Saturday, June 24, 2017

What I've Been Watching: WB June Edition



THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE:



"Lego Batman Movie, The (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) (BD)
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO® Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up."

If Batman Vs Superman left a terrible taste in your mouth due to it's extreme darkness, good news, here's your alternative. While I prefer the dark, serious take on Batman, Lego Batman combines everything that makes Batman so enjoyable for all ages. Using references to all incarnations of Batman from the 60s tv to Batman 89 to The Animated Series and everywhere in between. Now that doesn't automatically mean it's a children's movie, although it is a great movie to show your children. At the same time, there's gonna be something fun and enjoyable for fans of every age.

The story of Batman not wanting to accept new partners or friends is a Batman story as old as the character itself. That's been done to death in every cartoon and movie to date. Using Legos and catering to every audience makes it a little bit more fun. The humor, the in jokes, the fan service. There's no way you can watch this movie and not enjoy it. This movie is a perfect movie for Batman fans and for families looking for a great addition to movie night!

And for those who love Batman 1989 just as much as I do, be sure to keep your ears open when TwoFace talks...Trust me! ;)


In the irreverent spirit of fun that made "The LEGO® Movie" a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble - LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) - stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Special Features: Super Special Features: 4 New Original Animated Shorts, 4 Deleted Scenes, 6 Featurettes
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made "The LEGO® Movie" a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble - LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) - stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Special Features: Super Special Features: 4 New Original Animated Shorts, 4 Deleted Scenes, 6 Featurettes
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made "The LEGO® Movie" a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble - LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) - stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Special Features: Super Special Features: 4 New Original Animated Shorts, 4 Deleted Scenes, 6 Featurettes
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made "The LEGO® Movie" a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble - LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) - stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Special Features: Super Special Features: 4 New Original Animated Shorts, 4 Deleted Scenes, 6 Featurettes
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made "The LEGO® Movie" a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble - LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) - stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Special Features: Super Special Features: 4 New Original Animated Shorts, 4 Deleted Scenes, 6 Featurettes


CHiPs:





"Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Michael Peña) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten-up pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job — inside the CHP. The inexperienced rookie and hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kickstarting a partnership is easier said than done. But with Baker’s bike skills combined with Ponch’s street savvy it might just work…if they don’t drive each other crazy along the way."


 I wasn't born in the 1970s but I remember my family being a huge fan of CHiPs and I certainly recall watching reruns with them, so I kinda knew enough about the show going into this movie. I know a lot of fans who were not looking forward to this because the show meant so much to them. I get it. It's how I felt going into the first 21 Jump Street movie. Sadly, as much as I loved 21 Jump Street, fans of CHiPs didn't love this movie. But I gotta say, I thought it was pretty good.

Ok, this is not the 1970s tv show. It wasn't going to capture that similar feel. It's nearly impossible. Beside, if this movie was going to be exactly like the tv show, there'd be no point. I personally love a when a show gets rebooted into a movie, because even though it's not the original characters or actors, it still offers an extension and grants a new generation a look at an old favorite.

Now that said, there's a lot of goofiness going on in this movie and a lot of sophomoric humor, which I'm a big fan of. I'm also a big fan of Dax Sheppard, who has come a long way since being just a stunt boy on Punk'd. I think comedy is where he shines the most and this was definitely an entertaining effort on his part. I think Michael Pena does a great job playing a straight man to Dax's comedic relief. It's a good pairing and it worked. My only issue with the movie was it relied too heavily on the silly humor and not enough of a story. But then again, when I watch a comedy, I'm more interested in getting laughs than a story. So in those terms, I totally liked this movie and hope for a sequel. Is a sequel possible? I would certainly hope so. Maybe more fans could give it a second chance!

Both of these fun releases get a recommendation out of me! Either movie is a good choice for a laugh or two!


-Chad




Monday, June 19, 2017

Celebrating 25 Years of Batman Returns!

