Black Panther Review

I finally saw Black Panther. My days off are random, I’m too broke to see an evening show, and theaters don’t show anything before noon on a weekday. Don’t judge me.

It lived up to the hype. The acting was great, the writing was compelling, the character development was excellent. The score, special effects, costumes were all on point.

There was even excellent nuance such as the battle cries of the mountain tribe, the looks of the different tribes, the architecture of Wakanda’s capital city, how the important the ‘battle steed’ became later. I loved how we followed the other characters’ journeys when we realize all hope is not washed away.

I have to actively try to find anything to say and everything I came up with was minor. That is definitely a soundstage or that’s totally not snow. I wanted to know more about the general’s relationship. That felt a little shoehorned in but I’m sure there are deleted scenes somewhere. The prodigy kid is a bit overdone but it worked here.

I loved how Everett Ross got to become a hero in his own way without stealing the show. He stayed a minor character because this wasn’t his story but will help tie this in with the larger MCU.

This movie makes me so happy because representation matters. In a time of major social backlash, this movie shows that Africans and African Americans can be heroes and carry major blockbuster films. We demanded it and let our dollars talk.

Let Black Panther and Wonder Woman reign at the box office. Our voices will not be denied and our children will learn that super heroes look like everyone.

Oh, 5/5 stars ICYMI.


Music Monday: Bad Friends

Need a song for a romantic breakup? They’re available by the truckload. Friend breakups? They’re a little harder to come by. Taylor Swift did give that niche a bit more awareness with Bad Blood so let’s hope some other artists follow suit soon. I did a major clear out of toxic and unrewarding friendships last year. These songs helped keep me sane.

Spot Me.

The Last of Me by Bree Sharp
Game Shows Touch Our Lives by The Mountain Goats
Friend of Mine by Lily Allen
What Friends? by Bettie Serveert
Fake Friends by Sigrid
Bad Blood by Taylor Swift
We Used to Be Friends by The Dandy Warhols
Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift
Ignorance by Paramore
Throne by Bring Me the Horizon
True Friends by Bring Me the Horizon
To the Wolves by Anberlin
Somebody that I Used to Know by Jonathan Young

Last year, I ended several friendships that were unhealthy and/or didn’t serve me well. To some of them, I wish the best, and the rest I invite some of them to dance barefoot on Legos.

All Holidays Matter: Hanukkah

I was wondering what I was going to read for Hanukkah when the answer fell into my lap, or my latest library haul. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter is her first novel and it’s a mystery about a main character with a past, a town with a secret, and a corrupt corporation. We’ve always known she was a talented actress but now we know she’s a good writer too.

The story was interesting, focusing on high school outcast turned environmental lawyer Abigail Williams who returns home to investigate the local plastic company. There’s the current mystery and the one from the past that still haunt Abby to this day. But there’s a mystery that runs even deeper than the two that sit before Abby waiting to be solved.

Bonfire is a good book and an interesting read but it’s been heaped with praise I’m not sure it deserves. I have no idea what ‘electric prose’ Blake Crouch is raving about. The prose was fine but I think Ritter overuses metaphor in a way that’s kind of cliché, especially in a first novel or for a mystery let alone both. It’s a good book but I don’t know if it lives up to the hype.

The ending bugged me a bit too. MILD SPOILERS: When it all wraps up (and it does), Abby is just done with the Barrens despite forming a connection with some there. Why does that relationship have to die? Why can’t they stay in touch and be close? She’s adrift in the world and she’s going to toss one of the few anchors she’s got? I call bull shit.

I could have leaned either way since this was a 3.5 for me but I erred on the side of 4 because it’s good, it’s compelling, and I’d like to see more books from Ritter in the future. I think she’ll only get better as a writer. 4/5

Johnny Depp and Other Fantastic Beasts

Johnny Depp is an extremely talented actor but I never liked him for Grindelwald. I expected Grindelwald to be a bit more like Malfoy. A bit delicate, attractive in a pretty way, but understated despite obvious charisma. Something more akin to Ben Whishaw with a heart of ice. Even if Depp wasn’t my choice, I knew his incredible skill as a character actor would be a boon to the franchise. But that was before.

All I needed to see were the bruises on Amber Heard’s face and I knew I could never help that man’s career. Reading iO Tillett Wright’s article on Refinery 29 solidified my resolve. No level of talent, charity, or money could justify Depp’s despicable behavior. Adding in his money problems, I was and am disgusted. It was another privileged celebrity feeling entitled to the entire world and resentful of consequences.

Earlier today, J. K. Rowling said she was limited to what she could say but was “happy” Depp was still attached to the next film. This is a film for families about acceptance and good triumphing over evil. FFS, the first Fantastic Beasts film really hammers home that violence isn’t the answer. In a franchise for children, we shouldn’t be casting a real villain in the role of the bad guy.

It’s 2017, the Person of the Year are the silence breakers, and a lot of women are saying #metoo. Powerful men everywhere are finally going down for assaulting women and minors for years. The women who have been hurt by domestic violence deserve better. Children who are learning this behavior is OK (*cough*Mel Gibson shouldn’t be employable*cough*) deserve better. I am disappointed in Depp, Rowling, and every overpaid executive who are tainting this universe. The wizarding world brought comfort and solace to literally millions of kids and adults. How dare you rich morons take that away.

Christmas Music Monday and a Change

Life has been a bit crazy lately and I’ve realized Music Mondays aren’t that big of a hit for anyone but me. Rather than make myself crazy with what is essentially self-assigned homework, I’m giving you my Spotify playlist of funny, wacky, and different Christmas songs. It’s more than enough to last you the month.

In the future, I’m going to shift to Media Mondays which will have different forms of media including music but also podcasts and web videos. Media Monday won’t happen weekly but more sporadically when I have something to share. I’ll probably still do theme months like during February and October. For all 12 of you who care about this, thanks for tuning in.


Music Monday: Grrrl Power

The world sucks. It sucks even more if you’re a woman. Here’s some music to make you feel like less of a girl and more of a grrrl. Below are the YouTube links and the Spotify playlist.

Spot Me.

Woman by Kesha
Woman Up by Megan Trainor
Independent by Destiny’s Child
Head Bitch in Charge by Kim Boekbinder
Bad Girl’s World by Halestorm
Woman (Oh Mama) by Joy Williams
Not Ready to Make Nice by The Dixie Chicks
Noncompliant by PDX Broadsides
Women Know Math by The Doubleclicks
I Am Woman by Helen Reddy
Rise Up by Andra Day