Friday, February 16, 2018
That may not sound like bad news but I bought into the hype. When the critics’ commentaries started rolling in, they were stellar. Words like “masterpiece” were generously used. As much as I tried to not let that influence me, it did.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie and am excited about the potential of these characters and what they bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and it is the characters that make this movie shine.
Like Nolan’s Batman movies, Black Panther has such a deep bench of interesting players, one can almost forget who has the center seat.
First among them is Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. I maintain that every successful movie has a bad guy that you are kind of rooting for, and Jordan brings this in spades. Killmonger’s charisma spills over in every scene. Though corrupted, his agenda has a moral arc that pulls at your sympathies.
Then there is the Black Panther’s posse. One of the many enjoyable aspects of this movie is how much he relies on his team. He is not the smartest in the room, that position goes to his sister Shuri, who is much like Q from the Bond movies. She keeps T’Challa equipped with the best gadgets Wakanda has to offer.
Nor is T’Challa the greatest warrior. That title seems to fall to the captain of his guard, Okoye. She and her troops out Amazon Wonder Woman’s Amazons. I was riveted by the tension she created when wrestling with to what degree her duty to the king of Wakanda outweighed her duty to its people.
Nakia, who has T’Challa’s heart, serves as his conscience. She has left the safety and security of Wakanda to be of service to the needy in the world at large. Throughout the story, she prods the Black Panther to consider serving the whole of humanity.
Beyond that, there are a number of minor characters but none of them are throwaways. Each adds pertinent puzzle pieces to the story which provides a rich tapestry.
So you may be wondering about the lead character. Chadwick Boseman brings the gravitas of a monarch. He is the King and you never doubt it. Beyond that, he has a moral compass that does not flinch. He is the leader in whom you put your confidence. The Black Panther is similar to Captain America in that sense, but with clear differences. He is not a boy scout and he is not a soldier. He is the ruler of a nation, perhaps more comparable to King Arthur. He does not have the luxury of being an individual, he belongs to his people.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe closes its first decade and starts another, I see the Black Panther and his supporting characters being at the foundation of where they go next. This was a good start, but I suspect the best is yet to come.
This review originally appeared at Salt Lake Film Review.
Posted by Andrew at 9:55 PM
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Disc Golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States right now. There are over 2500 courses in America, so odds are you live fairly close to one or more.
I talked about the various benefits of Disc Golf in a previous blog, but to sum it up - Disc Golf is inexpensive, social, and gets the body moving.
I have to say that the game is less social for me than it used to be. I play A LOT and I have not joined up with the local league yet, so most of the time I am throwing by myself. This is fine for me though. I play a podcast or some music and I am totally Zen for a little over an hour. If you want it to be social, you can most likely hook up with a local club.
UDisc on your phone. It is a Disc Golf app that will keep and track all of your data regarding scores. However, most important for starting out is that, using GPS, it will show you the location of all of your local courses. One more click and it will transfer you to Google maps to take you there. It can also, usually, give you a map of the course. I love UDisc because it finds courses for me when I am out of state. The free version of UDisc will give you all you need to get started.
Next, we need to get you some discs. There is a lot of opinion about what discs to start with but, honestly, I don't think it matters much. Your throw will be pretty raw and inconsistent in the beginning so one disc will be as good as the next.
starter pack from Discraft. It will give you one putter, one mid-range, and two drivers. It also includes a bag which will hold about 8 discs and a water bottle. Amazon usually sells them for under 40 bucks, which is a good price... and about what one round with a cart would cost you at a ball golf course.
Those first four discs will teach you a lot about your throw and disc behavior. Once you notice that you start selecting one driver over another for certain throws, you are probably ready to start adding a few more discs to your collection. Each disc has a tendency towards certain behaviors. As your throw becomes more consistent, you can begin to rely on getting certain behaviors out of certain discs.
Let me know how it goes!
Posted by Andrew at 10:17 PM