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Black Panther Review

Black Panther
T J Reddy / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
8.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
9.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
Suggestions
Can watch again
Yes
Good for kids
Yes
Good for dates
Yes
Wait to rent it
No
The trailer for Black Panther clearly stated two things. One, "The revolution will not be televised", and two, "You won't be able to stay home, brother." Well, we weren't going to wait for the revolution to be televised anyway, so we got out of our homes and walked into our nearest cinema to watch it play out on the big screen.

Black Panther follows the story of the fresh king of Wakanda, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman). After the death of his father (King T'Chaka), he is next in line for the throne, and is tasked with protecting the secrets and the people of Wakanda. As he learns to adjust to his new role, skeletons from his country's past come out of the closet. His rule and his country's sovereignty are threatened by Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) and long-time adversary Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis).

T'Challa needs to use his skills as the Black Panther, his judgment as a king, and his band of loyal warriors led by Nakia (Lupita Nyong'O), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) to defend his country against certain doom.

Blade aside, Black Panther is widely considered the first big-budget superhero film led by an almost all-black cast. This is socially relevant and a huge step in the right direction in more ways than one. In 2017, Wonder Woman broke barriers of her own as her film was termed the first big-budget superhero film led by a woman. The running joke about Wonder Woman is that the filmmakers had to make her pretty, attractive, capable, a badass, likable and relatable, have her save the world, and literal be God to make the world take her and her film seriously. Black Panther too comes with the some of the same asks.

But director Ryan Coogler and co are smart and capable themselves. They double down on some storytelling fundamentals and make maybe the most compelling Marvel movie since the first Iron Man. They achieve this by focusing more on character, and creating a unique world and an identity for their own movie instead of pumping it with oodles of world-building and references to previous and upcoming Marvel projects.

The film addresses many present-day concerns that we as a society have about the world. While this is a movie about a black superhero made by a black director with a black cast, it doesn't shy away from portraying some of the black characters in a negative light. It doesn't take the easy route by blaming The White Man for the issues its characters face. Many of their problems are of their own making, and when push comes to shove they are as guarded and nativist as many others on the present day political stage.

The commentary gets more complicated when you are forced to empathize with T'Challa and his nativist ideals whereas your conditioning to dislike Killmonger is put into disarray as his worldview is that of empowering the downtrodden by using Wakanda's infinite resources. A movie that challenges its audience and their perceptions of the protagonist-antagonist dynamic is always welcome around these parts.

But all the good story-telling and character conflicts come after a first half that is rather forgettable despite a few extremely well-executed actions set-pieces and comedic moments. When you look back at the first 40-50 minutes of the movie, you are bound to find a simpler way of achieving the same outcome that didn't involve destroying a fair bit of a city or having a paper-thin romantic interest for Killmonger.

That being said, these moments of excess are still watchable owing to some stellar acting performances. Chadwick Boseman is almost tailor-made to be a righteous hero. This is Lupita Nyong'o's best work since her turn in 12 Years A Slave. Danai Gurira and Daniel Kaluuya shine as the compelling couple who work as underlings to bosses with wildly differing political views. And watching Angela Bassett get a role worthy of her status is a joy indeed. (Did you know she starred in a movie titled Panther back in the day? Fun fact.)

However, stealing this movie from right under the noses of this star-studded cast is frequent Coogler-collaborator Michael B Jordan. Erik Killmonger might be the first and most compelling villain Marvel has produced till date. Jordan fills his role with a deep sense of tragedy and a motivation that makes disregarding or hating him a distinct impossibility. His crusade against the hierarchy of class and the persecution and disenfranchisement of his fellow kind is not one to be scoffed upon. Kendrick Lamar masterminds a soundtrack that makes sure you don't.

Talking about the music, this excellent work here is the reason we at fullhyd.com are disappointed by most modern film scores and soundtracks. Composer Ludwig Goransson refuses to tow the line and regurgitate inoffensive music for Black Panther. The Senegalese and South African drums, traditional tribal chants and war cries are all indicators of this movie's unique identity. This music will forever be associated with this specific film and cannot be replicated on any other.

