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Tuesday, May 30

Haiku Revieu | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Tuesday, May 30
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Quill has dad issues
Save the galaxy again
All heart eyes for Groot

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.

The first Guardians of the Galaxy is probably my second favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (after The Avengers), so to say that I was excited about this sequel is a bit of an understatement. I love pretty much everything about this franchise, from the music to the characters to the colors that saturate pretty much every scene. And, for the most part, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 didn't let me down.

It was great being able to jump right in with the Guardians crew (as much as I enjoyed watching them come together in the first movie), and everyone played their roles to a T. Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill/Star-Lord's mix of swagger and insecurity so well, and Dave Bautista's Drax never fails to make me laugh, hard. Rocket was snarky and endearing, in equal parts, and I love how I tend to forget that he's voiced by Bradley Cooper, if that makes sense? (How about this: The character is so well done, and feels so "realistic," that it's easy for me to separate the voice actor from the role.)

Zoe Saldana's Gamora was a little underused, but her scenes with Karen Gillen's Nebula were some of the most powerful of the movie. There was an overarching theme of family, whether blood or found, in this film, which gave it a lot of heart. And Michael Rooker's Yondu really made some huge strides in character growth. The smattering of cameo appearances by celebrities were also delightful, but I won't spoil who all appeared.

Unsurprisingly, Baby Groot (Toddler Groot?) stole the show. From his opening credits dance party to his post-credits scene, everything he did was either adorable, hilarious, or a combination of the two.

The plot of this movie was the only thing that I felt was a little lacking. Although the story line surrounding Ego was interesting, and was a good story on its own, the movie felt overly "bridgy," like it was there to get us from GotG to Infinity War without making too much of an impact. That said, I loved it. It made me laugh, it made me tear up, and it made me want to listen to the soundtrack on repeat. (To be honest, however, the soundtrack of the first movie was better, too.) If that's not a good time at the movies, I don't want to know what is.

Check it out:

Thursday, May 18

Nerd News | Star Trek: Discovery trailer

Thursday, May 18

The first trailer for Star Trek: Discovery has dropped:

The teases of the story we get here don't quite blow me away, but man if I didn't get emotional watching ladies—and POC ladies at that!—taking the lead.

I'm going to reserve judgement until I actually see the show (unlike the YouTube commenters ... yeah, I peeked), but one gut reaction I have: James Frain is not Sarek.

Also of note:

Wednesday, May 10

Haiku Revieu | Colossal

Wednesday, May 10

Forced to move back home
Gloria's life in shambles
Is she a kaiju?

Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in NY and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon.

Going into Colossal, I wasn't sure what to expect. The trailer doesn't tell you much—thankfully!—other than that Anne Hathaway's character is somehow connected to a mysterious Kaiju terrorizing Korea.

After watching the movie, the trailer definitely didn't prepare me for the film. But that's a good thing; it was really nice being surprised by the plot and some of the characters.

Speaking of characters: Anne Hathaway's Gloria is a mess. And as much as she has haters (which I don't really get), she's great in this sort of role. She's believable as someone who has no idea what to do with her life, and who's gotten herself into a bad situation, but who eventually hits bottom and fights her way back into control. Dan Stevens, who's quickly earning a spot on next year's Man Calendar with his roles in Legion and Beauty and the Beast, is somewhat flat, but entertaining (in, admittedly, a douchey kind of way). The real standout is Jason Sudekis, however, who totally caught me off guard ... but that's all I'll say about that.

I can't say much about the plot, either, so as not to ruin the fun. It's pretty simple, but had some twists that I didn't see coming. It took me quite a while after seeing it to decide how I felt about the movie. I've finally decided, nearly a month later, that I really liked it.

I think.

Check it out:

Tuesday, May 9

Haiku Revieu | The Fate of the Furious

Tuesday, May 9
The Fate of the Furious

Dominic goes rogue
It's all about family
Cars v. submarine

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

Y'all know how I feel about the Fast and Furious franchise, so it should come as no surprise that I've been excited about The Fate of the Furious since the credits rolled for Furious 7. (After a moment of silence for Paul Walker, natch.) I can't get enough of these ridiculous movies—or the crazy band of characters they bring to the big screen.

I was a little nervous after watching the trailers and seeing Dom "turn on" his family, but it's important to have faith that the people behind the movies know what they're doing. And without getting too spoilery, it all turned out OK in the end.

Charlize Theron was a welcome addition to the cast, even if she did sport a seriously questionable wig throughout the film. She's a delightful villain, and I loved seeing her walk that fine line between too over the top and not ridiculous enough. (I mean, these movies aren't exactly about the nuanced performances, but there's certainly a level of taking things too far.) It was also awesome to have Jason Statham back as Deckard Shaw, and to learn more about his character's backstory. Something I particularly love about this franchise is how well they take flat characters and make them multi-faceted. (In related news: There's talk about a spin-off series starring Statham and The Rock's character, Luke Hobbs. I am SO HERE FOR IT.)

Also: Helen Mirren is a GIFT. But that'll all I'll say about her role.

Plot-wise, there have definitely been better Fast and Furious movies. The whole "betrayal" trope is overdone and obvious, but that's not to say that the movie didn't have some surprises. And the action scenes—which, lets be honest, are the main reason these movies are so amazing—didn't disappoint. Statham, however, absolutely stole the show. His scene with [REDACTED] had me grinning from ear to ear.

I can't wait to see how F9 tops this one.

Check it out:

Thursday, May 4

May the 4th Be With You!

Thursday, May 4

Happy Star Wars Day, friends!

In 2011, I started creating a collection of part-Valentine, part cheesy pick-up line e-cards to celebrate May the 4th. Little did I know back then that I'd have the opportunity to add cards from new movies to the mix! (Really, I couldn't be more pleased.)

Be sure to check out the new Rogue One cards in the collection!

And please feel free to share any—or all—of the cards below with your nerdy friends and loved ones.

Rogue One

The Force Awakens

The Original Trilogy

FYI: Chewie's card reads "I'll let you pilot my spaceship any day." I used this translator for "accuracy."

Monday, May 1

Hey May | 2017 Man Calendar

Monday, May 1

Download this page of the 2016 Man Calendar for personal use by clicking on the image; it will open in a new window. Right/control click to save it. Then print the page on letter-size cardstock, and trim it to 6"x9".

Desktop version:

Find the rest of the 2017 Man Calendar here.