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Black Panther - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "The Real Deal!"

Debuting at 235 million dollars on a four-day weekend, Black Panther had the biggest opening weekend in February, biggest non-sequel opening weekend, biggest solo superhero launch of all time, biggest pre-summer opening weekend, second biggest comic book superhero opening weekend and the fifth biggest opening weekends of all time. Here's an interesting comparison, Justice League made 228 million dollars on its overall domestic box-office run and it only took four days for Black Panther to beat that record. That's a hard punch in the gut for all DC fans (including me), but that's the reality and a well-deserved accolade for a well-made film.

After the sudden demise of his father and T'Chaka (John Kani / Atandwa Kani), the administration decides to crown T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as the new King of Wakanda and the storyline advances with T'Challa understanding and amending his responsibilities until he comes across Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) who not only challenges the throne but also questions the perspectives and principles that Wakanda upholds.

From time to time, I always address the importance of character work in a film especially if it's a stand-alone superhero film. One of the main reasons why Black Panther is such a great film is because of the well-developed and appealing characters. Let's start with T'Challa, an amateur and a King stuck in dilemma or puzzled in a tight spot to choose what's right and not right, his character was incredibly written so that the emotional connection was excellently established. Advancing to Erik Killmonger, another rightful heir to the throne, his intentions very plain, simple and very understandable. His character had a much-needed depth and his overall motives were one of the reasons why he's one of the best Marvel villains we've seen in a very long time.

Not only the lead characters but Nakia played by Lupita Nyong'o, Okoye played by Danai Gurira and Shuri played Letitia Wright everyone had an important role in the film which was inspiring and entertaining to watch. Also, great performances will always fortify the well-written characters and both the leads Boseman and Jordan were remarkable in their respective roles. Jordan especially was very charismatic and fit perfectly as the anti-hero with bad-ass abilities.

On the other side, the cinematography and the production design were incredible, the film looked vibrant, stylish and very exquisite. The background music was another positive, it added a unique authentic feel to the film especially with the percussions which sounded amazing. 

Ending with the negatives, this film was definitely not flawless, it had few issues primarily with the villain and his overall presence which was definitely limited. I hoped to see more of Killmonger as he was barely present in the first one and a half hour and then shows up in few action scenes and the film ends. That's a bummer, mainly because his character felt significant and would've been explored with more screen time.

Nonetheless, Black Panther lives up to the hype and is undoubtedly one of the best stand-alone superhero films in the MCU right beside The Winter Soldier. Similar to Logan, this film didn't feel like a generic superhero film as it presented us enjoyable characters, pleasing performances and a dazzling look at the world of Wakanda. An excellent entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My Rating - 3.75/5 | Grade - B+ (Highly Entertaining!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Black Panther: Movie Posters - Click Here

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Splendid Building-Block for Episode IX."

[Before I share my thoughts on The Last Jedi, I want you guys to be clear that I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, although I thoroughly enjoy watching these movies. So, if I get one or two references wrong, please don't bomb me with hate comments. I'll do my best!]

The Central Government of the Galaxy is now gone and General Leia Organa's (Carrie Fisher) Resistance is on their own to fight a long impending battle against the heinous First Order governed by the Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and administered by Kylo Ren / Ben Solo (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). The film starts with Commander Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) leading a group of X-Wing pilots to destroy the cannons of their rivals which kicks off the war between the good and the evil. On the other side, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is busy convincing Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at the Jedi Temple to join his sister's army and fight the battle against the First Order.

Between all the overwhelming positives in the film, the one that stood out the most for me is the development of characters. Writer and Director Rian Johnson took the new undefiled characters from The Force Awakens and established them by giving strong character moments and most importantly equal importance in the film. The scenes between Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren were the ones that I enjoyed the most. Rey trying to understand her status and learning the powers of The Force. Luke trying to break out from his past experiences that he had with Ben and his other trainees and have a peaceful death. And Kylo struggling with his conflicting opinion whether to comply with Snoke's commands or to turn against him and join The Resistance with his mother. 

Poe had a much more prominent role to play in this movie when compared to The Force Awakens. His scenes with Leia worked really well and with him nurtured as the next Leader of the Resistance and a possible romantic angle with Rey, I'm really excited to see the progression of his character in Episode IX. The storyline between Finn and the newly-introduced character Rose was a bit of letdown for me and I should say that this the only negative I have with the film for now, after watching it once. The romantic angle between them and the whole situation in Canto Bight with the rich and the poor people and the treatment of animals felt below par and briefly took the excitement away from the film.

The actions sequences (as most of the fans are already going insane about) were one of the best I've seen in any Star Wars movie. They kept me on-the-edge of my seat the whole time and were flat-out entertaining to watch. The background score by John Williams was again outstanding and the performances by the complete cast particularly by Daisy Ridley, Oscar Issac, and Adam Driver were astounding.

Overall, The Last Jedi is not only a great Star Wars film, but it also served as a perfect continuation of the franchise by building up great characters which are passionate and intriguing to carry on in the next movie. They're loads of questions still left unanswered, however, I had a great time watching the new episode in the greatest saga ever told.

My Rating - 4/5 | Grade - A (The Best One Around!) 
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Movie Posters - Click Here

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