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Monday, February 19, 2018

Cindy Prasick's Reviews of Early Man & Black Panther

Dearest Blog: After a two-week hiatus, yesterday it was back to Marquee Cinemas for what I thought was a promising pair: Early Man and Black Panther.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.

First up: Early Man.

The fate of a pre-historic tribe rests on a soccer game. Yes, you read that right.

Well, dear reader(s), it hurts me to say it, but Early Man just plain stinks. I wanted the wacky premise to be as funny as it sounds. I wanted the voice cast to be as amazing as it looks on paper. I wanted to love this movie, and I had every reason to believe I would, but it didn’t give me a chance.

Early Man is populated with forgettable characters who lack any charm.  The premise is improbable enough that it could have been hilarious, but instead it's just idiotic. The film doesn't even run a full hour and a half, but I lost count of the number of times I nearly nodded off. I can't imagine Early Man holding anyone's attention, nevermind the young audience at which it is directed. The few good laughs don't half make it worth your time.

Early Man clocks in at 89 minutes and is rated PG for "rude humor and some action."

If you were thinking of seeing Early Man, I'd suggest you save your money and watch Wallace & Gromit again instead. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Early Man gets three, including one bonus Weasley for having an actual Weasley (Mark Williams) among the cast.

Fangirl points: Richard Ayoade!

Next on my agenda, Black Panther.

Following the death of his father, new challenges face T'Challa both as king of Wakanda and as the Black Panther.

My usual disclaimer: I'm a DC girl through and through, so generally I find Marvel product enjoyable but forgettable. My notable exception has been Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but now I have two exceptions.

You. Guys. Black Panther is SO good. Other than being just a hair too long, it gets everything right. Chadwick Boseman carries the mammoth blockbuster with all the ease of the best A-lister. He's been so good so often it shouldn't be a surprise, but this is a very, VERY large stage and he owns it. His supporting cast is extraordinary to a person, with special mention to Danai Gurira--often the only watchable thing about the Walking Dead--and the always-remarkable Andy Serkis. The film boasts striking visuals with nifty tech, solid effects, majestic costumes, and glorious scenery. The humor is spot-on, never Iron Man-forced; in fact, one of the best things about Black Panther is the lack of intrusion by the other Avengers. The film reflects and respects African culture without so much as a hint of patronizing, and does an incredible job of planting everyone on equal footing. Characters in Black Panther aren't written to do things just because they're black or white, male or female; they're complicated people with complicated feelings and motives. The film bears important messages about our obligations to one another and those commitments that don't change with circumstances or our feelings. Black Panther has plenty of action, smart performances, layered interpersonal connections, and even a touch of romance, a little something for everyone.

Black Panther runs 134 minutes and is rated PG13 for "prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture."

Black Panther is that rare Marvel offering that is truly something special. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Black Panther gets nine.

Fangirl points: Don't wanna spoil anything but STICK AROUND FOR THE SECOND POST-CREDITS SCENE!

Until next time...

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