Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)

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who is bobby dylan
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#51 Post by who is bobby dylan » Tue May 22, 2018 4:04 pm

Finally, the argument "then why does so many African American people liked it ?" doesnt even deserve a personal answer. Seneca spoke centuries ago about masses' jusgement plenty enough already.
I didn't make an argument that the film was good because some or many African Americans liked it. That is literally a question that you asked at the very beginning and end of your post, without making any effort to answer and then going on about what you didn't like about it. I assumed that you were seriously interested in this question, so in that context found the rest of your post disdainful, since it shows no interest in attempting to answer or understand what the film means to some of its audience.

I don't think you're wrong to dislike the film. Every film is a subjective experience. I gave you some of my insights into some of the things going on in the film, not to convince you to like it, but to give you some insight into what I (and possibly others) liked about it.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#52 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue May 22, 2018 4:09 pm

who is bobby dylan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:34 pm
It is not clear that the King wields absolute power. There is no evidence based on T'Chaka or T'Challa's rule that they were autocratic rulers or that the system functioned as an autocracy. We have to base all assumptions about this on Killmonger's brief rule and whether he is acting within the normal powers of the King or going beyond them. How can a King have absolute power over a country that has completely independent regions within it? The tribal leaders aren't just advisers, we know that they control actual geographical boundaries within the country and in the case of the border tribe, a branch of its government. That W'Kabi follows the order of Killmonger to use the army in the way he does is not proof that Killmonger has absolute authority over the army. We do not know if W'Kabi had the power to refuse or if such refusals would be within the norm. The film gives us reasons to believe that he goes along with Killmonger because of his apprehension of Klaw and because he is in ideological agreement with him, this would all be superfluous information if he just had to do it. The only person/group that we know who have a specific loyalty to the King are the Dora Milaje, which makes sense since they are his personal body guards. We also know that the King's reign can be challenged (though the time intervals are not clear) by a representative of any of the tribes, so again, not absolute power. We just don't see any of the King's exercise a wide enough array of powers to know that they rule absolutely. All the powers we do see are essentially related to foreign policy, where you would expect the King to have the most latitude in using their power.
You can provide no evidence of checks, balances, or anything within the system to demonstrate it is not authoritarian. We see little to nothing of T'Chaka or T'Challa's rule. You can give no evidence that Killmonger wouldn't already have control of the army. At best, W'Kabi's motivations just tell us why he doesn't side with T'Challa from the start and head a revolution. We see both the army and W'Kabi do nothing that suggests transgressing laws or exceeding their social or political roles. No one questions or is outraged at the actions of the army. You're nit picking this because you want me to be wrong, not because you have evidence of it.

Frankly, if a king doesn't control the army, he is no king, he is a puppet of the generals. History is pretty conclusive about this. Control of the army is necessary to all kingships. Wakanda is a warrior cult. That a warrior cult with a king at its head would neuter its king by placing its army under the command of its generals only is ludicrous and not to be taken seriously.

I can provide plenty of evidence through Killmonger for how that system works when a ruler wishes to be autocratic. If a system allows a ruler to be autocratic, then the system is autocratic. The best you're able to do is try to nit pick my evidence with information you don't have.

who is bobby dylan wrote:We see Killmonger threaten the life of one subordinate, an older woman in a private setting. That she did not refuse the second order of someone who threatened her with violence is not proof that the King normally has absolute power. The fact that she initially refused the order, until threatened is actually proof of the opposite. If he had absolute power the threat wouldn't have been necessary. The only other people in the room at the time are other older women. That they did not stand up to an enhanced individual, capable of murdering all of them, who had just threatened one of them, is not proof that what is happening is normal.
No. She hesitated and said it was tradition, and he choked her in front of the others to make an example of her. There was no refusal, there was only hesitation because she was flabbergasted. The king can physically threaten and manhandle subordinates in full view of witnesses without negative repercussions. Ergo, this is something the king is allowed to do.
who is bobby dylan wrote:The reason there is a fight at the end is because Killmonger refuses to resume the challenge and W'Kabi (whom the film has taken pains to show is in ideological agreement with Killmonger) backs Killmonger, in what is in effect a civil war at that point. They never bring up any illegality as to the circumstances of the challenge, so that is imagined on your part. Zuri intervenes (wrongly and is killed). The challenge continues, Killmonger believes he kills T'Challa by throwing him off the side of the falls and the heads of the tribe acknowledge the legality of the outcome. Perhaps you're making the point that M'Baku's people violated the rules by fishing him out of the river instead of letting him die, but no one in the film makes this charge or uses it as a justification for their actions. Whereas Okyoe (who we know adheres to the rules) uses Killmonger's refusal to resume the challenge as a justification for backing T'Challa who is effectively still King at that point.
You are wrong at pedantic length. T'Challa survived the duel because of illegal outside interference, regained his powers due to the theft of palace property by a loyal follower, and was allowed to start battle through an illegal attempt by the previous royal family to restore him to power. This is not disputable.

