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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken us to many amazing places–most of which defy logic. Just think in the course of its history we have visited far away planets, floating cities filled with gods, and alternate dimensions. Still, it’s most interesting jewel is none other than the tiny African nation of Wakanda, Earth’s most advanced civilization, ruled by its monarch and superhero, the Black Panther!

Black Panther is easily one of Marvel’s most anticipated films to date, and easily its most anticipated stand alone film to date!

wakanda

The story begins with the retelling of Wakandan history, and how a meteorite of vibranium–the strongest, most valuable, and rarest metal on Earth–fell to Africa and changed the surrounding areas plants and animals. Millions of years later, the humans that settled formed five warring tribes who only found peace when a chieftan, the first Black Panther, blessed by the Panther god, Bast, united them under one nation. The tribes used the vibranium to shield their country from the outside world and defend its borders; avoiding invasion and colonization like other African countries.

chadwick boseman as black panther

Chadwick Boseman as “T’Challa/Black Panther”

Flash forward to the 21st Century and the story line picks up shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to Wakanda to take his rightful place as king, following the death of his father, T’Chaka. He soon learns all too well, however, that “heavy is the head that wears the crown.” This means the revelation of family secrets, state affairs, and even questioning Wakanda’s position in the world.

michael b. jordan as Eric Killmonger

Michael B. Jordan as “Eric Killmonger”

Unbeknownst to T’Challa his entire world–and to an extension the world at large–are about to be threatened by the unholy alliance of Ulysses Klaw a murderous thief obsessed with stealing vibranium and Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a Black militant with his own personal connection to Wakanda. T’Challa has to really his own inner strength, face the mistakes of the past, and rally his family and closest allies to once again save the world!

black panther movie

Black Panther is truly a marvel–pun intended–with so much action and adventure that you’re average moviegoer will find themselves in heaven throughout the film. HOWEVER, the REVOLUTION went cinematicwith this film with its messages of Black empowerment, militance, history, female empowerment, and nation building. The annotations of the Middle Passage, the oppression of African people throughout the world, and a call to action are boldly planted in this film. In a way you feel a sense of camaradarie, family, and togetherness as a person of color when you gather in the theater to see Black Panther. T’Challa may be just another black superhero to some, but to many Black people he is a powerful example of what is inside of each of us–a king or a queen, but always a warrior! The fight for what is right and even an equal playing will always be arduous, but after seeing this movie I have never felt more hopeful.

black panther movie cast

Be sure you check out Black Panther in a theaters everywhere nationwide today! Bring a friend and your family with you–#WeAreWakanda!

Movie News

Charm City Kings| Official Trailer + Poster Release!

Growing up in West Baltimore, teenage Mouse (JAHI DI’ALLO WINSTON, Queen & Slim, Proud Mary, The Upside) feels the fierce pull of different forces: Between notorious ex-con Blax (Grammy-nominated best-selling artist MEEK MILL) and concerned Detective Rivers (WILLIAM CATLETT, TV’s “Black Lightning”), and between the straight path set for Mouse by his concerned mother (TEYONAH PARRIS, If Beale Street Could Talk, Dear White People, TV’s “Empire”) and the dangers of gang life, which took his brother’s life.

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charm city kings movie poster

Growing up in West Baltimore, teenage Mouse (JAHI DI’ALLO WINSTON, Queen & Slim, Proud Mary, The Upside) feels the fierce pull of different forces: Between notorious ex-con Blax (Grammy-nominated best-selling artist MEEK MILL) and concerned Detective Rivers (WILLIAM CATLETT, TV’s “Black Lightning”), and between the straight path set for Mouse by his concerned mother (TEYONAH PARRIS, If Beale Street Could Talk, Dear White People, TV’s “Empire”) and the dangers of gang life, which took his brother’s life.

jahi winston in charm city kings

Jahi Winston as “Mouse”

The one truth Mouse knows is that he loves the power, artistry and energy of “The Ride” — the exhilarating motorized-dirt-bike scene that is both pastime and passion on the streets of Baltimore. During one eventful summer, Mouse steers his way through two father figures, a first girlfriend, the pull of illegal choices and the thrill of stunt-riding that makes him and his friends feel like CHARM CITY KINGS.

meek mill in charm city kings

Meek in “Charm City Kings”

We are really excited to see “Charm City Kings!” We personally know Jahi and he is one amazing young actor. Did you catch him in “Queen & Slim?” The film is reminiscent of “Biker Boyz” (2003), with the motorcycle motif. We have no doubt this film is going to amazing. Besides we want to see if Meek Mill has any real acting chops!

CHARM CITY KINGS will debut at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, followed by a release in NY/LA/Baltimore on April 10thand nationwide April 17th 2020.

Links

www.CharmCityKings.com

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Movie Reviews

Universal’s ‘Invisible Man’ is Monster Movie Magic!

If you’re a fan of monster movies, you may have given up hope after Universal’s failed monster mash franchise kick-starter The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. This movie proved that big names and big budgets don’t guarantee stellar reviews. So when Kontrol Magazine received an invitation to see a special Atlanta screening on Wednesday, February 18 of Universal’s next monster flick, The Invisible Man, I was leery. 

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invisible man movie poster

If you’re a fan of monster movies, you may have given up hope after Universal’s failed monster mash franchise kick-starter The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. This movie proved that big names and big budgets don’t guarantee stellar reviews. So when Kontrol Magazine received an invitation to see a special Atlanta screening on Wednesday, February 18 of Universal’s next monster flick, The Invisible Man, I was leery. 

