2 Super Late Movie Reviews: Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were two awesome super hero movies that came out this Spring. Unfortunately, my husband and I did not get the chance to see them on the big screen. We can usually get around to the movies we really want to see eventually, although almost never on opening night or even the first week of its release. We went on a date night earlier this summer and intended on seeing either Guardians of the Galaxy or Wonder Woman, but the timing wasn’t right for the showings so we ended up seeing Spider Man Homecoming. Its was good, but not what we wanted to see that night. We finally got to see Wonder Woman, which everyone had been raving about, at my parents house, and we bought Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when it came out on blu ray.  Here’s what I thought of both films.

Wonder Woman

wonder woman cosplay
Wonder Woman Cosplay @ Otakon 2017

Overall I really enjoyed Wonder Woman. It kind of felt like the same movie as Captain America: The First Avenger, but different. I usually prefer Marvel over DC and not just because Marvel movies tend to be better. To me Marvel characters are more real somehow, I connect to them better. Wonder Woman did a good job at getting that connection. Maybe its because this was a leading role superhero that was a woman. DC seems pretty heavy on the white males, as far as their big movies go. Although DC actually seems to have more diverse comic, Marvel movies showcase diversity more to me. My favorite of the Marvel Universe are the X-men, not the movies particularly, they are hit or miss. But the whole, X-men ideal has undertones of the Civil Rights Movement and the Holocaust. But Wonder Woman seemed to have what many of the DC movies of late have been missing. Any movie that brings in historical fiction is going to be a win for me. So maybe that fact that it felt like Captain America was a good sign. The villain of the movie caught me totally off guard, which was weird. I can usually catch a twist. I get the feeling of, this all seems so easy, who’s the real bad guy. But for some reason that didn’t happen this time, I was with Wonder Woman thinking General Ludendorff was Aries. Maybe it was because David Thewlis, who played Sir Patric Morgan the real Aries, was also Lupin from Harry Potter. Professor Lupin could never be a bad guy? I guess I was wrong. All in all it was a win in my book. I hope the next DC movies can continue in its footsteps, make for an epic Justice League, and win on the DC Universe movies.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

That’s a lot to type, I’m just going to abbreviate it as GGV2. GGV2, was action packed, funny, and sentimental all in one movie. Once again, Marvel strikes gold for me. Not platinum or diamond like the first Avengers or Captain America: Civil War, but a solid gold. I would pick a best part of the movie but I can’t. Baby Groot added the cute factor, and Drax the Destroyer is always good for a laugh. The big tugs at the heartstrings for me were of the relationship between Star Lord and Yondu and Gamora and Nebula. Any

Gamora and Nebula
Gamora and Nebula cosplay @ Otakon 2017

movie with a parental relationship issue is going to be a tear jerker. It probably should have been expected since Marvel is Disney now and Disney is always taking parents from their children. Unlike my character analysis in Wonder Woman, I knew right away that Ego was no good. I mean, his name is Ego, so of course it would come down to him wanting everything for himself and not even caring about his “son”. The Gamora and Nebula relationship was personal for me. I have 2 sisters and technically I’m the middle child, but we never grew up with our oldest sister (although I love her the same). So in our household it was like I was the eldest. I kind of felt like Gamora in the movie. Sometimes win you’re growing up with your sibling, especially being less than 2 years apart, everything turns into a competition of who’s the best, or who did this first, rather than just being their for each other. I found myself thinking, “was that me?” “Did I just win, while my sister got body part, after body part torn off?” I’m talking emotionally of course, neither of us received any physical abuse. In every Marvel movie I look for the connection to the next BIG Avengers film which will be “Avengers: Infinity War“, there was only the mention of Star Lord being able to hold an infinity stone without dying. We always wait for all the credits to be over, and these didn’t really give a glimpse into what’s to come next. I was a little bummed that Quill lost all his godly powers, but hopefully there’s some twist where he’ll get them back. Although it would make more sense if they didn’t because Ego was never his father in the comics. Once again another good Marvel movie, I can’t wait for more.

Both Marvel and DC have some impressive movies coming up leading to their big team movies Justice League and Avengers. I can only count down the days until the next big film, hopefully I’ll get to see them sooner than months after their release.

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Otakon 2017: Our Adult Christmas

Every year my husband and I look foward to Otakon like a kid does Christmas. This was the first year it was held in Washington, DC; rather than Baltimore, MD. For us it would be a whole new adventure because we usually stay with our brother who lives in Baltimore and knows it like the back of his hand. This year we booked a room in The Westin, a .6 mile walk from the convention center, and our brother caught the train from Baltimore. The trip was great.  There were some bumps in the road but the excitement of Otakon was more than enough to cover that. Here are some of the highlights of our trip!

otakon grin
My traditional 1st day of Otakon grin

Gaming Room

The two places we spend the most time during Otakon are the game room and dealer room. There are long tables on one side of the massive room with chargers for handhelds as well as phones. This is perfect for charging my phone, resting my feet, and even taking a little nap. My husband usually finds Naruto or Injustice; our brother, Halo, Gundam, or some cool retro gaming system. As for me I don’t game a lot. I may play around on a fighting game like mortal combat, Naruto, or Injustice, but I get serious when it comes to Just Dance. We had not bought the newest, Just Dance 2017, but I still dominated whenever I came over. I play different than most. I don’t just play to win, I play to groove. Otakon ain’t never seen a nerd with rhythm like me. I usually play for an hour per day, that along with all the walking gives me a decent calorie burn to offset the extra eating.

