Category Archives: Superhero

My Ten Favorite Movie Heroines

I love movies because they’re very fun to watch. I love seeing stories play out onscreen, I love watching actors portray different characters that I will either love or despise, I love action films, but most importantly, I love a movie with an off-the-chain heroine. There are hundreds of great films with male heroes but when a woman can come into the fold and kick butt alongside the men that’s when a movie, for me, gets really awesome and lately that’s become a regular occurrence.

Last year Wonder Woman finally got her own blockbuster film after being around for decades and there have been a bunch of critically acclaimed indie films and television shows led by women in the past year. The last three Star Wars films have been led by women and have made billions of dollars, an idea that at one time would seem preposterous to the Hollywood elite. And last year’s highest grossing films were all female-led, Beauty and the BeastWonder Woman, and The Last Jedi.

So, because women are clearly awesome, I’m going to share with you the ten movie heroines that I have come to love the most, at least, so far. Enjoy!

10. Dorothy

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies of all time. I remember seeing this film as a child and it was one of the most magical films I have ever seen still to this day. To think that this movie was made in 1939! is beyond incredible and in the center of this epic tale is Dorothy.

Dorothy is a special character. She has those ruby slippers, she sings like an angel, she has the cutest dog ever, Toto, and she’s so sweet. She’s a regular farm girl trying to run away from home because a mean old lady wants her dog to be taken away who just so happened to end up embarking on an incredible journey in a magical world unlike any other. She faces flying monkeys, an evil witch, and many other obstacles but at the end of it all she survives the adventure and helps save the Land of Oz while never refraining from being herself. If you really think about it, Dorothy is a very brave girl. To face all of that strange stuff; a talking scarecrow, a talking lion, a tin man, munchkins, witches, etc. without utterly freaking out is very impressive.

Without Dorothy The Wizard of Oz would not be the same magical movie that it has been for almost a century and that’s why she is one of my favorite heroines.

9. Murph Cooper

Jessica Chastain in Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is another one of my favorite movies because, well, it’s very, very good. The story is well written, the creativity is out of this world amazing, every actor’s performance is exceptional, the music is ridiculously imaginative and helps elevate the film in chill-inducing ways, and at there are some incredible women in this movie.

Through the marketing of this film it seemed like the movie was about Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper who supposedly was going to save the world but in actuality the movie was really about his daughter, Murph. No she might not have participated in an adventure that consisted of falling in black holes or surviving a planet that had nothing but water but back on Earth she was being a hero in her own right as she tried to find a way to save the people on Earth from extinction.

When her mentor, Professor Brand, died did she go sit herself in a corner and weep until the world came to an end? No. She continued striving to find the solution that would save humanity even though she was mostly alone, with the exception of her friend, the Doctor, a grueling task that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle. The fact that she, at the end of the day, was the one to save everyone is not only amazing but makes her one of my favorite heroines.

8. Valkyrie

Valkyrie is so cool. She’s rude, she’s unapologetic for her attitude, she’s tough, and beyond all of that, she’s really powerful. No, she might not be able to summon lightning like Thor but besides that she has the exact same skill set as him and that’s why I am an absolute fan of hers. And did I mention she was cool? 🙂

7. Shuri

Letitia Wright in Black Panther (2018)

Shuri is awesome, pure and simple. Not only is she a Wakandan princess but she’s also the lead scientist of the technologically advanced African nation (and she’s just a teenager by the way) and she’s a superhero! She’s basically the female version of Tony Stark, except smarter and cooler. 🙂

Black Panther is representing black women in the most beautiful ways and to know that young girls will be able to see a character this amazing and self-confident is not only a great thing but it is an inspiring realization. Hopefully Shuri will be around for many years to come.

6. Black Widow

I love Black Widow. She’s beautiful, deadly, intelligent, and she can kick some serious butt. You would think, because she’s an assassin, that she wouldn’t be able to hold her own against the terrible forces that The Avengers have to fight every now and then but she can. That makes her more than just an assassin, she truly is an Avenger as well.

