Reel Chat

22 May

Comic Books | Read Em’ Before You See Em’

Bookmans is all about celebrating your inner geek. From Dungeon Masters to Sith Lords and creative cosplayers, all members of the geekosphere are welcome at our stores. That’s why we’ve devoted an entire month to celebrating all thinks geek! Comics are just a small slice of the pie, but have quickly become the most sought after screenplay source material for would-be blockbusters. If the success of Guardians 2 is any indication, the superhero film franchise is here to stay. We’ve got the inside scoop on all the single issue comic books you need to read before they hit the screen. Here are our top 3 Read ‘Em Before You See ‘Ems.

comic books

12 Apr

Winner Wednesday! Cinemania: Fantastic Planet

**CONTEST CLOSED** Cinemania 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 Winner Wednesday, we give away two tickets to Cinemania: Fantastic Planet at FilmBar on Saturday, April 15 at 10pm in Downtown Phoenix!


04 Apr

Ticket Tuesday: 2017 Phoenix Film Festival

****Contest Closed ****

The Phoenix Film Foundation presents the 17th Annual Phoenix Film Festival! The festival starts Thursday, April 6th and runs through Thursday, April 13th. The PFF was named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine and tops the Bookmans list of favorites. The event began in 2000 when independent filmmakers created an opportunity to showcase independent filmmaking. PFF quickly became Arizona’s largest film festival. On this Ticket Tuesday, we give away two festival passes to this incredible event!


24 Mar

Discovering 锦绣未央, “The Princess Weiyoung” | Bookmans

On my vacation recently, I forgot to stock up on new Manga. I was in desperate need of a new book, movie or TV series to binge. I have a great love of period dramas of all types, but it had been a while since I had found one that really captured my imagination. In researching this years Chinese New Year, I came across a random post of gorgeous historical Chinese costumes on Tumblr, I was then turned on to the Chinese drama Princess Weiyoung. It is inspired from the novel The Poisonous Daughter (庶女有毒) by Qin Jian.

The story of Princess Weiyoung begins with the Princess of Northern Liang escaping death as her entire family is slaughtered by the Chiyun clan of Northern Wei, her father having been framed for rebelling against the Emperor. She takes on the persona of Li Weiyoung, the estranged illegitimate daughter of the Prime Minister of Northern Wei, in order to infiltrate their clan and take vengeance upon those responsible for the death of her family.

Princess Weiyoung

05 Jan

Bookmans Recommends: Critical Role by C’loni Bailey

The creeping crud has been going around and I spent the last week bedridden with little to do but watch videos on my phone. Fortunately for me, a week in bed is the perfect amount of time to catch up on my current geeky addiction, “Critical Role”.

critical role

For the uninitiated, Critical Role is a show on Geek and Sundry that features famous voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon Mastered by Matthew Mercer, the voice of McCree in Overwatch and huge D&D enthusiast, he and a group of his voice actor friends play through his original campaign every Thursday. The main cast features Liam O’Brien (Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft), Laura Bailey (Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft), Travis Willingham (Thor in Avengers Assemble animated series), Sam Reigel (Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series), Taliesin Jaffe (Blanka in Street Fighter IV), Ashley Johnson (Patterson in Blindspot), and Marisha Ray (Batgirl in Batgirl: Spoiled). In addition to the regular cast, the show also often features many famous guest players such as The Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss, Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, and many more.

02 Nov

Winner Wednesday! Win Tickets To The Loft Film Fest from Bookmans

***Contest Closed***

It’s a good ole Winner Wednesday! There is no Bookmans only Zuul! JK…no Gatekeepers or Keymasters here but we do have free tickets to The Loft’s Film Fest!

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, in partnership with The Loft Cinema, are giving away two tickets to see the original Ghostbusters during The Loft Film Fest. Described by Filmmaker Magazine as being “geared truly toward cinephiles of nearly every stripe,” and praised for it’s “phantasmagorical programming … and astute choice of guests,” the Loft Film Fest was created in 2010 as a showcase for the very best independent, foreign and classic cinema. For five days in November, the Loft Film Fest provides an intimate and unique setting for film fans to experience hand-selected festival favorites from Cannes, Sundance, SXSW (etc.) and the chance to meet internationally-renowned artists from the world of independent cinema.

winner wednesday

“Who ya gonna call when you want to see the original 1984 comedy classic Ghostbusters on the big screen in spectacular, ectoplasmic 70mm? Loft Film Fest! Enjoy FREE ghostly snacks, while supplies last, and delicious Hi-C Ecto Coolers will be available for sale at the snack bar!

