Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Black Panther >> View Post
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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,725
Subj: Black Panther for Best Picture?
Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 at 09:48:07 am EST (Viewed 707 times)

Congratulations to all involved with Black Panther on winning the 25th Screen Actors Guild Award for best ensemble cast - essentially ‘best picture’. It is long overdue that a superhero film has attracted due recognition. But of course it would be disingenuous to attest that such achievement didn’t benefit from other, wider considerations. As a comic-book adherent first and foremost, it’s regrettably disappointing that it takes added impetus to finally get a mainstream superhero the recognition it might deserve, strictly as a piece of filmmaking.

Black Panther was an inventive, funny and highly entertaining movie. Significantly, it stayed true to its origins, making it greatly authentic, an important and not particularly expedient quality absent from other adaptations. Having said that, I found the narrative thrust and commentary rather tedious, albeit deftly sewn into a fantasy film. So Panther was also an intelligent. Certainly its careful crafting is fully evident in its execution. But that it is idolised as some sort of panacea for all that’s wrong with the world (the US in particular) does seem wildly overwrought. Perhaps for many it’s impossible to separate the two; its meritocratic worth as a film, versus it’s cultural impact (to a lesser or greater extent). Perhaps in these times, its both combined that gives something added value.

But panther is not the best superhero film ever made. Not even close. The Dark Knight trilogy, the latter two Cap films and Avengers: Infinity War are all better made films. Even Thor Ragnarok, released only a few months earlier was the superior film to Panther in almost every quantifiable way. The biggest shortcoming of Panther was the plot, which was both predictable and clichéd. Both films shared many similarities and although Panther was undoubtedly a good film, Ragnarok was better. Better story, better pacing, better action, FX, soundtrack and so on. Ragnarok also embraced diversity, casting black actors in the almost 'mandatorily' white roles of Heimdal and Valkyrie. Not so for Panther’s supporting cast, but I digress. Ironically, the single most enjoyable aspect of Black Panther was what let it down; the visuals. Though the FX quality visibly waned throughout the film, the visual language was sublime and the filmmaker’s ambition and adherence to authenticity commendable. But should Black panther be the first superhero film to win Best Picture Oscar? Probably not (but good luck anyway). Will it? I’d be amazed if it didn’t.

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