My snobbishness as a writer is showing. Before I get to it, though, some background: Got into a heated debate recently with friends on facebook about the Wonder Woman movie. Namely, I was arguing about the merits of the movie’s writing over the milestone that it was and the intrinsic value it had for fans and women in PARTICULAR particular.
Now I’m flash-backing to that debate as I read this article about the up coming Black Panther movie.
To be clear, I’m THAT guy. Who, when he yells at the movie screen “No! Don’t do that!” isn’t talking to the people on screen doing stupid shit. No, I’m talking to the screen writer doing stupid shit. I’m yelling at them for lazy writing, or clinched writing, or falling upon an old trick to get out of a corner in the story, or plot holes, or etc.
I’m also that guy who will compleetly buy into a ridiculous premise like people wearing tights to fight crime after being bitten by an animal/exposed to powers bestowing goop/had their parents murdered in front of them but then groan at the unrealistic use of a weapon or some other small detail that completely breaks the spell for me. (Like female assassins fighting in stiletto heels. COME THE FUCK ON!)
So when Wonder Woman relied on the love of a man to give her that extra boost she needed to kick the villain’s ass, I cried FOUL! at the top of my lungs. It was stupid & sexist. And I received a resounding clapback: would I have applied the same critique towards a male super hero movie, & I do I not see the importance that this movie as made at all? My answer to both is yes. I’m a writerly snob. (Yet I’m writing a genre piece, with Lazarus Walks, I know, I know. Go figure.)
This Black Panther movie? My GOD, it looks good. (His introduction in Civil War wasn’t no half-assed affair, neither.) One of my favorite comics as a kid is hitting the big screen and it looks like they’re firing on all cylinders. When I saw, from the trailer it was set in Wakanda, I had some reservations: read the old comics and their are cringey moments that seem now to be tacky; seem to be written through the American lens of what Africa is. But it looks like, from my limited white perspective, they’re nailing it.
So, that old litany, that old prayer, that mantra that we tend to whisper: Please be good, please be good, please be good? I’m updating it to be: Please be great, please be amazing, please be everything you are setting out to be.