Tag Archives: Black Panther

My Ten Favorite Movie Heroines

I love movies because they’re very fun to watch. I love seeing stories play out onscreen, I love watching actors portray different characters that I will either love or despise, I love action films, but most importantly, I love a movie with an off-the-chain heroine. There are hundreds of great films with male heroes but when a woman can come into the fold and kick butt alongside the men that’s when a movie, for me, gets really awesome and lately that’s become a regular occurrence.

Last year Wonder Woman finally got her own blockbuster film after being around for decades and there have been a bunch of critically acclaimed indie films and television shows led by women in the past year. The last three Star Wars films have been led by women and have made billions of dollars, an idea that at one time would seem preposterous to the Hollywood elite. And last year’s highest grossing films were all female-led, Beauty and the BeastWonder Woman, and The Last Jedi.

So, because women are clearly awesome, I’m going to share with you the ten movie heroines that I have come to love the most, at least, so far. Enjoy!

10. Dorothy

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies of all time. I remember seeing this film as a child and it was one of the most magical films I have ever seen still to this day. To think that this movie was made in 1939! is beyond incredible and in the center of this epic tale is Dorothy.

Dorothy is a special character. She has those ruby slippers, she sings like an angel, she has the cutest dog ever, Toto, and she’s so sweet. She’s a regular farm girl trying to run away from home because a mean old lady wants her dog to be taken away who just so happened to end up embarking on an incredible journey in a magical world unlike any other. She faces flying monkeys, an evil witch, and many other obstacles but at the end of it all she survives the adventure and helps save the Land of Oz while never refraining from being herself. If you really think about it, Dorothy is a very brave girl. To face all of that strange stuff; a talking scarecrow, a talking lion, a tin man, munchkins, witches, etc. without utterly freaking out is very impressive.

Without Dorothy The Wizard of Oz would not be the same magical movie that it has been for almost a century and that’s why she is one of my favorite heroines.

9. Murph Cooper

Jessica Chastain in Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is another one of my favorite movies because, well, it’s very, very good. The story is well written, the creativity is out of this world amazing, every actor’s performance is exceptional, the music is ridiculously imaginative and helps elevate the film in chill-inducing ways, and at there are some incredible women in this movie.

Through the marketing of this film it seemed like the movie was about Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper who supposedly was going to save the world but in actuality the movie was really about his daughter, Murph. No she might not have participated in an adventure that consisted of falling in black holes or surviving a planet that had nothing but water but back on Earth she was being a hero in her own right as she tried to find a way to save the people on Earth from extinction.

When her mentor, Professor Brand, died did she go sit herself in a corner and weep until the world came to an end? No. She continued striving to find the solution that would save humanity even though she was mostly alone, with the exception of her friend, the Doctor, a grueling task that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle. The fact that she, at the end of the day, was the one to save everyone is not only amazing but makes her one of my favorite heroines.

8. Valkyrie

Valkyrie is so cool. She’s rude, she’s unapologetic for her attitude, she’s tough, and beyond all of that, she’s really powerful. No, she might not be able to summon lightning like Thor but besides that she has the exact same skill set as him and that’s why I am an absolute fan of hers. And did I mention she was cool? 🙂

7. Shuri

Letitia Wright in Black Panther (2018)

Shuri is awesome, pure and simple. Not only is she a Wakandan princess but she’s also the lead scientist of the technologically advanced African nation (and she’s just a teenager by the way) and she’s a superhero! She’s basically the female version of Tony Stark, except smarter and cooler. 🙂

Black Panther is representing black women in the most beautiful ways and to know that young girls will be able to see a character this amazing and self-confident is not only a great thing but it is an inspiring realization. Hopefully Shuri will be around for many years to come.

6. Black Widow

I love Black Widow. She’s beautiful, deadly, intelligent, and she can kick some serious butt. You would think, because she’s an assassin, that she wouldn’t be able to hold her own against the terrible forces that The Avengers have to fight every now and then but she can. That makes her more than just an assassin, she truly is an Avenger as well.

She’s also complex too. The brief hints at her back story helped reveal a darker side of her that had never been seen before and will hopefully be explored in her standalone film.

I’m so glad she’s finally getting her own movie. It’s about time. I mean, she’s one of the most loved and earliest Avengers and yet she still, in every movie that she’s been in, has been a co-star. I am beyond excited to see her finally shine in her own movie.

