Top Gun Maverick

My mom is a big fan of the original Top Gun. She saw Top Gun Maverick as soon as it opened in theaters. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the making of the film, however, I was taking notice of how well-received the movie was. My mom was telling me she was going to see Top Gun Maverick for a second time by herself and I offered to tag along. I was pleasantly surprised because honestly, Top Gun Maverick might be my favorite movie I have seen this year.

Top Gun Maverick takes place thirty-six years after the original film. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (played by Tom Cruise) is a test pilot. He’s made aware that the flight program he’s a part of is being decommissioned. Instead of accepting this decision, he flies a prototype to prove that the program is worth saving. Maverick destroys the plane angering the high-ranking officers. As a result, Maverick is sent to train other TOPGUN flyers. This forces Maverick to confront his past as one of the students is Goose’s son, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (played by Miles Teller). For those who didn’t see the original Top Gun film, Goose was killed accidentally and Maverick holds a lot of guilt for his death. Maverick has to prove to the students that he can train them for their upcoming mission.

The story at times was intense! In the last hour when the mission is in progress, I was stressed. It’s clear that there was a lot at stake and the pilots had to prove to themselves that they were a team that could work together. Besides the intensity, I thought the story was fleshed out. As someone who hasn’t watched Top Gun in years, I felt I could easily follow this film. It can be difficult to watch a film where you feel left out, but Top Gun Maverick wasn’t like that.

The acting in Top Gun Maverick was top-notch. While it’s easy to focus on Tom Cruise specifically, I think Miles Teller steals the show. He clearly resembles Goose. In the scenes leading to Rooster climbing into his plane, you can see the anxiety he has. He feels like he isn’t ready and it’s read across his face. The whole cast does a great job. Glen Powell is another standout. He plays “Hangman” who is a bit of a jerk. He plays a big role later in the film. The whole cast rocked and each actor fit the role they were playing.

Top Gun Maverick is an absolutely perfect summer movie. It’s action-packed, there’s a fun soundtrack with 80s throwbacks, and it kept me entertained throughout the whole movie. Top Gun Maverick is easily one of the best sequels I have ever watched.

Percy & Vex’ahlia – My Favorite OTP

Video from Critical Role’s Youtube Channel

I’m still making my way through Vox Machina, Critical Role’s first campaign. I’m on episode #74 right now which means I have 40 episodes left to watch. It’s been going by fast despite the fact that it’s taken me a year and a half to get to this point. In one of the latest episodes I watched, Percy (played by Taliesin Jaffe) disclosed his feelings to Vex’ahlia (played by Laura Bailey) by giving her a kiss. I was so excited! This was a ship that was drawn out, so it was so satisfying to see their characters get together.

One of the beautiful things about Critical Role is the way that the characters go through growth. Percy’s backstory is rather tragic as most of his family was killed by The Briarwoods. Percy’s whole focus is vengeance and forcing those responsible to pay for their actions. In certain instances, Percy is blinded by this and the only one who can bring him out is Vex’ahlia. Vex’ahlia is a perfect foil to Percy as she helps him realize he isn’t alone in this world.

While the kiss was a huge deal, Percy and Vex’ahlia have other sweet moments that led to this moment. Vex’ahlia struggles with fitting in as she was treated as less than since she’s a half-elf. Percy does come from nobility and he tells Vex’ahlia “I’ve known a lot of people with money, and they are definitely not worth you.” My heart was so happy.

I have no regrets about starting Critical Role from the very beginning. While it’s a lot of content to get through, the characters make it worth it. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Percy and Vex’s relationship as I continue through the episodes.

The Direction of Scarlet Witch – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Major Spoilers of Doctor Strange – Be Advised

I finally made time to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This film had elements of horror in it which I loved. It felt like a different film than other Marvel films which I thought made the film stand out. Instead of writing a typical movie review, I wanted to focus on Scarlet Witch and the direction the film took the character. There’s no way to do this without revealing spoilers, so please be advised.

The last time we saw Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olson) was in WandaVision. She seemed to accept her role in Westview and how she let everyone go. It seemed she was going to confront her grief. I wanted this for her! Wanda has been through so much and deserves happiness. There was an after-credit sequence that showed Wanda discovering a magic book hinting that something more sinister was going to happen. Despite the after-credit sequence, I wanted to see her become a real ally.

With the first few scenes of Doctor Strange, I was quickly made aware that I was wrong. Scarlet Witch was using the Darkhold to send monsters after America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez) to steal her power and live with her children in another universe. Wanda has absolutely no problem with killing America to gather her power because Wanda feels that she has earned the right to be with her children.