Dealer Room

This year we did not get a lot from in the dealer room in terms of quantity. I usually go to find some unique graphic t-shirts that will stand out from my normal JC Penney and Old Navy collection. I also look for my traditional Harry Potter gift for my sisters birthday in September (which I did find, but am not going to disclose just in case she reads), a gift for my son, and some kind of Sailor Moon collectible for my cousin. The dealer room seem to be a little lacking this year. They had some awesome stuff, but it didn’t feel like there was as much. Maybe some of the dealers that usually come to Baltimore couldn’t make it to DC. But what we did find became the highlight of the whole trip. We got stainless steel wedding bands engraved in…..ELVISH! They were an early anniversary gift for each other as our anniversary is TOMORROW! It was perfect; we condensed the Dr. Seuss

rings
Our “Rings of Power”
quote from our wedding program:  “We’re all a little weird and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness called love.” The perfect description of our relationship. Our brother also got a ring engraved in Draconic.

Panels

I am usually the one that finds the good panels.  Maybe its because I am the newest to anime so I am eager to learn. On Friday we attended “Anime vs Hollywood”—Whitewashing. It gave some interesting perspectives. The most profound being how World War II affected American comics vs Japanese manga and anime. America was the “winner” and therefor comics showed incredible heroes but was also heavily censored only showing positive images. Whereas, Japan was the “loser” and their animation was deeper and darker, a quality I enjoy.  Saturday we wen to “Skin Deep: Diversity in Japanese Pop Culture. It mentioned some of the same ideas, but also broke down how different groups are stereotyped in anime, manga, and video games. They included: East Asians, Europeans, Americans, Blacks, others (hispanics, muslims, etc.), LGBTQ, and persons with disabilities. Once again eye opening. These were sadly the only panels I was able to attend due to time overlapping with other events and meal times.

Cosplay

One day I’ll start cosplaying myself, I’ll start with sometime simple like punk Storm with a white “fro-hawk. My family jokes and says that if I cosplay they aren’t waiting for me while people take pictures. I hope to cosplay good enough that people will want pictures. Until then I’ll just marvel at the creativity and hard work of others. There’s not much a can say about the cosplay, so I’m just going to include some of my favorites below. Enjoy!

Eateries

When Otakon was in Baltimore we usually tried to eat as much as possible as our brothers house and maybe get some snacks here and there. Being that the Baltimore convention center was with next to the ball fields there were the hot dog vendors that usually sold at the baseball and football games there available for a cheap lunch of hot dogs, sausages, fries, or chicken sandwiches. In DC we were able to find some reliable places. Our regular breakfast and lunch spot was the West Wing Cafe. They had sandwiches, wraps, soups, and plenty of vegan options for me. For breakfast I’d get a smoothie and lunch I got a Korean Bibimbap salad with tofu. For dinner Friday night we went to a burger spot called Bolt Burgers. They had the best french fries EVER! I got a black bean burger with added curry spice and it was divine. I’m not sure if it was because of all the business they were getting but they seemed to be giving everyone (with regular burgers) double patties. My husband and brother got two, even though when asked they said they only wanted one. Oh well, I’ll accept a freebie anytime.

Saturday nights meal, though an adventure, was another highlight of the trip. In Baltimore our signature Saturday evening dinner had been “Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.” on the harbor. We wanted to find something in DC that could replace it and were leaning towards an Asian spot. After searching Google maps for reviews of nearby places when decided on a place called “Chaplin’s”. We did not realize it was the Saturday evening hot spot. We walked through the doors exactly as a thunderstorm dropped all the water from the heavens only to find that without a reservation it would over a 2 hour wait. We waited in the crowded entrance trying to figure out our next course of action. My husband was getting “hangry” and said lets just get an Uber and go to the burger place. I was disappointed and did not want to settle for that. We got an Uber to the burger place, but decided to walk to nearby Chinatown. The rain had died down an we had a back up restaurant there in Chaplin’s didn’t work out. We got there only to discover that it had been rented out for a private party. Across the street was a small restaurant Reren Lamen & Noodles. I was assuming that Lamen meant “ramen”, so we decided to check it out. It was PERFECT we found our official Saturday evening dinner spot. My husband got the Kung Po beef lamen, I got the Buddah style tofu lamen, and our brother got Shrimp fried rice (basic I know, but it was the best). We ordered some dumplings to share as an appetizer and my husband and I ordered alcoholic drinks. The price was VERY reasonable and the food impeccable. My only change will be to next time ask if I can get some of the spiciness of my husband’s beef based broth in my mushroom broth. I saw that they had an article in the Washington Post so I looked it up, the article explains the owners Chinese roots and why it calls their noodles “lamen” rather than “ramen”. Check it out if you have the chance.