By now, you're probably aware that Batman 1989 is my favorite movie of all time. in 1989, it was a pretty big deal and to this day I think it holds up just so well. Even better, if you were around when that movie came out, you remember just how big of a deal it was and how that entire summer was BATMANIA! Ah and what a time it was! Batman was the coolest thing in the world thanks to this new and fresh take on the character. Batman and Joker shirts, hats and shoes were seen everywhere. Toys, cereal, everything! If it had a Bat-logo, it had to be owned. So of course, with all the money being delivered by the dumptruck full, it made perfect sense to follow it up with a sequel. And after a 3 year wait, were given one




Released on June 19 1992, Batman Returns was Tim Burton's second stab at the Batman universe. While a lot of people thought the first movie was just too dark, although most of those arguments came from those of age to remember Batmania in the 1960s due to the Adam West tv show, this movie was even darker. Michael Keaton came back for the second time to don the cowl of the Dark Knight and knocked it out of the park again.




To fill the gap left by killing off the Joker in the first, WB decided to up the ante and give us not one...but TWO villains for ol' Bats to take on! Kinda makes sense. Second movie, two villains? Yeah, ok. I'll bite! What do you got for me,Tim?



Oh! Ok, then! NOW we're talking...

Photo credit: StanWinstonSchool.com


As much as I loved Jack Nicholson as the over the top Joker, these two were even more insane. Danny Devito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfieffer as Catwoman! Well, I gotta be honest. Up until that the only exposure I had to both characters were the tv show, action figures and some of the comics. So to see Penguin in what seemed to be a more of a wretched demon from Hell was abit strange. This was not the blue and white cigarette smoking Penguin I had grown to know in such a short life. But that said, something about him just sold me. I think more than anything in this movie, Penguin really became the most memorable part. Whereas Batman89 was Joker's movie, this was Penguin's shining moment. I'd even go out of my way to say that out of all the depictions of Penguin, this is by far my favorite of all time. And hey, it even landed him on the cover of Fangoria magazine! Which makes sense considering how monsterous/gothic he looks.



While Penguin stole the movie, Catwoman stole my heart...



Make no bones about it, I've always been a Batgirl kinda guy thanks to Yvonne Craig's portrayal in the 60s tv show, but once Michelle Pfieffer walked across the screen as Catwoman, I suddenly had a new love. In fact, it's safe to say that as great as Julie Newmar was in the 60's, Pfieffer blew her away. Or maybe that's just me. I can actually remember buying one of those Batman Returns picture/behind the scenes books from the book fair at school and taking a photo of Catwoman and putting it next to my pullout poster of Miss Elizabeth on my wall. You couldn't get two more different people. But at age 8, I knew what was up. Catwoman and Michelle Pfieffer were the hottest women int he world in my mind at that time and to this day, it's a hard act to follow.

So here we are. Opening day. My buddy Danny M's older brother worked at the theater and he was going to see the movie that afternoon. Now, it may not be a huge deal now, but to a bunch of 8 year olds, it was. I mean, come on, it was one of our first days of summer break and he's spending it seeing the newest Batman movie! Our parents were working so there's no way we'd get out to see it. But Danny? He had to the hookup. How could we not be envious? As far as my circle of friends were considered, Danny was our god. He'd give us the inside scoop as far as what to expect in the movie. Kids don't care about spoiling, so what did we care? We'd see the movie anyhow! Opening day came and he was off. After the movie, or what we guessed would be the end of the movie, we waited by Danny's house for what seemed like hours (prolly just about half an hour though) for Danny to get back and tell us all about the movie. But, eventually, dinner time came and we went back to our homes. By the time Danny got back, it was late. I think they went to the TGI Fridays across the parking lot or something. So we all wouldn't get the scoop til the day after.

Except me! I got to see the movie that Saturday with my mom and brother. Now, we showed up a bit late, probably about 2 minutes in. I distinctly remember missing the opening scene with Paul Reubens but I do remember seeing the scene of Oswald floating in the basket down the river. From that scene on though, we were off to the races! I was loving it, my brother probably didn't care and I'm sure my mom wanted to be elsewhere. 2 hours later though, I was just excited as I was going in. Sure it wasn't Batman 89, but it was a great followup! It was just so different and I think represented everything great about Tim Burton, Batman as well as movies in the early 90s.



Perfect? Far from it. Still an entertaining movie. While Batman89 is my favorite movie, I gotta say this is a better movie all around. Adding two villains was a bit risky, sure, but it paid off in spades and having more of a Tim Burton vision helped offer a different kind of Batman.