Grade: A+

From the moment the movie began, it was evident that writer-director Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man was going to be something different. One of the film’s actors, Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time), made that clear in her in-person introduction about the movie. Whannell, along with his partner in crime James Wan, helped redefine the horror genre with Saw and Insidious. The Saw films, in particular, pushed the boundaries of on-screen cinematic violence and helped introduce the term “torture porn” into the modern vernacular.

Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid | UNIVERSAL

Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid | UNIVERSAL

Whannell’s The Invisible Man is a thoroughly modern thriller that sidesteps the previous H.G. Wells adaptations do what Whannell does best: elevate the genre and scare people. The movie has been screened for critics, and they’re taking to social media in droves to report that The Invisible Man is the real deal — a tense, terrifying thriller grounded in real-world issues and featuring a performance for the ages from Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale).

Critics have every right to go absolutely bonkers over The Invisible Man. Moss stars as Cecilia Kass, whose boyfriend Adrian was both a wealthy tech genius and manipulative, abusive partner before apparently committing suicide. Cecilia eventually becomes convinced that he has returned to torment her as… well, an invisible man, although she understandably has a hard time getting anyone to believe her.

The Invisible Man Critic Reviews

  • Critic Witney Seibold was one of many to praise the film’s examination of the dynamics of abuse while also standing in awe of just how damn scary it is — and how much Moss sells Cecilia’s mounting terror. “[The Invisible Man] is not just one of the most tightly-wound thrillers in recent memory, but it is a pertinent and all-too-real look at the panic and damage left by an abusive relationship,” she tweeted. “Elisabeth Moss digs deep.”
  • We Live Entertainment editor-in-chief Scott Menzel concurred. “The Invisible Man is a tension filled thrill-ride from start to finish,” he tweeted. “Elizabeth Moss delivers a… captivating performance that is… some of her finest work to date.”
  • The Playlist’s Griffin Schiller called the film “a modern horror classic… Poignant & timely, packed full of edge of your seat anxiety inducing suspense! Sound & production design are MASSIVE standouts but Elizabeth Moss OWNS this film.”

The Invisible Man, which also stars the amazing new talent, Storm Reid, and the sexy Aldis Hodge, opens February 28, 2020. The response from critics and everyday moviegoers is setting an apparent theme: Monster movie magic is in the air. This film has all the ingredients to be one of the year’s biggest horror hits.

Watch Storm Reid Speak About The Invisible Man

 

Written By: Byron Jamal

@byronjamal

Byron Jamal

 

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Movie Reviews

[REVIEW] A Campy, Girls Night Out in Gotham! “Birds of Prey & The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” Has the Makings of a Cult Classic!

Sometimes girls really do just want to have fun–while fighting for their lives! Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is back and SINGLE! After a literally explosive break up with The Joker, Harley is ready to be her own woman and be in charge of her own life–if she can keep it. Harley soon learns that not being The Joker’s girl leaves her vulnerable to anyone she’s wronged in the past and places her in the crosshair of Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), a deranged crime lord determined to use a mob family’s fortune to take over Gotham City. Meanwhile a few other Gotham ladies; detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), bar singer turned driver, Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) all have their own reasons to take down Black Mask. The task is anything but easy, but when one teen pickpocket, Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) unwittingly finds herself on Black Mask’s hit list it will take the unlikely team up of four very different women to save her life and stop Black Mask and his goons for good in “Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn!”

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birds of prey movie poster

Sometimes girls really do just want to have fun–while fighting for their lives! Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is back and SINGLE! After a literally explosive break up with The Joker, Harley is ready to be her own woman and be in charge of her own life–if she can keep it. Harley soon learns that not being The Joker’s girl leaves her vulnerable to anyone she’s wronged in the past and places her in the crosshair of Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), a deranged crime lord determined to use a mob family’s fortune to take over Gotham City. Meanwhile a few other Gotham ladies; detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), bar singer turned driver, Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) all have their own reasons to take down Black Mask. The task is anything but easy, but when one teen pickpocket, Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) unwittingly finds herself on Black Mask’s hit list it will take the unlikely team up of four very different women to save her life and stop Black Mask and his goons for good in “Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn!”

Grade: B+

birds of prey movie poster

“Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” (Birds of Prey) has all the making of a cult classic–not a blockbuster! The film has all the feels we have seen in previous films and shows where an unlikely group of women band together by circumstances and forces beyond their control, but not the over the top strong start action we are use to now seeing in traditional superhero films. The film begins rather slow, narrated by Harley, telling the story midway from the beginning, allowing us to eventually catch up to present actions involving all the characters.

Margot Robbie is excellent as Harley giving us all the mayhem, anarchy, and craziness we love from the character. However, Renee and Black Canary seemed largely weakened and depowered. Both characters should have been depicted as much better fighters, especially Canary. In the comics her character is comparable to Batman in fighting skills and prowess AND she does not faint from using her sonic scream (The Canary Cry). Her backstory is also not so convoluted. Huntress is rather one dimensional, and none of her ties to the Batman Family are even hinted at. Lastly, the costumes need some work. Where are Black Canary’s fishnet stockings, and Huntress’ mask, cape, and hood are needed.

birds of prey dc comics

Birds of Prey core team line up; (l-r) Black Canary, Batgirl, Huntress

However, this film works largely because of Harley Quinn and Black Mask. They give us exactly what we need for over the top Batman villains. You get the gist of the kind of criminal element being dealt with in Gotham City, and why a vigilante like Batman is needed. If another “Birds of Prey” film is depicted more notable female villains and heroes native to Gotham City would be amazing. Can someone please get Lady Blackhawk, Power Girl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, or even Batwoman on the line!

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