She’s also complex too. The brief hints at her back story helped reveal a darker side of her that had never been seen before and will hopefully be explored in her standalone film.

I’m so glad she’s finally getting her own movie. It’s about time. I mean, she’s one of the most loved and earliest Avengers and yet she still, in every movie that she’s been in, has been a co-star. I am beyond excited to see her finally shine in her own movie.

5. Ripley

I had no idea why Sigourney Weaver was a movie icon…until I watched Alien. In 1979 there weren’t a lot of delightfully strong heroines displayed in movies but Ripley was undoubtedly one of them. In the movie she isn’t used as a love interest or a damsel in distress, she is portrayed as just another astronaut alongside the predominantly male astronaut crew she’s in. When things start getting crazy she’s the only crew member who didn’t absolutely freak out and that is stunning.

Alien is a disturbingly frightening movie and undoubtedly the scariest sci-fi film I have ever watched but at least there was Ripley to make you feel a little less horrified. Now, of course, she was scared because how can you not be scared? Think about being trapped on a ship with an alien that wants to kill you. That’s beyond terrifying but she handled herself remarkably well in that horrendous situation. Her strength in the movie is astoundingly brilliant and it’s why she’s still an icon to this day.

4. Princess/General Leia

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Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars today if you didn’t have Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. They were the foundation that made the movie resonate with millions of people and Leia was a huge part of that foundation. When she first appeared in A New Hope she was a princess, yes, but she wasn’t your typical princess. She wasn’t like Cinderella or Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. She was a Star Wars princess and that entails not a damsel in distress but rather a feisty, intelligent woman who is willing to die for the cause she believed in.

Throughout the films she has been a politician, a warrior, a lover, a wife, a mother, a sister, a general, and she has been unwaveringly powerful. When she spoke every one listened. When she commanded people to do something they did it.

She helped inspire girls around the world that we as women can be strong and beautiful without compromising our integrity and our goals. Princess Leia is a heroine in many people’s lives and as the story of Star Wars finally continues without her the impact she left in this franchise will be felt for a long, long time.

3. Okoye

Danai Gurira in Black Panther (2018)

Okoye is off the chain! Oh my goodness, I love her so much. She’s such a strong woman in Black Panther because, well, she’s the general of Wakanda. And she is quite the general too. She’s not the smily type. If she doesn’t like or trust you she will let you know with the way she looks at you. She immediately authoritizes herself over everyone, except for the royal family, and you can sense that. She is second to no one and that’s why I love her so much.

I also love her belief in the beautiful and natural ways of Wakanda women. One of my favorite scenes with her in Black Panther is when she comments on the wig she has to wear as a disguise during a certain sequence of the movie. I’m a black woman with natural hair and so it was so relatable seeing her despise the wig. She got rid of that wig at the first chance she got too. Brilliant. 🙂

I also love how incredible of a fighter she is. In Marvel there are a lot of powerful superheroes but there aren’t any like her. She has this spear and she knows how to use it too. It’s amazing. The first time I saw her in action my jaw dropped a little. Like I said before, Okoye is off the chain!!! I can’t wait to see her kick some alien butt in Avengers: Infinity War.

2. Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017)

I mean come on, it’s Wonder Woman. How can you not love Wonder Woman?! She’s gorgeous, powerful, benevolent, she’s frankly, in my opinion, the leader of the Justice League, she’s got that incredible Lasso of Truth (I love the lasso) and she’s simply awesome. Yeah, I might not have liked the way they treated her origin story (it could’ve been MUCH better) but she’s still one of the greatest heroines ever!

