Category Archives: Entertainment

My Top Ten Marvel Superheroes

Marvel has been spitting out great blockbusters for the last nine years. With those great films come an awesome array of amazing superheroes. After last year’s introduction to three new heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe a.k.a MCU my excitement to see more newcomers appear in later films has grown. Until that time these are my ten favorite Marvel superheroes.

10. Spider-Man

538cd3628a05e Spider-Man is awesome and with Tom Holland’s latest version of the iconic character this web slinging hero has become that much more enjoyable. I, however, am not a super fan of Spider-Man. Yes he is funny, his abilities are great, and seeing him alongside characters like Iron Man is goosebump inducing but I happen to like nine other superheroes more than him. I am still very excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming this July. I hope it’s good.

9. Ant-Man

54ad72b6084a0 When Ant-Man was coming out in 2015 I didn’t know if I was going to like this new superhero. The name Ant-Man sounded silly and didn’t make me overly excited. After watching the movie I was impressed with Ant-Man’s abilities but he still wasn’t Iron Man or Captain America caliber…until Captain America: Civil War. When he turned from Ant-Man into Giant-Man I about lost it. It was totally unexpected and definitely one of the highlights of the entire film. His role in Civil War might’ve been limited but after that jaw dropping moment he has deservedly risen in the ranks of cool superheroes.

8. Falcon

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Falcon was an awesome addition to the MCU. When Sam Wilson showed up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier I had no idea that he was going to become a superhero, let alone an Avenger. When he fought Ant-Man it was cool because his suit was different and better. His abilities in Civil War however were amazing. I loved his wings which could turn into a shield. How awesome is that! I also loved his drone, Red Wing. That was another nice addition to his character. Even though he still would’ve been my eighth favorite superhero without these great new abilities it definitely cemented him in the eighth spot.

7. Vision

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Vision is awesome. He is so ridiculously powerful he can pick up Thor’s hammer! Wow. Unfortunately he’s still trying to discover the depth of the power he wields from that destructive mind stone lodged in his forehead so he basically doesn’t do anything except pass through solid objects, shoot yellow lasers, and fly. I mean during the airport fight in Civil War he barely did anything. He was basically the referee of the dispute. He was there to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. That shows how cool he is because he doesn’t even have to have the best abilities in the world and he’s my seventh favorite superhero. I hope he’ll unlock a little more of his potential and do something really cool before he (and hopefully this doesn’t happen) comes to his demise at the hands of Thanos.

6. Scarlet Witch

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Scarlet Witch is pretty cool. After Avengers: Age of Ultron I was excited to see a new female superhero join the Avengers ranks. Then I was even more excited that she would be in Civil War. She was great too. I loved that they displayed more of her abilities. It’s also really cool because she’s so powerful she can beat Vision which is extraordinary. I can’t wait to see what she’ll be up to in the next Avengers.

5. Black Widow

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Black Widow is awesome. When she first showed up in Iron Man 2 I didn’t like her that much. Then after the first Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier I was still wasn’t that impressed. She was, at the time, only a little cooler than Hawkeye. After Age of Ultron they finally started to reveal her background a little more and I was able to truly understand who she was. Then in Civil War you can really see how she’s become such a leader in the Avengers. She’s no longer the only female Avenger whose abilities are kind of boring and whose story is so-so. She is actually one of the toughest superheroes because she’s not like Captain America who has been scientifically enhanced. And she doesn’t have very impressive abilities like being able to shoot lasers or summon lightning. She only has her athletic skills, electric bracers, and her tiny black sticks to use and she can literally fight Ant-Man. That’s pretty awesome. I can’t wait to see her again in the next Avengers and I really hope that she gets her own movie soon. She deserves it.

4. Iron Man

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If you would’ve told me five years ago Iron Man would end up being my fourth favorite superhero I would’ve laughed. Iron Man is great but he has, surprisingly, diminished in awesomeness. While there were old characters getting cooler and great new characters appearing Iron Man has stayed the same since the very first Iron Man. Tony Stark has changed in the last nine years because he has faced a whole bunch of difficult challenges. Unfortunately as the list of Avengers grows larger Iron Man’s spot in the top drops further.