As a side note, Elizabeth Olson’s acting was superb! She conveyed real emotion and while I rooted for her in WandaVision, I wanted to see her be defeated in Doctor Strange. Elizabeth Olson is talented.

I’m sad that the film took Wanda in this direction. As mentioned above, I wanted to see her evolve and grow as a character. Instead, it seemed that she completely retreated from the growth seen in WandaVision. I was surprised that none of the other characters thought to ask Wanda, “what would Vision think of you doing this?” While Wanda is motivated by seeing her children, there is no way Vision would support any of what Wanda was doing. I’m surprised that Stephen or Wong never brought this up. It may not have stopped Wanda’s actions, but I hoped it would at least force Wanda to confront her grief. It seemed that Doctor Strange left WandaVision in the dust which is so sad! WandaVision is easily one of my favorite Marvel series on Disney+

While I may not have agreed with Doctor Strange and Wanda’s direction, I didn’t let this impede on how I enjoyed the film. The horror elements along with the guest appearances were enough to create a fun experience seeing this film in theaters. The next Marvel film to be released is Thor Love and Thunder in July and I’m excited to see how Natalie Portman is re-introduced into the Marvel cinematic universe.

May the 4th Be With You – 2022 Plan Recap

Summer is in full swing and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love the sun, the smell of sunscreen, and not needing a jacket every time I go outside. With the end of May, it comes my annual “May the 4th Be With You” recap. This month didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but I still think it was a great month regardless

Books and Comics

Unfortunately, I never received the rest of my Barnes & Noble order. I ended up missing Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, Leia, Princess of Alderaan, and Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume #1. The only book that arrived was Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse. It’s unfortunate because I wanted to have a big reading month and it didn’t work out.

Resistance Reborn takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. The book centers around recruiting former allies to fight for the Resistance and an action-packed mission. Poe, leader of the Black Squadron, is tasked with retrieving a Resistance prisoner list and breaking a prisoner out of a secure First Order facility.

Resistance Reborn was an enjoyable read. I will say there was a lot of story build-up. For some, this might be boring to read, but I like all the information and context. The last 100 pages are where the action intensified. I rated Resistance Reborn 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads.

Regarding comics, I only finished Star Wars: Princess Leia Vol #1. I do have the complete run of Star Wars: Poe Dameron to read, but I didn’t finish it in May like I thought I would. I’m looking forward to the coming months because I have fewer weekends booked solid like I did in May. I’m hoping for some free Saturday mornings to read comics.

Movies & TV

I’m sad to say that I didn’t finish The Clone Wars. I did watch The Clone Wars on my drive to and from Milwaukee, so that helped. I’m now on season #3. I’m determined to finally finish the show by the end of the year. I didn’t get to re-watch The Mandalorian or re-watch The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, or The Rise of Skywalker. I still feel accomplished for the month and I’m invested in watching more Star Wars content by the end of the year.

Gaming

I did play through LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga, however, my game glitched!! I am on the last episode, The Rise of Skywalker, and I’m forever stuck in light speed traveling to the next level. I looked on Reddit, and apparently, if you accepted a cargo side mission, the cargo doesn’t load at light speed, so you have to complete the cargo mission and it should fix the glitch. The problem is that I have no idea what cargo mission I accepted. I would have to go back and go through every individual side mission to figure out which one I accepted. Plus, this isn’t a guaranteed fix. There were some comments where players did this and it still didn’t fix the glitch.

I have invested so much time in this game that I’m so sad that I can’t even finish the story. The only hope that I have is if a patch is released that will fix my game save. I’m not willing to go through all the effort listed above and have it not work. I’m going to discontinue playing through the game which is such a bummer.

Since I’m done playing through LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga, I’m going to go back to Jedi Fallen Order. I played through the game back in 2020 and I never finished it. I’m going to start over and devote the time to finishing the game.

Miscellaneous Star Wars Content

I’m adding a section for the “miscellaneous” Star Wars content that I listened to or discovered this month. Thanks to Anakin + His Angel I discovered the Youtube channel, Always Believe. Always Believe is hosted by Ash and Bryan who share their love of Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel. I love their channel! They are both in their mid-30’s and I like to see people carry their interests as they get older. I’m genuinely excited to see when they release a new video and I like listening to their videos while I do various chores or tasks throughout the day.