Photo credit: 1989Batman.com
And then the fun part...McDonalds offered cool cups and Happy Meal toys, we got new action figures, cool new shirts and even a cereal! In fact, that summer, I remember heading to a Batman themed party featuring all sorts of cool decorations and fun stuff like Batsignal flashlights, candles, whistles and other fun stuff in the always highly anticipated goodie bag. But....something was sadly missing. Batmania had come and gone and to some, I think it was just another movie. It didn't have the same impact as the first but how could it? Batman 89 set the bar so high for hype and delivery that it would've been virtually impossible.

And then came the backlash...



Remember Catwoman and how I said she was a big crush of mine? Well...a lot of parents weren't happy with just how sexual she really was. I suppose I see the concern. To some, Batman was just a "kiddy comic" and didn't really have many other elements outside of the movie and tv show. Just mindless entertainment. So for Catwoman to be extra sexual, it was different. But I'm guessing those parents didn't ever have an issue with Julie Newmar...


The dark imagery, the violence, some of Penguin's sexual innuendo, and more people dying were a little too much of a headache for WB. On top of that? The McDonalds promotion? Bad idea. Parents already weren't cool with the movie, so seeing Catwoman on cups and toys wasn't making them any happier. After the reviews and only $266.8 Million dollars in receipts (down from 411. 3 Million from the first), the studio decided that Burton was done with hanging out in Gotham City and needed a small break. Of course, they'd welcome him back years later to help put together an unfilmed Superman movie, but that's neither here nor there.

Now, as minor as it seems, Burton leaving had a HUGE impact on the future of Batman movies. Joel Schumacher, known for Lost Boys, St Elmos Fire, Flatliners, just to name a few, was brought on board to helm the next two movies. The next movie, Batman Forever, showcased a different actor as Batman (Val Kilmer, who I think did a great job), Robin made his anticipated appearance and more importantly, was a lot lighter. And we all know what happened what happened when we got Batman and Robin...



Funny sidenote on Batman Returns, Robin was actually slated to appear! Comedian Marlon Wayans was chosen to play Robin and actually given a costume fitting for the famous sidekick, but Burton (who has gone on record for not wanting a Robin in any of his movies to begin with) decided that too many characters would've weighed down the movie. Marlon would be laughing last though, as of 2009, he was still receiving residuals from WB for his participation. And funny enough, he kinda received the action figure with the inclusion of Robin in the Batman Returns toyline...

Photo credit: 1989Batman.com



Not only was this movie a fun summer movie, but it was later a great Christmas tradition. Now, I know there's always an argument for/against Die Hard being a Christmas movie, but there's no argument here. I mean, it's taking place on Christmas, features celebrations, it's snowing. You can't look at it and not think "yikes, that looks cold" and "Christmas movie"

Photos Credit: We Minored In Film
Now, that leads to a fun Christmas tradition I had. On Christmas Eve for about a decade or so in the early to mid 2000's, I'd rent it on VHS, get a 20 piece Chicken McNugget and watch it before I went to church. While that's an odd choice and certainly not the greatest way to spend the birth of our Lord and Savior, let's also not forget, that while McDonalds offered awesome drinks and Happy Meal toys, they also blanketed their food trays and containers with black and white Bat symbols and the characters themselves! So in a weird way, it was kind of a throwback tradition to that time when Batman ruled the earth.





While it wasn't as big of a deal as the first or even as beloved, Batman Returns certainly provided a great chapter in the Batman mythology. And makes a great addition to your Christmas Movie Playlist!

-Chad

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ranking Hershey's Summer Goodies!

We're still a ways away from Halloween, and by that I mean, really a month and a half til we see Halloween goodies hit the stores, but that doesn't mean companies aren't working hard to give us options to satiate our sweet tooth! In fact, I'd argue that we get more amazing summertime treats than we do in the Halloween season. I mean, I could be wrong, but I'd still find a way to slip into an argument. I'm stubborn. Can't help it.

Now, thanks to our friends over at Hershey, our favorite candy bars get a little local twist from cities across America, resulting in somewhat different and unique takes on an old favorite or two...or four...



Now, changing a formula to an already successful product is a little risky (Coke 2, anyone?) but this seems to be seasonal and not a permanent replacement to the traditional favorites. Hersheys is no fool. They know, much like Hulk Hogan circa 1989, where the power lies. But offering a new variety from time to time never hurt anyone. I like new things, so why wouldn't I give this a new try?


