At the Movies: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Review

Happy Monday, folks!

I was able to get to the movies this past weekend and see Marvel Studios’ Guardians of Galaxy Vol. 2. The sequel opened with $145 million domestically and climbed to $428 million worldwide. That’s a lot of money. Is it worth seeing though? I say yes. Stick with me for my complete thoughts. There are spoilers from this point on.

GOTG2 focused on the guardians getting into trouble after Rocket steals very expensive batteries from their client, The Sovereigns This, of course, caused discord amongst the team who split for a time with Peter, Drax, and Gamora going with Peter’s father Ego (played by Kurt Russell) to his planet, which Rocket, Groot, and a recently imprisoned Nebula stay with their wrecked ship. It turns out that Peter’s father is a celestial who wants to use his son’s inherited powers to spread his essence and take over the universe. The team reunited and partnered up with Yondu, Nebula, Kraglin, and new character Mantis to take down the celestial and deal with the Sovereign fleet.

What I Liked

Just like the first film and Doctor Strange, the film was nice to look at. The special effects and the set designs, especially Ego’s planet. There were so many colors and things to look at. I really enjoyed all the character development. We got back story on Yondu and learned more about Nebula and Gamora’s childhood. They did a good job of showing how complicated Nebula is and how her relationship with Gamora is the same. Although those moments tried to make me emotional about every five minutes, it was important for us to get to know the characters better. For some, the Guardians felt like strangers compared to the Avengers and its familiar characters like Iron Man and Captain America.

The humor was great. When Yondu, Rocket, and Kraglin jumped to Ego’s planet, I was almost in tears watching their faces warp. Some of my favorite moments were the Mary Poppins joke and Drax’s sensitive nipples. Baby Groot brought a lot of humor to the film as well. His post-film teenage Groot scene was great. For the characters, Mantis was a really good addition to this sequel. The dialogue between she and Drax was fun and introduced the character, who she is, and who she can be well.

The In-Between

The mutiny that happened on Yondu’s ship was needed to pull the character away from the ravagers,  but from what we learned in the first movie the ravagers were kind of like family. For them to turn so violently on not only their leader but their crewmates startled me. I wasn’t sure if I completely believed they would go as far as launching their crewmates into space to die. I never saw them as murders, just thieves.

Ego spent millions of years planting his seed figuratively and literally on a bunch of planets. How is it that none of those planets noticed a foreign plant impacting their ecosystems or giving off some kind of energy. For Earth and the Midgard dimension, the Asgardians and other aliens species like the Kree have visited. Wouldn’t they be able to notice something otherworldly? Am I just thinking too hard about this one? Also, if you want someone on your side you certainly don’t tell them you killed their mother.

There wasn’t anything I disliked about the film that much to go into detail about it. On a side note, I did like the soundtrack from the first film better than I did this second film. The plot was good for the most part and the pacing was okay. There were just characters who got more screen time than they probably should have. For example, Taserface. Great character for a moment and to cause problems, but I was ready for him to go by the time he met his end.

There weren’t any valuable mentions of the infinity stones so it looks like we’ll have to wait until Avengers: Infinity Wars to figure out how the Guardians end up on Earth. Maybe the Sovereign’s creation of Adam Warlock in the post-credit scene will do the trick.

I’m going to give Guardians of the Galaxy a B.

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Song of the Week

So much new music! Happy Friday, everyone. There’s been plenty of new music this spring with the return of Paramore and Fall Out Boy as well as a solo debut from Harry Styles. His former 1D bandmate, Niall Horan, released his second single, “Slow Hands” this week as well.

While I love new music, my pick this week came out last month. Most recognize Charlie Puth for his collaborations like “See You Again ft. Wiz Khalifa” or “We Don’t Talk Anymore ft. Selena Gomes”. I refer to “See You Again” as the Fast and Furious song that makes you think of Paul Walker or anyone you’ve lost and cry. This week’s pick is probably one of Charlie’s first songs without a feature that has caught my attention. Funny enough the name of the song is “Attention”.

The R&B sound really works for Charlie over the pop styles he’s been trying out. I think like Nick Jonas, he’ll always walk the line between pop and R&B with his music.

Check out “Attention” by Charlie Puth.

Kira Elise

30-Day Music Challenge: Day 28-30

April is over and that means this 30-day challenge must come to an end as well. This weekend was busy, so I’m a little behind on posting this. Enjoy my last three picks.

Day 28: A Song by an Artist With a Voice That You Love

Man oh man do I love Whitney Houston’s voice. She could sing the alphabet and I’d be into it. The Preacher’s Wife is a classic with great music. I heard this song the other day for the first time in a while and it brought tears to my eyes. Nobody has a voice like Whitney. Here’s “I Love The Lord” by Whitney Houston from The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack.


Day 29: A Song You Remember from Your Childhood

If the radio was on I’m singing or dancing. It’s been that way since I was young. I don’t remember where I heard this song, but my mom was not happy because I wouldn’t stop singing it for a while. I wasn’t actually allowed to say the word “booty”. Here’s “Shake Your Booty” by KC & The Sunshine Band.


