Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thankful Thursday #229

After a three month absence from blogging there are a plethora* of topics and articles to choose for this return; anything from a general life update to any one of the dozens of movie reviews I have waiting to be edited. I'm going with a blog staple, Thankful Thursday, because it always seems to put life and it worries and concerns into perspective.

There are situations that can unnerve me for a time, causing deep anxiety, sleepless nights, and analyse paralyse. In the face of these "storms of life" Counting my blessing resets my thinking and helps me say, "God is good in spite of the storm, it is well with my soul." I am reminded of that God is bigger than any situation.  Also, it shows me I am very blessed.

This month I've been thankful for...

1) … fireworks. Fireworks are always a joy
2) … TV night
3) … walks and talks with my Mum
4) … successful planning
5) … the volunteers, youth helpers, and people who helped make last week's all-day VBS day camp a success
6) … the provisions that allowed me to flight to Nova Scotia and the people who provided those provisions
7) … Nova Scotia, the whole province, I love it. It is God's country
8) … friends who pick me up from the airport
9) … the Wolfville market
10) … successful surprising of Nova Scotian friends
11) … Dr Horrible
12) … the large table at Paddy's
13) … the conversations and laughter I've enjoyed at the large table at Paddy's
14) … those who gave me a place to sleep this past weekend
15) … King's Presbyterian Church in New Minas
16) … the Branch Crew
17) … live outdoor music concerts
19) … the ocean, even when the tide is going out
20) … Nova Scotia ice cream
21) … late night games and giggles
22) … naps
23) … adventures to Halls Harbour
24) … hugs, so many perfect hugs
25) … my peoples. I love them

*My high school English teacher would be proud to see me using one of his $10 vocabulary words.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Friend Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War

After two months of movie watching preparations, we saw Avengers: Infinity War last Thursday night. It was a grand evening of birthday bliss. I was with people I love watching characters I enjoy. You can't really tell in the picture but Sister got us matching Avenger Infinity Stone shirts and I'm wearing my new Infinity Gauntlet scarf with matching Infinity Gauntlet earrings. I was ecstatic...for most of the night.  

I recommend seeing Avengers: Infinity War. In fact I plan to see this movie again tonight. I also recommend seeing Infinity War without spoilers. This is a movie I think most people will enjoy more if it is they are spoiler free. With that in mind I am changing the order of my review categories. I have the rating first for those who might want to know what we thought but the numbers. I then am adding fun spoiler free videos to leave an information gap before the actual review. Know that there will be spoilers after the videos. We give our reactions and thoughts which include details, plot points, surprises, and facts about about the ending.

Susi: 3 infinity stones out of 5
Stuart: 3 freshly forged axes out of 5
Jonathan: 4.5 dead heroes out of 5
Brendan: 4.5 broken dreams out of 5 because I am so pissed off. My heart wants to give it a 1
Sister: 4.52 Wakanda chants out of 5
Me: 4.6 destroyed planets out of 5

We also has fun trying to describe this movie poorly. Our favourite answer was "purple father convinces his children to start a rock collection." Enjoy the rest of the review.

I just found this cute Tonight Show clip of the Infinity War cast singing the Brady Bunch.

If you know me, you know I am a geek. So it won't surprise you one of my favourite things to watch a weekly show where three amazing people talk comic for two hours. It is called the Wednesday Club with Taliesin Jaffe, Amy Dallen, and Matt Key. Last week they talked Thanos and the Infinity Stones/Gems in comic history (I missed the episode because I was watching Thor: Ragnarok again). They ended the episode with this five minute question:

Avoid Spoilers don't read past this video.

We haven't taken the same oath of silence as the cast. We are going to talk about things that happen in the movie. But this is your last warning, DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT if you want to stay spoiler free. You have been warned.

Susi: ahhhhhhhh. I loved and hated this movie in equal measure
Stuart: I liked the movie till the end, it was a lot like the Perfect Storm. They are so close to victory and then it is utter defeat.
Jonathan: Great entertainment. It gives much for the imagination to ponder.
Brendan: *the extended profanity has been removed*  I care way too much about these movies
Sister: I didn’t come here to watch my favorite tree with emotions get killed by a giant purple man with a gold glove and stupid rock collection.
Me: I am stunned. I am so stunned and yet this is exactly what I had expected. Not the specific details but the over all outcome. I haven’t been this emotional walking out of a theater since passion of the Christ. I need to see this again.