28 Oct

Bookmans Recommends: Fox’s Revamped Horror Classic “The Exorcist”

Demonic possession is back, in a HUGE way. After years of domination by sparkly vampires and walking zombies, pop culture has fallen back in love with an good old-fashioned demon casting exorcism. What is the holy hype all about?

“The belief in evil and the belief that evil can be cast out.”

From these two strands of faith, author William Peter Blatty weaves a frightening, explicit and realistic tale of an innocent young girl inhabited by a malevolent entity. The Exorcist endures as a classic horror novel. Here we rediscover The Exorcist and its ghastly gravitas.


The story is loosely based on actual events that happened in Maryland in 1949. It involved a small boy who, distraught and feeling alone over the loss of his beloved aunt, begins to play with a Ouija Board. As time passes, he experiences poltergeist-like phenomena. The bed shakes and knocking sounds from the walls. Not knowing what to do, the family turns to their local Catholic church. The boy is brought to St. Louis, where permission is granted to perform the Rite of Exorcism. The ritual was deemed a success and the boy went on the lead a normal life under complete anonymity.

19 Oct

Bookmans Recommends: Over The Garden Wall

There is a place that many have gone to, but few return from…a dark and mysterious place filled with trees, known as only the Unknown. Where a beast is afoot, pumpkins dance and two young boys are lost. Wirt and his younger half-brother Gregory find themselves wandering around in these woods, without any memory of getting there in the first place. They find themselves alone, but that doesn’t last long as they run into friends, foes and everything in between. This is an October edition of Bookmans Recommends: Over the Garden Wall.

Over the treetops and mountains/ Over the blackened ravines/ Then softly it falls by a house near a stream/ And over the garden wall/ To thee.


Over the Garden Wall is based on an animated short film by Patrick McHale called Tomb of the Unknown. It was created for Cartoon Network’s short film development program. The show opens up with a frog playing piano, spinning in slow circles. He is singing the theme for the show and as he continues, small glimpses of the entire show ensue. This frog makes an appearance throughout each episode as the younger brother’s pet, whose only form of communication is through singing. Wirt, being the older brother, is worry-prone and indecisive, while Greg is all about having fun and being carefree. The two boys wander through the magical and dark toned woods where they come across a woodsman that grinds Edelwood trees into oil for his lantern. He warns the boys about the beast that stalks the Unknown, and encourages Wirt and Greg to leave the woods as soon as possible.

On their journey they encounter a talking blue jay named Beatrice. Sarcastic and filled with sass, she tells the two boys to go visit Adelaide of the Pasture, or as she refers to her, The Good Woman of the Woods. Beatrice promises that Adelaide will help them find their way home, and that she will help her turn back into a human. The three of them make their way through the woods where they meet a plentiful group of characters, of which they try and get directions from. All of them a little ‘off’, including dancing pumpkins that have secrets of their own, a tavern filled with people who all play a roll, frogs that enjoy the art of the bassoon, and the very dangerous and ever-talked about beast. It seems that all of the Unknown’s residences have a way of waylaying the main characters from their quest to get home. The biggest challenge they face though it seems, might not be with the beast himself, but their own will to keep going.

This show is 11 minutes long and has only 10 episodes all together. It is voiced by famous actors Elijah Wood, Tim Curry, John Cleese, Christopher Lloyd and many more. It’s a quick watch that will leave you wanting more, and really thinking about the content after it’s over. There are plenty of surprises, super catchy songs and quality animation throughout the entire show. If you’re not singing about Potatoes and Molasses or about the Highway Man by the end, you have watched it wrong. If you’re looking for this show or any other show you’ve been interested in watching, give any of your nearest Bookmans locations a call. Feel free to peruse our orange shelves, but if you can’t make it in we would be happy to look for you. Now we are off to Adelaide! I don’t know who she is or how she is or when or why she is, but as for where she is, she is where we will go!

16 Sep

Tales From the VHS Video Vaults – Final Chapter | Bookmans

August is Movie Madness all month long at Bookmans! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad, the all-lady Ghostbusters or the latest Hollywood hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not-very-common, yet have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that the Japan based Funai company would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging. If you missed Part One, you can rewind to here, check out Part Two here or dive head first into Part III, here. Otherwise grab the remote, sit back and enjoy Part IV of Tales from the VHS Video Vaults.

