Posts tagged Michael B. Jordan
The Looking Glass - Michael B. Jordan for Wolverine

Church, Ash, and X discuss a possible Daredevil revival at Hulu, Aquaman officially getting a sequel, MCU news, Star Wars, and more this week on Looking Glass

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Follow Ash: @_AshTheStampede



Future of Marvel Netflix

Mortal Kombat

Nintendo Direct

Apex Legends

Activision Layoffs

Vic Mignogna fired from Funimation

Star Wars Episode IX

Deadly Class

DC Comics

Joker movies no longer in development

Batman v. TMNT


Marvel Comics

Daredevil revival

New Mutants

Black Widow


Loki Show

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FILM REVIEW: CREED II doubles down on nostalgia & leaves you caring more for the past than the present



“It’s your time now”

As Adonis Creed beckons towards Rocky Balboa to join him in the ring following the former’s victory over Viktor Drago, Rocky offers him a simple fist bump & those words. The camera pauses on a wide shot of their arms outstretched & linked at the fist before cutting to a close-up of Adonis. He looks a bit taken aback but turns to the ring, the crowd celebrating him, & embraces his moment. The camera follows him as he’s handed his belt and walks out of the ring hand-in-hand with Bianca up the tunnel. Rocky Balboa doesn’t appear in this scene again. The future unequivocally belongs to Adonis Creed.

CREED 2 took a different approach than its predecessor. After nailing that impactful line (fun fact: a line Sylvester Stallone improvised, according to director Steven Caple Jr.), Rocky walks over to a ringside chair and takes a seat. The camera follows him, positioned steadily behind him, the ring & everything happening in it in front of him but out of focus. We see Creed’s jubilance at his triumph over his demons through Rocky’s point of view. We don’t get to experience his joy in the ringl instead we’re left with the aged legend who has finally passed the torch. It’s a somber moment, but a beautiful shot that highlights the biggest problem I had walking away from CREED 2...

I still care more about Rocky Balboa than Adonis Creed.

Nostalgia is an extremely powerful tool. Humanity loves looking back to feeling the way we felt before, or at the very least, the way we believe we felt. It was used to perfection in 2015’s CREED. Watching the older Rocky train & take care of the illegitimate child of his close friend and former arch-enemy while he walked a similar path was appropriately affecting. There were familiar beats but more than enough originality for it to feel like it’s own piece.

The sequel doubled down on that nostalgia, tying Rocky’s own past directly to Adonis’ present. The end result is a movie that belongs just as much to the former as it does the latter, in spite of the latter being the titular character. In the end, Rocky reconnects with his estranged son & meets his grandson while Adonis visits the grave of his deceased father, Apollo, & introduces him to his grandchild. Rocky’s soft spoken meeting with the only family he has left produced a small lump in my throat. Adonis’ cathartic visit to the father he never knew left me shrugging.

So we circle back to that post-match moment. That ringside fist bump. The man sitting in a chair, outside looking in. The camera resting behind him. We’re invited fully into the perspective of Rocky Balboa, engulfed completely by his somber uncertainty. We’re left as spectators to Adonis Creed’s happiness, his victory over the ties that bound him to his past. The camera is the audiences’ portal into their world. Its positioning is ours as well. It controls what we see, & what we see controls what we feel. To the right, it would’ve shown us unbridled joy. To the left was quiet doubt. The powers that be took the camera left and that seemingly small choice made all the difference.

“It’s your time now”

After watching the moment that followed, what should have been a passing-of-the-torch line, I can’t help but ask; is it?

UPDATE: Well... it may be. Earlier this week Sylvester Stallone announced on Instagram that he’s officially retiring the Rocky Balboa character. While it's a great move for the franchise, it doesn't sit well with me that the character will either be relegated to an off-screen death or passing mentions about his whereabouts in the next film. It’ll most likely be the former because it’s the only reason a prominent father figure in Adonis’ life & career is suddenly no longer around, but the latter would leave audiences questioning why he doesn’t reach out to his mentor.

Time will tell how this all plays out, but if CREED 2 is the end of Rocky & Adonis' relationship, then it ends with Rocky Balboa acting as a plot device in two films before being unceremoniously disregarded as if he were never that important to begin with.

Follow Z on Twitter: @ZTheJustOK

Seven things Wakanda teaches us
Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios

Let’s start by saying salute to the cast & crew of the phenomenal movie, Black Panther. Not only did it sell out theaters across the world, it is exceeding expectations of the predicted $120 million opening weekend with it currently heading towards $230+ million! If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, what are you waiting on? Black Panther and the people of Wakanda exemplified Black Excellence in many ways. There are also many lessons throughout the movie that we can relate to and apply to our everyday lives and communities.

Trust & Loyalty

In the movie, T’Chaka, T'Challa's father, says “You’re going to struggle so surround yourself with people you trust.” The people closest to you have to be people you can trust, have loyalty with, and support you no matter what while you’re going through a new stage in your life.

Self-Determination is key to achieve

After T’Challa becomes the new King of Wakanda, he is still a little uneasy about how to manage his new responsibility. Nakia tells him “Only you can decide what kind of king you want to be.” You have the final say in how you choose to sustain any role or situation in your life.

Raise up the next generation to come

Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios

T’Challa goes through a ritual to see his ancestors and see his father upon becoming King, during the visit, his father says to him “A man who has not prepared his children for his death has failed as a father.” Preparing your children for what life brings to them is vital for them to succeed beyond you being here.

Never forget your history and the ones that came before you

Before Erik Killmonger dies, he says he doesn’t want to be saved, in fact, he states “Nah, just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage." Despite Killmonger being portrayed as the villain, he was about his people and not the colonizers.

We must continue to advance

First of all, can we give it up for Shuri. She is the brilliant, intelligent, and funny younger sister of T'Challa. She may just be the smartest woman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Shuri states “Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved” as she had enhanced the Black Panther Suit with the ability to store damage taken to it as power to be reflected. Shoutout to the mastermind behind the lab that showed that technology advancement is beyond what we could imagine, and it only gets better.

Even when you’re underestimated, keep striving

If you’ve seen the movie, I hope you stayed for the post credit scenes. Wakanda is full of resources that can help the rest of the world. T’Challa says "More connects us than separates us, but in times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one tribe." Later in that post-credit scene another man says back to him “What does a nation of farmers have to offer the rest of the world?”. Just because they don’t see what you have to offer and underestimate your capabilities, that doesn’t mean you stop going after the goals you’ve set. Keep Grindin.

Never be afraid to be sure of who you are and don’t allow others to validate you

T’Challa and Nakia are having a conversation and he tells her "If you weren't so stubborn you would make a great queen." Nakia responds, "I would make a great queen because I'm stubborn; if that's what I wanted." She is a strong woman that knows her worth and knows that she can get what she want without being docile!

Although a fictional country, there are many messages that the people of Wakanda give throughout the movie. We must continue to keep lifting others as we climb and stay true to who we are. What lesson did you take away from Black Panther?

Lastly, Wakanda Forever!