Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

I was very surprised, I liked the movie quite a lot.

I have to say I expected this to totally suck. I am so tired of Spiderman reboots that I want to scream. I liked Sam Raimi’s Spider Man, I hated the reboot and this was seeming on a suck trajectory as well.

I am tired of origin stories, and I am tired of high school and this seemed to be both an origin/reboot and high school characters. I wasn’t even sure about going, but the husband wanted to see it so I agreed.

I am glad I agreed, and I can say I was wrong. I am still not keen on high school age. I have a hard time identifying with high school now that I am 3 times the age of the character. However, it was written very well. It did follow some tropes but it tended to write them in a way that kept it interesting. Even his teen angst at being kept back from doing real superhero work wasn’t overwhelming and just felt right.

It wasn’t a reboot origin story. I had assumed this would be the movie showing how Peter Parker got his powers and arrived at Captain America’s movie. I was wrong, this continued after the movie and didn’t bore you with flashbacks or callback to his origin. It was refreshing, I liked meeting MJ and his sidekick was pretty damn cool.

The biggest surprise that made it as good as it was, was casting Michael Keaton as a blue collar turned villain. It is the only blue collar bad guy that I have seen that felt right. Keaton is a great actor, the story was written well and I really liked what happened at the end. How he talked with Spiderman and how he dealt with his own family.

I definitely recommend the movie, and I will definitely be seeing the next one that comes down the road.

The good: Michael Keaton, the lack of an origin story on film, and just the acting and writing overall.

The bad: Teenagers, I like it, but I would like it better if they were all adults.

Happy Anniversary, we miss you.

I woke up a little confused this morning, dreams of my mom and dad. Then when I sat down I realized she had passed away a year ago today, on their 46th wedding anniversary (today would be their 47th anniversary). Of course it happened that way, my parents loved each other too much to go long without seeing one another. My mom liked holidays so this seems perfectly in her style to pick one of her favorite holidays to pass.

She didn’t do well after my dad passed away in February of 2016. She was lonely a lot, and I couldn’t be with her daily (but at least weekly I was). I did call her multiple times a day, every day and she seemed buoyed by it. Then my brother stayed with her. She tried hard to keep things going, but in the end her body couldn’t hold up to her grief.

Although she was incredibly brave, and remarkably at peace as things failed her. She didn’t want to be here anymore. As her heart was giving out, we talked with her and she went into hospice. By this time we were driving up daily to see her. So many things happened I will talk about later. I remember her asking me for the days in hospice what day it was. She wanted to make it so badly to their anniversary. It was important to her.

I kept telling her it wasn’t “today” yet. Eventually that day did come, no matter how much I wished it wouldn’t. Their anniversary arrived quietly on a hot summer day, and as we went up to see her in the hospice house I knew it would be for the last time.

We arrived there, met with family, drama and a desire that I could whisk her away somewhere she could get true peace. We sat with her for hours, she was slowly fading, but would occasionally stir and say something garbled.

I was holding her hand most of the day, she was less responsive then the previous days. I leaned over and whispered to her that it was ok, today was her anniversary she had been waiting for and it was ok to go. She was mostly unconscious but she still squeezed my hand.

We stayed a few more hours, and I thought I had been wrong. Not more than 30 minutes later, while we were still driving through Mount Vernon on our way home, I got a call from my sister. She had passed away. I was numb for the rest of the car ride, but that will be talked about in a future post (along with everything else that happened around her passing).

I love you mom. I still miss you and I hope you are in a better place. Even with all the issues our family had, I am grateful you were my mother. I know you loved all of us deeply.

Mom in  May 1970
Mom in May 2016, still holding it together for the family after my father passed.

It is funny, I still remember you more towards the way you looked in the 1970s.

Oh, and my mom was a stickler about holidays, ALL OF THE HOLIDAYS, so I know she expects me to wish her and my dad a happy anniversary, 47 years ago today. So HAPPY 47th ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!

From Parents Photo Album
Married July 25th, 1970. John and Mary Bradley.

I love you, just wanted you to know that we love you, and we miss you and dad.

Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin #8)

Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8)Fallow by Jordan L. Hawk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is on the top of my list for this series (and once again this is an audible book).

I very much enjoyed the crew going back to Fallow, the place where Griffin was raised. You get to meet his mother again, other family members, townsfolk and an evil that seems to have befallen it.

I suspect part of the reason I loved this book is that all the characters have developed in each book. While sometimes Whyborne’s tendancy to whine does grate, even that changes in each book. I love a world that evolves.

I also love that the main couple has stayed a couple and have developed the relationship more fully. This is probably because I am also in a M/M couple, but you don’t get to see that very often and when it happens it is wonderful.

Now, I also want to address the narrator Julian Simmons. In the beginning I wasn’t too sure about him, but I found out recently that Whyborne & Griffin Book 1 was his first narration for an audible book. With that being the case I have to say he has done pretty good and he is only getting better.

Overall, I can’t recommend enough that everyone read this. I love the romance, horror, urban fantasy and lovecraftian feel of it!