Day 30: A Song that Reminds You of Yourself

Ed Sheeran hits you in the feels. It’s inevitable. “Save Myself” reminded me that although I have a big heart and a desire to see others happy, I need to take care of myself. I was reminded at a church event that if I’m not in a good spot or taking care of myself then I can’t help others the way I’m meant to.


This challenge was pretty fun. I had to think and go way back for some of these songs.

Kira Elise

30 Day Music Challenge: Day 27

“A song that breaks your heart”

There are songs that break your heart because you can relate and songs where you’ve never experienced the story being told but the lyrics and the emotions behind the artist’s delivery just hit you. One of those songs for me is “Music” by JoJo. In 2015, during her return with new singles and her lastest album Mad Love, she lost her dad. Knowing she fought so hard to get her career back on track, I felt her emotions. My heart broke for her.  I’m grateful to still have both of my parents, but I still thought about all the support they’ve given me over the years. I also thought about my grandfathers, the first passed in 2005 and the second this past January. It’s easy to tear up thinking about everything they did for me throughout my life. I’m happy for

 I’m grateful to still have both of my parents, but the song makes me think about all the support they’ve given me over the years. I also thought about my grandfathers, the first who passed in 2005 and the second this past January. It’s easy to tear up thinking about everything they did for me throughout my life.

Give “Music” a listen.

Kira Elise

30 Day Music Challenge: Days 23-26

As you can see by the title, I’m a bit behind on my posts! I’m working on a time consuming but fun grad school application on top of keeping on writing for MFST.

Day 23: A Song You Think Everyone Should Listen To

This was a hard one because everyone has different taste. I picked this cover of Brandy’s “Have You Ever” because it’s one of the best covers I’ve ever heard. These boys can saaannngg.

Day 24: A Song by a Group/Band you wish were still together

Glad You Came by The Wanted. The Jonas Brothers were my first choice until I realized how much I like Nick and Joe’s music now that they’re doing their own thing. It’s for the better that they decided to split as a band. If only Danity Kane didn’t get into fist fights. I used to jam to The Wanted.


Day 25: A Song by an artist no longer living

Purple Rain by Prince. Rest in peace to the legend.


Day 26: A Song that makes you want to fall in love

Perfect by Ed Sheeran. There’s not even an explanation for this choice. Just listen.

Kira Elise

A to Z Challenge: R is for Restoration

Restoration: the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.


The last few months, heck the last two years have been draining. Graduating and not knowing where I was going was like a lead weight tied around my ankles. Having to help others, only to see no growth or feedback was draining. Then losing a woman who was like another mother to me and then my grandfather, my last living grandfather, just a month later took its toll.

Now, as my loved ones, family friends, and I continue to heal, I find peace in the idea of restoration. Of finding comfort in the things I love. In completing graduate school apps that make me think of the next chapters of my life.

Restoration is a nice idea. You will fail. You will lose people and things. Putting things back in order or at least to a point of comfortable thinking and living is important. Things will never feel or be exactly the same, but the act of picking up pieces is growth and an achievement in itself.


Kira Elise

A to Z Challenge: Q is for Queens

During Women’s History month I read and saw the stories of so many inspiring women. Sadly, there were still stories and women that I was hearing about for the first time. They did amazing things that seem to just now coming to light. For example, I had no idea who Katherine Johnson was until Hidden Figures came out. Mary Jackson, played by Janelle Monae was even a teacher for short time at a school in my grandmother’s home county.

I’m not sure if it’s my generation or slang that has existed for some time, but there’s a trend of calling influence and badass women queen. giphy (3)

Just the other day, I retweeted a post by Viola Davis about her Top 100 Most Influential people achievement and quoted her tweet with a crown. I had no qualms about giving her royal status. Why are we dubbing women as royalty? I don’t know it’s just a thing we do, I guess.

Particularly in the African-American community, it’s a trend of recognizing ourselves as royalty and not what the media, bigots, and others who would put us down as a people say or try to define us as. It’s nice to see yourselves and people in a positive light, but I’m just me. Not royalty, but not peasant either.

Kira Elise

P.S. I’m a little behind on this challenge. 😦

30 Day Music Challenge: Day 20 & 21

Happy Friday!

Day 20’s prompt is “A Song that Reminds You of Your Mom”. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that admire and appreciate my mom so much. Whenever we go on family vacations, we end up having jam sessions when we’re forced to switch from our regional radio stations. A few years back in the mountains in Pennsylvania, I discovered her love of classic rock. The song that reminds of her is “Down Under” by Men At Work.


Day 21’s prompt is ” A Favorite Song With a Person’s Name in the Title”. No song jumped out at me for this one. I thought a while and I was transported back to middle school. I wore fingerless gloves, wore too much eyeliner, and probably freaked some people out for a while. My mom hated when I listened to Screamo music.

As a woman of color, plenty of people told me to stop acting white. Jokes on them, I still listen to some of the same music I did then and I love my melanin skin. My pick is “Helena” from the emo and scene kid favorites My Chemical Romance. RIP MCR. Please get back together and make more music.


Kira Elise