Gal Gadot did a marvelous job portraying the iconic heroine and I can’t wait to see her again in future DC movies. Hopefully those films will be better than the last few. *shrug*

1. Rey

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

This, frankly, isn’t a surprise. I mean, I love me some Rey! Ever since the first time I saw her in that eensy weensy teaser for The Force Awakens (at the time I thought she was Leia’s daughter) four years ago I was immediately intrigued. Then I watched the movie in 2015 and when I discovered that she was the new Jedi of this trilogy it was beyond amazing. I totally freaked out, in a good way. For so long I had been wanting a major female Jedi but there had never been one…until now. Thank you Disney for making my dreams come true.

And then after The Last Jedi my love for her only increased. Now did she have any groundbreaking moments like she did in The Force Awakens? No, not really, but she stayed on the level of coolness that made me such a Rey fan in the first place.

The casting for Rey was also perfect as well. Daisy Ridley was the perfect woman to play her because first of all, she was a widely unknown actress so she could make Rey her own and I didn’t have to say, “Oh, that’s such and such.” Secondly, she can act! The way she can just summon tears at will is very impressive. Third, she just looks awesome. She’s beautiful, vulnerable, tough, strong, smart, and kind all at the same time and she portrays that so well simply with her face.

I love Rey a lot and the thought that Daisy Ridley’s last appearance as Rey will be in Episode IX is kind of saddening to think about because I wish her story could go on and on. Unfortunately, it can’t, and so I’m going to treasure watching her in The Last Jedi and then one day, in the future, in Episode IX.

Well, these are my ten favorite heroines. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious day.

A New King Has Been Crowned…and His Name Isn’t T’Challa

Black Panther has been out for six days and it has broken box-office records left and right and is the best rated superhero film of all time at a stunning 97% Rotten Tomatoes score which isn’t surprising. The movie is good!!! When I came out of that movie theater five days ago I had embarked on a cinematic journey that I never thought I would ever experience and it is still impacting me to this day. There are great movies and then there are perfect movies. Black Panther was practically perfect and one of the reasons why it was such a fantastically enjoyable film is because of its villain, Erik Killmonger.

Minor Spoilers Ahead! If you haven’t seen this movie yet and you would rather go into the movie clean of any details of the film I suggest you read no further. I thank you for heeding this warning and I hope you enjoy the rest of the post.

Continue reading A New King Has Been Crowned…and His Name Isn’t T’Challa

The Incredibles Are Back!

I’m going to tell you right now, I am a HUGE Incredibles fan. I was six when The Incredibles came out and I think I watched this movie nearly every day for about a year and a half straight, that’s how much I loved The Incredibles. It was the best superhero movie I had ever seen as a child and it continuously made me happy. As I grew older and continued watching The Incredibles I began asking myself as I watched the end over and over again if there would be a sequel or not. It was so obvious that there should be one but as the years crawled by and the hope of an Incredibles sequel grew less and less likely I began to give up hope.

I think the last time I watched The Incredibles was, I’d say, in 2011 and after that final viewing of the Pixar superhero flick I thought I would never see The Incredibles again. And then…that hope for an Incredibles sequel that I had buried away because it seemed so unlikely was reawakened with a bang as Disney announced that sequel that I had been longing for for years was going to be made. I jumped up and down with joy.

The Incredibles was my favorite children’s movie just ahead of the cute children’s film, Stuart Little, and the thought of a sequel was beyond a dream come true for me. Last week during the Winter Olympics a sneak peek for Incredibles 2 was released and, after finally seeing it today, I’m here to share it with you.

After seeing the sneak peek I’m still excited about the movie but I don’t know if it has that same pizzazz, that same special sauce that made it so enjoyable fourteen years ago. I think because The Incredibles set such a high bar Disney is possibly trying too hard to top it and that could be a problem. I mean I like the plot.

