Sunday, December 31, 2017

More About The Last Jedi and the Conversations We SHOULD Be Having

So here's a true story: I woke up in the middle of the night with all these The Last Jedi debates raging in my head and couldn't go back to sleep for at least an hour. I just lay there thinking about all the internet outrage over this divisive movie (that, as I write this, has just been named the highest-grossing film of 2017) and this article you're now reading began to crystalize in my head. I'm not sure I'll be able to put it together with the clarity that I had in the pre-dawn hours of the early a.m., but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I hadn't planned on writing anything else about this movie, and I've been enjoying some time off for the holidays. Besides, neither the world nor the internet need another write-up about The Last Jedi. I can't imagine anything needing to be said that hasn't been already, I go writing another piece on the movie. Part of why I feel it's necessary is because I was so glowing on the movie when I wrote "Why Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi is Good for Star Wars", and the level of outrage had not yet reached the crescendo that it has for the past couple of weeks. In the days following the release of the movie, I was seeing more and more anger and outright hate online, usually directed with unbridled venom at the people responsible for making or starring in the movie. Really I'm writing this because the world is a different place three weeks after the release of this movie. At least, it seems like it is to me.

Spoilers for all Star Wars movies follows.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Outlaw Bart Thrasher

Infamous Alabama outlaw Bart Thrasher lived a short, violent existence, but his tale is the stuff of campfire legends. In the turbulent years following the Civil War, Bart Thrasher robbed, murdered, and terrorized Bloody Bibb County, making national news and reminding everyone that the dangers of the Wild West extended all the way to Alabama.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Why Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi is Good for Star Wars (SPOILERS)

I won't beat around the bush: I absolutely love The Last Jedi. It was the movie that I've been daring to hope for, finally giving me faith that the Disney era of Star Wars can offer its own thing but still have the timelessness and emotional power that many of the other numbered saga films possess. I'm still too excited, even several days after watching the movie, to put together something tightly-written that would resemble a review, so bear with me as I get my thoughts down on how this movie delivered what I, what I needed, and what Star Wars itself needed in order to MATTER to a new generation. More importantly, if you're skeptical of this movie, maybe I can shed some light on why I think this is the right step forward. I'm not an expert. I'm not a critic. I'm just a fan so excited about something that I have to write about it. The internet is a toxic place where honesty and respect rarely go hand in hand, but maybe, just maybe, I can bear my soul and at least show you how I see The Last Jedi.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Net Neutrality: Is This Really a Good Thing?

Disney's purchase of the film and television assets of 20th Century Fox is major news, and it comes at the same time that the FCC repeals net neutrality. Let's dig in and explore the long-term impact of these two major entertainment developments.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

My Huge, Crazy Star Wars Movie Collection

There are very few things that are as awesome as Star Wars, and I've accumulated a large, incredible, weird collection of the movies and TV shows over the years. Come join me for a tour of my Star Wars video collection as we celebrate the  magic of a Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away! Long live Star Wars!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Rolling Stones: ON AIR Review - Live at the BBC & The Down Side of Physical Media (CD, Vinyl)

Rolling Stones: ON AIR is a new collection that contains live performances recorded by the band for the BBC's various radio programs between 1963 and 1965. How does this collection stack up in the overall Stones discography? Plus, a further discussion of physical media and a small rant against Amazon!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baywatch (2017)

 Baywatch (2017) is one of the latest attempts by a major movie studio to rely on name recognition of a past property in hopes that audiences will support the movie out of familiarity. Recent other attempts at the same thing have included CHiPs, 21 Jump Street and its sequel, 22 Jump Street. Often times, these movies have only the thinnest of connections with the awesome thing that they're "based" upon, which begs the question "who are these movies for?" Anyone who watched the TV shows that provide inspiration for these movies will be unhappy because they are so tonally different, and younger audiences who didn't grow up with those old TV shows won't care because they have no emotional investment.

