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  #121  
Old 03-21-2018, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by four-so View Post
I don't know about changing his ideology. Killmonger is a tragic figure; he was not only molded by his uncle's actions when his father was killed, he was also molded by the society he grew up and his government using him for their own ends. He never really had a chance. As someone else mentioned, he intends to fight colonialism by adopting the worst traits of colonial power. He embraced the governing ethos of the conquistador, even if he is thwarted before he can make his desires a reality.

He is certainly one of the better Marvel antagonists. (I use that word particularly because "villain" doesn't necessarily fit.)
I wouldn't have thought of Killmonger's arc as basically being the mirror image of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart on my own, but when you put it that way that's exactly what it is
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  #122  
Old 03-21-2018, 08:22 PM
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I saw the movie on Monday and I thought Black Panther was pretty average. The only good parts were Klaw and M'Baku because they acted and fought normally. I liked that Klaw had to rely on his wits and had fun as he used his arm cannon, or how M'Baku does things on his own whim like save T'challa. I disliked Killmonger because I thought he was a petty gangbanger using his upbringing as an excuse to commit arms trafficking, a move that would destabilize the World and leave it ripe for Thanos to just waltz in and take over.

I think that's the problem with the film. Black Panther's message on race is undermined by the fact that there's a giant and power powerful space tyrant existing in the same universe as Wakanda, and Thanos is a much bigger threat than some old European Empire. Even if I were to ignore Thanos, there's still HYDRA, and Loki both of whom are much bigger threats to Earth than some greedy old white guy.
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  #123  
Old 03-21-2018, 08:30 PM
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Sorry you missed out.

What about Killmonger suggested to you that he was a gangbanger?
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  #124  
Old 03-21-2018, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rising Force View Post
I think that's the problem with the film. Black Panther's message on race is undermined by the fact that there's a giant and power powerful space tyrant existing in the same universe as Wakanda, and Thanos is a much bigger threat than some old European Empire. Even if I were to ignore Thanos, there's still HYDRA, and Loki both of whom are much bigger threats to Earth than some greedy old white guy.
I'm really not sure your logic tracks here. This is a movie about Wakanda, what do they have to do with Hydra or Thanos or Loki? In fact, a big ramification of the movie is that now Wakanda is out of isolation, so they can finally bring their vibranium technology to fight against the more global threats facing the MCU. I'm betting that will be pretty important in Infinity War! The "greedy old white guy" isn't a threat to Earth, he's a threat to Wakanda. In a movie about Wakanda.
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  #125  
Old 03-21-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by YangusKhan View Post
I'm really not sure your logic tracks here. This is a movie about Wakanda, what do they have to do with Hydra or Thanos or Loki? In fact, a big ramification of the movie is that now Wakanda is out of isolation, so they can finally bring their vibranium technology to fight against the more global threats facing the MCU. I'm betting that will be pretty important in Infinity War! The "greedy old white guy" isn't a threat to Earth, he's a threat to Wakanda. In a movie about Wakanda.
This is the problem I have with the movie in general. Black Panther wanted to be separate and different from the MCU by trying to create a Shakespeare Drama, but all the high tech shown in the film really ruins the atmosphere of the movie. If Wakanda is this resource-rich and advanced society, then it should be in the context of Mali, Ghana, Songhai, or Mesopotamia. A supposedly isolationist nation would have no need for all this fancy gadgets and technology because they would also have no desire to expore the outside world.
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  #126  
Old 03-21-2018, 09:08 PM
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That argument makes no sense. How does the fact they are an isolationist country invalidate them having advanced technology? They have the technology because Wakanda is a fantasy/sci-fi (supposed) utopia. They are isolationist, in part, because they don't want to share that technology with anyone else. Much of the tech exists to prevent anyone from disrupting their isolation.
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  #127  
Old 03-21-2018, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rising Force View Post
A supposedly isolationist nation would have no need for all this fancy gadgets and technology because they would also have no desire to expore the outside world.
Wakanda's isolationism came as a decision not to share their advanced resources, not the other way around. They didn't import any of their high tech.
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  #128  
Old 03-21-2018, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
I wouldn't have thought of Killmonger's arc as basically being the mirror image of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart on my own, but when you put it that way that's exactly what it is
Details?
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  #129  
Old 03-22-2018, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Rising Force View Post
I disliked Killmonger because I thought he was a petty gangbanger using his upbringing as an excuse to commit arms trafficking, a move that would destabilize the World and leave it ripe for Thanos to just waltz in and take over.