5. Ripley

I had no idea why Sigourney Weaver was a movie icon…until I watched Alien. In 1979 there weren’t a lot of delightfully strong heroines displayed in movies but Ripley was undoubtedly one of them. In the movie she isn’t used as a love interest or a damsel in distress, she is portrayed as just another astronaut alongside the predominantly male astronaut crew she’s in. When things start getting crazy she’s the only crew member who didn’t absolutely freak out and that is stunning.

Alien is a disturbingly frightening movie and undoubtedly the scariest sci-fi film I have ever watched but at least there was Ripley to make you feel a little less horrified. Now, of course, she was scared because how can you not be scared? Think about being trapped on a ship with an alien that wants to kill you. That’s beyond terrifying but she handled herself remarkably well in that horrendous situation. Her strength in the movie is astoundingly brilliant and it’s why she’s still an icon to this day.

4. Princess/General Leia

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Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars today if you didn’t have Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. They were the foundation that made the movie resonate with millions of people and Leia was a huge part of that foundation. When she first appeared in A New Hope she was a princess, yes, but she wasn’t your typical princess. She wasn’t like Cinderella or Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. She was a Star Wars princess and that entails not a damsel in distress but rather a feisty, intelligent woman who is willing to die for the cause she believed in.

Throughout the films she has been a politician, a warrior, a lover, a wife, a mother, a sister, a general, and she has been unwaveringly powerful. When she spoke every one listened. When she commanded people to do something they did it.

She helped inspire girls around the world that we as women can be strong and beautiful without compromising our integrity and our goals. Princess Leia is a heroine in many people’s lives and as the story of Star Wars finally continues without her the impact she left in this franchise will be felt for a long, long time.

3. Okoye

Danai Gurira in Black Panther (2018)

Okoye is off the chain! Oh my goodness, I love her so much. She’s such a strong woman in Black Panther because, well, she’s the general of Wakanda. And she is quite the general too. She’s not the smily type. If she doesn’t like or trust you she will let you know with the way she looks at you. She immediately authoritizes herself over everyone, except for the royal family, and you can sense that. She is second to no one and that’s why I love her so much.

I also love her belief in the beautiful and natural ways of Wakanda women. One of my favorite scenes with her in Black Panther is when she comments on the wig she has to wear as a disguise during a certain sequence of the movie. I’m a black woman with natural hair and so it was so relatable seeing her despise the wig. She got rid of that wig at the first chance she got too. Brilliant. 🙂

I also love how incredible of a fighter she is. In Marvel there are a lot of powerful superheroes but there aren’t any like her. She has this spear and she knows how to use it too. It’s amazing. The first time I saw her in action my jaw dropped a little. Like I said before, Okoye is off the chain!!! I can’t wait to see her kick some alien butt in Avengers: Infinity War.

2. Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017)

I mean come on, it’s Wonder Woman. How can you not love Wonder Woman?! She’s gorgeous, powerful, benevolent, she’s frankly, in my opinion, the leader of the Justice League, she’s got that incredible Lasso of Truth (I love the lasso) and she’s simply awesome. Yeah, I might not have liked the way they treated her origin story (it could’ve been MUCH better) but she’s still one of the greatest heroines ever!

Gal Gadot did a marvelous job portraying the iconic heroine and I can’t wait to see her again in future DC movies. Hopefully those films will be better than the last few. *shrug*

1. Rey

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

This, frankly, isn’t a surprise. I mean, I love me some Rey! Ever since the first time I saw her in that eensy weensy teaser for The Force Awakens (at the time I thought she was Leia’s daughter) four years ago I was immediately intrigued. Then I watched the movie in 2015 and when I discovered that she was the new Jedi of this trilogy it was beyond amazing. I totally freaked out, in a good way. For so long I had been wanting a major female Jedi but there had never been one…until now. Thank you Disney for making my dreams come true.

And then after The Last Jedi my love for her only increased. Now did she have any groundbreaking moments like she did in The Force Awakens? No, not really, but she stayed on the level of coolness that made me such a Rey fan in the first place.

The casting for Rey was also perfect as well. Daisy Ridley was the perfect woman to play her because first of all, she was a widely unknown actress so she could make Rey her own and I didn’t have to say, “Oh, that’s such and such.” Secondly, she can act! The way she can just summon tears at will is very impressive. Third, she just looks awesome. She’s beautiful, vulnerable, tough, strong, smart, and kind all at the same time and she portrays that so well simply with her face.

I love Rey a lot and the thought that Daisy Ridley’s last appearance as Rey will be in Episode IX is kind of saddening to think about because I wish her story could go on and on. Unfortunately, it can’t, and so I’m going to treasure watching her in The Last Jedi and then one day, in the future, in Episode IX.

