Captain Marvel—All is Not as it Seems

Captain Marvel movie poster
Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is the origin story of the superhero. Vers, a Kree alien, wakes up with nightmares of a shapeshifting Skrull murdering someone important to her—not that she knows who, since she has amnesia. Her new mission takes her to a backwater plant the locals call Earth, where she just might find some answers to her past. This movie is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but nothing except the last scene is tied in with the larger plot, so the movie stands mostly on its own, taking place mainly in the 1990s.

1—The Setup

For the last six years Vers has been training as a member of Starforce, the Kree’s defenders. On her first mission, she gets captured by the Skrulls, breaks free, and crash-lands through the roof of a Blockbuster video rental. The Skrulls are in pursuit of her, and her only ally is a human S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent named Fury. Continue reading “Captain Marvel—All is Not as it Seems”

Hellboy (2004 Movie)—Over the Top

Hellboy (2004) movie poster
Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy, based on the comic book series of the same name, and directed by Guillermo del Toro, follows the titular character as he tries to save the world from Nazis and Rasputin, who are trying to summon eldritch abominations to bring about the apocalypse.

1—Setup

In 1944, Nazis open a portal to another dimension off the coast of Scotland, led by Rasputin. They’re foiled by Allied soldiers and young scientist who’s also versed in the occult. Before destroying the portal though, something gets through—a baby demon, whom the group dub Hellboy. Continue reading “Hellboy (2004 Movie)—Over the Top”

The Man Who Knew Too Little—Stupid but Fun

The Man Who Knew Too Little movie poster
The Man Who Knew Too Little

The Man Who Knew Too Little is a sendup of spy films. A hapless American on vacation in London gets wound up in an caper after inadvertently taking a phone call meant for a spy.

1—The Setup

Wallace Ritchie (played by Bill Murray) goes to visit his brother in England but his brother has a business meeting that night, and so arranges for Wallace to spend the evening at an interactive improv theater. But due to a mix up, instead of taking the theater’s phone call, he takes the phone call meant for a real spy. While trying to do “scenes” he accidentally foils plans to restart the Cold War. Continue reading “The Man Who Knew Too Little—Stupid but Fun”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail—A Silly and Perilous Quest

Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie poster
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the Legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as told by Monty Python . It is a fountain of memes for good reason. Like all Monty Python, there’s plenty of absurdist humor.

(Though do be warned if you react to quickly flashing lights that part of the beginning credits are really flashy.) (Also make sure to read the beginning credits subtitles.)

1—The Quest

After being given a quest from God, King Arthur and his knights set about seeking the Holy Grail. On the way they encounter an accused witch who undergoes trial by duck, Tim the Enchanter, a killer rabbit and many other weird things, most of which would take too long to explain for me to do so here. Some of the scenes are unconnected to the others—though still funny—and some come back into play in later scenes. This is definitely a sit-back-and-enjoy-the-ride kind of movie, at least it was for me. Continue reading “Monty Python and the Holy Grail—A Silly and Perilous Quest”

Soulless the Manga—Volume Three—In Which Alexia is Pregnant

Soulless the Manga Volume Three, by Gail Carriger and REM book cover
Soulless the Manga Volume Three, by Gail Carriger and REM

Soulless the Manga’s third volume is based on the novel Blameless—which is book three of the Parasol Protectorate—by Gail Carriger. The art is by REM. Mrs. Alexia Maccon nee Tarabotti, the titular Soulless, or Preternatural, has been cast out by her husband and pack, by society, and of her job as Muhjuh. She must travel to Italy, home of the Knights Templar, an anti-supernatural extermination order, in order to prove that her child is her husband Conall’s—all the while being hunter by vampires determined to kill her unborn child.

1—Fleeing England

Despite these dire circumstances, Alexia isn’t alone. Her friend and admirer Madame Genevieve Lefoux, a French inventor, and her butler Floote—who knows more about Alexia’s father and the Templars than he lets on—go with her as she flees to first France, then Italy. And there’s a certain white werewolf following them as well. Meanwhile, Alexia’s other supporter, Lord Akeldama, has swarmed out of London after something very important to him has been stolen, something it’s up to Conall to retrieve in one piece—after he sobers up, that is. Continue reading “Soulless the Manga—Volume Three—In Which Alexia is Pregnant”

Soulless the Manga—Volume Two—Alexia Goes Floating to Scotland

Soulless the Manga Volume Two, by Gail Garriger and REM book cover
Soulless the Manga Volume Two, by Gail Garriger and REM

Soulless the Manga’s second volume is based on the novel Changeless—which is book two of the Parasol Protectorate—by Gail Carriger. The art is by REM. Miss Alexia Tarabotti, the titular Soulless, or Preternatural, is now Muhjuh to Queen Victoria and charged with finding out if a spate of mortalness in the local supernatural community is due to a plague or a weapon.

