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MOVIE REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok Deserves Thunderous Applause

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VVNG- You know, it’s just not fair that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gets to be so good-looking and strong and charming and funny…. AND he gets to be the star of his very own, totally entertaining, hilarious and radical, 80s-inspired space opera. Honestly, though, I don’t even mind because, thanks to him, I was able to have a great time laughing and watching all of the spectacular visuals that were colorfully splashed across the film. I do have to warn you that this flick is first and foremost a comedy. Don’t expect it to be serious or overly dramatic. If you are fine with that, you will have tons of fun, enjoying all of the over-the-top gags, silly situations and hysterical jokes from start to finish.

While trying to save his home planet, everyone’s favorite God of Thunder gets captured and is forced to fight in a technicolor world full of zany characters who look like they are straight out of an MC Hammer music video. While there, he reunites with his fellow Avenger, The Hulk, and they form a team of heroes to go and stop the Maleficent-looking baddie, Hela, from destroying Thor’s home planet of Asgard.

I give Thor: Ragnarok, the “Checky Seal of Approval!” This movie is a clear and skillful homage to the 1980s sci-fi fantasy B-movies that were full of delightful campiness and vibrant colors that made every shiny frame of their movies pop. The entire cast is wonderful, the special effects are dynamic, the use of synthesizers in the score is brilliant and there is a scene in the movie where Thor and his friends are beating up a bunch of bad guys, while the Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin is playing, that totally had me grinning like an idiot as my mind was being blown.  The only things I didn’t like about the film is that the camera was sometimes too close to the action and I didn’t know what the heck was going on, and a few of the jokes were very predictable. Other than that, I loved Ragnarok!

You should forget about earth for a couple of hours and go take a trip across the universe with Thor and friends. Let this vibrantly colorful and extremely imaginative film shower you with stunning visuals, a fantastic cast, superb action sequences and so much artistic goodness that really needs to be appreciated on a big screen.  

So, what did you think of Thor: Ragnarok? Do you agree or disagree with me? Which flick are you checking out this week? What is your favorite scary movie of all time? Let me know in the comments below. Have a great day at the movies and don’t forget to save me some popcorn.

Official Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally, and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

Ezequiel T (a.k.a., El Checky) is a Translator with a lifelong passion for films. He has been reviewing movies for years and has been watching, discussing and sometimes even making them for as long as he can remember. When reviewing them, he has a simple way of recommending a good movie by giving it The “Checky™ Seal Of Approval!” which is due to his childhood nickname. He currently lives in Victorville, CA with his wife of 12 years, Joanna.

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Movie Reviews: Birds of Prey and Sonic the Hedgehog

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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie, Marie Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor.

Raise your hand if you have a crazy break up story. Ok, now raise your hand if you’ve ever blown up a factory (like Harley does in this movie) as a symbolic gesture of independence from your former partner. WAIT!!! You know what? Nevermind, don’t raise it. I don’t want to testify against you in court. Instead, why don’t you just go watch this flick and enjoy the absolutely bonkers aftermath of The Joker and Harley Quinn’s toxic relationship? Maybe it will help make you realize that your former flame isn’t as bad as you remember him/her when you compare them to the over-the-top events that take place in this uniquely bizarre film. 

As soon as Mr. J (literally) kicks Harley to the curb, everyone in Gotham who has beef with her finds out she’s not protected anymore and starts trying to get payback for whatever ludicrous thing she might have done to them. Good thing is that this vivacious babe is no damsel in distress. She is strong, capable, and as smart as she is adorable. So, whoever is foolish enough to try and cross the incomparable Ms. Quinn, is in for an outrageously topsy turvy world of hurt. 

This movie isn’t JUST about Harley, though, there are also other characters who appear in the movie that make up the titular “Birds”. While there’s nothing wrong with any of them, in fact, they are pretty freaking badass, they don’t really get to shine as much as they undoubtedly could. This is a bummer because they kind of end up feeling like they were an afterthought, and Harley should have just had the whole movie to herself and it would have still been great. Also, I know this movie is Rated – R, but sometimes it was TOO dark like it didn’t know where the line was or didn’t care that it crossed it a few times. I don’t mind violence, but when it’s done for no reason other than to be edgy, it just makes me uncomfortable. Aside from that, this is a very entertaining movie that is as vibrant, lively and chaotic as our favorite spunky, fun-loving and insanely violent bad girl. 

Score: “Checky™ Sticker of Tolerance!”

Official Synopsis: It’s open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her back. Unprotected and on the run, Quinn faces the wrath of narcissistic crime boss Black Mask, his right-hand man, Victor Zsasz, and every other thug in the city. But things soon even out for Harley when she becomes unexpected allies with three deadly women — Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya.

