Three new movies to watch this weekend

Greg Russell shares his thoughts on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “A Christmas Story,” and “Call Jane”

Reel Talk on Live in the D

What a week it’s been for Reel Talk! We have a “Black Panther” sequel, a “Christmas Story” sequel, and a new Sigourney Weaver film.

Movie reviewer Greg Russell joined “Live in the D” to describe chats he had with stars from all of those films.

Russell began with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which fans have been anticipating in order to gauge how the franchise will fare without Chadwick Boseman. He says that his character is mentioned a lot, especially at the beginning and end, and that he passes away in the movie. In the movie, people from other nations try to come to Wakanda and take its natural resources. To stop them, the people of Wakanda work together.

The movie critic got to talk to some of the actors who play roles in the movie’s underwater realm about being superheroes and Boseman’s legacy. According to Alex Livinalli, who plays Attuma, it was an incredible experience not just to play a superhero and be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also to be a part of the Black Panther franchise because it is a personal film to many people and has opened many doors with its diversity.

“It’s as if the Black Panther is reaching down, catching us, and pulling us up,” Livinalli explained.

Mabel Cadena, who plays Namora in the film, says Boseman’s presence was felt during production. She said that she is here to honor Boseman’s legacy as the first Black Panther, for strong women, and that she never thought she would be a superhero who could show the world something new. Given that this is the second-longest Marvel feature ever made, Russell rated it four out of five reels and noted that it could have been cut down.

Next up comes “A Christmas Story Christmas,” which seems like it will hit all the appropriate nostalgic notes for fans of the original. Russell says that this movie is about Ralphie growing up and returning to his hometown to celebrate Christmas with his mother, and things go bizarre.

Russell also spoke with Peter Billingsly, who said that the film had to be something special and that he wanted to do it right. A major factor, according to Billingsly, was reuniting all of the original cast for a sequel after nearly 40 years. Ralphie was called home and is now a father, but he is not the successful man he had planned to be. There was a lot to unpack for a character, but he is relentless in his pursuit of things and remains that dreamer. He continued by saying that Julie Haggerty has that familiar face that puts you at ease and gives you the feeling that your mother is on location. Russell gives this movie two and a half reels, says it has a lot of slow parts, and says Haggerty makes the movie.

Finally, “Call Jane,” a new film starring Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Banks, is a political drama set in 1968 in Chicago about a group of women wanting to help other women with their rights. Russell spoke with both actresses, and Banks says one of the film’s messages is that you are not alone and that you should learn about women’s history. She went on to say that she knew nothing about the Janes until she read this story. Russell awards this film three reels and praises the acting.

Watch the video above for the complete interview.

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