Comic Book Review – Stargirl by Geoff Johns

Stargirl by Geoff Johns (2020)
Reprints Stars and STRIPE #0-14, JSA: All-Stars #4, excerpts from DCU Heroes Secret Files and DCU Villians Secret Files
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Lee Moder

I can remember buying the first issue of Stars and STRIPE when it came out. I was an awkward eighteen-year-old in the summer before college, I cannot believe how much I’ve changed as a person. This comic was on sale at Piggly Wiggly, one of the few stores in my rural American Southeast town that still sold comics. I was excited to get in on the ground floor of a brand new character and especially loved the connection to the Golden Age heroes. Anytime I read a comic that embraces the depth of a universe’s history, I get happy. I kept picking up the title as it came out until I moved off to college and began going down a different path for a while. Eventually, I would come back to the character through Geoff Johns’ JSA run. With the debut of Stargirl’s series on The CW, DC Comics has collected her earliest appearances and repackaged them here.

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My Favorite Movie Musicals

Yesterday, I reviewed the atrocity that is Cats, a film that falls apart because of a mix of a muddled story and, most importantly, an over-reliance on computer-generated effects. I thought sharing my favorite musicals could be some fun. These are definitely all not your classic Broadway productions but things that skew more towards my particular tastes.

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Movie Review – School of Rock

School of Rock (2003)
Written by Mike White
Directed by Richard Linklater

School of Rock is a film I’ve always found okay. I saw it in the theater during its theatrical run, amid Jack Black’s golden era in movies. He’s still around, but this was back when Tenacious D was being played on repeat in dorm rooms, and High Fidelity was oft-quoted. This marks a transition moment for the actor, going from raunchier fare (Orange County, Shallow Hal) to more family-friendly pictures. It’s a very smart career move, and the script seems tailor-made for Black’s specific persona.

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My Favorite Screwball Comedies

The Palm Beach Story (1942, directed by Preston Sturges)

From my review: This is the ur-text of screwball comedies, every core element boiled down to its purest essence. There are pratfalls galore, windows getting smashed, and people confusing each other for others. It exists as both an ode to the comedies of mixed-up identities from Shakespeare and commentary on the late stages of the Great Depression. This film will inspire future pictures like Some Like It Hot and Intolerable Cruelty, but it doesn’t put on airs of being profound or world-changing. This is a pure character-centered comedy that understands how important it is to have a diverse variety of roles.

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Movie Review – The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Written by Aline Brosh McKenna
Directed by David Frankel

There is a certain kind of movie made in the first decade of the 21st century that faded away. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it is often derived from is referred to as “chick lit,” novels published for the demographic of women 18-40-ish. I believe everyone should read what they like, and there isn’t necessarily a line between “high art” and “low art,” you like what you like. I simply just don’t like this genre of literature or type of film. It doesn’t have the aesthetic qualities and thematic elements that appeal to me, but if you do enjoy these things, all the best to you. The Devil Wears Prada is one of these things.

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Movie Review – The Hours

The Hours (2002)
Written by David Hare
Directed by Stephen Daldry

A single day in the life of a human being can shake the foundations of the earth like an earthquake. The Hours takes place at three points in time following three women, each on a day that alters the course of their lives. Suicide is an element in each of their days, but not all attempts are successful; however, the suicides ripple through their world, much like that earthquake mentioned above. And always the interminable hours, time continues to tick by so slowly, making them feel each moment they endure life.

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Movie Review – Adaptation

Adaptation (2002)
Written by Charlie & Donald Kaufman
Directed by Spike Jonze

The first thing you need to know is that there is no such person as Donald Kaufman. Writer Charlie Kaufman completely fabricated his identical twin brother for the purposes of this story and then included him in the writing credits. Adaptation is a movie intended to mess with your head and not hide its commentary on storytelling, films, and narcissism. To say what this movie’s plot is about is near impossible as it composes so many layers and goes deep into the mental recesses of Kaufman.

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