UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 27, 2023

Students are more drawn to decorative club booths

We asked students what booths they checked out at Club Rush. Club members said the decorations attracted more people to their booth. Kelsa Lundstedt | Sun News Daily

OPINION | 2023 Predictions: Major political, fashion, social media shifts on the horizon

As we enter the new year, predictions of what will happen often spark controversy.

It’s the start of a new year and the beginning of a new decade. This year has loads of predictions already sparking, and it makes us wonder how many of them will come true. As new technologies and social media trends are expected to emerge, what should we make of wild predictions or unpopular opinions? Traveling is reentering the minds as travel holds from the pandemic start to disappear which predicts crazy populations of people traveling again. Predictions are often taken with a glance as we enter the new year but these predictions look promising. Looking at the new technologies and potential political worries gives us a look at what this year might have in store.

Joe Biden will die

This sounds harsh, but President Joe Biden is 80 years old and is not getting any younger.

Biden is the oldest president of the U.S. and the oldest president elected at 78. Current speculations are rising as to how much longer Biden has as President of the U.S. Concerns for his health are rising as he is recently seen as quiveringly walking compared to prior years. This is long after the average age of retirement. This has people wondering how much longer he has before he dies of sickness or secedes. Biden should be retiring and giving the opportunity as president to younger generations. If Biden does not secede, then he will die in office.

As Vice President Kamala Harris would become president making her the first female president. Harris currently holds a near 50 percent disapproval rate. This sways her status within the Democratic house on if she can hold the office of president. If her approval status continues to go down she would not be a good candidate for president.

TikTok is out; Vine is in

TikTok has undergone multiple stages of almost being banned. Recently, states like Colorado and Alabama have put in requests to ban the widely-popular application. Politicians are afraid the China-owned company is collecting and potentially selling data.

TikTok has been widely popular since 2018 and has grown exponentially in cultural influence and user popularity. 60 percent of TikTok users are 16-24 years old, and almost everyone has some social media platform and has at least seen a TikTok, but like all great things, will TikTok dissolve this year?

Vine was an iconic social media platform that took over in the mid-2010s. After its unexpected ending in 2016, the app was left as a memory in the back of our minds. Vine in many ways was the catalyst for how TikTok started. Vine had an upload time of six seconds similar to TikTok’s upload time is around 60 seconds. Influencers like Marcus Johns and Liza Koshy have made their way into the TikTok world. Many other Vine influencers have joined TikTok and have made similar content to what they did during Vine. This definitely brings back nostalgia to people who had Vine and are now entering the world of TikTok.

As the early 2000s come back as a trend in fashion and culture, videos uploaded on Vine are recirculating on the internet. Speculation of Elon Musk bringing back Vine has been debunked but that doesn’t mean something similar will be created early this year.

TikTok is designed to have an influencer market and fast trend approach. Something like Vine can easily come back better than ever. Vine videos were designed to be six seconds, which is perfect for the fast scrolling through TikTok and the short attention span of average TikTok users. 

Sheer fabric and silver jewelry are back

Some fashion trends get crazier every year, but this one is here to stay.

Sheer fabric has been popular over the years and is coming back stronger than ever as we see more outfits and pop culture references become popular again. Sheer fabrics are all about strategically layering shirts and accessories. Think about the 90s trends of Cher Horowitz in “Clueless” or Drew Barrymore.

It’s all about getting the right style nowadays, and sheer fabric will be all the rage. With the warmer weather in St. George, you can hop on the trend earlier in the year.  

Deciding the color of jewelry all depends on the colors you wear, and silver is the way to go this year.

With medium blues and dark greens continuing the trends of 2023, something silver will complement the color schemes and the sheer fabrics.

Thick necklaces and earrings were popular last year and will continue to be popular this year. Celebrities and fashion designers are adding more and more silver accessories to fashion runways and movie premieres. During the Golden Globes, Jenna Ortega rocked silver necklaces and silver earrings.

