Monday, June 22, 2015

Thrashin'!


(Warning, if you've never seen Thrashin, you should probaby stop reading this. It contains spoilers. Although, if you're reading this, it's a great chance you've already seen it. If you haven't, I implore you to go out and buy it. I love movies like this and I think you will too.)



RAD

GLEAMING THE CUBE

THRASHIN'





If you're an 80s film geek or a fan, these 3 movie titles mean something. Universally accepted as the holy trinity of 80s extreme sports movies. Whether it's the high flying action of Rad, the inherent coolness of Christian Slater in Gleaming the Cube, or the over the top fun of Thrashin', all three must be seen and owned. Sadly, Rad hasn't been released on a media format since VHS. Gleaming the Cube hasn't seen a dvd release since 2002. And until now, Thrashin' has also been out of print. But thanks to Olive Films, that problem is being rectified. Because for the first time, Thrashin' skates right onto a bluray release.

Taking place in mid-80s LA, Thrashin' tells the story of Cory Webster,(Josh Brolin), a rad skateboarder who leads an LA skate gang called the The Ramp Locals with one of the Lost Boys, parties with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and falls in love with the sister Chrissy(Pamela Gidley) of his rival Tommy Hook( Robert Rusler), leader of rival skate gang The Daggers. Facing challenge after challenge, ranging from Tommy disaproving the relationship between Chrissy and Cory and a broken arm in some weird skate/jousting fight, Cory fights back and takes on Tommy in the deadliest downhill skate battle of them all. After winning, Cory earns the respect of Tommy, ending the feud between The Daggers and Locals and hopefully leading to a long relationship between Chrissy and Cory.


This movie, in my mind, is a certifiable 80s classic, despite the hokiest sex scene you'll ever see(complete with AWFUL music that sounds like some sappy sitcom theme song). BMX/Skateboarding movies were produced during that hot period in the 80s when every teenager had high hopes that they could be the next extreme sports star(this includes my brother at the time), but very few of those movies had the charm and still have the watch-ability of Thrashin' or even Rad. The acting is a little silly but that's just part of it's charm. And my gosh, the soundtrack. A fun mixture of a lot of the 80s skate/punk scene at that time including one of my all time favorite bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a very early appearance for the band. The Bangles, Devo, Fear, and others are included on the very diverse and memorable soundtrack. And Meatloaf sings the title theme!



Sadly, it does not seem we'll get Rad anytime soon on any format, so if you'd like to experience one of these fun skateboarding movies, you're gonna have to pick up the new Olive Films release which thrashes it's way into our hearts tomorrow. This release gets a huge seal of approval from me and can't be suggested any higher. You can head over to Olive and pick it up. Hopefully, someday we can have this on the shelf next to Rad and Gleaming the Cube. And hopefully Olive will be the ones releasing them...



-Chad

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reasons to Love Stone Cold

Oh boy, I've been waiting for this for a very long time...

Oh yes. Olive Films is releasing this glorious action classic. THE BOZ IN STONE COLD. I received a screener the other day and I must confess, Olive made the right choice in putting this out. It's a cult classic that hardly gets talked about. Why? I don't know. But seeing it finally hit bluray after way too long of a wait, hopefully brings a little more attention to this.

In 1991, Brian Bosworth went from big time NFL flop to movie flop with Stone Cold, a movie where he plays a suspended cop who plays by...get this...NO ONE'S RULES...who gets blackmailed by the FBI to go undercover in a biker gang who also don't believe in the rules of society. Angered by the conviction of their gloriously bearded leader, the bikers cause all sorts of hell on beaches and blowing up old judges and a billion other shenanigans.

Ok. So perhaps I didn't do a great job selling you on it so far. But give me a minute here.  I'll change your mind. Trust me. After I'm done with this, you'll be heading right over to Olive Films and you'll hitting "preorder" in no time. Here's a few reasons to order it:


GROCERY SHOPPING SCENE:



 In a display of badass-dom, The Boz takes down criminals in some scene generic grocery store in the opening scene. Using a broom to take down one guy and his inner Boz powers to take down another, the movie opens up with the sense that you've picked a real winner. But even more cool than seeing the mulleted beefcake take down bad guys, is the cereal on the shelf. Batman, Hot Wheels and Ghostbusters cereal. RIGHT THERE. YES. It's been a while since I've seen this movie and I find it hard to believe I don't remember noticing the cereals. A cereal-lover and nostalgia purists dream.



THE CAST:





Now obviously, with a  first time actor in the lead, you're gonna need some solid veteran actors to anchor down the production. Lance Henriksen and William Forsythe were enlisted to take care of playing the main bad guys. And considering the macho manliness of this movie, I'd say they were the right choices. This isn't a movie Arnold was gonna sign on to do. Sylvester Stallone, maybe if it were 1985, but for a movie released in 1991, the plot is a little hokey. But, Lance and William do their best to make this watchable.



Also appearing, character actor Sam McMurray. While he's known for other things, he'll always be the sleazy father in law in the Wizard to me. So that's a nice bonus.

