Black Panther

I watch and talk about cinema 12 hours out of any given day, minus time spent sleeping or reading comics, but I don't really use this site to write about it. On a few levels I feel that I should talk about "Black Panther" though. So here we go...


Since it was announced to the regular public, people who weren't really big on comic book movies prior to the announcement, and the appearance he character made in "Captain America: Civil War" the thing that was talked about the most when it came to the character of Black Panther and the development on a film was just "Black!" Everyone was either excited over or pissed about the fact that we'd be getting a Black superhero, forgetting about or ignoring, regardless how you felt about them, 1997's "Steel" and 1999's "Blade"; the latter being a Marvel property, something that a lot of people, even today, don't realize. Then everyone found out that Black Panther wasn't just "a nigga from the hood" but rather a king from a country in Africa, and the "Black" aspect just exploded even more. Then the casting surfaced, 98% African-American cast, and a Black director! Even more excitement or anger. The former, rightfully so; it was amazing.

And this is where the issues that I had started to arise. I won't lie and say I've been a comic book reader my entire life, I've read one single issue of a comic book in my life pre-2014. But I have paid attention to them closely via cartoons and films. Black Panther has been a thing I've been aware of since about 2011 when the Marvel cartoon series that aired on BET was released on Netflix, and as with everything I do my Googles when I find something new, so I had some knowledge on Black Panther for several years now. I bring that up to say that there was a lot of information about Black Panther that the general public was missing or overlooking other than the fact that he was simply an African king; but this seemed to be the only reason that the film was being supported, or hated. I have an issue with that. And the over hyping of the film based solely on this is, on top of being annoying as shit for me personally, I think is an issue for the future of the newcomers to the comic book movie fandom. I can go on about this for a long time; that's the base, let's get to the film.


I went into this as a comic book and comic book movie fan viewing it as a comic book movie, not a Black comic book movie, that was apart of the great Marvel Cinematic Universe. BUT! I will not say that the "Blackness" of this film wasn't a big part of why it was a good film. It played a big part in the film while also not making a mockery of itself, and I have to give that to Ryan Coogler. I've never read a Black Panther comic but knowing that the character and the early stories were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, two Jewish men, for all the great they done and created in the comic world, I'll never take anything away from them, I'm sure some of the early content would have me giving the books a screw face because of some of the content. (Maybe I'll come buy and read a few old Jungle Action comics in the future.) But Ryan Coogler's involvement, as director, in this film had to be a big part of why the Blackness of the film worked; along with the help of the cast.

The opening scene, which I won't spoil for someone who may be reading this that hasn't watched the film yet was HUGE for me and everyone in the screening I was in; with all the other shit that people applaud for in films, this was one time where I was okay with the loud cheering and applause. And I credit that to Ryan Coogler as well. I wonder if he had to fight for that. It was only 5 seconds, not even a whole scene, just the lead in to the scene and some setup, but it was just that big.

Jokes. I don't think there should be a superhero comic book film with zero comedy in it, that would just for a boring experience. But I will say that there was a little too many "jokes" in this film, although they were never not funny. A few of them I would have hated in other films, but the placement of them and the delivery from the actors made them work here. Just took many.

The villain worked well in this film. Well, one of them. Michael B Jordan? Great. Andy Serkis? Not bad, but annoying, but kinda fun. The story for the main villain worked very well and made for a good story within the story of Black Panther's. The issues that I had with the presentation of Michael B. Jordan in the trailers of the film was resolved in the movie, and his portrayal of how they wrote the character was great. Dude is just dope. (Let's hope "Creed 2" is good.) I can't say too much more without spoiling the film.

GCI is something that I was afraid of from the release of the teaser trailer early last year, and in a way that fear wasn't eased. Wakanda looked great. Anything that was shot on location and was green screened in looked good. They didn't overdo it and the Wakandan technology (vehicles, buildings, weapons, etc.) looked good. But my only issue was the in suit fight scenes. Again, the on location stuff was good, suited characters fighting regular people was nice, but when you put two people in a suit fighting each other in a CGI scene, where I feel the actual characters become CGI renders as well, I didn't like it; one scene in particular.