Susi:  I loved and hated this movie in equal measure. The reunion was great till everyone dies. I'm surprised that I came to understand Thanos, not that I agree with him but they told the backstory well.
Stuart: This was a great movie till the end. Even the end is good. The things I enjoyed was the reunion, the humour of Hulk refusing to show up and therefore letting Banner down. I also agree with Susi about the The Thanos backstory was good portrayal of Thanos and depth of his personality was great. Dr. Strange grew so much from the end of his movie. I didn't really care for him in Dr. Strange but thought he was great in this movie.
Jonathan: The best part of this movie was seeing everyone come together. Not just the reunions but also the new team-ups. I am super fan; it was neat seeing groups I didn’t know were connected connect.
Brendan: I can’t think critically about this movie yet...I need to see it again. What I can say is that all the separate storylines and locations blended together well.
Sister: All entrances were phenomenal. I love Wakanda, the Wakanda battle was brilliant. And the chants. Chants are cool. Also the movie-pop culture death of Squidward (Ebony Maw). 
Me: To quote an anthropomorphic cucumber, "I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob."  I agree with everyone's good. Seeing everyone together was great. Also the new suits and looks were fantastic. I loved Spiderman getting discovering his upgraded suit. Also that Captain America and Black Widow look different because they've been on the run for two years. The movie comes out hard hitting; I did not expect so much devastation so early. They pick up first after the end scene of Ragnarok and it is intense. The stakes are high and no one has plot-armor. After the early deaths the story keeps the momentum through out the movie.
I loved the meet-ups and new parings. I was floored by the Soul Gem guardian reveal. I was not expecting to ever see Red Skull again. Also the price of the soul stone was good story telling. I appreciated seeing the backstory of Gamora and Thanos. I loved Dr. Strange in this movie so much more than his named one. And Wong is still great. The Banner-Romonoff was...I can't decide between sweet of funny. Either way it made me smile. And lastly, I love the Captain Marvel end scene. I was the only one freaking out in our theater. I am excited to see what they do with her movie.

Less Than Good:
Susi: Other than the deaths…I can't see where they are going to go from here. How was MCU recover from this conclusion?
Stuart: There is no Hawkeye! And the restarting of the forge was problematic, has Thor always been able to breath and survive in space?
Jonathan:My comment is more an annoyance, it felt like Thor has been dumbed down. He seemed like an idiot (Brendan and Stuart disagree). With that, what was the purpose behind scene with Thor’s "rabbit of a therapist". it didn't help the plot and why did Thor think Rocket was a rabbit? Lastly, there was no Corg (the rock alien from Ragnarok).
Brendan: I can’t think critically about this movie. But Peter Quill is an idiot. This is all his fault. Why didn't Dr Strange put Thanos in mirror dimension (I-Liz, suspect Thanos would have stopped that with the reality stone)? We didn’t see the taking of the power stone from the Nova Core.
Sister: Dramatic music is cool but in this movie it was over used. When everything is emphasized with dramatic music that nothing is dramatic.
Me: My emotions at the end of this movie were high. I was feeling everything and it really is a good thing, in the fact that I was reacting. They ripped my heart out, Thanos stomped on it, and then it turned to dust. So much that I am seeing the movie again. The director/writers did good. I loved the reunions but it made it clear who wasn't there. No Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Wasp, Corg, or Karglin, the Sean Gunn character on the Guardians team who got Yondu's arrow at the end of Guardians 2. I was also thinking Quicksilver might return...he did not and that made me sad. Stark has a habit of calling others movie references, such as calling Hawkeye Legolas. I think it was a missed opportunity that he didn't call Dr. Strange Gandolf (and if he did I missed it). Beyond those things I can't think critically about the movie yet. I said it on Facebook, this movie need Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, she would have saved the day.

