Tag Archives: Marvel Cinematic Universe

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.

Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and Sydelle Noel in Black Panther (2018)

Have you ever seen a movie where its main villain doesn’t appear until halfway through the film and yet he still manages to make such an impact that it doesn’t even matter?! Well, meet Erik Killmonger.

This movie’s slow introduction to the film’s main antagonist was one of the greatest reveals I’ve ever seen in a movie. Erik Killmonger appeared briefly in the beginning of the movie but at the time he was a sidekick, a nameless individual who you didn’t know or exactly care about. Fast forward about forty-fifty minutes later and he’s the boss of the film. When he shows up in the movie he shows up! Oh my gosh, he came roaring into the film harder than any villain I’ve seen in a movie. Events started happening so quickly that the movie’s decency went from a 10 to a whopping fifteen in quality, that’s how much of an impact he had on the movie’s story.

Marvel is a wonderful franchise but they have had a terrible villain problem. Nearly every villain except a few are used as merely stepping-stones for the heroes rather than having antagonists that’ll change events and alter storylines, providing a long-term effect in future films.

Take Zemo for example in Captain America: Civil War. His dastardly plan to inflict conflict in the ranks of the Avengers succeeded and now they’re broken into what seems like unbreakable factions within the superhero group. We may never see Iron Man and Captain America participate in a friendly conversation again. That makes Zemo a great villain.

And then you have Malekith from Thor: The Dark World who was so cliche and boring of a character that whenever he showed up in the movie I was less than interested. He wanted to take over the universe but why exactly, I don’t remember. And he looked terrible too. Ugh, worst Marvel villain ever. Erik Killmonger is not that type of antagonist in the slightest.

Up to this point Michael Keaton’s Mr. Toomes/The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming was my favorite Marvel villain because he was the most relatable. In his mind he wasn’t the bad guy. He was just a man trying to make ends meet for his family and he was willing to do anything, even conduct an illegal weapons deal operation, to provide that for them. That’s not a useless, one-tracked mind villain and I felt for him. Of course I’m going to root for Spider Man but I understood The Vulture’s side of the story as well. Erik Killmonger did the same thing for me.

Before I saw the film I had heard some critics say Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal as Erik Killmonger was on par with Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight and I was surprised. In the trailers he didn’t convey an iconic villain performance but after watching the movie I understand why they presented him with such high praise. He made cry, he made me angry, he made me scared for the protagonists, and he made the movie, which was already really good before he showed up, really, really good.

When he appeared in the film things got real super fast and it was a shocking development in the movie. In fact, in my spoiler-free review of Black Panther I said I nearly burst into tears at least five times in the movie and that was after Erik Killmonger showed up because most of the tears I wanted to shed had something to do with his side of the story.

The only movie I’ve seen with Michael B. Jordan is Creed but after Black Panther I have become an immediate fan of his, that’s how amazing of a job he did as the villain in this film. He made this villain come to life and he brought so much emotion to the movie that I can’t imagine the movie without him.

I named this post, A New King Has Been Crowned…and It Isn’t T’Challa, because while T’Challa is a fabulous character because, well, he’s Black Panther, without the arrival of Erik Killmonger his story wouldn’t be complete. Killmonger came into the movie and turned everything upside down, a point that was literally shown in one scene of the film. He helped give that movie its 97% rating and he helped turn it from a regular superhero movie into an instant iconic movie.

He is undoubtedly the greatest Marvel villain there has been so far and he has raised such a high bar that I don’t even think Thanos will be able to match it, let alone surpass it. And if he does Avengers: Infinity War is going to be one of the best movies that I’ve ever seen, period.

He is king of this film and the impact he left on the Marvel Cinematic Universe will live on beyond his involvement in this movie. His story was also super relatable too. I mean at times, the protagonists looked the bad guys while he seemed to be the hero of the film. I love a villain that comes into a movie and shakes things up and he definitely did that.

