Black Panther

Year: 2018
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis,
Martin Freeman

WRITTEN BY ANDREW GARRISON

While this is far from the first black superhero movie, it is still very important. Diversity is a gift, allowing us to see new stories and points of view we may have not yet considered. It opens our world to new exciting possibilities. Marvel Studios has grown increasingly diverse over the past decade, but this is the first time a primary non-white protagonist emerges. I was excited about this movie even before ‘Captain America: Civil War’ arrived. I thought Black Panther was a character the Marvel universe needed. Coming into this movie with high hopes, it did not disappoint.

‘Black Panther’ follows the return of T‚ÄôChalla (Boseman) to his home, Wakanda, after the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’. He is to be crowned king but must face the mistakes and adversaries of the past and attempt to guide his people toward the right future. This film has the most talented cast that Marvel has used to date. Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther very well. He dives into the character and never lets up. The main antagonist is Erik Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan who delivers a stirring performance. Lupita Nyong‚Äôo is incredibly cool throughout this film, she nearly steals the movie from Boseman, which is an impressive feat all its own. You know you are watching something special when the secondary characters feature the likes of; Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, and Martin Freeman. Everyone did wonderful work in their roles.

This film may be fantasy, but it is loaded with profound concepts for the world we live in. Things that needed to be said and heard by the masses were exposed. This movie highlights some ugly truths about our own world. Things we need to accept as issues and then get to work finding resolutions. Granted it is early, but the cinematography, set designs, costumes, and makeup are flawless throughout this film and I hope will receive some award nominations in the future. You don’t just learn about Black Panther and his close circle, you learn about the spiritual, political, and social culture of Wakanda in stunning detail. This is a very fleshed out world, better than anything Marvel has done to date in this regard.

The music throughout this film is aesthetically pleasing, perfectly sewn into the film at the right moments. Combine that with excellent sound and CGI, and you have a film that is well-made all around. There are humor and action throughout, but the humor is tamed. It knows when it can be funny and when it needs to be serious. (Think ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and not ‘Thor: The Dark World’.) The film mixes in periods of drama and character development with intense actions scenes. Marvel has gotten a bit more brutal in recent years. The violence was still very much PG- 13, but it was very much fitting of that rating. When the action goes down, it is some of the most impressive I‚Äôve seen from any superhero film to date.

While I enjoyed ‘Black Panther’, it does have a few issues. Anyone familiar with these Marvel movies over the past decade knows they have some flaws.¬†Without spoiling anything, this movie carries on a recurring Marvel issue regarding the fate of it’s villains. This by no means ruins the movie, but it is a fact that Marvel isn’t going unnoticed amongst fans.

While I tried to avoid a lot of news about this film, I was hearing a lot of hype for Killmonger as Marvel‚Äôs best villain. He has a compelling story, but there was so much of it glossed over. I wanted to know more about this character and he never fully developed as I hoped. There are a couple of decisions the movie makes that I didn‚Äôt like. I felt Marvel had built up something and then wasted a great opportunity. While not often, sometimes the camerawork would be erratic and hard to follow. ‘Black Panther’ wasn‚Äôt just a Marvel superhero movie, it was a rattling of the cages type film. It spoke a lot of truth that we often sweep under the rug about the world we live in. It raises awareness and then offers the global society an olive branch. ‘Black Panther’ is well-crafted in every sense of the word. Director Ryan Coogler continues to astound, and this may be the most beautiful Marvel movie made yet.

ANDREW’S RATING: 8.8/10
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Killmonger Takes On T’Challa In Brand New ‘Black Panther’ Trailer

“T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.”

Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Andy Serkis, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Sterling K. Brown
Release Date: 16th February 2018

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Welcome to Wakanda – The First Teaser Trailer For Black Panther Has Arrived!

Since his introduction in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, fans of the MCU have been on tenterhooks waiting for a glimpse of T’Challa’s solo film. Then yesterday, out of the blue, the first poster hit the web along with an announcement that a teaser trailer would follow a few hours later.

Whilst the poster received it’s fair share of criticism over on Twitter, the teaser trailer seems to have received an overall positive reception. And rightly so..

Joining Chadwick Boseman in Wakanda are Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Winston Duke, and Sterling K. Brown. Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station)¬†is in the director’s chair, which I couldn’t be more excited about!

