Reel Chat

14 Mar

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part Two

No matter how many years after their release, these soundtracks have found their way onto playlist after playlist. Some are newer but hit all the right notes. Some are nearing 20 years old and still have so much life in them that I can’t bear to take them out of my rotation. And why would I? In my last blog, I covered just half of my go-to movie soundtracks. Here are the rest of the soundtracks that put a smile on my face every single time I hear them.

09 Mar

Black Panther Movie and Music Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? This isn’t a movie I’d wait to take a stroll to go see – I’d sprint if I were you. This movie has taken over not only the big screen, the internet, and, at least temporarily, pop culture! I don’t want to spoil my own review, but I have to say that the movie truly lives up to all the hype. There are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, turn back now. If you have, read on because there is so much to talk about!

Black Panther movie poster collage


22 Feb

How I Met Your Mother Steals My Heart – Until the Last Episode

How I Met Your Mother, or HIMYM for short, has been my all-time favorite show to watch since it aired. I’ve re-watched it at least 10 times. To me, this show is perfect. It’s comedic, light-hearted, and you don’t necessarily have to watch the episodes in order to know what’s going on. It’s the best sitcom for when you just need a good laugh and want to unwind. It was so easy to emotionally attach yourself to the characters because their lives were relatable. It’s that connection with the show that makes the last episode hard to watch – even 4 years later.

19 Feb

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part One

Movies are true works of art. Most of us use our inner critics to take in a movie’s acting performances and the director’s storytelling abilities.  Those who study film (or are just passionate movie watchers) will also pay attention to the world of the story created by the writers and the cinematographer’s eye for space and light as well. There are costumes, sets, edits – a million little things that can make a movie great or merely average. My favorite “little thing” is the movie soundtrack.

For me, music can make or break a movie. These are just some of the most outstanding movie soundtracks that make my world go ’round.

Movie still image graphic: The Life Aquatic, Drive, and Purple Rain

16 Feb

American Horror Story Seasons Ranked Worst to Best

I love American Horror Story. This show is filled with heart-wrenching scenes of murder, love stories, dark humor, and so much more. The acting from every character is phenomenal. You can really tell each actor/actress put their all into the show. Every season of AHS is packed with hidden motifs, metaphors, and messages and that is what makes this show so fantastic. But there are some parts of each season that just did not sit well with me. Without further ado, here is my take on all the seasons of American Horror Story, ranked from worst to best.

12 Feb

Romcoms That Will Never Get Old

It’s no secret that romcoms (romantic comedies) can be hit-or-miss. Some lack in the comedy department, have an unoriginal or weak storyline, or are a bit too raunchy. Some romcoms, for whatever reason, are just not that memorable. The truth is, it’s hard to find a type of humor that works for everyone, a feat made more difficult when throwing romance into the mix. BUT, when we do find a movie that hits all the right notes, we won’t soon forget it. These two movies are some of the most unforgettable romcoms in my book.

03 Feb

The Greatest Showman

Loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman delivers something truly special to the big screen. Between the choreography, storyline, and music from the composers (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land), it’s no wonder that people are flooding into theaters to see this masterful movie. Here’s why I think you should see it too, even if you’re not a lover of spectacle.

30 Jan

Ultimate Movie Party: True Romance

Welcome to the first edition of Ultimate Movie Party, Bookmans’ new blog about pairing an excellent movie with its soulmate party elements. Instead of just flopping on the couch for a run-of-the-mill movie night, celebrate your love of cinema by throwing the ultimate movie party that puts your guests smack-dab into the world of your favorite flicks, food and all! What goes better with a movie than some family, friends and movie-themed festivities that perfectly complement your viewing experience, right? 

23 Jan

Studio Ponoc’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower

In 2014, fans of Japanese animation shed a collective tear when Studio Ghibli announced it would no longer produce films. Led by Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary film studio which produced iconic movies like My Neighbor TotoroSpirited Away, and Kiki’s Delivery Service officially entered a new phase when Miyazaki announced his retirement and surprised the world. Today, we’re looking at the next phase of heartwarming animation from Japan, Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
Mary and the Witch's Flower movie poster

12 Jan

Books to Read Before They Become Movies

So many books have seen a transformation into a film adaptation, from The Lord of the Rings to The Great Gatsby to Captain Underpants. For all the ones that you know of, there are hundreds more you may not know about. SURPRISE! (or not) – 2018 is full of popular book-to-film adaptations. And the best way to prepare for any and all of these movies is to submerge yourself in the books before you catch the films. Here are a few of 2018’s must-read books to devour before they hit the big screen!

ready player one book cover

10 Jan

Proof that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the Best Show Ever

Okay, maybe I don’t have proof. What I do have is some really strong evidence to support my claim that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best show to ever air on television. If you don’t believe me, it’s time for a rewatch.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show main cast photo

29 Dec

Bookmans Northwest: Best of 2017

Bookmans has always been your store to explore! As you know, we’re not your average bookstore or ordinary video game trade stop. Our orange shelves hold everything from movies to music to electronics to instruments, *BIG BREATH* jewelry, more books, magazines, toys, collectibles, and housewares… basically, we have a bit of just about everything! And just like our merchandise, our staff is as diverse as our store. To help Bookmans NW say goodbye to this year, we asked some of our employees to tell us their favorite books, video games, albums, movies, and instruments that came our way in 2017.

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.

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