THAT ACTION THO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL47m1mQWZQ

 Not They Live but the action is there. Early 90s action movies usually contained consist of bar fights and motorcycle gangs, and this movies. And this movie has both in spades so much, you'd think this was a a prequel to Sons of Anarchy. Of course, the fight between The Boz and pro wrestler Tom Magee may be the best and most memorable fight scene in the movie.




THE BOZ HIMSELF:

 For his first movie, he really doesn't do a terrible job. Considering his charismatic onfield persona, it's really no surprise he made the leap to movies. He's a naturally obnoxious and arrogant antihero in this movie. Had the action movie genre not run out of gas by this point and Boz had been given more roles and experience, he could've been a bigger deal. But, he jumped in at the wrong time. Shame because he had a great look. He could've come in handy in Hollywood eventually. I'm actually very surprised he hasn't made an appearance in the Expendables at this point.

Oh yeah, he also has a pet alligator in this film. Take that, Sonny Crockett.

Stone Cold is one of those movies that really need to be owned by lovers of cult classics. Personally, I LOVE the movie Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. Which paired with this, would make a great double feature especially at film festivals, so a movie like this is right up my alley. It's definitely a welcome addition to my movie shelf. Fans for years have been hoping for a bluray release for years after the initial dvd went out of print. Now, while there are no features, the picture and sound are absolutely fantastic and make it for a enjoyable viewing experience. And the cover art, which you can see at the top of this article, may not be the original poster but offers an awesome alternative cover for fans.

So turn up the surround sound, grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy this forgotten classic which is available over at Olive Films and will be hitting the streets on June 23rd. Order this NOW!

But just remember, he doesn't play well with others...


-Chad

Sunday, June 14, 2015

More Flea Market Fun!

So two things: After a few weeks of doing Friday Finds, I'm discontinuing it. I'm not the best when it comes to doing deadline-related things and it's a lot harder than I originally thought it would be. Especially since I'm not always able to get to the thrift store or flea market as I had hoped.

Second, I went to the flea market today. It was glorious.




Yeah, I'm aware that graphic is cheesy and lazy, but man, do I love that Gremlins font. I'll prolly come up with something new eventually.

Last time I went to the public market was the opening weekend which resulted in great victory. It's been well over a month since then, and in flea marketing, that's way too long. But as you'll see it was well worth the wait. Although, I let an original Super Soaker still in the box and a set of Super Mario 3 toys from McDonalds slide by, I found some goodies and walked away with a nice story. But first, I knew something was up when I saw this guy...


ALF YOU STALKER! LEAVE ME ALONE! EVERYWHERE I'VE GONE HE'S FOLLOWED ME!

He's clearly my good luck charm. It seems everytime I run into him, he brings me good luck. I was very tempted to pick him up. But for 4 bucks, couldn't do it. I got the feeling more treasures were coming my way soon. And boy was I right!



CALIFORNIA RAISINS KEYCHAIN: .50



So, the vendor who sold me my previous Raisins keychain restocked his awesome keychain box with many more tempting treasures. Which is good because I broke the keychain I bought before so when I saw that he still had this guy for only .50, I knew it was gonna be a fine day. Any Raisins merch is usually good Raisins merch.


JLU THREE PACK: 3.00


So before I moved up to Rochester, I sold a lot of stuff to fund my move. That included my DC Comics figure collection that I had built for close to 20 years. That included my JLU figures, Super Powers, Batman Animated Series, the Batman movies. I amassed quite the collection. Selling them all was a huge regret, but that's being an adult. Lately, I've wanted to dive back in and restart my collection. There's a lot of good JLU lots on ebay, but for only 3 bucks, I could start it HERE. Superman, Dr Light, and Aquaman. Not just any Aquaman, but the hook-handed badass from the 90s. The vendor wanted 5, but the card is dinged up and he's always willing to haggle. So, here we are. Not a bad way to kickstart my collection again...


Now that's where the fun kind ended...

I head over to another table. There's a giant box of vintage figures. A guy is already looking through them and I decided to join in. While I'm looking through and reaching for some, the guy PHYSICALLY SHOO'S ME AWAY. Pushes my hand out of the way and cockblocks me from looking at the toys. And when I grab a GI Joe, he grabs it. WHAT?!?!?1 How old is this guy? So the guy selling them come sup and says "5 bucks for the whole box" because he thought we were together. The toy hoarder picks up the box, pays 5, looks at me and say "Sorry. I was here first".

I'm not one to make a scene at a flea market. Well, except once or twice when I was being ripped off. But whatever. I decided it wasn't meant to be. And I'd be rewarded with my patience...


SLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMER!
YES. My next table I hit had the Real Ghostbusters Slimer! Now, I'm not a huge fan of his portrayal in the cartoons( I preferred him as an out of control ghost not a wacky sidekick) but this I had to have. Especially to make up for the rudeness I just experienced. So, the vendor wanted 10. We started negotiating in such a manner that would make Bob Barker cry. We landed on 6.50, which considering I never had him as a kid, and considering how much he goes for on eBay, was totally worth it. I gladly handed him the bills and change and my frown went right upside down.

But it doesn't stop there...