I played it cautiously. Didn't wanna go too overboard with these new items. Just wanted to do one of each for now. As stubborn as I am, I'm no gambler. What would happen if I didn't like a Strawberry KitKat, but I had bought 10 of them? I'd be SOL. And you know what that means...

Luckily, most if not all flavors were pretty good. Which ones made the grade? Let's take a quick look!

REESES WITH HONEY (Georgia):



Peanut butter and honey are quite the delicious combination, but add some of that trademark Hersheys chocolate, you've got a winner. The taste of honey isn't as in your face as you'd hope, but it's still a nice addition. Subtle, more or less an after taste, but it's still a welcome addition to Reeses lovers. Definitely a fan.



PAYDAY TEXAS BBQ (Well...duh...Texas)


I love peanuts and caramel, but Payday is never a bar I pick up. It's a cool idea for a candy bar but it's kinda plain. I mean it's essentially a Snickers minus the chocolate, which is prolly the reason I don't pick it up. Although, I bet if I melted this and mixed it into my ice cream sundaes it would taste great.

However, this bar may be the exception. I'm a big fan of BBQ, so this had my interest the most. I was expecting it to be the best of the group. While I don't consider it the best, I certainly did enjoy it a lot more than a normal Payday. The BBQ seasoning definitely added some zest to kick this baby up a notch. I'd say this is my favorite of the group, but the best is yet to come...


HERSHEYS CHERRY CHEESECAKE (NU YAWK SIT-AY) :


Ok, wasn't a fan of this one in the least. Maybe it's the fact that I absolutely hate cherry flavored anything. However, I was willing to put my hatred aside since it would be mixed with cheesecake flavoring. I always enjoy cheesecake and I thought "well, couldn't be too bad, right?"

Well...this was indeed my most hated. I gave it a chance and just couldn't do it. It tastes like stale cherry cough syrup mixed with some vanilla chocolate. Plain and simple. Although, if you're a fan of cherries more than I am, I'm sure you'd enjoy it way more than I did.



STRAWBERRY KITKAT (San Francisco):

 
Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar? We'll see...

This was the one I thought I'd hate the most. Much like cherry, I HATE artificial strawberry flavored anything. However this, despite my hesitation, didn't taste like it came from Axis Chemicals and I actually enjoyed these. The flavor was a little bit more present than the Reeses but it still was clearly enough to make a difference. I think fans of KitKat are going to be very pleased with this one as a companion to the regular chocolate offering. Of all the flavors offered in this line, I feel like this could be the champ.


Well done, Hersheys. Well. Done. You made me like something I normally don't like. And isn't that the most important part?


-Chad




Friday, May 26, 2017

What I'm Watching: WB Edition




FistFight:





Synposis: " Ice Cube and Charlie Day star as high school teachers prepared to solve their differences the hard way. On the last day of the year, mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell (Day) is trying his best to keep it together amidst senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that put jobs on the line. But things go from bad to worse when he accidentally crosses his much tougher and deeply feared colleague, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), who challenges Campbell to an old-fashioned throwdown after school. News of the fight spreads like wildfire and ends up becoming the very thing this school, and Campbell, needed. "


I love Charlie Day. I also love Ice Cube. Both actors are absolutely talented and have a lot of strengths. Comedy is one of those strengths. So put them both together for a comedy and I'm in. From what seems to be inspired by 3 O' Clock High, I walked into this movie hoping for a good laugh and that's what I got. Sure, there were a few moments in the film that dragged on but for the most part, it was a fun movie. Charlie and Ice Cube played off each other so well which, being polar opposites in every possible way, which lead to hilarious situations and gags. Some fun throwbacks to Ice Cube's previous roles and rap career also find themselves into this movie but not in a "holy crap, they just had to shoehorn that" kinda way.

This feels like the kinda movie I'd include in an all day comedy marathon and could go on to become a cult favorite among comedy fans. I certainly hope more people will check this out, as it is worth your purchase.