3. Captain America

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I was first introduced to Captain America in the first Avengers which was not a great introduction. He was overly stern, didn’t fit in well with the team, and his outfit was horrendous. I didn’t like Captain America very much. In fact he was my least favorite Avenger. After The Winter Soldier my view of Steve Rogers was changed forever. He was actually a great leader and the most impressive thing about him is all he has is a shield and his scientifically enhanced endurance and strength. That’s why he rose to top three in the list. After the conflict he faced with Iron Man I can’t wait to see him in Avengers: Infinity War. Will he still be Captain America or will he be something different? I’ll have to wait and see.

2. Black Panther

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Black Panther is ridiculously cool. I had no knowledge of Black Panther until last year and I was so surprised. When I saw him on the trailers and commercials for Civil War I knew he was going to be awesome but he was even better than I expected. I still get excited every time I watch Civil War when he first attacks Bucky and he unfurls those deadly claws. That is an awesome part. He’s so cool that I can’t wait to see his standalone movie next year. I’m so excited to see his homeland of Wakanda and the people of that secluded country.

1. Doctor Strange

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I had no idea that after November 4th Doctor Strange would be my favorite superhero but he is. His powers are so amazing that I was stunned. I also loved that even though he could make mirror dimensions and could rewind time he still has his basic weapons like the fire lasso he used to fight those sorcerers. And not only is he cool but he has the best companion ever, the cloak. That cloak is so funny and great that it’s kind of a superhero of its own. Doctor Strange was so awesome that as I was watching the movie all I could think was how will he be with the Avengers? I mean can you imagine him floating in the air and while a great battle is happening around him with heroes like Captain America, Iron Man and The Hulk he’ll be up there making the world around him shift and bend in mind boggling ways. I’m so, so very happy that he’s going to be in Thor: Raganarok so I can get a taste of what him alongside The Avengers will be like. Until then I’ll enjoy watching him face off against Dormammu on Blu-Ray.

Well those are my ten favorite Marvel superheroes…for the moment. I can’t wait until May to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. Who knows. Maybe there’ll be another new hero from that movie who breaches my top ten list.

The Eagle Huntress and Why You Should Watch It

Why I Loved this Beautiful Documentary

This documentary, narrated by Daisy Ridley, follows the wonderful story of a teenage girl named Ahshopan who becomes the first eagle huntress in Mongolia.

We are introduced to her at a boarding school located in a small town miles from her home. It’s the last day of school for that week and she is taken home by her father on their cute moped. Her family are nomads that live in a simple circular hut in the midst of a vast barren plain edged with beautiful rocky mountains. Her family consists of a younger sister, younger brother, her mother, and her father.

Her father is one of the few remaining eagle hunters in Mongolia. For centuries Mongolian men found eagles and used them to hunt for food to support their families. Since she was a little girl she loved watching her father put on the eagle hunters’ garb and go out hunting. As she grew older her father allowed her to play with his eagle as he saw her interest in being a hunter.

She eventually gets a baby eaglet of her own and then her journey as a eagle huntress begins. This is a beautiful story that shows both her and her eagle’s growth as a team. She faces a little bit of adversity from the male elders who believe that women shouldn’t be eagle hunters but through sheer love of the role she doesn’t let anything sway her from what she wants to do. It was nice to see her father teach her in the ways of an eagle hunter.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when her father teaches her how to let an eagle land on her arm. That scene was powerful because most people (including me) would be mortally afraid to have a large bird like that fly full speed onto your arm. This fearless girl, however, was smiling the entire time and perfectly caught the eagle on her arm as if she had been doing it all her life.

