It has taken me a while to write a review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) because I find myself getting stuck on what I want to say. I watched the film opening day on November 11, and instantly thought it was such a deep and culturally impactful film. Most times I can formulate my thoughts on a movie and convey them with ease. However, with Wakanda Forever, there is an immense number of layers and weight that surround the film as a whole.
Being a sequel to the critically acclaimed Black Panther (2016), the movie needs to effectively build on the last film and evolve the world of Wakanda and its lively characters, while also managing to live up to the massive expectation put in place by the last installment.
Furthermore, Wakanda Forever must also fit within the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, that has started to become more and more critiqued post Avengers: Endgame (2019). Most fans seem to be unsatisfied with many of the newer MCU films and television series. While I agree with many of the critiques regarding the MCU formula growing stagnant and stale, I find many of these people who are critiquing Phase 4 of the MCU to perpetuate hateful ideologies. For instance, it seems many of these “fans” that hate She-Hulk (2022) and Ms. Marvel (2022) are actually just toxic men who are irrationally angry and criticize the show for baseless reasons. This increase in toxicity within the MCU fandom discourse has bleed into Wakanda Forever. Much of this toxic hate stems from problematic views surrounding underrepresented minority groups such as the LGBTQIA2S+ community, women, and people of colour. Therefore, a film like Wakanda Forever, that prominently features each of these communities will be targeted with unwarranted hate.
Additionally, amid the challenges COVID-19 presented to the film industry, Wakanda Forever also had to navigate through controversy surrounding lead actress Letitia Wright’s alleged anti-vax position.
And finally, the heartbreaking passing of Chadwick Boseman who played King T’Challa, the Black Panther deeply impacted the production of this film. Originally, the movie was written around Boseman and his depiction of the Black Panther. But, after Boseman’s tragic death, Ryan Coogler, the writer and director of Wakanda Forever had to completely rework the film to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, and address the absence of T’Challa from the story.
Personally, all these factors wrapped Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) in layers of complications that had me worried. However, I am greatly happy to say that this film not only lives up to the first film, but in my opinion surpasses it.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) is able to achieve this by continuing to explore many of the themes that underlie Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most, if not all of Phase 4 has been touching on the grief that many characters possess because of the personal losses they experience (ie: Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision, Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home), the pressure a superhero legacy inflicts on the individual (ie: Sam Wilson in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and shared trauma within a community (ie: Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk). Wakanda Forever, thematically explores each of these elements. This is on display in the profound conversations the main antagonist Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta Mejía has with other characters. Namor can serve as a foil to our heroes while also challenging their beliefs around grief, legacy, and shared trauma, which solidifies him as one of the best antagonists in an MCU film. This exploration of themes the MCU explored in Phase 4 makes Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) a beautiful conclusion to this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This film also features some of the most breathtaking visuals and settings in the MCU. Since audiences were introduced to Wakanda in the first movie, it has gone on to become an important cultural moment in film history. Practically everyone knows the “Wakanda Forever” salute. And many people can now recognize the iconography of Wakanda. With all this in mind, it was absolutely amazing to witness the sequel able to effectively deepen audiences’ connection to Wakanda by exploring more of their culture. Moreover, this film introduces a whole separate culture with the underwater kingdom of Talokan, and their radical leader Namor. Their society and culture are given an immense amount of development which strengthens these two warring nations conflict.
This film was essentially a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, and the palpable sense of loss the black community, MCU fans, and his friends and family experienced. Therefore, the cast had to provide some of the most powerful performances I have ever seen. The character interaction between Letitia Wright as Princess Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, and Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda were all massive highlights.
Overall, the film was brilliant! Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) had the impossible task of making a movie that could live up to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman. I personally thought that the cast and crew did a fantastic job, and I loved every second of the movie.
For this mini assignment, I struggled trying to figure out what to create a gif about. I debated whether or not to make one about a video game, but thought it would be super generic. I could do one about a superhero, but those exist everywhere online. I scoured my iPhone’s camera roll looking for a batch of photos I could make a gif out of, which led me to what you see below.
Thanks to the TikTok algorithm, I have recently developed an obsession with orange cats. Prior to my brainwashing I was a firm cat hater. Me and my girlfriend would playfully fight over whether dogs or cats were better. Around the peak of our bickering over this topic, we encountered this beautiful orange cat on a walk. I held the preconceived notion that cats were apprehensive or unfriendly towards strangers. But this cat was one of the most affectionate creatures I have ever met! They instantly approached me and my girlfriend and started letting us pet them.
Of course me and my girlfriend had to snap some pictures with our new friend. The gif you see below is from my little photo shoot with the adorable cat we named Rochester.
