Indestructible, from Darby Pop Publishing, explores the notion of superheroes as celebrities. It’s an idea that plenty of other comics (and other media) have touched on before, but perhaps none quite so in-depth as this one. In the world of superheroes, those who use their powers for fame and fortune, instead of altruistically helping the helpless, are generally portrayed as self-absorbed and egotistical, or perhaps as having “lost their way” after a prior career of successful civil service. But, Indestructible shows us a world where altruism and self-promotion aren’t mutually exclusive, and the people making money from their abilities can still be the good guys.

Meet the Patels is a funny and insightful film about the search for true love, but it’s not a romantic comedy. Rather, it’s a film about family and cultural traditions. It’s also a documentary, which makes the characters and situations that much more engaging, knowing that it’s a real story, about real people, not just a warped Hollywood depiction of clichés and stereotypes.

Man from Reno is a complex crime thriller, full of twists, surprises, mistaken identities, and more. At times, it’s a little too complex, making it difficult to keep track of exactly what’s going on from one twist to the next, but, nonetheless, it’s an intense and engaging film that most mystery/thriller fans will enjoy.

If you still haven’t seen Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, find a theater near you that’s still playing it and run there. If you’re like me and running isn’t your thing, you can always check it out when it releases on DVD/Blu-ray today.

The Ballad of Snake Oil Sam is a surreal, colorful, and somewhat fantastical short film. The official description hails it as a “desert Steampunk fantasy,” but I wouldn’t really call it Steampunk. Still, it’s very visually striking and mesmerizing to watch all the way through.  

Odd Brodsky is a film for anyone who has ever wistfully dreamed of Hollywood greatness. At its screening at Dances With Films on Saturday night, writer/director Cindy Baer admitted that the movie comes at least somewhat from her own experiences—but that this wasn’t entirely intentional. They’re the experiences of a person trying to pursue a career in Hollywood against greater odds, and, for anyone who has done so, those experiences tend to be universal.

What is God? Does he exist as an actual entity or merely as a concept in religious doctrine? And, if God does exist, then why do bad things happen to good people? These are just a few of the questions raised by Frank vs. God, which premiered at Dances With Films on Friday night.

Most adults have heard the famous General Sherman quote on war being hell, but we have no measuring stick to judge its veracity. Director Tom Petch attempts to give us one through his film, The Patrol, which examines the lives of British troops in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, as they fulfill their role as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. It’s a war film for a modern world, where viewers have become weary of fighting other nations’ wars and trying to police the international community.

Tara Cardinal’s official IMDB synopsis for her female-led action movie, Legend of the Red Reaper, is:

“It's been 100 years since The Red Reaper, half human, half demon was traded to the demons by the Teller Witch - her own mother. Rescued by the Reapers, a sacred clan of human/demon warriors, they raised her as their own, even though she was more demon than the rest of them. Abandoned by her mother, at odds with her Reaper family, struggling with her Reaper training, and in love with one man she couldn't have - nothing was going right for the Red Reaper. She was untrained, untested, and shared none of her mother's magical abilities. She couldn't even see the future, her mother's greatest gift. Until the day she did. And, it changed the world forever.”

Part fantasy adventure, part autobiographical, Cardinal’s Legend of the Red Reaper definitely shows that a female lead can carry an action movie, but, at the same time, it contains small flaws that prevent it from being truly great.

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.

For the first FFOW! of 2014, let’s look at one of the first big fan films to hit the web this year, Vincent Tran’s Girl of Steel.

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