Unlike some people, I really enjoyed the first Cars film. Sure, it's not really on the same level as other Pixar masterpieces, but it was far better than most animated films. Cars 2 was a different story for me. I really didn't care for that one. It felt like some cheap non-Pixar cash grab from Disney.
Cars 3 was definitely closer to the first film, rather than the second. But it didn't really work. I could see what they were going for, but it fell flat. They tried to make it an emotional story, a bit like Toy Story 3, but they didn't do a very good job at making the main character seem all that old or having been racing all that long. There was no real sense of any serious time passing between the first film and this third installment. It's hilarious to say this, but it honestly made me think of the movie Logan. Except of course that film actually worked when it came to making our hero seem like he was getting too old for this shit.
There was plenty of good stuff in Cars 3 in the first 2 acts, but the final act and ending just didn't work for me. It was predictable and didn't nail the emotional objective. Not even close.
I've watched Black Panther yesterday. It is a good movie, but the whole Wakanda thing does significantly expand the MCU, which is a bit hard to stomach. Also, I can see why the movie is uch liked in Africa, because it treats African traditions as completely normal.
I've been a bit apprehensive about seeing Black Panther. Most of the reviews I've seen about it seem to gush about its diversity but if you dig down into the review they describe it pretty much as just another paint-by-numbers Marvel movie.
It was pretty good. The designs, sets, and details were so good that I would call it art. The story was also pretty good, although I had no idea what the movie was about from seeing the trailers. The only thing that bothered me was the actors who played the 2 main characters. The guy looks like he is 16 years old, maybe 17, and the girl doesn't look any older. But they make them both out to be high ranking military agents and the guy is supposed to be some sort of womanizer. It didn't work. And there was an annoying part where the female lead, who is a physics defying badass, gets abducted and is baby helpless, for some reason, until she is rescued.
I recall reading that it was a box office flop, which immediately made me think of John Carter, which I also liked. But according to IMDB, Valerian has already made about $50m more than it's budget. Not sure if that is enough to warrant a continuation of the series, which is apparently based on a French comic that has been in print since the 60's. I enjoyed the film enough to want to see some sequels, but I'm not getting my hopes up.