Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cooking for the Senses -Vegan Neurogastronomy by Jennifer Peace Rhind/ Gregor Law



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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wild Winemaking by Richard W. Bender


***Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publishing house for the ARC.  All views and opinions are my honest thoughts of this book.***


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Saturday, February 17, 2018

5 Reasons Black Panther was a Fantastic Movie

***Trailer courtesy of Marvel Studios and YouTube.****

It's been well established throughout my various social media platforms that I am a HUGE Marvel fan.  I have loved everyone of these movies in the Marvel Universe without fail.  The character of Prince T'Challa/Black Panther was introduced in Captain America: Civil War back in 2016.  He is at the same political forum as Black Widow and Tony Stark when the embassy is blown up and in the process his father, the King, is killed.  We see him transfer into his Black Panther alter and help out.  I found out that Marvel was making a Black Panther movie and lost my mind.  I have been on pins and needles since just waiting for the moment the film was released.   That day finally arrived on Thursday night (2.15) when my local AMC theater did a Fan Event showing a day earlier than it's nation wide release.  My daughter and I had our tickets and some pretty great seats to what became my new favorite Marvel movie of all time ( at least so far).  This movie was so amazing that I will not be able to do it justice in this review properly so instead I give you a small taste of why fans are going crazy for this movie.

5 ( Believe me there are more.... so many more) Reasons Black Panther was a Fantastic Movie:

1. The Plot: After losing his father in Captain America: Civil War, Prince T'Challa must return home to his African Nation of Wakanda.  The rest of the world believes that Wakanda is a poor 3rd world country.  The truth is that it is the most technologically advanced place on the planet due to it's large amounts of Vibrainium.  They have built a protective barrier around the whole country preventing the outside world from knowing any of this.  They also do not allow outsiders in for fear that word of their lifestyle and resources will get out and force Wakanda into a world war.  The newly crowned King is just beginning his reign when not 1 but 2 enemies appear on the scene and with help from the Dora Milaje (Wakandan Special Forces) and a CIA agent he must become the Black Panther once again to protect his family and homeland.

2. The Dora Milaje: This special forces unit has one purpose and that is to protect the throne/King.  This force is made up of a large group of seriously bad ass women.  The all have shaved heads, amazing fighting skills, and super cool, technological spears that pretty much do anything.  The commander, Okoye ( played by Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead) is one of my favorite characters.  You do not want to mess with these ladies.  This is a huge cinematic/film bonus for little girls and women everywhere to be able to see strong female role models on screen, especially Black ones.

3. The Special Effects: All the Marvel movies have their own sort of bells and whistles when it comes to their superheros and the gadgets that they use.  The suit of the Black Panther is infused with Vibranium ( some sort of Extraterrestrial substance that runs all through Wakanda) which makes it strong and then it gets an upgrade compliments of T'Challa's little sister Shuri ( my favorite character in the whole damn movie besides of course the Black Panther himself).  Shuri ( played by Letitia Wright) is the head of the entire technology lab. She is responsible for the cool spears, suits, and gadgets used all throughout the movie and believe me there are some freakishly awesome items.  The action sequences in this film are also pretty great. There is a car scene throughout a city that involves a lot of acrobatic type stunts and it's flawless and funny as well.

4. The Cast: This film has some of today's most talented Black actors in it. The Queen, Ramonda aka Mom is played by Angela Basset who is just simply amazing at any role she has and this one is no different.  She is not the main character but no one could have played the part better. She is a queen among women.  Chadwick Boseman aka T'Challa/Black Panther has had some pretty big roles himself. He has portrayed James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and Jackie Robinson. Michael B. Jordan stars as Erik Killmonger but he has also been in Fantastic Four, Creed, That Awkward Moment, and Fruitvale Station. He has turned into a pretty big box office draw himself these last few years.  Forest Whitaker is...well... Forest Whitaker and if you have no idea who he is then shame on you. Go back to whatever rock you live under.  Lupita Nyuong'o stars as Nakia ( a love interest to the young King) but she is also known for her roles in 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Danai Gurira/Okoye is the commander of the Dora Milaje.  You may know her from a little series called The Walking Dead.  She is Michonne, the Katana wielding, dreadlocked, bad ass. The last super noticeable actor is Sterling K. Brown. He plays Erik Killmonger's father in Black Panther.  Sterling K. Brown has just been breaking all kinds of records during award season. He has been in a lot of projects but mostly known for his role as Randall Pearson on the hit series This Is Us.  This movie was filmed primarily using Black actors and instead of that being overlooked or mocked it shows how beautiful and strong a culture it is.A Black superhero is always a welcome change of pace much like Wonder Woman is.  Roles like these did not exist for Black actors and actresses when I was growing up.  The Cosby show was really the first time a show was predominately Black and not a stereotype.  Well down Marvel Studios...well done.

5. The Soundtrack: Something that I have not spent a lot of time discussing on social media or this blog in particular is music.  I love music of all types and would simply die if I had to go on in a world without it.  A strong statement but true as far as I am concerned.  I listen to music every single day for hours. It is the perfect remedy for whatever ails you, to set a mood, or to help you focus.  I am a huge film lover so it goes without saying that I also own a very large selection of soundtracks because....musicals...hello.  This soundtrack happened to be produced by Kendrick Lamar who is a huge deal in the industry and again, if you have no idea who he is then go back to your rock.  I firmly believe that a soundtrack is one of the most important part of any film.  The music provides clues to what is currently or about to happen next.  Kendrick Lamar did a beautiful job with this one. It is powerful and uplifting at all the right moments. You can stream the whole soundtrack on Spotify if you have an account but if you just want a sample then I recommend listening to these particular tracks: King's Dead, Pray for Me, and All the Stars.

There is so much I love about the movie that I could literally discuss it for hours but I have given more than enough examples here so you should just get tickets and see for yourself what all the hype is about. You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella


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