Review: Toasted Gastrobrunch

On Monday, May 29, 2023, we ate breakfast at Toasted Gastrobrunch in Las Vegas, Nevada. The interior had a late 60’s style diner decor with a friendly atmosphere. I started with their Irish Coffee, served in a pretty glass.

I ordered the SHORT RIB BENNY, made with grilled sourdough, braised short rib, Harissa hollandaise, poached eggs, and pickled onions. The short rib was cooked perfectly tender, as well as the poached eggs. It was the pickled onions that gave the dish an exceptional flavor. 

The staff accommodated our needs; every interaction came with a smile.

If you’re looking for a spot with excellent food and great service, then Toasted Gastrobrunch is the place for you.

Review: “The Last of Us” Season One

On HBO Max, Warner Bros released “The Last of Us,” season one. I played the video game upon its release on the PlayStation 3 in 2013. This video game adaptation into a nine-episode season initially made me skeptical. I watched the finale, and every episode was brilliant, from the writing to the casting and the landscapes. I applaud the directors and producers of the show; well done!

Warner Bros renewed the series for a second season.

Review: Ant-Man & The Wasp – Quantumania

Yesterday, I watched the film “Ant-Man & The Wasp – Quantumania.”

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang was a reprisal of his plucky behavior but with a celebrity twist. A lot has changed since Avengers: Endgame. While the humor remained, there were moments when Scott showed how serious he could become. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was great.

Jonathan Majors’ portrayal of Kang the Conqueror was brilliant. I could feel his antagonism and his arrogance. His condescending wit toward everyone elevated his conquering nature.

Michelle Pfeiffer played Janet Van Dyne with a pivotal role in the film. She carried many secrets along with the key to survival. She delivered some badass fight scenes. Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne and Kathryne Newton as Cassie Lang were the heart and soul of Scott.

In the end, it was the ants that saved the Quantum Universe. I noticed a couple of characters who reminded me of Korg and his beetle friend from the Thor franchise.

Overall, the film connected another piece of Kang to the multiverse saga permeating the Marvel Universe. There are two post-credit scenes you should not miss. I give this film a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Review: Thor Love and Thunder

“Thor Love and Thunder” is the fourth film in the Thor franchise. The story is from two Marvel Comics storylines, Gorr the God Butcher and Jane Foster – The Mighty Thor. Thor returns to god-like form and must defend New Asgard from Gorr and his Necro Sword. Jane Foster becomes Thor because of a promise Mjolnir made to Thor to protect her. The hammer’s enchantment restores it; however, it remains fractured.

Taika Watiti directed the film and kept the humor and satire from Thor Ragnorak. Overall, I thought the movie was OK as I understood the references and watched from the perspective of being entertained. I share some of the fanbase criticism regarding Marvel Phase Four and how it pales compared to the first three phases.

I am waiting to see how the elements shown so far (Kang the Conquerer, the multiverse, celestials, gods, etc.) connect to the larger story. If you’re looking for a fun movie with some serious undertones, this is the film; if you’re looking for a well-crafted tale, significant effects, and a good message, skip this film.

Review: Stranger Things 4

I watched Stranger Things Season 4 volumes 1 and 2. If you haven’t watched the series, then you are sleeping on what I believe is the best storytelling on Netflix. This season provides the origin of the “Upside Down” and its connection to the town of Hawkins. Before there was Eleven, there was One.

We continue this journey in Hawkins, Indiana, Los Angeles, California, and in a Russian maximum security prison. This season connects everything back to the beginning and tells a great story of how it all began and why the town of Hawkins is doomed.

Each of the main character’s journeys forced a significant change within themselves and each other. Everyone’s Vedemons become relatable to the audience. Vecna’s backstory is powerful and explains why he is the villain in this series.

It takes everyone in three locations to stop Vecna, which comes with a cost. The ending is another cliff-hanger and sets up season five, the series finale. I imagine epic turning points and a lot of tears.

Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

This weekend, I went to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film picks up after the events of “WandaVision,” and we watch the story from the perspective of America Chavez. Wanda Maximoff is the antagonist who stops at nothing to be reunited with her kids. Stephen Strange travels a dark path with costly repercussions in a fight to save America and the multiverse from an incursion.

It was an entertaining film with several easter eggs. There are two post-credit scenes, one of which sets the stage for Doctor Strange’s more profound journey into the mystical realm, and the other is more of a nod to Sam Raimi’s film “Army of Darkness.” Overall, I thought the film was good. While the film is not on the top of my list, I would recommend it to any Marvel fan.

