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garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

I generally think Marvel movies are crap and I think Black Panther is one of the better ones, so you can decide what that means for yourself (either it's a really good movie or the kind of person who liked MoS and BvS thought it was better, which could mean it's crap).

The best thing about Black Panther is kinda also a drawback though, because the best thing in this film is Micheal B. Jordan's Killmonger. Most Marvel flicks have forgettable villians, but he's loving great. Unfortunately he's so good I started to wonder why I was supposed to be against him. Chadwick Boseman isn't terrible as Black Panther, but he's so reserved and stoic that he just doesn't draw the interest like Jordan does. They even give Killmonger a very sympathetic origin and goals, so they then have to add some evil poo poo on top of that to try to make sure the audience doesn't just side with him. Like all the kill memento scars and when he kills his girlfriend. A big part of the movie is about how Wakanda is a kinda hosed up place and Killmonger has a point. Personally, I'm Team Killmonger. I predict lots of "Killmonger Did Nothing Wrong" t-shirts (except for all the murder I suppose).

I found most of the action scenes involving the Black Panther suit to be not that interesting, the final confrontation especially is very visually dull and not that great. I think they might have had trouble shooting the (CGI?) outfit, as there are at least two fights not involving the suit that are actually pretty good. The opening action scene in the film can basically be summed up as a Batman action scene, but filmed with less competence than in Batman Begins, so I think there must have been trouble with filming the suit or it's CGI replacement.

I am white and not American so some of the political points of view might be a bit foreign to me but I really found it strange that(end spoilers) when Wakanda decides to do outreach at the end of the film, they decide to start in Los Angeles and you know, not their poorer African neighbours. Also, when you consider the history of racial politics and "regime change" Killmonger is a scary man because when he was in the American military they taught him black ops poo poo and how to destabilize nations, but the CIA agent in the movie is a straight up good guy, who gets a big heroic moment at the end of the film. Like, the soldier who was trained to be a killer is scary and evil, but the government organisation that did all that black ops poo poo and ran all those regime changes, their representative in the film is a hero who does nothing wrong. Even at the end, he has a big smile on his face while Black Panther talks to the U.N., like he's a proud dad or something. It's so loving weird.

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garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

double negative posted:

Heís not even functioning in his capacity as a CIA agent for most of the movie, and when he is (Korea), heís largely at odds with TíChalla and his goals.

Ultimately, Ross ends up being portrayed positively, but given the way this movie tries to grapple with the destructiveness of the American propensity for regime change and undermining of foreign governments, itís weird to use that to call this a pro-CIA movie.

Part of Killmongerís tragedy is that he ends up reproducing the logic of American foreign policy, while Rossís growth as a character largely involves him shutting the gently caress up and taking a back seat as he realizes heís out of his depth.


Also, lol at fixating on the white audience insert here. Heís basically just there so white folks donít get too mad.

Part of my point is that I don't think you actually need a white audience insert. Nobody is planning on missing this movie until they find out Bilbo is in it, his presence won't change poo poo about the movie's performance. Even if this movie absolutely had to have a white dude in it, why did he have to be a CIA agent? There was no other way to get a white guy in?

Also, they don't hold Ross or the CIA in generals feet to the fire at all When Ross sees Killmongers picture, he INSTANTLY recognizes him and gives his entire history, including all the black ops poo poo. No character in the movie even thinks for a second to ask Ross how he knows all this so quickly, it sounds like it must be firsthand knowledge. Also, when he learns that the magic steroid plants have been burned he instantly states that Killmonger is using tactics that Ross is familiar with, meaning Ross too knows exactly how to destabilize a nation. No character in the scene brings up how this is hosed up. Then Ross ends the film a big hero.

Also, for a film about African people that brings up how colonizers hosed up Africa and enslaved their people, I found it strange that the actual conflict in the film is a Wakandan Civil War, whitey isn't fought at all.

I must again state how great Killmonger is. I know his plan wouldn't have worked, but then again considering T'Challa's plan, is a outreach center in California going to stop African-Americans being victims of police harassment and racism etc? I don't think any plan presented in this film is going to fix things. At least Killmonger stated directly he wanted to help the oppressed and overthrow those hurting them. His righteous anger and fury when first confronting T'Challa in the throne room is great, as is the challenge for kingship. Killmonger doesn't cheat or lie here, he states his (completely true) grievances, states his plan to defeat T'Challa, take over and "fix" things, then he follows through and wins the fight clean all on his own, even thought T'Challa had someone interfere in the fight on his behalf! Killmonger is an absolute boss. His final moments are cool too, accepting death and asking to be buried with his ancestors who would rather die than live in shackles. He overshadows the movie's hero in every way.

edited for hosed up spoiler bracket

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

double negative posted:

Can't believe this Disney movie is not Django Unchained


Other folks have already pointed out that Ross is an established character in the BP comics, and given that they'd already introduced him in Civil War alongside T'Challa, Coogler was pretty much compelled to use him in a certain way (and btw I think you have a bit too much faith in the general white movie-going populace). In terms of holding the CIA's "feet to the fire" American warmongering and white supremacy, along with T'Chaka's gently caress up, is what makes Killmonger who he is. You need Ross to be the symbol here, but don't seem to want to see Killmonger serving that role?