Adding to that sense of uniqueness is the mastery of combat and action sequences of Coogler and his cinematographer Rachel Morrison. Bucking the Marvel trend, they compose long one-shot hand-to-hand fight sequences and cleverly choreographed action scenes that spread across vast landscapes. Their edits during these sequences are made with a clear purpose, and that helps an audience glean the space and setting with minimal exposition and confusion. This is action filmmaking at its finest.

The only knocks against this film's visual aesthetic would be its uninspired colour scheme and non-fight cinematography. The movie most definitely follows Marvel guidelines in this regard.

For all its groundbreaking highs, Black Panther is crippled by the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. With a clear shot of T'Challa in the trailer, Black Panther, the film, is robbed of all tension as we know nothing of truly earth-shattering consequence is set to happen in his standalone film.

But the movie's goal may not be to shatter the earth as it already has enough on its plate. It is a finely made superhero origin story that works feverishly to provide people of colour across the world a hero they can look up to and be proud of. After years of these people being termed savages and being subject to some frankly horrible language and social conditions, watching a hero and a community being recognized as royalty, and as technologically and intellectually superior, respectively, should be a fantastic experience.

Now, if only they added Shaktimaan to the MCU and appealed to over a billion Indians.
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BLACK PANTHER SNAPSHOT
Black Panther (english) reviews
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  • Cast
    Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
  • Music
    Ludwig Göransson
  • Director
    Ryan Coogler
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
BLACK PANTHER USER REVIEWS
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TJ Reddy on 5th Mar 2018, 3:43pm | Permalink
Alright. Let's crack some knuckles and pop open some beers because this is going to be a long one. There is a lot to address here and I'll take it point by grueling point.

1. Hollywood films of yore and present day

Films, comics, novels, music etc change from time to time and generation to generation. What worked in the 80s and 90s will not work for a current day cinemagoer. Reeve's Superman turning back time would be laughed out of theatres in this day and age (also, that is not a power Superman had in the comics).

Those films reflected the comics of their time and when you pay attention to how much comics have evolved since then, you'd see the art form itself reflects changing tastes. The Catwoman of the 90s isn't the same one on the page anymore. Simply put, The Dark Knight is a loose adaptation of The Long Halloween and a few other Batman stories from the page and hence a person who does their reaserch knows no one is really playing fast and loose with anything.

On a sidebar, if Joker killing people and robbing banks and Batman being a vigilante are not crimes, we are watching completely different films.
Also, when trying to sound like an audience member of "discerning" taste, please refrain from using "my dear", it defeats your purpose.

That being said, meditative pieces on the meaning of heroism doesn't strip anything away from Batman the character because the character himself has been reinvented multiple times. From the Adam West show to Frank Miller's interpretation, nothing is the same. In the graphic novel Gotham by Gaslight, Batman lives in the time of Jack of Ripper. That is not a bastardization of the character, It is but a mere interpretation.

Stories come from the world we live in. Each person views his/her world differently. If you don't see globalization, it is your point of view and if Nolan does, it is his. He has his way of getting his word out and you can do what you do to do the same. His characters reflect his view of the world because writing and filmmaking is a cathartic experience. Ask me, I know. I've sold a script or two. Again, a person's view of the world can be reasoned with but not outright discarded because that's bigotry. If a film and its message made you think to such a degree, I believe it has done its job more than well. A work of art's true triumph is if it either excites you or enrages you. Anything but apathy is acceptable.

2. Bleeding over to other genres

As this is an extension of the previous point, I'd reiterate my previous argument. Have you seen the previous Bond films? Do you really think they'd work if they were called anything other than Bond in this day and age? Nostalgic viewpoints are great but not to the degree of abandoning reason.

The Bond films have always been an amalgamation of the popular actions films of the time. Current day Bond is no different. It is a take on the Bourne franchise and is all the better for it. The silliness of a Pierce Brosnan or Roger Dalton vehicle is not what an audience is after. Those films are called The Expendables and we all know how well regarded they are.

Having a character express emotion is how people know he/she is human. He can cry over a lost ally and still be a tough guy. Shades are what reinvent characters. If it weren't for them, we could just remake and rewatch the same films over and over again. Why not just remake Dr. No 25 times as it was the "supposed" pinnacle of the character?