I would actually argue that T'Challa should not have been able to resume any contest. Any battle or duel or fight is over once one combatant is rendered unable to continue. I think knocking someone unconscious, including by throwing them over a waterfall, counts as winning, unless someone wants to argue that, in Wakandan royal contests, if you knock someone out you are forced either to kill them or wait until they wake up and then fight again until they submit, are killed, or get knocked out again.

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tenia
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#53 Post by tenia » Tue May 22, 2018 4:21 pm

I can't nor wish to speak for other people. I also wasn't talking about black Americans appreciation of the movie specifically, but the global critical and public success of the movie. With the BO records the movie broke, it seemed to me the movie is more positively welcomed than, say, The Winter Soldier or Civil War (both overall well welcomed, but seemingly slightly lesser success).

Thus, I'm seeing this movie which is extremely praised for many reasons, including being a very interesting exception in the current Hollywood industry regarding the team behind it and the themes it tackles.

I understand that, and the curiosity it can generate towards the movie.
Of course I do.
But I'm not going to talk for them. I'll just explain what I saw and understood and perceived and how this clashes with the praise I read.

What I don't understand is how, very practically speaking, such praise can be given to a movie which to me had at least a very debatable pace, some poor CGI and an overall flat mise-en-scène.

Then, on top of it, it also seemed to me it had a story that seem often inconsistant within itself and what it tried to convey. I admit this might be even more subjective and that I might be wrong. But there are also factual elements, like the movie talking about justice and fairness, showing how T'Challa is a right heir through its ritual combat with M'Baku, but then having Killmonger disputed deqpite going through the same ritual, despite outside disturbance (through Zuri) of the combat and in the end being overthrown with no possible compromise.

I'm sure Lebron's writing isn't perfect at all, but he points out several narrative elements that ARE there in the movie and it seemed to me that the movie simply thought it was saying one thing but was actually showing something else on screen. And to me, if that's the case, then it's just approximative screenwriting.

But again, this comes after other issues that would have already been critical for me anyway.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#54 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue May 22, 2018 6:50 pm

knives wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:47 pm
who is bobby dylan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:34 pm
How can a King have absolute power over a country that has completely independent regions within it? The tribal leaders aren't just advisers, we know that they control actual geographical boundaries within the country and in the case of the border tribe, a branch of its government.
A feudal system.
Right?

Or another historical example: Alexander the Great conquered much of what he conquered because he promised the various cities and poleis along the way that they'd be allowed to keep their current culture, religion, and socio-political structures so long as they submitted and pledged their allegiance to Alexander. This tactic meant Alexander did not have to spend most of his time and resources quelling uprisings among his conquered states and could instead focus on his eastward expansion.

An autocratic rulership wielding absolute power is not a one-person government, with all the power consolidated in them and no power for anyone else. Absolute kingships still have intricate courts and systems of governance, with many people in various positions of power. It just means, officially, no specific person or branch of that court or polity has official power that matches or exceeds that of the king. On the contrary, officially, all power comes from and is bestowed by the king. Now, the actual politics of power in an autocracy can often lead to certain branches or individuals having more power through various machinations coupled with perhaps a weak ruler. But, officially, this is not meant to be the case.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#55 Post by barryconvex » Fri May 25, 2018 11:21 am

...black revolutionaries who dream about a total black liberation and the end of discriminations are killed by black-on-black violence.
This is exactly what i thought the problem was. The bad guy wants to empower an entire race and the good guy wants to...stop him from doing that? Not only did the movie back the wrong guy, it backed the wrong movie. The thought of a comic book movie in which a "total black liberation" takes place would not just revolutionize the genre, it would be the most talked about movie of whatever year it was released. I didn't hate Black Panther-Jordan, in particular, is a magnetic screen presence and he goes a long way towards carrying the movie despite not being featured nearly enough-but it had a great idea inside itself that it didn't have the balls to follow. One that i couldn't stop thinking about while watching it...

