Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rolling Stones From the Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015

 As a fan of The Rolling Stones, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that this is the first one of their "From the Vault" releases that I've purchased, though I believe this is the seventh one they've put out. Part of what's been keeping me away is that there are simply too many choices. Consider this release, which can be bought on a DVD/3-LP set, a Blu-ray/CD combo, a DVD/CD combo, and a standalone Blu-ray. Too many options means I can't decide which one of those I want the most. They all have their pros and cons. In the end, I chose the Blu-ray/CD combo, so that's the source for this review. I'll mostly be talking about the Blu-ray of the concert itself, because the music on the CD is the same.

Sticky Fingers is widely regarded as one of the band's absolute best, coming three-quarters of the way through their absolute artistic and creative power. There are four albums that prove the Rolling Stones to be the greatest rock and roll band ever: Beggar's Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. Arguably, Sticky Fingers represents the band right before the burden of reinvention, drug abuse, and mega-success took too great a toll and found them adrift for the latter part of the seventies.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Stranger Things Target Exclusive DVD/Blu-ray VHS Unboxing and Retailer RANT (Netflix)

Let's crack open the brand new DVD/Blu-ray set of Stranger Things Season One, a Target retailer exclusive. But first, Heath vents his frustration with a rant about how things like this are often mishandled in the stores themselves. Uninformed employees and limited stock combine to make for a retail nightmare.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

How Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer Echoes The Empire Strikes Back

The big trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has arrived, and it seems to echo the story beats of The Empire Strikes Back perfectly. What does this mean? Will The Last Jedi be a reheated version of everyone's favorite Star Wars movie?! We break it all down and give our thoughts!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Essential Marvel Horror! Ghost Rider, Dracula, and Zombies!

Take a walk on the dark side of Marvel Comics with a look at some of their "Marvel Essential" horror collections. From Tomb of Dracula and Tales of the Zombie to Ghost Rider and Moon Knight, which introduced characters like Blade and Mephisto.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Michael Jackson - Scream (2017)

Just in time for Halloween, the folks at Legacy Recordings (a subsidiary of Sony) have issued a new compilation featuring some of Michael Jackson's most hard-hitting, aggressive, and spooky tunes. Sure, a lot of these songs are part of MJ's greatest hits catalog and have been featured in other compilations before, but this single-disc collection is comprised (almost) entirely of songs fueled by Jackson's love of Halloween and scary movies. This is ESSENTIAL listening for the month of October.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cult of Chucky (2017)

Chucky, the killer doll who first terrorized our nightmares in 1988, returns yet again in an inventive and gory sequel.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Doors: The Singles (2017) Review

Just in time for their 50th anniversary, this new compilation of every single that The Doors ever released is sure to light your fire, but what makes it different from all the other compilations on the market? As it turns out, a whole lot.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pick-Up (1975)

I've begun working my way through Mill Creek's "Drive-In Cult Classics: 32 Movie Collection," which is comprised entirely of films from the Crown International catalog. That studio was (is?) one of the biggest names in cult, exploitation, and low-budget fare; when I think of the seventies grindhouse movies with chunka-bow-bow funk scores and flashy cinematography, I'm becoming more and more aware of the role Crown International actually played in creating those cliches.In researching these movies from the set, I'm seeing a lot of one-sentence or one-paragraph reviews, as if the craziness or brilliance or cheesiness contained in each Crown International movie could be  encapsulated or dismissed with a single statement. I was bothered by the trend, so here's my attempt to do service to the movies that demand more than that (some of them don't demand more than that), starting with a movie that I don't think has gotten its due.

Pick-Up is a 1975 film that seems ill-defined by the poster above. This is not unusual for a grindhouse-style movie, but it seems to me that the posters for these cheap drive-in flicks are usually a lot better than the movies, not the other way around, which is the case here. The plot: two hippie girls (Carol and Maureen) are hitchhiking their way through Florida when this dude named Chuck stops in a huge mega-bus to take a leak by the side of the road. The bus is awesome, the kind that a band like Foghat would use for their American world tour, or that Stillwater drove in Almost Famous, only nicer. Chuck has to get the bus to Tallahassee (to that sweet sassafrassy), but he's not really in a hurry, as evidenced by his laid-back demeanor and affection for jazz cigarettes. Within minutes of the title screen, the trio are on the bus, partying, smoking pot, and getting lost. When a big storm blows in, the gang find themselves stranded in the middle of the Everglades with no idea how to get back on track. The next 80 minutes is a journey of self-discovery and some *really* trippy visuals.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Marvel Captain America Epic Collection: Man Without a Country

