5 Fandom Friday

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Fandoms I’m Thankful For

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. A time to take stock. A time to examine life. A time to count your blessings. A time to be thankful…for FANDOMS!! These are the ones I’m thankful for:

#1: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. I grew up with Star Wars. It’s the first fandom I remember being crazy about. It makes me think of family. It makes me think of powerful female figures. It makes me think Hubba Hubba Han Solo. It’s the ultimate fandom for this nerdy girl!

#2: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. Ever since the announcement that Disney purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas, I have been counting down the days till the big day. Sure, every Star Wars fan knows that May is the pivotal month for the galaxy far, far away, but I kinda love that we are getting Star Wars for Christmas this year. What can I say, I’m thankful!

#3: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. The Star Wars Universe is a vast and beautiful place. I have been reading books from the expanded universe for many years. So yes, I was initially disappointed that the canon was disbanded. (RIP Mara Jade. You will always be in our hearts!) But I’ve had plenty of time to accept the new Star Wars future. Which now includes brand new expanded universe books. And the beauty is that the old canon books are still highly enjoyable works. Bring on the

#4: Star Wars
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Ok…here’s why. Star Wars brings people together. Don’t believe me? Attend Star Wars Celebration sometime. Read up on the 501st and the charity works that they are involved in. Read the story of Daniel and the petition to allow him an early viewing of The Force Awakens before his death on. When Star Wars fans gather, great things happen, internets are broken and so are records. If you still doubt the power of the Star Wars fan base, just keep an eye on the box office the weekend of December 18th. You’ll feel the Force then, I can promise you that!

#5: Marvel, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, LOST, Star Trek, Flash/ Arrow, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Supergirl, Once Upon A Time, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead…
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Ok…ok! I like a couple other fandoms besides Star Wars and I’m just as grateful for them. When the prospect of Star Wars looms…everything else just pales in comparison. But each of these fandoms (and many more) all have their places in my heart!!

Come countdown to The Force Awakens with me on Instagram. Tag me: @nerdinthesand and use the hashtag: #StarWarsChallenge

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Marvel’s Shipyard

Today I’m examining relationships in the MCU. Watching Agents of Shield last week led me to the realization that there are very few functioning or healthy relationships over at Marvel.
Maybe it’s the superhero business…there’s hardly time for love much less relationship counseling. Has to be hard to find time for romance when you’re trying to save lives and save the world.
Let’s see who stands a chance of making their ship sail… (and see how many ship analogies I can possibly come up with!!)

1. Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (aka #Pepperony)
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This is currently the strongest ship in the fleet. Tony and Pepper flirted in Iron Man, were together by the time Whiplash tried to take Tony out in IM2 and have survived not one but 3 other Marvel movies (Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.) It’s funny to think that the most narcissistic Avenger is the one in the healthiest relationship. Shows real growth! Good for you Tony (but we really mean Good for you, Pepper, cause we know who’s the Captain of this ship!)

2. Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter (aka #Huntingbird)
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These two were on again/ off again all last season, but currently things seem to be on the rise for these two. Bobbi is back in the field and Hunter has let his vengeance against Ward for almost killing his ex-wife cool off a bit. It’s tough to find a happy ending in the line of duty, but these two are really making a go of it. Their chemistry is great and I can’t wait to see where this ship sails off to.

3. Hope Van Dyne and Scott Lang (aka #Scope)
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Coming in third place would have to be the newcomers to the Marvel Universe. From Marvel’s Ant Man, I present Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne. This is a budding romance. So new that it hasn’t even made it through one full film yet. We’ll keep an eye on these two. But seeing as Hope already has title billing in the second Ant Man film aptly titled, Ant Man and the Wasp, chances are that come 2017, this ship will still be floating.

4. Daisy Johnson and Lincoln Campbell (aka #StaticQuake)
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This ship is still on it’s maiden voyage. Having just met last season and surviving some pretty heavy stuff, Lincoln went on the lamb. But he’s back and already making out with our girl, Quake. Definitely a ship to keep an eye on. (Although, am I alone in dreaming of Grant Ward secretly being on the side of good and eventually getting back together with Daisy/Quake/Skye? I’m willing to eventually give up on the dream…but not just yet. Come on #SkyeWard)

5. Thor Odinson and Jane Foster (aka #Fosterson)
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Talk about long distance relationships. These two don’t just have the pitfalls of a ‘normal’ couple, they have entire realms between them. They said goodbye at the end of the first Thor after a couple steamy kisses. Thor was far too busy fighting his brother in Avengers to visit his lady love. In Thor 2, the couple is reunited temporarily because of that pesky ether. But after returning Jane to Earth and heading back up to Aasgard, where he belongs (and returning for a quick, steamy kiss) they are parted again. While Thor does take time to brag on his girl in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I don’t see this ship surviving the long voyage. But hey, you never know. Long distance works for some people. Maybe Thor and Jane can make it.

6. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter (aka #Steggy)
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Get out your tissues. We all know how this one ends. This ship never had the chance to get out of the dock. Luckily Peggy goes on to have a kick ass career as a spy and Rogers…well, we know that Marvel is pushing Peggy’s granddaughter, as a potential future ship. But for now, Steve has new Avengers to train and old Avengers to war against.

7. Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff (aka #Brutasha)
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This is one ship that has split the fanbase. In the comics both of these Avengers have very different love lives that don’t involve each other. Bruce was always destined for fellow scientist, Betty Ross (played by Liz Tyler in the Edward Norton film, The Incredible Hulk…but we won’t mention that one.) And Natasha had a couple ships in the comics including but not limited to Hawkeye, Daredevil and Captain America. So imagine everyone’s surprise when the MCU turns it all around and has Black Widow turning up the heat with Bruce in Avengers: Age of Ultron. A little flirting and a passionate kiss does not a solid ship build. But it gives us something to look out for in the future.

8. Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz (aka #FitzSimmons)
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Grab those tissues again, cause so far this is a ship that could rival the Titanic. At the end of season 2, Fitz and Simmons were on the verge of exploring their feelings for each other. Then along came the Kree Monolith that held a portal to another realm where a dark, handsome stranger and his arms were waiting for Simmons to cling to. (Not cool, Marvel. Not cool!) Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in season 3. So the jury is still out on this ship. But given the givens, a happy ending is a long way off for these two.

9. Melinda May and Andrew Garner (aka #Meldrew)
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Tissues…you may as well hang on to them. (Are you sensing a trend here?) After the events of season 2, the future looked bright for Andrew and May as they rode off into the sunset. But come season 3 and this couple is not living happily ever after either. Agent May is busy fighting bad guys and Andrew…well, he’s a little busy being a bad guy. I’m still keeping hope alive for these two.

10. Agent Colson and Rosalind Price (aka #Coulsalind)
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I don’t know if anyone was really on board with this one. But I never was. Coulson is very special to the Marvel Universe and he deserves a lady love who is equally special. Rosalind does not fit the bill. Plus…after last week’s episode it seems like she may not be on the side of good after all. It’s only a matter of time before this ship runs a ground. (Thank goodness.)

Which ships are you hoping will get a little work done in the MCU? Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter: @nerdinthecity

44 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be a Nerd

It is so darn good to be a nerd right now. And if you don’t consider yourself a nerd, let me go ahead and give you your very own, personal invitation. It is never too late to join our tribe.
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We may come off a little strong at first, but we love when people come to the Dark Side (or the Light, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Don’t mistake our passion and zeal for anything other than just that.