Artificial intelligence will become more accessible

With the rising trend of artificial intelligence designing different portraits of pictures in seconds as seen on TikTok, to Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer writing essays for you in seconds, AI is taking over the world. Doing simple tasks is now being handed over to AI.

AI has made an impact on our world since it was invented. It is prominent in movies, media and everyday life. AI is often seen as a force that eventually overtakes the world, and this is starting to look like a reality.

ChatGPT is a popular AI created in 2022 designed to use algorithms and data to write basic everyday essays or topics in native languages.

This has raised concern for the younger generation because of how easy it is to use and how authentic essays generated artificially can appear. Speculations have risen as to how much longer the search engine Google will last. If someone can take the algorithm ChatGPT uses and make a fast search engine that Google has, it will blow up. It is possible that with how popular ChatGPT is someone is making a faster more reliable search engine that will take over the future. It’s daunting to think of how fast AI is taking over how we do daily things.

Off season is the on season

When traveling, it is sometimes smart to go to your destination during the off season when it isn’t as popular. Flights can be cheaper and crowds are less daunting.

Now that travel influencers are rising in popularity, they are giving out all the best secrets. One of them is to travel during the off season. This leads to popular destinations being popular all year round, and unconsciously getting rid of the off-season. This may cause economic worries in the future, but for now, it is safe to say the infamous off season won’t be so off anymore. 

The year 2023 is shaping up to be a year of cool trends and new beginnings. Predictions like these will have us looking back remembering the crazy times we lived in and the trends that took over the year. These promising trends can get us prepared and ready for the new year ahead.

Utah Tech football adds twelve athletes to roster

Head football coach Paul Peterson announced the 2023 Early Signing Day class Dec. 21. Twelve high school student athletes were added to the Utah Tech University football roster.

The 2023 class features one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers and three offensive linemen for offense. For defense, the class features three defensive backs, one linebacker and one defensive end. 

“I don’t think people realize how long of a process [recruiting] is,” Peterson said. “We start in April of the student athlete’s junior year. If they have a practice, we are able to evaluate the practice, but we are not able to have contact with [the student athletes] yet.”

Peterson said there is more work that goes into the process of recruiting than meets the eye. Recruiting players takes college football coaches about one year.

“If he’s the guy who works hard in the classroom, we will be able to tell by his GPA, and if he doesn’t, we’ll move on to the next guy regardless of what kind of athlete he is.” Peterson said.

Tyler Chen is a new 2023 roster addition for offensive lineman from Rancho, California. Chen said he chose Utah Tech because “it felt like a second home.”

Chen said he is most excited to play as part of a Division I football team.

Peterson emphasized the importance of maintaining good grades, and that it’s a priority for the whole coaching staff.

Peterson also stated that it is important to recognize what kind of character and leadership ability a potential player has.

When speaking about the future of Utah Tech’s football team, specifically with the 2023 roster additions, Peterson said the coaching staff wants to maximize the new additions’ potential. The staff has a plan for them in the weight room, academically and for them playing on the field.

“I think each one of these guys have all those things we are looking for,” Peterson said. “They are great leaders, and they are great students. We’re going to continue to find a great caliber of student-athletes that are going to represent our community, our football team and our university well.”

Trailblazer bench players explode despite loss against Stephen F. Austin

The Utah Tech men’s basketball team hosted Stephen F. Austin at home Jan. 12 and fought hard despite an 85-72 loss.

Looking to snap SFA’s 14-0 winning streak in conference play, the Trailblazers had their hands full from the start.

The Lumberjacks ended the first half taking a commanding 13-point lead, but the Trailblazers kept putting up a fight. The home team finished the first half shooting 58% from the field including 50% from beyond the 3-point range. 

With Guard Cameron Gooden, a senior sports and recreation major from Frisco, Texas, still out and unable to play, Noa Gonsalves, a sophomore environmental major from Lehi, shined playing 37 minutes ending the game with 11 points and two steals. Isaiah Pope, a junior communication studies major from Yorba Linda, California, poured in nine points shooting 50% from the field in the starting role.

