Just a Girl: a Captain Marvel Review

The stage is set. Avengers: Endgame looms on the horizon, its plot shrouded in mystery, following on the heels of Infinity War, a gargantuan (or, some would say, titanic) crossover epic. In between the two films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave us nothing but a solitary pair of movies: The Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel. One a sequel to a goofy light-hearted superhero heist, the other a complete unknown to moviegoers. Many of us wondered who this woman was, and even comics readers puzzled over what role her film would play in the larger movieverse.

Well, we have our answer, and I won’t hold you in too much suspense: Captain Marvel was some of the most fun I had with an MCU movie in a while (not counting Into the Spider-Verse because technically, it’s not an MCU movie). There’s been some smashing successes in the MCU lately, but for the most part, they’ve had some pretty heavy stuff alongside the jokes and smiles, even the Ant-Man sequel. Captain Marvel almost feels like the opposite: even though it tackles some pretty hefty themes and plot points, it’s bound and determined to exult in its sky-high superheroics.

This review will be spoiler-free and contain a content advisory at the end. Continue reading

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On the Authority of the Pope

I think I know what the problem is.stupid things the Catholic church has done

Ever since Pope Francis was elected, all of us Catholics have suffered other people trying to tell us what we believe, largely based off of off-hand comments by Pope Francis in an interview. Or in a rambling, nigh-incoherent speech, even when translated by the Vatican.

As such, we’ve been lectured on guns, on communism, on the environment, and we here at the Catholic geeks have spent a ton of time refuting it. We have an entire section dedicated to it.

But I think I may have hit on the problem. Everyone thinks that the Pope is some sort of monarch. That the whims of the Pope are the dictates of the church.


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Remembering the Challengers

On January 28th, 1986, the United States manned space program ground to a sudden halt with the deaths of seven people. Their names were Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judy Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.

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Elevate: an Into the Spider-Verse Review

Screenshot from Into the Spiderverse; Miles Morales lands in an action pose in front of a green taxicab

Originally, I was going to write a piece talking about how different my experiences were when I saw Aquaman and Into the Spider-Verse within days of one another over the holidays. Then, on a whim, I went on my own to see Spider-Verse a third time in the theater, and changed my mind completely. Spider-Verse shouldn’t share a blog post with a superhero film that rates approximately at “the first Thor, but with Jason Momoa and way better CGI” (and that’s exactly as much as you need to know about it). It deserves its own post, because boy howdy did it leave an impression.

“Alright, let’s do this one last time. My name is Peter Parker. I was bitten by a radioactive spider and for ten years I’ve been the one and only Spider-Man. I’m pretty sure you know the rest.”

I’ll be avoiding spoilers and plot details in general about this film, probably telling you less than you know from the trailer.

Content Advisory: bloodless violence and a couple of deaths; color-intensive and dynamic visuals that could be distracting or problematic for some individuals Continue reading

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Review: The Brave and The Bold

Finally, we get The Brave and the Bold: Book 3 of The Hidden Truth.

You may remember that the previous two books in the series explored an alternate history where 9-11 killed President Al Gore, destroyed the White House, spared the twin towers, and revealed a shadowy conspiracy that had been twisting fate, warping history, and bending culture and all of society to their will.

And most of that was in the opening chapters of book one.

Book two was a chess game, as the enemy came closer and closer to encroaching on our heroes’ turf, raiding academia, targeting professors for personal destruction, and a game of wills that only the wary would pass.

Then there came the Order of Preacher spies, the tong assassins, and the forces of counter revolution, for lack of a better term.

And now, book three. 

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Review: Fade, by Daniel Humphreys

Fade (Paxton Locke Book 1) by [Humphreys, Daniel]

With the novel Making Peace, I noted that I found the successor to Terry Pratchett.

Now, it seems I’ve tripped over the spiritual successor to Jim Butcher.

Where the hell have all of these people been hiding?

Yes, yes, I know I’ve been busy with building my own damn shelf of novels, but this is ridiculous now. These people are some awesome writers, and I’ve been hip deep in writing my little heart out.  Gah. It’s a bit frustrating.

But anyway, it’s Halloween…

Time for a ghost story.

Welcome to Fade.

From Dragon Award nominee Daniel Humphreys

Son of a Witch

Family drama is bad enough without adding magic and human sacrifice. Ten years ago, Paxton Locke’s mother killed his father in a mysterious ritual that – thankfully – went incomplete. Now, Paxton makes his living as a roving paranormal investigator, banishing spirits while Mother languishes in jail.

When a terrified ghost warns him of a dangerous, newly-freed entity, Paxton faces a fight far beyond simple exorcism. In a battle for his very soul, will he be able to endure – or simply fade away?

Harry Dresden’s sorcery goes on a Supernatural-style road trip. Cool car sold separately.

Frankly, the last line isn’t branding. It’s fairly accurate …. and despite having his own family drama, Paxton Locke is no where near as angsty as the Winchester brothers, whose own angsty bullshit killed any interest I had in Supernatural, no matter how good the plots were.

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Review: War Demons

The Devil went down to Georgia. He was looking for a soul to steal.And this time, he isn’t coming with a violin.

Welcome to War Demons, by Russell Newquist.**

When he came home, so did they…

Driven by vengeance, Michael Alexander enlisted in the Army the day after 9/11. Five years later, disillusioned and broken by the horrors he witnessed in Afghanistan, Michael returns home to Georgia seeking to begin a new life. But he didn’t come alone. Something evil followed him, and it’s leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The police are powerless. The Army has written Michael off. Left to face down a malevolent creature first encountered in the mountains of Afghanistan, he’ll rely on his training, a homeless prophet, and estranged family members from a love lost…

But none of them expected the dragon.

Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden collides with Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International in this supernatural thriller that goes straight to Hell!

That tag at the end isn’t bluster. It’s fairly accurate. Personally, I think War Demons leans more on the MHI than the Harry Dresden. So much so that I’m willing to say up front that I would not be surprised if Russell ends up authoring an MHI spinoff novel. No, I’m not exaggerating. This is a story that could have been mistaken for a Monster Hunter International novel if Larry Correia used prayer as a weapon more often. But I will admit, there is a TON of Dresden-level action.

Let’s back up a step.

Chapter one opens up with a swordfight with a demon, and ends with dropping a daisy cutter on it.

That irritated the sucker a little.

Fast forward a few years to our hero, Michael Alexander, who Jack Ryaned out of the military when his helicopter crashed. He and his buddy hid in a cave …. only do discover something in the cave that was colder than the dark and hungry.

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