Knitting After Hours is a fantastic blog by Lily that is centered around the creator’s interests such as cooking and knitting. The About Me page eloquently captures the tone and subject matter of the titular blog. However, one aspect I would like to pay great attention to is the personal anecdotes Lily articulates. These personal details are a great touch that effectively conveys the personality behind the Knitting After Hours blog to the audience. Additionally, this personal approach lends credence to the assertions of Tom Critchlow in regard to digital gardening. For example, as cited in our Tanya Basu course reading: “with blogging, you’re talking to a large audience,” he says. “With digital gardening, you’re talking to yourself. You focus on what you want to cultivate over time” (Basu, 2020). Knitting After Hours captures the sense of a digital garden that Lily is fostering for both them and their larger audience. This is exemplified on the About Me page when Lily outlines how cooking and knitting helps them stay focused when conducting their academic responsibilities. It can be inferred that Lily wants to strive to achieve a better schoolwork ethic since it is mentioned on their About Me page that they “put off” assignments and readings. Thus cooking and knitting are great outlets to promote a better work ethic. This instance showcases how these interests help instill balance in their life. Therefore, Knitting After Hours serves as a digital garden that Lily can use to help cultivate better improvements in their life.
Basu, T. (2020). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/
Within the prompt of this week’s process post, I will evaluate it from the standpoint of a creator and a user.
Analytics have proved to be very useful for many to strategically develop engaging content to share. Back when I was active on my fan Instagram account I would use the analytics to discern that 12pm was the best time to post. Additionally, I was able to garner from engagement data that 6 images in a collage worked best for my theme. However, when I was working my co-op jobs as a digital marketing assistant — analytics rarely factored into any actionable strategies. What usually happened was that analytics were just to be reported to the bosses. Personally, I find analytics to be an insightful tool, however it should not inform everything a content creator does.
On the other hand, when it comes to my experience as an end user — analytics about me cause anxiety. It is a modern dilemma amid the digital age — that everything we do is trackable and is providing data to various companies. I find myself outraged when I come across toxic social media posts in my feeds. I ask myself: why is the algorithm showing me this? I subsequently block these accounts, however I fear that going threw that extra step to block toxic social media accounts is actually feeding the algorithms to show me more of these types of content. Additionally, I am a very private person, so it is always stressful visiting sites and handing out my personal information. I recognize that this is the digital world we live in, but it is definitely tiresome and even worrisome.
Within the prompt of this mini assignment, I have created this infographic to illustrate my online self.
It was very easy to discern that YouTube takes up most of my online usage. Even when I am doing something I always have a YouTube video on in the background.
Social media was also very easy to identify as a major time consumer when online. Platforms like Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram are always being checked. Whenever I bored the first thing I do is check social media. Worse then that, the first thing I do when I wake up is go on social media.
Next was gaming. I am an avid gamer so this was a no-brainer. In my free time I will usually be playing a multiplayer game like Destiny 2, League of Legends, Valorant, etc.
Penultimately, movie and television streaming services come up next. Admittedly, this use to be much higher; but in recent years my usage of streaming services like Netflix have dwindled. I mostly just use them to watch new episodes of shows. I rarely binge watch anymore.
Finally, web browsing is an all encompassing umbrella for general internet usage. Whether this be online shopping, researching something, etc.
Here is my Mini Assignment 4 – Remix Something.
Please enjoy this video of League of Legends gameplay that I remixed into an epic gameplay montage. I found some cool free music and decided to add that in too.
I really like the last clip where I rekt my girlfriend in a 1v1:)
This was the week our essays were due so I thought I would lend this process post to that whole process. The assignment prompt was: “social media platforms are democratic“.
Please read the essay here: http://sus-e.com/home/essay-one-are-social-media-platforms-democratic/
I approached this essay from the perspective of someone who is involved in the dissemination of social media content. Very rarely do I create or curate social media content so this was the best lens to analyze the assignment through.
I subsequently took a look at current events so that I could have tangible examples to share. The ones I outlined in my essay are Donald Trump’s social media communications, Kanye West antisemitic social media statements, Elon Musk buying Twitter and all the harassment he fosters towards other individuals, and the murder of Mahsa Amini in Iran. Please read the essay to see how I stitched these current events into my argument.
The research process was very smooth. I used the catalogue search in the SFU Library website to find my sources. I also used articles from news outlets to supplement the scholarly articles.
All in all the writing of the essay went very well. The writing prompt was great to work with so I had many thoughts that spilled onto the Word document.
The biggest hiccup I had was when I tried to post my essay to my website. Around 11:51pm, I went to add the essay to the website, but for some reason when trying to publish the post the website would stop working. I tried again three times but nothing happened! It was around 12:02am now so I missed the November 8th due date. As someone who struggles with severe anxiety, I instantly panicked and contacted the TA and professor to alert them to my issue. However, I then tried switching to a different computer at my house and was able to post the essay to my website. I suspect something happened within the cached data on my laptop. I do all the work for this course on that laptop so I had no reason to suspect it would not work when I tried to post.
So, my essay was posted 8 minutes late; hopefully I don’t get penalized for this unforeseen circumstance.