Commentary #85: “My Journey Through the Marvel Universe”

My Journey Through the Marvel Universe

Image Credit: The Book Raven

I love Tiana, who is the awesome author of The Book Raven, wrote an incredible post about the Marvel Universe!

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


I love how Tiana watched all the Marvel movies, and then decided to make separate blog posts to discuss each movie individually.

Inspired by her, I wanted to give my take on these movies here, together. We’re only about a month away now from the premiere of Avengers: Endgame and I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT!!!


Iron Man (2008)

The film's title is shown below juxtaposed images of Tony Stark and Iron Man.

I’ve seen every single Marvel movie in theaters, several of them multiple times. I know superhero movies aren’t for everyone, but I’ve really enjoyed what Marvel and the variety of directors have done with these movies!

Iron Man was a big deal in 2008. It got a lot of buzz, and rightfully so. To me, no one else can play Iron Man other than Robert Downey, Jr. He’s pretty much perfect for the role.

Initially, Gwyneth Paltrow bothered me, but I like her as Pepper Potts. Jeff Bridges was great as the eventual villain. This was our first introduction to Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. I love how Jon Favreau played Tony Stark’s bodyguard and chauffeur Happy Hogan, as well as directed this movie.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk poster.jpg

I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Edward Norton was okay as Hulk, and I enjoyed Liv Tyler.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Tony Stark is pictured center wearing a smart suit, against a black background, behind him are the Iron Man red and gold armor, and the Iron Man silver armor. His friends, Rhodes, Pepper, are beside him and below against a fireball appears Ivan Vanko armed with his energy whip weapons.

I’m always slightly skeptical of sequels. However, banking on the massive success of the first Iron Man movie, this one was pretty good. I was sad to not see Terrence Howard, but thought Don Cheadle was a good choice. I enjoyed seeing Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell. Mickey Rourke wouldn’t be my first choice, but it worked.

Thor (2011)

Armor clad and wearing a red cape, Thor is crouched, holding the handle of his hammer to the ground, and rock debris is being blasted away. In the background are four panels showing the faces of Jane, Loki, Odin, and Heimdall.

Thor was a tough character for me to get behind. However, Chris Hemsworth was a great choice to portray him. I loved Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. And Idris Elba was a perfect choice for Heimdall, the sentry of the bifrost bridge. Asgard is a magical, amazing place!

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

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Unlike Thor, Captain America was an easy sell for me. Captain America has become my favorite Marvel character. Chris Evans is incredibly handsome, and portrays the super solider so well! Plus, anytime history is incorporated into a movie, I’m there. I really enjoy 20th century history, so it’s no surprise I’ve seen this movie multiple times. In addition, I loved Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.

The Avengers (2012)

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I love it when a team comes together! While other Marvel movies are my true favorites, this one is near the top of the list, easily in my top five. Joss Whedon did a FABULOUS job with this movie!

All the previous movies to this point come together here. The noticeable difference is The Incredible Hulk is now portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, but I appreciated that change. We also see Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, which was another great choice. I also immensely enojyed seeing Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill.

This movie ends Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Tony, as Iron Man in his battle damaged suit sitting with water around him, while his house behind is destroyed. Stark's Iron Legion is flying, while the Marvel logo with the film's title, credits and release date are below.

This was not my favorite. This movie is a good example as to why I’m skeptical with some decisions about sequels and additional movies. The only true exciting part for me was recognizing several locations in Miami.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

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This one was also okay. Not my favorite. I did enjoy Kat Dennings and Rene Russo.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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This one almost outranks The First Avenger, but not quite. However, I loved the spy angle and espionage feel! Seeing Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson was awesome. And Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter was nice addition as well. Seeing Robert Redford was great, too.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The five Guardians, sporting various weapons, arrayed in front of a backdrop of a planet in space with the film's title, credits and slogan.

This movie! Holy freaking cow. This is definitely in my top five, next to Captain America! I’m not usually one for space adventures, but this cast, plus the EPIC soundtrack did it all for me. It was FABULOUS.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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The gang is back together. This one was good, but it’s hard to top the first Avengers movie. The additions of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen were cool. And seeing Paul Bettany on screen was great, too.

