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Credit: Marvel Studios

The Week in Geek: Black Panther wins gold, Rotten Tomatoes stomps trolls

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Mar 1, 2019

Another week is in the books. And what a week it was! Brie Larson walked the blue carpet at the Captain Marvel premiere! A slew of trailers dropped and a major gaming franchise got a much-needed facelift.

But what stories rose like so much cream to the top? Only one way to find out! Here they are: the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!

BLACK PANTHER DOMINATES AT THE OSCARS

While Bohemian Rhapsody somehow took home the biggest share of tiny gold dudes at this year's Academy Awards, it was Black Panther's time on the stage that really stole the show.

Over 25 years after being nominated for Malcolm X (she also got a nod for Amistad), Ruth Carter finally won an Oscar for Costume Design thanks to her work on Black Panther. "This is a long time coming," she said, crediting Spike Lee for her start before thanking as many people at Disney as she could, giving special attention to Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

Hanna Beachler and Jay Hart also won for Production Design. This was, and I'm sure you won't be surprised, the first time a black woman was even nominated for this award. Beachler triumphantly declared, "I did my best, and my best is good enough," before exiting the stage to wild applause.

Perhaps surprisingly to those who think of Disney's Marvel movies as having intentionally forgettable scores, Ludwig Goransson took best Original Music Score as well.

Arguably the best Black Panther moment of the night belonged to a man who voiced Griot (the A.I. system) in the film: Trevor Noah. During his introduction of Black Panther as a Best Picture nominee, Noah joked, saying, "Growing up as a young boy in Wakanda, I would see King T’Challa flying over our village, and he would remind me of a great Xhosa phrase: 'Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka,' which means: 'In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.'"

The larger joke was that, in fact, the actual English translation of that phrase is, "white people don't know that I'm lying." And I didn't! Nice.

POKEMON LENDS YOU IT'S SWORD AND IT'S SHIELD

Twenty-three years ago, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue were first released in Japan on the GameBoy. In the intervening decades, there have been multiple generations of both games and fans that have kept the franchise strong.

On Wednesday, Nintendo held a Pokémon Direct video that officially announced Pokémon is not done thriving on consoles yet. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are now officially announced for the Nintendo Switch platform and will see release before the end of 2019.

As is so often the case with a new Pokémon game, we were introduced to three brand new starter Pokemon: Scorbunny, Sobble, and Grookey. As you might imagine, people are already arguing over who the best of these three will be.

Between that and the new Detective Pikachu trailer dropping, it's a good week to be a pocket monster.

Will Smith Suicide Squad premiere London England

Credit:  Barcroft Images/Getty Images

SUICIDE SQUAD TAKES SHAPE

James Gunn's Suicide Squad sequel has been a pretty big topic of conversation, despite the fact that it's not being released until 2021. And with good reason: the changing landscape of that particular team and the characters surrounding it is a huge deal. We've heard that Jared Leto's Joker movie isn't happening and we've heard that Harley Quinn likely will not appear in the Suicide Squad sequel, either. The whole thing casting doubt on whether Leto will return as the Joker any time soon.

But this week saw one more major confirmation and a big rumor: one more cast member departing and one remaining. As for the departing, it was reported this week that Will Smith will not return as Deadshot. Scheduling conflicts were the given reason for Smith not coming back to the franchise, which is entirely possible. But it's also equally likely that Gunn's soft reboot will be more of a reboot than we originally thought.

One character who will be back, according to rumors, though, is Amanda Waller. Viola Davis, allegedly, is one actor who will return to the franchise. And, really, Waller is the only member of the Suicide Squad you need! She's the leader and other Squad members depart/die all the time. It's kind of in the name. The only player needed is the cunning boss.

HOW NOT TO PROMOTE YOUR VIDEO GAME

This week, Austrian video game company, THQ Nordic, in a bid to promote their latest effort, Darksiders III: For Hollow, decided they would do an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Typically, AMAs are hosted on a site like Reddit.

This AMA was done on 8chan.

If you were unaware, 8chan is a site that grew off of another site, 4chan, after that space decided not to host content related to the video game hate movement (we live in strange times), Gamergate. Gamergate, as you may recall, is a group of gamers who think they are fighting for ethics in video games journalism but who mostly just harass women on the internet.

8chan was also delisted at one point in 2015 over allegations of hosting child pornography.

Despite that, however, the social media for THQ Nordic proudly proclaimed, "We’re doing an 8chan AMA and we have no idea why." They knew the reason why: to promote their game. What seemed less clear, at first, was how aware the people behind marketing THQ Nordic's were of 8chan's reputation. It became clear, however, through the AMA that, yes, to some degree, at least, that THQ Nordic knew exactly the political and non-ethical leanings of the site hosting them.

Reaction was overwhelmingly negative and THQ Noric is now dealing with a backlash from gamers who, you know, aren't into child pornography, harassment, and SWATTing.

ROTTEN TOMATOES TAKES A STAND ON BAD FAITH REVIEWS

Captain Marvel, you know, that movie that isn't out yet, started to see positive, early buzz after a couple of review screenings last week. This week, however, people who have decidedly not seen Captain Marvel started giving it negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

This raised the question: is it okay to give a bad score for a movie that isn't out yet if your goal is to let a company know you refuse to see a film? Is this a valid form of boycott. It would seem Rotten Tomatoes would firmly say no to that.

After the negative user scores rolled in, Rotten Tomatoes decided to take action by deleting the scores entirely and preventing further "reviews" until the film is released.

Is that ethical? Is it too much defense of what is a popcorn film crafted by a major corporation? Is it an attack on freedom of speech? Yes. No. And also no. I'm glad I could help clear that up for you, reader. Giving a nasty review of a movie you haven't seen and that isn't even out yet because an actor believes in a cause like feminism, as the kids would say, ain't it, chief.

And that's it. Another week is over. Next week will see Captain Marvel's release whereupon we can actually talk about a movie that people will have seen instead of combatting people negging it? What a weird world we live in. Let us know what stories won your week, and we'll see you here again next week.


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