Frankenstein Sings – The Movie, Candace Cameron Bure, 1996
What isnt there to love about this movie? It is best described as a family fun version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The storyline is familiar, where a young couple finds tons of musical fun when they are forced to seek shelter in a spooky mansion on Halloween night. Once there, they find it filled with some of Hollywood’s favorite ghouls, all of whom love to sing and dance. Starring Full House’s Candice Cameron this is musical lightheartedness at its best!


31 Aug

Dedicated to The Dark Knight – Written by Paul Lee

With the recent release of Batman Vs. Superman last Spring, Suicide Squad and Batman: The Killing Joke this Summer, I’ve rediscovered my obsession with the Dark Knight. Ever since I was a wee lad, I’ve been a Batfan and my love of Batman began when I watched reruns of the goofy 1960’s Batman series. I remember having an 8-inch Batman Mego figure in a cloth costume that had a removable rubber cowl and cape. This toy really lit up my life until Batman had a tragic accident as he tried to fly from our roof and his flying cape malfunctioned. What a bummer.

dark knight

I started collecting Batman comics in the late 70’s and early 80’s until I reached high school in suburban Boston. I stopped collecting all comics as I shied away from comics due to a fear of being singled out as a nerd. I figured girls would steer away from a comic nerd so I turned into a Rock ‘n Roller and chose guitar over comics.

26 Aug

Flavz Top 10 Punk Rock Bands

A while back I noticed that Rolling Stone did an article on the Ramones sitting on the uldunter, which included their Top 40 Punk Rock albums of all time. I was intrigued and couldn’t help to flip through to find out which bands made the cut, and decided to create my own list from the inspiration (and admittedly, mild discontent).

Punk Rock

Q: “Flavio, you’re always making lists! What are you going to write about?”
A: I’m a 70 year-old curmudgeon trapped in a twenty-something year-olds body, so you know what? I’m going to make another list! I’ll give you a top 10 on the best Punk Rock albums of all time.

1. “Raw Power” by Iggy and the Stooges
Yes, this is my number one. Give it a listen and tell me you do not hear every conceivable Punk Rock riff ever made throughout the album. I mean, it’s not my personal favorite (it’s all about Funhouse), but it’s super influential. People tend to forget that bands like the Stooges and The Velvet Underground were formulating Punk Rock before it even became an idea.

2. “My War” by Black Flag
“So why did you not include Damaged?” Well, there is a reason behind that. Damaged is a great hardcore Punk Rock album, but it wasn’t really forward-thinking. When I think of Black Flag, I always look at their last five years as a band. My War was the beginning of a new era of Punk Rock and hardcore. The first half of My War is fantastic. Black Flag reached this point as a band where they wanted to break off from all of the other hardcore Punk bands and make something new and exciting. It ruined their reputation, but they influenced bands like Nirvana and the Melvins. That says a lot right there.

3. “Too Many Humans” by No Trend
Ah, one of my favorite bands of all time. In my honest opinion, they are one of the most brilliant bands I’ve ever listened to. This album is something that truly helped me become the person I am today. The entire album is one giant misanthropic/nihilistic view on society and the punk rock subculture. It’s absolutely amazing. Bob Strasser is probably one of the best bassists in punk besides Greg Norton and Chuck Dukowski.

4. “Zen Arcade” by Husker Du
Here is another classic for y’all! Zen Arcade is probably the Punk equivalent to The Who’s Quadrophenia. It’s a concept album about a young man running away from a broken home to venture on into the world. For a Punk Rock album, it jumps all over the place; from hardcore to psychedelia and folk rock. It might make you cry a lot (or at least it made me cry).

5. “Generic Flipper” by Flipper
This is a band that ticked off a lot of people in the hardcore community. Features slow songs about apathy, depression and alienation.

6. “Rock for Light” by Bad Brains
It’s basically their first album with a few tracks. If you haven’t listened to this band, go buy (at Bookmans obvi). Do whatever you can to get it.

7. “Q: Are We Not Me? A: We Are Devo!” by Devo
Geeky new wave Punk rock craziness for everyone that felt too weird to be alive. This is probably one of my favorite bands that have ever existed in this dimension.

8. “Plastic Surgery Disasters/In God We Trust Inc.” by Dead Kennedys
No, it’s not “Fresh Fruits…” but it’s probably amount their most creative albums they ever made. It’s like a LSD nightmare through the eyes of William S. Burroughs.

9. “Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?” By the Feederz
Politically incorrect art punk from the lovely city of Phoenix, Arizona! Frank Discussion, the brain behind the Feederz, was infamous for firing blanks from an AR-15 into an open crowd and gluing dead bugs all over his face. They were such an influential band that Kurt Cobain had one of their stickers on his guitar. #mindblown

10. “Pink Flag” by Wire
Ugh, I can never get enough of this album. Pink Flag made me see punk rock in a completely different light.

