Black Panther 4K | Blu-ray | DVD Director: Ryan Coogler Screenwriter: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Rated PG-13 | 134 Minutes Release Date: May 15, 2018
Black Panther is the 18th Marvel Studios film to be released. Now just a few months after its initial release, it is coming home on Blu-ray and digital.
Director Ryan Coogler presents audiences with a new kind of superhero film. By weaving in social issues – like culture, identity, and representation – that affect us today, he turns what would have been an ordinary comic book movie into an extraordinary crowning achievement. It’s certainly not a risky film, but one that needed to be made. For there is a superhero in everyone, and it’s high time that we get to see more representation on the big screen. Check out my review of Black Panther on 4K below.
Black Panther follows the events of Captain America: Civil War moments after it ended. In it, we see T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning home, not only to lay his late father to rest, but to also take the mantle of the king of Wakanda. But we will soon find out that taking on those responsibilities comes at a high price, as the sins of the past find a way to shatter Wakanda’s impenetrable barrier. Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a formidable opponent and outsider, who seeks to change Wakanda’s old ways.
Killmonger is T’Challa’s cousin. Not only does the soldier seek to claim what is rightfully his, he wants to open Wakanda to the world with hostility by giving Vibranium – Wakanda’s most valuable and highly sought after resource – technology to the Wakandaian war dogs and spies that scattered across the globe, who would then in turn sell it to those who have been oppressed. His motivations are directly related to what happened to him as a kid, and his awareness to that oppression just shows how this movie needed to be made.
While the two male leads provide some standout performances, it’s the female cast that really steals the film. Lupita Nyong’o‘s Nakia, Letitia Wright‘s Shuri, and Danai Gurira‘s Okoye are all terrific and gives Marvel Studios a reason not only to continue to visit Wakanda but give them their own film. All three are strong, fearless, and intelligent women in their own right. Nakia being T’Challa’s love interest, Okoye being the loyal elite guard, and Shuri being the sassy young princess and sister to T’Challa.
But it is not just about the cool characters or the highly stylized action sequences in the film, it is also about what this film does and how it leaves audiences with something to think about. Black Panther addresses themes about culture, identity, and representation in ways that few other superhero films have. Here we see T’Challa try to build his own way of being king, one that steps outside of the old ways of how Wakanda was being ruled. Killmonger’s method is far more radical and violent, yet he is still trying to find out who he was left behind as a child after his father was killed by his uncle. And the cultural aspects can be seen throughout the entire film, one that stays true to its roots via the costumes, music, and dialect.
One of the more informative bonus features to come out of the Black Panther 4K release is the “From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion – Delve Into The Film’s Making” and the “Director Commentary.” The former has the creative forces that brought the film to the big screen discussing the film’s significance in pop culture, while the latter offers us some insight into the Coogler’s vision.
“The Warriors Within” is a spectacular feature that focuses on all of the powerful female characters, and the actresses who play them. “The Hidden Kingdom Revealed” takes a look at the nation in hiding, as well as the culture and people of Wakanda.
“Crowning of a New King” gives us a deeper look at the character of Black Panther and how it is a huge departure from what we have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how Vibranium, Wakanda’s most precious resource, plays a role in the MCU.
Other bonus features include the typical gag reels and deleted scenes. The former just shows how loose and fun the set was, while the latter takes a look at all of the scenes that didn’t make the film – which were taken out for pacing reasons.
Black Panther is available on Digital now, and will hit store shelves on May 15.