Ant-Man (2015)

Official poster shows Ant-Man in his suit, and introduces a montage of him starts to shrink with his size-reduction ability, with a montage of helicopters, a police officer holds his gun, two men in suit and tie and sunglasses and the film's villain Darren Cross is walking with them smiling, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Evengeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne with the film's title, credits, and release date below them, and the cast names above.

I wasn’t sure about seeing Ant-Man on screen, but Paul Rudd was a great choice for this role! This movie is hilarious, and I appreciated adding comedy and humor to a relatively dark and brooding series of movies. Not to say this movie doesn’t have darkness, but seeing the heist plot and Ant-Man’s origin story was great. Paul Rudd and Michael Pena are tied for my favorite characters here, and Michael Douglas is a close third.

This movie ends Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Official poster shows the Avengers team factions which led by Iron Man and Captain America, confronting each other by looking each other, with the film's slogan above them, and the film's title, credits, and release date below them.

Cap is back! This isn’t anywhere close to the other two Captain America movies, but still good. Seeing the division among the team – Not cool, but it certainly drives a good story. And seeing Spider-Man’s and Black Panther’s character debuts were awesome!!

Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange, wearing his traditional costume, including his red cloak coming out from a flowing energetic portal, and around him the world and New York turning around itself with the film's cast names above him and the film's title, credits and billing are underneath.

Like Thor, I was initially skeptical of Doctor Strange. However, I really enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch in this role. Seeing this world, and how it connects with the rest, was exciting.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Guardian members in front of a colorful explosion

Unlike some of the other sequels, this one was AWESOME! The soundtrack didn’t disappoint, either. I high enjoyed Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, and Kurt Russell in this movie.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man Homecoming poster.jpg

Tom Holland is awesome as Spider-Man! One of the best casting choices yet. I also enjoyed seeing Zendaya, Michael Keaton, and Marisa Tomei here. As many of you know, I’m a sucker for movies set in New York!

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor Ragnarok poster.jpg

This is by far my favorite of all the Thor movies. Period, end of story. The soundtrack is epic. Also, seeing Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, and the alien Korg were great.

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther film poster.jpg

Seeing this world of Wakanda was stunning. Everything about this movie was visually spectacular! Is it in my top five or top ten Marvel movies? No. But it is a spectacular addition to the MCU. I think my two favorite characters were Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Shuri (Letitia Wright)!

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers Infinity War poster.jpg

Holy freaking cow. This movie destroyed me, along with everyone else. But it’s so good. It’s a great culmination of all the other movies to this point. But, it’s a soul-crusher for sure. The great battle in Wakanda was one of the most amazing battles / fight scenes ever!

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp poster.jpg

Seeing this after the trauma of Infinity War was a pleasant change. This is a really good sequel, and what’s not to like with comic relief! I wasn’t super fond of Hannah John-Kamen and Laurence Fishburne, but it worked.

Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel poster.jpg

This movie was super kick-ass! Brie Larson was a great choice to play Carol Danvers. Plus, the total 1990s nostalgia was spot-on! And the cat literally stole the show.


I’m mentally preparing for the destruction that Endgame will bring on April 26th. I think I’m ready?

Also, Endgame is the movie that marks the end of Phase Three of the MCU.

I’m looking forward to Spider-Man: Far From Home in July. This is the start of Phase Four of the MCU.


What about you? Do you have a favorite movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #225: Romantic Movies (Day 24)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

A Walk to Remember (2002)

A Walk to Remember Poster.jpg

This is perhaps my favorite Nicholas Sparks book-to-movie adaptation. The movie was released when I was in middle school. I think we even watched it at church. Shane West and Mandy Moore, two of the most recognized actors at the time, were great choices to play Landon and Jamie.

While a “star-crossed lovers” story, it’s very endearing, and brings a sense of nostalgia. The book was set in the 1950s. The movie setting was updated to the 1990s, but the small town feel is definitely apparent.

I haven’t seen this movie in several years, so I may watch it again very soon!


