Marvel and Disney desperately seek Oscar nom for ‘Black Panther'

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I haven't re-watched Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" lately, but it's not even the best Marvel movie of the year. I'm writing this in complete shock, having just heard the news that Arthouse Convergence is getting involved in pushing 'Panther' for the Oscars? Am I dreaming this? A $700 million Disney movie having to turn to arthouses for support.

In honor of Giving Tuesday, Marvel and director Coogler have decided that, despite making $1.3B at the worldwide box-office, why not give everyone another chance to see 'Panther' on the big screen. And for free. This is serious Oscar campaigning on the part of Marvel. They desperately want their films to be legitimized, artistically speaking, by getting that Best Picture nomination.

Marvel Studios released a new trailer for the promotion, and of course the focus in the ad isn't even about the plot of the movie but how the film is culturally relevant and promotes world peace. Shoot me now. Fans across the country will get a chance to see “Black Panther” for free at select non-profit arthouse theaters. There will also be a live-streamed Q&A featuring Coogler post-screening. This is all courtesy of Film Comment.

This is Disney's attempt to have 'Panther' re-enter the Oscar conversation after months of being out of theaters. It helps that earlier this year major awards publicist Strategy PR's Cynthia Swartz was hired by the mouse house for the 'Panther' campaign and, quite frankly, she has been doing an incredible job.

How can anyone, who isn't brainwashed by the Disney propaganda machine, not see that 'Panther' is well-done but a by-the-books Marvel product. There are people out there calling it a "masterpiece," which is insane. Yes, it has an all African-American cast and for that it should be considered a cultural groundbreaker, but an artistic groundbreaker? Not even close.

I know there are a lot of 'Panther' fans out there, I know I'm in the minority when it comes to my feelings about the film being just 'ok.' What else can I say? The movie followed the same narrative structure of almost every other Marvel movie, there was no rule-breaking or risk-taking, except for, of course, the all-black cast which did feel refreshing to witness, and to many that is more than enough to reward and rave about 'Panther.' Film criticism has very much changed over these last few years, with the 'resistance' taking over the movie industry. Anything for progress, I understand, but aren't we supposed to judge what's on-screen instead of the historic casting surrounding the film?