All in all it was an epic trip. Somethings I will do next time are possibly flying or taking a train and using cabs/Uber rather than dealing the garage parking or getting tickets. We will also be leaving Monday rather than Sunday so we can take advantage of all 3 days. My husband and I will do Otakon boot camp so we can wake up earlier and stay up later in order to maximize our time to hit all the events we want. Until then I will fill the void soaking up all the anime I can and attending local statewide cons. Now I will begin marking my calendar until Otakon 2018, August 10th-12th.

Movie Review: Batman vs Superman

26125750001_372e2a06fa_oFirst, I will go ahead and say that I know I am late with a post on Batman vs Superman being that its been out for going on 2 weeks. I just started my blog and had tons of ideas swirling around in my mind and it didn’t come to me until today to do this. I spoke about my views on the movie a little in one of my earlier post, but now I will go into detail.

The movie seems to take place after the events of “Man of Steel”. Some people worship and are thankful for Superman, while others believe he is a false god and should take responsibility for the destruction he causes. This is an age old issue within the world of a superheroes. I really see it as an allegory of how people think of the military, particularly the United States military in other countries and territories.  Here’s the big bad USA coming to save the day, and in their eyes we could be cause more destruction than aid we’ve given. But we don’t stop them because we need them to save our asses in the event that a terrorist attack occurs or some other catastrophic upset to our society. Same thing in the movie. Batman was among those that thought Superman was bad news. The main villain is Lex Luther who purposely put them against one another, with the intention for them to kill each other. Instead they end up coming together and saving the day.

Lets do a compliment sandwich; start with the positive, negatives in the middle ,and end with something mean again. Hands down the best things about the movie where the visuals and special effects. I always try to see sci-fi/fantasy movies in IMAX  3-D if its an option. So it was a fun, entertaining experience with that respect. I like the daydream scene, all the foreshadowing of a Darkseid villain in later movies, and the appearance of The Flash. This scene did bring me back to the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Iron Man see’s the Ultron controlled world, sorry I couldn’t help the comparison. There was also I sneak peak into the other heroes such as Cyborg and Aquaman. My favorite part of the movie was Wonder Woman she was OP (over powered). Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was exotic, sultry, intelligent, and powerful. Exactly what an Amazonian warrior should be, I can’t wait for her movie in 2017.

Now lets get to the inside of the sandwich. What didn’t I like about the movie? I did not like Lex Luther. When I first saw the trailers for the movie I thought he was the Riddler. This is not the Lex Luther I know. Upon further research I found that Lex Luthor did at one point have long red hair and a larger than life personality. So it was their choice to use this depiction of Luther in the movie. Maybe after his prison stint now that they’ve shown him bald he will be the familiar Lex Luther character. That was another thing that confused me a bit. The movie seemed to have a young Lex Luther and Superman, but yet an older Batman. Maybe its may ignorance of the DC world, so somebody please clear that up for me is this accurate to the DC Universe timeline.  Once again, I’m a Marvel, specifically X-men junky. I’m just trying to be open minded and embrace this DC universe. From the beginning I have not liked the way it seems they are jumping into a Justice League movie. It seems like they’re hanging on the coat tails of Marvel. You have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Doomsday all wrapped up in the same movie. When I saw Doomsday jump out in the trailers, I was like “Are you serious?!”, “They’re taking it here already!”  From what I know the creation of Doomsday was incorrect as well. Doomsday is a baby that was continuously tortured, killed, and brought back to life. Maybe his appearance in the movie was one of the reincarnations, or they just concocted some reason to add him in the mix. The movie was also very slow. I understand building backstory, I really do, but there had to have had it that way. The main action occurred so late in the movie and it was lack-luster. Batman was pretty much hiding the whole time and pretty much said I cannot even play along with these people. He did not play his normal super detective solve the mystery self. He did snap back until Lois Lane told him Superman’s mother’s name is Martha too. OMG, we can be friends. The whole movie he was being played by Luther and in the end Superman saved the day. God I hate that! I really do not like Superman.  He has super strength, speed, lazer vision, x-ray vison, the list goes on and on. To me he’s boring and lame.

Although I mentioned disdain over DC seemingly are rushing to get to a Justice League movie. The end with Batman saying he will find them, left me with pleasant thoughts of all the stories not told yet. So yes, there were some issues in my opinion but overall it was still a good, not great, superhero movie. It did somewhat intrigue me enough to do more research and try to give DC heroes a fare shot, although I still doubt they can pull me from the Marvel side. Some may argue “Why choose?” and those that do know the ends and outs of DC can probably post a reasonable rebuttal to all of my critiques. But it is what it is. And I like what I like.