Marvel’s Black Panther is a feast for the eyes
– the stunning visual effects of the world of Wakanda are lovely. The acting is
all stellar. Sharp writing, plenty of action/fights, and a story of power and
redemption complete the tale directed by Ryan Coogler. There have been a lot
of articles and essays written about Black Panther – all for a
higher purpose than pure cinematic delight. I’m going to stick with just the
movie going experience of this critic – a middle-aged woman who wants to be
entertained for her five dollar investment. Ka-ching! This movie absolutely
works on all levels. If you wish to delve into some issues – by all means. The
movie can make you think. Or just sit back with a big tub of popcorn and watch
Chadwick Boseman nail it as T’Challa, the new king of Wakanda – a country that
hides its riches (the vibranium metal) from the rest of the world.
It is a city filled with technology, powerful women, and an
appreciation for its history and rituals. Here’s the impressive cast of
women – Angela Bassett (mother), Letitia Wright (science nerd sister),and
Lupita Nyong’o(Nakia – the activist ex). Close friend W’Kabi is played by
Daniel Kaluuya. Then there’s trouble – brooding Michael B. Jordan, the
Killmonger, seeks revenge and more. There’s a whole background buildup to his
story. It starts in Oakland, CA and finishes in hand-to-hand combat, victory,
and some d words – defeat, defiance, etc. I won’t say more…. But I
will say that Danai Gurira the shorn elite member of the royal squad is fierce.
Her attitude is scary and she swings a mean spear.
Black Panther is set in a fantasy world. Like
I said, you can extrapolate from there into more meaning, concerns, etc of
modern day America. Or you can enjoy the slick purring moves of a sleek
panther. Stick around during and after credits for those Marvel teasers they
give us. Keeps us coming back for more. Meow!
This Wednesday I bring you a quote from a very intriguing writer. I read this in Time Magazine 2/12/18 issue.
Food for thought to fill this Wednesday. It was provocative enough for a discussion with my writer friends at a Sunday gathering. What do you think?
Zadie Smith, literary author, has a new collection of essays, Feel Free. In one essay she writes,
When I find myself sitting at dinner next to someone who knows just as much about novels as I do but has somehow also found the mental space to adore and be knowledgeable about opera, have strong opinions about the relative rankings of Renaissance painters, and encyclopedic knowledge of the English Civil War, of French wines - I feel an anxiety that nudges beyond the envious into the existential. How did she find the time?
We all agreed that we've been there. We think we've read quite a bit, we can speak about quite a lot, and then we are flummoxed by that person who seems to know it all.......dang.
Inferiority complex, heck yeah!
How about you? Have you felt so smart, and then really dumb on occasion?
I met Sherry Ellis here on blogspot during an April A to Z challenge. Her garden blog (http://gonegarden.blogspot.com) proved delightful. Then I fell for her Ten Zany Birds book for kids - the illustrations and counting story were cute.
Now I'm pleased to promote Don't Feed the Elephant by Sherry Ellis with rich illustrations by Md. Anwar. Once again, Sherry has written a sweet funny tale with some important lessons for kids. Most important - don't feed the elephant. It can lead to all kinds of trouble (including a sick tummy), plus teach kids letters of the alphabet. Animal crackers to zebra cakes are a hoot.
I highly recommend Don't Feed the Elephant for your little ones. You'll have fun reading it over and over and over again. And they will giggle as the elephant cavorts, plays with his food, and enjoys time with friends. Look for it on Amazon
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri –
what a title , what a film. I saw it. I don’t think I need to see it again.
It’s up for a lot of Oscar buzz and is very worthy. It’s a challenging film.
Can’t call it entertaining. It makes you think. It makes you sweat a bit. It
can make you laugh – but it’s that uncomfortable laugh – like, this is sorta PC
wrong, but it’s funny, but it’s wrong, and am I cleared to laugh?
So, Frances McDormand (beyond Oscar worthy, she is SO good
in this film – just hand her the statue now) is mourning her daughter who was
killed and died while being burned. Ugly. So horrific. And she’s pissed – the
local cops haven’t solved a thing. The chief (an excellent Woody Harrelson) has
tried, but there have been no clues. The local worker bee cop (Sam
Rockwell – very Oscar worthy) is a racist pig with a lot of issues and does not
seem interested in a solution. Meanwhile, she puts up three billboards
that challenge the police force.
Bam. It’s front and center. Many issues are faced in
this film. Racism. Police work. Murder. And more. Seems like the whole
town is seething, and McDormand is front and center. Her very being vibrates.
She is such a good actress and she can show fury, combustion, and more just
with a clenched jaw, a raised eyebrow, and a cutting remark.
This film can get ugly. The language is brutal. The actions
are ugly. These aren’t really pleasant people. But it’s truly an interesting
story, a sad heartbreaking at times story, and everyone in it grows in some way
It’s an Oscar must see film that is tough....that’s where
I’ll leave it. Wow and whoa and dang.
I admit I am a sucker for movies about journalism. Old
fashioned nose for news, knock on doors, make phone calls, and then clack in
some letter type and let those presses roll…..hum and rumble and watch old
fashioned newspapers roll off the presses. Oh my. I can smell the ink.
That’s what The Post, Stephen Spielberg’s
latest time capsule, is all about. From Time Magazine 1/15/18 -
This historical drama about the 1970s publication of the top-secret Pentagon
Papers is swooningly in love with journalism.
