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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Thoughts on JARED LETO as THE JOKER in the Upcoming SUICIDE SQUAD Film?

Joker 75 LogoOne thing that's certain with comic book heroes and villains is that they're moldable... changeable... adaptable. On the big screen (and the small one), every filmmaker that approaches a property is given certain freedoms to put a personal stamp on the characters, and that's something that can be exceptionally challenging - and daunting - especially when dealing with a character who has already been presented in several beloved forms. It's no different than when a new creative team approaches the same characters on the printed page - and that happens far more often than what audiences ever see on the screen. Reimagining a character is not an easy task, and "good" or "bad" tends to be a matter of passionate personal preference - and the general path of reaction is the same, and no property has seen it more than the world of DC Comics' BATMAN. Michael Keaton as BATMAN? No! Ben Affleck as BATMAN? No! Heath Ledger as THE JOKER... The kid from 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU? Absolutely not! (posthumous Oscar). And here we are again, with the first-look at JARED LETO as THE JOKER from Warner Bros. upcoming SUICIDE SQUAD film. Revealed by Writer/Director David Ayer on twitter yesterday as part of the #Joker75 celebration, the latest version of "Mr. J" may be the most divisive yet - and we haven't even seen him in action...

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AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON - Free Printable Activity & Coloring Book!

On May 1, MARVEL Studios will release the long-awaited AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (get tickets via Fandango), the latest entry into their ever-expanding MARVEL Cinematic Universe. Once again, Joss Whedon is at the helm for the film, which stars Robert Downey Jr. (IRON MAN), Chris Hemsworth (THOR), Mark Ruffalo (HULK), Chris Evans (CAPTAIN AMERICA), Scarlett Johansson (BLACK WIDOW), Jeremy Renner (HAWKEYE), Don Cheadle (WAR MACHINE), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (QUICKSILVER), Elizabeth Olsen (SCARLET WITCH), Paul Bettany (VISION), Cobie Smulders (MARIA HILL), Stellan Skarsgård (ERIK SELVIG), James Spader (ULTRON) and Samuel L. Jackson (NICK FURY). For those who just can't wait to get their AVENGERS groove on, I've got a 15-page, printable activity and coloring book just for you, courtesy of my friends at The Walt Disney Studios. 

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Giveaway: MY LITTLE PONY TALES: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD from Shout! Factory

Shout! KidsIn a lot of ways, the early 1990s was "The Dark Times" for the pop culture icons that were birthed in the 70s and 80s and would later return bigger, better, and undeniably more popular than ever. STAR WARS was dormant. G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS were nearly-dead, but limping along as revamped toy lines that seemed to be nothing more than keeping the names alive. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE had been rebooted as THE NEW ADVENTURES OF HE-MAN and flopped... and STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and the CARE BEARS seemed to be M.I.A. In the meantime, MY LITTLE PONY returned for 26 episodes (combined into 13 half-hours) of MY LITTLE PONY TALES, a new series that never really took off in the States, but spawned a line of toys marketed exclusively in Europe. Now, for the very first time, MY LITTLE PONY TALES is on DVD (out April 28) via Shout! Kids and Hasbro Studios, and it's all thanks to the modern success of MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC, which recently premiered its fifth season on Discovery Family. Would you like to win a copy of MY LITTLE PONY TALES: THE COMPLETE TV SERIES for your DVD stable? Shout! Factory and THE ROCK FATHER have your chance to win below!

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Watch Now: FANTASTIC FOUR - Another Trailer for FOX's Marvel Reboot...

The second trailer for 20th Century Fox's FANTASTIC FOUR reboot has arrived, and after watching it twice, I can't help but dwell a bit on how far removed the Fox "Marvel" movies seem from their counterparts produced by Disney/Marvel Studios as part of the MARVEL Cinematic Universe. They're playing heavily on a tagline of "From the Studio that Brought You X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST," and there's a lot of visual similarities between the recent X-MEN films and this latest version of the FANTASTIC FOUR. Despite different directors, they share a similar overall "look" - one sort of dark and otherworldly that feels far removed from the MCU. For the studio, they're probably pretty proud of that - but as a fan, I'd love to feel like all of these characters can inhabit the same world - and I can't. Fox has FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN and the forthcoming DEADPOOL (which I have high hopes for), but unless they strike a deal much like Sony and Disney recently did on SPIDER-MAN, I think we'll be seeing an alternate Marvel universe for quite some time... and while this looks much better that the two FANTASTIC FOUR films that preceded it, the vibe seems a little flat. Take a look...

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McFARLAND, USA Races Home this June...

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles to sit down for conversations with the folks behind The Walt Disney Studios' McFARLAND, USA. After seeing the film and then getting to know the real-life individuals that inspired the film and the creative team that brought it to life on-screen, I heartily recommended it here on THE ROCK FATHER. The film was a small one by Disney standards, and it not only outperformed expectations at the box office, but has won over a dedicated and diverse audience in just a few months since release. Now, on June 2, 2015, McFARLAND, USA will come home on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

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