We go through Marvel's "Captain America: Man Without a Country" Epic Collection and talk about what works and what doesn't. 1995-1996 was a crazy time for comic books! Plus, did Bucky fart on Red Skull?!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Catacombs aka Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice (1988)

European horror has always been a little bit challenging for me because the sensibilities are different from my own. If I'm being honest, some of the European film-making traditions are just difficult for me to relate to because they're so rooted in a particular way of life and tradition that's simply foreign to me. Having said that, Catacombs isn't fully Euro-horror; i'ts directed by an American but is shot in Italy using a cast drawn from both countries. This attempt to walk the line between both European and American horror traditions yields mixed results.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Johnny Cash: The Complete Columbia Album Collection

Come along on a full tour of the 2012 Johnny Cash box set which contains every album he recorded for Columbia Records. See all 63 discs, the book that comes with the set, and learn how to complete your Johnny Cash discography with the albums not included in the box.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Time Guardian (1987)

This ambitious Australian science fiction movie from 1987 never quite lives up to its own hype. Exhibit A: the poster for The Time Guardian depicts a muscular guy in a sleeveless shirt and sunglasses, blasting what appears to be a robot or cyborg in the face with a huge laser cannon while the world around him crumbles and burns. The tagline reads "Time is just about the only thing he won't waste." This image and blurb conjures a Schwarzenegger-style action movie in which our hero takes on cybernetic hordes with no holds barred, delivering one-liners as he serves up destruction. In grand exploitation movie fashion, nothing in the actual movie comes close to being as cool as what this poster promises.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Cult and Exploitation Movie Collection Pick Ups (Shout, Scream Factory, Empire, Cannon, DVD, Blu)

A conversational video about movie collecting complete with an update on new pick ups. Talk includes Scream and Shout Factory movies, Charles Band's Empire Pictures, The Cannon Group, Vestron, and a talk about collecting in a market where boutique label prices are rising. I even talk about how Kevin Costner's movies are usually too long.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Continuing Voyages: Crucible - Provenance of Shadows

In 2006, Pocket Books published a trio of novels in celebration of Star Trek's 40th Anniversary. These books looked back affectionately at the original 1966 television series, but with a fresh twist that turned established stories on their head. Each book of David R. George III's "Crucible" trilogy highlighted a member of the show's trinity (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy), and explored how their pasts and futures hinged on one very pivotal event. The first of these books was Crucible: McCoy - Provenance of Shadows, and it's one of the best Star Trek  books I've ever read.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Kind of Magic #2 - Highlander (1986)

Sometimes revisiting something you loved when you were younger can be a double-edged sword, and eagerness to recapture a past thrill can leave us shaking our head when we discover that the object of our affection isn't actually very good through modern eyes. I'm happy to say that revisiting Highlander--specifically the 1986 feature film, has been a very rewarding experience. It's even better than I remembered.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Marvel Epic Collection: The Successor of Marvel Essentials

A quick video overview of the Marvel Epic Collection range of trade paperbacks and the pros and cons of the Epic line replacing the Essentials line.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Expedition Bigfoot - The Sasquatch Museum

Pay a virtual visit to David and Melinda Bakara's fantastic attraction and passion project located in Cherry Log, GA (also known as Blue Ridge, GA).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Kind of Magic #1 - Examining the Immortal Appeal of Highlander

They are Princes of the Universe, filled with blood of kings. Caught in a game of death, their long lives are violent and tragic. They walk among us unseen, fighting in the shadows. In the end, there can be only one.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Farewell, Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell is gone. Rather than mourn his loss (his final album Adios seems to have offered the time and place for that), I would rather celebrate the man himself and some of the incredible music he made.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Power Rangers (2017)

For a franchise built around kung fu battles in colorful spandex, giant battle robots, and intergalactic threats, Power Rangers is surprisingly human.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Super Nintendo Classic Edition (and Why I'm Not Excited)

As Nintendo announces the SNES Classic Edition, video game fandom is divided. Some are optimistic, some are cautious, and some are angry. Here's why.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sega Forever Launch

Today Sega launched an initiative called "Sega Forever," which sees five classic Sega video games being released for iOS and Android along with the promise of more games every two weeks. This could be big.