The guy from the toy box. He runs his own table. IT ALL MAKES SENSE. I go to look at his table, still content with not making too much of a scene or anything uncomfortable. He comes right up to me and says "Hey man, were the guy at the toy box looking for that Batman figure?" I said "Yeah" and he hands me the Batman figure as a way to smooth things over.



 I thank him, we shake hands and we both become allies as we exhcange stories about looking for toys. He's not so bad afterall. He even gives me a hot tip on some lunchboxes. Which would've been useful if I collected them, but it was still a very kind gesture.


So the lesson here is be patient, be nice, because your newest enemy in the game could be your best ally...


-Chad

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Friday Finds June 12 2015

So, after a little hiccup, I'm back with Friday Finds. It's truly been an amazing season so far, and it's only June.

 But, what I found during my adventures at Niagara Falls Comic Con, may just be the hardest act to follow ever...



This...Oh my...









So the backstory: In 1993/1994, Now Comics enlisted Mr. T so he went from badass tv star to full fledged comic book star with Mr. T and the T Force! Comic fans will remember this as T would go around to a comic convention or two and hyped it like only he knows how on tv and radio! It's a pretty fun comic with cover art by legendary artist, Neal Adams, known for his Batman work, took care of the cover artwork, adding some credibility to the project.


Well, the comic didn't last long. Mr. T wasn't accepted as much and sales weren't that hot. But that didn't stop Dynamic Forces from offering this set. Coming in a trifold binder, you received a gold edition of the first issue signed by the man himself, a trading card, a regular edition of the comic's first issue and a COA. I mean, how cool is this? Mr. T's comic SIGNED by the legend himself?!?!?!? As a lifelong T fanatic, I had to have this. And at TWENTY dollars, I was not crossing the border without it. This may be my newest prized possession. It's truly a thing of beauty. From the binder to the comics to the card. Total victory.


If I recall, these were offered on Home Shopping Network or QVC or something to that degree. I tend to also remember reading some hype in Wizard as well. It seemed like T was really behind this. It's a shame it went nowhere past a little over 10 issues. But, no matter what, T ALWAYS bounces back!


-Chad

Niagara Falls Comic Con 2015 Report

Well, despite a terrible back injury, I made it across the Canadian border this weekend. Why would I risk further harm on my spine to go into Canada? Why, Niagara Falls Comic Con, of course!


My friend Tony and I drove up Saturday for the chance to experience all that there is to experience about this show. Never been, so didn't have a lot to lose. As I mentioned in a previous post, I also haven't done a comic con since New York Comic Con 2007. So 8 years later, comic cons have gotten more hectic and mammoth. The good news was that the convention center was much smaller. The bad news was that the line was wrapping all around the building and looked as if parking was filled to capacity. But, after driving around and temped to give up, we found a spot across the street at a local church.

Upon entering, cosplayers began zooming by us and immediately began to amaze us. These weren't just any run of the mill Halloween costumes from Kmart. No sir. These were some of the most fun and out of the ordinary characters of all corners of pop culture and geekiness. The dedication and creativity that goes into these costumes always amaze me and this weekend was no different. Here's a fun sample of just some of those costumes:

Two Judge Dredds!
UP AND AT THEM!
Cruella DeVille!
You know who this guy is!

Yes! A Wayne Salynzki from Honey I Shrunk The Kids! This may be my favorite!









Celebrities are a huge part of any convention and NFCC was no different. While I didn't have the finances to meet and greet every famous face in attendance, I did get to meet the one name I was determined to meet. The downright gorgeous Cassandra Peterson, Elvira herself. She had the biggest smile and a handshake for everyone coming to meet her. She was a real joy and took the time to chat with everyone, despite having a rather lengthy line.




It's called "Comic Con", right? So, I gotta stop by and meet some fancy pants artists and writers. And no bigger name in that field([to me, at least) was Gerry Conway, co-creator of the Punisher and Firestorm. Now, at first I was a little put off because unlike others in the artists alley, he was charging $5 per signature, but I wasn't leaving Canada without meeting the man behind Frank Castle. I had to meet him. So I went up to his table and we discussed the creation of the Punisher, Firestorm and other events in his career. He seems very genuine and open to chatting with fans. I have NO regrets. He signed my Punisher Funko and I even got a photo with him!




There's a certain intimacy meeting comic artists and writers that you don't get when meeting the celebrities. And these are the people who have the most entertaining stories. So, if you get a chance, stop by the artist alley and hear some fun stories about the origins of your favorite characters!



Another great part of my day was when I got to sit inside of the legendary KITT of Knight Rider. And this beauty was even signed by David Hasselhoff himself!





Vendors room was packed to the brim with goodies. My friend Tony picked up a few nice prints and I picked up a nice item that never in a million years would I have gotten anywhere else for the price that I scored it at. But, I'm gonna make you wait, because this is quite the find. And I feel bad about not doing a Friday Finds last week. But this will make up for it.


All in all, if you're looking for a nice, smaller version of one of the bigger shows, Niagara Falls Comic Con is the place for you. Due to my back and Tony needing to come back home sooner, we didn't have more time to look around more and hit up a panel like we would've wanted to. But, if this year was any indication of things to come, we'll be back next year and be even more impressed!


-Chad