Sonic the Hedgehog – Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Ben Schwartz (as Sonic’s Voice)

One of the best memories I have of my childhood is when my parents got my brothers and me a Sega Genesis in the 90s. I still remember the first time we used it. We unboxed and connected everything, popped in the Sonic the Hedgehog video game, turned it on, got goosebumps when we heard the glorious “Segaaaaaa” jingle and were immediately blown away as soon as we started playing with the little blue blur. We spent hours and hours trying to get through all of the levels in the game, yelling when Sonic would lose his rings, stressing out when he would almost drown, and celebrating everytime we defeated Dr. Robotnick. 

I kept playing Sonic the Hedgehog games well into my adult years and have always had a special place in my heart for the charismatic speed demon, and I’m sure this is true for a lot of you as well. My expectations for this movie were super low because I never thought a movie would be good enough for a character that brought me so much joy, but I actually ended up liking it a lot.

Sometimes the jokes in the movie don’t land, there is a henchman that is pretty useless, and Jim Carrey’s performance is at times a BIT too wacky and cringey, but for the most part, this is a very delightful and surprisingly heartwarming flick. 

James Marsden is wonderful, charming and likeable. Jim Carrey is at his most Jim Carreyest ever, and the majority of his performance is hilarious and brilliant. The action sequences are top notch when they are (super) fast-paced, and dazzlingly impressive when Sonic is going so fast that everything around him slows down. Also, there’s a ton of moments that are incredibly sweet and help make this movie stand out from other video game adaptations.

You should definitely go watch this movie if you want to relive your childhood, hear your kiddos laugh, and/or just enjoy an amusing and splendid family flick. Just make sure you aren’t too hyped up after it’s over that you get a speeding ticket on the way home.

Score: “Checky™ Sticker of Tolerance!”

Official Synopsis: Sonic tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound best friend — a human named Tom Wachowski. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination.

What did you think of Harley and/or Sonic? Do you agree or disagree with me? Which flick are you checking out this week? Let me know in the comments below. Have a great day at the movies, and don’t forget to save me some popcorn.

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Swedish artist Tove Lo films latest video “Bikini Porn” in Victorville and Hesperia

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo, premiered her latest music video today titled “Bikini Porn” and if you recognize some of the scenes, that’s because it was filmed in the cities of Victorville and Hesperia.

Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson or better known by her fans as Tove Lo was born on October 29, 1987, and is referred to as “Sweden’s darkest pop export” by Rolling Stone. She is known for her raw, grunge-influenced take on pop music.

The singer who has 1.8 million followers on Instagram shared her latest video with the world on Friday, January 17, 2020, and said, “anyone shocked it’s basically me running around in a bikini? Didn’t think so.”

The nearly 3-minute long video shows the dancer dressed in various different colored bikinis as she dances around the desert, a bar, elevator, hotel pool, gym, and even on the back of a flat-bed trailer.

In one scene, the barefooted singer is dressed in a leopard print one-piece bikini as she’s dancing around the inside of a CD shop before she’s removed and taken to the parking lot.

During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the singer told the magazine this video was very fun and very bizarre to shoot. “There were only seven of us in a van as the crew driving around Victorville. Been a while since I did a run and gun shoot; I loved it!”

Tove Lo ended her Instagram post by thanking the good people of Victorville and Hesperia. “Thank you for being so nice and for not calling the cops on me. Time to drink champagne all day xx.”

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ibl/Shutterstock (9369274c) Tove Lo Grammis Awards, Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden – 08 Feb 2018
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Santa Fe Trading Co. hosting holiday fair in Old Town Victorville

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — With the holidays quickly approaching and the malls busier than ever, Santa Fe Trading Co is hosting a holiday art and craft fair and a chance at more unique gifts.

The fair is boasting over 80+ vendors offering hand-crafted items, gifts, and novelties. The hours for the event are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 21. 

Some of the items that will be offered include crochet items, metal work, paintings, jewelry, clothing, homemade dog treats, shabby chic furniture and more. 

In addition to vendors, there will also be Christmas carolers,  performances by “Harmonology,” and the Country Crossroads band throughout the event. Artist Sydney Encarnacion will also be singing from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Coleen Quinn from Y102 will also be in attendance doing a live remote show from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The event is for all ages and Santa Claus will also be in attendance and available for visits and pictures during the event. 

Refreshments will be provided by D’vine wine bar and include wine and beer for $5.00 and hot chocolate for $2.00. Food will also be offered and choices include tacos, burgers, bbq, and hot dogs. 

Santa Fe Trading Co. is located at 15464 7th St in “Old Town,” Victorville. Parking is limited on-site but street parking is available as well. 

Though this is not classified as a cash-only event it is recommended to bring cash as some vendors do not accept cards.

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