2023 Just Another Film Blog Awards

It’s once again time for the Oscars. In 2019 I decided to start my own film awards the JAFB Awards and I received an overwhelming response! So, I am very happy to share with you the winners of The JABF Awards 2023. You should probably know that I my issue with the Oscars is their lack of diversity not just in gender, race and background but in genre - I give awards to the films I enjoyed over the past year, most of which are popular movies.  2023 was a huge year for film, the first year post covid where all films scheduled to release at the cinema did so. It was a huge year for franchises and superhero movies however this success is not reflected in the Oscar nominations - not that I'm surprised. Diversity wise the Oscars is making no huge moves to change, with most nominations and awards going to white males in general - the majority of the best picture nominations feature male leads and no female directors have been nominated. The Oscars year on year highlight the lack of equalit

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

After Chadwick Boseman's devastating passing in 2020, it seemed impossible to continue with his MCU character Black Panther especially when he brought so much to the role. Yet miraculously Marvel, Director and writer Ryan Coogler, the cast and the crew have managed to create a sequel to 2018's Black Panther that honours both Chadwick Boseman and his character T'Challa/Black Panther. Thank you to Disney for inviting me to the Multimedia screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever last night in London, the experience of and the energy in the cinema was electric and so reflected the impact left on the MCU and fans by Boseman. In short Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a worthy sequel, full of raw emotion and fantastic characters. Although the film length at two hours forty-five minutes lags at times, not many films have the ability to bring you to tears, clap and even cheer but Wakanda Forever does just that. Read on for my full review!

Minor Spoilers beyond this point. 
Set after Avengers: Endgame (2019), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens with an off-screen T'Challa battling an unknown illness, which claims his life whilst Shuri (Letitia Wright) frantically works on an antidote. The film takes it's time to mourning T'Challa, to Mourn and Honour Boseman, with the opening fanfare dedicated to him. The aftermath of the Kings death is felt across Wakanda, with T'Challa's mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) filling her son's shoes as Queen whilst Shuri hides in a lab designing and building new technology. Although their grief is consuming, other nations zero in on Vibranium, wishing to claim Wakanda's resources, which awakens a new foe: Namor (Tenoch Huerta). With the power Namor commands, Wakanda without their Black Panther protector struggles to deal with the new threat. The film introduces the brilliant newcomer Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) and brings back favourites from Black Panther including Okoye (Danai Gurira) who gets an expanded role beyond head of the Dora Milaje. With M'Baku (Winston Duke), Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) rounding out the cast. Whilst no scene feels out of place, the narrative at times does lag in an unexplainable way. The action, emotion and laughs are well placed, brilliantly timed with not a moment going on too long, but the nearly three-hour long film lacks the compact snappy narrative of the first film. 
In this lengthy film, each character is given their moments to shine, none more so than Shuri and Ramonda. Angela Bassett commands every moment she is on screen, a real force to be reckoned with. Bassetts outstanding performance is matched by Letitia Wright, whose raw, emotional performance provides the very heart of the film. Wright expands Shuri's character, showing the audience new depth and facets to her personality. Both actresses step up to the plate, as worthy leads, brilliantly capturing the audience with career defining performances. Whilst Tenoch Huerta may be new to the MCU his performance is faultless, Namor overcomes the MCU one-dimensional villain troupe, giving us a compelling character, who at times can be sympathised with. The brutality of his life and his beliefs are shocking, but the secrecy of his people is not unlike that of the Wakandans when they were introduced. Character wise Wakanda Forever highlights its powerful three-dimensional female characters, brilliantly bringing them to the very centre of the narrative to fill T'Challa's place where it could have been so easy to instal a male lead instead. 
Once again Ryan Coogler produces a visual feast to accompany the stella cast performances. His use of slow-motion action shots, pans, reveals and cuts give the cinematography a different feel too other MCU films, in a defining way. Although for me there was no one shot as singularly as great as the upside-down spin from Black Panther, rather this time each shot flows perfectly to the next to create a seamlessly impressive visual experience. Each shot is full to the brim with props, imposing and impressive sets and expressive costumes. There are a few CGI moments that feel a little rushed in their production, but that does not detract from the experience, nor does it negate the skill nor impressive visuals. Music plays an integral role, with a soundtrack by various artists combing perfectly with Ludwig Goransson score to heighten emotional moments whilst giving an edge to action sequences. There are some stand out moments, one of which I do not wish to spoil, but the cheers and clapping in my screening when the new Black Panther was revealed was electrifying, a cinema experience that I have only been lucky enough to be part of on a handful of occasions. 
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a triumph, a perfect dedication to the man that gave us so much of his talent. It would have been so easy for this film to feel flat, centreless, lost however it sores in every aspect. It retains the political and historical undertones of the first film, it breaks audiences with very real emotions, those that have lost family will find this a particularly relatable watch. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is easily the best MCU film of the year and should stand as the foundation for the future of the MCU. The MCU has another Black Panther, one that will be at the very centre of the Avengers team for years to come. Wakanda Forever!!

Please leave a comment below - and remember Marvel fans stay for the credits (There is one after credits scene). 

Thank you for reading xx 


  1. Anonymous10/11/22

    Thankyou for your review ,just enough background information to make me want to see the movie , I’m really looking forward to it now and have booked my tickets 😀


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