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #224: Romantic Movies (Day 23)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

The Princess Diaries (2001)

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I fell in love with this movie before it was released in theaters. I can’t remember if I read the book first, written by Meg Cabot, since it was released the year prior.

While not a true romantic comedy, it demonstrates love in other ways. Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis is perfect. And I love Julie Andrews as her grandmother, Clarisse Renaldi, Queen of Genovia. Seeing the differences between Mia’s crush, Josh, and Michael, her best friend’s brother, is fun and entertaining. Mia truly comes of age in this film.

I highly recommend the book series, as well!


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #223: Romantic Movies (Day 22)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Love and Basketball (2000)

The first time I watched this movie, I had to analyze it for a class assignment in college. After completing the assignment, I watched it again over that summer. It’s a fun movie, showing how relationships develop over time with growth and change. I love their chemistry!


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Tag #83: 30 Interesting Questions

30 Interesting Questions

Image Credit: The Bibliophagist

Sara at The Bibliophagist did another wonderful tag, so I thought I would participate as well!

Here’s the link to Sara’s post:


1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

My mom calls me LB. My dad calls me Hot Shot. My gym teachers typically called me by my maiden name, Stricker.

The one thing I really don’t like is when people call me “Laura.” I’ve never gone by Laura – Always Laura Beth, or LB. Thankfully, many people are gracious when I lightly correct them, and ask them to call me either of those.

2. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I don’t normally doodle. However, when I do, it’s normally hearts, stars, flowers, or smiley faces.

3. What do you do if you canโ€™t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I toss and turn. Sometimes, I do write in my journal or on scrap paper next to my bed. However, most of the time, my writing is illegible or doesn’t make any sense the next day!

4. Do people consider you to be talkative or quiet?

Talkative, hands down.

5. What makes you cry?

I don’t cry as much anymore. When my anxiety gets really overwhelming, however, crying is one of the easiest stress relievers for me. I’m also a sap for romantic movies. I’ve shed many tears in theaters with different movies – Most recently, Captain Marvel (No spoilers, though).

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?

General rudeness. I totally understand if someone is having a bad day, or they may be overwhelmed, but being nice and apologizing goes a LONG way.

7. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Only when I’m in the bathroom.

8. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

Great question!

I’m sure I’m not alone, but I totally thought Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood were real places I could go and visit someday. I knew Sesame Street was in New York, and I was pretty sure Mister Rogers was in Pittsburgh, back then.

Image result for sesame street set

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9. What is the guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Certain TV shows and movies. That’s about it.

10. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

Probably my parents. My mom is already known as “The Card Lady,” where she always remembers everyone’s special days – Birthdays, anniversaries, other milestones – and always send cards in advance. Even random “Thinking of You” cards and emails, too.

11. How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?

I used to read The Virginian-Pilot cover to cover, starting in middle school. Now, Al and I don’t subscribe to it. If anything, we skim a few articles per week from Pilot Online on Facebook.

12. Which animal scares you the most?

I love animals, so I’m not truly scared of any type. I’m not crazy about snakes and poisonous spiders, though.

13. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage with it?

Definitely avoid. I really don’t like it. For years, I would tend to run away and hide if there was conflict going on, even at friends’ houses. I’m much less afraid now, but I still dodge it if I can.

14. What is the most recent compliment youโ€™ve received?

One of my company “customers” recently told my supervisor: “She is my go-to person for questions, is always helpful, and makes my job easier.”

15. What question are you tired of hearing?

“When are you and Al going to have kids?”

16. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

I tried a chicken heart once, at this cool Brazilian steakhouse called Tucano’s.

17. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends?

Thanks to Facebook and WordPress, I have many acquaintances now. And it’s wonderful! In terms of true friends, I can count about 10 total.

18. Do you have a catchphrase?

“Awesome!” or “Excellent!”

19. Whatโ€™s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?

New York City – Specifically Manhattan. It’s where I was born. My parents took me back to Mount Sinai Hospital to visit the doctors and nurses who took care of me in the NICU every single year until I was 16. My high school orchestra played at Carnegie Hall when I was 18. The last time I visited was in December 2010. I’m so excited to take Al for the very first time this fall! I’m long overdue for a visit.

