Review: Black Panther

Black Panther

Title: Black Panther
Year: 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writers: Ryan Coogler,  Joe Robert Cole
Stars: Chadwick Boseman,  Michael B. Jordan,  Lupita Nyong’o, Forrest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke

Black Panther was opened with introduction about Wakanda, a country and nation established by five African tribes, led by the very first “Black Panther”, a warrior who got superhuman power from “heart-shaped herb”. The Wakandans got held of the strongest metal in the world, vibranium, and used it to develop advanced technology while isolating themselves from the world by posing as a Third World country.

In the present day, after King T’Chaka passed away, his son T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku (Winston Duke) challenges T’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and convinces him to give up and take care of his tribe rather than die during the ritual. After T’Challa officially crowned as King of Wakanda, T’Challa’s friend, W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), requested him to find and bring to Wakanda Klaue, a robber who managed to get into Wakanda years ago and stole some vibranium for trading. T’Challa, Okoye (the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment, played by Danai Gurira) and Nakia (T’Challa’s ex-lover, played by Lupita Nyong’o) eventually go to Busan, following information that Klaue will sell a stolen Wakandan artifact to his buyer there. To his surprise, T’Challa meets CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) who apparently acts as the buyer for Klaue. A firefight takes place and Klaue is arrested under CIA watch, however he is rescued by his team, led by Erik Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), a former US black operation soldier. During the chaos, Ross is severely injured when protecting Nakia. Feeling responsible, T’Challa takes Ross back to Wakanda where their technology can save him.

While Ross is being healed, T’Challa interrogates Zuri (Forest Whitaker), a Wakandan elder and “heart-shaped herb” caretaker, about N’Jobu, his uncle. He saw Erik wearing a ring that only a Wakandan has and wondering if somehow he is related to N’Jobu. Zuri explains that in the past, N’Jobu planned to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them defeat the dictators. While T’Chaka arrested N’Jobu and about to take him back to Wakanda, N’Jobu attacked Zuri, forcing T’Chaka to kill him. T’Chaka ordered Zuri to lie that N’Jobu had disappeared and left behind N’Jobu’s American son, Erik, in order to maintain the lie. Erik, filled with hatred, plans to have his revenge by taking over King of Wakanda’s throne and continue N’Jobu’s vision. It’s now up to T’Challa to prevent other world wars happen with vibranium being distributed freely to many countries.

I like this movie. I think it gives a different vibe of Marvel’s superhero story. The background narrative of African nation and culture provides different touch, and I really enjoy it. However, I could not help myself to think a little bit further about it. I had an impression that the reaction from other audiences in the theatre was not as “hyped” as mine for some scenes that I found quite hilarious. I could be wrong of course, since I did not pay attention to my surrounding all the time, but it made me think. Do people really think and react differently about this movie because it tells us story about African people? Do people unconsciously compare it with other superhero movies which usually have white male or female protagonists? Or was it only me, who might be a racist without realizing it? In the end, this movie somehow becomes a soft reminder to me to revisit again my actions so far: have I been acting fair to everyone around me? Have I been judgmental to people without consciously aware about it? It is refreshing to know that a movie can bring such an impact to us and makes us think to be a better person moving forward.

Other than that “aha” moment, I found the story is a bit unclear for me, especially story about Erik. I find it difficult to believe that by only listening to some stories told by his father when he was a kid, Erik could know so much about Wakanda, i.e. its isolated location (I mean, they have invisible barrier around the country and he easily enters it without getting lost. Really?), its culture, its vibranium treasure and so much more. I mean, he was a teenager when N’Jobu was murdered, and prior to that, N’Jobu was busy with his espionage and rebellion works. I am not sure he had enough time to explain everything about Wakanda in details to Erik, or at least it was not shown sufficiently in the movie. This fact makes the movie’s climax becoming anti-climax since the emotion is not fully captured there. At least I can’t feel it (sorry Erik!).

Overall, I am quite satisfied with this movie. I am giving 4 out of 5 stars for my rating. Another Marvel’s superhero movie which is enjoyable to watch.


Weekly Photo Challenge: “Scale”

Hey ho! It’s me again 🙂

Another post for weekly photo challenge, this time for the theme of “Scale”! I decided to use picture of Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy, which was taken from a hill next to the port. From above, we can see colorful buildings and boats which look small and cute (it might not be the right word, but anyway). It’s amazing how some things could be perceived differently, depending from which angle you are looking at it. Hope you like this picture as much as I do!