To see a Batman or a James Bond shed a tear is powerful. It is when you know even the best can be broken. It invites an audience to feel and know that it is okay to fail or to watch your heroes fail. I don't know about you and you might think of me a cuck but I like seeing range in my characters.

3. Populism vs True Art

Every film is not created equal and not watched with equal expectations. When I watch a superhero film, I'm not expecting high art and hence don't value it as the same. Film, in itself, is a medium for the proletarian. The fact that film has managed to become an all-encompassing juggernaut is a triumph.

I don't walk in expecting a Dardenne Brothers style character drama while I watch Black Panther. Black Panther is what I call a gateway drug. A film with clear themes, motivations, messages, and accessibility is what hooks people to films, to begin with. It is a landing ground from which people begin their journeys to something artsier.

I fell in love with cinema owing to films like Indra and Baasha. The way I enjoyed them changed over the years but I never stopped enjoying them. They fostered my love for cinema and I respect them for it even though they aren't high art. Some child somewhere would have been inspired by Black Panther, chosen to learn film and make a career out of it.

Every film has its place in the world. Blockbusters are made for the mass market like Dairy Milk. It is universally paletable. Some like it and some don't but the ones who really find a taste for it look for better versions of chocolate and that is when they find Scott Pilgrim, Road to Perdition and A History of Violence (which are comic book films again). The first hit, however, is of paramount importance.

Also, here's a link to a video showing you the philosophy of Black Panther. I'd have typed it myself but this is much simpler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUgO7NtgNF0

4. Conclusion

I recently watched a Telugu film named Chalo. At the outset, I couldn't stop taking notes as to how ludicrous the film was but half an hour down the line, I remembered that I walked into the film to enjoy it and the film itself was mocking itself before I did just to let me have a good time.

Was this Hot Fuzz? No. Was it a good time at the cinema? Yes. That's all most people look for. Once a positive association is made, cinema has a new fan. No person is going to like the artistic merit in Apocalypse Now or 2001 without understanding what good filmmaking is and that cant be done without universally appealing projects like this one.

P.S. - I'm sure a man of your tastes has watched Midnight in Paris and is aware of the perils of living in the past and not moving forward with the times.

P.S.S. - Bringing celebrity opinions into stuff means nothing because I could pose an argument that goes like this. Kendrick Lamar, who was supposed to contribute two songs to the film chose to do the whole soundtrack after watching the rough cut of it. Lamar has been a more socially relevant artist over the last decade than Jodie Foster.

Whose opinion holds more water in this instance? An artist who addresses social causes from the ground up or a Hollywood elite whose time has come, gone and makes films no one truly cares about anymore because of how out of touch she seems?

No disrespect to Ms. Foster. I love her work. It is just food for thought.

P.S.S - I'm done here. I agree to disagree with you because your opinion is no less correct than mine. Good day to you.
Naveen on 29th Mar 2018, 9:34pm | Permalink
Are you pissed? Your insinuation that my use of the phrase 'my dear' is tasteless is as irrelevant as your rest of your comment. I don't know about my taste but at least I am discerning enough in general to know that TDK is not a crime thriller just because it features some crime scenes. If it is the case then almost all telugu movies are crime thrillers. Never mind, we all make slips of tongue in our 'enthusiasm' and you made one.

Since you closed out the discussion it wouldn't be fair to re-comment on your 'gruelling' reply (gruelling to who?). Nevertheless, I thought It would be necessary to dispel some of your 'delusions'.

-Nobody was comparing 'old' with 'new'. Primarily, what I commented upon was the obscene spurt in (junk) superhero movies for the past decade in Hollywood and the resultant bore fest. Although Hollywood has been making movies in this 'genre'(Superhero is not officially a 'genre', strictly speaking) for very long, the bone of contention was chiefly about the grotesque overgrowth of the movies of this ilk in recent times hence my mention about the Reeve's Superman etc to underscore the point that how Hollywood had managed not to overdo this genre although Hollywood was aware even then of the greater prospect of making movies out of the source material. As an extension of that point, I also pointed out how the Hollywood is afflicted with a new smug, self-satisfied, populist mindset and how that mindset is reflected in the 'philosophy' of the recent superhero movies(and also in those of other genres) and how, in contrast, the narratives of old superhero movies differed from the new movies when the Hollywood was relatively unprejudiced. In a nutshell, I was not making a simplistic argument about how old movies were better than the new but rather the different psyches that have driven/driving these movies in different eras.

