Black Panther Will Be A Hit, Don't Worry

Black Panther Will Be A Hit, Don't Worry

"Black Panther" is not in any danger of bombing, nor should it be seen as a race-based film - it's really just an MCU movie.
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After his debut in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, the hype was built for the upcoming Black Panther solo film. From the first trailer, the movie gathered a ton of press and overwhemingly positive fan reactions. And it totally should – the movie is about one of Marvel's famous heroes, as well as being the first mainstream post Iron Man superhero movie to have a black lead (2015's Fantastic Four was more about Reed Richards than it was Johnny Storm). Many have said that everybody should go out and see it so it'll make enough money for Marvel and Hollywood in general to make more nonwhite superhero movies. But in reality, movements for people to go see the film are missing a major point – no matter what, Black Panther is going to be a hit, and contrary to the movements, nonwhite superhero movies are in no danger.

The character himself first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. Created by the “dream team” of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther was an instant hit, and appeared in several more titles before getting his own series in the 1970s, but it was canceled after 15 issues. There would be several other volumes of the title, and the character would appear in other comics (the current ongoing comic is really good, I highly recommend it). During the 1990s and early 2000s, a film adaptation was in the works, though it would be canceled then put back on repeatedly, not unlike Wonder Woman's failed film adaptations before the blockbuster last year. Once the Marvel Cinematic Universe was proven to be a hit and the rights to the character were confirmed to be owned by Marvel, due to his Fantastic Four history, talks began on making a solo film for the MCU. Avengers: Age of Ultron introduced his homeland of Wakanda, and villain Ulysses Klaue, and by fall 2015, Chadwick Boseman was cast in the role, to appear in Captain America: Civil War, which would introduce both Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU. The solo film was announced as well, and production began, bringing us to now, a mere weeks away.

Now, as stated earlier, I do not think it really matters if people of any race go see the film. Yes, representation is important, and kids of all backgrounds should be able to see themselves in a movie (within reason, don't add diversity for the sake of doing it). However, at the core, Black Panther is not a movie made for the purpose of being a black-led superhero movie, it's really just the last movie before Infinity War, and will likely be setting up the reunion of Captain America and Iron Man, as well as continue off the story from Civil War. It's a Marvel movie, and a Marvel movie coming out during a pretty slow month for moviegoing anyway. Add in the Infinity War hype and the possibility that we could see the last of the Infinity Stones in the film, and it's a guaranteed hit. There is nothing to worry about over the movie making money or even getting good reviews – because if a movie gets negative reviews, it's not a big deal, I mean come on, they're making at least four Harley Quinn movies to spin off of Suicide Squad. Then again, this is an MCU film and there hasn't been one that got anything less than a 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, not counting television projects like Iron Fist and Inhumans. This is a company that made a movie about a talking tree and raccoon teaming up with aliens to save the universe, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter who the hero is, the movie will make a massive profit for the company.

Regardless of how Black Panther does, there will be more superhero movies starring minority leads. The upcoming Spawn reboot focuses on a black hero, though I wouldn't say Spawn is a great movie to bring the kids to. We have shows in production like Black Lightening and rumors circulate about a possible Blade reboot within the MCU. While his solo film was taken off the main calendar due to production issues, DC has not ruled out doing a Cyborg movie after Flashpoint (which may just act as a reset for the DCEU anyway). Marvel's own Captain Marvel may lead the way to a Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel project, and Sony Animation is releasing the Miles Morales Spider-Man movie, Edge of Spider-Verse this winter. Of course, we would see more with the success of Black Panther, but even still, there are still plenty of media projects lined up. I'm not opposed either to casting a nonwhite actor in a role that's based on a white character – Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four, for example, was a great casting choice, but they removed the family and we're-all-relatives aspect of the team by just saying Susan Storm was adopted, thus changing the dynamic of their relationship. But as I said, Hollywood is working on more films and television shows, and even if in the off chance the film bombs (it's MCU so it won't), they're not going to stop.

I get why people are excited for the movie. We haven't seen a major superhero movie like it since the last Blade movie. I'm hyped too, because I like the character. But we need to stop thinking it might fail, and we have to be honest. If it's not good, it's not good. Nothing wrong with that, look at the Thor movies – the first one was good, second was passable, and I still haven't seen the third but it's getting great review; the Wolverine trilogy was bad, alright, and amazing. Granted, this is an MCU movie. It's going to make the money, it's going to be a major hit, and people are going to love it, regardless of race. If a white kid wants to see it and dress up as Black Panther for Halloween, let them. If a black kid prefers Ant-Man, that's fine too. Forcing people to see and like a film because of the content only ruins the overall experience. Rumors say the first cut is four hours, and that's going to be cut down to two or under – most movies are like that, it's just how it works. So just let the movie come out, make almost a billion dollars, and wait until after Phase 3 ends for the sequel. Because knowing Marvel, he's getting another film and will replace one of the Avengers going forward. At least, we'll have to see Infinity War first.

Cover Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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