TV Series Review: “Stranger Things” (Season 1)

Release year: 2016
Creators: The Duffer brothers (Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer)
Status: Season 1 (2016), Season 2 (2017), Season 3 (premiere 2018)
Cast: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown

Yes, I am late by a year to watch this great TV series, but as people said, better late then never 😛

Stranger Things is a Netflix original series which released on July 2016. Taking a set in fictional rural town of Hawkins during 1980s, the first season of this series was focusing on the investigation and searching of a missing boy, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). It was a regular day for Will and his friends: Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo). The four boys had been playing Dungeons and Dragons (got to find out what game this is about!) at Mike’s house for 10 hours straight before being told to go home since it was already late. In his way back, Will encountered something which prevented him to reach home that night.

The absence of Will only realized in the following day when his mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder), was about to wake him up in the morning. Joyce then frantically requested investigation to Jim Hopper (David Harbour), the chief of police department in Hawkins. While the investigation process ongoing, the other boys decided to find Will by themselves. That’s when they encountered a little girl with shaved head, lost and frightened because she’s being chased by bad guys. Little did the boys know that she will be the key to all mysteries which would come later in the story.

I just finished watching Season 1 marathon yesterday and my  very first thought was: give me back Eleven! I fell in love to this character so much, not only because she has the power (girrrlll powerrrr…. yeah!!), but because she is growing beautifully as a child and as a person. Millie Bobby Brown portrayed this character so well, I ended up believing Eleven since the very first time of her appearance.

Badass Eleven – love her!

There are couple of things that I enjoyed from this series:

  • The plot: I simply love it. When I first read the brief synopsis of this series, I was thinking that it sounded quite familiar and not entirely new. It reminded me a bit to X-files, so I was not sure what to expect. The Duffer brothers offered me more: it had the flavor of X-files and ET without copying any aspect of both movies. I was infatuated and could not stop watching the episodes, wondering where the direction will go
  • The setup: Rural areas in the 1980s became the perfect set for this series. If I recall, it was also the time when movies about science fiction and supernatural stuffs were booming, particularly in US.
  • The characters: It’s kind of funny, but somehow I like most of the characters in this series. Obviously, Eleven and the boys are the ones I like the most. They were what you expected from a group of curious teenagers with very normal friendship (lots of arguments yet ready to support each other whenever required). Hopper stole my attention once he became himself and did things with his ways. I even like Steve (boyfriend of Nancy, Mike’s older sister) because he was honest and nice, even though sometimes he acted stupidly (lol).
  • The cast: I really love Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour in this series. I think they did a very good job since the first episode and I expect they will do the same in the second season
  • The sound and music: It has enough spookiness without making you jump from your chair every time the monster appears in the screen

Kudos for the Duffer brothers who have successfully written and directed this series. They prepared a great start for this story and I am looking forward to what they will offer next. Overall, I can say that this is one of the best TV series I have watched so far (to be fair, I have not watched many TV series in the last two years). I will start  the second-season-marathon shortly and post my review afterward.

My rate: 4 out of 5 stars


Weekly Photo Challenge: “Rounded”

Chasing up another theme of weekly photo challenge from last month. This time with the theme of “Rounded”. I hope somehow I still meet the theme…feel like I am cheating here *gasp*

Anyway, here you go.

london eye



Weekly Photo Challenge: “Temporary”

Sometimes I want to cry looking at my blog which I imagined to be updated regularly, but in the end becoming semi-hiatus because of my laziness (I tempted to defend myself that I was totally busy with work in the beginning). Since I am still thinking what to write in my next post, I will start with my favorite entry: weekly photo challenge! 😛

Referring to the theme of Temporary, I immediately remember on beautiful Sakura which I (luckily) witnessed during my trip to Japan. Only bloomed in spring, it is one of those natural events that (I think) everyone should consider if she/he gets the chance.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction

I am a relatively simple person with a common interest on book and traveling. Buying books has been a guilty pleasure for me because I feel some kind of satisfaction everytime I do it, and the pleasure even doubled once I finish reading the books. It does not always happen linearly since I have less time to read lately due to my work and other things, but for sure it will be part of my life which will always bring small happiness in my heart ☺️

Traveling is just amazing. I enjoyed the experience and new knowledge which I got when I visited new places and met new people. After hiatus for a while, I think it’s about time for me to pack my bag and go wandering again, this time with my significant other 😄


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

For the Weekly Photo Challenge of Unusual, I chose some pictures taken during my stay in Switzerland. I went to Charmey, Gruyere, with my friends to watch Désalpe, a major celebration that marks the end of the Alpine summer pasture season. We enjoyed a parade of cows decorated in flowers going through the village  together with the breeders who looked very happy and excited with the celebration.

Parade of cows wearing flower crown and big bell passing a village was completely unusual for me. I commonly see cows only in the farm, and it was not wearing anything on its body, let alone a flower crown 😂

Ah. I miss Switzerland. Hopefully I can visit it again sometime in the future 😊

PS. I just have to post this picture because they were so cute and I miss these boys a lot. I suppose two little boys hang out with beers were also unusual for me (lol!). Don’t worry guys, their parents finished their beers before they posed 😂😛