Elastigirl has been hired by an agency to bring superheroes back into the limelight while Mr. Incredible has to become a stay-at-home dad and take care of the kids which shows how the creators have evolved the story since last time we saw them. And while the sneak peek was enjoyable it also felt, I hate to admit it, a little boring. Some of the jokes didn’t land properly, seeing Edna Mode in the teaser felt like a nostalgic callback to the previous Incredibles rather than a necessity, and there wasn’t exactly anything that excited me from this trailer. One thing that did interest me about this sneak peek, however, is the fact that there was no sign of the villain. That means there’s quite a bit of content in this movie that hasn’t been shared and that’s always exciting to see.

I’m hoping Incredibles 2 will be just as enjoyable as its predecessor but I’ll have to wait and see. Judging from this sneak peek though it’ll fall just short of The Incredibles’ former glory and it’ll try too hard to be like the previous film rather than embracing it and moving the story forward in an equally enjoyable manner. I hope I’m wrong about this but my gut instinct is usually never wrong.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have an incredible day.

The Women of ‘Black Panther’

Marvel hasn’t been known for incorporating a lot of female superheroes in their movies (until recently.) For a while Black Widow was the only female superhero in the superhero franchise until 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy introduced assassin sisters Gamora and Nebula into the fold. Since then the female superheroes have appeared at an increasing rate. Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange had The Ancient One. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought forth a new heroine, Mantis. Thor: Ragnarok unleashed the fiery Valkyrie into the MCU as well as the franchise’s first female villain, Hela. And now Black Panther.

Out of all seventeen previous films there have been only eight female superheroes, and four of them appeared in the last two years! This has been a male-dominated franchise for a long time but that’s slowly being cut into and the arrival of Black Panther helps that immensely as it introduced the most women we’ve seen in a Marvel film to date. Not only were their four major heroines in the film but there were plenty of strong, powerful women surrounding them as well and it was a marvel (see what I did there?) to see. And more importantly, they were black!

We, as black women, rarely see ourselves represented in such an epic fashion onscreen and to see so many of us, at one time, portrayed as strong, beautiful, intelligent, and downright awesome was and still is one of the best experiences of my life. So today I’m going to celebrate the arrival of these powerful women and I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Continue reading The Women of ‘Black Panther’

I’ve Seen ‘Thor: The Dark World’!

The same day that I watched Jurassic World I also happened to see Thor: The Dark World for the first time and this is why I wanted to watch it. I have watched every Marvel film there has ever been except for Thor: The Dark World and it was bothering me. How could I have seen all seventeen films except for this one? So I watched it because I was curious to see what the Thor sequel was like and I found out alright.

This movie was terrible. I was literally laughing at how bad it was. The action was some of the worst I’ve seen from a Marvel film, the story was bland, the villain was horrendous, the CGI, oh my gosh the CGI was so bad Justice League‘s CGI looks great in comparison, and overall it made me appreciate Thor: Ragnarok even more after seeing the movie. The only scenes I actually enjoyed in the film were the ones with Loki involved.

He managed to make the movie enjoyable at times when the film was at its murkiest. And then as soon as he “died” the movie became boring again. I was shocked. I knew the movie wasn’t that great but this film was ridiculously bad. Thor is one of my least favorite Marvel movies and it was better than Thor: The Dark World.

And oh my goodness, I’m so glad Taika Waititi scrapped Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster.

She brought absolutely nothing to the movie except the aspect of romance and the means for Thor to save his Earth damsel in distress over and over again. It was kind of bad how out of place she was in the movie. In Thor she had a reason for being in the movie. She was a scientist who just so happened to be in the same vicinity as Thor when he crashed to Earth. In Thor: The Dark World she was really out of her comfort zone and brought no substance to the movie whatsoever. And having her slap the mess out of Thor and Loki doesn’t make her a strong character. It only reiterated that she couldn’t do anything but slap people and hope her Thor would be there to rescue her all the time. Ugh. It was so terrible.