While I’m at work, I discovered two Star Wars podcasts to help me get through the day. The first is Force Toast Podcast. Force Toast is hosted by Alyce and Laura and they are based in Chicago. They talk about Star Wars content, and Star Wars trivia over a drink. The other Star Wars podcast I found was Star Wars STUFF This is more of a Star Wars news podcast versus Force Toast being a casual Star Wars chat. Both podcasts I can see myself listening to throughout the coming months.

Overall, I think this was a successful Star Wars month despite some challenges I had. I do want to carry more Star Wars throughout the year as I find that once May ends, I find I don’t discuss Star Wars nearly as much. I do want to add Star Wars books to my TBR (to be read pile) along with continuing my re-watch of The Clone Wars. Let me know what Star Wars content you’re reading or loving in the comments down below.

The Avengers – Ten Years Later

Do you ever have those moments where you think to yourself “has it really been that long”? One of those moments happened to me a week ago. I was watching a Youtube video where someone was saying that The Avengers came out 10 years ago. I almost didn’t believe it. Sure enough, I looked it up and The Avengers was released on May 4th, 2012. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since The Avengers was released in theaters.

Four years ago, I wrote a post on Bizarre Brunette about why The Avengers film means so much to me. I won’t repeat myself too much except to say that The Avengers was a major factor in why I started reading comics. It makes me think that I have been reading comics full-time for almost a decade which is something I am fond to look back on.

When I reminisce about my love for The Avengers, I think back to my freshman year of college. In my dorm room, I had two Hawkeye posters. I remember very clearly hanging them on my wall. This leads me into the line of thinking where it’s been 10 years since my freshman year of college and my high school graduation. There’s been so much change in my life from 2012-2022.

Without getting too off-topic, I was thrown off by The Avengers being released 10 years ago. Let me know in the comments if you have felt something similar where you’re thrown by how long it’s been since either a movie or TV show or something happened in your life that was rather significant.

Moon Knight (2022)

I miss the days of watching the Netflix Marvel TV series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Iron Fist wasn’t my favorite, but it still set up The Defenders team-up show. I liked that this series tackled adult themes and how it felt like a departure from the Marvel franchise. With Moon Knight being released on Disney+, I was looking forward to seeing a darker show. Moon Knight is entertaining and I hope that there will be a second season.

Moon Knight is as close as Marvel got to re-creating Batman. Marc Specter is a mercenary who teams up with Raoul Bushman to work together on various jobs. Bushman gets greedy and kills a famed archeologist. Specter tries to stop him, but Bushman leaves him to die. As Specter dies, he’s left on the Khonshu statue where Khonshu gives him a second chance. This leaves Marc with incredible powers, a god manipulating his every move, and balancing his multiple personalities with his DID diagnosis (dissociative identity disorder).

The show picks up with Steven Grant (played by Oscar Isaac) who is fascinated by Egyptian culture and works in a museum in London. Steven is one of Marc’s alters and is perceived as being the naive alter. Steven wakes up in another country holding a scarab with no memory as to how he got there. As Steven flees, he runs into a ceremony being performed by Arthur Harrow (played by Ethan Hawke) Arthur worships the god, Ammit. Arthur’s goal is to summon Ammit and punish people before crimes are committed while Khonshu is all about delivering justice after the fact. Khonshu warns Marc that if Ammit is summoned, this could lead to the deaths of a lot of people who may or may not deserve it. Marc teams up with his wife, Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy) to stop Arthur before it’s too late.

Oscar does an excellent job of portraying Marc and Steven. Oscar is able to create two different personas which make it feel believable. Oscar mentions how he developed a separate accent for Steven, so it would feel different. I’m not sure if Oscar’s performance plays on the harmful stereotypes of DID. That’s not my lived experience, so I can’t speak to that. From my experience watching Moon Knight, I do feel that Oscar truly becomes Marc and Moon Knight.

Besides Marc, I love Layla. In the comics, Marc marries Marlene, and Marlene’s father is the archeologist murdered by Bushman. I read that Layla was created to be a live-action version of Marlene from the comics. The show changed Marlene, to Layla to add diversity to the show. If that’s true, I’m all for it. May Calamawy is a great choice and I feel she truly embodies this woman who will protect Marc because she loves him, but also has the trauma of losing her father in a violent way. May and Oscar have this slow-burn romance together and I’m here for it.

I was a little worried about how Moon Knight would wrap up. It seemed the final episode had a lot of ground to cover. The final episode was well worth the wait and it doesn’t feel rushed. Unfortunately, Marvel posted on Facebook the day the episode aired and spoiled part of this episode before I could watch it. Shame on me for not avoiding social media. I would highly recommend watching this show in one sitting to prevent being spoiled.