Well into the second half, Utah Tech went on a 10-2 run cutting the lead down to six points. Hagen Wright, a sophomore management major from Payson, was a huge part in this effort, playing worthwhile minutes for the team.

Wright played very well coming off the bench, scoring 14 points in 19 minutes. He was also electric from the three shooting 3-4 from beyond the arc. 

Dancell Leter, a senior management major from Paramaribo, Suriname, was at the heart of the Blazers’ efforts during this late run in the second half, snagging two offensive rebounds. He also scored 12 points in his 22 minutes off the bench. 

The Blazers ended up falling to SFA in regulation but had plenty of impressive stats to boot nonetheless. They capitalized scoring off of SFA’s mistakes with 14 points coming off turnovers. The Trailblazers pushed the pace and had 12 points coming strictly from the fastbreak, and with huge games from Wright and Leter, the bench showed their support with 31 points. 

Utah Tech men’s basketball will play at Grand Canyon University Jan. 18, tipping off at 7 p.m.

5AM Soccer: Utah Tech athlete creates his own soccer training business

A Utah Tech University soccer player woke up at 5 a.m. every day for two years to improve his soccer skills but little did he know, it would inspire him to do something else. 

Niko Shumov, a COVID senior, grew up in Keaau, Hawaii, where the soccer scene was not as popular then as it is today. Because of this, Shumov woke up early every morning to “catch up” with the talent levels of other soccer players his age by undergoing extra training. 

His wake-up time along with his alarm clock song, “5AM” by Logic, inspired Shumov to create his own soccer training business, 5AM Soccer.

Shumov said with the business he started about a year ago, he offers private and group trainings for athletes ranging from the youth level to the collegiate level. During his trainings, he works on technical development, tactical understanding, and strength and conditioning to help athletes move more efficiently and stay healthy. 

“I enjoy coaching younger kids,” Shumov said. “It’s fun to see when something clicks for them, the excitement on their face, and it’s cool to be a part of their journey from the beginning.”

Grace Korman, the mother of Ellie Korman, 15, is one of Shumov’s clients. Although they live in Southern California, Ellie Korman’s gym trainer recommended Shumov to them. 

Grace Korman said: “Niko is younger than the more seasoned coaches Ellie’s used to working with but has an old soul with values that align with ours. Ellie immediately enjoyed working with him.”

After noticing improvement in Ellie Korman’s playing skills, Shumov said one of the highs of owning his own business is seeing his athletes have success and improve. 

“I really enjoy what I’m doing,” Shumov said. “I’m just focused on giving back to my athletes, giving the best product that I can, and making sure they’re improving and benefiting.”

Because of his intense focus and goals for his clients, admiration and respect have come from those he has trained. 

Grace Korman said she would recommend Shumov to others looking for a personal trainer because he is professional, reliable and committed, going “above and beyond” to form personal connections with each of his clients. 

Not only have his clients supported Shumov in his business but also his friends, family and fellow teammates. 

Shumov said his teammates have been very supportive of his journey by training with him and promoting his business on their own social media accounts. 

Shumov’s roommate and teammate, Larsen Rogers, a junior psychology major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, has supported Shumov’s business by sharing his Instagram posts and telling others about the business.

“I think seeing Niko’s business grow has gotten me excited to go after my dreams even harder,” Rogers said. “From all the effort and push that he’s put into it and his passion, it has shown me another level that I can go to to make sure I go after my dreams.” 

With Shumov’s many qualifications and accomplishments making him fit to train those younger and older than him, Rogers said Shumov’s training sessions are well-planned, organized and intense. 

“It’s probably one of the best training session environments I’ve ever been in,” Rogers said. “He does a really good job of creating training exercises and expecting you to train and work hard and get better.”

Shumov has worked hard in his 18 years plus of playing soccer. With much of Shumov’s athletic knowledge coming from his own research, he has put in many hours of studying the sport. By attending professional soccer camps and training top-college athletes while being a college student himself, many of Shumov’s qualifications have allowed him success in his business.  