Image result for new york city

Image result for mount sinai hospital

20. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

I wouldn’t change it. Laura Beth comes from Laura Bethany Powers, my great-grandmother.

21. When was the last time you lied?

It’s been a long time. Lying is not okay in my book.

22. Whatโ€™s something that amazes you?

The beauty of this Earth.

23. Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?

Explore a planet!

24. What is your favorite amateur activity?

Pastel painting!

25. What was your first thought when you got up this morning?

“Our dogs are ridiculous, but they’re ours!”

26. What is your favorite song (at least at the moment)?

“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.

Image result for shake it off

27. List someone you know and describe them in five words.

Al is a tall, handsome, funny, dedicated husband.

28. You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?

I have no clue.

29. Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?

During my college internship, one of the guys thought I looked like Jennifer Carpenter, who played Dexter’s sister, Debra. I’m pretty sure he said it as a form of flattery, because I think he had a crush on me.

Image result for jennifer carpenter

30. What do you want me to know?

We’re not going anywhere for July 4th this year. Why? We’ll be binge-watching every single second of Stranger Things Season 3. Check out the kick-ass, brand-new trailer!

Image result for stranger things season 3


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing Prompt #222: Romantic Movies (Day 21)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

She’s All That (1999)

Shes All That.jpg

This is another movie where Al was incredulous I hadn’t seen it. It’s not my favorite movie in the world, but I enjoyed it.

An adaptation of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, this was one of the most popular teen films of the late 1990s.

I love how Freddie Prinze, Jr., as Zack, slowly develops a relationship with Rachael Leigh Cook, as Laney. Despite the drama of multiple popularity contests, it all seems to work out.

Seeing the cast on screen made me think of several “unsavory” characters in high school. It’s not entirely realistic, as most movies are, but I think this one basically hit the nail on the head in terms of behavior, gossip, and drama.

I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but I love the graduation scene in particular. Well played, Robert Iscove, well played.


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Tag #82: The Television Tag

The Television Tag

I wasn’t tagged for this, but I love Sara’s blog so much, I wanted to support her by doing this one. Plus, I love talking about television in general!

Here’s the link to Sara’s post:


Favorite Shows?

  • Forensic Files
  • Law and Order: SVU
  • Glee
  • Castle
  • Full House
  • Stranger Things
  • The Toys That Made Us
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Jeopardy!
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Wishbone
  • Sesame Street
  • Unsolved Mysteries
  • Frontline
  • CSI: NY
  • Parks and Recreation
  • 30 Rock
  • Growing Pains
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Black Mirror
  • Community
  • The Good Place
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Favorite Genre?

  • Sitcoms!

Least Favorite Show?

  • Like the others, I really don’t like reality TV anymore.

Most Re-Watched Show / Favorite Show to Binge-Watch?

  • Forensic Files. I’ve seen every single episode.

Do You Prefer Watching Things Week-By-Week or Binge-Watching?

  • Currently, binge-watching. However, some of the series are current, so we have to wait a week for new episodes of The Orville and The Passage.

Favorite Television Characters?

  • April and Andy from Parks and Rec
  • Troy and Abed from Community
  • Olivia Benson from Law and Order: SVU
  • D.J. and Stephanie from Full House
  • Liz Lemon from 30 Rock
  • The entire cast of Stranger Things

Favorite Television Ships?

  • Benson and Stabler from Law and Order: SVU

Show You Could Never Get Into?

  • Gossip Girl – Not my thing!

Show You Fell Out of Love With?

  • The Flash
  • Fuller House
  • The Runaways

Cancelled Too Soon?

  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Firefly!!
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Better Off Ted

Guilty Pleasure Show?

  • Currently, a tie between Forensic Files and Law and Order: SVU.

What Are You Currently Watching?

  • The Orville
  • The Passage
  • Law and Order: SVU
  • Unsolved Mysteries (re-watching through YouTube!)
  • Carmen Sandiego (Netflix)

I’m not tagging anyone in particular, but please feel free to do this tag if you like! I had fun with this one.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