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#56 Post by cdnchris » Fri May 25, 2018 12:20 pm

Are you all saying because Black Panther the character didn't want to commit mass genocide the movie picked the wrong side? I've watched the film a few times already (my son loves it so I'll be watching it on repeat for the next few weeks) and I thought it was pretty clear that's what Killmonger's end goal was, not just empowerment or liberation. One of the stronger aspects of this movie is that the villain and his motivations are easy to understand and completely justified, but he's become so driven by hate he desires revenge more than anything else.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#57 Post by MongooseCmr » Fri May 25, 2018 12:33 pm

The line about Killmonger wanting to, uh, kill the “oppressors” is the key one in cementing him as a villain but until that point I was on the same page as barryconvex. Stop me when I start sounding like some Left Twitter cornball, but the movie does endorse the fear that liberating minorities means inciting violence on whites/men/the West instead of engaging with the issues that drive Killmonger to extremism. And the ending being a well meaning rich man just throwing a little charity money at the problem to placate them is way more conservative than most critics seemed to read the film as.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#58 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri May 25, 2018 12:49 pm

I took the film to be endorsing public projects and systems designed to improve socio-economic problems over violent upheaval. It seems like plain non-radical liberalism to me. I don’t see the controversy in not advocating violent race war.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#59 Post by cdnchris » Fri May 25, 2018 12:57 pm

MongooseCmr wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 12:33 pm
The line about Killmonger wanting to, uh, kill the “oppressors” is the key one in cementing him as a villain but until that point I was on the same page as barryconvex. Stop me when I start sounding like some Left Twitter cornball, but the movie does endorse the fear that liberating minorities means inciting violence on whites/men/the West instead of engaging with the issues that drive Killmonger to extremism. And the ending being a well meaning rich man just throwing a little charity money at the problem to placate them is way more conservative than most critics seemed to read the film as.
That's fair. I was reading the comments as "the film should have backed the guy that wanted to kill everyone" not taking into consideration that their issue is more that the film could have gone a different way about it. I like the film but as pointed out this is a case where the filmmakers are really trying to say something worthwhile but not taking into consideration all the different ways certain aspects of it will be interpreted, probably further complicated by the fact everyone is still making a superhero picture so it ends up having to follow certain expectations. I'm sure that that "conservative" ending wasn't intended to be read the way you suggest (what Sausage said) or that the filmmakers meant anything deeper in having the one black American character in the film be the villain or meant to suggest white people should be scared of liberated minorities, or that Killmonger's motivations were not valid (I do feel the film does say they are perfectly valid, he's just going about it trying to solve it the wrong way). I'm pretty sure the ultimate "message" was simply meant to be "fighting hate with hate solves nothing" but other aspects not fully considered distracted from that for some.

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Marvel Comics on Film

#60 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri May 25, 2018 2:20 pm

I think T’Challa’s decision to blame Wakanda and its policies for creating Killmonger is a key for understanding what the creators were going for. True, the lone self-liberated American black male is the scary villain, and there’s no getting around the problem there; but the movie is trying to take the position that the problem stems from Killmonger not being supported and included and taken out of an awful environment by his family and cultural community, but rather allowed to fester in an environment and socio-economic position from which he couldn’t but come out malformed. They’re advancing a vanilla point about social responsibility and the wider black community needing to show solidarity and group- rather than self-interest. But as Chris says, the need to make a superhero blockbuster has left a bunch of troubling implications there that seem to work against the film’s intentions.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#61 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:49 pm

Since its inclusion in the Best Picture category seems like a foregone conclusion (and it's part of the zeitgeist so I should see it anyways), I dutifully watched Black Panther. This is only my second Marvel movie and my reaction is pretty similar to my earlier response to Ant-Man: eh, whatever.

From what I understand, the film has connected with audiences who are glad to have a predominately black tentpole dealing with black issues in a way that feels authentic in its voice and expression, but I thought it actually explored precious little of this differentiation point. The only scene in the entire film that seems willing to address head-on the disconnect between the races is the introduction of Michael B Jordan (the only actor in this entire film to even register) at the history museum indulging the white expert on African anthropology before making his move. This is an amusing and pointed scene, and coming early in the film, I held out hope there'd be more like it. But no, instead we get some of the most unimaginative action scenes I've sat through lately, told with no visual wit and far too much CGI. And don't get me started on that climax, which involves multiple characters who have impenetrable (and essentially immortal) armor that makes watching them get into fights doubly frustrating because not only is it boring to know they can't be defeated, but those attacking them also know it and go right on attacking them and losing their lives. Just idiotic.

