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What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?
Much of the Black Panther movie is based on a great Black Panther story from the early '70s that was called Panther's Rage. Up to that point, Black Panther had been a reliable member of the Avengers for several years, while still supposedly King of Wakanda, though only a couple of Avengers issues showed him in Wakanda. New writer Don McGregor had the boldness to challenge that status quo, and showed a Wakanda moving towards a Civil War stirred up by new villain Erik Killmonger. The same Killmonger in this movie. Unusual for its time, Panther's Rage lasted for a dozen issues, and really explored Wakanda. This Wakanda was still almost entirely a poverty-stricken and traditional third world country, aside from a few high-tech facilities in the capital. The cyber-rhino scene in the movie was a nod to a scene from Panther's Rage where Black Panther wrestles a normal rhino to the ground in mid-charge. In comic book format, Panther's Rage had effectively an unlimited budget and was free to include giant gorillas, a zombie horde, and rampaging dinosaurs.
Not a great run. Solid foundation, but the only parts that really sparked were political discussions between T’Challa’s mother and an old professor friend.
Captain Marvel was one of the few MCU movies that I didn't manage to see before going to Endgame. Although there were tie-ins to Nick Fury and a character from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Captain Marvel otherwise stands far apart from the rest of the MCU. It takes place almost entirely in the year 1998, although that is not established early on due to a bewildering and misleading first 20 minutes of the movie. Even then, the identity of our hero is somewhat confusing until around halfway through the movie.
Aside from those issues, Captain Marvel is fine. It follows the successful Marvel formula of action + some humor + a great cast, except this movie falls somewhat short in terms of star power. Jude Law and Annette Bening are fine, and casting Brie Larson as the star was surprising but appropriate. The music selections from the '90s were inspiring though not surprising. Ultimately, the story is a bit of a problem, because the original Ms. Marvel character lacked a compelling origin story.
I must have been a bit bored or restless, because I voluntarily watched Highlander II: The Quickening for the first time since 1991. It remains a terrible sequel to the excellent original Highlander movie, but this time I was able to appreciate the sets and locations and costumes. Fight choreography wasn't great but also wasn't terrible. If I ever watch this movie again, I will mute the volume and put on some suitable music.
I think I like them because they take the absurdity of vintage HK movies (The Killer, A Better Tomorrow, etc.) and ratchet it up to comic book levels. And I really like the notion that there is this vast and omnipresent secret industry of assassins that normal people just don’t even notice at all. They even rope in the old secret society tropes.
What’s really interesting is that the films basically have no story. Yeah, wife/dog/car etc. but instead of a story it’s almost all -lore- that is gradually revealed. And the lore is likely more compelling than a story would have been.
I love that the movies get weird and brow-furrowingly goofy. I love that they hired Franco Nero, the original Django, for a role. I love the VIC-20s the switchboard operators use. I love Halle Berry’s dogs.
They kept me entertained if only because the action is so well choreographed and quite original, and also because of Keanu’s really kind of strange performance. I think the third one is definitely the best as it showcases the things I like the most about these movies.
Better than I expected, to be honest.
jason10mm wrote: Watched The Decline on Netflix. Canadian (french canadian) film about a survivalist getaway that goes horribly awry. First third is basically a "how to prepper guide" but it quickly devolves into a gritty no holds barred struggle for survival as (you might suspect) prepper types don't really get along well with each other when shit hits the fan.
I watched this today. A decent B movie, and it's brief. Combines the predictable with the unpredictable. 3.5 / 5
Here is a good review [New Yorker]
I've seen Fargo and liked it. What Coen brothers movie should I see next?
I also think Burn After Reading is incredibly underrated.
Miller's Crossing is great.
Barton Fink is pretty interesting.
Charlie is right that Burn After Reading is underrated. It came out right after No Country For Old Men and fell into the shadow of that film. But McDormand, Pitt, Clooney, and Malkovich are all excellent in it; especially Pitt. Also, JK Simmons has what may be the funniest three minutes in their entire oeuvre at the end.
O, Brother, Where Art Thou? is probably their most innovative film (which is saying a lot), since it's functioning on like three different levels at the same time. I also wouldn't overlook The Man Who Wasn't There. Billy Bob Thornton does some remarkable work in it and, like Crossing, it carries a lot of very subtle action and humor that's really enjoyable.