-Everybody is free to make an interpretation and everybody is also free to judge the quality of that interpretation, for the filmmaker's intentions and his ability or inability to bring the complexity to his characters are uncannily reflected in such 'interpretation'. Just because something is a 'different interpretation' we need not and should not refrain from taking a call on the motifs behind that interpretation(And actually I didn't tell you whether or not I was entertained by TDK). I was merely critically commenting on the approach Nolan adopted to interpret the batman and how simplistic that approach was rather than questioning the Nolan's very right to interpret. Critiquing is an exploration to pin a prejudice so as to unfold a better perspective and bigotry is a rationale to defend the constant unwillingness to acknowledge the truth or possibility of a superior aesthetic. Therefore, bigotry impeding a filmmaker's insight or driving the lack of it altogether is just as likely as a prejudice clouding the judgment of a critic/audience. After all, this is what explains the tremendous variation in the nature of filmmaking, viewership and criticism all over the world.

-Even if we argue that comic books are intellectual blank papers and we can interpret them the way we want, Nolan or anybody else cannot be spared from the judgment just because he views the whole thing 'differently'. Like I said, I always have the right to judge how somebody perceives what he thinks is 'different'. In my opinion, infusing contemporary social allegories into fantasy scripts(and repeatedly at that) does not necessarily enrich those cartoon characters but makes them rather simplistic. And, just because I dislike such interpretations of contemporary superheroes does not mean I unconditionally find the interpretations of their older counterparts immensely entertaining. That is nothing but what you think I think.

-I cited globalization in the context of how this scourge of superhero movies is able to find wide acceptance among the public but not in relation to how Nolan sees globalization or whether he has globalization on his mind at all. Read my comment again.

-True, they laud the therapeutic potential of writing even if you are doing nothing except simply putting your thoughts on paper. 'Release' is one of the facets of writing but it's not everything. Even if a writer did writing for writing's sake, it doesn't automatically absolve it from judgment let alone when the writer is trying to make a million bucks out of it. Moreover, the immense elation you derive upon the completion of the exhaustive thought process involved in writing a screenplay/novel so as to transform a fragile idea into a full blown screenplay or a novel with the critical mass need not always be mistaken with 'catharsis'. Even if it is, there is a difference between what defines catharsis for Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani and what for Leo Tolstoy.

-Even a stray dog with rash-ridden skin may be able to make us think. There is a great difference between a mere catalytic art and a cathartic art in that any work of art/person/thing/experience can act as a catalyst for making us 'think' although it may not necessarily be a great art. They say great art happens when an artist does the art for himself i.e. when he perhaps painstakingly articulated his own hazy subconscious so as to induce intuitively the same clarity in audience as against merely presenting themes and ideas as crude dramatic devices(for example, that boring stupid boatload of prisoners versus boatload of civilians scene in TDK).


-Again read carefully what I said. I mentioned Bond to drive home my point as to how a hackneyed collective mindset is plaguing the both genres which, in any sense, has not implied the Bond should mandatorily be shot in the old way. I didn't say old bond was always better, I rather said I didn't like how they presented the new Bond(by the way, there are other subtler ways too to make Bond vulnerable than making him cry. Nothing wrong with crying except when it is crudely presumed that 'to be human is to cry'. I found John Mcclane in Diehard(1988) very human but I don't remember him crying in that movie). Moreover, look at the evolution of the new age Bond. Casino Royale was a sort of gritty reboot, Quantum of Solace was a sequel, then the mawkish Skyfall was a half-reboot and Spectre shamelessly embraced the tricks of its 90s predecessors and did worse(and in all four stories Bond deals with the same all pervading world terrorist organization. Talk about lack of ideas.) Congratulations, you seem to be very clear about how the new Bond should be when the makers themselves seem to be so confused. And where do you see the human in a Bond who jumps off a 100 foot crane chasing a professional assassin and rams his bike into the parapet so as to somersault on to the roof of a running train?? Even Bourne would be ashamed. They didn't make Bond human. They made him superhuman, who can beat the pulp out of anybody(so stylishly), who can take any risk and who can display any emotion. There is somebody else who does it on a regular basis. A Telugu movie hero.

-Whoever is talking about 'True Art'?? The argument was about the unbridled surge in the superhero movies, the psychology involved in their making and acceptance. Thus, the merits of great art over commercial cinema is a discussion for another day. Having said that, however, the line between the so called true art and main stream cinema is very blurred in Hollywood or anywhere else in the world for that matter. But in a movie industry suffering acutely with intellectually depraved/aesthetically challenged audience, utter lack of modern literature or very little of it, rampant plagiarism and a smiling, nodding, gung-ho reviewing, we are forced to make such a striking distinction here. It is simply flabbergasting to think about the amount of garbage we consume here.

-Bad films usually can only negatively help you to realize the significance of good films, depending greatly on your threshold of inspiration/intolerance, but hardly spur you to appreciate the finer aspects of moviemaking, at least for the majority. We wouldn't have so many rabid fans of Mahesh Babu or NTR for so long if they can 'fall in love with art of cinema' and move on.(Calling 'Indra' and 'Bashaa' simply 'low art' is an understatement. They are non-art. I doubt your sanity if you have ever loved them in the first place). Whether 'artistic' or 'entertaining', we tend to judge degree of greatness in the aesthetic presented in the movies intuitively hence there is a great deal of difference between absurdity of Beatrix Kiddo escaping after being buried alive in Kill Bill and Kala Bhairava killing 100 soldiers in Magadheera.

-Like I said, I wasn't debating about whether or not one has to consider the artistic merit to find a film entertaining. However, I feel, on the other hand, including the themes, you have not thought through or intuitively felt, in a film but did so just because they 'feel good' can greatly reduce its entertainment value. Besides, the oft-repeated, clichéd and fallacious 'the good time one has at the theatre…' argument cannot be the sole criteria for evaluating what good filmmaking is and more importantly, what a good filmmaking tradition is. If that is the case, then there is no difference between V.V.Vinayak and Christopher Nolan, K.Raghavendra Rao,B.A and Ridley Scott. After all, a movie industry is not only judged on how high it can soar but also on how far it can't stoop; the movies it can make and the movies it can never make.

-I haven't seen Midnight in Paris and whatever gave you an illusion that I am stuck in the past. And, I wonder what kind of a ground breaking 'modern insight', which a nostalgic bunch of old-timers cannot comprehend, has inspired the recent onslaught of superhero movies!!. However, since you spoke about the past and the present, I would say it's a no-brainer that present is not necessarily better than the past. A bad film or what you think is a bad film would still be a bad film whether it was made 50 years back or is made now or will be made 50 years hence. For example, while I found Cameron's Aliens exhilarating and I found his Avatar terribly preachy. Conversely, I found Hitchcock's Psycho silly and thought of Villeneuve's Prisoners as interesting. Total Recall 1990 feels so refreshing over Total Recall 2012. And moreover, many of the present movies are made out of the stories written by the respective filmmaker decades back which makes the obsoleteness of the style and content of a movie in many instances a moot point(except for the latest technology they use, of course). Cameron supposedly first wrote Avatar some fifteen years prior to the actual making and Del Toro reportedly got the idea for The Shape of Water when he was six. And some of the shots in the Mark Nichols' The Graduate look avant-garde even for the present times and you can still puzzle over Lynch's noir Mulholland Drive. This point illustrates that the film industries which have strong filmmaking traditions can very frequently transcend the impositions of the time as they uncannily achieve the cinematic verisimilitude, acting and motif-wise, which any spectator from any age can instantly recognize(it is also pertinent to mention that crude mimicry of many of the visual, acting and narrative techniques being used in story telling typical of the Hollywood and other film industries for time immemorial is now considered as 'modern' in Indian mainstream movies). Therefore, while the conditions of obsoleteness usually apply for any films anywhere, which excessively depend on the style than substance or themes that are no longer relevant, there are not sufficient grounds for me to develop some rigid mental block that can force me to starkly divide the Hollywood into 'old' and 'new', owing to the very nature of the films it makes.

