Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, the big Marvel movie of last year, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, hits shelves. There’s not a lot of competition this week, though there is a notable new Criterion Collection release. Read on for more…
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
It remains a near miracle that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever turned out as well as it did. Considering how much could have gone wrong or just felt off, there’s no way you can’t consider this another Marvel Cinematic Universe success. I spoke to composer Ludwig Göransson about the film here, but here also is some of what I said in my rave review:
In a lot of ways, the first Black Panther was lightning in a bottle. Capturing the zeitgeist like it did is a rare achievement, made even more so by how it brought together mass entertainment and prestige Oscar attention. It felt like a once in a generation achievement for Marvel Studios, which has never matched that kind of Academy Award recognition. So, you’d be forgiven for going into Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with a certain amount of checked expectations. After all, it was made in the shadow of the unexpected death of lead Chadwick Boseman, requiring a major re-write. Well, I’m happy to report that all of your fears are for naught. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever may not get as many nominations at the Oscars, but in many ways, the film is an improvement over the first one. Wakanda Forever, indeed.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever manages to be more than just a new Marvel movie. It’s also a consistently moving tribute to Boseman, making the actor’s passing a narratively pivotal point as well. This easily could have backfired, but everyone involved is taking such care, it’s actually hard to imagine this sequel with any other storyline than the one we’re presented with.
Legion of Superheroes
From The Criterion Collection: “This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, from Krzysztof Kieślowski, was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films are named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but that hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red (Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.”