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Movies (43)

I think that just about every comic book fan alive in 1993 knows where they were when they found out Superman died. I was in a grocery store checkout line, jaw scraping the floor, and wide eyes that wouldn’t go away for weeks. How was it possible that one of the biggest heroes of my childhood could die? It wasn’t like we were talking about Aquaman (who wasn’t so cool back then – poor Aquaman). This was the Man of Steel. Heroes like him just didn’t die.

While Hollywood only just released its LEGO Batman movie in 2017, DC made a direct-to-DVD LEGO Batman movie in 2013 and has been releasing LEGO Justice League films ever since. And while Hollywood’s live-action blockbuster Aquaman movie doesn’t come out until late December, DC has a LEGO Aquaman movie for you right now. Though I haven’t seen the live-action movie yet, I think I can guarantee that you will laugh much harder at this one than at the one with Jason Momoa.

Children and fantasy are intricately woven together throughout the history of the arts. They seem almost inseparable at times, with tales of a child (often lost in some way) finding his or her purpose and direction in life. Usually, they complete their journey with the help of magical creatures, whether the intentions of the creature are malicious or selfless. Timeless tales like these have the ability to bring adults back to a more whimsical – if not more difficult – time of their lives.

Life in Los Angeles isn’t the glamorous spectacle the world imagines it may be. Whether dealing with imposter syndrome during your creative struggles, working an unpredictable Uber shift to pay the bills, or juggling the ups and downs of the dating scene, the average valley dweller (That’s San Fernando Valley for those outside the sunshine state.) is struggling, like everyone else, to find fulfillment, purpose, and true love. Chasing Sunshine, written and directed by Darren Coyle, focuses on Darcy and Jack, two residents of the SFV who band together to solve a mystery and find themselves on a wacky adventure that will change their lives going forward.

Film and TV are saturated with superheroes these days, so it is refreshing when something comes along that is a bit different.  Batman Ninja is a welcome, new take on the Batman mythos that brings the Caped Crusader to feudal Japan.

I wanted to start this review with a few caveats: I haven't seen many of the DC Animated Universe films, though the ones that have been seen are enjoyable, and I hated Suicide Squad. I hated it a lot. So, when the opportunity to review the newest DC Animated Universe film, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, came up, I really wanted to give it an opportunity. Thankfully, there was a lot to enjoy about this foray into the DC Universe.

DC has long been known for producing incredible animated films. While most of their animated features seem to target adults, with their foray into LEGO movies, they were able to expand that to films that both adults and children could enjoy together.

I had a conversation very recently with a friend about how iconic the poster was for John Hughes’ wonderful teen movie, The Breakfast Club.  I’m not much of a sentimentalist or one to wallow in '80s nostalgia, but I’m glad I was a kid when the Hughes films were making their initial runs.  Most of them are quite good and hold up pretty well today.  They were at least in part the inspiration for Spider-Man: Homecoming.  There’s a moment in that film where Ferris Bueller’s Day Off plays in the background.  John Hughes left us way too early.  

In 1899, life for women wasn’t the best. The setting of the later years of the Wild West makes for a perfect backdrop to portray the indignations suffered by many, out in the open, with no repercussions for perpetrators. Brothels employed many a woman and were easy to find during those years. Some women were sold out to become “kept women,” sometimes traveling from benefactor to benefactor. Not every woman was mistreated and beaten down, but many were – and very few would act against such atrocities.

The best way to describe House of Demons is a collage of past, present, future, reality, surreal, imagined, and alternative timelines, all wrapped into one movie. All these things are woven together into a tapestry with horror as its backdrop. But, it is much more than just a horror movie. It’s a story of redemption and acceptance… should any of the characters find it while surviving a battle with demons.

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