I'm not being on wardrobe enough to get into detail on it, but it was done well. We seen a lot of it in the trailers so knew what we were going to see, but the new things that popped up throughout the film were just a dope.

The fight choreography was done well as well. They didn't go just go for "kung fu" fighting for everything, and I can't say whether or not they were based on traditional African arts because again an area I'm not very familiar with, but it did seem like everyone one had very different and unique fighting styles. The only issue I had with the fighting was Lupita Nyong'o's fighting. She can act her as off, I've always liked her as an actress, but maybe she's just not very "fighty". I felt they should have brought in a stunt double for some of her fight scenes.

The story. It's connected to the MCU in a couple of ways, but it also stands on it's own as a film. If you've never watched a Marvel Studios film and have no idea of the overarching story that connects everything, you won't have to worry about that with this. Yes, we get characters from the MCU in this film but you don't have to know anything about any of them or anything else to enjoy the film. The Black Panther and T'Challa part of the story is real good and works to develop what we should see of Black Panther in future films as he joins (again) the greater MCU. There's no origin outside of flashback from what you seen in "Captain America" Civil War"; they get right to Black Panthering. I've mentioned that the villain that Michael B. Jordan played (I haven't mentioned him by name for spoiler reasons) has a story that really worked for a villain backstory as well as to progress the T'Challa story. There are some political and humanity issues tackled in the film as well, which I'm sure everyone was expecting to see. Let's see how that last scene (not the post credit scene, yes, of course there's one) plays into future films.

Overall, as I told my daughter because we rate films with each other, I'd give "Black Panther" a 8 out of 10 based on the things I didn't like; too many jokes, too much CGI, and Andy Serkis (although I did enjoy him). It's worth going to check out for comic book fans, comic book movie fans, and just anyone looking to see something Black done right (instead of Tyler Perry and Kevin Hart films). And let's hope that all of the things that I want to happen in the next one or two sequels happen. I got some ideas Marvel; y'all already did them in the comics, just bring them to the films.

Wakanda Fo---

Nah... I'm not doing it.

Weekend Of Lights

The beginning of the year started off promising, then went to shit with the same promises I was excited for. But it picked up again.

This weekend (Saturday) I had a collaborative shoot with a photographer I met through Instagram (@spacensnapshots), which ended up being at the same location where the homie was going to be some a few friends; so we all got together to shoot one another. 

Sunday night was supposed to be my second trip to the Sonic Runway with someone I've been trying to get together with and shoot for almost a year now, but at the last minute they pulled out and it didn't happen... But both Vy and Aleks were down to go out and shoot at the Runway, so we all got together again. This time I met two other photographers out of San Jose (@rjayrivera and @pjcanaveral on Instagram) who were down to come through the next meet-ups we plan. So a possible crew is forming. Maybe, maybe not, just sounded cool to say. 

 So here are a couple of shots from the weekend. I'm editing these slowly for some reason, so there might be more to come in the next few days.

Let's Schedule Some Shooting For 2018!

I didn't do as much shooting as I wanted to do in 2017. I want to do a little more next year, so I'm putting out the call to schedule shoots for 2018 now.

The plan is to do scheduling in 3 month blocks. So right now I want to start scheduling for January, February and March. The last week or two in February I'll start scheduling for April, May, and June, and so on.

With that said, every Saturday and Sunday is available to shooting, as well as March 29th (Thursday) from noon to 10:00PM. So if you're interested in shooting with me in 2018 send me an email and we can work out the details.

Also, there will be some traveling happening next year, so I will post updates with that information if I have some time during those trips to schedule shoots.

Looking forward to shooting with some new people, so send in those emails.


Over the past three years podcasts have been a big part of my downtime and time at work. Started with a co-worker giving me a copy of podcast about the Jesus and the creation of the universe by Haterazzi (currently unavailable, but I think I have it laying around somewhere if you're interested). That got me searching for more podcasts and I ended up a dedicated listener of The Brilliant Idiots and The Combat Jack Show; the first I've completely stopped listening to, the latter I pick and choose based on the guests. Since then my catalog of podcasts have expanded through all podcast genres, and I like suggesting podcasts to people I think might like certain things, so I decided to put together a list of my current and favorite podcast. Hopefully you find something here that you like.