Sure…there are trolls. But trust me when I say, we take care of our own! Here are 44 reasons why right now is the time to join us…and together we can rule the fandom!!!
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1. STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (tickets have been purchased!! Internets have been broken. This is the big leagues.)
2. Star Wars Episode VIII (ok we don’t know what it’s called yet, but the script is written and the funds are already designated!)
3. Star Wars Episode IX (we don’t even know who’s directing this one, but trust us…we’ll be there!)
4. Star Wars: Rogue One
5. Rumors of a young Han Solo film (rumors are our bread and butter. Get used to it.)
6.Star Wars Rebels (It’s only on season 2, plenty of time to catch up!)
7. Anything else Star Wars that is in the Disney pipeline. (If you aren’t sensing a trend then there may not be hope for your induction into our society.)
8. Ok…we do like some other things too…try Star Trek (anything with Star in it makes the short list!)
9.New Star Trek TV show in the works
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10. Any and all things Marvel (ie: the next 14 items on the list)
11. Marvel’s Jessica Jones (this one premiers in 7 days so you better catch up and watch all of Daredevil on Netflix stat!)
12. Marvel’s Captain America Civil War (trailer will be dropping very soon.)
13. Marvel’s Doctor Strange
14. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2
15. Marvel’s Spider-Man
16. Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
17. Marvel’s Black Panther
18. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
19. Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp
20. Marvel’s Captain Marvel
21. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
22. Marvel’s Agents of Shield (currently in season 3 on ABC)
23. Marvel’s Agent Carter (season 2 starts in January)
24. Marvel’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist (both coming to Netflix along with season 2 of Daredevil.)
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25. DC has a lot of exciting things coming to our eyeballs soon as well (they just haven’t all earned their own number slot in this nerd’s estimation, but some are worthy like…)
26. DC’s Suicide Squad
27. DC’s Justice League
28. DC’s Arrow (currently in season 3 on The CW)
29. DC’s The Flash (currently in season 2 also on The CW)
30. DC’s Supergirl (kicking major butt in it’s first season on CBS)
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31. The Walking Dead
32. Once Upon a Time
33. Doctor Who
34. Game of Thrones
35. More Jurassic Park
36. Word of more Indiana Jones is in the ether.
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37. A little thing called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (translation: more Harry Potter)
38. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (translation: even more Harry Potter)
39. Netflix and Hulu are making it easier than ever to catch up on your nerd. In my day you had to wait for DVD sets to be released and either rent from Blockbuster (yeah that was a thing) or just spend the $29.99 to own it. You’ve got no excuses anymore! LOST, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Heroes, Supernatural, X-Files they can all be yours!)
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40. Speaking of The X-Files, you better get started cause new X-Files is coming our way in January. Jump on it and believe!
41. Star Wars Battlefront (if you aren’t a gamer yet, why not let Battlefront pull you in!)
42. Any and all things Disney (they make things other than Star Wars and Marvel movies as well. I know…crazy!)
43. Oh, speaking of Star Wars…there is so much amazing expanded universe literature coming out. (Start reading! Reading is cool! There’s a lot to catch up on!)
44. There are plenty of other awesomely nerdy things coming out before and after and in between all that’s listed above. But I’m trying to think past December 17th, 2015 and I’m finding it very hard to do.

Well…you have a lot of homework to do so you better get started now. See you on the other side where I’ll be waiting with your Nerd membership card*. We will engage in an obligatory lightsaber battle and a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. It’s what we do!

*Membership card not guaranteed.

Finding Inspiration

I’m a pretty inspired person. I find inspiration in music. I find it in movies. I find it in books and blogs and friendships and in daily quiet time with God. Out here in California I find it when simply gazing at the sunshiney sky or a perfectly placed palm tree.
But sometimes the well runs dry.
So I made a list of the things that usually help me get my inspirational groove back.

Step 1: Turn to God
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This is usually the first place I turn. I admit, sometimes it takes a back burner in the quest for motivation and inspiration. But it should always be first. My favorite devotions are “My Utmost for the Highest” by Oswald Chambers and “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. I try to do these consistently. When I reach a stagnant moment, I will always have a place to turn.

Step 2: Make a List
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After placing my path back in God’s hands (time and again) I try and list the dreams He’s placed on my heart. The passions that I can’t shake. The “unreasonable,” “unaccomplishable” musings that fill my brain and heart constantly. In list form, they seem much more attainable!

Step 3: Watch any and all Marvel movies
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For some reason the MCU really sparks my imagination! I dream of being a superhero. I dream of saving the world. And after watching Captain America or Avengers, it just seems easier to accomplish.

Step 4: Walk, Run, Jump, Spin
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When I’m in a season of laziness and drought, it’s easy to forget or ignore the things I love most. Happiness doesn’t seem attainable in the darker moments. But I love working out! I really do. I had a guy at Crunch gym, a guy who was trying to sell me on a membership by the way, tell me that people work out to lose weight or gain weight or look better, but never because they love it. To which I responded, that’s nice…show me to my spin class. Cause I love spinning!! The feel of aching muscles, muscles that you may have forgotten existed is what keeps me moving.

Step 5: Read
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In addition to my Bible and my daily devotionals, I love to read biographies and autobiographies of inspiring people. People like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn and Bobby Kennedy and Mindy Kaling and Ellen Degeneres and Rock Hudson and Felicia Day and Amy Poehler and anyone else who strikes me as an inspiration. Their stories inspire my own.

Step 6: Write
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How can you expect to write about life if you aren’t living one. Staying home and catching up on 11 seasons of Supernatural may lead to some searing pieces about the show, but it won’t give you life experiences or insight into the greater struggle. So do all the other steps on this list and then write it all down. Share your life with people. Or take up a challenge like #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) I’ve never written a book in my life…but I’m gonna try it!

How do you stay inspired when inspiration seems lost?