Worst Death:
Susi: Gamora
Stuart: Groot
Jonathan: T'Challa/Black Panther
Brendan: Spiderman
Sister: It's not the "worst death", I just thought that Loki's death was really good. T'Challa's death pretty sad, Spidy's death was just heart wrenching.
Me: I'm with Sister, all of the ones mentioned were heart wrenching. I hated seeing Heimdall die so early and it set the tone for the movie. Gamora's death made me tear up. Then the whole montage of death was just....hard to witness. I echo Brendan's reaction, "I care way too much about these movies." The hardest moment connected to a death was War Machine calling for Sam right after Sam had vanished.

Susi: Okoye: When you said you were going to open Wakanda to the rest of the world, this is not what I imagined.
T'Challa: What did you imagine?
Okoye: The Olympics, maybe even a Starbucks.
Stuart: Peter Quill: Where is Gamora?
Dr. Stephen Strange: I'll do you one better, Who is Gamora?
Drax: I'll do you one better, Why is Gamora?
Also "Whip that off" one of the Guardians about Thor on the ship windshield

Jonathan: Dr. Stephen Strange: I'm Dr. Strange.
Peter Parker: Oh, we're using our made-up names? In that case, I am Spider-Man.
T'Challa: Evacuate the city! Engage all defenses! [points at Steve Rogers] And get this man a shield!
Brendan:Tony Stark: You can't park here, buddy. Earth is closed today. Take your tractor beam and skedaddle.
Stan Lee's Bus Driver: What's the matter with you, kids? You've never seen a spaceship before?
Tony Stark: "Piss off Squidward"
Sister: Tony Stark: And I swore off dairy, but then Ben and Jerry's named a flavor after me. So...
Dr. Stephen Strange: Stark Raving Hazelnuts.
Groot: [after Thor introduces him to Rogers] I am Groot!
Steve Rogers: I am Steve Rogers.
T'Challa: Yibambe!
Wakandans: YIBAMBE!
Me:   Peter Quill: The Avengers?
Thor: The Earth's mightiest heroes.
Mantis: Like Kevin Bacon?
Thor: He may be on the team, I don't know
Bruce Banner: Who's Scott?
Steve Rogers: Ant-Man.
Bruce Banner: There's an Ant-Man and a Spiderman?
Peter Parker: [Referring to Drax and Mantis] Ah, what exactly is it that they do?
Mantis: Kick names, take ass.

Susi:  Where do they go from here?
Stuart: How tony stark get home?
Brendan: If they plant Thor's axe in the ground will we get a new Groot?
Jonathan: Where is the handle?

Sister: Is the M'Baku (The Jabari/Ape tribe leader) the new Black Panther?

Me: Where was Ant-Man and the Wasp? I'm not the only one...


Everyone is asking what happens next. I am not going to make an predictions for next May's Avengers. However I hope based on the following quote that Dr. Strange is playing the long game:
Dr. Stephen Strange: I went forward in time... to view alternate futures. To see all the possible outcomes of the coming conflict. 
Peter Quill: How many did you see? 
Dr. Stephen Strange: Fourteen million six hundred and five. 
Tony Stark: How many did we win? 
Dr. Stephen Strange: ...One.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Friend Movie Review: The Avengers (2012)

This is the last MCU review before Infinity War. I am relieved that we got through Phase One. The Phase Two and Three reviews will come...over the next days and weeks. Hopefully all of them will be up before Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Avengers is six years old, but this may be useful for a few: there could be SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Good:
Susi: It was entertaining.
Stuart: Yes, definitely entertaining.
Brendan: I liked that each character gets screen time and yet it doesn't feel like they were trying to give every actor screen time; the scenes and standout moments fit the story being told.
Me: Where do you begin. I liked everything! Okay, almost everything, and the things I don't like still enhance the plot. I love Captain America in this movie. I enjoy Black Widow and Hawkeye's friendship. I squee over Colson fan-girling. I like what Joss Whedon does. The development of this team is fun to watch with growing friendships and real tensions and differing view points. Also, I love that Ashley Johnson (from Growing Pains and now Blindspot, also a D&D twitch show called Critical Role) has a small part as the rescued waitress.

