‘Wakanda Forever’ celebrates a new generation of Black Panther while honoring the old one

When an actor dies, the character typically dies with them. After an intense battle with colorectal cancer, “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman died just months after Marvel began filming for “Black Panther 2” in 2020. The biggest question walking into a movie theater this weekend is, “How can the film franchise succeed without the Black Panther?”

But in some brilliant, creative way, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Director Ryan Coogler honor the cinematic fallen solider and his character, King T’Challa. We needed all 161 minutes of this film to bridge the treacherous journey from grief to glory.

“Wakanda Forever” is that ancestral guide for Black families, especially as it relates to losing a loved one, navigating the steps of grief, and honoring your loved one beyond the grave. Chadwick Boseman’s death transcend the role. The death of Chadwick Boseman is bigger than Black Panther and generates a deeper conversation about all the people we have lost over the pandemic (COVID-19 related or not).

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which opens in theaters on November 11, stars Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Winston Duke. Marked in Wakanda a year after King T’Challa’s death, the nation is still picking up the pieces from their shattered lives and protecting the land from outsiders who want to capitalize on their precious resource, Vibranium.

Wakanda’s future is compromised when a new nation, equipped with similar resources, tries to join forces.

This installment of Black Panther is “The Woman King,” “Power Rangers,” and your second favorite Marvel movie wrapped in a nice present.

The film’s other gift is the fluidity and self-expression of Black women—your obvious new generation of Black Panthers. Not place holders, temporary fixes, and lurking shadows, but these Black women carry the torch.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier, ‘Wakanda Forever’ celebrates a new generation of Black Panther while honoring the old one

Jamie Foxx delivers in ‘Soul’; Film Evokes The Importance of Purpose and Passion

Death is a raw, touchy subject, especially now more than ever.

There are zero degrees of separation when identifying someone you know or love who has been affected by the coronavirus.

Death is also typically a conversation had amongst adults, so when Kemp Powers, Mike Jones and Pete Docter decided to create an animation film about life’s finale, I was more than skeptical.

But after 100 minutes of tear-jerking, feet-tapping, life-thinking reactions, I can proclaim that “Soul” is one of the best things this crazy year has produced.

Ironically, with the many people we have lost during this global pandemic, the movie is a sweet reminder about the true meaning of life, love and finding your purpose.

Pixar finally presents its first feature film with an African American leading role. Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx lends his voice talents for Joe Gardner, a jazz enthusiast and music teacher whose soul gets separated from his body right before the biggest gig of his life.

“Soul,” like jazz music, is beautiful, smooth and a delightful keepsake of both time and life.

“You already have a pretty fantastic life and sometimes that’s hard to see,” said “Soul” writer and director Pete Docter in a roundtable discussion hosted by the African American Film Critics Association.

Docter told me that when he’s on his death bed, he’s not going to be thinking about finishing the film on time or making sure it’s under budget, but Docter, Pixar’s chief creative officer, wants to reflect upon “family friends, and…everyday moments that I could easily take for granted.”

“I hope that people will have a gratitude for what they have.”

Out of all the undertones that resonated in “Soul,” the idea of purpose lingered at the top of the list. As Joe Gardner seeks to live for his love of jazz, we, too, crave to fulfill our destiny and walk in our purpose even though at times we seem to live aimlessly. If anything, life’s true purpose is the fuel to taking full advantage of your time here on Earth.

That is some deep stuff for a kids movie.

For the full review, please visit The New Pittsburgh Courier, Jamie Foxx delivers in ‘Soul’

The Courier’s ‘Movie Scene Queen’ has a new Leading Man

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As many in Pittsburgh know, Merecedes has been reviewing movies for more than five years and, as a writer for the Courier, was recently recognized as one of the best feature category writers in the state by the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association! The movie-themed wedding was held in Cheswick, where the couple welcomed 125 guests.

Source: New Pittsburgh Courier The Courier’s ‘Movie Scene Queen’ has a new Leading Man

Imagery is Everything in ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (March 14)

African Americans in film are having the best year ever! We are barely over 70 days into 2018 and “Black Panther” tops the box office for the fourth week in a row ($41.1 million), and right behind it this past weekend is another Disney movie, “A Wrinkle in Time” ($33.3 million).

Directed by a Black woman, Ava Duvernay, “A Wrinkle in Time” is based on a 1962 novel about a sibling duo who searches through space and time for their missing father. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and newcomer Storm Reid.

Although Oprah did sprinkle massive amounts of the greatness in this film, it was 14-year-old Reid who stole the show. Reid, who had a small role in “12 Years a Slave,” plays main character and big sister, Meg Murray. She is amazing, filling really big shoes with a small amount of effort. Her role is very important for little Black girls. It changes the imagery of what it means to be a young Black student.

Source: New Pittsburgh Courier, Imagery is Everything in ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (March 14)

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