Friday, June 16, 2017

King Arthur's Round Table and the Sword in the Stone (Hopkinsville, KY)

The Kentucky town of Hopkinsville is the home of something of mythical proportions. Hopkinsville Community College is the home of Round Table Literary Park, a full-size creation of King Arthur's Round Table. They also host a realistic sword in the stone straight out of the Arthurian legend.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

RIP Adam West

Adam West is gone. It happened Friday, June 9th, and it's somehow comforting to me that there's a good chance I was watching his work when it happened. It's become a habit for me and my daughter to watch a few episodes of the 1966 Batman series at night, with the troubles of the day behind us. In those late hours, we can give ourselves over to the Technicolor world of Gotham City and its larger-than-life inhabitants without cynicism. We love seeing how Batman and Robin get out of each perilous cliffhanger, each deus ex machina ending more ridiculous than the last. Yes, Adam West was known for other work, but it was his turn as the Caped Crusader that made him an icon to me, and to millions of others. This is my tribute.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Metropolis, IL - The Home of SUPERMAN

If there's one town in America that can truly be considered "The Home of Superman," It's Metropolis, Illinois. We explore, visit the Superman Museum, and see how this one character has impacted the local community.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Smokey at the Bandit at 40

On March 27th, stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham's first movie, Smokey and the Bandit, turned 40 years old. If you've never seen the movie, please rectify this oversight immediately. Without it, there never would have been a Dukes of Hazzard, Burt Reynolds may have had a whole different career, and Jerry Reed might never have become a recognized music sensation and remained an unsung Nashville session musician. I, for one, am glad this wacky little movie exists. If you agree, join me in a toast to Bandit and the cops that were always just a little bit too slow to catch him. Keep your foot hard on the pedal and watch ol' Bandit run.

Fans of Burt, Jerry, and Hal can read more about their work together HERE.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rasslin' - Hulk Hogan in Japan

Well let me tell you something, Mean Gene! There's a nasty rumor going around that Hulk Hogan doesn't know how to wrestle, and that Hulk Hogan NEVER knew how to wrestle! Well I'm here to tell ya, BROTHER, that's a bunch of garbage, DUDE! You don't need to say your prayers, BROTHER! Forget the vitamins, DUDE! All the little Hulkamaniacs out there need to do if they wanna drop a leg on that heinous rumor is watch his work in Japan, BROTHER! Whatcha gonna do when HULK HOGAN and Japanamania run wild on YOU?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mummy Mania #1: The Mummy (1932)

A new Mummy movie is looming from Universal with promises (threats?) that it's the first of a new shared universe (a "Dark Universe," if you will) that will revive all their classic monsters for modern popcorn munchers. Because the marketing machine is in full swing, all the previous Mummy movies have just been re-released, with some of them restored in HD for the first time.What better excuse to binge on classic horror? In this inaugural installment, we're looking at the film that started it all: 1932's The Mummy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Continuing Voyages: The Trial of James T. Kirk

No franchise has more spin-off material than Star Trek. Over the last fifty-plus years, there have been hundreds of novels and tie-in books, multiple comic book runs, audio dramas, games, and more. Collectively, this material provides over a thousand stories that exist outside the official Star Trek continuity, and some of them are real gems that should not be overlooked. From time to time, we'll highlight one of these stories and examine it. These are The Continuing Missions. In this installment, we'll look at "The Trial of James T. Kirk" from DC Comics.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Why the Music of Guardians of the Galaxy Matters

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is such a big hit with both audiences and critics alike that even the songs from the movie are a big deal. What does this mean? A lot.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cinnamon Cereal Showdown!

Two new cinnamon cereals are competing for the right to be the champion of the cereal aisle. Let's take a look at both, compare them, and see which one comes out on top, Thunderdome style!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

From Hell It Came (1957)

Answering the age-old question: if a killer tree stalks the woods and no one is around for it to murder, does it make a noise?

