Black Panther Trailer Reaction

Welcome back to the Marvel Cinematic universe. The next trailer for the movie after next is here.
And now: Black Panther.
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Review: The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin had a magical girl, who ended up at a magical school, collected nearly a dozen magical friends, joined a fraternity, investigated a mystery, saw an omen that heralds the doom of worlds, headed off an attack by an army of dozens of mind-controlled students, saved the entire campus, and provided support for a battle that involved the dragon that used to be Professor Moriarty.Not bad for the first week, huh?

No. Sorry, my mistake. It’s not bad for the first five days of school. Take that, Harry Potter.

How do I know that book one was the first week? Because book two of L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Rachel series opens only a few hours after the end of book 1, and explicitly states she’s only been there five days.

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Silver Empire To Re-release Declan Finn’s A Pius Man

Before Declan Finn became a Dragon Award nominated horror writer — before there was even a Dragon Award — he wrote a thriller series that’s been described as “the anti-Dan Brown,” or perhaps, “The Da Vinci Code — but not heretical,” The Pius Trilogy.

The Pius Trilogy is about to make a comeback. The first book is going to be released on July 1, from Silver Empire Press.

The new description from Silver Empire:

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Yes, It Is That Important: A Pro-Life Fisk

I knew it.  Sooner or later, we were bound to have a repeat offender on the fisk list, and here she is.  Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rebecca Bratten Weiss, who has said something so horrible, she needs to be smacked down with extreme prejudice.

Today’s example of holier-than-thou, sorry-excuse-for-Catholicism is entitled “Abortion: the Most Important Moral Issue Ever….Except for When it’s Not.”  I’m just glad she managed to capitalize most of the appropriate letters this time around, even if she did get the ellipsis wrong.

Once again, the original text is in italics, and my comments are in bold.

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Confession and the Rosary

The other day, I went to Confession and had an experience I wanted to share with the Catholic Geek audience. The priest was forceful, which is always a mixture of refreshing and startling. Confession is a sacrament of love, but sometimes love means we need a kick in the pants.

In this case, the priest interrupted me, asking “Do you pray the Rosary daily?”

Startled, I responded “No, I–”

“Do you fast daily?”

“No . . .”

“Do you want to go to Hell?”

“No.”

“Recognize that those statements are contradictory.”

I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t ignoring the rosary; I just forget a lot, and wasn’t raised with the idea of a daily ritual. I felt weird with the implication that not praying a daily rosary would mean I would go to Hell. I briefly considered telling him that fasting daily was actually a bad thing, what with my health problems.

But all that would have just been avoiding the issue. Continue reading

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“Welcome to the Fricking Guardians of the Galaxy”

Now that I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 twice, I feel like I can write an accurate review. This is probably the best of all Marvel’s films, despite being the most predictable. I was only half paying attention the first time I saw it, but there still wasn’t a single moment that surprised me. What makes this movie great, however, is the on-point humor and characterization of the Guardians. This review, as all of mine are, will be spoiler free.

Marvel has always been amazing at writing humor, and Guardians of the Galaxy is possibly their best example. Both times I saw the film, I spent the entire two hours (even when the credits were scrolling up the screen at the end) laughing and enjoying the pacing of the dialogue and facial expressions/physical acting.

Nebula-Gamora-Rocket-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Vol-2

Nebula, Gamora, and Rocket: the three best characters (in my humble opinion)

Despite all the funny moments, the real heart of this film is in dealing with family issues. We know from the first film that Peter Quill’s mother is dead, and his father is some unknown alien from somewhere other than earth. We also know that Gamora and Nebula are estranged sisters who are always at odds. Both are explored in this film. Most of the emotional impact of Quill’s story arc comes from his search for family, and Gamora and Nebula spend this film constantly at odds with Nebula intent on killing her sister.

Family is explored in all its forms. The opening scene shows Peter’s parents, and it continues from there. While the plot is completely predictable, the message of finding one’s family and place in the galaxy is important because it shows how family relationships can shape someone’s outlook on life as a whole. So while there is some language and innuendos (it’s a movie with Rocket Raccoon, so there has to be), it is highly recommended as an enjoyable film that deserves to be seen.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer!

 

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The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin

L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright once described her Rachel Griffin books as Fringe meets Narnia in Hogwarts. I don’t see the Fringe, but the Harry Potter is easier to see.

Book one is The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin

The plot is ….

Rachel Griffin wants to know everything. As a freshman at Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts, she has been granted to opportunity to study both mundane and magical subjects. But even her perfect recollection of every book she has ever read does not help her when she finds a strange statue in the forest-a statue of a woman with wings. Nowhere-neither in the arcane tomes of the Wise, nor in the dictionary and encyclopedia of the non-magic-using Unwary-can she find mention of such a creature. What could it be? And why are the statue’s wings missing when she returns?

When someone tries to kill a fellow student, Rachel soon realizes that, in the same way her World of the Wise hides from mundane folk, there is another, more secret world hiding from everyone-which her perfect recall allows her to remember. Her need to know everything drives her to investigate. Rushing forward where others fear to tread, Rachel finds herself beset by wraiths, magical pranks, homework, a Raven said to bring the doom of worlds, love’s first blush, and at least one fire-breathing teacher. Curiosity might kill a cat, but nothing stops Rachel Griffin!

Imagine end of Harry Potter — you know, where the school is under full assault, things are blowing up, students are fighting, and great beasts are tramping around? — only as the prologue. There’s a dragon, and possession, and hordes of the possessed out to slaughter the school. There’s even an evil math tutor (Moriarty, anyone?). I was expecting a few lines from Maleficent, but not this time.

Rachel Griffen is 13 years old, in Roanoke Academy for magic, in New York. She’s English royalty in a new world, with classmates from all over the world. This alone puts it had and shoulders above the next nearest competitor, which treated America as a nonexistent land in the world of magic.

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