“I think I’m slowly growing,” Shumov said. “I think everyone has goals of being extremely successful, but I understand it takes some time.”

By continuing to grow, Shumov hopes to one day train professional athletes and travel abroad while doing so. He also hopes to have a wide range of athletes to train from kids, all the way to professionals, while increasing his social media presence, getting his name out there, and working on a business website to be up and running by the end of January. 

Shumov has shown it takes hard work, determination and drive to own and grow a business, and maybe waking up at 5 a.m. every morning is the way to do it. 

Our view: Most anticipated movies of 2023

After days of thinking, the Sun News Daily staff each debated and decided on the movies they are most excited to see in 2023.

To get you thinking, here are a few of the movies you can expect to see next year:

  • “Magic Mike’s Last Dance”
  • “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania”
  • “Creed III”
  • “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”
  • “The Little Mermaid”
  • “Barbie”

Before you keep reading, take a look at the Rotten Tomatoes “34 Most Anticipated Movies of 2023” list, so you can continue to read this article with your own opinions; however, no promises that your opinion won’t change. Our staff members are pretty convincing.

Personally, I can’t wait to see Timothee Chalamet take the stage as Willy Wonka in “Wonka.” There isn’t ever a time to me that watching “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” doesn’t sound fun, and now that Chalamet is going to be the main character, I am even more stoked.

Now, the list doesn’t end here, and as the editor-in-chief of the Sun News, I asked a few of my staff members which movie they are going to drool over in 2023. Here’s what they said.

Copy editor Leslie Smart – “The Little Mermaid”

“I am most excited for ‘The Little Mermaid’ because there is going to be new added songs, so it is going to be a little different than the original animated movie. I feel like Disney live actions are either hit or miss, so I am excited to see if it is going to be great because ‘The Little Mermaid’ is already iconic. But, Lin Manuel Miranda is in charge of music, so it should be fine.”

News editor Joe Boyle“Barbie”

“I’m most excited for the ‘Barbie’ movie because Ryan Gosling is really good and fun, and it is being directed by Greta Gerwig who is like one of the best directors working. She’s awesome.”

Video editor Kelsa Lundstedt – “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”

“I am most excited for the Indiana Jones movie because it reminds me of my childhood, and I love Harrison Ford.”

News anchor Frankie Medina – “Scream 6”

“I am most excited for ‘Scream 6.’ I love all those movies; I have all of them on DVD, and I am just really excited for the story and the plot line.”

Graphic designer Elissa Aguayo – “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes”

“I am most excited for the new ‘Hunger Games’ movie. I love ‘The Hunger Games,’ and I haven’t watched them in a long time.”

Staff writer Angel Wood – “The Little Mermaid”

“I am most looking forward to ‘The Little Mermaid’ because I feel like we’ve all been waiting a really long time for it, and I love the Disney, live-action remakes.”

Video reporter Laura White – “Creed III”

“I’m most excited for “Creed III” to come out because it has the love of my life Michael B. Jordan in it.”

Features editor Bailey Chism – “Avatar: The Way of Water”

“The movie I’m most looking forward to in 2023 has to be the new ‘Avatar: The Way of Water.’ The first one was such an iconic movie, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the new one.”

News anchor Stockton Myers – “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”

“It’s the fifth film of a beloved action adventure series. Indiana Jones is my favorite movie character of all time. He’s not your perfect hero by any means. He’s quite the jerk at times, but he always ends up doing the right thing in the end. It also helps that the third film, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,’ is my favorite film of all time.”

It’s your turn

Are you looking forward to an action-packed year of movies or maybe a more subtle movie watching experience with a Disney remake? We want to know. What movies are you excited to see next year? Head to @sunnews_daily on Instagram to tell us.

Former Dixie State athlete advances to the next step in his baseball career

After playing three consecutive seasons for the Dixie State University baseball team, this unique left-handed catcher took his next step into professional baseball.

After completing the third season, former catcher Kaden Hollow was named “Second Team All-WAC Catcher,” as well as nominated to the “2022 Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year” watch list.