I think that's the problem with the film. Black Panther's message on race is undermined by the fact that there's a giant and power powerful space tyrant existing in the same universe as Wakanda, and Thanos is a much bigger threat than some old European Empire. Even if I were to ignore Thanos, there's still HYDRA, and Loki both of whom are much bigger threats to Earth than some greedy old white guy.
Does the world at large even know about Thanos and Loki?
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  #130  
Old 03-22-2018, 05:57 AM
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Loki, no. Thanos, no, but even more.

Also, Hydra as they know it has been pretty much dismantled.
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  #131  
Old 03-22-2018, 07:38 AM
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I think Rising Force touches on something important wrt to the clumsiness of Marvel commentary on real-life issues in a fictional milieu that has fractalized with complexity and rising stakes.

The horrors of colonization and diaspora are life-or-death in a way that space monsters are not. However, in the fiction they are a fart in a windstorm when you consider that Thanos is coming and he has a glove that can magic you into a stack of poker chips, and we have to set aside all that nonsense long enough to unite under a powerful war leader. And that fair pisses me off.
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  #132  
Old 03-22-2018, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
I think Rising Force touches on something important wrt to the clumsiness of Marvel commentary on real-life issues in a fictional milieu that has fractalized with complexity and rising stakes.

The horrors of colonization and diaspora are life-or-death in a way that space monsters are not. However, in the fiction they are a fart in a windstorm when you consider that Thanos is coming and he has a glove that can magic you into a stack of poker chips, and we have to set aside all that nonsense long enough to unite under a powerful war leader. And that fair pisses me off.
I know I've seen someone (either David Brothers or Jay Edidin) point this out w/r/t the X-Men, too. In real life, when Darren Wilson claims that Mike Brown "looked like a demon" to justify his murder, he's cloaking his irrational fear for his life in age-old myths against blackness that he knows whiteness will excuse him for. In the X-Men's sci-fi metaphor for same, your fear of someone who can kill you by thinking hard is pretty rational, and they might actually literally look like a demon.
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  #133  
Old 03-22-2018, 08:03 AM
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I don't think being put into a greater, pulp action context hurts the individual narratives of the films, nor that their respective themes must necessarily suffer from taking a detour into the larger world they inhabit. That's because, often, they have two distinct conflicts: a mundane, physical one, that is dealt with via punches and lasers, and an abstract one that needs to be resolved by the audience.

So Kurt Russel is trying to take over the universe. Yeah, OK, we need a physical way to stop him. But the central conflict of Guardians 2 is about the cycle of abuse, about damaged people finding understanding, solace, and kinship among one another, about ideals of masculinity, femininity, brotherhood and sisterhood. Blasting Kurt Russel with lasers doesn't solve those; they're conflicts that transcend the story, make the characters human, and connect with audiences--and as shown in the narrative, they don't have a nice, pat resolution.

So HYDRA infiltrated SHIELD and now they want to kill a bunch of people. Yeah, let's reveal them to the world at large and blow up their ships. That still doesn't fix the issue of government overreach, the surveillance state, interventionism, or imperialism, all of which were alive and kicking and giving Cap second thoughts about the project before he even heard that HYDRA was behind it. And they weren't solved by blowing up those ships either.

We have no idea if the Russos will use Thanos as an allegory for a deeper issue; all we have is some tidbits about his possible motivations. For all we know, he could be just a generic Evil Overlord that Cap needs to punch, or he could be a Starlin-esque embodiment of existential nihilism during a real-life context in which many real-life people question the necessity of their own existence. Whichever one he is, his movie can't stop the discourse that Black Panther already started, nor the representation BP has already provided. If AIW is just a banal action fest with little to say on its own, audiences will still have BP's themes and message to discuss and digest.

At least, that's my take on it, and I respect that people feel differently.
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  #134  
Old 03-22-2018, 08:18 AM
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I think that's a fair read, Zef, and I do like how the Avengers story shifted to focus on the surveillance and militarism that the first film mostly glossed over. More than anything I'm ready for the Avengers story to be over, and that fatigue informs my initial view of Infinity War.
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  #135  
Old 03-22-2018, 09:15 AM
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I think it's also worth considering what the Wakanda vs Colonialism story says about why Thanos is a threat to Earth in the first place. Yes, Wakanda has tons of spiffy advanced technology, which would probably do a great job of making Earth less vulnerable to, or even able to completely repulse, the Chitauri or Thanos. They've been keeping that technology secret because of the threat white colonial empires pose to them.