DC SuperHero Girls: Intergalactic Games:



Synopsis: " Super Hero High is facing off against Korugar Academy in the Intergalactic Games, but Lena Luthor takes advantage of the gathering of Supers to enact her villainous plan. "

DC SuperHero Girls is one of the latest in the series of animated series and movies garnered to a younger audience. This show is mainly targeted at young girls, in the same vein as She-Ra or Sailor Moon. Which is a pretty fun concept, considering how many women are in the DC Universe who don't normally get their own spotlight. So far, this series and line of merchandising has become very popular with not just children but adults as well. I've met fans of all ages who enjoy it because of it's Saturday morning cartoon throwback feel and carefree style. I know if I was a kid when this debuted, I'd be watching it and enjoying it.

Even better? I'm an adult who watches it and enjoys it.

This feature length movie is a fun addition to your DC Comics animated collection and as juvenile as it can be at times, it still has a tone that sets it apart and reminds you of how fun super fun comic characters used to be and how enjoyable they still can be, all while bringing the kid out in all of us!


Wonder Woman: 



Synopsis: " On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a daughter of untold beauty, grace and strength Princess Diana. When an Army fighter pilot, Steve Trevor, crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the god of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge - intending to start a world war that will not only last for centuries but will wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons! It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! "


 A rerelease of the 2009 animated movie, which became an instant favorite and classic among superhero fans. Until 2009, Wonder Woman didn't have her own feature to shine. She was relegated to appearing on Justice League or Super Friends cartoons through the years while others like Batman and Superman had their own series. For years fans had been clamoring for her own series or movie and finally, we were treated to it. Wonder Woman was at her finest and showing what made the character so great: brave, strong, bold, and sympathetic. Wonder Woman finally got the spotlight she truly deserved.


For fans who missed out though, have the opportunity to make up that mistake by picking up this rerelease with awesome cover new art! With great new featurettes, as well as a sneak peak for the upcoming Harley Quinn and Batman feature as well (which, judging by the trailer, looks absolutely hilarious) .

Features include:


  • Featurette – What Makes A Wonder Woman: For 75 years, Wonder Woman has resonated with audiences because of her loving nature and quest for truth. Hear some of her biggest fans and fellow creators discuss how her qualities have crafted her into the icon we know today. This featurette is about ten minutes long.
  • Sneak Peek – Batman and Harley Quinn: Sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie, Batman, and Harley Quinn, featuring the talented creators and voice cast. This comes in at being nine minutes long.
  • Creative Team Commentary: Scene and film analysis by producers Bruce Timm & Gregory Noveck, director Lauren Montgomery and screenwriter Michael Jelenic.
  • Featurette – Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream – A definitive look at a psychologist’s dream, and the rich history of one of the pillars of DC Comics. This featurette is about twenty-six minutes long
  • Featurette – Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth – This revealing documentary explores the archetype and tradition of the female DC Comics Super Hero. This enjoyable featurette is again approximately twenty-six minutes long.
 If you're a fan of superheroes and are looking for a good way to prepare for the new live action Wonder Woman movie, this is a must own. Solid film, superb animation and writing, great features, and a perfect addition to your shelf.


-Chad
Celebrate the princess who becomes the World's Greatest Super Heroine in this Commemorative Edition of the epic story of Wonder Woman's origin. On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength - Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world - by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! - See more at: http://www.wbshop.com/product/wonder+woman-+commemorative+edition+%28blu-ray+-+dvd+-+ultraviolet+combo%29+1000632628.do#sthash.iUnUvtXF.dpuf
Celebrate the princess who becomes the World's Greatest Super Heroine in this Commemorative Edition of the epic story of Wonder Woman's origin. On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength - Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world - by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! - See more at: http://www.wbshop.com/product/wonder+woman-+commemorative+edition+%28blu-ray+-+dvd+-+ultraviolet+combo%29+1000632628.do#sthash.iUnUvtXF.dpuf
Celebrate the princess who becomes the World's Greatest Super Heroine in this Commemorative Edition of the epic story of Wonder Woman's origin. On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength - Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world - by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! - See more at: http://www.wbshop.com/product/wonder+woman-+commemorative+edition+%28blu-ray+-+dvd+-+ultraviolet+combo%29+1000632628.do#sthash.iUnUvtXF.dpuf
Celebrate the princess who becomes the World's Greatest Super Heroine in this Commemorative Edition of the epic story of Wonder Woman's origin. On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength - Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world - by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! - See more at: http://www.wbshop.com/product/wonder+woman-+commemorative+edition+%28blu-ray+-+dvd+-+ultraviolet+combo%29+1000632628.do#sthash.iUnUvtXF.dpuf
Celebrate the princess who becomes the World's Greatest Super Heroine in this Commemorative Edition of the epic story of Wonder Woman's origin. On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength - Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world - by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! - See more at: http://www.wbshop.com/product/wonder+woman-+commemorative+edition+%28blu-ray+-+dvd+-+ultraviolet+combo%29+1000632628.do#sthash.iUnUvtXF.dpuf
Celebrate the princess who becomes the World's Greatest Super Heroine in this Commemorative Edition of the epic story of Wonder Woman's origin. On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength - Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world - by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman! - See more at: http://www.wbshop.com/product/wonder+woman-+commemorative+edition+%28blu-ray+-+dvd+-+ultraviolet+combo%29+1000632628.do#sthash.iUnUvtXF.dpuf

