Reel Chat

11 Dec

Disney Movies to Watch During the Holidays

Disney movies are something everyone can enjoy whether they’re 5 years old or 105 years old. Each movie pulls at your heartstrings and draws you into a world of magic and fantasy – the perfect way to spend the holidays (and not get bogged down in mushy holiday-themed movies)! Whether you are thrown into a story about Dias de los Muertos, San Fransokyo, the Pride Lands, or Sugar Rush, you’re likely to shed a tear at one point and reflect on those closest to you. Disney films are relatable and touch on subjects that you once experienced or felt, giving them a special place in our hearts. Here’s a list of some of the best Disney films that are emotional, uplifting, magical, and perfect feeling all the joy of the holiday season.

06 Dec

Hilarious Holiday Movies

‘Tis the season is already here! Holidays should be a time of family, friends, parties, presents, and eggnog. Of course, holiday movies belong on that must-have-to-truly-feel-like-the-holidays list. If your holiday spirit is waning and you can use severe amounts laughter, trust this little list of our favorite funny holiday movies to put you in the holiday spirit! Grab the cookies and the eggnog and get ready for this hilarious holiday movie kick-off. 

04 Dec

The Star Wars Holiday Special

A long time ago in a holiday galaxy far, far, away…

A day that has been long remembered, the premiere of the Star Wars: The Holiday Special will continue to live on in hilarious infamy. Why? Because it has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. It has become something of a cultural legend due to the underground nature of its existence. Of course, this status has made it all the more intriguing.

08 Nov

Farewell, Vox Machina: Critical Role Season Finale

After 3 years on the air (and 2 years off-air), the Critical Role campaign of Vox Machina has finally come to a dramatic close as the intrepid adventurers face off against Vecna, a powerful lich who became a god. For fans of Critical Role that have followed Vox Machina’s journey, this ending is bittersweet. Over the months and years, we have come to love the characters of Vox Machina and share in their highs and lows, loves and loses, and look forward every week to be enthralled in how a completely improvised story can truly capture our hearts.

31 Oct

Frightful Fall: Unlucky 13th

Halloween is here and it is the perfect time of the year for old myths, legends, and scary stories. But what exactly is the story behind Friday the 13th? The answer? No one really knows.

25 Oct

Bookmans Recommends | House (Hausu)

Frightful Fall may be winding down, but that’s no reason to stop celebrating! We at Bookmans recommend some additional home screenings of spooky classics, preferably with candy or kettle corn. One of our top choices for October entertainment is Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 comedy-horror film, House (Hausu). This true indie masterpiece is comprised of almost all amateur actors, only Kimiko Ikegami and Yōko Minamida had previously acted on film.


13 Oct

Freebie Friday | The Foreigner

October is Frightful Fall at Bookmans and what better way to celebrate than with a bone-chilling action-thriller movie? Actually, there is one better way to celebrate and that is to see said movie for FREE! As it just so happens, you’re in luck. We have two passes to the latest Jackie Chan film just burning a hole in our pockets. Plus, the screening is taking place at Harkins Theaters. Harkins is one of the coolest local businesses in Arizona, holding down the film screening game since 1933. On this Freebie Friday, we give away two passes to see The Foreigner, beginning Monday, October 16 through the film’s run in theaters. Passes are valid at any Harkins in the Valley of the Sun playing the film. Read on for details on how to enter!

09 Oct

Frightful Fall | Top 5 Underrated Horror Movies

It’s Frightful Fall at Bookmans and we’re counting down our Top 5 favorite underrated horror films! These films were chosen for a variety of reasons, each one displays certain extraordinary qualities that set them apart from others in the horror genre. Some were executed with professional expertise utilizing cinematography, sound, special effects, lighting, direction, acting, plot development and the like in original and professional ways. Others were adapted from novels and utilized cultural and literary references to bring cannon concepts into the modern arena. While others had a stellar cast and stood out not only because the direction was spot on but the acting was as well. These films stick with us and give us what we crave from a horror film: a good scare and a lasting thrill.

