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My Top Twenty Favorite Films



Great films create memorable characters and interesting worlds of their own. I chose the twenty films ‘worlds’ that I enjoy visiting again and again. The order is somewhat haphazard, but I included twenty films worth exploring.  There are many more.   These films have made an impact on me, on the movies and the people who watch them. That’s My Entertainment? What’s yours?

1. The Godfather 1972
The original is one of the finest films I’ve ever seen. The sequel is almost as good. It has left a lasting impression on me, and helped me admire the power of film. A compelling story with beautiful cinematography, the Godfather takes us to a world that is as much about family as it is about crime. A young man who wanted nothing to do with the family business, and loses his soul in the process.

2. Marty 1955
Ernest Borgnine stars in this black and white study of a lonely butcher in search of love. Borgnine gives the performance of a lifetime in this classic. You may not know this film, you may never see it on a 10 greatest list, but it is very, very, good.

3. E.T.   1982
Spielberg bares his a little of himself as he tells a story of the Extra Terrestrial that just wants to go home. Deep, spiritual themes run throughout the film.

4. Psycho 1960
There are a lot of scary movies, but very few can touch the madness of Psycho. The shower scene still makes people prefer the bathtub!

5. The Wizard of Oz 1939
This color masterpiece didn’t become a true classic until it was released on TV. Judy Garland will always be remembered for Oz, a place “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

6. Goodfellas 1990
Everyone at the top of their game when this was made. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta’s performances made this one of Scorsese’s greatest films.

7. The Great Dictator 1941
Probably Charlie Chaplin’s most personal film. Timely today as it was in 1941. His marvelous speech rejecting power and violence still resonates with audiences today.

8. The Shawshank Redemption 1994
This sleeper film hit audiences where they live: justice and freedom. Two great actors, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, carry this story from the prison depths to the hope of redemption and freedom. It also made Morgan Freeman the go-to-guy for movie narration.

9. A River Runs Through It 1992
Every film and story asks, ‘What is the world like?’ In River, the world is both incredibly beautiful and sadly disappointing. A young Brad Pitt is tremendous as the brother who could have it all, but he just can’t hold on to it. A supporting cast includes Tom Skerritt and Craig Sheffer.

10. Schindler’s List 1993
Some movies remind us of the power of film, and Schindler’s List is one of them. In this story, based on World War II and the Holocaust, Oskar Schindler tries to find some meaning and redemption with the lives he holds in his hands. Spielberg and the film became symbols of Shoah, and the reason to keep these stories alive.

11. Casablanca 1944

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in what was considered a B film at best. Still, the crisp writing, directing and acting makes it one of the most beloved films of all time.

12. Lawrence of Arabia 1962
Yes, it’s a very long film, but it is one of the most beautifully photographed films of all time. It’s hard to take your eyes off the performance of Peter O’Toole as Lawrence. Omar Sharif is equally magnificent. Greatness or madness? Yes.

13. West Side Story 1961
What can I say? It’s one of my favorite musicals, and I could watch it any time. Yes, I know, Natalie Wood is not Puerto Rican, but she is Maria.

14. The Bridge on the River Kwai  1956
This is the movie that Alec Guinness should be remembered for. Yes, another prison movie, but also a film of triumph and failure, dignity and humiliation. Best line: “Oh my God, what have I done?” What indeed.

15. Titanic 1997
James Cameron’s enormous film tells a compelling story, even if we know the ending. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are perfectly cast.

16. Patton 1970
The opening scene with the giant American flag is priceless. George C. Scott is Patton. World War II was his destiny. Karl Malden his conscience.

17. Jaws 1975
The shark didn’t work when they wanted it to, and so they went on to create one of the first true blockbusters. Spielberg again, I know, and someday I’ll create a list of greatest films, just his.

18. The Apartment 1955
This Billy Wilder film was billed as a comedy, but the laugh is on the studio. Jack Lemon and Shirley MacLaine battle for right and wrong and every where in between when it comes to men and women. Fred MacMurray was an inspired choice for the womanizing boss.

19. Fargo 1996
I loved Fargo and I love it still because it is so quirky, thanks to William H. Macey and Frances McDormand. I think it gave other filmmakers permission to try new things.

20. Pulp Fiction 1994
Quentin Tarantino takes us on quite a ride with Pulp Fiction. John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis all give strong performances. You may get to the end of the film and say, “Huh?” But, you might just say, “Let’s watch it again.

And that’s what all great films make you want to do!

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



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