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hitting The 2017 McDonaldHouse Sale

 This line means something...It means I'm insane for the 4 day journey I'm about to embark upon...


Twice a year, the local chapter of the Ronald McDonaldHouse runs a 4 day donation driven charity sale with all proceeds going to helping local families in need. It's a great opportunity to help those less fortunate as well as a nice opportunity to pick up some good items to add to your pop culture collection. The sale takes place in a giant warehouse and is divided into multiple departments from clothes to jewelry to furniture to toys to movies and everything in between. And I do mean EVERYTHING.





But to get to the sale, you have to walk through that legendary hallway. It's a good two minute walk, but until you walk into that sale, it feels like the longest two minutes of your life.


Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Be prepared to do a LOT of walking around. Everytime I've hit this sale, I've discovered new nooks and crannies that I find some cool stuff, which I dig, because next show, it usually leads to new spots to look for treasures. This time, I found a spot that included old camcorders and filming equipment. I've been on the hunt for a HI-8 camera to convert my old tapes, so maybe next time I'll find one...


Before I continue, let's address the cult hero of the Sale: The Halloween Room. I've written about it before and it's just as great as you can imagine. For Halloween fanatics, it's a breath of fresh air. Oh sure, Halloween will spring up everywhere in two months, but some of us need our fix of everything Pumpkin-y.

Yowza! Looks like the room was relegated to the larger items and the rest of the decorations were given their own table all the way in the corner of the holiday section. I'm ok with this. More Halloween the better! Besides, who's gonna complain when they're staring Halloween goodness. I can't describe the feeling of seeing all this stuff in one spot. It's a nice warmup for what we can expect to see come August/September.




There's also a massive toy section in which it's not uncommon to find some good action figures from time to time. Mainly a lot of superhero toys, McDonalds toys, My Little Pony knockoffs and lots of Rescue Heroes. Of course, then there's the occasional toy line being misspelled...last time it was "Monsters of The Universe". This time...

NINGA TURTLES.


Well, I mean, no one's perfect. Besides, I've littered this blog with numerous typos, who am I to judge?


Ok, let's get to the fun part. Time to check out the goods I walked away with:


CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY:

Whew. Not the biggest book collector, but I know something awesome when I find it. From what I'm told by some of my friends who are book experts is that while it's a first print edition. Well, one of the first prints. Apparently, a couple of editions were printed in this time frame and thankfully, this book is one of them. So I'm very happy to hear that!

And yes, it includes the depiction of the Oompa Loompa in a very offensive manner, which I don't think would be the best in taste to post.



BATMAN THE OFFICIAL MOVIE BOOK:



I'm a big time Batman 89 collector and I can honestly say I've never seen this out in the wild before. It was just sitting all alone on the bottom of a book shelf while other shoppers were looking at Goosebumps books. I shamelessly swooped in and grabbed it. It had to be mine. It's a hardcover book featuring great colored photos of the cast and scenes from the movie as well as pre production art, designs and concepts for characters, vehicles and Gotham. It's a fantastic piece to my collection.


