Black Panther An 8 out of 10 on the JWO Scale
I wanted to let this one sink in a little. It was in a way, as I observe the reactions to the movie, a seminal moment in movies for African Americans and as I write that I should say, for all Americans. This is a superhero movie focused on Africans, staring people of African descent and celebrating African culture. This in and of itself, makes it a movie worth seeing. One of the nice features, is that It showed powerful women, in strategic thinking, military planning, and scientific leadership positions. It also showed that clearly different tribes with different cultures and custom, lived together within a certain covenant, and it appeared at least that resources were shared among all. I think the most interesting plot point in the movie was the question of how a people in the diaspora are affected by their experiences in the diaspora, and how that affects their world view compared to people who live in their ancestral homeland. The movie showed a loyalty to nationalism and tribalism, but also dealt with the question of whether to and why we should help those beyond our own borders. It showed the need to honor our ancestors, but not to be bound by their experiences or wisdom. Lastly on the most basic level, it was an exciting superhero movie. If I had one quip with the movie, (and I would welcome feedback on this) it is why would a society that is clearly evolved continue to choose their leader by physical combat and which despite having promoted strong female characters, always seemed to be men. I imagine due to its success, we will see a Black Panther 2 and I for one am looking forward to it and similar movies.
Deadpool 2. A 4 out of 10 on the JWO Scale
Really, one should know what they are getting into when they go to a Deadpool movie. The story line here was to be generous convoluted. If you have read previous reviews of mine, you know I hate time travel movies. And again Marvel writes defaulted to it in this one. At least the first Deadpool we had the origin story. This one like the first one included overwhelming gratuitous violence. There was of course witty repartee, a couple of new super heroes (domino was cool) and the clever mockery of creating a misfit superhero group x-force (which of course was ruined by time travel) that made the movie somewhat bearable. The mark of the Deadpool movie is the self absorption of the main character and his conversation with the audience. It was unique in the first movie, but by the end of the second movie, I just found it pedantic. The best part of the movie, and I would say the part that made it worth the price of admission, was the scene at the end of the credits (which Marvel is famous for which at this point is annoying that I have to wait, but I do) The ending scene was laugh out loud funny. I mean I literally started guffawing out loud. Plus the closing song was really cool too.
Han Solo – 7 out of 10 on the JWO scale
I liked this. Not a great movie, but a really good movie that I think fills in the narrative of the Star Wars Universe of movies. We get some of the backstory of Han, as well as his relationship with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian and the Millennium Falcon. We also find out what the Kessel Run is (if you have watched the Star Wars movies this will make sense.) This was not so much a big screen action adventure epic, as it was a suspenseful caper movie. Throughout the movie I found myself wondering who was allied with whom and who would betray who. Also the general theme of rebellion against oppression, as well as how oppression co-opts and corrupts people, was a constant theme throughout the movie. Lando’s robot L3-37 was a breath of fresh air. Without giving away any spoilers, the issue of how artificial intelligence robots and humans interact is also a small feature of the movie. I found the movie thoughtful and enjoyable and finding out more about characters I have come to learn about over the years was very satisfying.