The cinematography was gorgeous. The people who made this documentary filmed it on a low budget but they did such a fantastic job with their drones and cameras you would never know. They perfectly illustrated how expansive and untouched the land was. There’s one part where they’re filming in an area where there is nothing but fields of pristine snow and ice as far as the eye can see. The quiet peacefulness of that area could be felt through the screen.

The videographers perfectly followed the eagles as they flew at all sorts of different speeds. I loved watching the eagles flying over the ground so you could really see how fast they are going. At times they also put cameras on the eagle so you can see the world from the bird’s eyes. It was a very beautiful movie to watch.

I loved this documentary because there are many cultures throughout the world where men are dominant and they don’t let women or girls achieve their dreams. Ahshopan however stepped outside of the box of what Mongolian women are expected to do and did something extraordinary. It’s also beautiful because her father encouraged her to pursue being an eagle huntress rather than stop her. This shows that the world is slowly becoming more inclusive for everyone. I definitely think this is the perfect film to show young girls because it’s empowering. A girl might watch this documentary and want to do something that she thought she could never do until she saw the fearlessness of Ahshopan.

I give it a 93 out of 100 because it does end abruptly. I came away from the movie wanting to know a little more about Ahshopan’s end story but the movie was perfect besides that. There wasn’t much music but they did integrate some here and there, the cinematography was beautiful, and I am so glad to have witnessed another piece of history being written.

If you can’t see this documentary at any nearby indie movie theaters then I urge you to watch it when it’s available on the internet. You will not be disappointed. At the end of the movie you will have laughed, cried, cheered, and enjoyed the simple beauty of Ahshopan’s wonderful journey that, thanks to cameras, has been told.

 

The Music, Miscues and Visuals of Rogue One

Spoiler Alert

I will talk about a few things in the movie so if you haven’t seen it yet and you don’t want to know any details do not continue to read this.

The Music of Rogue One

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One of the best components of any film is the score. If the score is horrible the movie is horrible. Music makes you feel a certain way about certain things in movies. When I found out John Williams wasn’t doing the score for this movie I was definitely worried. Would the movie sound like Star Wars? And if it did would it even sound good? I happened to be very impressed with the fantastic score Michael Giacchino created.

First of all having someone other than John Williams make the score allowed the movie to feel fresh and new. There were many times in the movie when I found myself saying, “This score is awesome.” Particularly my favorite part was the music for Jedha. I loved how he made the music seem warlike while resembling the sound of Saw Gerrera’s suit. The Imperial theme was fantastic too. It felt like something definitely out of Star Wars but nothing like John Williams would ever make. The theme for Chirrut had an ancient tone that perfectly matched him since he’s supposed to be one of the last Guardians of the Whills. The music for Jyn and Cassian was beautiful and perfectly escalated in a saddening way when their doom became eminent. When the light rushes towards them as they’re embracing on the beach the score gets louder and louder until it stops as the light engulfs them. That was a powerful moment that Michael Giacchino precisely composed.

There were many other smaller pieces of wonderful music placed here and there that enhanced parts of scenes. One of these scenes was when Jyn and Cassian were climbing the data tower to get the plans. The music at that part is so, so good. It has a threatening tone because Director Krennic is walking to the data tower at the same time. This is one of those examples where the music made the scene just that much better.

Overall the score for Rogue One is amazing and definitely worthy of humming.

The Miscues of Rogue One

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As perfect as this movie was there were a few mistakes. First of all if this film is supposed to literally be right before A New Hope then where did all of this new technology come from? Where did all of the Death Troopers and Tie Strikers go? What about the Imperial Tank Soldiers? Are we really supposed to be believe that they all just somehow vanished? And the Imperial droids just like K-2SO? What happened to them? The First Order, which was thirty or so years after Return of the Jedi, didn’t even have that much new technology. Now don’t get me wrong. I love the new stormtroopers and ships. They’re very cool. I just wish they hadn’t introduced so many different Imperial things that we’ll never see in the original trilogy.

