There’s really nothing I can say about BLACK PANTHER (2018) that hasn’t been said except for my personal reaction, so here goes: I loved it. A win across the board, visually, acting, storyline and as an amazing vision of an alt.Africa where everyone from the hero to the sidekicks to the science genius is black. As a comics fan I’m particularly impressed by their handling of M’Baku (way more interesting than most of his comics appearances) and Andy Sirkis’ Klaw — in the comics Klaw never shows the sense of humor he does here. Thumbs up. “He is a problem of our own making.”
RHINOCEROS (1974) is an unsuccessful adaptation of Ionesco’s absurdist play about the one man in the world who isn’t transforming into a rhino. This suffers from the literalness of film — in the more unreal world of a stage set, the premise that everyone’s mutating except protagonist Gene Wilder would have been easier to take (this problem crops up with a lot of filmed plays). Even given that, it feels more like the creators wanted a shtick comedy than Ionesco; with Zero Mostel as Wilder’s arrogant buddy and Karen Black as his dream girl. “All cats die. Socrates is dead. Therefore Socrates was a cat.”
KNOCKED UP (2007) is the slob comedy in which pot-head slob Seth Rogen discovers he’s put a bun in Katherine Heigl’s oven, leaving the couple contemplating what sort of relationship to have and worrying it’ll turn out as bitter as their squabbling friends. I’d watched this mostly for the sexist aspect, but I was much more annoyed by what a poor movie it was — for the life of me I can’t see even a trace of romantic chemistry between Heigl and Rogen (who I found much more annoying than appealing), which is a fatal flaw in a rom-com “I didn’t make an honest woman out of her — she’s carrying my bastard child!”
The fourth season of LOST GIRL starts great as a mystery foe not only kidnaps Bo but erases her from her friend’s memory, leaving Kenzi filling Bo’s slot as Fae troubleshooter (and occasionally hooking up with Dyson). And when Bo finally escapes the Wanderer, it turns out that while she was gone (she has no memory of the period) she gave up alignment to sign with the Dark Fae. All of which sets up a promising scenario (though the show completely ignored potential fall-out from the No Bo period), but by the end of the season it was a muddled mess. We have Bo’s father, the dead rising, Bo and the Wanderer in love for some unexplained reason plus too many bad guys and too many apocalypses, like they were squeezing two season enders into one. I’m also annoyed they whacked their only black regular (apparently even among the fae the black guy buys it first) — true, death doesn’t have to be fatal in this show, but I won’t bet on that until I see it. Hopefully the next and final season improves. “To close the portal we need Bo’s heart — and that’s always been me.”
#SFWApro, cover by Rich Buckler, all rights to cover remain with the current holder.