Andy Serkis is reprising his role as Ulysses Klaw, who we met in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ when he sold vibranium to Ultron, who then proceeded to slice off his arm in a fit of rage. Martin Freeman also returns as CIA Operative, Everett Ross, who had a run in with the Avengers and Black Panther during ‘Civil War’ when the CIA captured Bucky Barnes.¬†

This first teaser does a superb job of being a tease of what to expect from this film and I can’t wait to see more!¬†

Synopsis:

“Marvel Studios‚Äô ‚ÄúBlack Panther‚ÄĚ follows T‚ÄôChalla who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

“But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T‚ÄôChalla‚Äôs mettle as king‚ÄĒand Black Panther‚ÄĒis tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.¬†Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.”

‘Black Panther’ is currently scheduled to hit UK cinemas on 16th February 2018

Updated Synopsis For ‘Black Panther’ and First For ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Released

Black Panther was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) last year in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, and what an introduction it was! We were introduced to T’Challa, who briefly explained the mantle of Black Panther and what it meant to the people of Wakanda. ‘Black Panther’ wrapped filming last month and is set to release on the 9th February 2018. With two more MCU films left to release this year in the form of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, it is probably a safe bet to assume that one of these will have an end credit stinger linked to ‘Black Panther’ is some way.

The newly updated synopsis goes as follows:

“After the events of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.”

‘Avengers: Infinity’ and the as-yet-untitled ‘Avengers 4’ will be what every film in the MCU has been leading up to, and we will finally see Thanos get up off his chair and wreak some havoc himself. We learned during it’s press junket that ‘Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ ends 4 years before the start of ‘Infinity War’, and with just ‘Homecoming’, ‘Ragnarok’, and ‘Black Panther’ the only films we’ll see before this huge event, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover!¬†

Avengers: Infinity War Synopsis:

“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.‚ÄĚ

What are your thoughts on the films we have left to see before ‘Infinity War’? Which of the three are you most excited for?

Black Panther First Synopsis Released

Marvel have this afternoon given a press release confirming that filming has begun on ‘Black Panther’, and in their statement they’ve given us a litter teaser for the film in the form of the first official synopsis and confirming characters we will see in the film.¬†

The first synopsis reads:

‚ÄúBlack Panther¬†follows T‚ÄôChalla 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‚ÄôChalla‚Äôs 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.”

Both Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis have been confirmed to reprise their previous roles within the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. Freeman will be returning as Everett K. Ross, who we first met last year in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and Serkis will be back as Ulysses Klaue (Klaw), who, ¬†when we last saw him on screen, lost an arm when came face to face with Ultron in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. John Kani is also confirmed to reprise his role as T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father, in what we can safely assume will be flashback scenes seeing as we witnessed T’Chaka’s death in ‘Civil War’.¬†

The film is being directed by ‘Creed’ director, Ryan Coogler, and will also star Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Sterling K. Brown.¬†

‘Black Panther’ is currently filming and has a release date of 9th February 2018 in the UK

Written by Tom Sheffield

First Rogue One Reactions Hit The Web

We are just days away from one of the most anticipated films of the year being released, and after the premiere in Hollywood last night celebrities, critics and bloggers alike took to social media to share their reactions to ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’.

If their tweets are anything to go by then Star Wars fans will not be disappointed with this spin-off, with some reactions even going as far as placing ‘Rogue One’ in the top 3 best Star Wars films. Gareth Edwards is receiving high praise , as are the entire cast for their performances, with Donnie Yen and Felicity Jones getting some special mentions.

The embargo for ‘Rogue One’ lifts on Tuesday, meaning reviews hit the web 2 days before the film is released here in the UK. Some of the lucky people who attended the premiere have recommended avoiding reviews and tweets until you’ve seen the film for yourself as there are lots of incredible scenes that could easily be ruined or spoiled for you, so browse social media at your own risk. ¬†

I have my ticket booked for the IMAX midnight showing and so have no intention of reading these reviews until after I’ve seen it, but hearing the film get such an overwhelming reception at it’s premiere is incredibly exciting!¬†With ‘Rogue One’ looking like a strong start to the future of Star Wars spin-offs, we can soon start getting even more excited about¬†the untitled ‘Han Solo’ movie which will star¬†Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, and Emilia Clarke, which is slated for a¬†2018 release.¬†

Continue reading

Arrival Of Amy Adams’s Sci-Fi Thriller

The new trailer for sci-fi thriller ‘Arrival’ has hit the internet, and got everyone very excited. Directed by ‘Sicario’ and ‘Prisoners’ helmer Denis Villeneuve (who is in the process of working on the second Blade Runner film, and fast becoming one of the hottest properties in Hollywood) the trailer is decidedly low key and focused largely on the emotional impact of the alien invasion it portrays.

