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26 | February 22, 2018 | The orland park prairie Life & Arts opprairie.com MPAA rating: PG-13 | genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | run time: 134 minutes ‘Black Panther’ stands apart from, elevates MCU Bill Jones, Editor There is a cold opening to “Black Panther,” recounting the history of the fictional East African nation of Wakanda. It is notable for two reasons. While it predominantly serves as the set-up for the saga to come, it also works to catch viewers — specifically longtime Marvel fans — off guard. The requisite flipping-pages Marvel logo comes up only after an engaging open built upon oral storytelling traditions. I feels weird, but it serves to let the audiences know they are in for something different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe norm. That vibe never leaves “Black Panther.” While the nuts and bolts of director Ryan Coogler’s (“Creed”) film have the mechanics of a Marvel movie — guy in a cutting-edge costume, an abundance of powerful technology, a villain named Erik Killmonger and his henchman Ulysses Klaue — the personal elements from the story take their inspirations from Shakespeare. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is set to become king of Wakanda after the murder of his father, T’Chaka (John Kani), which 22ND CENTURY MEDIA is looking for local FREELANCE REPORTERS and PHOTOGRAPHERS to cover events, meetings and sports in the area. Interested individuals should send an email with a resume and any clips to JOBS@22NDCENTURYMEDIA.COM CHICAGOLY MAGAZINE CHICAGO SOUTHWEST THE FRANKFORT STATION THE HOMER HORIZON THE LOCKPORT LEGEND www.22ndcenturymedia.com THE MOKENA MESSENGER THE NEW LENOX PATRIOT THE ORLAND PARK PRAIRIE THE TINLEY JUNCTION CHICAGO NORTHSHORE THE GLENCOE ANCHOR THE GLENVIEW LANTERN THE HIGHLAND PARK LANDMARK THE LAKE FOREST LEADER we saw in “Captain America: Civil War” (the only true reference to where “Black Panther” falls on the Marvel timeline and as much of a nod as the other films under the umbrella get). His nation is light-years ahead of the rest of the world, when it comes to technology, but has isolated itself in an effort to keep its people safe. As T’Challa (who also takes action under the moniker and look of Black Panther) faces tough decisions about whether or not his nation should start working with others around the globe, a challenger surfaces in the form of Killmonger (Michael THE NORTHBROOK TOWER THE WILMETTE BEACON THE WINNETKA CURRENT MALIBU MALIBU SURFSIDE NEWS visit us online at www.opprairie.com B. Jordan). While his intentions initially are unknown, Killmonger is hell-bent on holding T’Challa accountable for the sins of his father. So, despite the overriding Marvel elements at play, “Black Panther” feels like a more personal story. It is about power and challengers to that power, leadership and responsibility, and, of course, family. And the isolation of Wakanda can be felt, as Coogler and cowriter Joe Robert Cole keep us close to the story, letting us forget for awhile about franchise phases and the looming “Avengers: Infinity War” threat of Thanos. It lets us simply invest in “Black Panther,” and we can worry about the rest later. That separation from the MCU while still holding a place within it might be one of the biggest achievements of “Black Panther,” if it was not for the fact that everything else about it is so well done. The technology — from the suits to the ships to the gadgets — are incredibly cool (and, yes, will undoubtedly push things forward in the MCU). The action is largely creative. The soundtrack offers the same celebration of culture often seen on screen — finding a way to convey past, present and future, all at once. And the design and costumes are some of the best Marvel has put together. The film never shies away from the politics inherent to its story — from issues involving refugees to the fact that its “villain” is ultimately a sympathetic one, despite his dastardly deeds. When we begin to learn more about Killmonger’s origins, we feel for him. We understand his plight. And while we may not root for his success over our hero, it is possible to understand his motives. Killmonger’s push against Black Panther ultimately gives T’Challa some food for thought. It forces him to own some things in his family’s history and to make decisions he might otherwise have not. In that sense, Killmonger is one of the most complex villains (if not the most complex) this side of the Marvel/DC divide, and that has always been important to the strength of comic book stories. And while it is hard to find the space for it with all of the praise to be heaped upon “Black Panther,” the supporting cast deserves some love, as well. Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia is a wonderfully complex partner to T’Challa. Danai Gurira’s Okoye has a few show-stealing moments. And Letitia Wright’s Shuri is a brilliant little sister. While “Black Panther” shies away from the level of comedy Marvel has gone for with “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Shuri provides just the right touch of comic relief, and in a different way than we have seen before. Angela Bassett, in the role of Ramonda, T’Challa’s mother, is stunningly powerful. Forest Whitaker’s Zuri delivers the cliché old guard character with emotion. And Martin Freeman’s Everett K. Ross importantly understands his place, both as actor and character in someone else’s home, as a supporting role. He plays it well. But there is at least one major criticism that must be levied against the film, and unfortunately that comes courtesy of the final battle of “Black Panther,” which is a bit weak. For all of the creativity up front, and for all of the groundwork laid for a final confrontation (we’re given charging repulsion technology on suits, the timing of a train and an effect that negates the power of the suits at specific intervals with which to work), the climax, as action, is simply a bit dull. It does not quite satisfy that itch. Coogler instead serves the story better by what he does. It leaves us with a message instead of finding joy in the villain’s death (while maybe not as immediately gratifying probably more important to the story and more fitting for the character). “Black Panther” is a great story, shot and acted superbly, across the board. It is intellectually stimulating in a deeper way than its counterparts, breaking from a formula in favor of re-examining what the MCU can be. It claws out its own space in the mix but at the same time excites us with the possibilities of how its dynamic will play in the bigger picture, when all that Wakanda can offer is no longer relegated to one corner of the earth. Have you seen a movie recently and want to let everyone know about it? The Orland Park Prairie is looking for residents to review the latest new releases for its Unscripted feature. The best reviews will be published in The Prairie and online at OPPrairie.com. Keep reviews around 400 words or fewer and try not to give away the key moments of the movie. Submit your review to bill@opprairie. com. Please include your name and phone number in the email.