View all my reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

This movie is so meh that I forgot to post a review.

I will come forward and say I am still a fan of the series. I will still probably go see the next movie, if they have one. Also, while this is a very middle of the road type movie, it is still way better than the last couple of installments have been. The writing is better, the direction seems better, and the story is not so random, well there is some randomness but its a Pirates of the Caribbean movie so that is expected.

There really isn’t a lot of negative about the movie per se. The only thing really cringeworthy was the CGI younger characters. Just didn’t quite work for me, but I don’t know if that is because the CGI sucks, or if I am just seeing things differently then others due to colorblindness (sometimes that throws things off). The story itself wasn’t bad in most parts, a bit predictable but nothing to be shocked about.

However, I am really tired of zombie or other forms of undead pirates. Seriously, couldn’t they have come up with a villain that wasn’t undead? Even on the top of my head you could pick up some sort of fairy/elven type thing. Call them Atlantean and maybe Jack screwed them over in the past. Hell, I would take werewolf pirates just to make it different. I did appreciate the Cthulhu nature of Davy Jones, but that wasn’t enough for me.

They could also avoid the whole paranormal creature hunting him and why not a human wizard, or the Catholic church with some mysticism (full disclosure I was raised Catholic so no I don’t think they are Satanists and thats why they should be villains). There is plenty of options that don’t involve the same undead CGI.

However, like I said I would go see the next installment. Oh, and there is a stinger in mid and end credits so you won’t waste your time too much if you wait for it.

The good: Wrapped up some earlier plotlines… sort of.

The bad: Nothing was bad really, just sort of blah.

No Escape (2015)

The most racist movie filled with the whiniest family to ever family in the movies.

I admit, my family experiences with guns, violence and actual life and death situations probably makes me less forgiving of the family then others. The children constantly whine, cry and are useless. If this truly was how humans were, we would have died out millenia ago. This isn’t what I have seen children do in real life. They react pretty quickly and are capable of things in high stress situations that I think most Americans don’t realize.

The worst thing about the family itself, out of all the crying, inability to stay quiet or to listen to their parents the fact that Owen Wilson carries his smaller daughter pretty much the entire time is the thing I focused on for some reason. Let’s not even talk about how impossible physically that would be for him to carry her. I am a very large, strong man and I can tell you that would last about 10 minutes. The worst part is the child is physically capable, you are endangering her and yourself by slowing both of you down carrying her EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU WALKED DOWN A STREET, it was just super annoying and I just wanted to scream at the tv.

The attempted rape scene, and make the kid try and kill her father scene were some of the most lazy writing I have ever seen. I have issues with rape scenes to begin with. They are almost never really part of the story, rather they are a lazy way for the writers to make the bad guy even badder, and the man a hero (almost never is the woman a hero because of it). People have done way better writing on then I, so I won’t go too much further.

For the racism part, I can’t even begin to cover how racists the movie was. The whole comment when they arrive in the city is how they are in the “Fourth World” not even the “Third World” is such a bigoted, privileged point of view that isn’t even right. The USA is not the best in technology, not the best in internet, hell it isn’t the best in food or happiness index. We pretty much are only best in military and as a western country, pushing our religion (both are horrible by the way). The treatment of another country in the stereotypical tropes we “assume” other countries are like and how those people act is pretty repulsive. There is a whole slew of other racist things, but the review doesn’t merit a huge in depth discussion.

I do have to say I was surprised that Vietnam was the positive thing in this movie. It was for only thirty seconds, but it was nice to see.

The good: Pierce Brosnan and Vietnam.

The bad: The entire family, but especially the wife and daughters. I kept hoping they would fall off the building.

Holiday Calls

Warning: Stream of consciousness writing.

When I was younger, the 4th of July was a lot of fun. As a kid, my dad would take the family outside of the apartment, sometimes the parking lot, sometimes the park across the fence, and light off fireworks. It was a fantastic time for us kids.

When I got older, my parents drank more, but we still usually enjoyed the 4th. As I became a teenager though I began to like it less. Eventually I moved out and ended up with Wolsey. We did the firework thing, bottle rocket wars, etc when we got together, but as the years progressed that became less fun. Nowadays we don’t do much for the holiday, except get home early enough to comfort our animals as others light fireworks.

The only thing that was sure nowadays was a call from my mom wishing me happy Fourth of July. She hadn’t missed any holiday in 25 years. For her, every holiday was sacred and worthy of a call to me. She even did this on Arbor Day… who the hell even knows what Arbor Day is?

Back to yesterday, it went really well, we hung out Torie, went to lunch, came home in time to avoid the crowds. But something had been bothering me all day, something that I would almost catch out of the corner of my memory. I couldn’t come up with what it was at the time until later in the afternoon.

It dawned on me that this was the first 4th of July that my mom hadn’t called to wish me a happy holiday. I realized that had been bothering me since about noon. While this is probably just a sad memory, I suspect part of what is bothering me is that it is the anniversary of her passing will be in three weeks.

I guess this is just a long-winded way to say I miss those stupid holiday calls. I am not looking forward to New Year’s Eve.