Superhero History Comes Home – Black Panther (Multi-Screen Review)

The world is changing for the better.

Black Panther is blasting apart expectations not just in the United States but worldwide.  A superhero movie featuring a cast of mostly people of African descent would have been unimaginable not that long ago.  Yet the world has been hungering for something like this for a long time as evidenced by the box office success of Black Panther.  Already the third highest grossing film of ALL TIME in the United States, it beat out such heavyweights as The Avengers, The Last Jedi, Jurassic World, and Titanic.  Worldwide, the film is ninth and ahead of every Harry Potter movie ever made.  Wow.

The multi-screen edition of Black Panther

But what makes Black Panther such an amazing success isn’t just its cultural significance.  It’s that good of a movie.  These are deeply loved, well-written characters that people of all ages and races can find themselves in, and the multi-screen release (Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital, 4KHD) highlights both Black Panther‘s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe while respecting why this is so deeply important to people of color everywhere.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Shuri (Letitia Wright)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

The home release is chock full of different features.  The deleted scenes are always one of my favorites.  I was surprised there were only four, but the ones they revealed deepened our understanding of the characters.  The “U.N. Meet and Greet” showed the deepening respect of Agent Ross for Wakanda and its people (and is particularly funny).  “Okoye and W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda” was insightful into these two people who love each other and hold distinctly different views of the world.  And “T’Challa Remembers His Father” not only showed T’Challa’s relationship to his father but the bond he has with Zuri.  “Voices of the Past” was a repetition of T’Challa’s admiration for his father before he discovers even T’Chaka had faults.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) with Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Okoye (Danai Gurira)
Ph: Film Frame
©Marvel Studios 2018

The featurettes delved more into the mythology of this unknown land.  Everything from the tech, to the ways in which the diversity of Wakanda is a strength, to a deeper exploration of T’Challa are covered.  My favorite featurette was “The Warrior Within” that explored the role of women in Wakandan society and the way it honors them.  It celebrates the depth of character of these various important characters both in the film and in Wakandan society.  There is also a great feature on “Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe” which explores all the different MCU films in relation to one another leading up to Avengers: Infinity War.  And of course, with Ant-Man and the Wasp coming up later this year, an special feature about that upcoming film.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Okoye (Danai Gurira), T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

With all of that plus Ryan Coogler’s commentary on the film how can you not add Black Panther to your film collection?  Listening to Ryan speak about what went into each scene an the thought process behind it, its easy to understand why this film has been so successful.  Regardless if you’re a MCU fan or not, this film stands on its own as a work of excellence.

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