Marvel’s Black Panther follows the basic plot structure of the studio’s other movies (hero arises; hero faces obstacles and loses; hero finds a way to overcome said obstacles) – but there are only so many stories (back in high school literature class the number seven was mentioned), so the differences have to come, largely, from point of view.
Black Panther’s point of view is unique – a superhero who is the latest in his country’s line of hereditary monarchs – and African.
Marvel may have taken its time to bring the Black Panther to the screen, but it took the time to get it right.
There are noticeable elements from Beauty and the Beast, Creature from the Black Lagoon and even Splash to be found in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water – but filtered through del Toro’s unique imagination the film is far more than the sum of its parts.
The Greatest Showman is a movie musical about P.T. Barnum – the founder of America’s first circus. Movie musicals are not known for their historical accuracy, but – considering that there are many biographies of the man which paint him as anywhere from an honest entrepreneur to a cynical con man making a fortune by exploiting the pain of his collection of freaks and oddities – this film is far too superficial. Except for a few exceptional songs…
Star Wars: The Last Jedi fills the same basic space in the latest trilogy of chapters that The Empire Strikes Back filled in the original trilogy. In some ways it follows the template of that film, but not all.
With Disney•Pixar’s Coco, the studio has reclaimed its best of the best status. Coco is an instant classic – and the studio’s most mature and intelligent film yet.
When aspiring musician Miguel ends up in the Land of the Dead in Disney•Pixar’s Coco, his family takes him to the Department of Family Reunions where a busy clerk informs him that he’s cursed. To return to the Land of the Living, Miguel will need a magical marigold petal and the blessing of a family member—but, according to the clerk, the family member can include any condition she likes—even forbidding music forever.