If Erik Killmonger is a sign of villains to come in this next phase of Marvel movies then these films are going to become so good it’ll probably surpass Star Wars in epicness and I will be a very happy young woman.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day. Wakanda Forever.

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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I’ve Seen ‘Thor: The Dark World’!

The same day that I watched Jurassic World I also happened to see Thor: The Dark World for the first time and this is why I wanted to watch it. I have watched every Marvel film there has ever been except for Thor: The Dark World and it was bothering me. How could I have seen all seventeen films except for this one? So I watched it because I was curious to see what the Thor sequel was like and I found out alright.

This movie was terrible. I was literally laughing at how bad it was. The action was some of the worst I’ve seen from a Marvel film, the story was bland, the villain was horrendous, the CGI, oh my gosh the CGI was so bad Justice League‘s CGI looks great in comparison, and overall it made me appreciate Thor: Ragnarok even more after seeing the movie. The only scenes I actually enjoyed in the film were the ones with Loki involved.

He managed to make the movie enjoyable at times when the film was at its murkiest. And then as soon as he “died” the movie became boring again. I was shocked. I knew the movie wasn’t that great but this film was ridiculously bad. Thor is one of my least favorite Marvel movies and it was better than Thor: The Dark World.

And oh my goodness, I’m so glad Taika Waititi scrapped Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster.

She brought absolutely nothing to the movie except the aspect of romance and the means for Thor to save his Earth damsel in distress over and over again. It was kind of bad how out of place she was in the movie. In Thor she had a reason for being in the movie. She was a scientist who just so happened to be in the same vicinity as Thor when he crashed to Earth. In Thor: The Dark World she was really out of her comfort zone and brought no substance to the movie whatsoever. And having her slap the mess out of Thor and Loki doesn’t make her a strong character. It only reiterated that she couldn’t do anything but slap people and hope her Thor would be there to rescue her all the time. Ugh. It was so terrible.

My Conclusion of the Film

I was hoping Thor: The Dark World would surprise me and actually be a decent film but it was very much the opposite. Even without Jane Foster the movie would’ve still been super boring because it was terrible plot altogether. It was so bad in fact that I had to ask myself why the movie was even called Thor: The Dark World? It’s pretty terrible when a movie’s story is so disjointed that the title of the film doesn’t even match with the movie. The only good thing I got from it is I’ll understand what’s going on in Thor: Ragnarok even more now thanks to Thor: The Dark World but that’s about it.

I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars and a 68 out of 100. It was poorly made and I definitely won’t be watching it again. At least I can say I’ve seen every Marvel film now and that’s all I cared about achieving. If you haven’t seen this movie I highly recommend that you don’t watch. It’s not worth the hour and fifty-two minutes.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious President’s Day.

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.

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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.

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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!) 🙂

The Top Ten Scenes in Marvel

In the past ten years Marvel Studios has presented seventeen! movies, all with their own style, own stories, and there have been countless incredible scenes between them all. Today I’m going to share with you my ten favorite scenes that have come from the movies that have spanned nearly half my lifetime. Enjoy!

10. Vision Comes To Life (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Paul Bettany and Chris Evans in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t one of the best Marvel movies but it had one of the greatest surprises for me; Vision. One of my favorite things in a movie is a surprise you don’t see coming and I definitely didn’t see this coming. I remember watching the movie and as Thor electrified the case holding Ultron’s experiment robot with lightning he was residing in I was waiting to see what would happen. When Vision popped out of that container not as a villain but rather as an ally I was shocked.

And then…he grabbed Thor’s hammer and handed it to him! Mind blown! I was utterly stunned. Who was this remarkably powerful superhero that I had no idea about? And he had Jarvis’s voice! It was profoundly one of the greatest surprises I have ever seen in a movie and it’s why this is one of my favorite scenes.

9. The Chase Scene (Captain America: Civil War)

One of the reasons why this is my favorite scene is because it’s the first time we get to see Black Panther in action. I mean the scene was already enjoyable because it was a car chase (I love car chase scenes) but add the element of Black Panther and it really becomes special.

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