1—The Characters

There’s the depictions of Ivy’s outfits, particularly the hats. I liked getting to see Madame Lefoux in her suits and little Quesnel, scamp that he is. Of course, Sidheag Maccon, Conall’s descendant, complete with facial scar and cigar. We see more of Biffy and Lord Akeldama, and Professor Lyall, too. And I had forgotten how much I dislike Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings, but he is fortunately not in much of the book—though my sister likes him. Continue reading “Soulless the Manga—Volume Two—Alexia Goes Floating to Scotland”

Soulless the Manga—Volume One—A Condensed but Still Charming Version

Soulless the Manga Volume 1 by Gail Carriger, art by REM book cover
Soulless the Manga Volume 1 by Gail Carriger, art by REM

Soulless the Manga’s first volume is based on the novel Soulless—which is book one of the Parasol Protectorate—by Gail Carriger. The art is by REM. Miss Alexia Tarabotti, the titular Soulless, or Preternatural, has accidentally killed a starving vampire. Things only get more complicated from there in this steampunk action romcom.

1—The Art

The art in the Soulless Manga is suitably whimsical, with even background elements showing thought to the steampunk Victorian setting—such as during Alexia and her best friend Ivy Hisselpenny’s walk in the park. I particularly loved seeing Lord Akeldama’s outfits being brought to picture. And the wax-faced man was suitably creepy. There was a lot of cleavage on display though, mostly Alexia’s. Not that Conall wasn’t naked too. Nothing too scandalous was showing though. Continue reading “Soulless the Manga—Volume One—A Condensed but Still Charming Version”

Dreadful Company: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel—Vampires Underground in Paris

 

Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw book cover
Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw

Dreadful Company, the second of the Dr. Greta Helsing novels , by Vivian Shaw. It continues the adventures of Greta and her friends, the vampire Ruthven and vampyre (there’s a difference) Varney, as they go to Paris for a medical conference. Unfortunately, there’s another vampire in Paris that hates Ruthven and kidnaps Greta to get at him.

1—Glittering Vampires

The vampires who kidnap Greta, led by the murderous twit Corvin, are a bit too into the “creature of the night” thing. They wear body glitter, for fuck’s sake. Corvin even steals bones from Paris’s catacombs to decorate his underground lair—which will become plot relevant down the line. There’s Lilith, Corvin’s consort, who keeps summoning and then abandoning little hairmonsters and wellmonsters. There’s Grisaille, Corvin’s second in command, who’d rather do anything but command. And there’s the newest vampire, Sofiria (nee Emily), who hasn’t really been taught anything she needs to know, not even that the glittering isn’t natural. She has to come see the captive Greta to get even remedial lessons in what it means to be a vampire.  Continue reading “Dreadful Company: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel—Vampires Underground in Paris”

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part2—From Vienna to Budapest

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss book cover
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, by Theodora Goss, continues the adventures of the Athena Club—a gathering of women who were all experiments and daughters of alchemists—from their meeting and formation of the Club in The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. This time out, the Club are trying to rescue another daughter-experiment, one Lucinda Van Helsing.

I’ve broken my review up into two parts partially because this book is a doorstopper and partially because the book itself is divided into two parts. The first part of my review can be found here.

1—When Last We Left Our Heroines

Mary, Diana, Justine, and an increasingly unstable Lucinda had disappeared, kidnapped by Mr. Hyde, who is Mary and Diana’s father. He’s had them taken to a crumbling castle in the middle of the Styrian forest. Hyde wants Lucinda’s blood, and is willing to take it at gunpoint, to try to save his patient. Continue reading “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part2—From Vienna to Budapest”

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part 1—From London to Vienna

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss book cover
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, by Theodora Goss, continues the adventures of the Athena Club—a gathering of women who were all experiments and daughters of alchemists—from their meeting and formation the Club in The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. This time out, the Club are trying to rescue another daughter-experiment, one Lucinda Van Helsing.

I’ve broken my review up into two parts partially because this book is a doorstopper and partially because the book itself is divided into two parts.

1—The Setup

Mary Jekyll receives a letter from her old teacher Mina regarding the disappearance of Lucinda Van Helsing, spurring her and Justine—disguised as Justin—to leave early for Vienna and the home of one Irene Norton nee Adler, via the Orient Express. They also have to borrow money from Sherlock Holmes, Mary’s employer, which they all chafe at, but needs must. Meanwhile, Diana Hyde, Mary’s sister, sneaks along with Mary and Justine. Sherlock goes missing shortly thereafter. Continue reading “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part 1—From London to Vienna”