Tuesday, February 13, 2018
TKC MUST SEE!!! BLACK PANTHER EARNS HIGH PRAISE FROM HOOPZ BUT CAN THE 'AFROFUTURISTIC' SUPERHERO MOVIE SAVE KANSAS CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS???
Kansas City Star scribe Jeneé Osterheldt is gushing like a school girl over the latest politically charged Hollywood blockbuster.
Here's a bit of promotion and hyperbole that could rival that of any fanboy . . .
Hoopz: “Black Panther” is like nothing we have seen before, a mainstream, mega-budget movie starring a nearly all black cast with a black director. But it’s not a black movie Hollywood is targeting to a niche audience. This is a Marvel blockbuster that everyone, across color lines and cultures, will see. And it’s bold, black, beautiful power debuting smack dab in the middle of Black History Month.
The controversy around this movie is boring and almost completely manufactured by Hollywood in order to drum up news coverage, ticket sales and interest for the last remaining moviegoing fans who don't just wait for everything to come out on Youtube or Netflix.
The local angle is buried but more interesting than the song & dance for this corporate schlock . . . Here's a bit of Hollywood social media activism that might or might not prove effective at turning around a district that shows promise but has yet to make any substantial academic achievement and still remains PROVISIONALLY ACCREDITED.
Hoopz: My squad and I are sending a group from Operation Breakthrough to the movie.
And Kansas City school board treasurer Matt Oates and friends are running a GoFundMe to send 500 of the top-performing district students to have lunch and see the film. In less than 24 hours, they’ve already raised $4,000 of their $6,000 goal. $10 sends one kid.
“This is a groundbreaking movie and to see themselves in a film like this is important,” Oates says. “We also wanted to get the whole community behind them and reward them for doing their academic best and encourage them to continue doing well.”
Certainly, youngsters who do well in school deserve rewards.
However . . .
IS KANSAS CITY 'BLACK PANTHER HYSTERIA' PUTTING TOO MUCH FAITH IN A SUPERHERO B-MOVIE???
The movie seems stilted, far too earnest for a story with such a thin plot and a production of mostly green screen special effects & campy kung-fu fusion fighting scenes . . . Worst of all, the action isn't nearly as enjoyable as what we've seen generations ago from the original Black superhero (along with actor, producer, writer & director) of the future: Dolemite!!!
More to the point . . .
It's really kind of a shame that Hoopz is helping Hollywood trick youngsters into mistakenly believing that their self-esteem should be derived from media portrayals. Comic book fantasies are a fun distraction but ultimately any kind of Superhero worship leaves youngsters vulnerable to having their identities dictated by strangers who are operating with their own agenda. Meanwhile, the goal of a good education, which the KCPS consistently struggles to provide, is to help students develop critical thinking skills so that the American public can move beyond facile narratives and garner real understanding of complex problems.
In the final analysis, even the best movie is nothing more than a wonderful visual illusion and what students might really learn from adults extolling the virtues of comic book heroes is a fundamental lesson in the vapid politics and culture war salesmanship of the current digital era.
You decide . . .