Hollow spent his time at DSU proving his skill, which was recognized by not only his team and coaches but also Major League Baseball scouts.

Chris Pfatenhauer, Utah Tech University baseball head coach, said getting to go through the process of getting Hollow into playing professionally is definitely rewarding to see as a coach.

“Getting to go through that process with him of scouts being around, communicating with him, and us speaking weekly leading up to the draft was a really cool experience for both of us,” Pfatenhauer said.

Pfatenhauer said there were many different factors he saw in Hollow when he recruited him, as he is a well-rounded athlete that is skilled in every position he was placed in.

“He is a skilled defender, plenty of arm strength, sat behind the plate really well, we liked him defensively, which for that position is one of the most important things you have to look for,” Pfatenhauer said.

When recruiting Hollow, Pfatenhauer noticed the skills he had all around as well as his unique baseball traits.

Pfatenhauer said, “a long-standing joke about the fast way to the big leagues is being a left-hand hitting catcher, and certainly there is a little bit of truth to that.”

Hollow took his skills and practiced day after day when his college season ended to prepare for the MLB draft. Although Hollow did not get drafted, he signed two days prior to the draft to the San Diego Padres.

“When you’re getting ready for the draft or trying to sign as a free agent, you are working and showing yourself off as opposed to more of the team chemistry and wanting to win,” Hollow said.

In an earlier Sun News Daily article, Hollow said, “I still have a lot to prove,” and he is certainly on his way to it. Hollow always had the dream of playing professional baseball since he truly understood what baseball was.

After starting out in T-ball as soon as he could walk, he found his passion and love for the sport and jumped right into baseball and has played since.

“I always had the dream ever since I knew what baseball was when I was really little,” Hollow said. “Every paper I ever wrote that asked what you want to be when you grow up, I had always said MLB.”

Hollow is excited to get into the next step in his career without any other worries. Hollow is finishing up his recreation and sports management major currently at Utah Tech taking online and in-person classes but looks forward to being able to play a full MLB season.

“I’m excited for my season because I get to play a full season and it’s like normal,” Hollow said. “I don’t have to come in really late because of the draft I’ll get the full experience of the season.”

Hollow will finish up his education at Utah Tech and move ahead to what awaits him in his future baseball career for the Padres.

So, what’s an internship?

Your internship experience doesn’t need to be like Rory Gilmore’s from “Gilmore Girls.”

Think of an internship as a way for you to gain real-world work experience, network and dip your feet into the water of a job you could have after graduation. More times than not, a student will choose to intern somewhere that is in the industry of their chosen major. For example, if you are an accounting major, you may choose to intern somewhere like American Express, Chase Bank or even a local, small business.

Here’s everything you need to know about being and becoming an intern.

How to find the perfect internship for you

Sites like Handshake, LinkedIn and Internships.com are places to find internships by typing in keywords that relate to your major or prospective industry. You can even specify your search by choosing the city you would like to work in and search through remote, hybrid or in-person positions. When searching for an intern, it is also valuable to talk to your adviser, professors and peers, as they may have connections that will be beneficial to you.

Jake Harber, a sophomore communication studies major from Pinedale, Wyoming, said: “I found my internship with UMAC [University Marketing and Communications] through Handshake. I was taking a public relations class and found it super interesting, so I thought I’d try and find an internship to see how I liked it.”

Make it well-known you are looking for an intern, and the perfect internship may fall in your lap.

Don’t be scared of the term: “unpaid intern”

Did you know 60.8% of internships in the United States are paid positions? Those are pretty good odds. Obviously most would prefer a paid internship, but there are still positive aspects of having an unpaid position.

Career Coach Asha Stapley said: “A lot of the employers nowadays will try to get you to be paid. If there is a job you really want to get and it is unpaid, I would still probably take it just because you’re going to get a lot more out of your internship than just money.”

Each internship’s hourly wage varies, but the average for an intern in the U.S. is $15.86.

Harber said: “I love interning at UMAC, and the fact that it’s a paid internship has helped me lots. I think it’s great that our school puts so much focus into hands-on learning and gives us the resources to be paid for it.”