Based on a short story entitled ‚ÄėStory Of Your Life‚Äô by Ted Chiang, ‘Arrival’ follows a linguist, played by Amy Adams, who is enlisted to help contact the aliens who have landed on Earth. Despite her prowess in her own field, she is in no way prepared for the job being asked of her. Joined by¬† Jeremy Renner as mathematician Ian Donnelly and Forest Whitaker as Colonel Weber, the ominous trailer shows us an alien monolith, but keeps the aliens themselves a mystery, whetting appetites a plenty in the process.¬†

Arrival is scheduled for UK cinematic release on 11th November 2016
Written by Abbie Eales

 

Top 10 Boxing Movies

Written by Patrick Alexander

Sports play a major part in the way the world works; from Superbowl Sunday to the World Cup final, pretty much everyone follows one sport or another. The problem is, the popularity of sports in general dictates that Hollywood tries and tries to churn out successful sporting movies, but sporting movies are notoriously hard to get right. That said, boxing seems to be one of the few sports that does work on film, and I’m here to prove it with 10 great boxing movies. Before we crack on with this list, I have to give some honorable mentions to a few films that didn’t quite make it into the top 10.¬†


Rocky III (1982): When you think of boxing movies, you naturally think of the ‘Rocky’ franchise, but we can’t have seven ‘Rocky’ films in here can we? In this third film, the villain Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T) makes a strong¬†case for himself and this is a great film, but not quite as good as some of the others in the series.

Cinderella Man (2005): One of Russell Crowe‚Äôs finest works, with a¬†fantastic Paul Giamatti supporting role, but this film’s old-old-old school mentality¬†lulls a hair too much to sneak into the top ten.

The Boxer (1997): Keeping it simple with the title, ‘The Boxer’ stars Daniel Day Lewis as a killer. But ‘The Boxer’ is not even his best¬†film about being an Irish Revolutionary. I mean, come on Daniel; what¬†kind of warped sequel to ‘In the Name of the Father’ is this?¬†

Okay, on with the real winners…


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10. Fat City (1972); Directed by John Huston; Starring Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges

Synopsis: Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Verdict: A real old school boxing flick and the godfather of all boxing¬†movies, pre-dating both ‘Rocky’ and ‘Raging Bull’. Stacy Keach, as Tully,¬†carries the film‚Äôs focus in his showdown with a young Jeff Bridges. ‘Fat¬†City’ is everything you want it to be; non-formulaic, aware of its angle,¬†full of classic 70s dialogue, and a rip-roaring bout that will keep you on the¬†edge of your seat. Had the story aged better over time, ‘Fat City’ would,¬†indubitably, deserve to be ranked higher.


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9. The Fighter (2010); Directed by David O. Russell; Starring: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

Synopsis: A look at the early years of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, and his¬†brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

Verdict: Micky Ward sure does come off as a prick, but with Bale and¬†Wahlberg in tow, the director Russell actually makes you want to root¬†for Ward by the end. Dysfunctional in nature, Dicky Eklund‚Äôs portrayal¬†absolutely ties together what would have been a rather bland stint¬†without him. Docked points for sub-par boxing scenes by Marky Mark, ‘The Fighter’ has a candor and a degree of authenticity¬†which allows it to¬†keep it‚Äôs head above water¬†among the all-time boxing greats.


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8. Ali (2001); Directed by Michael Mann; Starring Will Smith, Jamie Foxx

Synopsis: A biography of sports legend, Muhammad Ali, from his early days to his time in the ring.

Verdict: Will Smith brings to life the childhood hero of many,¬†Muhammad Ali. We‚Äôve all got posters on our walls of the man who¬†could truly float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. From his “Thrilla in¬†Manila” to his personal journeys stateside, Ali fought more powers than¬†just Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier. Smith‚Äôs wily persona of the world-class champion lands a devastating blow on this list amongst the great¬†boxing flicks of old.


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7. Southpaw (2015); Directed by Antoine Fuqua; Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker

Synopsis: Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Wills to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.

Verdict: A vociferously flashy, most glamorous, Eminem-infused battle¬†blast, ‘Southpaw’ attacks both fast and strong. Gyllenhaal is so¬†unbelievably ripped and his surreal training sequences totally make¬†this film. Fighting Miguel ‚ÄėMagic‚Äô Escobar, the fiery Colombian¬†antagonist only makes you root for Billy Hope and his lost hope even¬†more. Some may call ‘Southpaw’ formulaic and chalk this one up to¬†bias based on its recent release, but Antoine Fuqua gets everything right from tight boxing¬†sequences, to max-level grandeur, to a hard-hitting lefty landing a¬†wonderful wallop into this top ten.


