Came across this one night on a synagogue in New York.


  1.  It’s likely that the last movie I saw in a theater was:   The Titanic.  Not the somewhat recent one, but an old version with Clifton Webb.
  2. The real appeal for me to see Black Panther were the reclining seats and the place was nice and warm.  The weather in this God Forsaken city has been brutal.  The boiler has been busted for a week.
  3. At the diner where I had breakfasted  before the show one of my far-away lens popped right out and landed on top of my sunnyside ups before I could even break the yolk.  So now there were three eyes looking up at me, though one was glass (prob. plastic)
  4. The friend I was with wanted to sit in the last row, so I watched with one lens still yolky in my pocket.
  5. Just before going to the diner, I wrenched my back while changing a light bulb.  So I took two valiums and some herbal remedies that always tend to amplify my hearing, or cause a low pitched buzzing in my left ear.
  6. I watched most of the movie with noise canceling headphones playing Tom Petty and Earl and Scruggs at full blast to remove the dialogue of the film.
  7. I also have a tremendous disdain for Super Hero movies as a rule.  I enjoy witty films, like All About Eve, 2001, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.  And anything by John Huston.  The Man Who Would be King is particularly relevant today.


I’ve been appointed Reviewer for the semi-annual magazine called Twice A Year.  What a wonderful place to work.  I love the team spirit.

The best perk is that we are paid not to write reviews.  Most reviews come from HQ in the Philippines.  I’m not sure if it has to do with the timeline or what, but they get preview prints two days before the films are released here. And do all the writing.

We just show our own little portrait and we get the byline and paid.   I’m actually writing this one about the big hit: Black Panther. If I do well, they’ll ship me to Manila.

I thought it was going to be a documentary about The Black Panther party. Then a colleague told me it was The Pink Panther remake with an all black cast.  I really liked that idea.

Forest Whitaker was playing Inspector inspector Clouseau.  Well obviously, that missed the mark.

The commercials and previews were still going on when sank into our luxurious recliners.

[Tweet: Jerry Assistant Editor: WHO HIRED YOU??????]

When the film did finally begin, or is it finally began;? the sound was thumping at me from giant woofers; I thought it would shake my kidney stones loose (if I had any kidney stones.)   I had the same seasick mal de mer that I get in New York taxi cabs.  I wasn’t sure if it was from watching through one lens, or the ringing in my left ear.

Tom Petty songs fit perfectly. Every time the hero King/Panther stood up to anyone, I played I Won’t Back Down.  And when hero is falling off a cliff, to certain death,  I played Learning to Fly.

Turning off the movies sound very rarely ruins the experience.  It enhances the film (which could have easily been filmed without sound). There are many scenes with subtitles. They talk whatever the language is. (I couldn’t understand it) .. at least they start with subtitles but after about 10 secs they break, You would kill the film box office with too much reading.


About everything in the movie was derived from either other movies, the bible or other Super Hero movies.

There was The Greatest Story Ever Told.   There was the Judas, who really isn’t such a bad guy. He’s just a rebel without without a cause  (more Tom Petty). Of course the great scenes involve the hero’s resurrection.  Some student is writing a doctorate on the relationship between ancient biblical myths this right now.

A lot of scenes from Spartacus, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Shane, and even the ending where the King kisses his lovely warrior love.  I almost expected it to iris down like a silent Chaplin movie.


The visual effects were very, well visual.  In fact I stayed for the credit roll.  I expect there were a thousand CGI people working on it.  Is it even still called CGI.

There’s one scene, of all the subjects, standing on insets of a huge cliff.  Must be 100s of CGI people, intricate painstaking work to put them into nooks of a cliff where each creation was waving at the arrival of the new king Leopard, and each little character was doing something different.  I imagine it took some supercomputer to do that scene.  My Mac slows down when I try to make an iMovie.

[BIGBOY TWEETS: Finally, something useful.  STAY ON POINT!!!]

What a long way movies have come from the days of Eadweard Muybridge Afterwards, and The Man in the Moon.

Remember Muybridge.  In a way he made at least one of the first movies.

It was a series of still photographs really, oh yeah Eadweard Muybridge did them, set up on a horse track (I guess) where strings were strung across the horses path so that they’d trigger the array of cameras that had been set up – probably in those days View Cameras.

I wonder if they might even have been glass negatives?


So yes, Black Panther is filled with cinematic cliches, but only because they work.  And instead of coming out of the mouths of white characters from the 30s, think flash gordon for example, and they’re coming out of the mouths of an extremely talented and I have to say – well I don’t have to say it – but the cast is beautiful.  Both  girls and boys.  So welcome to the Cabaret.

(I should note that two portly gentleman have arrived and are watching me carefully.  They are straight out of Alice in Wonderland.)




It will never seem very dated, because the characters are all in semi-future, semi-African, and semi-costumes that will preserve it.  Like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it will remain for a very long time as an uplifting parable.

Also, on the obvious political social what’s a good thing in the world note: great to have so many noble black people on the screen.  Not to mention Forest Whitaker who I will pay to watch him read the phone book, but I don’t know if there still are phonebooks.

That man has pathos (a lot of it), wit, oratory style, truthfulness, and something else that I can’t figure.  But he has it in every role, no matter how inane.  (Not that his role here is inane but I have seen him do wonders with dead words…)

(The two portly guys have been joined by a few mob types, who are threatening to drop me off in the ocean if I go to Manila… I’d better —


Ed.  We apologize for the way Mr. Beckerman has taken nothing but his own very personal, and if I can say, jaundiced view to what is a wonderful example of the power of movies can to uplift us and bring us together.

We have already hired our next reviewer, Sir. Rex Reed.  Yes, he is still alive and very vigorous.  So you see, we put our money where our mouth is.  And with that I apologize from the top of my heart and the bottom.  And thank you for your kind indulgence.

p.s. please stop emailing the site. servers are going down again, and just found out we have the ransomware bug… these will be the last reviews we do for some —


Published by dave

I've been photographing New York, mostly in black and white, for the last 35 years. In other words, I began in the age of Tri-x and D-76 and eventually moved into the world of pigment ink. Enjoy your stay - Dave

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