The Less Than Good:
Susi: I agree with Stuart
Stuart: It was violent, more than the others. Also I didn't like that Colson died.
Brendan: Loki isn't being Loki. He isn't being a god of mischief. His actions are more like a 15 year old who got involved with a gang (Thanos) and got in too deep too quick. Also, the threat against Loki for failing Thanos isn't acted on...ever. Not in this movie and not in any of the others. Was it just an empty threat? Or have they forgotten? (Liz Note...maybe it hasn't happened yet. Thor and Loki's ship was picked up but Thanos at the end of Ragnarok) Last thing, the scepter Loki is given by Thanos doesn't make sense.
Me: I dislike Nick Fury lying about the Captain America cards also Colson would have kept the cards in protective sleeves. I had never thought of Loki not being a trickster in this movie, but now that I have heard it I agree. He's a good villain but he's not really Loki (or what I imagine of Loki). Actually, while I was reading quotes, I dislike the conversation between Stark and Rogers in which Cap says Tony wouldn't make a sacrifice and Stark says Cap is just a lab rat. I can see why fight is in the script but I hate it.

This Time Around:
Brendan: The first time I saw this I was eight; at the time conflicts didn't make sense. This time I could follow the plot and it made more sense. There is more in-team fighting in this movie than in Civil-War. And I still think Avengers is better.
Me: I've lost count how many times I've seen this film and I still enjoy it. I am still noticing little things I never saw before (or finally see after reading an article like "15 Easter Eggs You Probably Missed" for example I never noticed them run past the Shawarma place Stark talks about.) Things that really stand out are the low level agents like Sitwell that turn up in Civil War. I love all the continuity that flows across the MCU that I never appreciated but that people included to make the world richer.

Favourite Scene:
Susi: The Hulk and Loki mash-up. That starts with Loki announcing he's a god and Hulk thwamping him about and saying "puny god"
Stuart: Black Widow talking to Loki. That moment when you think he's broken her and in an instant realize she's been working him.
Brendan: Natasha Romanoff: Gentlemen, you might want to step inside in a minute. It's going to get a little hard to breathe.
[as the Helicarrier starts to power up, Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner walk to the edge]
Steve Rogers: Is this a submarine? Bruce Banner: Really? They want me submerged in a pressurized metal container?
[Rogers and Banner stand at the edge and they look over as the Helicarrier starts to slowly rise out of the ocean to fly]
Bruce Banner: [smiles] Oh, no, this is MUCH worse!
[Rogers hands $10 to Fury]
Me: I'm having a hard time narrowing it down to one. I think I'll go with the German man standing up to Loki.

Favourite Line:
Susi: Tony Stark: Yeah, that was just previews. This is - this is opening night. And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva, right? He wants flowers, he wants parades. He wants a monument built to the skies with his name plastered... [Stark pauses; he and Rogers look at each other knowingly] Sonofa...!
Stuart: Loki taps Stark in the chest with his scepter, but the Arc Reactor stops the effect. Loki tries again looking more than a little confused, Loki: This usually works...
Tony Stark: Well, performance issues, it's not uncommon. One out of five...
Brendan: "Ant....Boot" -Nick Fury
Me: Thor: Have a care how you speak! Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard and he is my brother!
Natasha Romanoff: He killed eighty people in two days.
Thor: He's adopted.

Favourite Avenger:
Susi: Black Widow
Stuart: Captain America, but Stark is great to watch
Brendan: Nick Fury
Me: Agent Phil Colson

Susi: 4.1 bionic arrows out of 5
Stuart: 4.125 portals out of 5
Brendan: 4 bloody trading cards 5
Me: 4.4 magic glow sticks of destiny out of 5

Fun Fact:
Joss Whedon suggested to Marvel, that there should be a bigger villain plotting behind-the-scenes, which enabled Loki to conquer the Earth, and that someone should be Thanos the Mad Titan. The executives just rolled with it. -I love that I'm seeing Infinity War tonight because the executives listened to Whedon. Now, if only execs were truly listening during Firefly. As always this factoid is from the IMDb trivia page.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

36 While 36: Final Update

It's birthday eve! This is it; my last day as 36 and the last look at the 36 While 36. This is by far the most successful list yet. There are only four challenges not completed and even those all were started and many were close to being completed.

Here is a last look at the list with my thoughts on each challenge.