So even isolated from the dramatic/abstract conflicts Zef highlights, taking things at a purely procedural level, Wakanda quite smoothly fits onto the Intergalactic Punching stage of Marvel stories. Why is Earth largely a miserable place, with technology that mostly revolves around making volatile chemicals go "boom" and little if any ability to protect themselves against hyper-advanced threats from space? Because white people spent a good thousand years fucking up the planet through a toxic model of cultural contact. And yet they spend the entire film rolling their eyes at the "backward" Wakandans.
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  #136  
Old 04-24-2018, 06:04 PM
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I watched this this weekend. It was good! I would certainly like to see more about the other Wakandan tribes.Through most of the movie I was wondering what the border tribe thought about their job of actually living in the poverty that the rest of Wakanda pretends to. I'm sure they get to visit high-tech Wakanda once in a while and they have access to at least some vibranitech (at least for military use), but they still seem to have to put in a show of herding and preparing food with no power. I also can't believe that a tribe that has domesticated rhinos isn't being bothered by conservationists at all times.

The... merchant and river tribes, I think they were called in the credits? The green tribe and the one I can't remember the color of, anyway... well, that is all I can say about them, which I think says all that needs to be said about them. I don't know if the red tribe has an identity besides "royal family/guard"?

Finally, of course, we've got the Jabari. Why are they isolationists among isolationists? The opening exposition claims they made the choice, but I have to assume that was either T'chaka or his brother explaining Wakanda's origins to T'Challa or N'Jadaka; thinking about it now I'm pretty sure it's the latter but either way I don't consider them a reliable narrator here. As far as what we see in the movie proper, they're rebuffed when their leader tries to claim his right to challenge T'Challa for the kingship, they worship a different god than everyone else in Wakanda, and they're militaristic in a society that already has two other military tribes. They also seem to live in the harshest part of Wakanda, on only fish and veggies, while having even less technology than W'Kabi's tribe. I'm also wondering what sorts of secret places in Wakanda the Jabari know about, with the way they always just pop out of nowhere when they appear.

M'Baku definitely seems like the kind of guy who wants to change things by following the rules - he is loyal to his king and his country's traditions even as he tries for supremacy. He also may have a point about the royals only coming to the Jabari when they need an army. The big question seems to be why he would initially refuse to help but then bring his tribe to the final battle in the end. I'm going with a mix of waiting to see what T'Challa would do on his own and a flair for the dramatic - this way they get to be the big damn heroes of the battle rather than just another faction. There's also political potential there; by joining at the eleventh hour when everyone else is fatigued, the Jabari are probably the strongest tribe militarily at this point. Or go back to the fact they seem to have the least tech. If you're going to take clubs up against swords, electrospears, and force field cloaks, it pays to let the other guys tire themselves out a bit.

I had more stuff, but I've forgotten about it while writing everything else.
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  #137  
Old 04-24-2018, 06:31 PM
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As much as he doesn't like the rest of Wakanda's reliance on their tech and the meteor by extension, they're still working to preserve Wakanda. Killmonger would've destroyed Wakanda in order to execute his vision, something demonstrated to the watcher with the second dream vision scene but something that M'baku probably picked up on his own.
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  #138  
Old 04-24-2018, 08:40 PM
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Rural isn't the same thing as poor.
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  #139  
Old 05-01-2018, 10:36 AM
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I don't disagree, Bongo, but doesn't the movie explicitly state that Wakanda wants the rest of the world to believe they are the poorest country? I'm pretty sure the word "impoverished" is specifically used to describe everyone else's view of Wakanda. No matter how isolationist the country is, they have to be approached by NGOs, charities, envoys from other countries, and that's only discussing the people who want to help. The border tribe is the group most likely to meet all these people and so to what extent do they have to live the lie?

Now, if you're arguing that the worldview of Wakanda at the start of the movie is where the misinterpretation is of "rural" for "poor" then you obviously have a point, but it seems entirely intentional on Wakanda's part.

Other points: Is M'Baku's tribe ever shown to have any tech? And no, seriously, how does T'Challa convince the CIA agents in the safehouse to let him take Agent Ross back to Wakanda for medical treatment? That didn't affect my enjoyment of the movie but wow they kind of just glossed over that one, didn't they?
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  #140  
Old 05-01-2018, 11:40 AM
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It's possible that the "public-facing front" of an impoverished nation is part of what drives W'Kabi and the Border Tribe's dissatisfaction with the status quo, as they can only partake of Wakanda's gifts by traveling into the depths of the country itself, and they have to keep up a masquerade in front of the various charities, missions, and NGOs sent by imperialist nations. Dealing with that kind of patronizing day in and day out while the other tribes get to live the full life of Wakanda must build up some level of ressentiment.
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  #141  
Old 05-01-2018, 01:00 PM
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I think the idea is also that Wakanda presents as not only impoverished, but isolationist. They don't accept outside offers of help, which is why the westerners are so convinced that they're a bunch of farmers in mud huts.
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