Friday, May 17, 2019

Free Comic Book Day 2019 Wrap-Up! (FCBD)


Free Comic Book Day 2019 has come and gone! In this video, we talk about the biggest day of the year for comic book stores, shout out a cool artist, and then discuss the comics themselves!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Thrift Store 18: Eighteen and We Like It!


We're 18 and we like it! This thrift store video is filled with hidden gems, eccentric collectibles, and some truly unexpected movie, music, book, and video game discoveries!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019

Review: The Hustle



One would be forgiven for not immediately realizing that The Hustle is a straight-forward remake of 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, albeit with a female-led cast. There's little in the advertising to indicate this fact aside from the tag line on the poster, which reads "They're giving dirty rotten men a run for their money." And yet, not much has changed. Instead of Michael Caine as the posh British con artist, we have Anne Hathaway, sporting a deliberately-dodgy English accent. Instead of Steve Martin as the wacky comic relief, we have Rebel Wilson occupying much the same role. Aside from the gender switch, the plot and character dynamics are virtually identical: two odd-couple career swindlers place a bet to see who can rip off a wealthy business person by a certain deadline. To achieve this, our characters will have to use every trick in the bag.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Review: Cleopatra Jones (1973)


When it comes to Blaxploitation cinema, it's my opinion that there are two distinct types of films within the genre. In one camp are the films born out of the exploitation scene of the late sixties and early seventies, produced independently and often gritty, authentic, and occasionally even shocking. In the other camp are the films that came slightly later, when the major film studios recognized the trend and started to pursue the genre themselves. These big studio Blaxploitation films often feature slick cinematography, established talent from within the studio system on both sides of the camera, and sometimes feature a more sanitized, broader approach to the genre.

1973's Cleopatra Jones falls into the latter category. Produced by Warner Brothers, this PG-rated outing stars Tamara Dobson (just one year removed from her major motion picture debut in the ensemble cop film Fuzz) as the title character, a sassy, street-wise fox (complete with afro) who just so happens to work for the government in the war against drugs. When we first meet Cleopatra, she's laying waste to a poppy field far from the borders of the United States; but her real trouble starts when she discovers that the battle against drugs must not only be fought on foreign soil, but in her very own hometown neighborhood.

MORE Marvel and DC Comics at Ollie's Bargain Outlet!


We venture back to Ollie's Bargain Outlet for another haul of DIRT CHEAP trade paperback comics from Marvel and DC!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Thrift Store 17: The Men Who Stare At Thrift Stores


It's spring fever at Heath's local thrift stores as TONS of movies, CDs, records, and video games have started showing up again after a long, cold winter!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Review: Shazam!


Shazam! is the latest film to adapt classic DC Comics characters (or Fawcett Comics characters, in this case) to the big screen, and it's the most fun I've had at a modern DC film to date. Maybe that's because I'm not overly steeped in the history and lore of Billy Batson, the mystical wizard, or The Rock of Eternity (which is the name of my album). Maybe it's because I've sat the last few DC films out, exhausted after the CGI spectacle of mass destruction fueled by Zack Snyder's desire to make this universe full of muck and grime, inspired more by the likes of Frank Miller and Alan Moore than by Neal Adams and Julius Schwartz.

When Shazam! works, it's because it's having fun with its central premise. Billy Batson, a troubled orphan with a heart of gold, is granted magical powers when he utters the secret word and is transformed into a hero bigger than Superman. The wonder and joy of a kid who suddenly finds he has super powers allows this movie to have a different perspective than we've seen in most of these films so far, and the plot is almost entirely driven by young people. For some, this is a barrier. For others, this is the appeal. I appreciated the different focus, and I thought the filmmakers mostly kept things from becoming too saccharine or syrupy, though the story does occasionally drift into these areas. 

Censorship In Media (Streaming, Movies, Television, Disney Plus)


With streaming platforms like Disney Plus, Netflix, and Hulu becoming the primary way that millions of consumers are experiencing media, the issue of censorship is more relevant than it's been in years. Not only are entire movies falling into obscurity, but classic films are being edited and modified. In this video, Heath and Bree discuss Song of the South, Dumbo, George Lucas and the Star Wars special editions, and tons of stuff in between to explore the nature of film and entertainment censorship and what place--if any--it serves in today's society.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spidey: Freshman Year (Marvel Must Read)


In this video, we're shining a spotlight on Spidey, a 12-issue Marvel comic that has just been released in an affordable trade paperback! Writer Robbie Thompson strips away all the years of continuity to cut right to the core of what we love about Spider-Man: Peter Parker, high school, and some of the most iconic heroes and villains in all of comics. Spidey is SO MUCH FUN!