08 Sep

Freebie Friday | Rebel in the Rye

September is #ArrestedReading month here at Bookmans and we are doing our part to fight censorship of books, music, movies and beyond. Being media rebels is one of our favorite pastimes, so it makes sense that we would want to share the thrill of partaking in banned material with the community. True to form, we came across a pair of Harkins movie tickets for Rebel in the Rye and we can’t wait to give them away. This is the untold true story of J.D. Salinger’s life while writing The Catcher in the Rye, one of our favorite books to be banned or challenged. Plus, the screening is taking place at Harkins Theaters. Harkins is one of the coolest local businesses in Arizona, holding down the film screening game since 1933. On this Freebie Friday, we give away two passes to see IFC Films’ Rebel in the Rye at 7pm on Wednesday, September 13 at Harkins Shea 14.

30 Aug

Movie Madness | Top 5 New Releases in August

Movie Madness month here at Bookmans is almost coming to an end! To close out the month in style, we are going to give you our top five movie recommendations. Each of these movies came out on DVD and Blu-Ray during the month of August A.K.A. #MovieMadnessMonth. They are also all fairly highly rated according to Rotten Tomatoes, which we all know is fairly hard to do! So take a look at our selections and be sure to add your favorites in the comment section. Happy viewing!

28 Aug

Movie Madness | Cult Classics with Killer Soundtracks

August may be almost over, but we’re still pulling out all the stops for Movie Madness Month! Today, we celebrate those Cult Classic films that are even more famous for their soundtracks. “Cult Classics” can be defined as: A film that has acquired a cult following and is known for its dedicated, passionate fanbase, an elaborate subculture that engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue, and at times, audience participation. Repeated viewings, quoting dialogue and audience participation? Count us in. Today, we bring to you a few of our favorite Cult Classic soundtracks.

25 Aug

Freebie Friday | The Trip to Spain

**CONTEST CLOSED**August is Movie Madness month here at Bookmans and we can’t get enough of the silver screen. Reveling in cinematic joy is one of our favorite pastimes, so it makes sense that we would want to share that filmtastic happiness with the community. It just so happens that we came across a pair of Harkins movie tickets and we can’t wait to give them away. Harkins Theaters is one of the coolest local businesses in Arizona, holding down the film screening game since 1933. Don’t miss this chance to partake in Movie Madness! On this Freebie Friday, we give away two run-of-engagement passes to see IFC Films’ The Trip to Spain which opens today, Aug. 25 at Harkins Theatres Shea 14!

22 Aug

Movie Madness | Five Fave Horror Films

The horror genre, both in film and print, is the most difficult to do well. When was the last time you saw or read something truly original and truly scary? August is Movie Madness month here at Bookmans, so let’s take a look at what I feel is the best of the best in the horror film genre. As a side note, it’s difficult to speak about horror movies without mentioning horror in literature. Many of the best horror movies were originally books. It seems that film takes a huge cue from literature when looking for new material. Some of the most successful movies in the genre began as books and were later adapted for film. We don’t begrudge film makers for this, much of what makes horror interesting is psychological. Think of the scariest nightmare you’ve ever had and then try to tell it to another person. Chances are that it won’t sound half as terrifying as it was in your mind. Our imaginations seem perfectly designed to create things that petrify us. Translating those elements on to the screen is a challenge, especially when one refuses to resort to the typical horror elements. It’s relatively easy to make a slasher gore fest and easier still to shock your audience with a jump scare. The real talent getting under your viewers skin and leaving a lasting impression. The true virtuoso can also overcome both time and technology to create a work that both lasts for years and still scares audiences even when special effects technology has moved forward. Let’s have a look at five films that do just that. They continue to scare us year after year.

21 Aug

Movie Madness | Bewitched by Teen Witch On Blu-ray

If you’ve had the absolute  pleasure of catching a screening of Teen Witch over the past 25 years on television, on an old-school VHS, on DVD, or at a live showing where the film is given the “Rocky Horror” cult experience, you know that Louise Miller is a teenager with magical powers who dreams of being the most popular girl at her high school. Just released in stunning HD on Blu-ray with a 5.1 soundtrack, Teen Witch is perfect for anyone who lived in or loved the ’80s. It’s a cult classic following the trials and tribulations of Louise, a teenager girl struggling to fit in and learn who she is. In the midst of her awkward adolescence, Louise learns she is a descendant of witches…and will become a witch on her 16th birthday.

