Directed by Ryan Coogler — Screenplay by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole.
How do you follow up on one of the most popular superhero films of the last decade, when the incredibly magnetic actor portraying the titular iconic character is no longer with us? Such was the seemingly impossible task for Ryan Coogler when he sat in the director’s chair for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. As I sat down to watch the film, this was the big question that was on my mind. Chadwick Boseman, the charismatic actor who passed away in 2020 due to a private battle with colon cancer, was such an amazing screen presence, and he was the focus of that first film, and you definitely miss him in the sequel. However, it must be said that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever actually does work quite well in spite of the big missing link. One of the reasons why it works is because the presence of a gaping hole at the center of it is an intrinsic part of the plot in more ways than one.
Directed by Shaka King — Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King.
Next week, Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah may have become the winner of one or multiple Oscars at the 93rd Academy Awards, which, in theory, was supposed to honor the best films of 2020, in spite of the fact that this film was released in 2021. This is the result of a change to this Oscar season’s eligibility period due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and this now means that select films released in early 2021 may also qualify to compete against 2020 films at the Oscars.
In general, this was a rule change that I am very much against as I absolutely do think that there are enough good films from 2020 that the Academy should honor, instead of adopting some odd eligibility window for the sake of giving more time to studios to release films that absolutely could’ve competed at the 94th Academy Awards instead. Regardless, I actually highly recommend Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, and, if it had been released in 2020, it probably would be one of my favorite films of that year.
The following article is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman.
On the 28th of August 2020, Chadwick Boseman’s family announced that Boseman had passed away as a result of complications related to colon cancer, which he had been diagnosed with in 2016. Since I woke up to that announcement the following day, I have been trying to figure out a way to pay tribute to an actor, who I, and many others, had become a huge fan of in the previous decade. In this article, I have tried to put into words how gifted he was and how special he was. At the end of August 2020, we said goodbye to a king whose strength was greater than any of us ever imagined. Continue reading “Wakanda Forever”→
Sometimes biopics — or biographical pictures — get a bad rap. Some people think of them merely as Wikipedia entries on the big screen, others think they just exist for studios to promote during awards season — people like to say that biopics are Oscar-bait. But today I want to showcase my ten favorite biographical pictures of the 2010s. I’ll also preface this list by saying that I reserve the right to change this list for the remainder of 2019 in case something new is good enough to make it onto this list. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Top Ten Biographical Pictures”→
There is something very exciting about a directorial debut. Obviously, the filmmaker is excited about their first chance to step behind the camera on a feature film, but, as an audience member or film writer of any kind, it is so fascinating to see the choices being made. Sometimes some of the boldest and most imaginative filmmakers present us with instant classics, other times newcomers deliver a product that may not be extraordinary filmmaking but which may still be a moving or exciting motion picture. In this month’s best of the decade list, I’m honoring the very best directorial debuts. Some of them are first works for potential auteurs, while others are impressive blockbuster entertainment from untested new filmmakers just learning the ropes. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films”→
The following is a review of Creed II — Directed by Steven Caple, Jr.
Back in early July this year, I watched and reviewed the highly anticipated sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario. The sequel subtitled Day of the Soldado was directed by Stefano Sollima and his film provided us with a perfect example of just how wrong it can go when you make a change in the director’s chair for a sequel. Day of the Soldado was offensive and hollow, and it is one of the biggest film disappointments of the year for me. Continue reading “REVIEW: Creed II (2018)”→
The film nominations for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards have been announced. As always there are surprises, and, of course, there are some snubs that really hurt. In Special Features #36, I present you with the complete film nominations list as well as five reaction sections to the film nominations. In short: Oh, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, I am so angry with you today. Continue reading “Golden Globes Film Nominations: Reaction – Special Features #36”→
The following is a review of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther — Directed by Ryan Coogler.
We’ve seen plenty of superhero films before. We’ve seen superhero films with social commentary before. We’ve had people of color as the leads of comic book films before — you need only look at the forgotten Blade-trilogy, which definitely deserves a rewatch, to figure that out. Continue reading “REVIEW: Black Panther (2018)”→
Believe it or not, 2017 is coming to an end. Sure, we’re still in October, but, before you know it, Thanksgiving will have come and gone and you’ll be ready to unpack Christmas presents. This year has gone by so fast. So, today I want to take a look at what films we should look forward to in 2018. Continue reading “2018 Movie Preview – Special Features #7”→