Basically the Papers detailed the scope of the Vietnam War
in vast detail – the US was mired in a mess and the top brass knew it, but did
not reveal the problems, and dug deeper into war. This was a grave mistake for
the public. The NY Times broke the story, got stymied by
courts, and the Washington Post took the ball and ran with
it. This was a huge decision by Katherine Graham, the owner of The
Post, who was trying to take the company public. Lots of conflicts. The
movie explores internal back story, while the news is breaking. The pace
of the movie is intense.
Meryl Streep, as Katherine Graham, is amazing as an actress.
You can see her thinking, weighing options, affected by her Washington
connections (i.e. the Defense Secretary, etc), and then choosing publication
come hell or high water. Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is the salty chief who
is for publication all the way. The movie has many a conversation and
argument in regards to publish or perish. This movie is a bit old school, but
in a good way. Spielberg knows his audience
I loved a quote near the end of the movie. Katherine says
that her late husband stated, “The press is the first draft of history.”
Think about that as it pertained to the early 1970s, the upcoming Watergate
era, and now the press today and all the talk of “fake” news. No matter
what – we need the fourth estate to report and keep us in the loop. The
Post is a cinematic take on history and also a commentary on today.
A good friend, Deb McNeill, headed to Disney World this week. I told her to say hey to Goofy for me.
Bam - she sent me this pic. Sure enough, he said hey from his parade float.
How fun is that? So enjoy a goofy Friday. My goal is to laugh through this day, shrug off the trials of the week, and pretend I am in the happiest place on earth. Soon I will be - home on a weekend with Ray.
Happy Friday everyone. Make the most of a goofy Friday and weekend. Enjoy!
First off this is dedicated to my late mother, so don't dis this post.
Yea! Eagles actually won the Super Bowl and they beat those darn Patriots.
My t-shirt is old. My troll is old. It's been awhile since his braids got to show V for Victory. Let's roll with that.
My mother (gone over 20 years now) loved football. On Sundays, my father was in charge of us so mom could watch her beloved Cowboys - yes, Cowboys with Roger Staubach and coach Tom Landry (both so darn awesome upright American heroes), and those frustrating Eagles. Oh she would get mad. She'd turn off the TV, mutter to herself, and turn it back on. And that's how Eagles fans live - they hate 'em, they love 'em, they just die each Sunday and come back for more torture.
Who knows in this day and age? My guess is mom would have been watching this whole season and very sad when Carson got injured. Then half hopeful as Nick Foles made progress week by week. But still skeptical, she would have watched the game, biting her nails like me, and shaking her head even in those last two minutes. After all, Tom Brady - Patriot quarterback - is renowned for comebacks and wins. But no - totally stuffed... and Iggles Won!!!!!
My dad watched and even he was caught up in the excitement. I texted my brother and sister and we were biting our nails. Oh, Eagles fans suffer and now we can claim one Super Bowl ring.
Yes, Ray (my beloved husband), Cowboys have five...but it's been a while, baby.....when's the comeback?
Thanks for indulging me, my blog friends. This was for my MOM!!!! They did it, dang!
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein is
smart-ass funny. She’s written for Inside Amy Schumer, Saturday Night
Live, and has performed in her own comedy special. This collection of
short real-life essays covers her move from cute tomboy to not so cute tom-man
(her term for awkward years), dating, work, aging, and pregnancy. Her down to
earth tone is very relatable. I snickered throughout the book. I had heard
Jessi Klein on an NPR Podcast and that’s what brought her book to my attention.
p.94 Sartorially, I like guys who wear T-shirts and
old canvas sneakers and generally look like they are incapable of taking care of
another human being. Celebrity inspiration – Mark Ruffalo, if he were a
p.97 in regards to Mike (whom she ultimately
marries) He’s an advertising executive. He is charming and funny, but
he’s not a mumbler. He’s straightforward and clear. In other words he’s nothing
I thought I wanted. I thought for sure he would be the exception that proved
the rule and soon I’d return to some hipster, sugar-addicted rabbinical school
dropout. But then something happened.
p.120 in regards to a writing day.
9:15 am – go buy the New York Times 9:30 – Take the Times to
my local café to read while eating breakfast. 10:30 am to
12:15 pm - Return home, Sit down and try to write something. Look at
everyone I’ve ever dated on Facebook and also join LinkedIn. Never figure out
how to get off LinkedIn. 12:30-1:30 Lunch 1:30-4 pm – Lose
steam on writing. Eat two dainty squares of Ritter dark chocolate, put the bar
back in the fridge, sit down as if to stop eating it, get up again, and then gobble
the whole thing. 4p: Oprah
Together, these activities gave my day a shape, a journey
from waking to sleep. But that journey was always fraught with the idea that I
should be having more fun.
You’ll Grow Out of It is a light read, easy to
pick up and put down, with life observations that you’ll relate to.
I don't do many flashbacks, and I actually have two movie reviews I should write up for you. However, I am continuing my lazy once I get home from work attitude, and posting some pics from February 2010, 2011, and 2012. Kinda fun to look back and see what the heck I was doing.
We could use a snow day. Or at least a nice steady all day of rain. We are in drought conditions now and that does not bode well. This should be our rainy season.
My flamingo is currently hanging out in front of the television waiting for the Super Bowl
Nifty rock and shadow play.
Have a good weekend everyone. Go Iggles - hey I'll root for them just to annoy Ray!
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.