The use of the force was a little overkill. A lot of normal people were saying things about the force in this movie. Now nearly everyone who said something about the force had a legitimate reason for saying it. However when the rebel alliance were getting ready to go to Scarif and a random man on the intercom said, “May the force be with you” I was a little annoyed. The force in Star Wars is a pretty big deal. If you start just having anyone say “May the force be with you” it’ll take away the magic from that line and turn it into a kind of joke. Having that man on the intercom say that famous line was just about as bad as if K-2SO said “May the force be with you.”

Another miscue is Bodhi’s death. The way they ended his life was a little lackluster compared to everyone else. Every other main character, including Galen Erso who’s in the movie for a max of maybe four minutes, had a death worth remembering. Bodhi however finishes sending a crucial message to the rebel alliance, a stormtrooper spots him in the ship, throws a grenade, he sees the bomb in front of him, and then boom! It’s a strong contrast compared to Chirrut’s memorable demise before him.

And last but not least we come to Jyn. We are introduced to her locked away in what seems like an Imperial establishment. We then see her a few scenes later being taken to an Imperial labor camp. My question is how did she get there? What was she doing in her life at that time to get captured by the Empire? I was left to use my imagination of why she might be there because the movie never gave me an answer. If Rogue One had been that fragmented it would’ve been an entirely different movie.

The Visuals of Rogue One

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Since the trailers I have known this was going to be a visually stunning movie. And after watching it I was happy to see that it was. The very first thing you see is a ship flying across a ring of a planet. This reminded me of something you would see out of Interstellar. The rest of this movie was full of beautiful cinematography and visually appealing shots. I loved Gareth Edward’s vast vision of this Star Wars film. From the beautiful shots of the vast red plains of Jedha littered with giant rocks and half buried Jedi statues to Jyn atop the tall tower on Scarif with X-Wings and Tie Strikers fighting around the building. Those shots were so cool it stuck in my head, among many other things

One of my favorite parts is when Cassian and Jyn are going through the city on Jedha and the camera sweeps upward to show the massive underbelly of the Star Destroyer parked above the city. That is an amazing shot that really displayed the menace of the Empire at that time in the galaxy.

This is also the first Star Wars movie that really made the Death Star scary. Gareth Edwards did an incredible job showing how terrifying it would be if you saw the planet destroying space station in the sky. One of the many shots that accentuated the menace from the iconic weapon is when the Death Star eclipses the sun and blasts the sacred city on Jedha to oblivion. That was a frighteningly beautiful shot that truly enhanced the movie.

Overall Gareth Edward’s vision was stupendous and I hope he gets to make another Star Wars film.

 

My Review of Rogue One

Spoiler Alert

This post will contain spoilers so if you don’t want to know any details please do not read any further. I hope you enjoy and happy new year!

The New Locations

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I love that this movie showed us six brand new worlds that we’ve never seen before in Star Wars. There was the planet where Galen and his family resided, the Rings of Kafrene, Wobani, an imperial labor camp, Jedha, home to the last Jedi temple, Eadu, and Scarif. Even though it was brief my favorite new location was the trading outpost at the Rings of Kafrene. The concept of a small city placed in between two asteroids is amazing. I hope the next Star Wars has cool, original locations like Rogue One did.

The Return of Grand Moff Tarkin

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Having Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One was brilliant! The CGI used for him wasn’t the best but putting him in the movie was a great move because it cemented this film in the timeline of Star Wars. He was the best surprise of the movie and to me, was the real villain. Krennic was just the angry puppet. This also shows that Disney can bring any character back to the big screen.

The Action in Rogue One

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Death Troopers Ph: Jonathan Olley �Lucasfilm LFL 2016.

This movie was full of intense action that was superb in IMAX. The part where the rebels start fighting the stormtroopers in the city on Jedha is one of the many great action sequences. There were so many fantastically loud explosions and so much commotion it’ll take me a while to see everything that happened at that part. One of my favorite pieces in that sequence is when the walker came through the streets firing at everything in sight. That was really cool! This long action scene also allowed Jyn to show off her very impressive skills. Having Chirrut and Baze finish off that part by having them take down about a dozen stormtroopers was perfect and one of the highlights of the film to me.

