With its record-setting run in theaters, it was all but a foregone conclusion that Marvel’s The Black Panther would get a home DVD/ Blu-Ray release. Well, the time to bring a piece of Wakanda home is at hand, with the release of The Black Panther on home video.
My original review of the film raved about the importance of the film and its social impact. The various extras laced throughout the disc drive home some of my assertions from that review as well as give an inside look at the many stages of putting together this fantastic piece of cinema. The film is presented in its theatrical release form but (sorry, there’s no extra 15 to 30 minutes added into the film off the cutting room floor), there is a special intro from the director and a director’s commentary track version that also features the production designer. The special features section offers featurettes that offer incredible insight to the thought process behind the production of this film.– Crowning a new King: details the introduction of The Black Panther character into the MCU and the significance of bringing him and his world to the big screen.
– The Hidden Kingdom Revealed: Touches on the fictional kingdom of Wakanda and how it was brought to life. It shows the intricate detail used to build this place while keeping it grounded in reality enough to make it feel like a place here on Earth instead of an alien world.
– The Warrior Within: Talks about the focus placed on the women of Wakanda and how important it was to show them in positions of power and reverence. There’s also a bit of background laid out about each of the women in central character roles and their relationship with King T’Challa.
– Wakanda Revealed: Technology is huge in the film, with Wakanda being the most technologically advanced nation in the world and all. This featurette shows how the technology of the African nation came to be in this movie and how important it is to the world of Black Panther.
There is also the obligatory gag reel that shows the stars of the film messing up lines, dropping things and saying things not written in the script. There’s nothing really noteworthy in this short piece of footage.
The deleted scenes are a small collection of five scenes that hit the cutting room floor. for various reasons. One scene touches on the Panther God Bast a bit more. In my review of Black Panther, I said that there should’ve been more mention of Bast as it’s an incredibly important part of the Black Panthers‘ mythos and the people of Wakandas’ spirituality. There’s a much talked about the scene where characters Okoye and W’Kabi argue over the future of Wakanda.
It is a fantastically acted scene but understandably omitted from the movies final cut. From Page to Screen is a roundtable discussion between the director (Ryan Coogler), the writers of the Black Panther film, as well as one of the original men who worked on the Black Panther comic at its inception and the current writer of the ongoing comic series for Black Panther. This one is by far my favorite extra as the group discusses how the character of the Black Panther came into existence, his significance at the time of his creation and the experiences of those who are helping to continue the legacy of the character today and what he means to them.
There is a sneak peek trailer for Ant-Man and The Wasp (which I’m extremely excited for as I loved the first in installment). As a last little tidbit, Marvel has provided a retrospective piece on the first 10 years of the MCU that covers just how we got from Iron-Man all the way to Avengers: Infinity War over the last 10 years of cinema. It speaks to the daunting task of connecting all of the seemingly singular films into one giant overarching story.
The overall presentation of the DVD/ Blu-ray is rather basic with the menus and things being pretty straightforward and humdrum. With most of the extras being cool to see without ever feeling outright necessary. The theatrical release of the film is on there and honestly is good enough on its own to justify the purchase of this home release. I recommend grabbing yourself a copy for your collection so you can watch Wakanda forever!
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm