It is OK not to like “Black Panther”

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Image for post
Image — Marvel Studios

I will start this article by saying I have not seen Black Panther. Nor do I plan to see Black Panther. The merits of the film aren’t the focus of this article. Whether I have seen the movie or not is inconsequential here. It has nothing to do with racism, race wars, the cast, the story line — or anything else the Great Social Order(tm) deems to declare MY issue is with the movie.

I think Diane Venora’s character in the 1986 movie F/X said it best. “Nobody cares about making movies about people any more. All they care about is special effects.”

That is a topic for another article, though.

The elephant in the room isn’t my dislike of modern day digital-driven cinema. It is the fact that this film has become the centerpiece for a social phenomenon that is starting to get out of hand.

Fear-mongering.

For a country that prides itself on Freedom of Speech, diversity and equal opportunity it would seem that the ability to abstain from or (heaven forbid) not universally acclaim this film is met with immediate backlash, hate and persecution.

One of the few poor reviews commented that for a superhero film, there wasn’t a lot of beating up on bad guys. It was bashed. Again and again.

The point of contention wasn’t that the reviewer gave a negative review. The press was upset that the movie’s Rotten Tomato’s “perfect score” had somehow been “blighted”. That this person was too shallow to see the film for what it REALLY was — a departure from the tired Marvel theme.

Last I checked, the term “critic” was defined as “a person who judges the merits of literary, artistic, or musical works, especially one who does so professionally” or “a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something”. The guy was doing his job.

Anyone who doesn’t blanket coat Black Panther with praise gets pigeon-holed as a “cranky critic” or worse — up to and including racist. So much so, that negative reviewers are forced to preface their reviews (much like I had to do in this article) with a disclaimer.

“Opinions are like assholes,” my dad used to say. “Everyone has one, and most of them stink.”

Maybe so. But opinions don’t need justifications. If they did, they would be called “facts”.

We’re not allowed to dislike Black Panther. Turns out, we’re not allowed not to dislike Star Wars: The Last Jedi because if we do? We’re misogynists. Better not dislike Wonder Woman either.

Some people aren’t going to like CGI crap-fest superhero movies. Some aren’t going to enjoy watching their childhood nostalgia decimated one film at a time. Guess what? Some may not like a character because they were forced to be another nationality or gender that isn’t true to the origins.

Might be time to dig that expression up and banter it around a little bit. What do you say?

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I write, blog, record and review anything that interests me — including humanity, parenting, gizmos & gadgets, video games and media.

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