Cert: 12A Runtime: 134 mins Director: Ryan Coogler Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis
Guns… so uncivilized!
Marvel Studios are releasing their 18th studio movie! The penultimate film before the Infinity War begins, Black Panther is making history and has been critically acclaimed. What is Black Panther about you ask? T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who, after the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. Ryan Coogler has created a very interesting world and has established Wakanda in the MCU. It feels like Thor’s first outing but it stands on it’s own two feet. Michael B.Jordan is the stand out for me, it has taken a while for Marvel Studios to establish a great villain and here he is. It’s a shame that the soundtrack isn’t heavily featured in the film but it’s worth a listen. Coogler has given Black Panther a James Bond feel to it, and it works nicely especially in the casino scene.
Few problems with the film one being the main villain, which is a shame since Michael b Jordan playing this role is the best villain they have done by far, the problem here is that he doesn’t get enough screen time as the film focus too much on the political and tribal side of the film. Chadwick Boseman is rather weak of a leading man here, the cast around him provide the lift he needs to carry the film over. It’s very clever with the more well established actors the scenes are filtered through out the film. So Boseman has that support through out. Michael B. Jordan has a lot more energy than any-other actor, without his energy Black Panther would have been in trouble. The films pacing is very stop/start, which makes it a lot more dialogue heavy. This is rather different for an MCU movie. I prefer dialogue heavy films, but for a general audience I can’t see them persevering too much. Black Panther is a fun filled movie but I do feel it’s not perfect. It’s a good trip to the cinema but I won’t be re-watching it anytime soon.
Cert: 12A Runtime: 133 mins Director: Ryan Coogler Cast: Michael B.Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew and Graham McTavish
Time takes everybody out; time’s undefeated
The Rocky Balboa franchise has long been in the memory for me. Growing up Rocky was a film you had to witness as a child, for me Rocky IV is the best personally. The fact that the Balboa story is to be resurrected with the tale of the son of Apollo Creed, you had to answer that call and accept. These films are very uplifting and they do encourage people. The fact that Stallone has been nominated and winning supporting actor awards has baffled me. It was time to find out what the whole shabang was about. So what is Creed? After a lifetime of pugilism, two-time world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is now retired and living in Philadelphia. But life throws another curveball at Rocky with the appearance of Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan), troubled son of his late rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed. Adonis never knew his father, who died in the ring, but is determined to follow in his footsteps. Rocky reluctantly agrees to become his trainer, even as he takes on an opponent more merciless than any he faced in the ring.
‘Creed’ has demonstrated the importance of allowing others the chance to inject new and innovating ideas into a much loved character. The very impressive Ryan Cooglar is the young Director given the important role of reinvigorating a franchise that had been on life support. He has been wise enough to continue with a simple formulaic story knowing that there is only so much a film like this can achieve. He fits a solid narrative perfectly in its boundaries but with enough room for the story too find an emotion edge and performances from talent that is well above par. Aaron Covington’s screenplay provides well balanced dialogue superbly performed by the characters that matter.Don’t go into Creed expecting to see Rocky, because you won’t. This is a new vehicle. Its story has flaws, and that’s understandable, but there was something else that bothered me about this movie. It needed more heart. Maybe a training montage, or an inspirational quote, or even a visit to father would’ve sufficed.
Instead, I saw a lot flash and excess. And that’s fine, I guess I just expected more of a ‘champion’ picture.Michael B.Jordan’s performance is hard to dislike. Jordan’s chemistry with Stallone was always going to make or break the outcome of this film but both actors look comfortable moving around each other. This is Stallone’s best performance of his career and just might the tough guy win an academy award for his hard work.With a script that demanded a quality showing, Sly gives his heart and soul to a performance that oozed character and filled the cinema with emotion. Tessa Thompson plays Adonis Johnson’s love interest, Bianca, and her presence doesn’t get in the way of the solid story. Bianca provides a calm voice of reason to a youthful boxer that is boiling under the surface. With a beautifully shot background of modern day Philadelphia, ‘Creed’ gives the chance for a new generation to experience the iconic Rocky legend.
Cert: 12A Runtime: 100 mins Director: Josh Trank Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B.Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell and Reg E. Cathey
Victor, stop! We are not gods, just people. And we are stronger together than we are apart
Slightly late to the party I know but I did want to let the dust settle before I watched Fantastic Four. This is by far the most slammed film since Daredevil in the early 00’s. I am a fan of the 2000’s movies it was funny and didn’t try to be ambitious. This was a step Fox approached with Trank’s film he was the right choice in my opinion. But whatever happened off camera was a shame. So what is Fantastic Four about? Transported to an alternate universe, four young outsiders gain superhuman powers as they alter their physical form in shocking ways. Reed Richards (Miles Teller) becomes Mr. Fantastic, able to stretch and twist his body at will, while pal Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) gains immense strength as the Thing. Johnny Storm (Michael B.Jordan) becomes the Human Torch, able to control and project fire, while his sister Sue (Kate Mara) becomes the Invisible Woman. Together, the team must harness their new abilities to prevent Doctor Doom (Toby Kebbell) from destroying the Earth.
Taking its time Trank’s offering spends the whole of its running time as an origin story about friendship, war policies and morales with only the last ten minutes to deal with their adversary, Doom. Due to the unorthodox story structure it comes to an abrupt end. Also oddly Fantastic’s tone feels more DC than Marvel.Kate Mara is notable as The Invisible Woman. Jamie Bell’s performance as The Thing in the latter half is by design hidden by the effects. Toby Kebbell is excellent but his screen time is limited with the rest of the cast being effective in their respective roles.The music by Marco Beltrami Philip Glass score is exceedingly ominous and compliment the great effects, sterile sets, costume design and performances as they harness their powers.Arguably all the recent superhero adaptations attempts while entertaining never seem to capture their subject matter spirit faithfully coming across as bloated, soulless money makers which try to cash in by appeasing adult fans at the expense of younger children which doesn’t always mix and this is no exception. That said, if a slow burning, brooding re-imagining is your thing then this delivers exactly that and to its credit debatably more edgier than its paint by numbers same universe contemporaries despite an anticlimactic rushed showdown.