Friday, April 28, 2017

5 Things We Want in Indiana Jones 5

Indiana Jones is back in the news this week after Disney/Lucasfilm announced that they were pushing the release date of Indiana Jones 5 from Summer 2019 to July, 2020, and we can't wait to see the return of our favorite whip-wielding archaeologist. Here are five things that we do (and in some cases, DON'T) want to see in the fifth Indy film. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Torture Garden (1967)

Based on the title of this film, you would be forgiven for thinking this horror anthology from 1967 is the kind of movie you should avoid. After all, we've had a glut of "torture porn" crap over the last 10-15 years where legitimate creeps have been replaced by what amounts to an endurance test of the worst kind. There is actually no torture in Torture Garden, nor is there any real gore. No, Torture Garden is actually an old-fashioned, comic-book style horror film in the same vein as Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, or even Trick 'r Treat. Let's be clear up front though, this movie is nowhere near as good as those. Still, it replicates--in movie form--the thrill of entering a carnival fun house and not knowing what you're going to see.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Play This: The Disney Afternoon Collection

With nostalgia gaming at a fever pitch, it's only natural that Capcom has resurrected six of their most beloved Nintendo games and repackaged them for a whole new generation.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Unboxing the Complete New 52 Run of Aquaman and the Debut of Southern Superman

In this four-color festival of the fantastic, we open a shipment featuring the entire run of Aquaman's New 52 run from DC Comics. Plus, Southern Superman, a character destined to become a worldwide sensation, makes his first appearance!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Rasslin' - Wrestlemania 33

The biggest wrestling show of the year has come and gone. Was it the equivalent of Hulk Hogan body slamming Andre the Giant, or was it the second coming of the Gobbledy Gooker?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rasslin' - I Never Quit: The Magnum TA Story

It's Wrestlemania Week, and millions of rasslin' fans have the squared circle on their minds. Today, I'm taking a look back at an '80s superstar and what could have been.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: Cinnamon Frosted Flakes

With several new cinnamon-flavored cereals making their debut on crowded shelves nationwide, the question on everyone's mind is "Who will be the last cereal standing?" Begun, the Cinnamon War has. Let's stick a spoon in the new offering from Kellogg's and see how it fares.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dokken: "Dream Warriors" (Acoustic)

I'm in a Dokken mood and wanted to share this. Here's an acoustic performance of one of my favorite Dokken songs, "Dream Warriors," written for the soundtrack of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I believe this particular performance is taken from the band's Japan Live '95 DVD, which features the original group, reunited after having gone their separate ways for a few years I love this song, but I think I love it even more in this stripped down interpretation where the melodies can really shine. Plus, check out those outstanding harmonies from bassist Jeff Pilson! This is one that Don still occasionally performs acoustically at some of his shows.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

White Lightning and Gator

Burt Reynolds spent a lot of the 1970s making movies that were set in the rural south and are sometimes called "hick flicks." With the two Gator McKlusky movies, we have one of his best and...another one.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chuck Berry: "Big Boys"

In the wake of Chuck Berry's passing, the Berry Family and Dualtone Records have released "Big Boys," the first single from his final studio album. Long in development and announced last October, Chuck will finally be released on June 16. I can't wait.

This music sounds fantastic, as if no time has passed since he first burst onto the scene in the fifties. I had wondered what rock and roll must sound like at the age of 90, and this is the answer: it sounds like Chuck Berry.

Preorder Chuck from Dualtone Records HERE.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Town Called Santa Claus

Somewhere in Georgia lies a small town that goes by the name of Santa Claus. Though the main square is only about the size of a city block, the entire area has been branded with Christmas theming all year long.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Girl Scouts Caramel Crunch Cereal

Caramel-flavored cookies covered with coconut and chocolate are great any time of the day, but how about as part of a well-balanced breakfast? Let's find out.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Recent Pickups and a Disney Movie Club Unboxing

Join me as I take you through my recent acquisitions. We talk movies, some comic book stuff, a rare CD, and end with a huge unboxing from the Disney Movie Club. Take a drink every time I say "Why should you care," but be sure to have a designated driver standing by.

The Best of The Rivieras: California Sun

Well I'm goin' out west where I belong.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review: Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal

This year, General Mills has partnered with Girl Scouts USA to bring us cereal versions of two of the best selling Girl Scout cookies. I found a box of one of them. I ate some. This is my report.