Available today on Blu-ray, DVD and digital is the blockbuster hit of the year, Black Panther.
Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordon, Lupita Nyongo, Danai Gurira and Forest Whitaker.
I hate to admit this, but I never saw Black Panther in the movie theater. My husband and I meant to go and see it, but “life” has a way of detouring you from your plans. This is certainly one movie you want to see on the big screen.
I was sent a copy of the film to review.
WOW! WOW! WOW! All I can say is that it totally lived up to all the hype – and then some!
Normally when I write movie reviews I write a brief synopsis in my own words, followed by my thoughts. Since this is a very involved film (there is a lot going on) and for the life of me I can’t spell many of the names, I am just going to go with an official synopsis, followed by my thoughts.
In the acclaimed film, T’Challa returns home to the hidden high-tech African nation of Wakanda to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king, following the death of his father. But when a man named Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) appears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he’s drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Pitted against his own family, the king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and embrace his future as an Avenger.
The film features a fierce group of Wakandan women, including Nakia (Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o), a War Dog and Wakandan spy; Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s little sister and tech wizard; and the Dora Milaje, the all-female Wakandan Special Forces led by Okoye (Danai Gurira). They team up with reluctant ally CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) to help T’Challa defend Wakanda against the forces threatening to destroy it.
Again… WOW! WOW! WOW! This film is overflowing with awesome scenes and a lot of super cool special effects.
Up until now Falcon and Captain America were my favorite superheros. After seeing Black Panther I have a new set of hereos to consider.
This film is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
First of all, the acting is top rate. Disney/Marvel assembled an incredible cast of actors and actresses to round out this film. It was as if the film was written specifically with all of them in mind.
Until now I was only familiar with Danai Gurira (I’m a Walking Dead fan), Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o. I can see that other actors in this film, like the incredibly talented Chadwick Boseman is going to be a household name for sure.
From the very start of this film I was drawn into the characters and story line. I was glued to the television screen from start to finish.
The costumes in this film were breathtaking. I especially love the African costumes. They are beautiful.
As far as special effects go – wow! Spectacular is a word that comes to mind. I might even say that these are the best special effects out of all the Marvel movies I have seen to date (I have not seen Affinity War yet, so I can’t compare this film to that one).
This movie is about two hours and fifteen minutes long, which is a lengthy film. In my opinion the film didn’t seem that long. I think it’s because it’s so entertaining and jam-packed with action that the time just flies by.
Love it! Love it! Love it!
There are A LOT of bonus materials that come with the Blu-ray version of the film. There is almost too many to write here. There are the usual deleted scenes and commentary, but also included a lot of content that give you a behind the scenes look at how they brought this amazing film to life – from the technology to the diversity of people, and a great, detailed look at the women of this film. After all, the women warriors are a huge part of this film.
Believe it or not there is even a gag reel for this film. Even though this is a serious film, it looked like the actors had a lot of fun on the set.
There is even a sneak peak at the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp film. I can’t wait to see that one.
I don’t mean to to make this a long post, but if you saw Black Panther, or plan to do so, you might find these 10 Fun Facts about the film very interesting.
SUPER HERO SECRET #1
THE COMIC BOOKS WERE A HUGE INSPIRATION FOR THE FILMMAKERS
When it comes to the inspiration behind the story of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, director and co-writer Ryan Coogler admits that he delved deep into the history of the acclaimed Marvel comic book series. “We pulled from all of the comics,” Coogler explains. “When you watch our film, you will probably see something from every writer that has touched T’Challa’s character in the Black Panther comics. Everything from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s initial runs through to Don McGregor, Christopher Priest, Jonathan Hickman and Brian Stelfreeze. We grabbed from it all. Each writer left their own mark, so Agent Ross [played by Martin Freeman in the movie] came from Christopher Priest’s run and the character of Shuri came from Reginald Hudlin’s run. Each run left something for us to pull from, but we pulled from absolutely all of them.”
