look at the last 10 years building up to Infinity War.
- Exclusive Sneak Peak At Ant Man And The Wasp (3 Minutes) – Behind the scenes interviews cut into the trailer of the next Marvel movie.
- Audio Commentary With Director Ryan Coogler & Production Designer Hannah Beachler
- Director Ryan Coogler Intro (2 Minutes)
- 4kUHD, Blu-ray & Disney Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 7/10
Black Panther looks great on Blu-ray and the 4kUHD disc included in this ultimate set. It’s not perfect though as I actually saw some macro-blocking and a lot of noise and black crush in the opening dark scenes. Fine detail is incredible especially on the Black Panther suit and colors are robust and striking. Skin tones are very natural and overall Black Panther is a great looking film no matter what format you choose to watch it on.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track used here is recorded slightly lower than I am used to. This seems to be the norm on recent Disney titles so make sure you crank that receiver to hear the proper LFE channel. The film is full of fight scenes that really come alive when listened to on a surround sound system. I especially enjoyed the hip-hop influenced soundtrack that really utilized the bass channel.
Overall Score 8/10