I Dream of Comic Con

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This is the first year in a while that I won’t be attending New York Comic Con. Trust me…I’m aware of all the fun I’ll be missing out on.
image The great thing about a virtual schedule is that you can over schedule yourself with no problem. So here’s my very busy virtual schedule for New York Comic Con! Hoping I’ll make it out there next year and never miss another one again!

Thursday, October 8th
11:00am – 88MPH: A Celebration of Back to the Future
12:30pm – Andre the Giant: The Man Behind the Legend

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1:30pm- Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Panel
2:45pm – The Walking Dead: An Inside Look with Robert Kirkman
3:00pm – How Harley Quinn Conquered the World

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4:00pm – Game of Thrones: A Panel of Ice and Fire
5:30pm – DC Superhero Girls
5:30pm – Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Sneak Peek
7:00pm – Sean Bean brings Legends to NYCC

Friday, October 9th
11:00am – Star Wars: A Galaxy of Fandom
12:15pm – Social Media for Creators
12:45pm – Felicia Day Spotlight

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1:30pm – The Cute Side of the Force: Drawing Star Wars Creatures with Lauren Perry
1:45pm – Marvel: Iron Man and The Avengers
4:30pm – Once Upon a Time: An Evening with the Dark Swan
image 5:15pm – Screen Junkies Presents: Honest Trailers and Movie Fights
6:00pm – Marvel TV Presents: Agents of Prime time
7:00pm – Con Man: A Series 13 Years in the Making

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Saturday, October 10th
11:00am – Chick’s Kick Ass: The Ongoing Epic
11:15am – Thrilling Adventure Hour
11:30am – Firefly Reunion

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12:15pm – Disney – Lucasfilm Publishing Presents Star Wars: The Journey to The Force Awakens
12:15pm – Epic Reads Book Club
1:15pm – The X-Files

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2:45pm – Marvel: Cup O’ Joe
2:45pm – Women in Geek Media: The Sequel
5:00pm – Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil

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Sunday, October 11th
11:00am – How to Draw with Katie Cook

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12:00pm – Lucasfilm Presents: Star Wars: A Galactic Readers Theater
12:15pm – Minority Report Panel
12:15pm – DC Entertainment: All Access

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1:15pm – The Amazing Economics of Star Trek
1:30pm – Women of Marvel
1:30pm – Warner Brothers Televisions Takeover Featuring Gotham, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Blindspot, Supergirl and Person of Interest
2:30pm – Geek: Constructing Fandoms

If you’re going to NYCC, I hope you have a magical time!! And don’t forget to share pics on social!

Get ready to see a whole lot of this kind of stuff from sad fellow nerds who will be missing out on mecca:
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Cross Country Nerds

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A dear friend, who knows my propensity for nerdities emailed me, over a year ago, about a friend of hers that had just written a science fiction book and was looking for bloggers to read it and possibly blog about it. I always love discovering new books and authors and I really love to use my blog to highlight the great artistry and work that other people are accomplishing. So I eagerly started to read “A Time to Reap: The Legend of Carter Gabel” by Jonas Lee.  (check out my interview with Jonas and review of the book and then go forth and read!!) And I loved it! So I wrote a blog and connected with the author, Jonas.

Come to find out, we had much more than a love of science fiction in common. And we became instant social media friends! Tweeting the latest rumors about Star Wars and discussing shows like The Flash and Arrow.

It’s funny how these days you can become friends with someone and never see them in person. It’s a standard of our time period. I have countless friends on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook that I feel like I know well, but have never met and may never get the chance to meet. Or chat with face to face.

This is not the case with Jonas Lee. Tonight at 8pm est, we will be chatting live on Google Hangouts. Exploring topics like Star Wars, Marvel, DC, what it means to be a nerd in the 21st century, what it was like ‘growing up nerd,’ and anything else nerdy, geeky, dorky or otherwise! If you have something you want us to talk about, by all means tweet it to us at #CrossCountryNerds

He lives in South Dakota. I live in Florida. If not for the wonderful world of the world wide web, we might never have met. Watch what happens next and…

We hope to virtually see you lovely nerds there tonight!! Here’s the link: Cross Country Nerds

Ant Man

I’m currently on a blog hiatus for the month of July, but I just had to break it to talk about Ant Man! So many thoughts about it!! If you are into hard hitting criticism, this is not the review for you. This blogger LOVES Marvel and usually just takes time to sing it’s praises. This will be no different.

