Blu-ray review – Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER has some super-powered features, in stores May 15

Blu-ray review – Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER has some super-powered features, in stores May 15

This week, one of the biggest movies of the year is hitting Blu-ray and DVD. Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER is hitting the shelves with a bevy of bonus content, and we’re here to break down what you can expect to see on this home video release. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, John Kani and Sterling K. Brown.

The movie looks amazing on Blu-ray, rich colors and a crisp transfer in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The 7.1 DTS audio track is immersive and impressive. There are several scenes that almost look like they’re in 3D, which is funny considering director Ryan Coogler talks on the commentary track about how well the film worked in 3D (I talk more about the commentary below). I never saw this in 3D in the theater, but since I own a 3D television, I’m considering purchasing that version of the film. The Blu-ray version I got for review (pictured above) also includes a Movies Anywhere digital code to watch the film on portable devices.

You can read my full review of the movie by CLICKING HERE, but it’s definitely one of my favorite Marvel movies, and one of their better Blu-ray releases from recent years. Below I go over the special features on the Blu-ray, including the various featurettes and the deleted scenes. ┬áThere’s also a short gag reel that’s fun to watch, and illustrates how goofy Lupita Nyong’o likes to be on set… this is one feature I wish was a bit longer.

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FEATURETTES

Crowning of a New King – Explores the origins of the character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how the filmmakers determined the director the wanted to take the character in moving forward after Captain America: Civil War. Also talks about the origins of the character in the comic books from Marvel in the 70s. Features interviews with Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Guriri, Kevin Feige, and Nate Moore.

The Hidden Kingdom Revealed – Talks about the cultural influences on the production design and look of Wakanda in the film. Even touches in the language influences and dailect sounds used. This is a great feature on how the look and clothing of Africa was implemented into the film, while still making Wakanda feel like this mysterious and otherworldlly place. Features interviews with Ryan Coogler, Nate Moore, Michael B. Jordan, Winston Duke, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira and others involved in the production.

The Warriors Within – Spotlights the important of women in the Wakanda Kingdom, and how showing proud African women is important in the context of the story. Explores the brother/sister relationship of Shuri and T’Challa, along with T’Challa’s romantic interest in Nakia, and the badass Okoye and her working relationship with the King. Features interviews with Kevin Feige, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Guriri, Kevin Feige, Ryan Coogler, Letitia Wright, Angelia Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and other involved in the production.

Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology – This featurette gets into the technologically advanced aspects of Wakanda and what things could be if Africa had control of their own resources. Vibranium is a big talking point here, and they show how Captain America: The First Avenger introduced the concept into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how it’s further implemented into just about everything used in Wakanda. They also show how the comic book artwork of Brian Stelfreeze and Jack Kirby influenced the look of the props and sets in the film. This featurette ends by explaining how the events of this film lead into Avengers: Infinity War. Features interviews with Kevin Feige, Martin Freeman, Ryan Coogler, Letitia Wright, Nate Moore, and others involved in the production.

FROM PAGE TO SCREEN – This is a great roundtable discussion with Black Panther comic book writers Christopher Priest, Don McGregor and Ta’Nehisi Coates, along with director Ryan Coogler, Executive Producer Nate Moore, and screenwriter Joe Robert Cole. Priest in particular points out how Stan Lee was very daring trying to explore a character like this at the time when it was released, and how to allow audiences accept it. Coogler talks about going to Africa (complete with pictures) and how the country itself and its qualities influenced the film, and the ideas of brotherhood and the importance of culture. This featurette also explores the importance of all the characters within the story, and why they’re interesting and not one-note throwaway roles. I really, really enjoyed hearing these men talk, I could have watched another hour of just this.

MARVEL: THE FIRST TEN YEARS – An exploration of the first decade of Marvel Studios films and how they have led us to where we are now, especially how the movies interconnect with each other. Includes interviews with Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr., Peyton Reed, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, William Hurt, Nate Moore, Taika Watiti, Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony and Joe Russo, and other key players behind the scenes in the Marvel movies. This is basically a well-produced long commercial for Avengers: Infinity War.

EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK AT ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – A fun behind the scenes look at the making of Ant-Man and the Wasp, featuring interviews with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Peyton Reed… it’s basically a trailer with some interview snippets.

AUDIO COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR RYAN COOGLER & PRODUCTION DESIGNER HANNAH BEACHER – As far as audio commentaries go, this one is pretty solid. Coogler talks in detail about how they designed specific scenes and shots, and Beacher reveals locations they shot in (like actual parts of Africa, Uganda, Atlanta, and more), and how they designed sets and other aspects of the production. It’s also fun hearing Coogler and Beacher joke about some of the more complicated challenges of the film. They even note how they got influences for things like the CGI rhino in the film (directly influenced by a real rhino Coogler interacted with in Africa), and how they shot the CGI rhino scenes using a Clydesdale horse for Daniel Kaluuya to interact with. Very informative and laid back, I especially appreciated how Coogler would give shout outs to comic book creators for influence, particularly Ta’Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze for their tech designs which ended up in the film, or even a single line of dialogue Johnathan Hickman wrote in an issue of the comic which Coogler used in the dialogue.

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DELETED SCENES (spoilers on some of the descriptions)

UN Meet & Greet – T’Challa enters the United Nations and talks to Agent Ross before speaking, this is a pre-cursor moment to the mid-credit tag sequence. The best part is it shows Ross trying to speak the language used in Wakanda, and not quite getting it.

Okoye and W’Kari Discuss the Future of Wakanda – Okoye talks to her husband in private after Killmonger takes over Wakanda. It’s a great moment showing the internal trouble of Wakanda’s people, and how personal feelings get in the way. Great performances here by Daniel Kaluuya and Dani Gurira, this scene really should have stayed in.

T’Challa Remembers His Father – T’Challa comes out of his vision seeing his father, and talks to Zuri (Forest Whitaker) about his father’s legacy. It shows their close bond, which would have made Zuri’s death that much more powerful later in the film.

Voices From the Past – In this flashback, we see young T’Challa and Shuri watching T’Chaka after he killed his brother (in the opening sequence), and T’Challa speaking to T’Chaka about what he’s done, this leads into present day with T’Challa mourning over the deceased T’Chaka.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king – and Black Panther – is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER is available on Blu-ray and DVD starting May 15th

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.