Stapley recommends not letting unpaid vs. paid be a a factor of selecting a potential internship position.

You can get college credit

At Utah Tech, you can get up to three credits for doing an internship while still a student, and the course is repeatable. Each department has a different set of requirements to get the credit for doing the internship.

Stapley said: “Once they find an internship, I would try, if you can, getting credit for it. Meet with an academic adviser just to make sure you can enroll in an internship class.”

You will be responsible for ensuring your internship matches up with the learning objectives of the internship course that goes along with it. This may include meeting with your instructor, coming up with objectives, meeting with your supervisor, or writing up a paper at the end of the internship.

What’s the point of interning?

“I believe internships can help you because it’s gaining first-hand experience in the real world, usually in a career that you’re looking into, that will only help you progress and gain experience for when you’re ready to take the leap.” said Andi Munford, a senior management major from Mesquite, Nevada.

It’s all about career prep and readiness. As an intern you get to experience working with professionals in the field you want to go into, and if it isn’t what you want to go into, that’s OK too. Any work experience is valuable on a resume.

“I’ve learned so much and have made so many valuable connections that the prospect of going into the work field after college is not nearly as daunting as before,” Harber said.

70% of interns end up working at the same company they interned for, which shows the importance of being a good intern who cares about the work. Stapley was able to find her current, full-time position at Utah Tech from being an intern at the university’s career center.

Be brave and show a company what you bring to the table. If you are scared to intern because of lack of experience or you are unsure about what you want to do for a living, it is better to shoot your shot than not at all.

HOT TAKE | Pitbull can’t be stopped

They tried to get rid of him, but from ocean to ocean, they gon’ have to deal with him. 

Armando Christian Pérez, known by his many stage names including Pitbull, Mr. Worldwide and Mr. 305, is a Cuban-American rapper, singer, businessman and philanthropist. 

Notoriously known for some of the greatest party hits to ever exist, Pitbull himself has made a positive impact on this world, as he continually carries his title of Mr. Worldwide. Despite the backlash he faces, Pitbull is undoubtedly the most underrated artist of this generation. 

With over 100 million singles sold, it’s safe to say people love his music. With songs like “Give Me Everything,” “International Love” and “Hotel Room Service,” the dance floor has never been empty, but is it possible that Pitbull has more to say than just “dale”?

Are his songs more than promiscuous words and materialistic music videos? The answer is, yes. Behind the words that annoy his critics extensively, Pitbull has many positive messages he is actively trying to share with the world. 

Let’s start with one of his biggest hits, and my favorite song, “Give Me Everything.” To the outside listener, they may only hear references to drinking and seduction, but we must take a deeper dive into the true meaning of the song. Pitbull is reminding us to take every opportunity given and turn it into gold. Through these opportunities, he is encouraging us to regret nothing and to not worry about what others may say. 

With some of these reminders helping us combat the many problems that plague the world today including laziness, procrastination and comparison, what more can we desire from an artist with such an impressive platform than motivation to do better and to be better? 

The most important message anyone can take from “Give Me Everything” can be seen in the lyrics “took my life from negative to positive.” Through these lyrics, the artist is saying you are in control of your life and can turn anything around. In fact, that is what Pitbull did. 

Pitbull grew up with divorced parents being solely raised by his mother. He experienced what life was like in the foster care system after his mom kicked him out of the house for drug dealing.

Fortunately, he did not let his trials get the best of him, and that is what sets him apart from other artists. Despite a rough upbringing, he has continually worked hard throughout his career to get to the successful position he is in today. 

The same deep dive into the messages of Pitbull’s songs can be done for every single one of his hits, but a deeper dive into his involvement and impact on this world may be more beneficial. 

Not many artists can say they have as many accomplishments and successes as Pitbull does. Even more can not say they have bettered the world to any capacity but Pitbull can. 

Pitbull has been very active in bettering the world, and we can see this through his constant participation and donations in many organizations. He’s given back to impoverished communities, helped disadvantaged youth, brought back music education at schools, and even founded his own school.