My Conclusion of the Film

I was hoping Thor: The Dark World would surprise me and actually be a decent film but it was very much the opposite. Even without Jane Foster the movie would’ve still been super boring because it was terrible plot altogether. It was so bad in fact that I had to ask myself why the movie was even called Thor: The Dark World? It’s pretty terrible when a movie’s story is so disjointed that the title of the film doesn’t even match with the movie. The only good thing I got from it is I’ll understand what’s going on in Thor: Ragnarok even more now thanks to Thor: The Dark World but that’s about it.

I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars and a 68 out of 100. It was poorly made and I definitely won’t be watching it again. At least I can say I’ve seen every Marvel film now and that’s all I cared about achieving. If you haven’t seen this movie I highly recommend that you don’t watch. It’s not worth the hour and fifty-two minutes.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious President’s Day.

Ranking the Ten Best Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the arrival of Black Panther a couple of days ago there are now 18! Marvel movies that have come out in the last decade. Not only is that amazing but the majority of the films are actually really enjoyable. Marvel has become a franchise juggernaut. In fact, they’re starting to make Star Wars look kind of weak in comparison when you think about how many more films they have compared to the science-fiction franchise (but Star Wars is still the best, in my opinion, so far.) So today, since I have now officially seen the groundbreaking superhero film, Black Panther, I want to share with you where I rank it among nine of its other predecessors. Enjoy!

10. Ant-Man

Three years ago Ant-Man debuted and while it definitely wasn’t one of the best Marvel movies I’ve ever seen it is a fun film to watch. Scott Lang brings the laughs, Hope van Dyne is an awesome heroine, and the movie is entertaining. Now is it anywhere close to the quality of the nine other films ahead of it, no, but against the eight movies behind it I happen to like this film more.

9. The Avengers

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth in The Avengers (2012)

I still remember when I saw The Avengers for the first time. It completely changed my view on what a superhero movie could be. I mean seeing six superheroes fighting together to save the world was really amazing and it immediately turned me into a Marvel fan. Now I saw this movie the other day and I was laughing at how lame it was. In 2012 this movie was the best you could get from Marvel but now after there being so many movies that are light years better than The Avengers it just looks old. And there’s nothing particularly wrong with that. In fact, it makes me happy to see that it’s so ancient. That means the Marvel films have gotten much better since then and that’s always a good thing.

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

While The Avengers is a better made movie than its sequel I happen to like this movie a lot more simply because the original Avengers’ stories are much more developed and the addition of Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Quicksilver makes the movie that much more enjoyable.

Continue reading Ranking the Ten Best Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

A Spoiler-Free Review of ‘Black Panther’

I watched Black Panther yesterday and I’m still reveling in how good the movie was. In fact, I watched Captain America: Civil War last night, which is something I haven’t done in over a year, because Black Panther was so great I wanted to look back at how T’Challa was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And the movie had such an impact on me I woke up still thinking about brilliantly fantastic the film was. So, while the movie is still fresh in my mind, here’s my spoiler-free review.

The Story

Black Panther (2018)

Everything about this film worked. The story was one of the best I’ve seen in Marvel so far. It kept me wondering what was going to happen next while also clarifying earlier scenes in the movie that, if left untouched, would’ve left us viewers with some serious plot holes to try to fill.

The Characters

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther (2018)

The characters were not only incredibly cool but they each had an essential part to play in the film. There was no one who could’ve been left out of the film. And Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of the villain, Erik Killmonger, was beyond what I expected, becoming an immediate favorite in the MCU. He definitely wasn’t your typical Marvel villain.

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One of my favorite things about a movie is when you can actually relate with the bad guy. It’s one of the reasons I like Kylo Ren so much and why this new Star Wars trilogy is so entertaining. If the villain is always someone you immediately want to root against then the story isn’t very complex but if the antagonist presents an argument that’s kind of understandable and makes you question the antics of the good guys that’s when a movie gets really interesting and Black Panther did this. If Erik Killmonger is any indication on the direction Marvel is heading villain-wise I’m all thumbs up.

Continue reading A Spoiler-Free Review of ‘Black Panther’