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Why ‘Stranger Things’ Is So Wonderful

The third season of Netflix’s 80s nostalgia fest delivers again with an emotionally-gripping entertainment that harkens back to a less cynical age.

The Pro-Life Message of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

To be pro-life means to uphold the dignity of human life and promote life, not death, in our answers to the problem of human suffering. When we promote life, we in turn battle the “culture of death” in this world, a world-view that promotes death as a solution to problems. This ongoing battle for life and death is played out countless times in our traditional stories and legends. In such stories, the archetype hero fights for life and saves the people from the villain who wants death, destruction and power.

[Warning: Spoilers follow.]

Why Is Disney Making So Many Live Action Remakes?

Disney has been releasing a series of live action remakes. The “Beauty and the Beast” remake starring Emma Watson is the most notable success to date. The box office total for the live action “Beauty and the Beast” passed a billion dollars at the box office, earning more than the original animated film. It proved that live action remakes – regardless of what you think of them – could be very profitable.

There’s Only One Way To Rank Marvel Movies. This Is It.

Although you could say, I’m a most unlikely Marvel fan, David’s kind invitation to disagree with him is too tempting to pass up. Perhaps its because he dismissed Guardians of the Galaxy. Or maybe it’s because he placed Iron Man too far down on the list. Or it could be, I just wanted to defend my favorite superheroes. Whatever subconscious reasons propelled me to my keyboard, I think the Marvel Universe deserves our attention as creators.

UPDATED: Ranking My 10 Favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe Films

And sorting out the others. Disagree with my choices?

With the fourth Avengers movie debuting this weekend, the closing chapter of a 22-film series, I decided to start a discussion over which installments in the series have been the best, which are weaker, and why.

The Ethical Transhumanism of Star Trek

In a universe where cybernetics, genetic engineering, alien tech and thousands of worlds exist, why are the humans of the Federation so human? Let’s take a look at the limited, ethical transhumanism of “Star Trek”.

‘The Highwaymen’: Bonnie and Clyde Are Long Since Dead, But the Cult Mentality Lives On

The made-for-TV film “The Highwaymen” has been on Netflix for several weeks now, but I didn’t get around to watching it until a couple of weeks ago.

The much talked-about vehicle for Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson is, as most readers will know, the story of how two retired Texas Rangers, Frank Hamer (Costner) and Maney Gault (Harrelson) tracked down the legendary couple Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, when other law enforcement agencies across several states, including the FBI, had failed.

Christopher Plummer: A Modern Prospero

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 22: As Blue-Blooded and Upper Canadian as They Come

To criticize a universally beloved 89-year-old titan of stage and screen – possibly best known as Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music, a role he famously detests –  is a thing not easily done.

This is the man they brought in to save Ridley Scott’s All The Money In The World after Kevin Spacey’s heinous deeds were exposed at the height of #MeToo. (He will not be the last Canadian on our list that acted as a calming force during that period of justified outrage.) Spike Lee trusted him enough to cast him in two of his films. He played a Klingon with a hilarious eyepatch and “The Emperor” in a schlocky Star War ripoff, Starcrash, with the same grace and aplomb as his many, many Shakespearean turns – Henry V, Hamlet, Caesar, Mercutio, Lear, and, yes – Prospero.

But as Christopher Plummer himself will readily admit, his life has been a charmed one, mostly free of the struggle and want common to most actors. Plummer’s easygoing yet authoritative presence, his capability and durability, and above all his magical ability to project order cannot be truly understood unless you know that he was born to the cream of Canadian society, the great-grandson of Canada’s third Prime Minister, John Abbott.

Mary Pickford: The Archetypal (Canadian) Actress

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 21: The Blank Screen

The history of Canadian actors is unlike the history of Canadians in any other medium. Canadian novelists are celebrated at home and barely noticed abroad. Canadian musicians are oddities and curiosities with hardcore fanbases. Canadian directors are singular visionaries who engage (or refuse to engage) with the meaning of life itself.

But Canadians have been such an integral part of Hollywood that you have to remind people that a famous actor is, or was Canadian. And so, as I introduce the archetypal Canadian actress – Gladys Smith, aka Mary Pickford – I really have to squint to pick out what makes her Canadian.

Shamed Writer-Director James Gunn Is Back For ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ Are We Groot?

Disney reinstating James Gunn as the writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 ignited a controversy reaching beyond the tarnishing of Disney’s brand. It sparks a question, to which the answer is a social-political barometer. Do we really want to trade redemption for social assassination? 

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