BACK TO THE FUTURE LUNCHBOX:



Last year, I found a Robocop lunchbox and now I find THIS! Of all the lunchboxes of my youth, I'm very surprised I don't recall this one. I went to school with a lot of kids who loved BTTF but I don't remember seeing any sitting on the lunch tables. It's a pretty basic design, but what else do you need? Sure Marty riding his hoverboard would've been cool, but you can't truly get criticize any BTTF merch from that era considering it was so few and far between. Totally loving this.


WATCHES:



Out of all my finds, these were by far my favorite. I'm not a watch collector but there's no way I wasn't walking away without these. The Batman watch was very clearly going to end up in my collection one way or the either. I'm a big fan of not just Batman 89 merch but anything from that era, and this seems to be from Batman Returns, which was even crazier of a merchandising bonanza if you can imagine it. According to my research, there were also Penguin and Catwoman watches, which now I have to keep my eye open for those as well.

 That Garfield watch is pretty incredible and just sums up the greatness of what was the Garfield merchandising machine int he 80s/90s. Who wouldn't wear a orange and spotted band? Oh and that face:


 The true champion of this haul? Those Dick Tracy watches!!! I'm go more into detail later, as I have a lot to say about these, but I cannot tell you how excited I was to find these. I've seen them go for anywhere between 15-25 bucks so to pick them up for only $3 each, was an easy decision.

Oh yes, not only did the lovely ladies manning the jewelry table sell me these great watches, but they threw these in as well...

NINJA TURTLE LUNCHBAGS!!!! WHAT?!?!?! THESE ARE AMAZING!


Ok, maybe my level of excitement for the lunchbags equaled the Dick Tracy watches. All I'm missing is something WWF-related from the early 90s and I would be directly in first grade again...


PEANUTS BOOK AND RANDOM TOYS:

This was all my fiancee's doing. On top of finding Pyrex (of which she has a very unhealthy obsession with) she also did some awesome digging around the toy and book section. She went to the Sale after work and picked up some random toys for eBay and an awesome Peanuts coffee table book for me. Also of note, she found the last McNugget buddy I needed to complete my collection. So there's that. True love, fam.


COOL RANDOM ITEMS:



A 90210 puzzle, two Batman Forever mugs and a Twinkie The Kid container were more on the random side of my finds. Alone, they come in handy for their respective purposes, but combined, they present they become a full on party. I could totally have some friends over, pour drinks int he mugs, put on a puppet show with Twinkie The Kid and we could put together that puzzle. Not a bad deal at all! Also, I'm sure if the power goes out and I'm in desperate need for entertainment, I'm sure I won't stay bored for long...

VHS AND DVD:


I'm always walking away with a massive amount of vhs. Some rare, some not. But the first vhs I locked eyes on was that Rad tape, a very sought after tape by collectors due to the fact that Rad has yet to be released on any medium after vhs. The rest of the haul was great but it's all garnish compared to the tale of Cru Jones and his Rad-ness.


So I'm sure wondering about that box. Well, ont he last day, you're given a small box and told to fill it up as much as you can for $3. Well, I went through about 4 boxes just of movies and records. The rest of the haul, is quite mighty....

I know what you're thinking: "Two copies of Constantine?" Well, truth is, I just grabbed any and all movies I could, so I'm sure it's not the only movie I'd be laughed at for picking up. I proudly admit that I am very happy with finding that unopened copy of Young Guns!

At 12 bucks, I found more movies than I have room for. I may have gone a bit overboard...But it's still all going to a great cause, so...I can justify that way right?

Right.


This years sale was it's most massive to date. The rumor is that it could very well be the last year at this particular location. I've grown to love this spot and the charm of all the departments and random corners it contains, but you gotta get bigger and better. If the rumor was true, I would love to see the next place it calls home next year.One thing's for certain, I would miss that hallway.


If they do move, I certainly hope I get to see this talking Urkel dolls for a ridiculous price tag of $40 again. As laughable as it was, I can't say I'd be shocked if *someone* bought him...

So stay tuned, there's a lot of great flea markets and thrifting adventures to come in the next few months! It's summer, so that can only mean MORE AWESOME FINDS!


-Chad






Saturday, April 29, 2017

Checking Out DinoDrac's April FunPack!

So there I am, coming home from work, when I discover that my apartment was invaded by Dinosaur Dracula!




