Black Panther: A Review

For our Valentine’s Date, Michael and I saw the new Marvel movie, Black Panther.  I’ve been stoked to see this movie since I saw the trailer back in the summer.  I know that there have been a lot of great articles out there that articulate the amazing things this movie has done and is doing for the black community, such as this one from the New York Times.  But for my review, I just want to share my two favorite things about the movie from my perspective as a Marvel Universe loving girl.  No spoilers, I promise.


My first favorite thing is the women in this movie.  Last year, I thought DC had really cornered the market on the female representation with Wonder Woman, but in this movie, there were three fierce, beautiful, intelligent women who kicked butt.  I call them the soldier, the spy, and the scientist (because I love alliteration and it works).  And even though I loved their fight scenes, car chases, and attitudes, my favorite part was that they each held to their own convictions.  Throughout the film, they each get told in one way or another that they are naive, or that they are assumed to act a certain way (and this is coming out of an egalitarian society), but they stick to who they are and what they believe.  In the end, they each prove themselves by just being themselves.  I’m afraid that I can’t give too many specifics, though, because of spoilers.

The second favorite thing is the set design/cinematography.  The sweeping landscapes and deep, rich colors of Africa are pronounced throughout the film.  My absolute favorite set, though, was the throne room of the Jabari tribe.  A close second is the throne room in Wakanda.  But what I loved the most was the intertwining of the traditional with the technologically advanced.  When I think of futuristic cities, I usually imagine pristine, minimalist buildings.  But in Wakanda, you had what seemed ancient ruins mixed with hovercrafts.  There was a point in the movie where they showed a part of Wakanda where people were selling things in a market, and a hoverbus goes by.  I wanted to pause the movie and just get lost in all of the details – the ivy growing along the buildings, people communicating from their bracelets.  It was absolute perfection in a way I hadn’t thought of before.

Overall, I highly recommend the movie.  Like in most of the Marvel movies, there are amazing themes of redemption and mercy, understanding where people come from, and caring about the people around you and doing what’s right.  Definitely in my top five favorites in comic book movies of all time.


Thor Ragnarok: A review

This weekend, Michael and I saw the new Thor movie.

In short, the movie is hilarious, a much lighter movie than the other two Thor movies.  Some great one-liners, well-paced, clever writing.  Just an all around, great movie to see.  Highly recommend.

I find it really interesting, the contrast between Thor’s time on Sakaar versus what is happening on Asgard at the same time.  The cinematography and overall tone are completely different.  Sakaar is lighter, brighter, the fight scenes are almost comical.  On Asgard, the tone is similar to those on the previous two Thor movies – dark, serious, and a lot more death.  And it becomes even more apparent as they switch back and forth between places.

Also, at this point, if you have been watching the Marvel movies, then you know that each one builds off of the ones before and builds up to the ones coming up.  There is a really neat bonus scene at the end that ties into a bonus scene at the end of the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie, kind of a before and after.  Plus, there is a cameo of Dr. Strange towards the beginning of the movie, tying in the two universes.  I love how everything seems to be coming together.

I don’t want to give anything about the movie specifically away.  If you haven’t been watching the Marvel movies at all, I would recommend at least seeing Dr. Strange and the first two Thor movies and the first Avengers movie if you want to understand most of the references made in this one.  I really hope you go see the movie, though!  It’s a really fun ride!

Fall TV: First Impressions

I’ve written about the Fall TV line up before, what I’m enjoying and what I’m not so much.  It’s interesting to go back and see what shows I initially enjoyed that I either don’t watch anymore or have been canceled, but it’s also interesting to see the shows that I have continued to watch from the beginning.


I do have limitations to my TV watching.  First, we have a rule of one hour of TV a night.  Second, we don’t have cable.  We haven’t had cable for the majority of our marriage.  We do have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, plus we have an antenna that gets the major broadcast channels.  Between these four things, we have plenty to watch.

We don’t always get to watch things live (or when they are scheduled on broadcast) which is another limitation.  If we miss something that plays on ABC, NBC, or FOX, then we can usually catch it on Hulu the day after.  But CBS is its own animal.  And you have to pay for that separately, which we are not really prepared to do right now.  So, you might notice a lack of the CBS shows in my list below.

So, now that all of that is out of the way, here are my first impressions for Fall 2017.

Good Doctor / Season 1

The Good Doctor (ABC) – Shawn Murphy is a surgical resident at San Jose t. Bonaventure Hospital.  He is also autistic with a savant syndrome.  The story follows him and the rest of the hospital as they navigate through Murphy’s strengths and weaknesses.  So far, the rest of the cast is slightly two dimensional, as they are building the story around this autistic surgeon.  It’s very interesting, however, and I would like to see them dive into some of the attributes of autism like overstimulation.