Along those same lines, you want the movie to be about fighting white folks when the movie actually does something far more interesting with an internal black conflict that I think is much more interesting, but that still grapples with the impact of white supremacy. All the characters that drive the plot here are black, but they're from different tribes, backgrounds, and perspectives even if they're all also Wakandan. Killmonger vs. Wakanda in general plays out a very real black diasporic vs African tension, but with some aspects switched up. Klaue could have been the villain you want, but that seems weaker to me.


Yeah, the basic facts about modern blockbuster movie making is probably what is holding Black Panther back from being able to make a stronger point and I probably do have too much faith in the audience, but that doesn't mean I have to like token white good guys inserted so people don't get their knickers in a twist.
While Ross may be from the comics, I believe the Department of State and the NSA, which is what Ross was in the comics, while they may have there own problems, are not the CIA. Also, even if Ross is an ally in the comics, he doesn't have to stay that way in the films. I mean, comic Jarvis isn't an AI and comic M'Baku is a villain called Man-Ape, not Black Panther's ally.
About Killmongers motivations and skills and how they reflect on America He may have learned his skills from America, but his motivation is very very strongly motivated by what T'Chaka did. If America was the same, but his dad wasn't killed, I don't think Killmonger comes back on Wakanda like he does. Especially if they actually bothered to take him home and not abandon him. The blame on America seems to be lessened and ignored, that the injustices in Killmongers life are created by other black people, by his very own family. Making the major plot movers all black is great as it gives them all the motivation and agency in the story, but it means that the blame for all the hurt and injustice in the story also falls solely on them. I don't think what happens in Africa in 100% the fault of Africans, it seems to be trying not to upset mainstream audiences. Understandable, but weak. It's just very strange if you want to criticize American foreign policy and warmongering and you decide the character by which to represent this is a black character with no real social power and a very legitimate grievance and not the CIA agent in the same film who presumably has done all the poo poo real CIA agents have done.

edit: I am also an idiot who can't tell the difference between two American cities. Apologies.

garycoleisgod fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2018 around 04:03

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Yes, I think you're right. It was probably too much to expect a marvel movie to buck expectations that much. Also, my assumption that the movie would deal with more white villains is affecting my judgement of the film. I still don't like the Ross character but I should let it go.

On a more positive note, M'Baku ruled. What a total bro.

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

ungulateman posted:

That cool final line "like my ancestors who threw themselves from the ships, i would rather die than be held in bondage" is insanely dumb if I don't consider it a purely metaphorical statement. Dude, your ancestors didn't do that, because the people who did that are all dead and didn't have kids.

Also, it could mean parents who did it but were survived by their children.

garycoleisgod fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2018 around 05:19

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

My problem with the small steps taken at the end of the film is it seems that in the MCU you can have: super soldiers, alien invasions, super-speed, shrinking technology, a rage monster that gets mass from nowhere and returns it to the same place when calm, a secret society of super Nazis, flying aircraft carriers, real Norse gods, Ragnarok, full AI, a metal that breaks all the laws of physics, FTL, a talking tree and raccoon, and finally a super advanced African nation that has been hidden for centuries.

The audience has no problem accepting all this. But an actual revolution and change in the status quo? Slow down sport, that's too much! Baby steps!
Reminds me of something I first read on this forum, "It's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism"

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Also, Ross was not a CIA agent in the comics!
He's Department of State, NSA and Shield. This might just be splitting hairs as all those organisations have their own problems, but he wasn't CIA. That's a MCU change.

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Kurzon posted:

You guys should pick apart the next Spongebob movie for political undertones. That'd be awesome.

I know what you're getting at, but this is a movie about an Africa nation untouched by colonialism which features a villain who wants its resources to help overthrow the oppressors and ends with its hero doing what he thinks is right to help those his country has ignored...