Well sort of. My buddy Matt, who's been running DD, and formerly of X-Entertainment.com, does a sweet monthly "FunPack" subscription service where the delightful taste of nostalgia hits you right in your face! Trading cards, stickers, a snack and maybe a toy or two, all waiting for you in one nice package! I had been gifted a holiday FunPack years ago by my fiance but that was before these became a monthly thing.

So here we are. I decided to take the plunge. I sold a bunch stuff on eBay and decided "hey, why not try out this DD funpack? What's the worse that can happen?". A roll of the dice financially, I'm sure, but I really wanted to try to get this one. Why, you ask? Well, read on to find out!


First off, it's not a funpack without trading cards. I'm a huge fan of old trading cards and these are some packs that I haven't gotten my hands on in quite sometime. Some great packs but I haven't been this close to an Awesome AllStars cards in years. I continue to love the parody/gross-out cards to this day and it's thanks to my childhood love of going to the general store and grabbing a pack. A great mix of cards for any subscriber. Who doesn't love opening old card packs? Sends you back to your childhood in no time!!!

Oh and hey, check out that He-Man card too! Cool!



Still on that trading card high? Well, lucky you! A print featuring some memorable trading card boxes is all yours to place on your bookcase or desk or wherever the heck you want! Some favorites on here including TMNT 2, Simpsons, Harry and the Henderson and of course Gremlins, which is the first that caught my eye. I had picked up quite a few Gremlins 2 packs in 1990 and in fact have a card that was made into a magnet by a friend of mine on my fridge. I love this. It's gonna look great taped on my vhs cabinet!





Ahhhh...a "Superhero Sack" featuring one randomly chosen PVC Marvel figure. I feel like a lot of properties back in the late 80s/early 90s were given the PVC figurine but I definitely remember comic book characters getting them. With comic book characters, especially Marvel, being such a huge part of our current pop culture landscape, these are a sweet addition. Even better, it looks like Thor is laying down some serious disco dancing, so how would I not want him on my shelf next to other PVC figures?

In every funpack, Matt throws in an a personal childhood story/essay and a newsletter where he dishes out a challenge to get your creativity on. Usually something that relates to that months contents. This month's challenge was to combine two characters into one. Now, I'm not the most artistic person, but I decided to at least attempt to create something. It's not gold or even good, but I present to you "Fredsday Addams" where I combined Freddy Krueger and the Addams Family as a whole. Hence the cigar and "Thing":

Well...I tried, right?

A Power Rangers sticker was part of this month's pack as well. I got King Sphinx fighting the Rangers Zords. I am such a sucker for prizm/vending machine stickers so this is a nice addition. On top of that, a DinoDrac sticker is included every month. So the sticker fan in me is happier than a pig in crap. Two stickers to add to my collection!

A little hungry after all that drawing? Don't worry, a snack of some sort is always included! This month's snack was Herr's Deep Dish Curls. Now, pizza flavored chips or crackers are one thing that I'm sure we're all accustomed to but cheese curls? That certainly caught my eye. Normally, something like this can go awry but it most certainly delivered one heckuva punch int he taste buds. I normally don't eat cheese curls and puffs that don't have a cartoon cheetah but these...oh my these...


These are probably, next to pizza flavored Combos, my new favorite pizza flavored snack. A lot big flavor in a tiny curl. I couldn't ask for a better snack to be included in this box. On top of that, I really need to seek more of these out. I'm really having issue just describing them in words. If you see them, pick them up.


Now. The main event and the big draw in my opinion. FREDDY KRUEGER BUBBLE GUM. From 1988, these are quite the desirable items from Freddy collectors. I've already got one, but I'm always...ALWAYS...on the hunt for more.


"Freddy The Sex Symbol" is the container I got. I'm very happy with it. It's one of the containers I was hoping for. Freddy's charisma certainly projects an image that can be found attractive by men and women but I can't say I've ever met anyone who's said they can compare him to a Bradley Cooper or James Dean, but hey, I had a crush on Naomi Harper from Mama's Family as a kid, so to each their own.

Oh and yes, that is the original gum. Dare I eat it? Well, no. I value having teeth. But I have been tempted. Believe you me.





What else can I say about this box? It's pretty fantastic. I can only imagine how much fun next month's box is going to be! Keep your eyes peeled for the May Funpack as well as some great articles on pop culture, toys, video stores and more by heading over to DinosaurDracula.com !


-Chad