The Key
plain text = not started
green text = started
purple text = completed

The List
1) Choose a 2018 Word
    My 2018 word is peace.
2) Make a 40 Before 40 List
    Here is the whole 40 Before 40 list
3) Send/give Christmas Cards (36 minimum)
    There are actually still nine cards to mail out; they are already address. I will send them tomorrow.
4) Marry Someone
     Done; on September 2nd. Congratulations Chris and Becca Gilbert! (Sorry to those who thought it might be a hint at progress in my own relationship status. I am still as single as ever).

5) Be a NaNoWriMo Rebel
     With only four days left of NaNoWriMo I count this as completed. I have participated this year in the writing contest as a rebel regardless of if I cross the 50k word goal or not.
6) Memorize Philippians 4:4-9
    I know the passage! I had it down solid in November. I will need to practice more.
7) Finish Reading New Testament
    I only have 8 books left to read. I do enjoy reading a large section in a sitting. However the past few months, since Lent really, I have been reading a verse or two each day and meditating on it through out the day. The change in how I'm reading scripture has been good but it meant this challenge became more about checking off a task and I never enjoy that mentality slipping into my spiritual life so I had to let the goal go.
8) Draw Regularly (12 drawings)
    There were 6 drawings shared on the Wednesday Weekly Art. And three more that I didn't share. I've also done some rough doddles that have been. I wasn't originally going to give myself this, thinking that if it wasn't shared that it didn't happen. But the art happened it just wasn't always shared (I'm too much of a perfectionist for my own good somedays).
 9) Write Down My Children's Stories
    I've written three of my own stories. I had also planned to write out and edit a children's story mum wrote but I never motived myself to doing it. Again, I wasn't going to give myself this. But I did in fact write out my own stories, so...success!
10) A Day of Silence
    I think this was one the last two lists, I finally completed the challenge last week. It was a day I needed. I've already made plans to have another retreat in a few months.
11) Cosplay a New Character
Petronella Osgood and Zygone Osgood
Or is that Zygone Osgood and Petronella Osgood?
I will never tell!
12) Make a video
    Yeah, it never happened. Maybe next year.  
The next 18 challenges were all related to my NS this past summer. You can find links to the trip and all the challenges here.
13) Hug all of my people
14) Brunch with The Brunch Club
15) Attend the Wednesday Games Group Games Night
16) Picture with a giant lobster
17) Watch the sunrise over the Bay of Fundy
18) Swim in the Atlantic Ocean
19) Eat Lobster
20) Eat Muscles
21) Eat Scott Skins
22) Eat Chicken Curry Fries
23) Eat at the Korean Place
24) Eat at the Naked Crepe
25) Visit the Look-Off
26) Visit The Wolfville Farmer Market
27) Visit Halls Harbour
28) Visit Port George
29) Visit Luneburg
30) Visit Mahone Bay
31) Let go of stuff (#23)
    The process has started but it is far from done. Yesterday we took everything out of my room because the floors are being redone. Somewhere in the middle I remember saying, "lets get rid of all of this" I might not go to the big of an extreme but I want to let go of more.
32) Exercise (#34)
    I have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine and walks here and there. Since the house renovations started last month the routine has been off a bit but overall I am happy and enjoying feeling stronger.
33) Keep Food Journal (#35)
    This has been one of the most helpful habits I've added to my life. I was writing everything done in a book till I got bullet journal fatigue. This week I found an app that has made recording easier.
34) Make a life time bucket list (#4)
    I have the list...I have not shared yet. Soon
35) Volunteer (#15)
    I helped ring bells this Christmas
36) Establish a Morning Routine (#30)
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday I wake up at ridiculous o'clock, which is hilarious to me since I don't consider myself a morning person. I make coffee for Dad and lemon tea for myself, start boiling eggs for breakfast, make my lunch, play Duolingo, read my bible app plan, peal the hard boiled eggs, do my morning work out, followed by the getting ready routine. There are variations but that is how most early mornings go. The rest of the week similar habits happen just later in the morning.

Good-bye 36, it has been fun.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Friend Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Because I am a geek I've been reading MCU articles lately. One of these articles was a chronological MCU watching order that included all the television, Netflix, and One-Shots. The first movie on their list was Captain America. Made me wonder the merits of watching the movies in order of release vs the timeline. We have opted to go follow the original release dates. Which do you think is better? Leave a comment below or tell me on facebook.