Review: Hawkeye

Disney released the new Hawkeye Series last week. Three episodes into the six-episode series and I am enjoying it immensely. The show is based on the Hawkeye comics by Matt Fraction and the introduction of Kate Bishop is solid. With the Kingpin in the shadows and Hawkeye having to help Kate in order to get home for Christmas with his family, we have the basis of a story with interesting plots and turning points.

The series is on Disney+

Review: The Harder They Fall

The storyline from IMDB:
When outlaw Nat Love discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck is being released from prison, he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary, his right and left-hand men hot-tempered Bill Pickett, fast drawing Jim Beckwourth, and a surprising surprise adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including “Treacherous” Trudy Smith and Cherokee Bill, and they are not a group that knows how to lose.

An all-star cast, including Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler, Delroy Lindo, Edi Gathegi, RJ Cyler, and Deon Cole. They delivered their scenes with great on-chemistry, dynamic action, and dialogue; even their subtle non-verbal moments were beautifully done.

Jeymes Samuel (The Bullitts) did an incredible job writing, directing, and composing the soundtrack for the film; words cannot describe his excellent storytelling.

The soundtrack was incredible. Honestly, the music that accompanied the scenes took those moments to another level.

I highly recommend this film, even if you don’t like westerns, I believe you will enjoy it.

Review: Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, I watched Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. The story begins with Emperor Xu Wang expanding his Ten Rings organization across centuries. His possession of the ten rings and their ancient technology enables his success.

“America was terrified – of an orange.”

– Xu Wang

After conquering the known world, he sets his sights on the mystic city of Ta-Lo where he encounters Li, the city’s protector. Their fight turns to courtship, and they get married. Xu Wang and Li marry and have two children, Shang Chi and Xialing. Shang Chi is sent on a mission by his father, Xu Wang, to kill his mother’s killers, and leaving Xialing behind. Shang Chi and Xialing are reunited and must stop Xu Wang from unleashing a dormant evil on Ta-Lo.

“If you aim at nothing, you hit nothing.”

– Ta-Lo Villager

I loved this film. The story was excellent, the fight choreography was brilliant, and the humor was not overdone. Katy, played by Awkwafina, had good chemistry with Shang Chi. I enjoyed seeing Trevor Slattery in this film. His dorky intellect brought more complimentary humor especially, with his friend “Morris.” This film is probably in my top five Marvel origin story films.

Review: Malignant

On Friday, September 10, 2021, I watched the film, Malignant, on HBO Max. The film was directed by James Wan and the cast includes Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White. IMDB: “Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are terrifying realities.”

A woman name Madison has an imaginary friend Gabriel who ends up being her conjoined twin that had 99% of his body removed and his head shoved into the skull of Madison. Gabriel is reawakened and goes on a killing spree against everyone involved in his and Madison’s life. Gabriel, using Madison’s body, had super strength, great agility, and could project his voice through radios.

I felt disappointed after watching this film, probably due to the expectation of horror in comparison to the Conjuring. It was far from that. While there were a few jump-scares early in the film, it was weird at best. I kept laughing at a tiny skull face in the back of a woman’s head. This is a film you watch when you have nothing else to do.

My video review.

Review: What If?

My thoughts on the first three episodes.

Episode One: What If – Captain Carter was the First Avenger

Peggy Carter becoming a super soldier instead of Steve Rogers was good. It’s an interesting premise of how much a subtle change in an obscure moment can change the course of history.

Episode Two: What If – T’Challa was Star-Lord

The Ravagers taking T’Challa instead of Peter Quill changed galactic events. Providing for the galaxy made T’Challa a respected Robin Hood. His persuasive speak changed Thanos and prevented the mad titan’s plans for cosmic genocide. This is my favorite episode. Rest in peace Chadwick.

Episode Three: What If – Earth Lost It’s Mightiest Heroes

An assassin kills Tony Stark, Thor, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, and Natasha Romanoff before they can fulfill their roles as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Nick Fury learns that Hank Pym killed them because of Hope Van Dyne’s tragic death as an agent of Shield. Fury apprehends Pym with the help of Loki.


I love the animation and how much story Marvel compacts into these 30-minute episodes. This method of exploring the multiverse through the eyes of the Uatu, The Watcher, is brilliant.

Review: Free Guy

A funny movie about a non-player character (NPC) in a video game becomes sentiment. Ryan Reynolds plays the NPC character named Guy, who falls in love. He eventually learns that his world isn’t real and must save it from extinction.

I thought this movie was well made. The plot followed its formula successfully. There were funny moments and, Taika Watiti’s portrayal of the antagonist Antwan was hilarious.

This moment was my first time back in the theater since the pandemic and, I’m glad I chose this movie.