More than anything I thought the film did such a disappointing job at failing to build its world. The essential conceit of Wakanda is fascinating: a black separatist dream come true in which, left to their own devices, people of color are able to thrive and surpass the rest of the world. Imagine if Coogler had instincts of a showman like Speilberg to get curious about this world and let the audience explore it. We see brief snippets of its denizens and the markets, farming, &c, but I have no real concept of the nation or the people in it beyond the politicians and military members. There certainly appears to have been a lot of time and energy spent on making costumes, but the film can't even be bothered to sit still for two minutes to let us see those. It's an impatient movie, and while at two hours and fifteen minutes it's already overlong, surely we could have lost a couple minutes of robo-rhinos to actually learn more about this land that so many characters tell us is worth saving. I don't even know what they're arguing over, the audience don't get let in to Wakanda either.

I think it's too bad that a mediocre film like this has to carry the weight of so much audience investment because it represents such a rare opportunity to see some of these empowering aspects on screen. If anything, this is yet another example of how important it is to have more films about the black experience as interpreted, imagined, and relayed from those within it, so that there are more and worthier films for an eager audience looking for these things to latch onto. A middling superhero movie shouldn't have to shoulder all the weight that's been piled on it. I don't think this even remotely merits a Best Picture nom, but what else is new when that describes like half the nominees every year anyways?

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#62 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:43 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:49 pm
...instead we get some of the most unimaginative action scenes I've sat through lately, told with no visual wit and far too much CGI. And don't get me started on that climax, which involves multiple characters who have impenetrable (and essentially immortal) armor that makes watching them get into fights doubly frustrating because not only is it boring to know they can't be defeated, but those attacking them also know it and go right on attacking them and losing their lives. Just idiotic.
That's funny because the last Marvel movie I sat through before Black Panther was Captain America: Civil War and among many other things I hated the fight scenes precisely because they were stiff, mechanical and unimaginative (which is pretty damning for a comic book fantasy - it's the ONE thing they should have over most action movies). Those scenes looked fine in Black Panther, partly because they had been so bad in my prior experience with Marvel movies.

Anyway, you're right about the idiotic conceit with the armor, but unfortunately, that's standard operating procedure for comic book/super hero movies - they get built up with ridiculous powers, and it's usually the "sweet spot" solution (i.e. a narrow vulnerability) to their power that ultimately wins the day. I enjoyed that kind of thing as a child, but it's partly why these kiddie stories bore the hell out of me now even as basic entertainment.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#63 Post by knives » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:36 pm

I will likely post more whe announcements are made, but I basically agree. Outside having black bodies on screen this doesn't really convey anything about black life. Though on your point about representation I feel, ironically, this has actually been a great year for black cinema. True, we have had two bad blockbusters, but that has been covered by at least three prominent films by black artists that by all accounts have some high merits. This has been a great year and it is unfortunate the likely the most recognized film will be one of the weakest.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#64 Post by dda1996a » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:57 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:49 pm

A middling superhero movie shouldn't have to shoulder all the weight that's been piled on it. I don't think this even remotely merits a Best Picture nom, but what else is new when that describes like half the nominees every year anyways?
The only reason why nominating a film like this and not middle-brow Oscar bait is problematic for me is that it opens the gate for other Marvel films to seem worthy of a nomination,which I think will just elongate this awful blockbuster age were having. If you disliked this stay clear of Infiniti it War which is way worst. My biggest question is that does all it takes for a middling superhero film to receive a BP nom and other awards?
Not to come off as racist, but just sort of inserting a hint of political relevancy into a blockbuster, or making the main hero something other than a white male makes everyone lost their bearings? I remember not understanding why were people pushing WW for a BP nom as well, when I found that film awful. I get that people are happy to see more mainstream, big blockbusters be fronted by other ethnicities and appeal to more minorities. I'm up for that (I'm for sure quitting after Infinity War part 2.,just because I already wasted my time on the first but feel compelled to finish the two parts, because, uh, OCD), but can we please not lose our bearings every time that's going to happen?