The part when the Death Star blows up Jedha is my favorite part of the movie. I’ve always wanted to know just exactly what’s it like for the people on the surface of the planets that get annihilated. The Force Awakens gave a slight hint of how horrifying it is but Rogue One really elaborated on that terrible experience. I love when Bodhi is looking and there’s that giant cloud of huge chunks of rock and dirt coming towards them. When they barely escape and they show the space shot where the fire and dirt is reaching up into space all I could say was “Wow.” That part was jaw dropping in IMAX.

The action on Eadu was okay. I loved when Chirrut turned his stick into a crossbow and shot down that tie fighter. That was awesome. Baze protecting Jyn and Cassian from the droves of stormtroopers emerging from the facility in his perch on the rocks was another amazing part. I think he has the coolest gun that I have ever seen in Star Wars.

The space battle was fantastic. I loved how several times throughout the battle the camera had you in a cockpit flying alongside the other X-Wings. At those moments in IMAX it kind of felt like Star Tours at Disney World except without the moving seats. This was, for me, the best space battle out of all the Star Wars films.

The greatest part of the action on the surface of Scarif was when Chirrut, Baze, and the rebels are busy fighting the stormtroopers and that giant AT-ACT appeared out of the smoke. That was another one of those beautiful shots that enhanced the film because it truly showed how difficult it is to fight against the Empire.

The Unfortunate (and not so unfortunate) Demise of Everyone in Rogue One

pao-main_1588acf7 It’s sad because everyone died in this Star Wars film. K-2SO’s death was one I was not expecting. Before I had watched the movie I had predicted that he would undoubtedly live. A main droid has never gotten killed in a Star Wars movie so why would he? As I watched him riddled with blast holes from the horde of approaching stormtroopers I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness. He’s going to die.” And he did which was horrible.

Chirrut’s death was just as saddening. I really hoped he wouldn’t die because he was so cool. At first when he miraculously reached that switch I was so happy because he made it without getting shot. Then when he got knocked forward by that explosion as he was walking back to the ship I was shocked. At least he got to say goodbye to his best friend Baze but it was still sad.

Bodhi’s death was sudden and not that depressing. I wished they could’ve made his death a little more memorable.

Baze’s death was at least better than Bodhi’s. He shot Death Trooper after Death Trooper while taking blasts of his own. Unfortunately the last trooper he took down still had a ticking grenade in his hand and he became the third person to fall to an explosion. Fourth if you count Galen Erso on Eadu. The writers definitely weren’t trying to get creative with their individual deaths. They just decided to have each of them get blown up.

Director Krennic’s demise was well deserved. I loved when he looked up after getting shot and saw the Death Star in the sky. The weapon’s destruction that he thought was so beautiful was going to be his doom. He got the ultimate karma.

Jyn and Cassian’s death of course is the grimmest. The prequel trilogy tried to tell the love story between Anakin and Padme but thanks to bad acting and a terrible script when everything crumbles for them it’s not even close to sad. The romantic arc between Jyn and Cassian is perfectly written because it never feels forced or unnecessary. When they’re taking that elevator ride down to the beach they both realize like each other a whole lot. Their fate is unfortunately sealed however when the Death Star fires on the base. When they’re hugging each other on the beach and the bright light washes over them it’s a very solemn moment. I really hope the next Star Wars doesn’t have as high a death count.

Darth Vader is Back!

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It’s been decades since the iconic villain has had any substance in the Star Wars saga. In Rogue One he appeared in only three scenes but his impact on the film lived up to his standards. His first appearance in the movie was fantastic. First of all, Darth Vader has a castle? What?! And it’s on Mustafar?! I loved how Rogue One not only tied itself to A New Hope but it also recognized the prequel trilogy by putting his castle on the planet where he met his gruesome fate. The next time I watch Revenge of the Sith the Mustafar scenes will have an entirely new meaning.