opprairie.com Dining Out the orland park prairie | February 22, 2018 | 27 The Dish Bold flavors, cocktails drive seasonal menu at Bonefish Bill Jones, Editor Bonefish Grill’s seasonal chocolate lava cake ($8.50) easily serves two. Bonefish Grill’s menu has boldly gone where the Orland Park seafood spot has never gone before. While the restaurant’s latest specials menu features its perennial favorite wild orchid Hawaiian martini ($9.40), and a new sea scallop preparation includes some noodles that have been popular elsewhere on the menu, Bonefish, in general, is trying new things. And it all starts with the Woodford Reserve old fashioned ($10.90). A new take on an old favorite, the seasonal cocktail focuses on the bourbon, with a muddled orange wedge and the requisite Angostura bitters, garnished with a Bordeaux cherry and orange peel. But it also plays to Bonefish’s love of inhouse infusions with a custom vanilla bean syrup. “It’s a good, warm-flavored drink,” according to manager Kyle Margentina. “[The infusions] are one of the things that sets us apart.” The same approach can be seen in the infused Manhattan ($9.90), a blend of Maker’s 46 Kentucky bourbon, featuring a house-made infusion of Cinzano Rosso vermouth with fresh rosemary and orange peel. Served on the rocks and, again, with a Bordeaux cherry, it was so popular it got fast-tracked to the main menu, according to longtime server Emily Sheehan. “Huge hit,” Sheehan said. “Old, classic drinks are huge again.” Another classic featuring a new spin can be found in the seasonal menu’s Thaiinspired Georges Bank sea scallops ($27.90). The dish features wood-grilled scallops, served atop rice noodles that regulars might recognize from the restaurant’s shrimp pad thai dish. The shellfish come with fresh tomato and red onion, but Sheehan said the sauce — a sweet and spicy coconut sauce infused with ginger, inspired by a curry — is what brings it home. “There’s the pasta, yes, but the scallops in that sauce do it,” she said. The crispy shallots in there don’t hurt, either. “We have used crispy shallots 1,000 times,” Sheehan said with a laugh. “Everybody loves them.” The infusions pop up again in the new Italian seafood risotto ($18.90). The featured shellfish in this one are shrimp and bay scallops, served alongside asparagus, tomato and red onion, all atop a pesto Parmesan risotto, finished with fresh basil. Sheehan said the secret to what makes it great is the infused herb pesto, which can be seen as a green edge around the risotto. “It’s been really popular so far,” she said. The new fish specials are highlighted by a fresh cobia ($27.90), prepared Caribbean-style. The fish itself is mild, with a firm texture Bonefish Grill 15537 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park Hours • 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday • 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday • 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday For more information ... Web: www.bonefishgrill. com/locations/il/orlandpark Phone: (708) 873-5170 similar to mahi-mahi, and because it feeds on crustaceans it has a sweeter taste than many fish. As Bonefish is wont to do, it wood-grills the Atlantic fish fillet and then serves it atop a piece of grilled pineapple, alongside three jumbo shrimp — like the fish, lightly blackened. It all gets topped with a vanilla rum butter sauce and toasted coconut, with a choice of two fresh sides. But Bonefish, while mostly riffing on a prior presentation of the aforementioned mahi-mahi, also mixes things up by adding a pineapple salsa. “We serve mango salsa year-round,” Sheehan said. The Woodford Reserve old fashioned ($10.90) at Orland Park’s Bonefish Grill mixes bourbon with a muddled orange wedge, Angostura bitters and a house-made vanilla bean syrup, and garnishes it with a Bordeaux cherry and orange peel. Photos by Bill Jones/22nd Century Media The Italian seafood risotto ($18.90) at Bonefish Grill features shrimp and bay scallops, along with asparagus, tomato and red onion, all on a pesto Parmesan risotto, finished with fresh basil. “Pineapple is a nice treat.” And diners craving something sweet to finish the meal can look to the addition of a chocolate lava cake ($8.50). It is, of course, served warm, with the essential molten center, and comes topped with fresh strawberries and house-made whipped cream, accented by shredded mint. Pro Tip: Bring a loved one or a friend, and ask for extra spoons; the cake is easily big enough to serve two. Note: Bonefish Grill’s seasonal specials typically run for 5-6 weeks.