Well, these are my ten favorite heroines. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious day.

A New King Has Been Crowned…and His Name Isn’t T’Challa

Black Panther has been out for six days and it has broken box-office records left and right and is the best rated superhero film of all time at a stunning 97% Rotten Tomatoes score which isn’t surprising. The movie is good!!! When I came out of that movie theater five days ago I had embarked on a cinematic journey that I never thought I would ever experience and it is still impacting me to this day. There are great movies and then there are perfect movies. Black Panther was practically perfect and one of the reasons why it was such a fantastically enjoyable film is because of its villain, Erik Killmonger.

Minor Spoilers Ahead! If you haven’t seen this movie yet and you would rather go into the movie clean of any details of the film I suggest you read no further. I thank you for heeding this warning and I hope you enjoy the rest of the post.

Continue reading A New King Has Been Crowned…and His Name Isn’t T’Challa

The Women of ‘Black Panther’

Marvel hasn’t been known for incorporating a lot of female superheroes in their movies (until recently.) For a while Black Widow was the only female superhero in the superhero franchise until 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy introduced assassin sisters Gamora and Nebula into the fold. Since then the female superheroes have appeared at an increasing rate. Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange had The Ancient One. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought forth a new heroine, Mantis. Thor: Ragnarok unleashed the fiery Valkyrie into the MCU as well as the franchise’s first female villain, Hela. And now Black Panther.

Out of all seventeen previous films there have been only eight female superheroes, and four of them appeared in the last two years! This has been a male-dominated franchise for a long time but that’s slowly being cut into and the arrival of Black Panther helps that immensely as it introduced the most women we’ve seen in a Marvel film to date. Not only were their four major heroines in the film but there were plenty of strong, powerful women surrounding them as well and it was a marvel (see what I did there?) to see. And more importantly, they were black!

We, as black women, rarely see ourselves represented in such an epic fashion onscreen and to see so many of us, at one time, portrayed as strong, beautiful, intelligent, and downright awesome was and still is one of the best experiences of my life. So today I’m going to celebrate the arrival of these powerful women and I hope you enjoy. 🙂

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Ranking the Ten Best Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the arrival of Black Panther a couple of days ago there are now 18! Marvel movies that have come out in the last decade. Not only is that amazing but the majority of the films are actually really enjoyable. Marvel has become a franchise juggernaut. In fact, they’re starting to make Star Wars look kind of weak in comparison when you think about how many more films they have compared to the science-fiction franchise (but Star Wars is still the best, in my opinion, so far.) So today, since I have now officially seen the groundbreaking superhero film, Black Panther, I want to share with you where I rank it among nine of its other predecessors. Enjoy!

10. Ant-Man

Three years ago Ant-Man debuted and while it definitely wasn’t one of the best Marvel movies I’ve ever seen it is a fun film to watch. Scott Lang brings the laughs, Hope van Dyne is an awesome heroine, and the movie is entertaining. Now is it anywhere close to the quality of the nine other films ahead of it, no, but against the eight movies behind it I happen to like this film more.

9. The Avengers

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth in The Avengers (2012)

I still remember when I saw The Avengers for the first time. It completely changed my view on what a superhero movie could be. I mean seeing six superheroes fighting together to save the world was really amazing and it immediately turned me into a Marvel fan. Now I saw this movie the other day and I was laughing at how lame it was. In 2012 this movie was the best you could get from Marvel but now after there being so many movies that are light years better than The Avengers it just looks old. And there’s nothing particularly wrong with that. In fact, it makes me happy to see that it’s so ancient. That means the Marvel films have gotten much better since then and that’s always a good thing.

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

While The Avengers is a better made movie than its sequel I happen to like this movie a lot more simply because the original Avengers’ stories are much more developed and the addition of Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Quicksilver makes the movie that much more enjoyable.

Continue reading Ranking the Ten Best Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

A Spoiler-Free Review of ‘Black Panther’

I watched Black Panther yesterday and I’m still reveling in how good the movie was. In fact, I watched Captain America: Civil War last night, which is something I haven’t done in over a year, because Black Panther was so great I wanted to look back at how T’Challa was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the movie had such an impact on me I woke up still thinking about brilliantly fantastic the film was. So, while the movie is still fresh in my mind, here’s my spoiler-free review.

The Story

Black Panther (2018)

Everything about this film worked. The story was one of the best I’ve seen in Marvel so far. It kept me wondering what was going to happen next while also clarifying earlier scenes in the movie that, if left untouched, would’ve left us viewers with some serious plot holes to try to fill.