18 Aug

Freebie Friday: Altered States at FilmBar

Cinemania is a new monthly film series at FilmBar in Downtown Phoenix that highlights all-time favorite genre films on the big screen. Hosted by Dan Stone of The Unfathomable Film Freakout, Cinemania celebrates the essence of FilmBar – Phoenix’s true indie cinema. Since opening in 2011, FilmBar has made it their mission to preserve the art of independent film in the local community. The innovative programming of Andrea Canales and Dan Stone has attracted many accolades including Phoenix New Times Best of Phoenix “Best Independent Theater” and Phoenix Magazine’s Best of The Valley “Best Cinema.” Specializing not only in the latest independent and foreign films, but in local, cult and classic films, FilmBar offers something for everyone. On this Freebie Friday, we give away two tickets to Cinemania: Altered States at FilmBar on Saturday, August 19th at 10pm!

17 Aug

Bookmans Recommends | Dunkirk at The Loft Cinema

August is Movie Madness month at all six Bookmans stores! And while we are enjoying awesome free events and activities highlighting cinema, we also wanted to take a moment and talk about one of our favorite places to hang and enjoy a film or three! The Loft Cinema in Tucson has been around for generations and just so happens to be a Bookmans bestie. We have a long standing relationship with this Tucson cultural hot spot. When the opportunity presented itself to see this theater after their recent remodel and enjoy Christopher Nolan’s latest feat Dunkirk in 70 MM, of course we hopped to it. Check out my thoughts on Nolan’s latest film and why you should definitely see it at The Loft.

Dunkirk in theaters Summer 2017.

14 Aug

Movie Madness | Castlevania

Netflix has been killing it lately with their original exclusive and original shows! After making a splash with various Marvel TV shows like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Netflix is now expanding into the realm of anime production with their newest original show, Castlevania. Based on the classic video game series by Konami, Castlevania follows vampire hunter Trevor Belmont as he tries to save the country of Wallachia from the undead maurading hordes of Dracula. The Netflix series features the voice talents of Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit”) as the hero Trevor Belmont and Graham McTavish (Dwalin in “The Hobbit”) as the elusive Dracula. The series is written and produced by comic legend Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Red), who originally penned the script for the adaptation of Castlevania back in 2007. After nearly ten years of being stuck in development hell, the series finally entered production in 2015 and aired on Netflix in July 2017.

11 Aug

Bookmans Recommends | The Guild 10th Anniversary

By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa

Summer of 2017 marks the ten-year anniversary of the The Guild web series. It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since I was first introduced to the adorable awkwardness of Codex and her wonderful gang of unruly weirdos. For the uninitiated, The Guild is a comedy web series created by geek goddess Felicia Day. The series follows a group of MMO gamers in an online guild called “The Knights of Good” as they try to awkwardly navigate real life with little understanding about how to manage relationships outside of the virtual world of The Game. The series stars Felicia Day as “Codex”, aka Cyd Sherman, an unemployed violinist who spends 8-9 hours a day playing The Game with her guildmates, whom she has never actually met in real life. The other members of the guild include Zaboo the love interest of Codex (sort of), Vork the neurotic guild leader, Clara the alarmingly neglectful mother of three, Tinkerballa the ascerbic ranger, and Bladezz the vulgar teenager. The Guild aired for six seasons and featured a slew of geeky guest stars like Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion, Erin Gray, Zachary Levi, Doug Jones, Neil Gaiman and even features a cameo by Stan Lee.

10 Aug

Movie Madness | Book to Film Adaptations

Hollywood has a long tradition of using literature to inspire film and television. This long standing alliance between actors, writers, directors and authors has produced some of film’s finest works. Bookmans staff has a deep affection for both mediums and lots and lots of opinions on where film adaptations of novels are successful (and where they fail). The following Book-to-Movie discussion will look a little deeper into the elements that work toward transferring words to the screen. We will also have a look at a few films that are noteworthy. The list is far too long to discuss more than just a few titles. In fact, while researching, we uncovered a couple of titles that surprised even us.

04 Aug

Movie Madness | Miyazaki Magic

Hayao Miyazaki has often been referred to as the Walt Disney of Japan. A co-founder of the renowned Studio Ghibli, his imaginative and original animated fairytales are both visually and narratively captivating. We admire Miyazaki for weaving culturally significant themes into his complex story lines. His films often address issues such as environmental awareness and moral fortitude. We also love that Miyazaki tends to feature strong female leads. Empowering and inspiring, Hayao Miyazaki films are adored by millions around the world. Below you’ll find some of the highlights of his filmography.

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