Moon Knight is probably one of my favorite Marvel TV series released to date besides WandaVision. Moon Knight can be streamed on Disney+ with new episodes airing on Wednesdays.

May the 4th Be With You – 2022 Plan

May the 4th be with you! May the 4th has a special place in my heart because I’m a big Star Wars fan and I look forward to this month every year. Every May, I dedicate the whole month to Star Wars. I wanted to share my official plan for this year as far as the books I want to read, the shows I want to watch, and the video games I want to play.

Books and Comics

I have three books on my list to read for the month of May. The first book is Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. This book highlights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan before the events of The Phantom Menace. I have a soft spot for the prequels, so I like that more of the Canon Star Wars books are taking place during this era. The second book on my list is Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi) by Claudia Gray. This book focuses on Leia as a sixteen-year-old girl who starts to begin her dive into the fight against the Empire. The final book on my list is Resistance Reborn: Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book focuses on Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the final movie in the trilogy. This book has mixed reviews, so I’m going into reading this book with a mindset of wanting a fun adventure between the trio versus this being the best book I have ever read.

As far as comics, I have three graphic novels on my list: Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol #1, Star Wars: The High Republic Volume #1, and Princess Leia Volume #1. I have a few comic book store trips planned this month, so I may pick up Star Wars comics as I see fit.

Movies & TV

My number one priority is to finish Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I typically only watch the show during May, but we shall see if this is the year where I finally finish it! Besides The Clone Wars, I do want to do a re-watch of The Mandalorian. There’s also The Book of Boba Fett and Bad Batch. My focus this month will be on the Star Wars TV side of things, however, I would consider doing a re-watch of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. I did a move re-watch a few years ago, and I don’t think I made it through those three. I know for a fact that I haven’t watched The Rise of Skywalker since I saw it in theaters, so I may add that to my list. There’s so much content and such limited time to watch it all.

Gaming

This should come as no surprise since I wrote about this recently, but I’m still going through LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. I’m at the end of episode III right now. My goal would be to complete all episodes by the end of the month, but that seems like a huge task. I do have Jedi Fallen Order on my list to play as well, however, I don’t think I will have time to complete both games.

May the 4th be with you and don’t forget that May 5th is “Revenge of the Fifth”!

Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars Content

May the 4th 2022 is almost a month out. Every May, I like to devote the entire month to Star Wars as a way to celebrate May 4th. I only watch Star Wars content, play Star Wars video games, and read Star Wars books and comics. I haven’t fully planned out this year’s Star Wars gameplan, although I still wanted to share some Star Wars media or content that I’m the most hyped about.

Obi-Wan Kenobi – May 27th 2022

As a big fan of the prequels, I’m absolutely pumped for this to drop on Disney+. This series will reunite Hayden Christiansen and Ewan McGregor as the opposite ends of the force. I watched this trailer and shivered because this brought back memories of the prequels. I’m ecstatic!

Star Wars Andor – Release Date Unknown

Rogue One is another Star Wars film that I adore. It shows the tragedy of war, sacrifice, and fighting for the greater good. Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) is a character who has suffered and I think there’s more to him that’s worth revealing. I’m excited for this series to premiere as I felt this is a series that has been a long time coming.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

I decided last minute that I was going to play this game. I wish I had pre-ordered it. The Deluxe copy was sold out everywhere, so I had to settle on the standard copy which included the game only. I had played LEGO Star Wars last year on my PC and I ended up not finishing it as I don’t have a gaming computer, so I felt the game lagged at parts. In LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga includes the new Star Wars films but also makes this game more open world. There are a ton of missions, collectibles, and characters to unlock. I was going to wait until May to play this, but I couldn’t resist playing this now.

I’m looking forward to next month! In a week or two, I plan on scouring through my Goodreads TBR for all the Star Wars books I still have left to read along with taking a trip to my local comic book store for Star Wars comics. May the 4th be with you!

The Batman (2022)

When Robert Pattinson was cast as Batman in 2019, I felt the casting choice was surprising. I wouldn’t have picked Robert as my first choice to play Batman. I have been skeptical about casting decisions before, but I have always kept my opinions to myself until a trailer is released. Once the Batman trailer dropped, I was hooked. Me and my husband went to see The Batman last week and it was amazing! I’m so glad I kept an open mind because Robert Pattinson is one of my favorite portrayals of Batman to date.

