I liked Black Panther a lot back when it came out. I think that as a film it’s flawed in ways that are inextricably linked with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everything it imposes on a production, in particular in the obligatory but oddly shoddy CGI fest that is the final battle – and while I am not necessarily a big believer in the Academy Awards as a measuring stick for cinematic quality, I never bought into the argument that Black Panther should have won the Oscar for Best Picture (though, looking at the actual winner that year, I can definitely agree that Black Panther should’ve trounced that one). But I do think that Black Panther was and is important, that it still is one of the most thematically ambitious of the MCU films.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever tries its hardest to be a worthy successor to the first film – but the longer I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that it buckles under the weight of all the various expectations it has to struggle with.
Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.
Some films don’t quite come together but are still worth it for their individual components. Matt saw Petrov’s Flu recently, and while he thinks the film gets in its own way in the end, there’s a lot to like about it… if you’re looking for a fever dream of a film
Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!
I would have liked to dazzle you with a cool origin story, but I can’t remember how and when my favourite daughter found her love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I am pretty sure she saw the first few movies in chronological sequence at home on BluRay, too young to have seen then in the theatres, so Tony Stark, Cap and the Hulk came to her at home, and it was probably the first Avengers movie that she saw in an upholstered seat, ticket in hand, with a bag of popcorn, on the big silver screen. But she was hooked long before that.
You don’t often come away from a Marvel movie thinking more about the ideas it tackles than about its snarky one-liners or its action setpieces. You don’t often read reactions to a Marvel movie that mention cultural critics, intellectuals and political thinkers. You don’t often see a Marvel movie being taken this personally by this many people, both among its supporters and its detractors. Obviously Black Panther must have done something right.
Tune in for episode 5 of A Damn Fine Cup of Culture podcast, in which Mege and Matt discuss recent and upcoming films and TV series by and about African Americans – from Get Out and Loving to Black Panther and Dear White People.Also expect a mention of anarchic comedy (and surprise relationship drama) The Lego Batman Movie, the inventive The Good Place, a blast from the past with Freaks & Geeks and a return visit to 19th century Canada with Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.