This is the only Captain America movie we are watching in this series marathon. We watched the other two back in February...I wonder if that is still close enough to attempt a review. We will see.

The Good:
Susi: There were a lot of great one liners; laughter always makes for an enjoyable movie. It is acted well. I also like the character of the Captain. He was good before he had powers. It is seeing his humanity that makes him a great hero.
Stuart: I like the Captain. He's enjoyable to watch.
Brendan: There is the right amount of serious and funny. It might be set in World War II but it isn't a war drama or attempt the grit of  Saving Private Ryan. It has this found away to use the setting without mocking either. I also like the Captain's motivation, with the death of Dr. Abraham Erskine and losing Bucky he could have been set on a vengeance quest. I am glad that isn't what they did.
Me: I love this movie. I love Cap. I love his origin story. I love Peggy Carter. I really love Peggy Carter, her style, her wit, her...everything. She is high on my want to cosplay list. I love that the villain is Hugo Weaving. It is also just a charming, bitter sweet story. There are is a richness and goodness to the character of Rogers that I want in a superhero. It makes me want to watch more.

The Less Than Good:
Susi: Rogers went against a direct order and nothing happen. There was no penalty; he wasn't court marshaled. I get that such punishments would have stopped the plot but it wasn't believable.
Stuart: The technology to harness the Tesseract and make super weapons seemed unrealistic. It was too advanced to be unbelievable.
Brendan: The CGI wasn't great and the unhistorical weapons were problematic.
Me: There were moments the CGI took me out of the moment this time around. And the escape from the compound Bucky was being held in seemed over the top ridiculous.

This Time Around:
Brendan: Second favourite movie in Phase One
Me: I still love this movie. I am not sure which is my top Phase One movie but Captain America is in the running.

Favourite Scene:
Susi: The scene when Peggy is annoyed with Steve Rogers, because he had made some assumptions about her and Stark. Rogers asks Peggy what she thinks of the new shield. She unloads a gun at the shield and says, "Yes. I think it works."
Stuart: During boot camp, the recruits are half way through a long run and are given the chance to climb the flag pole to get a ride back to camp. Everyone tries and fails, Rogers is still running to catch up. The drill sergeant then yells for them to get moving and informs the group no one has ever retrieved the flag. At this time Rogers removes the pins holding up the pole, grabs the flag, and earns the ride back to camp.
Brendan: To prove Rogers isn't qualified for the program he throws a training grenade into the recruits and yells "GRENADE!" Everyone runs except Rogers who jumps on the grenade.
Me: I also choose the grenade scene. I just realized this is perfect foreshadowing to the self-sacrifice Rogers makes at the end of the movie.

Favourite Line:
Susi: "If you have something to say, right now's a perfect time to keep it to yourself." -Col. Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones)
Stuart: I'm here to turn myself in
Brendan: "Give that boy a sandwich" -a spectator before Rogers under goes the procedure
Me: "Go get him. I can swim" -the boy at the docks

Susi: 4.5 snappy comebacks out of 5
Stuart: 4 shields out of 5
Brendan: 4 hydra heads out of 5
Me: 4.2 Howling Commanders out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% (Or 3.5 tomatoes out of 5)

Fun Facts:
The Captain America comic book shown in the movies bears the cover of the actual Captain America #1 released in 1941.

 And this one just makes me sad: Originally cameo appearances were planned in the film for James "Logan" Howlett (Wolverine) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), who were present during World War II (Logan was a soldier and Lehnsherr was in an internment camp). These cameos were scrapped due to rights issues. Facts were found on the IMDb trivia page.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Friend Movie Review: Thor (2011)

With just four days till Avengers: Infinity War releases there are more MCU reviews to finish up than days to get them all finished. Movie watching we only have Thor: Ragnarok left to watch. We skipped over Captain America: Winter Solider and Civil War since we watched both back in February. We're also saving Ant Man to watch just before we see Ant-Man and the Wasp. I think I can get the rest of the Phase One reviews written before Thursday.