The Batman takes place in the first few years of Bruce donning the Batman persona. He has physically prepared for the job, yet he still has a lot to learn. Batman (played by Robert Pattinson as hinted above) is called to a crime scene by James Gordon (played by Jeffrey Wright). From what they can gather, a serial killer is targeting Gotham’s elite and once he disposes of them, he exposes these individuals as being morally corrupt. This killer has the same goals as Batman but is not afraid to kill. As Batman investigates this killer, he gets entangled with Selina Kyle (played by Zoe Kravitz) as Selina is looking for her missing friend. Batman has to juggle between protecting Gotham, exposing the corruption, and living his double life as Bruce Wayne.

As mentioned above, Robert Pattinson does an excellent job at playing Batman. With Christian Bale’s performance, he capitalized on the “playboy” persona of Bruce Wayne. Robert portrays Bruce as a millionaire in the shadows who seems uncomfortable being Bruce Wayne in public. I felt this was a more authentic take of the character. As Batman, Robert is an intimidating presence along with providing his intelligence in being the world’s greatest detective. Besides Robert, the whole cast in this movie did an excellent job. Zoe’s portrayal of Catwoman was so good. Robert and Zoe’s chemistry was on fire throughout the whole movie. There was flirty banter between them along with a bond being formed after Bruce prevents Selina from killing someone from her past. By the end of the film, Bruce has a growing respect for Selina and seems to miss her as she leaves Gotham. Jeffrey Wright fully embodied Jim Gordon and Colin Firth was unrecognizable as the Penguin. Last, but not least, Paul Dano’s take on the Riddler was realistic as I think the Riddler is often a villain who people make fun of.

The cinematography in this film is haunting. The way Gotham is portrayed as this vibrant city with a criminal underworld. There are several sequences that are shot beautifully. There’s a scene where Batman is fighting several men and the room is completely dark. The only light comes from the men shooting their assault weapons. It reminded me of the Daredevil stair fight scene in Marvel’s Daredevil. From the trailer, there’s a moment where Batman steps out of the Batmobile with flames in the background walking to a flipped car. Seeing this scene on the big screen was so worth it.

The Batman is accompanied by a terrific movie score. The main song used in both the trailer and whenever Batman has a major moment is addicting. I have been listening to the score non-stop since seeing the film.

The Batman was everything I could have wanted from a DC film. The Batman reminds me of the Batman Arkham Asylum video game series in a movie form. Me and my husband can’t wait to see this movie again.

Which Peacemaker Character Am I – Buzzfeed Quiz

I finished watching the Peacemaker finale with my husband. It was so good! DC is having a ton of issues with their movie universe, but their TV shows have always been decent. After watching the finale, I searched and found a “Which Peacemaker Character Are You” Buzzfeed quiz and wanted to take it. I hope I don’t get Peacemaker.

I picked family for this one. I consider my friends as my family as well, so I think it was the more all-encompassing choice.

I picked Birds of Prey. Birds of Prey is such an underrated DC movie and the movie soundtrack was such an energetic fit to the film. A close second would be Wonder Woman. The only movie on this list I would never choose would be Batman V Superman. There wasn’t enough build-up to introduce Batman and Superman in the film. It was DC trying to get a Marvel cinematic universe without putting in the work to do so.

The next question was picking a favorite song. I didn’t like any of the options, so I won’t post my answer.

King Shark is easily my choice. He’s a huge asset to the team in The Suicide Squad and is hilarious in the Harley Quinn Animated Series.

I picked Euphoria which shouldn’t be a big surprise because I wrote about the show a few weeks ago. Euphoria’s popularity is exploding. I feel like I see ads for Euphoria everywhere. I hope Zendaya and Sydney Sweeney get Emmy nominations.

This question was a lot tougher. I think each member of the Guardians serves a purpose in the group. From a humor standpoint, I like Drax. From a character growth standpoint, I would pick Nebula. I think I’m going to pick Groot as he is sweet and has the backs of the other Guardians.

I would say the two words that fit me the most are either empathetic or eager. I decided on Eager as I always have a lot of energy and I’m passionate about a lot of different things.

Eagly! I love how on the nose Eagly is serving as Peacemaker’s pet.

Yay! I got Leota Adebayo. She’s the member of their group who brings the most humanity to their missions. Plus she and Peacemaker get really close with Peacemaker telling her that she is his best friend besides Eagly.

If you haven’t watched Peacemaker yet, what are you waiting for? It’s available to stream on HBO Max.