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6. Rocky IV (1985); Directed by Sylvester Stallone; Starring Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren

Synopsis: After iron man Ivan Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.

Verdict: In the fight that single-handedly ended the Cold War, Rocky¬†goes toe-to-toe with the juiced-up Russian cyborg machine, Ivan¬†Drago, who inexplicably felled the great Apollo Creed. Rocky lights our¬†hearts on fire by selecting the hard way out¬†in defeating his¬†Russian nemesis. Through snow-clogged sprints and intense cabin¬†training, Rocky once again shows us that there are no demons out there incapable of being defeated. A 15-round packed-punch of¬†emotion, passion, and defeating the Soviets lands ‘Rocky IV’ a place in the¬†throes of greatness.


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5. Undisputed (2002); Directed by Walter Hill; Starring Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames

Synopsis: When heavyweight champion George ‘Iceman’ Chambers¬†lands himself in prison, the resident gangster arranges a boxing match with¬†the reigning prison champ.

Verdict: Outside of having, pound-for-pound, the greatest boxing¬†sequence of all time in film history (and you can take that to the¬†bank), ‘Undisputed’ brings the unique concept of prison boxing to the¬†table, an advantage unbeknownst to any other of its contemporaries.¬†Iceman Chambers vs. Monroe Hutchens is right up there with Balboa¬†vs. Creed, in terms of strength of fighting skills plus high class¬†drama. The total underdog of the list, ‘Undisputed’ will wow you with its¬†technical, authentic feeling final round. A must-see for boxing fans¬†everywhere.


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4. Creed (2015); Directed by Ryan Coogler; Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone

Synopsis: Everyone’s favourite former¬†World Heavyweight Champion, Rocky Balboa,¬†serves as trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late¬†friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Verdict: After the abomination that was ‘Rocky Balboa’, ‘Creed’ gets the¬†franchise right back in line with technically savvy, intense boxing, led by¬†magnificently deft camera work throwing us into all angles of the ring.¬†Throw in real life boxer, Tony Bellow, playing the indomitable ‚ÄėPretty‚Äô¬†Ricky Conlon across the ring from Adonis Johnson (Creed), and the¬†authenticity levels are unparalleled. With great training montages,¬†including a dirt bike sidled run up the steps to victory, ‘Creed’ supplants¬†not only Southpaw as the best boxing flick of 2015, but perhaps may¬†be the #1 boxing picture of the past decade.


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3. The Hurricane (1999); Directed by Norman Jewison; Starring Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber

Synopsis: The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly¬†imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove¬†his innocence.

Verdict: One of the better ‚Äúoutside the ring‚ÄĚ stories of the bunch, elevated by a Mt.¬†Rushmore performance by Washington. Washington, as Rubin ‚ÄúHurricane‚ÄĚ Carter fights not only his¬†weary opponents in the ring, but the racism and hate that imprisoned¬†an innocent man, until love overflows to bust him out. A real knockout¬†punch right into the sixteenth round, ‘The Hurricane’ will box a hole right into¬†the throws of your heart.


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2. Rocky (1976); Directed by John G. Avildsen; Starring Sylvester Stallone, Carl Stone

Synopsis: Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Verdict: The ultimate underdog story. The picture that made you¬†believe you could conquer any obstacle in life by running up a few¬†steps in front of a local museum. Bill Conti‚Äôs epic soundtrack, Rocky¬†Balboa‚Äôs finest clash with Apollo Creed, and the city of Philadelphia‚Äôs¬†soul combine to make ‘Rocky’ an all-timer. With Burgess Meredith, a world class¬†stick man, and the darling Talia Shire along for the ride, Rocky¬†conquers every mountain, both real and metaphorical on its climb to¬†the top (well, nearly the top).


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1. Raging Bull (1980); Directed by Martin Scorsese; Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

Synopsis: An emotionally self-destructive boxer’s journey through life,¬†as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring,¬†destroys his life outside it.

Verdict: A legendary, poetic performance by the menace of a boxer,¬†Robert De Niro playing Jack La Motta. This it the film that makes any young¬†kid want to be a boxer and perhaps evokes a raging bull inside all of¬†us. ‘Raging Bull’ is filled with demons, relief, and a pleasantly insane¬†narrative. Viciously brutal boxing sequences mixing slow beating and¬†frenetic flurries of blows, plus a heart of gold, mean Scorsese‚Äôs finest¬†work tops this list.