We have a nice movie night rhythm that has worked for all the movies...except Thor. Before the movie starts I make a template with headings and each persons' name. We watch the movie and then immediately I make notes on everyone's reactions, there is laughter, disagreements, often much line quoting, and more laugher. At a later time I sit down with all my rough notes and edit till it is ready to post. It has been great...till the Thor notes disappeared. Either they didn't save or I accidentally deleted the draft. It wasn't until we were watching Avengers that I even noticed the article was gone. We did our best to recall our original thoughts but it had been over a week and three movies later.

As always be warned, there could be spoilers ahead:

The Good:
Susi: I liked it. The special effects were fun, they usually are in these movies. It had satisfying feeling watching Thor's growth into a leader and compassionate person.
Stuart: The Thor character arch from prideful, warmongering kid to a true leader. I like that Thor can't pick up the hammer and the emotion when he can't.
Brendan: I also liked the Thor character arch.
Me: The supporting cast were a hit with me. Darcy has a lot of great lines that don't make sense alone but were perfecting said in the context. I love the clips with Hawkeye and Agent Colson. The humour and Heimdal was great. Idris Elba was so well cast.

The Less Than Good:
Susi: There weren't more consequences to Asgard for Thor's rebellion (Brendan disagrees with this point)
Stuart: It was enjoyable, can't really think of anything disagreeable.
Brendan: It was bland not great or horrible. My only real issue is Loki doesn't feel like Loki, he's not a being a trickster, he doesn't feel like Loki. They didn't need the opening scene to be the doctors on earth hitting Thor with their car. The movie should have started with Thor is Asgard and continue to that point without the storm. (Susi disagrees with this point)
Me: I found there was something missing. It was a decent movie, succeeded in entertaining me but there is just something...some magic is not there

This Time Around:
Brendan: There is so much more I understood this time around.
Me: I didn't care for Thor the first time I saw it. It just felt like they needed to make Thor to give context to the announced Avengers movie. This time seeing the movie I appreciated it more and thought it stood on it's own better.

Favourite Scene:
Susi: When Thor brings Erik home very drunk:
Jane Foster: What happened?
Thor: He's fine! We drank, we fought - he made his ancestors proud!
Stuart: [fighting hospital interns] You are no match for the mighty... [an intern jabs a syringe into his butt, he passes out instantly]In the hospital Thor is expounding about his strength and they will never take him till he collapses because a nurse gets him with a needle.
Brendan: Stan Lee's camio "Did it work?"
Me: Scene in which Team Asgard talks with Heimdall to go to Earth,
Heimdall: You would defy the commands of Loki, our king? Break every oath you have taken as warriors, and commit treason to bring Thor back?
Sif: Yes.
Heimdall: Good. [steps off the control platform]
Sif: So you will help us?
Heimdall: I am bound by honor to our king. I cannot open the bridge to you. [walks off]
Fandral: Complicated fellow, isn't he?
Volstagg: Now what do we do? [the Bifrost activates on its own]

Favourite Line:
This was the biggest thing that was lost. We couldn't remember our favourite lines. Here are four that I looked up on the IMDb quote page that made me smile:

Thor: [walking into a pet shop] I need a horse!
Pet Store Clerk: We don't have horses. Just dogs, cats, birds.
Thor: Then give me one of those large enough to ride.

Agent Garrett: [about Thor's Asgard team] Is there a Renaissance Fair in town?
Agent Jackson: Call it in.
Agent Garrett: Yeah. Uh, base, we've got, uh, Xena, Jackie Chan, and Robin Hood.

Clint Barton: Do you want me to take him down, or would you rather send in more guys for him to beat up?

Darcy: [mispronounces Mjölnir] Myeuh-muh? What's Myeuh-muh?

Susi: 3.8 destroyers out of 5
Stuart: 4 hammers out of 5
Brendan: 3.0 disassociated orphans out of 5
Me: 3.0 Bifrost bridges out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 77% (that's 3.7 out of 5)

Fun Facts:
(At around forty-seven minutes) Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) mentions a comrade who got mixed up with S.H.I.E.L.D., whom he described as "a pioneer in gamma radiation". This alludes to Bruce Banner, whose experiments in gamma radiation mutated him into The Incredible Hulk (2008). A deleted scene, also has him mention Hank Pym, from Ant-Man (2015). I wish they kept it in. Thanks again to the IMDb trivia page for this factoid.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Friend Movie Review: Iron Man 2 (2010)

Ten days away from Infinity War! But today we are talking Iron Man 2. It is a decent superhero movie, but my least favourite of the Phase 1 set.