A lot of these are Australian podcasts.
(Podcast titles are linked to their respective RSS feeds, not websites.)

  • The Weekly Planet
    Mr. Sunday Movies and Nick Mason give you all of the comic book movie news, movie reviews, and some great rambling.
  • Do Go On
    Dave, Mat, and Jess (a.k.a. Bop), three Australian comedians, do weekly book reports for each other, and you, on a lot of very interesting topics. Great podcast if you want to have people looking at you crazy for laughing to yourself in public.
  • Ranger Danger
    Yes, Power Rangers! The number one podcasts dedicated to watching and talking about every episode of the greatest television show in the world. Mat and Michael have dedicated their lives to Power Rangers and it makes for a great podcast.
  • Super Sentai Brothers
    You can't have a Power Rangers podcast in your podcast feed and not have a Super Sentai podcast as well, and these guys are the American brothers to Australian Mat And Michael over at Ranger Danger. Mat and Dave, sit and watch entire seasons of Super Sentai series and discuss them with each other and the listeners.
  • Drink Champs
    Legendary rapper, N.O.R.E. along with his partner DJ EFN sit down with some of Hip Hop's greatest artists, get them drunk, and converse with them. Make some noise!
  • Handsome Rambler
    Who'd thought Hannibal Burese would have one of the best podcasts from a comedian? He's interviewed Chris Rock, DJ Premiere, Nai Palm, Jean Grae and more.
  • The Cipher
    Shawn Sertaro has interviewed the likes of Kurtis Blow, Ras Kass, Salaam Remi, and Slim Thug, and he gets deep into the history of the artists you know and love, and want to know more about.
  • Serious Issues
    You like comic books? Want to hear two people talk about comic books for an hour and a half every week? Check out Andrew Levins and Siobhan Coombs as the review the week's single issue releases.
  • Free To A Good Home
    The horrors, as well as the comedy of buying things online from sites like Craigslist and eBay. Michael Hing and Ben Jenkins bring it all to you by reading to you real ads from the Internet.
  • Fat Man On Batman
    The great Silent Bob himself, Kevin Smith, along with Marc Barnardin give you all off the comic book and comic book movie news.
  • Get Up On This
    Jensen Karp, who you may or may not know as the rapper Hot Karl has a podcast with Matthew Robinson where they interview anyone who is anyone interesting from Rebecca Black Nocando.
  • Is The Mic Still On?
    If you're familiar with the YouTube channel Dead End Hip Hop then you're familiar with these guys, and girl. Myke C-Town, Feefo, Beezy, Ken, Rod, and Sophie give you the extra of what they talk about after what you see posted on YouTube through the Dead End Hip Hop videos.

These are the podcasts that keep me busy when I need something funny or informative to listen to when I'm not reading a book, at work, cleaning or editing photos. Hope you can find something in this list that you like. If you have any that you think I might like feel free to share them with me via email or hit me on the Twitters.

Power Morphicon 2018 / Los Angeles Trip

Power Morphicon is happening in August of 2018 and I'm planning on making it to this one. While taking a trip to Anaheim is a quick and easy flight I still feel like making more of a trip to the Los Angeles area, so I'm considering not only doing three days at Power Morphicon but spending a full week in the city (of Angels).

Now, this would only be beneficial for me if I'm doing some photography, so I'm taking this time to look for people who are interested in shooting with me. I’m looking for:

  • any cosplayers who may be attending Power Morphicon that would be willing to meet up one of the days before, during, or after the convention to work together on some shoots,
  • musicians in the L.A. area who are looking to have some photos taken either as promo, or have studio sessions they’d be willing to let me into to photograph them
  • models in the areas looking to have some photos taken

I know this is a long ways away, but I’m planning early because there are some other things I have planned for this trip. So if you’re reading this and you’re interested in either of the above, shoot me an email and we can keep in contact and work out some details as August gets closer.

As of now I’m planning to be in Los Angeles from either August 11th through the 20th or August 16th through the 26th, with the convention days being August 17th through the 19th.

Also, if you’re just planning on being at Power Morphicon, think I’m a cool guy that you came across on the Internet, and just want to meet up and hang out at or after the convention, shoot me an email about that too.