BLACK PANTHER – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

 
BLACK PANTHER – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange
 
It is hard to believe that any of you might not have seen this film yet based on ticket sales.  Actually, I know that at least a few of you haven't so here is a quick synopsis of the film!
 
Black Panther is the story of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the heir to the king of the African nation of Wakanda, but more, it is the story of a ruler and his beloved country that must wake up and step forward into the light of day, helping the people of this planet make our home a better place to live.  The film gives us a little of the backstory.  Wakanda has for decades kept a close eye on the major powers via a network of spies.
 
Spies?  That makes no sense to anyone who might not know the truth about Wakanda. As we find out about that backstory most of the audience in the theater with me sat with wide eyes and the occasional open mouth.
 
The events we witnessed would have repercussions for T'Challa and his people many years later…
 
When T'Challa successfully passes the test to ascend to the throne of Wakanda, his challenges are only beginning.  Helping him meet these challenges are his family and the royal guard.  His Mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his younger sister (and tech/science genius), Shuri (Letitia Wright) are his staunchest supporters and advisors.  The captain of the guard, Okoye (Danai Gurira) and T'Chala's love interest/master spy, Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), are also fierce champions of both their King and the country.  They each support their king as their conscience leads them to.
 
The action in this film is intense and exciting.  The characters are a large part of why this film has done so well.  Both heroes and villains are larger than life and watch-worthy.  They are well balanced with both sides performed by some of the best actors in the business.  Chadwick Boseman and the heroes are why we love movies.  On the other side of the coin, the villains led by Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger) and Andy Serkis have to be thanking the writers who gave them roles anyone in the business would have fought tooth-and-nail for.
 
Overall, this is a film worthy of watching again and again.  I think this has been proven by the ticket sales.  It is already the #3 highest grossing domestic film of all-time having eclipsed Titanic in early April, 2018!  And the film is currently the top-grossing superhero movie of all time at domestic box offices!
 
But now I get to talk about my favorite part of reviews of the home entertainment packages.  Whether I am given blu-ray, DVD, or digital HD versions, all have great extras to complement the film itself.
 
For Black Panther I received a digital HD copy.  While in the past digital HD releases have had fewer extras than the disks, that is changing on many new films.  Black Panther's digital HD release actually has MORE bonus features/extras than the disks!
 
When I get one of these films, whether in blu-ray or digital format, I watch all of the extras.  These bonuses take a lot of time to watch.  Wonderful minutes and hours learning more and more about the making of the film and most importantly, the thought that went into the decisions that made  the final product what it is.
 
From deleted scenes to featurettes where the filmmakers discuss various aspects of the film.  Some are eye-opening while others you might ask why they are there.  For Black Panther, I had several favorites.  First were the two differing travelogues, showing the old view of Wakanda as well as the new.  I can just see watching them on Saturday mornings as a kid.
 
Next was the discussion on the film with several of the writers from the comic book incarnation of the character and Ryan Coogler (Writer/Director), moderated by Nate Moore, the Executive Producer of the film.  Listening the a few generations of writers (the book has been hitting shelves for over fifty years) was very interesting.  I loved hearing Don McGregor talk about the early days of the comic and the groundbreaking they did bringing the character to life and watching it flourish.
 
The last of my favorites were the featurettes showing how they made some of the effects and scenes work.  These stories from behind the scenes always give me ideas and dreams that I hope to one day bring to my own filmmaking.
 
The least favorite of the extras for this release were the Gag Reel because they are cute but nothing we haven't seen over and over before.
 
Normally, the director's commentary of the film would be right up at the top of my list of favorite bonuses.  This one is good and I enjoyed listening to it but there were just too many other extras to choose from that were exceptional.
 
While I love the tactile feel of a disk and the way they look in my collection, Digital HD is becoming a great way to grow your film library.  Not only do you save space in your home but you can literally watch them wherever you can access the internet (provided you can get sufficient bandwidth). 
 
I have sat in building and hospital lobbies and watched films to pass the time while waiting on family and friends.  I have watched in many places I never expected to such as restaurants and coffee houses while taking breaks.  The software remembers where you were so you can watch them in pieces when your free time is at a premium.
 
However you decide, disk or Digital HAD, you will enjoy this film.  It is certainly one I am going to watch many times in the coming years!  (But don't be surprised if you ask and I tell you I also have the blu-ray of the film.  I am. after all, set in my ways and love the disks!)
 
 
 
Directed By:
 
  • Ryan Coogler
 
Cast:
 
  • Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke,  Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
 
Extras:
 
Blu-ray:
  •  Director’s Intro
  • From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion – Delve into the film’s making
  • Crowning of a New King – Explore the world of “Black Panther” in all its color and complexity
  • The Warriors Within – Get to know Wakanda’s women and the actors who portray them
  • The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Wakanda’s diverse people
  • Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology
  • Deleted Scenes
    • U.N. Meet and Greet
    • Okoye And W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda
    • T’Challa Remembers His Father
    • Voices from the Past
  • Gag Reel
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek at “Ant-Man and The Wasp”
  • Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe
  • Director’s Commentary
Digital HD:
  • From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion – Delve into the film’s making
  • Crowning of a New King – Explore the world of “Black Panther” in all its color and complexity
  • The Warriors Within – Get to know Wakanda’s women and the actors who portray them
  • The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Wakanda’s diverse people
  • Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology
  • Deleted Scenes
    • U.N. Meet and Greet
    • Okoye And W’Kabi Discuss the Future of Wakanda
    • T’Challa Remembers His Father
    • Voices from the Past
  • Gag Reel
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek at “Ant-Man and The Wasp”
  • Marvel Studios the First Ten Years: Connecting the Universe
  • Director’s Commentary
  • Play Movie with Director's Introduction
Digital Exclusives:
  • In World Wakanda Tourism Ads
    • Come to Wakanda “Before”
    • Come to Wakanda “After”
  • The Cast's Must-haves
  • Creating the Chase: An Inside Look at Black Panther's Car Chase Scene
 
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 134 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture
 
Release Date:
 
Digital HD
 
  • 05/08/2018
 
Blu-ray
 
  • 05/15/2018
 
Region:
 
  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Website:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • PG-13 (for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture)
 
Languages/Subtitles:
 
  • English SDH, French & Spanish
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • BRAND NEW
 
Selig Rating Scale:
 
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target
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