Black Panther

Like most initial solo Marvel hero movies, Black Panther gives us a nice introduction to the character and his motivations above and beyond his introduction in Civil War.

Black Panther introduces us to the MCU version of Wakanda, his family, love interest, and traditions. Also, where those same traditions can fail.

Wakanda as a society has always hidden who and what they are. The world at large sees Wakanda as a third world farming country. Not the technologically advanced, rich country they are. Some Wakandans believe they should go out into the world with their technology and help people while others wish to stick with tradition.

Claw returns and has a sonic hand cannon and is working with War Monger. They show little regard for human life while stealing a Wakandan artifact from a museum. Their attempt to sell it in South Korea to the CIA brings them in direct conflict with the Black Panther.

War Monger takes extraordinary steps (many evil steps) to get into Wakanda. You want to completely dislike the character. But. His backstory makes him a sympathetic character. Up to a point. War Monger’s ideals to spread Wakandan weaponry and begin an Empire are in direct conflict with the Black Panther and Wakandan tradition.

The fight between War Monger and Black Panther ultimately splits the Wakandan people over tradition and new ideals. There will be a lot of healing needed for the Wakandan people. And a change in tradition.

The mid credits scene lets us see how Wakanda will be interacting with the world at large now. The post credits scene gives us a nice update on characters last seen in Civil War.

My favorite character introduced by far is Shuri, T’Challa’s sister. She brought a fun lightheartedness take on the role. Okoye was just plain badass.

There were a lot of kids at the theater when I saw this movie. They all had a blast. This one group sitting near me had all of them picking which Marvel hero they were going to be. From Black Panther to Iron Man. Then the movie started….and all the kids were so engrossed in the movie. I have never seen a movie where kids were so behaved and engrossed in a movie.

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker, John Kani
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This was an enjoyable blending of the Belko Experiment and 28 Days later. In Mayhem, a virus exists that lasts 8 hours and removes a person’s filters. Normally, you would not give in to that impulse hit the person you are arguing with. Under the effects of the Red Eye virus, you’re smacking that person.

What happens when you have a building filled with people in high stress jobs lose that filter? Where there is nothing holding them back from doing whatever pops into their heads.

A freaking good movie – that’s what.

I heard a review of this movie on the Trick or Treat Radio podcast and it intrigued me.

Steven Yeun pulls off the everyman vibe perfectly. Someone who is trying to hold onto a piece of their goodness in his chosen profession.

Samara Weaving gives another amazing performance here. Between this and the Babysitter, she is an actress to look out for in the future.

Starring: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Steven Brand, Caroline Chikezie, Kerry Fox, Dallas Roberts, Mark Frost, Claire Dellamar, André Eriksen, Nick Kent

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Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie to date, in my opinion. We get some good comedy and action along with dire consequences.

Thor: Ragnarok combines several storylines from the comics (Contest of Champions, Planet Hulk, Ragnarok) and gives us one of the funniest Marvel movies.

I was excited to see what Taika Waititi would do with this franchise. I loved What We Do in the Shadows.

Thor:Ragnarok does a nice job of clearing the field and leaves the Asgardians with almost a reset.

Thor begins by defeating Surtur and returning to Asgard. Where he sees a nice little play about the death of Loki. He quickly reveals that Loki has been impersonating Odin and they head to Earth to pick up Odin.

We get a little cameo from Dr. Strange. Odin tells the brothers of their unknown, older sister, Hela and she makes her appearance. Thor and Loki attempt to fight Hela, but she crushes Mjolnir and throws them both out of the Rainbow Bridge.

Thor falls out of a portal onto the GrandMaster’s planet and is forced to fight. He comes across the Hulk and a couple of Asgardians. They plan to return to Asgard to fight Hela. In the meantime, Hela has invaded Asgard and slaughtered a good portion of the population.

I do not want to go any further into the plot. But this does lead into Avengers: Infinity War.

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Taika Waititi

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The Babysitter

I was not sure what to expect from the Babysitter. It popped up on Netfix and some podcasts I listen to were reviewing it in upcoming episodes.

It has a slow open, but then it hits the fan.

Cole is a 12-year old with a babysitter. He is also picked on. a lot. He has 2 bright sides, he is friends with the cute girl across the street, Melanie, and his babysitter, Bee, treats him like a person.

Melanie goads Cole into staying up and seeing if Bee sneaks her boyfriend over after he goes to bed. According to her, that’s what all babysitters do.

Not Bee.

At first, Cole is looking at the beginnings of a promising game of spin-the-bottle. Right up until one of the participants is killed and has his blood collected.

The rest of the movie is a horror version of Home Alone as Cole is hunted by the party-goers.

The Babysitter is a Netflix original.

Starring: Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee, Bella Thorne, Emily Alyn Lind, Andrew Bachelor, Doug Haley, Leslie Bibb, Ken Marino

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It, 2017

It from 2017 was a fun remake/reimagining of the 1990 Made-for-TV miniseries and book from Stephen King.

They were able to up the gore considerably for this theatrical outing. Scenes hinted at in the 1990 version were shown in all their gorey.

It (2017) stays strictly with the kids. No flashbacks. No adult versions at all. It is set in 1989.

It opens with Georgie floating his boat down the street – as shown in trailer after trailer. We are then introduced to the Loser’s Club with all their painful existences. Bad things happen to them, most at the hands of a mulletted Henry Bowers. I like the setting of 1989 as we move away from the 50s-esque greaser Henry Bowers from the book and 1990 movie. Of course, each kid gets their own introduction to Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

As the summer of 1989 marches on, the Loser’s Club comes together when they stand up to Henry Bowers and his gang. They are able to enjoy their summer vacation a little bit … until Pennywise ups his game.

This culminates in the Loser’s Club confronting Pennywise on his home terrain. No giant spider puppet here. No Lovecraftian horror that cannot be translated to film. Just Pennywise. sort of.

Thankfully the scenes afterward from the book were omitted.

It was fun hearing all the younger audience members shout in surprise when they final card showed The End, Chapter 1.

While no one can hold a handle to Tim Curry, Bill Skarsgard did an excellent job portraying Pennywise. Genuinely creepy.

I would recommend seeing this in the theater. And if you haven’t read the book, check it out. Maybe after Chapter 2 hits theaters.

Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

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