I don't think people are reaching when they talk about the political context of this movie. The content of the film itself talks about it. Never having watching any Spongebob media in any form, I can't talk about it's political undertones, but if there were political undertones present in it, why wouldn't people talk about it?

quote:

ďI actually am the enemy,Ē Boseman said of his character in a wide-ranging discussion with his Black Panther castmate Lupita Nyongío and The Atlanticís national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates at Harlemís historic Apollo Theater on Tuesday. ďItís the enemy Iíve always known. Itís power. Itís having privilege.Ē

Given this, maybe the people who thought Killmonger had a point weren't just making things up then?

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Phylodox posted:

I donít think anyone denied he had a point. The movie doesnít deny he has a point. His methods are what make him a villain.

To me the question is more why his methods make him the villain. Is it
a) Because they extremely violent and have a large body count
or
b) Because they wouldn't work

If it's b), then T'Challa's plan at the end is wrong too, as let's face it, it's not gonna change poo poo.
If it's a), then everything just about every hero has done (except maybe Spidey, Dr Strange and Ant-Man?) in the MCU is also wrong. Did you see what Cap did at the end of Winter Soldier? He sure didn't resolve that poo poo peacefully, nor should he have.

Saying Killmonger is right, but he's just too extreme is a real life tactic that has been used against real life activists for longer than either of us has been alive, so when it appears in this film it feels like it does in real life: like a load of anti-change horseshit.

ninja edit for terrible typing

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

I understand, but there's no way to use violence nicely. You decide violence is the answer? Women, children and bystanders are gonna cop it too, "clean" violence is a myth.
If Killmonger had said "We'll kill the bad ones, but only them! We'll be careful!", then he'd just be an idiot or a liar.

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Yes,the violence would be horrible and cost untold innocent lives.
But if you want change, what are the other options? As I said, we all know the outreach center ain't gonna do poo poo.
How many died in the French Revolution? The American Civil War? WWII? Were they worth it? Whats the difference between someone killed deliberately, accidentally or by inaction?

The more damning part abiut Killmongers plan is it would fail.
1) Arm people
2)????
3) Revolution!
Not much of a plan.

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

YOLOsubmarine posted:

The two options presented in Black Panther, the movie we are discussing in this thread, are "outreach centers and liberal aid" or "black people murder white people and their whole families with advanced weapons and then swear fealty to a man who calls himself Kilmonger." It's a stupid false choice. The lament is that this is what the movie presents, that it lacks the imagination to provide anything more than a comforting reaffirmation of the same boring tropes about how education and more dialogue will fix things.

This is what I was trying to say but better written and more concise.

The answer I suggest is the end of capitalism.

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Yeah I suppose having a revolution in a film is pretty out there. Hey, what's this list of sci-fi films doing here? Elysium, Mad Max: Fury Road, Flash Gordon (1980), Conan the Destroyer, The Matrix Reloaded, Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi, V for Vendetta, Snowpiercer, Demolition Man, Tank Girl, Willow, Thor: Ragnarok ?

If change can't happen in our fiction, what chance in real life?

garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

Phylodox posted:

I mean...those all present incredibly simple solutions, too. Most of them involve killing some figurehead, after which the evil empire crumbles. The real world is a lot more complicated. You're not gonna save it with some flashy revolution. If you kill Donald Trump, they don't just automatically flip the switch to "COMMUNISM". Is that how you wanted Black Panther to handle it? I'd much rather they presented change as a slow, gradual process involving hard work and perseverence.

They're movies, not documentaries. Sometimes in movies, characters and organisations stand as symbols, not literal interpretations of How to Run a Revolution. Black Panther couldn't even rise to this.

Also

quote:

Most of them involve killing some figurehead, after which the evil empire crumbles
This does describe some of these movies, but it does not match Elysium, The Matrix Reloaded, V for Vendetta or Snowpiercer

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garycoleisgod
Sep 27, 2004
Boo

I'm baffled by the argument that Black Panther is significant because it made a billion dollars. Who gives a poo poo how much it made? http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies...onderland10.htm Is Alice in Wonderland an important film? Did you even remember it existed until just now?

Even though its great that this films success could lead to more opportunities for minority filmmakers, that still doesn't mean the content is great or above criticism.

Forget the more political arguments for a second, most of the action scenes in this are terrible, especially the final fight between BP and Killmonger. It is floaty and without impact, and features a shot straight out of the climax of the original X-Men film, that looked like poo poo then and still looks like poo poo now. (BP spinning around that pillar like Wolverine did around the Statue of Liberty's, uh, hat spikes?)

I don't think this is Coogler's fault, the one-take fight in Creed is tops and I like the two waterfall fights in this, so maybe the CGI requirements just turned everything to poo poo.

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