-If you argue that we should stop being critical of movies just because somebody keeps getting inspired by some movie somewhere you should banish yourself from writing reviews first(Check the review and rating for Kumari 21f on your site. Your reviewer called it regressive when so many people liked it and started their 'journey' towards Road To Perdition). And where did you imagine me asking anybody to stop making blockbusters?? Blockbusters or not, no work of art is exempt from criticism and it is quite pointless to say otherwise.

-Foster or Lamar, what I said about why I quoted Foster in my previous comment pretty much stands good(is watching and appreciating present superhero movies what you call being in 'touch'?? how much 'evolution and modernity' do you think the poor 'outdated' Foster needs to become 'eligible' to revel in them?). Having said that, I may as well say that Lamar is a singer and singers, musicians and poets choose movies on a different criteria(Remember, Kendrick Lamar is also a black). Hans Zimmer's music for batman trilogy has its own uniqueness and I wonder how would Nolan's batman have been without it. Sitarama Sastri wrote great lyrics for absolute gibberish. I think musicians, lyricists and singers only need basic thematic triggers to achieve finest of abstractions out of an idea, however crudely that idea might have been presented in the actual movie.

-When trying to sound like an 'highbrow' who can 'answer' anything, please read carefully what the other person is saying before indulging your ego and resorting to a reflexive correctitude loaded with stock platitudes('agree to disagree', 'no disrespect for Foster', 'no less correct than mine'). If we have to decide who is more or less correct than the other here, you have to give me an opinion first; not a bunch of presumptions and a sense of deja vu, 'sir'.
TJ Reddy on 30th Mar 2018, 3:36am | Permalink
Cool.
The Common Movie Goer on 21st Feb 2018, 11:12pm | Permalink
This review is on point. Definitely an 8.0 for me, not more, not less. Loved the fresh approach to story telling. Also loved the themes they explored. You've got to love movies where you're rooting for the "antagonist" at the end. All credit to Michael B Jordan. Reminded me of how I was rooting for Arvind Swamy at the end of Dhruva even though his character didn't develop any redeeming qualities. Chadwick Boseman was alright.

Loved the action sequences except for the first one. Have to disagree with you on this, TJ - the first fight was hyper edited.

Don't know why some reviewers bashed the CGI, I thought it was top notch. Definitely a one-time watch. But a great one-time watch.
RATING
8
Naveen on 17th Feb 2018, 6:05pm | Permalink
When does Hollywood stops throwing up this Superhero junk every two months for god's sakes???
Kanye on 19th Feb 2018, 3:11am | Permalink
People want to watch these movies bro. There's a reason why they make more money than all the other movies.

If you don't like em, don't watch em. Personally, I love comics and the justice Marvel is bringing to each movie is commendable. So don't hate.
Naveen on 20th Feb 2018, 11:02am | Permalink
Hollywood made excellent non-superhero movies until 90s and even early 2000s. Haven't the people liked those movies? Weren't there blockbusters among those? Has the chemical composition of the brains of people changed drastically now that they only like superhero trash/junk/crap/shit????

Apparently I am not the only one who is sick of this superhero deluge. This is what Jodie Foster said "“Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking — you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth .........It’s ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world".(http://deadline.com/2018/01/jodie-foster-black-mirror-superhero-movies-marvel-studios-dc-1202234126/)

I believe actor/director Jodie Foster knows a thing or two about movies, if not me.

And anyway, you don't need to be a Jodie Foster to quickly comprehend this superhero trend is nothing but bad film making.
TJ Reddy on 21st Feb 2018, 6:25pm | Permalink
This is one way of looking it but there is a different angle to things too. Hollywood has made endless amounts of rom-coms or westerns or dramas or any other brand of films. Like those, superhero/comic book films are a genre of their own.

When you look at it through the prism of it being a genre, you see that Logan is more a Western than a superhero film. The Dark Knight is more a crime thriller with Batman in it than a superhero film. Guardians of The Galaxy is more a space opera than a superhero film. When creative filmmakers are involved, they will use the malleability of a genre and craft it to match the stories they want to tell.

Mediocre films come out by the boatload in every genre and even in "original" projects.