The Gifted (FOX) – Set in the Xmen Universe, mutants are now on the run from the government, who have deemed them a threat.  A family is caught in the middle when the parents find out that both of their kids have the mutant gene.  The father, a prosecutor who handles mutant cases, is forced to ally himself with the people he has been building a case against.  I’ve only seen the first episode, and if you have watched any of the trailers, you have seen the basic first episode.  The one thing I find interesting is that the family is portrayed as this strong unit, the parents and kids communicate with each other perfectly.  Even though the daughter hides the fact that she is a mutant, when it comes out, she is accepted unconditionally.  I know that they want us rooting for this family, but they just seem too perfect, at least in this first episode.


The Brave (NBC) – Special task force sent behind enemy lines to rescue people who have been kidnapped.  It’s fast-paced and action-packed.  Lots of fight scenes and stuff exploding.  The first two episodes have had some girl power to them, as well.  There is a girl on the combat team (who shares gratitude with the leader in a stakeout scene that she is treated like anyone else).  And the second episode, the kidnapped woman was not a damsel in distress, but someone who could kick some serious butt.


The Orville (FOX) –  Seth MacFarlane (you know, Family Guy) is the captain of a ship on an exploratory mission in space.  At first, I thought this was going to be a parody of Star Trek, and even though there are a lot of obvious homages to The Next Generation especially, it doesn’t feel like a parody.  Sure, there are a lot of funny moments, but there are some serious subject matters as well.  But overall, being a child of the nineties and loving Star Trek: TNG growing up, I really enjoy this show!


Marvel’s Inhumans (ABC) – I haven’t watched the most recent episode yet, but I did watch the two-hour premiere.  It. Was. So. Slow.  I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t watch the last few episodes of last seasons Agents of Shield yet, but I’m struggling to care about these characters.  A lot of the scenes are predictable or even unnecessary (the one of that scientist packing her bags, I just didn’t get it).  Maybe the storyline will pick up, so I’m not giving up on it yet, but I usually drop a show by mid-season, and I feel like this one will be it.  But for now, I’m just there for Lockjaw (the dog).

Of course, I’m also watching The Good Place (NBC), Speechless (ABC), The Goldbergs (ABC), and Modern Family (ABC), as well as Brooklyn 99 (FOX).  All of these shows are returning this season and they are all short sitcom type shows that I really enjoy.

That’s all we are watching this Fall.  I know This is Us (NBC) is a fan favorite, but with my own life stuff, the timing just isn’t great.  Maybe I will binge watch it a couple years from now when this season of life is over.

Are there any shows that you are watching right now, or excited to see?

Dr. Strange and the Moviehouse & Eatery

Michael and I went to the Moviehouse and Eatery on Saturday night to see the new Marvel movie, Dr. Strange.

M&E has been open now for about a month, and they still have a few kinks to work out.  But the food was absolutely delicious.  I had one of their seasonal dishes – shredded beef and rice bowl.  It was advertised as spicy, but it wasn’t very spicy.  It was good, though.  Michael had the carnitas street tacos, which he enjoyed.  I am allergic to pork, so I couldn’t try them.  We also ordered an apple cake which was pretty good.  It was a smaller portion than we thought it would be, not really for sharing, so we each only got a couple of bites.  Still, we ate pretty well.

The movie was excellent.  A lot of people have said that it is visually stunning, and it is.  The CGI quality is above and beyond.  It wasn’t my favorite Marvel movie, but the plot was entertaining.  I like Benedict Cumberbatch.  I see him as more of a drama actor, but he was pretty funny in this movie.  There were some violent scenes (like the car accident) but a lot of it was slowed down (since the movie was about time and time manipulation), so somehow it seemed a lot less graphic to me.  There wasn’t a whole lot of romance in the movie.  It seemed forced or underdeveloped to me, although I do think McAdams and Cumberbatch had some chemistry on screen.

There were a lot of connections to other Marvel universes.  We’ve been watching Agents of Shield this season, and I love how seamlessly the TV show works with the bigger movies.  In the TV show, the main plot is about retrieving this book that reveals knowledge on how to create matter from nothing.  In the movie, a major plot point surrounded a collection of books that revealed advanced practices in mysticism.  There were also some hints to Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers throughout the movie.

I would recommend the movie.  It’s fun, entertaining, and part of the Marvel universe.  And I think we will go back to the Moviehouse at some point, too.  The food and atmosphere is great, and I’m sure they will work the kinks out soon, and then it will be phenomenal.

Do you have a favorite place to see movies?

Have you seen Dr. Strange?  Are you a Marvel fan?