May 142018
 

Black Panther isn’t a great comic book but a culturally significant one and does at least hold some entertainment value with a so-so plot though the villain portrayed by Michael B. Jordan was certainly the highlight.

 

 

Black Panther
(2018)

Genre(s): Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Buena Vista | PG13 – 134 min. – $24.99 | May 15, 2018

Date Published: 05/13/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Writer(s): Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (characters); Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole (written by)
Cast: 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
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5


There is no doubt Black Panther is culturally significant, the first superhero film to have an almost all black cast and one that anyone of African descent would be proud of, very much how last year’s Wonder Woman affected women of all ages. Now, as for the movie itself? The plot isn’t great but I did generally enjoy the characters.

Black Panther takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa’s (CHADWICK BOSEMAN) father, killed in a terrorist attack, stands as the next in line to be the king of Wakanda, an advanced society in Africa kept hidden from the outside world.

After besting tribal leader M’Baku (WINSTON DUKE) during a kingship ceremony, T’Challa officially takes the throne. One of his first acts is to capture a man named Ulysses Klaue (ANDY SERKIS), a nemesis to Wakanda and someone whom T’Challa’s father failed to apprehend after he stole valuable vibranium, which he in turn made into powerful weapons. Having found his location in South Korea, T’Challa along with Okoye (DANAI GURIRA), leader of all-female fighters, and Nakia (LUPITA NYONG’O), T’Challa’s ex-lover and undercover agent, set up a mission to apprehend Klaue. There, T’Challa encounters a familiar face: CIA agent Everett Ross (MARTIN FREEMAN), there to make a deal with Klaue.

But Klaue isn’t working alone. The man pulling his strings is Erik Killmonger (MICHAEL B. JORDAN), with a background working for the CIA as a Wetworks operative, has a personal past regarding Wakanda and is on a mission of revenge and soon is on the country’s doorsteps wanting to open up the secret country to the rest of the world and utilizing its resources to conquer.

I don’t think Black Panther is a great comic book movie and is rather middle-of-the-road for a Marvel movie, yet is somewhat entertaining despite a sometimes clunky storytelling and a central character portrayed by Chadwick Boseman whose performance was a bit too wooden, or stoic, in the first half for my taste, showing little charm and shrinking behind some of the more dynamic acting by his supporting cast like Michael B. Jordan, playing one of the better villains in the MCU, and Lupita Nyong’o.

As I said, the strong suit of the film, beyond the social and racial significance taken into the superhero arena, is with its supporting cast. Michael B. Jordan does play a nuanced villain, not one merely wanting to rule the world but a character with a personal stake to his actions; Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira make for strong female characters and adding in veterans like Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett never hurts.

One of the bigger downsides for me was the lack of an introduction to Wakanda and the city itself, plus the throne room and challenge cliff. There are two scenes where T’Challa and Nakia walk down some sort of marketplace and we do get a sweeping overview but otherwise don’t know a whole lot other than it is an advance technological society. I can only hope Black Panther 2 explores the city, and some of its non-military citizens, more.

In the director’s chair is Ryan Coogler (as well as serving as co-writer) following the successful, and genuinely well made, Creed spin-off from the Rocky franchise, which also showcased Jordan’s talents.

In the end, Black Panther is a flawed movie but still an important one, much along the same lines as Wonder Woman, which I found to be better but that’s likely due to my DC-colored glasses I wear… Even so, it is an entertaining enough film that, outside of some early slow moments, does pick up good steam in the second half, though one can’t help by laugh at the big battle scene that later involves attacking rhinos, however…

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This release comes with a glossy slip cover and a redemption code for the Digital Copy.

Featurettes:

  • Crowning the New King (5:34; HD) looks at the introduction of Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War and carrying it over to his own feature film.
  • The Hidden Kingdom Revealed (6:57; HD) focuses on the nation known as Wakanda.
  • The Warriors Within (6:08; HD) covers the film’s female supporting cast.
  • Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology (6:16; HD) examines the various tech advancements.

Gag Reel (1:38; HD) filled with line flubs.

Deleted Scenes (6:53; HD) – Here we get four scenes that failed to make the cut, and probably for good reason.

From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion (20:27; HD) has Co-Writer/Director Ryan Coogler, “Black Panther” comic writers and others talking about the influence from the comics to big screen.

Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe (8:39; HD) looks at the MCU and its interconnectivity and culmination to The Avengers: Infinity War.

Exclusive Sneak Peek at Ant-Man and the Wasp (2:26; HD) is some on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director Ryan Coogler and Production Designer Hannah Beachler together break down the film and although it’s not the most fascinating track I’ve listened to, they do offer up some bits of trivia and the pair have a good time.

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Black Panther attacks onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). This is a fine looking picture showing off sharp detail and colors are pretty bold, especially shining during the casino sequence.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


The disc includes a robust and strong DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which utilizes every available speaker to its fullest extent. The center is reserved for the main on-screen elements where dialogue levels are crisp and clean; the fronts are used for some of the more side action and rear channels output nicely balanced audio including ambient noises. The LFE channel does kick in for that extra boost during some of those action scenes.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, Black Panther isn’t a great comic book but a culturally significant one and does at least hold some entertainment value with a so-so plot though the villain portrayed by Michael B. Jordan was certainly the highlight. The Blu-ray released by Disney offers up great video/audio transfers and the bonus features a bit disappointing.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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