Black Panther

Black Panther

Black Panther

Black Panther, the number one (1) box office movie for 2018, grossing to nearly $700million, is a Marvel studios creation. It is a superhero, comic book adaptation but what sets it apart from all the previous superhero movies are its predominantly black cast, an all-female royal guard and brilliant inventor/engineer who is also female. The timing of its launch was also epic, as it was during a climate where the future of the black community is questionable in American society. The movie is another remarkable creation that would leave you empowered and wanting a Black Panther Part 2.

The movie itself is of the Action/Adventure genre and it does not fail to deliver in this category. There is combat, a lot of brutal hand-to-hand combat which is also a requirement for being suitable for the throne. The country real country of ‘Wakanda’ is isolated, from the public with technological illusions that are impenetrable to all outsiders. The façade of Wakanda is portrayed as an impoverished land of farmers, with nothing valuable to offer, which is what the world expects Africa to be. Wakanda is fictional but its outlay is similar to that of Lesotho, an actual place in Africa that is surrounded by high mountains and where most of its villages can only be reached by a light aircraft or on horseback.

Current day Lesotho provides water to the rest of South Africa while the fictional Wakanda is rich in vibranium deposits that carries with it, immense power and technological advancements. Wakanda’s wealth cannot be made public because it will cause the entire world to erupt out of fear since Wakanda, a country that has nothing to offer, is ultimately more powerful than any country on the face of earth. The monarchy of Wakanda came up with the strategy to hide the vibranium from the rest of the world, lie about its wealth and ban all interaction with the outside world to keep all foreigners out. This way, no one will know about it and they can avoid the destruction of its country and keep the vibranium out of reach from the hands of those who lust for power.

Unfortunately, though, Wakanda can solve a lot of the world’s issues such as being hosts to refugees, halting the slave trade or curing illnesses. But in order to prevent the outside world from discovering its wealth and power, the monarchy of Wakanda focuses more on its security policies rather than concerning itself with human rights in other parts of the world. The Kingdom reigned for many years like this but as in everything else, good things usually come to an end. The movie was based on how the seeds it planted from the beginning, grew into a plant of that would cause its own destruction.

The superhero within the movie is the Black Panther, the ruler of Wakanda. Whoever ruled the Kingdom would gain the supernatural abilities of the Black Panther by drinking a “heart-shaped herb” that was affected by the vibranium which was stored in a meteorite that landed on Wakanda.

Ali’s Wedding

Ali’s Wedding

Ali’s Wedding

Ali’s Wedding is a tale about true events, portrayed as a romantic comedy about an Muslim-Iraqi boy living in Australia. It starts off with Ali riding a tractor through a vineyard while being chased by the police, which is the basis of the story, why was Ali on the tractor. This movie reveals the situation of immigrants who went through war and poverty before they settled in Australia, where the children were either required to study well and become doctors, or, if not, they become taxi drivers. Needless to say, you may have to watch the movie a second time to grasp that it is a true story and not a make-believe comedy.

There are many elements in this story that are important and still happening today. The first element is the society. Ali was clearly loved by his community as was his father who was the cleric at the mosque. However, pressured by society, Ali lied about scoring high on his entrance exam for Medical University and even agreed to an arranged marriage, informally. The lie caused him to attend Medical University, unenrolled, for an entire year and the latter situation almost cost him his true love. Throughout the entire movie, Ali was not sure about anything, except the fact that he was in-love with an Egyptian-Lebanese-Australian girl named Dianne.

In Muslim culture, it was frowned upon to have females mingle with boys and most girls were denied a proper education because of this. Dianne was brilliant in her studies, scoring the highest percentile in their community on the Medical University entrance exam. Ali, who was admired by all and expected to do well, scored the lowest in the community. Ali influenced the father of Dianne to send her to University, promising that he would keep an eye on her. They became close and did not want their relationship to be wrong in the eyes of God so they performed a temporary marriage for a stipulated time, unbeknownst to their family. This is a common occurrence in the Muslim world even today.

Dianne however, did not know that Ali would be engaged to another and Ali, not wanting to hurt his parents, he did not come out and tell them no. He mentioned Dianne indirectly to his mother but when she refused to see things Ali’s way, he dropped the topic and continued with the two relationships. Ali’s father composed a comedy-play centered around Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq who caused them to flee the country. The group got invited to the United States (US) to perform but as soon as they landed, they were interrogated and deported back to Australia. Feeling downtrodden because his plan to live in the US and send for Dianne, had failed, was increased when he arrived home to find that his lie had been revealed.

In addition to Ali having to apologize to the community, his secret affair with Dianne was exposed. I would not give away the rest of the movie but it is a refreshing movie, not based upon the violence and war that is happening in the Muslim world today.

Steven Spielberg First To Top $10 Billion

Steven Spielberg is one of the biggest directors of all times, duh, with many iconic movies he has directed. His latest out in theatres is Ready Play One and with its huge success, Spielberg became the first director to pass $10 billion at the box office. The overall gross is adjusted for inflation and the 32 films he has directed is for around four and a half million, but when you adjust that for inflation the $10 billion mark has been breached.

Spielberg may not be caught anytime soon, as his peers are well behind when you are talking about overall box office gross. Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, and James Cameron are the next top three earners and none is above $7 billion. However, Cameron may be catching up in the not too distant future with the Avatar sequels not far off. Cameron has directed nine movies and comes in at $6.1 million, but from Avatar and Titanic by themselves, they racked in a combined $4.9 billion.

Ready Player One is one of the top grossing movies of 2018 and one of the bigger ones Spielberg has made in over 10 years, as it approaches a worldwide gross of $500 million. His biggest movie of all time in terms of box office grosses was Jurassic Park, which took in nearly a billion dollars and that was 20 years ago.

Thirty Two Movies and Counting

Even with 32 movies under his belt Spielberg has no plans to slow down with a few movies in the works. He is working on the 5th instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise and a remake of the West Side Story (1961). Ready Player One had a huge opening in China and has been a big success even though Spielberg made some changes from the book the film was based on.

Spielberg’s current project is the new Indiana Jones movie, which will be the 5th one in the series. Harrison Ford is back again and production of the movie is slated for 2019. The 4th instalment in the series in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a pretty big hit at the box office, but critics and even fans did not receive the movie well. This will be Ford’s last foray into the Indiana Jones lore, as he will be hanging up his whip and fedora. In an interesting piece of info Spielberg has stated that the series may go on without Ford and that he may recast the lead role for a woman.

Summary

Spielberg has earned his success as the only $10 billion-dollar director and has been behind the lens for some of the most iconic movies of all time from E.T. to Jaws to The Color Purple and Schindler’s List. Many of his movies are classics and flops are not in his vocabulary. He is well ahead of his peers when it comes to box office grosses and with a whopping 32 movies, he has directed he will keep adding to that list in the future.