I loved when the door opened and you could see Darth Vader’s shadow on the wall behind Director Krennic. That was a beautiful shot because it showed how nervous Krennic was while also displaying the menacing, awesome presence of the Sith Lord. Their conversation was brief but wonderful. When Darth Vader choked Krennic and then said, “Be careful not to choke on your aspirations” I was so excite Darth Vader was back and just as great as he once was.

The last scene with him was incredible! I remember when I watched it the first time I was wondering why the rebels were so scared. Then when out of the darkness came his iconic breath and blood red lightsaber my eyes widened in gleeful horror. I feel so sorry for those rebels. Darth Vader sliced and force choked his way through them like as if they were nothing. At that moment you realize just how frightening it would be to see Darth Vader if you weren’t a Jedi. I remember when I first heard Darth Vader was going to be in this film I was hoping he would have at least one scene where he would terrorize the rebels. Before this scene came I thought that the movie would end without him doing anything truly substantial. I’m so happy I was wrong. This, for me, is the second best scene with Darth Vader of all the Star Wars films. If him telling Luke that he was his father wasn’t so crucial to the Star Wars saga this would hands down be my favorite scene with him. Let’s hope there will be more standalone films in the future with even more Darth Vader in it.

The Conclusion of Rogue One

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And then when you think the movie can’t possibly get any better they throw a Leia bombshell on everybody. Seeing her at the very end of the movie was so fantastic because not only did it connect Rogue One and A New Hope like a puzzle piece but it showed, once again, that they can do so much with CGI these days. This was the perfect way to end the movie.

I give Rogue One a 95 out of 1oo. There are a few flaws but the story and endearing characters were so flawlessly written into this film that it definitely deserves an A. It also, without a doubt, is the best prequel. The cameos and nods to A New Hope never felt forced or unnecessary and only enriched the story of the 1977 film.

For me this is definitely one of the best Star Wars movies ever made. I can’t say it is the best for the reason that the other Star Wars episodes are just that, episodes. Those movies can’t reveal everything in one film. If the original trilogy could somehow be jammed into one movie it would be a very, very good movie full of plot twists.

Rogue One was such a fantastic entry into the Star Wars universe that I’m now super excited to see the Han Solo movie in 2018. If it’s anything like this film it’s going to be very enjoyable.

I Am So Excited for This Weekend of Football

Friday Night

Tonight the first of the six great bowls comes on. #11 Florida State plays #6 Michigan and I am so excited. I don’t care who wins but I am hoping for a good game that goes into at least one overtime. I’ve been waiting for weeks for these games to come and now they’re here! Yes!

Saturday

Tomorrow at 3:00pm #1 Alabama faces off against #4 Washington. I am so ready for this game. I will be routing for Washington to win. Alabama has been so dominant this year that watching them win game after game has been exasperating. Washington has had a weak schedule but I believe they might be the team no one sees coming this year. Let’s hope this game ends with the surprise of the football playoff.

Then at 7:00pm #2 Clemson goes against #3 Ohio State. This will probably be a close game. Both of these teams have lost only one game this year, both teams have dynamic quarterbacks, and both teams have had tough times throughout the regular season. I have no idea who will win. It could go either way. I would like Clemson to win so they could get back to the championship and win it all but I wouldn’t mind if Ohio State managed to win.

Sunday

Then of course on Sunday there’s NFL. This is the last chance for a whole bunch of teams to get their positions in the playoffs. The game I’m most excited to watch is the Sunday Night game where the Green Bay Packers play the Detroit Lions. Whoever wins this game is going to the playoffs. I really would love it if the Packers won. Aaron Rodgers is my favorite quarterback in the NFL and he had a tough time for the first half of the season. If they win I will be so happy because who doesn’t want to watch the Packers in the playoffs?

So the time has finally come! This Monday the college football championship and NFL playoffs will be set. I can’t wait to see what happens.