May 15th, 2023

I was off last week enjoying some time away in Europe, my happy place with a really good biddy from Germany. We went to a bucket list place for me of Portugal. In short, it was excellent, and lived up to all expectations. I would return to Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve areas. I had the benefit of many YouTube contributtions but was indebted to Netflix for the Somebody Feed Phil series which had an entire episode on Lisbon. The highlight was the Pont Final restaurant right on a jetty on the ocean. It was a very good meal at an excellent location that was one of a kind for a sunny day in May.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: So what do you do as a movie executive if you have released a hit movie, with many sequels and spin offs possible, and then all of a sudden your star of the film in real life dies? It’s not an easy choice. So many ways that the decision can go badly for you. The executive team at Marvel dealt with this situation when the lead of the original, popular Black Panther, Chadwick Aaron Boseman, passed away at the age of 43.

He was a charismatic guy, and along with challenger Michael B Jordan made the original a very watchable superhero film. As I have said many a time, I am generally not a superhero movie guy and less-so the Marvel series. I don’t find many of them compelling, even when it was one of the early superhero movie with Spiderman.

So to answer the question, one of the choices is to accept and incorporate the death into the movie. This was done thoughtfully, respectfully and tastefully with a couple of nice collages within the movie. As for the plot, there is also an amount of time to mourn the lost hero, with the family and the community. But like all things in life, the only constant is change. People move on, and families move on. It doesn’t mean that they forget. Black Panther’s Mom played by Angela Bassett takes the crown back and acts as Queen. She has her hands full because it turns out that the rest of the known world to you and I want to get there hands on the exclusive “vibranium” (or so it was thought).

It seems someone has created a vibranium detector, and there are aggressive moves made by other countries to obtain the mineral from Wakanda by force. It fails. But then things happen which take the film in two different directions. One dealing with the maker of this detection machine and the other around a new, previously unknown mystery entity. I will leave the details to the movie itself. There is a significant threat to Wakanda and the leaders look to find a new protector for the people. Ultimately I won’t quibble with the choice made and how it proceeds forward. Of course as a superhero movie there are moments of disbelief. I think that the performances were generally good. I also think that the music helped a great deal to bring forth some of the emotion. It has a heart this film. For the guy who doesn’t like most superhero movies, I didn’t hate it.

Succession: Final Season: I am one week behind in watching Succession, meaning that the May 14th episode I didn’t see yet. I caught up on the May 7th episode which dealt with the election night. With the father gone, the adult children are showing their limitations and vulnerability. Scheming and turning on each other and the staff who remained at the top with their father. Randall and Roman deal with the potential new acquirer, Matsson. Meanwhile sister Shiv is playing both sides in her professional life and in her personal life with her husband Tom. There is some compelling TV to be seen here. I anxiously await to see how it turns out. Great writing, really good acting. My favourite line in the episode is from Matsson to Greg, who he earlier calls Gary. He says “I thought you were backwash at the bottom of the gene pool…”. Priceless!