SUPERHERO SECRET #2
THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL ON SET WAS MIND-BLOWING FOR THE ACTORS
“It was incredible to walk on to the Wakandan sets,” enthuses Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye in the movie. “Our production designer, Hannah Beachler, was amazing. I remember walking into the Tribal Council room and thinking, ‘This room is stunning.’ The floors were see-through. There were massive, beautiful panther statues. The throne was very African. The entire décor was very African. It was an amazing experience, which was very rich for my character because I stood there and I thought, ‘This is like nothing else on the planet and it’s my character’s job to protect it.’ Hannah pulled from lots of awesome traditional African esthetics. You don’t get to see it in the movie, but she also designed T’Challa’s office, which was another amazing room on set. We shot some scenes in there, which were left out of the movie – but the office was constructed and it looked amazing.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #3
THE PRODUCTION TEAM TOOK A TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA TO RESEARCH THE MOVIE
“We took a really important trip to South Africa to do a ton of research for Black Panther,” reveals production designer Hannah Beachler. “We went up and down the country, which helped immensely when we started to create the sets. It was incredible to see all the colors, the textiles and the way things were built. In the end, we shot a lot of plates and second unit footage in South Africa. We shot footage in Uganda, which was used to show the farm land and open space of Wakanda. It was beautiful. We also shot at Victoria Falls in Zambia. When the fighters come flying through the falls and get to the challenge pool; that flight through the falls is Victoria Falls. But when you get to the challenge pool, what you see behind them is a bit of Iguazu Falls, which is in South America. We smashed the two together because we wanted a horizon.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #4
SEBASTIAN STAN WAS ONLY ON THE BLACK PANTHER SET FOR ONE DAY
“The tag scene with Bucky [played by Sebastian Stan] at the end of the movie came as a wonderful surprise to me,” explains Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri in Black Panther. “I was so happy when I read about it. Props to Ryan [Coogler] for adding it to the movie. This scene was shot quite late in the production, but I really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful day on set and I thought it was a great way for us to find out where Bucky had been hiding in Wakanda. We shot the scene in a forest area somewhere in Atlanta, but it only took a day. Sebastian was really great to work with. He’s a good chap.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #5
THE IN-HOME RELEASE IS PACKED WITH DELETED SCENES AND OUTTAKES
Marvel fans can delve deeper into the wondrous world of Wakanda with the exclusive bonus features packaged with the in-home release of the movie. Not only are there behind-the-scenes featurettes and never-before-seen outtakes, but there are also a number of deleted scenes. “There are a couple of scenes with Okoye and W’Kabi [played by Daniel Kaluuya] that I would love people to see,” explains Danai Gurira. “There’s a scene between Okoye and W’Kabi, which takes place after Killmonger tells us what he’s going to do with the kingdom. Okoye is very disturbed by her man seeming to positively respond to Killmonger. There’s also a scene where W’Kabi and Okoye go head-to-head. Okoye pushes W’Kabi to a place where all the rage he had towards T’Challa comes out. I hope some of those moments end up in the deleted scenes.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #6
LUPITA NYONG’O HAD TO LEARN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES FOR THE MOVIE
“The African language that we speak in the movie is Xhosa, which is a Bantu language from South Africa,” reveals Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia in Black Panther. “It has the clicks which my native tongue does not have, so I had to learn it for the movie. I worked very closely with a dialect coach to get it right. I also speak Korean in the film, which was a doozy. A week before we shot the scenes in South Korea, they finalized exactly what Nakia was going to say, so all week I kept practicing the lines over and over again. However, I slipped up from time to time. At one point, the Korean extras laughed because they told me I’d said something about a barbecue by mistake – but we got there in the end.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #7
LETITIA WRIGHT DISCOVERED SHE’D WON HER ROLE IN A RATHER UNUSUAL PLACE
“The audition process was really interesting,” admits Letitia Wright. “I sent over two tapes from London and I didn’t think anything would happen – but then I got a call asking me to fly out to Los Angeles for a screen test. That’s where I met Ryan [Coogler] and Chadwick [Boseman, who plays T’Challa]. Thankfully, we had an immediate connection. I went home and I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks – but then I was called back for another screen test. This time, I flew to Atlanta and they put braids in my hair – and I knew I just had to have fun with the audition. I remember thinking, ‘Man, if this happens, it will be very special for me.’ A couple of weeks later, I found out they wanted me for the role of Shuri. I was standing at a bus stop in London when the call came through. I went crazy! I was screaming at the bus stop! I was overjoyed to be part of this epic movie.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #8
CAST MEMBERS HAD TO TACKLE A GRUELING SIX-WEEK BOOT CAMP
Before the cameras started to roll on Black Panther, cast members flew out to Atlanta to prepare for the movie’s awe-inspiring action sequences. “The boot camp lasted six weeks,” reveals Danai Gurira. “It was really helpful to get athletically conditioned for the film shoot, although we also got into the specifics of the movements of our characters. We learned fight choreography, as well as different techniques of how our character was going to move on set. It was intense, but I learned a lot. Okoye is the general of the army and the head of the Dora Milaje, so the way she fights is very traditional. Her movement with the war spear comes from very ancient movements of the nation. It was really interesting to learn.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #9
THERE WERE RAP BATTLES BETWEEN THE ACTORS ON SET
An exclusive gag reel has been created for the in-home release, which is packed with comedy bloopers and slapstick slip-ups from the set of the movie. “There were a lot of funny moments during the filming of Black Panther,” recalls Letitia Wright. “Even though the shoot was a lot of hard work and there were some incredibly physical scenes, we always found moments to have fun. We had rap battles in between takes, or we organized dinners and bowling sessions. There was a day where we did a Get Out challenge, because we had [Get Out star] Daniel Kaluuya working with us. Who won the rap battles? To be perfectly honest, I think I was the best. I was up against a lot of people, but their rapping skills were terrible.”
SUPER HERO SECRET #10
LOOK CLOSELY AT THE MOVIE’S KIMOYO BEADS FOR HIDDEN QUALITIES
Hannah Beachler admits she had a ton of fun working on the high-tech gadgets for the movie. “The Kimoyo beads are my favorite,” the production designer admits. “I really pushed the design on them because I knew the beads needed to be something really cool. The Kimoyo beads were originally introduced in the Black Panther comics – but Ryan [Coogler] loved the idea of using them for communicating in the movie. If you look closely at the beads, you’ll see there’s a prime bead, which is given to you when you’re born in Wakanda. There is a little peak on the prime bead, which makes it stand out from the others. All the beads’ symbols light up, but the prime bead lights up completely. A Nigerian language – nsibidi – is used for the symbols on the beads. You’ll also see nsibidi writing on columns of some of the iconic buildings in Wakanda, too.”
The next time my family and I watch this film I am going to keep all these interesting facts in mind.
In addition, I have some Black Panther Bingo cards you and your family and friends might enjoy. Simply click on the image to download them.
Did you see Black Panther? If so, what did you think of the film? Did you have a favorite character and/or scene? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.
*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinion expressed is my own and not influenced in any way.