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#65 Post by Cde. » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:43 am

It's symptomatic of a time where rather than watching intellectual or at least not mass market films, young aspiring intellectuals instead choose to overintellectualize corporate trash. What do you mean, this thing I've spent thousands of words and hours obsessing over isn't worthy of great admiration and import?
This same group of people choose to elevate issues of racial and sexual identity (which, yes, are important) over all other avenues of thought or discussion. What can possibly be more worthy than a movie that touches on black struggle, featuring a black cast, that's been successfully marketed to hundreds of millions of people? When you see things from this perspective, the value of this thing as art is beside the point.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#66 Post by black&huge » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:55 pm

Cde. wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:43 am
It's symptomatic of a time where rather than watching intellectual or at least not mass market films, young aspiring intellectuals instead choose to overintellectualize corporate trash. What do you mean, this thing I've spent thousands of words and hours obsessing over isn't worthy of great admiration and import?
This same group of people choose to elevate issues of racial and sexual identity (which, yes, are important) over all other avenues of thought or discussion. What can possibly be more worthy than a movie that touches on black struggle, featuring a black cast, that's been successfully marketed to hundreds of millions of people? When you see things from this perspective, the value of this thing as art is beside the point.
This is pretty much on the spot. It's also an effect of nerd culture gaining notoriety and suddenly becoming a cool label to have. While I enjoy some of the Marvel movies it bugs me to no end how hardcore nerds attempt to validate an identity by refusing to see something for what it is and claiming it's subtely high artistry. These are run of the mill blockbusters. In general some are good, some are bad but it all boils back down to the fact that they are completely manufactured to be forgotten about after they have their time in box office glory which then you only have to wait 3-8 months for the cycle to start again. Even shorter if you aren't just watching MCU movies. You pretty much have year round comic book adaptations churning out.

Most don't realize this is just hype taking over more than anything. They are so blown away that storylines and characters they cherish are finally being brought to film but that's about it. There's already a blueprint for the stories and much like a professional inker all these filmmakers have to do is make sure they cast the roles to please the fans and not change too many things from page to screen. It's not anything special it's simply just tracing every aspect onto film

On a sidenote the cringiest thing was when Winter Soldier came out and it was being hyped as a spy thriller that elevated the comic book film. People only equated it to Three Days of the Condor simply because Robert Redford was in both movies and WS was the closest thing they could compare it to even though both movies are completely different in any and every way. That was when all of this really just jumped the shark.

Of course the fanbases will argue these out-of-the-hat opinions to the death when they could just be spending all that time watching actual films that they think makes up what a Marvel film is. But if they do they'll quickly realize how wrong they've been and lord knows they're not wrong when it comes to comics and film.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#67 Post by Lost Highway » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:14 pm

It wasn’t hardcore nerds who made claims for the importance of Black Panther, it was thinkpieces by film writers and journalists, many of them black. Hardcore nerddom on the whole is dominated by white straight boys of all ages who aren’t that concerned with representation. Winter Soldier is a homage to a 70s conspiracy thrillers. Whether that makes it a great movie is up for debate, but it’s pretty obvious that it was intentional.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#68 Post by cdnchris » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:38 pm

Yeah it was intentional, right down to casting Redford.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#69 Post by tenia » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:39 pm

BP has received tons of intellectualized critics and think pieces from journalists that probably are mostly white males, the same that praised WW's supposed feminism.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#70 Post by Lost Highway » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:53 pm

tenia wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:39 pm
BP has received tons of intellectualized critics and think pieces from journalists that probably are mostly white males, the same that praised WW's supposed feminism.
That too, but they aren’t "fanboys" and they weren’t "mostly" white males. Then again, that may reflect the writers who or I choose to follow.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#71 Post by tenia » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:34 am

The utmost majority of BP pro reviews were positive, and AKAIK, the profession currently is mostly composed of white males, hence my conclusion.
However, they're indeed not "fanboys".

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#72 Post by dda1996a » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:39 am

My main query is how many feel compelled to positively reviews these films as good under pressure for keeping with the status quo? Remember how many articles were written on that one guy who gave Ladybird a bad review and knocking it off the perfect 100?

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#73 Post by Never Cursed » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:32 pm


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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#74 Post by domino harvey » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:44 pm

Never Cursed wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:32 pm
Žižek's take on Black Panther
That was getting pretty good and then it just ended. Also, free advice: don't read the comments (I know, this is universally true)

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#75 Post by Never Cursed » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:35 am

Gotta love any forum where “Žižek is basically cartoon Hitler” is not the most outrageous thing written

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