The Characters

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther (2018)

The characters were not only incredibly cool but they each had an essential part to play in the film. There was no one who could’ve been left out of the film. And Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of the villain, Erik Killmonger, was beyond what I expected, becoming an immediate favorite in the MCU. He definitely wasn’t your typical Marvel villain.

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One of my favorite things about a movie is when you can actually relate with the bad guy. It’s one of the reasons I like Kylo Ren so much and why this new Star Wars trilogy is so entertaining. If the villain is always someone you immediately want to root against then the story isn’t very complex but if the antagonist presents an argument that’s kind of understandable and makes you question the antics of the good guys that’s when a movie gets really interesting and Black Panther did this. If Erik Killmonger is any indication on the direction Marvel is heading villain-wise I’m all thumbs up.

Continue reading A Spoiler-Free Review of ‘Black Panther’

My ‘Black Panther’ Experience

Guess what?! I’ve seen Black Panther and spoiler alert, it’s magnificently, wonderfully, incredibly, awesome! I knew this movie was going to be good but boy, I wasn’t expecting it to be this amazing. From the first scene all the way to the last this movie had me beaming with pure joy and pride as I watched this film. I’m telling you, I’ve never been more proud to be a woman of color. This movie is literally a dream come true. To see so many powerful, smart black women and men was just…in a word, glorious. And that’s not the only reason why this movie was so enjoyable. The story was impeccably told, the visuals were jaw-dropping and captivating, the action, oh my goodness, the action was mindbogglingly epic, the outfits were gorgeously designed, and the characters were magnificent.

Marvel has clearly sent a message to the world with this movie and, I hate to say it, but it made Wonder Woman (another historic superhero movie) look like a joke in comparison. Black Panther was everything I wanted it to be…and more.

I also enjoyed the trailers before the film immensely as well. There was Tomb Raider which I have to admit, it looked kind of good, Ant-Man and the Wasp was a fun trailer in IMAX, Solo: A Star Wars Story was, of course, wonderful to see, but the surprise of the day was the Venom teaser.

I have no knowledge of Venom other than he’s the scary version of Spider Man but I do have knowledge of movie trailers and this teaser practically screamed interestingly awesome. Another thing that excited me is seeing Tom Hardy. He’s one of my favorite actors and so seeing him in a movie kind of solidifies a movie’s chances of being good. It was also a really good teaser because it didn’t share anything and that’s always exciting.

All in all, this has been a Marvel-ous Friday and I couldn’t be happier. Tomorrow I will share with you my spoiler-free review of the movie and you definitely won’t want to miss it.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day. Wakanda Forever! (That’s something that’s said in the movie and it is totally awesome!) 🙂

My Excitement for ‘Black Panther’

It’s only four days until the monumental Black Panther comes out and I am beyond ecstatic. Usually around this time of year I’m just waiting until April to get the newest Star Wars movie on Blu-Ray but this year the incredible blockbusters are coming early with this February release of Marvel’s Black Panther and I couldn’t be happier.

Now, while there is a huge cultural significance to this movie that’s not the only reason why I’m excited to see this film. Marvel has been cranking out enjoyable films for the past ten years and the incredible thing is not only do we get at least three Marvel movies a year now but the movies are actually really, really good as well. The last two Marvel films that have come out (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok) have both graced my top five favorite Marvel movies list and I have a feeling Black Panther won’t be an exception.

The commercials are awesome, the advertising for the film is perfect, and I simply can’t wait to see the beautiful world of Wakanda that Black Panther comes from.

So, here are the things I’m most excited to see in Marvel’s new juggernaut, Black Panther.

The Action

Chadwick Boseman in Captain America: Civil War (2016)

When Black Panther appeared in Captain America: Civil War I was already excited. His suit was amazingly sleek (and black,) it could deflect bullets because it was made completely out of vibranium (awesome!) and while the suit possessed a simple design its beauty was impeccable. And his fighting style was so amazing! The martial arts form that he used felt native to his country, Wakanda, while also making his character shine.

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther (2018)

Now he has his own film and I know for a fact that the action is going to be off the chain! I’m just excited to see exactly how off the chain it will be. And the great thing is, it won’t just be Black Panther who will be handing out the incredible fight scenes. We’ve also got the Dora Milaje, the all-female bodyguards of the King, as well as other tribes and the movie’s main villain who are definitely going to get in on the piece of the action. *squeal* I’m so excited I could practically scream.

I can’t wait to see Black Panther’s vibranium claws slicing and dicing in IMAX. It’s going to be awesome!

Continue reading My Excitement for ‘Black Panther’