Baywatch bears almost no resemblance to the show that it takes its name from. Sure, there are very fit people in bikinis and tight trunks running on the beach, usually in slow motion. But that, along with a couple of character names, is the only connection to the show that was (and I think still is) the biggest success in the history of TV. I'm not even joking: TV's Baywatch aired in more markets and was watched by more people than any other show on television. Let's get something out of the way here. People say Baywatch was just about watching hot people wearing next to nothing. While there's no denying the jiggle factor, saying Baywatch was only about skin is like saying Walker: Texas Ranger was only about cowboy hats. While those things were always there, they weren't the focus of the show. Baywatch was a soap opera that would find the characters saving lives, stopping crime, and struggling with interpersonal relationships and personal issues on a weekly basis. The jiggle was just part of the scenery. Important scenery, sure, but never the focus.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Midnight Music: John Carpenter's Doctor Who

This is not my video, but I'm posting it here because I love it and I think it deserves to be appreciated by as many people as possible. Fact #1: John Carpenter is the best. Fact #2: Doctor Who is also the best. YouTube's GeorgeCMusic decided to combine the two together and created something that is so awesome that I can hardly stand it. The marriage of seventies-era John Carpenter synthesizer with seventies era Doctor Who (think Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor) hits me right where I live. It's spooky in exactly the way that it needs to be and sounds JUST LIKE what Ron Grainer's classic Doctor Who theme would have sounded like if John Carpenter worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop circa 1978.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Collecting Physical Media in a Digital World (DVD Disc VS Streaming)

Your eccentric uncle is back for an open conversation about collecting physical media in a world that has moved to streaming services as a primary source of entertainment. How has the marketplace changed in the last ten years? In the last FIVE? What impact has this shift had on the sales, availability, and general public opinion of those shiny discs that now serve as drink coasters? Is Netflix the devil, or a savior? These are questions that scholars like Socrates and Plato debated to a draw, but we're going to see if we can answer them once and for all! Gather 'round and huddle up beside the fire with a bowl of your favorite cereal, because we're gonna dig deep into the debate, Midnight-style.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

I hate having to write this. Batman and Harley Quinn should have been great. This movie reunites some of the people behind the now-legendary 1990s TV show Batman: The Animated Series and clearly was intended to point directly to the iconic and groundbreaking cartoon adventures of the Caped Crusader. To my memory, we haven't had a Warner Brothers animated Batman-specific movie directly connected to the '90s series in years. Kevin Conroy returns here as the voice of Batman, but we're also treated to the return of Loren Lester as the voice of Dick Grayson, aka Robin/Nightwing. With many direct connections to the animated series, a spotlight on Harley Quinn, a character who is more popular than ever, and a story by Bruce Timm, the father of Batman: TAS, what could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Robbers' Roost (1955)

One of the things that continues to amaze me about westerns from the 1950s is that, despite the fact that hundreds (if not more) of them were made during the decade, each one feels unique and special with a different focus, tone, and style. Even westerns that star the same actors and film in the same locations manage to retain an individuality that never fails to impress me. Robbers' Roost is another solid entry that helps to make the case that the fifties were the pinnacle of westerns on film. Furthermore, this movie comes from 1955, a year that I maintain is a very special one for movie fans. In fact, I wrote a ten-part series about the movies of 1955 over at F This Movie, highlighting how the films from that year represent a change in complexity and a deeper focus on more realistic characters.

Consider George Montgomery in Robbers' Roost. The actor plays our lead here, and we're introduced to him at the beginning of the movie when he walks in on a gang in a saloon. Nothing about his discovery of this gang seems to be an accident. On the contrary, he's apparently been looking for these men. However, we're not sure if our lead is a good guy or a bad guy. He has every appearance of being an outlaw or a drifter, and we're not clued in on his motivations until the very end of the movie. That tone provides a new level of ambiguity to cinematic storytelling that had only been seen in the likes of noir films, and it paved the way for totally gray characters we'd get in movies like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. It's no secret that the Italian spaghetti western directors of the 1960s drew their influence from the American westerns of the 1950s.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving/100th Post!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! This year brings special cause for me to celebrate and be thankful, because this is the 100TH POST on this site. That wouldn't mean a thing without YOU.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Three Reasons Stranger Things Works