Other than his worldwide involvement, what also sets Pitbull apart from other artists is his stage name. He’s been around for decades carrying the same name with him everywhere he’s gone, so many people do not think twice when in reference to this artist. What many people do not know is his name symbolizes something greater than just a dog breed.

In the biography “Pitbull: Mr. Worldwide,” he said: “[Pitbulls] bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose, and they’re outlawed in Dade County. They’re basically everything that I am.”

Pitbull thought twice when choosing his name, and the world now knows him because of it. He is an inspirational artist with careful consideration going into his every action and performance. 

With all the positive messages he preaches, the never-ending humanitarian work he undergoes, and the symbolism he represents, Pitbull stands as a light in the dark and is carrying his light worldwide.

Chadwick Boseman’s legacy is preserved in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Following up on a film as critically, commercially and culturally successful as “Black Panther” was already an incredibly tall task for everyone involved. This was only made more difficult with the tragic passing of lead actor Chadwick Boseman. Ryan Coogler and his cast and crew somehow, almost, perfectly pulled off the balance of a captivating and memorializing film with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” 

Positives

There was an obvious amount of care put into this film. Boseman and his performance is a cultural phenomenon. In a world and film market saturated with caucasian male superheroes, Boseman and the first “Black Panther” film gave much-needed representation. It gave a group of kids a character and community they could truly see themselves in. The film had to address his passing, and it did it beautifully. The scenes in place to memorialize him are beautiful and have the subtlety to really make for an emotional experience. No strange holographic images. No over-the-top imagery. It is perfect. 

The care didn’t just stop there. The performances are clearly driven by the real and raw emotions felt by the actors. Every actor involved obviously felt the weight of this film. From a random background dancer in a wide shot to the opening scene to the performance of the newcomer villain by Tenoch Huerta, they all give it their all. Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett, in particular, gave unreal performances. 

There is no denying Marvel films have a look to them, and unfortunately, this look has recently been shockingly ugly. This film, on the other hand, is breathtaking. It is another testament to how much passion everyone had for this film. The cinematography has a unique and beautiful feel to it that we don’t usually see from Marvel, and the CGI is also a considerable step up from what we’ve seen in recent projects and even from the first “Black Panther” film. It still has its moments of painfully obvious and goofy computer-generated images, but the underwater scenes and Wakanda are delightful to look at. 

Negatives 

This movie is so damn long. Two hours and 45 minutes is a ridiculous runtime. This movie has a lot to fit in. It had to find a way to balance reverence for Boseman and still have an engaging film with real themes and ideas. The film does a good job of not doing too much. The conflicts and themes such as race, trauma, gentrification and revenge all work in this film. I wouldn’t say it’s doing too much, it’s just too long. A run time of this length is unnecessary for most movies and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is no different. 

Now, I hate to be the guy that just hates on Marvel but man they can’t help but ruin movies on some level. The dialogue at times is incredibly bad. Marvel seems to have really lost its comedic touch because every painfully obvious attempt at a joke in this film falls so flat. Dominique Thorne gives a fine performance as Ironheart, but that was an awfully written character. She doesn’t really have much of a role in the film besides being somewhat of a comedic relief character, and it is brutal. The jokes are just bad. The more emotional scenes were a bit better, but during these scenes, the amount of fervor and passion put into the lines would make anything sound good. Luckily, the prevalent poor writing doesn’t distract from the film too much. 

Conclusion 

This movie had immense pressure to perform and it did as best as it could. The unreal expectations were always going to be nearly impossible to reach, and the film really almost did it. The love for Boseman and what he created and left behind carried this film. Despite the corporation’s attempts to, what feels like, sabotage the emotional ride that is this film, it’s a wonderful tribute to him that prevails and makes for a good movie. With a runtime like that and concern for spoilers, there were obviously many things I couldn’t discuss in this review, so I implore you to see the film for yourself and experience all the good it has to offer. I give the movie an 8/10.

Elissa Aguayo | Sun News Daily