And a Jodie Foster or a Steven Speilberg might have their opinions but they are but opinions of one person. They can't be quantified as either right or wrong.
Naveen on 3rd Mar 2018, 10:51pm | Permalink
There are not two ways of looking at bad film making and nobody said superhero movies are not a genre by themselves. Remember, Hollywood made superhero movies even in the past well before the advent of CGI(There was Reeve's superman series in 80s and Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns of 90s).

However, there is a huge difference between the Hollywood’s superhero movies of the yore and the present ones. Those movies of the past were strictly immersed in the parent comics’ milieu and there wasn’t any overt attempt to dilute the absurdity of the comic characters by daubing the characters with popular contemporary idealism so as to make them less opaque, less bizarre and more ‘acceptable’ like it is done today. Therefore, a catwoman was a catwoman like it was written in the comic book; there was concrete physical reason why Nicholson’s joker’s ghastly visage has become what it had become and there wasn’t any silly, boring, illogical preaching by Jonathan Kent to Clark Kent to hide his supermanly abilities.

But Nolan changed all that. With his Batman series he started a disturbing trend of stripping the comic characters of specifics, their unique incoherent absurdity. His batman trilogy is a stuffy veritable sermon on how a hero is supposed to be, what kind of sacrifices he ought to make and what he should believe in, who he should be sentimental about and even, when he should start a family.

With the onset of false globalization, accompanying spurt in avenues of success and relentless deluge of information, people at present are probably more eager than ever to revel in a misplaced sense of empathy, equality and belonging and ‘simplify’ life by subscribing to a grotesque generic idealism. Nowhere is it more reflected than in the acceptance of the present age superhero movies which are affording an excellent opportunity for the filmmaker to easy-sell his movies by garnishing a physical fantasy(great success and triumph) with an uniform banal idealism(easy feel-good humanism), by way of recklessly implanting superficial ideas of racism, gender and equality in their superhero narratives, thus, making them, in fact, ‘genreless’. It’s lazy, loud and obtuse filmmaking no matter how you choose to describe it.

This disease of the Hollywood unfortunately extended even to the movies of the similar genre like James Bond wherein the innocent and fleshly Bond slowly gave way to a psychotic, maudlin Bond who stops at nothing to defend ‘motherly’ M without a care for the mission and sings soppy theme songs like ‘writing on the wall’ for his girl(mind you, the compositions are great). It is this glorified simplification ceaselessly dished out in the genre I am complaining about which is being endorsed by bad, unintelligent reviewing all over the world and perpetuated by casual viewership everywhere.

In fact, this what you call ‘utilization of malleability of genre by creative filmmakers’ indicates, on the contrary, a glaring creative dearth and paucity of ideas marked by a mad rush to embrace over-sweetened visual glory, loud dramatic devices, fake realism and unabashed populism, possibly encroaching even on the critical space usually reserved for great cinema(and where is a thrilling crime in The Dark Knight, my dear?? and why should I be forced to imagine a Katrina Kaif in my wife when she is a Shakeela??).

As for Jodie Foster, I would say it is something like bad opinions and good opinions of doctors. A bad opinion of a doctor doesn’t count although he is a doctor and a good opinion of a doctor becomes a great opinion because he also happens to be a doctor. If we are so unable to sort out something as right or wrong then perhaps there wouldn’t have been any need in the first place to invent the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
Josh on 21st Feb 2018, 7:40pm | Permalink
I agree.
TJ Reddy on 17th Feb 2018, 6:12pm | Permalink
Not until they stop making money apparently. Same can be said about the yearly Star Wars releases or the endless set of sequels and reboots.
chaitu on 17th Feb 2018, 3:25pm | Permalink
T'Challa's fights were amazing in Civil War. In Black Panther movie, the fights are badly choreographed, atrociously edited and uninspired. The one cool moment they had was shown in the teaser itself.

I agree with the rest of the review.
TJ Reddy on 17th Feb 2018, 3:43pm | Permalink
I respectfully disagree mate. The fights in this film are exceptionally well shot. It isn't hyper edited and the scenes themselves have a great sense of space. The highlights were the one shot that run through the Korean Club, the wide shot infused hand to hand with T'Challa and Killmonger and that magnificent run through the city. The purpose and stakes are very well realised.
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