Oscars 2019: Best Picture – ‘Black Panther’ Is Absolutely Oscar-Worthy

What makes a Best Picture? I ask this because I think a lot of us use the platform of the Oscars to represent our personal taste and opinions. That’s a little too singular for an organization comprised of 7,000 members. Think bigger than critics and Rotten Tomatoes scores. Think about the cultural moment we’re in. Think about what film as a medium can do, and how both the modern condition and today’s technology can push that. Continue reading

Why We Need Deadpool

It seems only fitting that after the most ambitious superhero crossover we get a Deadpool movie. The perfect contrast: a small-scale solo venture and an R-rated satire with other superhero IPs in his crosshairs including himself. It’s also the perfect antidote. Genres tend to go unchecked as studios blindingly chase where the money’s at. With Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, and now Black Panther hitting it big, this ensures more of their comic book brethren to follow, meaning more origin stories, crossovers, more tropes done to death if it means a shot at a billion dollars. Deadpool, fortunately (or unfortunately), is the superhero genre’s own system of checks and balances.  Continue reading

Infinity War – Destiny Has Arrived

Infinity War is a film that should have cups of water waiting for you by the exit. Throw in some orange slices too. Marvel’s superhero marathon is the die-hard fan’s wet dream – a mammoth show-stopper featuring the MCU’s all-stars in a crossover for the ages. But a marathon is still a marathon. Infinity War isn’t the best Marvel movie, but it’s certainly the MOST Marvel movie where characters crowd the frame to the point that the frame can hardly contain them. It makes previous crossovers look tame, and there is no going back. This is what these films have been nudging toward, a fusion into the very medium that inspired them.  Continue reading

Avengers Disassembled

The most ambitious superhero crossover event could not have been possible without the former-most ambitious superhero crossover. Marvel’s The Avengers, if you can believe it, was 6 years ago. Age of Ultron was 3 years, and Civil War only 2. (I know it’s “Captain America,” but it’s TOTALLY an Avengers film.) What a road it’s been. The MCU has blossomed radically with each new phase. It is the franchise formula that other studios have repackaged, to less-than-stellar results. Marvel Studios set the modern superhero standard, which is why even when the genre is deconstructed from time to time, the MCU is in prime position to reconstruct it.  Continue reading

The Strength of ‘Black Panther’

That Black Panther exists is a dream come true. It’s progressive from concept to execution: our first modern black superhero, one supported by a cast of women, and contextualizes discussions of race, exclusionism, and cultural responsibility at a time of profound nationalism and political divide. One could argue that Black Panther would’ve been a success no matter what, but the fact that the film chooses to say something so pivotal about the world is what makes Black Panther Marvel’s strongest movie to date. T’Challa may need his strength taken away to prove his worth, but director Ryan Coogler and his crew flex their strengths as filmmakers to showcase the storytelling wonders of representation.  Continue reading