It's only been a little over a year since its debut, but Stranger Things has become a massive pop culture phenomenon and an incredible success for Netflix. We've boiled that success down to three key factors that we believe are the secret to the show's popularity and achievements.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Kind of Magic: #4: Highlander the Series - "The Gathering"

1992's Highlander: The Series came along at just the right time. After Highlander 2, the franchise (which was only two movies) was in the toilet and even the most passionate fans complained that the sequel had ruined something that was once fresh and cool. Along comes the TV show, which offers what is essentially a soft reboot. The syndicated series ignores the second movie altogether, instead choosing to go back to the things that made the FIRST movie feel so special, albeit with a few tweaks. Gone is any reference to another planet or any hint at alien technology. Gone is the futuristic slant and the high-concept premise. Instead, we return to the time of "The Gathering" when only a few immortals remain and must battle until to the death. The premise is its mantra: in the end, there can be only one. The series plays things close to "real;" the only fantastical elements within the series are the Quickenings that occur when an immortal is slain and a sort of "Spidey Sense" that immortals now have to let them know when another of their kind is around, presumably to prevent ambush. The gritty tone from the first film serves as the template for the series, much to its benefit. The music of Queen and the rock and roll swagger is back. If you can't tell, this was MY Highlander.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Trip with the Teacher (1975)

 As far as your midnight movie plots go, there's nothing inherently unique about Trip with the Teacher. On the surface, this is your standard "mad motorcycle maniacs terrorize the innocent" plot, but it's done with so much style and at least one particularly stunning performance that it easily stands out against similar films.

Brenda Fogarty (The Beach Bunnies) is a prim and proper teacher who is leading a handful of her female students (including Cathy Worthington in her debut) on an expedition into the desert to observe some Native American artifacts. Jack Driscoll (Garden of the Dead) is their bus driver, a stout man who is the spitting image of Sterling Hayden (The Godfather), circa 1957. Elsewhere in the desert, two motorcyclists, played by Zalman King (Galaxy of Terror) and Robert Porter (Mackenna's Gold), are broken down on the side of the road. Another motorcyclist happens upon them, played by Robert Gribbin (Hitch Hike to Hell), and when he offers to help, we quickly learn that he's a nice guy with a job and responsibilities while the other two are simply looking for trouble. Before long, they find that trouble when everyone's paths cross and the two crazy cyclists begin terrorizing the girls and their bus driver in the middle of nowhere. Our upstanding heroic male lead waits for just the right time to spring into action as the game turns into a fight for survival.

Friday, November 10, 2017

HUGE DC Super Heroes Action Figure Haul (Justice League)

Check out this huge collection of DC Super Heroes action figures found at a yard sale! There are some old favorites here, as well some unique figures included that might surprise you!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Fort Massacre (1958)

Fort Massacre is one of the many smaller westerns from the 1950s that features an excellent script, solid performances, and beautiful cinematography. The film was released by United Artists and was directed by Joseph M. Newman, the same guy who made the underrated sci-fi classic This Island Earth. The story follows the U.S. Cavalry's C Troop as they navigate Apache country after an ambush that left a number of their men either dead or injured. They're trying to get to their outpost 100 miles away while under constant fire from hostile natives. It's the same plot that could have been (and was) used for a ton of war movies, but the draw of Fort Massacre isn't the story; the real beauty is watching these characters as they deal with what appears to be a no-win situation.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cereal Review: French Toast Crunch

As I write this, I'm 99% positive that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is my favorite breakfast cereal. It ages with me well, offering a good whole grain base that's lightly sweetened and has a deliciously-balanced cinnamon and sugar coating that tastes great, even if it does leave a slimy film in my mouth like I've been licking frogs again. So when I finally decided to try its sister cereal, French Toast Crunch, it was with some hesitation (it looks like a big departure from CTC), but also a little bit of nervous excitement. 

