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The Clown Prince of Crime will officially arrive in Lake County, Illinois next year as THE JOKER Free Fly Coaster comes to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee for the 2017 season. Continuing a long-running partnership with DC Comics/DC Entertainment, THE JOKER will also be built at parks in New England and Texas, while this year's JUSTICE LEAGUE BATTLE FOR METROPOLIS 4D will be installed at three additional parks and the WONDER WOMAN LASSO OF TRUTH at two. THE JOKER is touted as being "one of the most unique rides in park history," with riders flying high-above the park in "wing cars" that face other riders. 

Published in Chicagoland

"Fun and stylish - a comic book come to life" - that was how I described David Ayer's SUICIDE SQUAD last night, a one-liner delivered moments after leaving the theater from a Thursday night showing, responding to comments from Facebook friends who noticed my check-in. Contrary to what you might've heard from the increasingly humorless legion of online critics this past week, SUICIDE SQUAD is far from the dismal "mess" that some have chosen to label it - an entertaining film that marks the cinematic debut of many new characters into the DC Extended Universe, and a perfect bridge between Zack Snyder's recent BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and next year's JUSTICE LEAGUE. Browsing my feeds on both Facebook and Twitter late last night, it appears I'm not alone in my thoughts. What we have here is another prime example of the growing audience vs. critic rift, and a reminder that film (as with any of the arts) is subjective - that you should never pass up the opportunity to experience something simply because of a bad review (yes, even if it comes from me), and that what's "entertaining" will vary widely among viewers. My take is that SUICIDE SQUAD is a film that feels like a comic book, but in a different way than anything that either DC or MARVEL has put on the big screen in the past.

Published in Movies, TV and More

It's been a few months since the first proper trailer for Warner Bros.' SUICIDE SQUAD arrived for consumption, and with the release of BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (reviewed here) now behind us, it's time to get audiences ready for what will be the next installment of the DC Extended Universe. I think the film looks great, but it's probably a good thing to start getting casual audiences primed for the fact that this is a film that exists in the same world as Ben Affleck's BATMAN and Henry Cavill's SUPERMAN... and we'll see more of Batman in this film, he being what most agreed was a highlight of BvS. While the last trailer rocked to QUEEN's "Bohemian Rhapsody," this one pairs our anti-heroes with the music of SWEET's "Ballroom Blitz." Is there a music supervisor on this film that has the 1992 soundtrack to WAYNE's WORLD sitting around? If we get a Harley Quinn-centered trailer soundtracked to JIMI HENDRIX's "Foxy Lady," I think we'll have a definitive answer. Take a look...

Published in Movies, TV and More

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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It's almost 3am here at Rock Father Mobile HQ, which tonight is a hotel room in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania - and while the girls are all asleep behind me, I can't seem to rest tonight, so I'm continuing to catch up. Back on Monday, my friend Rus posted this video on my Facebook page along with a note that it's in my "sweet spot" - and he's right... BATMAN + METAL = "BATMETAL." What we have here is a viral clip that's amassed nearly 800K views by featuring original animation of BATMAN, RED HOOD, ROBIN and NIGHTWING performing a DETHKLOK song called "Face Fisted" from METALOCALYPSE as the CHILDREN OF BATMAN (think CHILDREN OF BODOM). I can dig it, can you?

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