Totally Killer (2023)

A lot of modern directors are cultivating a formula of taking classic eighties and nineties movies and giving them a clever horror twist. While many have likened “Totally Killer” to “The Final Girls,” I’m more prone to consider “Totally Killer” a horror twist on “Back to the Future.” It’s very much a nod to Robert Zemeckis’ film right down to the similar finale. The way director Nahnatchka Khan stages her horror comedy is so much in the vein of the classic film, but that thankfully doesn’t hinder the experience.

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The Flash (2023) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

“The Flash” could have and should have been this sleek, exciting, action adventure science fiction film that chronicled what is still a very appealing superhero for the modern age. Instead, with Warner Bros. help, “The Flash” is transformed in to a silly, campy, overlong chore that spends much more time on fan service than it does building an interesting character. Although The Flash is still a popular character with comic book fans, “The Flash” should have had broader appeal and a better grasp of its subject matter. Instead Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the scarlet speedster feels like a goofy riff on “Back to the Future” time and time again.

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Aporia (2023) [Fantasia Film Festival 2023]

Often times time travel movies can get bogged down in particulars and more complicated ideas but “Aporia” is one of the few where there’s not so much of the focus on how, but as to the fallout. Writer-Director Jared Moshé prides himself in making “Aporia” a film that’s mainly about the consequences about time travel more than anything. “Aporia” is a fascinating and touching mix of films like “Primer,” and “Sliding Doors,” to where this version of time travel doesn’t so much reverse time, but alters the reality with it. “Aporia” offers a time travel movie that isn’t so much about altering time but about the ideas of destiny and death.

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

“The Dial of Destiny” is significant not only in that it’s a movie primarily about time, but about wanting to go back in time and fix mistakes. The Indiana Jones we see here is not the Indiana Jones we saw in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or even “The Last Crusade.” He’s older, he’s war torn, and he’s grappling with so much regret that he’s lost his passion for adventuring. When we see Indiana Jones he’s a man who has lived two full lives and he’s thrust back in to what is arguably his final adventure and it’s bittersweet.

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The Flash (2023)

Like it or lump it, after delays, and delays, and restarts, and bad press, and alterations, and production problems “The Flash” is finally here. And–I lumped it. It’s not to say that “The Flash” is the worst movie from the DCEU yet, but it’s definitely not one of the best. It’s a shame as the trailers inspired so much optimism and enthusiasm, but at the end of the day, it’s a terribly mixed bag with occasional redeeming qualities. Beyond the fan service, and Easter eggs scattered throughout, “The Flash” is right at the level of “Shazam: Fury of the Gods”; whether or not that’s a positive perspective is up to you.

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Legion of Super-Heroes (2023) [Blu-ray/Digital]

It’s weird that after “Battle of the Super Sons” that DC and Warner would choose to adapt “Legion of Super Heroes” as their new feature. It feels like one of their least consequential animated movies in years. It doesn’t take place during the timeline of the Super Sons, and it rushes through the entire introduction of Supergirl. Plus, there seems to be a whole chunk of story missing as Superman seems to have a boom tube device that can warp in to the future to visit the Legion of Super Heroes. When did he get that? How exactly did he get that? Why did he assume Supergirl would have an easier time in the far future than she would in present Earth?

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The Son of The Stars (Fiul Stelelor/Ultima Misiune) (1987)

One of the advantages of boutique physical releases is that American audiences are able to check out films that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to before. This year, the never before officially released in the U.S. “The Son of the Stars” makes its way to American shores. The animated adventure described as a “wild mid-80s mash-up of The Empire Strikes Back, Alien and Tarzan” was directed by the creative team of Călin Cazan and Mircea Toia, and features a pretty trippy original score by synth-rock pioneer Stefan Elefteriu. I can safely say while you can see the “Star Wars” influences dripping all over it, it’s a wild experience for any animation buff.

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