French Toast Crunch was originally introduced back in 1995 by the folks at General Mills and was around until 2006, when it was pulled from American store shelves (but remained available in Canada). But since everything old is new again, the folks at General Mills dusted off the idea for America in 2015, relaunching it nationwide where it still occupies valuable shelf space as of this writing. Before this review, I'd never tried French Toast Crunch. To be perfectly honest with you, I don't remember seeing it on the shelves before the 2015 revival at all. With mounting curiosity and an eager 11-year-old in tow, I pulled the trigger and bought a box. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Is Superman a Killer?

Zack Snyder's Man of Steel (starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Michael Shannon) asks the question: does Superman kill? Furthermore, should he? Looking at the source material from the comics, the answer might surprise you.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Kind of Magic #3: Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)

One of the reasons I started this site is because I wanted to champion stuff that our culture at large dismisses. A big part of that involves taking a deeper look at "bad" movies and conveying the things that I enjoy about them. You can usually see the humanity and enthusiasm of the people who made them under the cheesy effects and crappy scripts. With that being said, Highlander II: The Quickening is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, made without any love or care at all.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985)

If you're a child of the 1980s, you probably have fond memories of this Halloween special that originally aired October 30th, 1985 on CBS. The half-hour show was a staple of my annual Halloween viewing habits for years, and I vividly remember this being the topic of conversation during school the day after it debuted. What I appreciated about it then is what I still appreciate about it now: it tried to be scary, and it was. So often with kid's fare, the creators pull their punches at the last minute, but Garfield's Halloween Adventure doesn't really let the viewer off the hook. The ghosts of long dead pirates are real.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition DVD Review

Let's dig deep into the new special edition DVD release of Alice Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare" concert film from 1976. This disc also features the 1975 ABC TV special "Alice Cooper: The Nightmare" for the FIRST TIME EVER ON DVD! Is this worth picking up, or should you pass? Check out the video to find out.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Horror Remakes and a Tale of Two Fogs

I just sat down and re-watched the 2005 remake of John Carpenter's 1980 classic The Fog. I had seen it when it was new, which I guess makes sense, since I was in my mid-twenties back in 2005 and pretty much the entire cast was also of a similar age at the time. You could even argue that the movie was tailor made for me: it stars Tom Welling, whom I really enjoyed on Smallville, Maggie Grace, who I watched on Lost, and Selma Blair, who was--and still is--reason enough to watch any movie. So by starring actors I was interested in and who were also close to my own age, The Fog felt current. And yet that movie failed to make much of an impression on me in 2005, so much so that my memory of it since then has been that's it's okay, but really just "meh."

But in the years since I saw the remake, I did see (and subsequently fell in love with) John Carpenter's original. Furthermore, John Carpenter has gone from a director whose films I knew and thought I appreciated to a filmmaker that I now consider to be a modern master. Yes, his filmography has missteps, I know. Still, you add up his hits and you'll see that his track record speaks for itself. Anyway, this isn't about John Carpenter, this is about the remake of The Fog and the undying trend by Hollywood of remaking movies, almost always badly.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976)

This is not my video, but I'm putting it here because it fits right in with what Cereal At Midnight is all about. This Halloween special aired on October 29, 1976 on the ABC network. You really have to see it to believe it. Starring the flamboyant comedian and actor Paul Lynde, who I still can't quite believe was embraced by middle-America, this special mirrors his acerbic-yet-silly tone. It also featuring appearances by Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz), Tim Conway, Roz "Pinky Tuscadero" Kelly, Florence Henderson, Billy Barty, Betty White, Donny and Marie Osmond, and the rock band KISS. The seventies were nothing if not insane, and this is the proof.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Count Chocula's Revenge (Eating Expired Count Chocula Monster Cereal)

Witness the dangers of expired breakfast foods! Beware, o cereal connoisseur, the pitfalls of greed and gluttony! Woe to the mortal that suffers the revenge of Count Chocula!!!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Huge Yard Sale CASSETTE TAPE Find! Instant Collection!

Check out this massive collection of cassette tapes from a recent yard sale find! Also, a discussion about physical media and the relationship we have with our stuff.

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!