Again, not sure this is needed, the movie is eight years old, however be advised there could be SPOILERS AHEAD. We will be discussing of scenes, quotes, plot points, and maybe even twists. With that out of the way on with the review...

The Good:
Susi: The effects were fun. It worked well and was entertaining
Stuart: I liked it, definitely liked it. I didn't like the rival/villain Justin Hammer (you're not suppose to) and they did a great job making him unlikable.
Brendan: I love the soundtrack and have owned it for years. I like it more from the first soundtrack even if there is nothing original. I liked the Russian villain, they humanized him; you understood his motivation. Also the villain's suit reveal was great.There was less visual jokes than the first; but what they had was fun. The script leaned on Iron Man's charisma and Dowey steals the show, again. Dowey makes this movie and is the backbone of the MCU.
Me: I found the relationship and social interactions the best part, for me the chemistry Potts and Dowey and equally the friendship between Rhodes and Stark makes the movie. And I agree with Stuart "The Hammer" was well created and played as an unlikable guy. I also enjoy the "gift" Howard Stark left for his son and even if the discovery was far-fetched it fun in the moment.

The Less Than Good:
Susi: Near the end it felt like it was just about the special effects, there was limited story.
Stuart: I liked the first one more. The character of Stark is less enjoyable this time around; he was more of a jerk, selfish, and arrogant. It almost feels like they undone his character progress from the first movie so that he could have a character arch in this one. I guess story wise, it is the praise and glory from being Iron Man going to his head. The last negative is the end story is the same as the first movie. It comes down to another man in the suit, it is just a rehashing the same battle.
Brendan: I don't care for revenge only for the sake of revenge as villain arch. They rehashed much of the good bits from first, doesn't make it a bad movie but there is not new themes or story really.
Me: It was a bland movie with all of the flaws my friends mentioned. It was made to start the summer blockbusters. People like familiar with a blend of new; but the leaning so heavily on what was good in the first Iron Man made this one forgettable. So forgettable I had forgotten much of what happened.

This Time Around:
Brendan: Feels more cliche than the other movies.
Me: As I said in the less than good, I found the movie forgettable the first time. I appreciated more of the movie this time around but it feels like a "people will pay to see Iron Man" more than "we have a great story to tell." Positive things I noticed was the details the creative teams have added to make all the MCU connected. Senator Stem who is against Iron Man in this movie is arrested as a Hydra agent in Civil War. Just one of the many "hey, I see what they did there" that I missed the first time watching.

Favourite Scene:
Susi: When Rhodey has just launched the "ex wife" weapon, which bounces off Vanko with no effect. Tony Stark says, "Hammer Tech?" And Rhodes looks down, dejected, "Yeah."
Stuart: Using a pipe wrench to aim a high tech laser in the midst of all the high tech gear options.
Brendan: The suits all dropping down into the garden looked cool
Me: Black Widow's fight scene. She takes all of the security force in the same time it takes Happy to subdue one. My second choice is when a child wearing an Iron Man mask raises his had to attack one of the robots (which is also targeting the kid because of the mask) and Iron Man blasts the robot looks at the kid and says "Nice work Kid"  -fan theories that I have heard are true is the kid was Peter Parker.

Favourite Line:
Susi: "We don't all run on batteries"
Stuart: After Senator Stern jabs Tony with a medal. "Oooh, sorry...funny how annoying a little prick can be, isn't it?"
Brendan: "Sir, I am going to have to ask you to exit the donut" Nick Fury
Me: Agent Coulson: Good luck. We need you.
Tony Stark: More than you know.
Agent Coulson: Not that much.

Susi: 3.8 suits out of 5
Stuart: 3.5 eclectic whips out of 5
Brendan: 3.0 needless mini guns out of 5
Me: 2.9 new elements out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 73% (that's 3/25 out of 5)

Fun Fact: When Tony Stark asks Natalie Rushman if she actually speaks Latin, she responds with the phrase "Fallaces sunt rerum species", a quote from Lucio Anneo Seneca meaning, "The appearances of things are deceptive".  Thanks again to the IMDb trivia page.