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I’ll keep this one SPOILER FREE. But I will have to go in depth later, cause the spoilers are really good ones and I wanna talk about them!! Here we go…

1. The Hype

I don’t usually listen to the hype or the critics or anyone, because I like to inform my own opinions about a movie. But the news was good from the early screenings and I have to say that it started to make me even more excited to see it. What’s more, the hype was well deserved!

2. The Cast

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Ah-Maze-Ing. Once again Marvel proves that it knows it’s properties and it’s fans very well. Paul Rudd did a wonderful job as Scott Lang’s Ant Man. He has a Tom Hanks charm about him that you just can’t help but love and root for. And I could literally go on and on about how amazing he is as Ant Man. He’s just one of those actors that is so dang likable. Add serious action moves and a surprising set of abs and he just belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perfect choice!!

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Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, the original Ant Man and mentor to Scott Lang. I forgot how much I love Michael Douglas! And whatever they did to make him look young again was really convincing! Really good makeup or CGI? I didn’t care. I believed that somehow they found a time machine and brought back a younger Michael Douglas to play a younger Hank Pym. Cause if anyone has a time machine it’s Disney/Marvel/Star Wars!

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Evangeline Lilly has already reached nerd royalty status with her roles as Kate in LOST and as Tauriel in The Hobbit Trilogy. Lilly plays Hope, the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Rocking a serious bob and some majorly bad ass martial arts moves. No spoilers, like I said, but they take her character to a wonderful place and I can’t wait to see her future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!! Anyone who has been upset by the lack of ladies in the MCU will not be disappointed with what they do with Hope’s character!!

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Michael Pena, T.I. and David Dastmalchian play Luis, Dave and Kurt. A trio of crooks who are friends with Scott Lang and get roped into helping with Ant Man’s heist. Special shout out to Pena who is completely hilarious and delightful!! i hope they all have a future in the MCU cause they were really funny!

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Cory Stoll rounds it out as the villain of the movie, Darren Cross aka the Yellowjacket. I really enjoyed Stoll’s turn as the wounded baddie. All he wants is for Hank to show him his secrets and share his technology, but he doesn’t. So he has to make his own way and he kills a lot of lambs in the process. He will probably be compared to other bad guys in the MCU, but he doesn’t deserve the comparison. I think he’s a good villain and the antithesis to Ant Man in every way.

3. The Laughs

The entire theater was in stitches throughout the whole film! Every single joke landed and then punched you in the funny bone!

4. The Effects

The visual effects team should just go ahead and take some high fives for themselves. Ant Man requires heavy effects because of all the shrinking and getting big again stuff. The fights were so good!! Not only the parts when he is little and beating people up, which basically looks like they are mental. But also the parts where he is normal sized and fighting bad guys too. The action is really hard hitting!

5. The Cameos

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I promised I wouldn’t give any spoilers! And I won’t. But there is a spot on TV that does tell you that an Avenger does make an appearance. I won’t tell you which one. But it is awesome!! Epically awesome. Not only that, but there are some other familiar faces that make it into the movie, setting up some interesting plot points for Ant Man’s return in the future! Can Not Wait for that.

Ant Man’s release brings an end to Marvel’s Phase II. Now we have to wait till May 6, 2016 for the next installment. Captain America: Civil War will start Phase III.

I will definitely be seeing it at least 2 more times in the theaters. It’s that good! But don’t take my word on Ant Man… go see it for yourself! Give Marvel your money.

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 26

Day 26: Nova Prime from Guardians of the Galaxy

This one ended up being a favorite of the series. It’s just so much fun. My only beef with Glenn Close’s Nova Prime is that she was greatly underused in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One hopes that Nova Corps and especially Nova Prime, will have more of a prominent role in future Guardians installments. Especially with someone as epically capable and talented as Glenn Close. Either way, seeing her in the film is a treat in and of itself and this hair is sufficiently glamtastic!!!

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I couldn’t possibly begin to explain how I did this one. I just started twisting and rolling and pinning and eventually it resembled Nova Prime’s hair. So I gave myself a big pat on the back after that one!!! Give it a try sometime and share those pictures!!

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Final Episode of My Series

Get ready, cause it’s the last episode of the series. The shelves have been cleared. The flowers have come down and my cab is on it’s way. A new chapter in my life is about to begin. New chapter, same Liz!!

Episode 40: FINALE

Starring:

Liz Tailor

Sponsored by:

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(Click here for more information on our sponsor: Licensure Exams)

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Thank you for watching!!