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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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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Movie Review

Verdict - "A decent way to end a majestic franchise. Hobbit 3 is an incredible action-packed experience."

Two trilogies, six movies, one epic tale! It should be disheartening to see our very own beloved franchise finally concluding this time. Heroic stories were told in a spectacular way and we're lucky enough to experience everything in a theatre with the best visual effects possible. Here's my review for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies".

The movie kicks off with Smaug destroying Laketown in a barbaric fashion. Eventually the belittled hero of the town, Bard puts down the beast and a legion of orcs and elves start to wind up at Erebor, which is now jam-packed with gold and ruled by it's very own suzerain, Thorin.

Now the obvious question that battered our mind before the release was that, will this movie stand-out as a well structured narrative? Is there enough story left to make a movie out of it. Well! that ideally brings in my complaints about the movie, it did have few narrative issues.

At the outset, the subplots in the movie are pretty boring, I completely understand that all the characters must conclude sooner or later, but it was a little dreary. I didn't hate it, but the love angle between Tauriel and Kili and the character arc of Bard and his family didn't make an impact.

Also, identical to my previous argument, they're too many unwanted characters added in this movie which simply elongated the runtime with no definite reason. Are they vitally needed? There's no enduring reason. And it's also quite tough to keep up with these characters and remember them.

With all my complaints and arguments out-of-the-way, I can now say that the action in this movie was astounding. Although final act was a bit lengthy filled with all the awe-inspiring battle sequences and the dramatic scenes, it was still incredible to watch all the armies team up and going after the orcs and the director Peter Jackson did a fabulous job in displaying them perfectly and the overall structure for the final act really looked good.

Furthermore, I did observe the CGI in the movie was a little underwhelming. It didn't looked great mainly the orcs were appaling, little more effort could've helped it. The addition of 48 fps in 3D was pretty amazing to look at, because it's quite indifferent when compared to all the usual 3D movies.

When it comes to the cast, the most superior characters are Bilbo and Thorin. Martin Freeman was decent as usual and the climax scene which he had with Thorin was heartwarming. Richard Armitage was the best out-of-the-bunch in my opinion, because his character has a little more insight in the movie with numerous shades and layers included it and Armitage was flawless in executing it.

Finally, this is a decent way to end the franchise but it's not quite remarkable. Sure, the movie have few incredible moments to watch, but they're also certain parts which didn't really fit well and that's my only complaint about the movie. Nevertheless, it's a type of movie where you can enjoy watching it in the theatre other than in a home video.

My Rating - 3.5/5
Grade - B+ (A perfect weekend pick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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