It’s hard to list albums that are so important to me, and to lower it down to just 10 of my favorite Punk bands. My disclaimer is that this is all based on my opinion. I’m not a music critic or anything of the like, but I just love Punk Rock and want you all to have a list to start with. I can’t help but be excited when I come across these gems on our orange shelves, and we are happy to look for any of these albums for you anytime. Stop by today and get (Punk) Rockin’ with some of Flavz favorites.

(Written by Flavio Collions, Bookmans Ina Customer Service Supervisor)

25 Aug

Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults, Part III

August is Movie Madness all month long at Bookmans! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad or the latest Hollywood hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not-very-common, yet have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that Japan based Funai would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging. If you missed Part One, you can rewind to here.,  or Part Two here, Otherwise grab the remote, sit back and enjoy Part III Of Movie Madness: Tales From The Video Vaults.

Deranged, Jane Hamilton, 1987
Marketed as “the ultimate horror that comes from within”, director Chuck Vincent weaves a tale of mental illness, mystery and suspense. I found Deranged to be an innovative thriller. It builds suspensefully to a violent conclusion. First there was Sybil, now there is Joyce!

Movie Madness

From the Video Box : “Joyce’s life seems to be perfect. She’s married and has all of the money she could ever need. But Joyce is haunted by a past she can’t understand: her father’s violent suicide and the will that made her sole heir to his immense fortune. Joyce’s troubles start when her husband leaves her for a month of business in London. Joyce starts hearing voices, and seeing things. When a masked intruder forces his way into their apartment and attacks Joyce, he unleashes in her a frightened little girl tormented by her “special” relationship with Daddy, and a crazed madwoman hungry for revenge.”

22 Aug

10 Under-Rated Family Films

These family films are sure to make you smile, and we all have that one movie from our childhood that we watched over and over again. We’d wear out the VHS tape, drive our siblings crazy with our continual demand to watch it every night and annoyingly quote the whole movie ahead of each line. These movies were the core of our youth. For our Movie Madness month we dredged through the files of nostalgia and called to light some of the movies that don’t seem to get talked about enough. We refuse to let these cinematic treasures fall from the limelight.

family films

19 Aug

Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults, Part Two

It’s still Movie Madness month at Bookmans! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad or the latest Hollywood hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not-very-common, yet have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that Japan based Funai would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging. If you missed Part One, you can rewind to here. Otherwise grab the remote, sit back and enjoy Part II.

Brain Smasher, Andrew Dice Clay 1993
First Came Eastwood, then Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and now an unlikely addition smashes his way into the ranks of contemporary action heroes…Andrew Dice Clay. Along for the ride in this non-stop thrill fest is Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher as Dice’s love interest. Brain Smasher is the hippest Action/Comedy ever!

Movie Madness

From the Video Box:  “His name is Ed Malloy, professional bouncer. He’s the best in the business with lethal fists and Zen-like manner that have earned him the nickname “Brain Smasher”. When an international supermodel becomes the  target of a gang of killer ninjas, the bouncer and the model team-up to stay alive. With little in common except mutual attraction, the romance sparks and spectacular street combat sequences provide the wall to wall action while the laughs keep flying.”

15 Aug

Misheard Disney Lyrics

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba  (Here comes a lion, Father) Sithi uhm ingonyama” (Oh yes, it’s a lion). Yes, that did just happen. The Lion King’s opening song, The Circle of Life, had to be the opening sentence. Complete with translation, because that’s what us Disney buffs do. Disney movies, from the classics to the most recent, packs in punches to every story line they recreate, or originally come up with. If it’s a movie made by them, you are sure to be dazzled, especially by their music. It’s a whole new world with unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings that keeps you soaring, tumbling and weaving through every surprise turn. Okay, that was a lot from the movie Aladdin. In this case though, it is completely accurate to describe all the emotions that Disney movie songs can take you through. Most are easy to recite, but there’s a few that are often misunderstood. Some will even make a man out of you! So let’s get down to business, and defeat these Disney song lyrics!


09 Aug

Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults, Part One

It’s August, and here at Bookmans that means Movie Madness! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad or the latest Hollywood Hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not very common, yet those that have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that Japan based Funai would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging.

My Movie Madness this month will be a four part weekly series showcasing those awful yet oh, so good films that haven’t seen the light of day since their Original release on VHS. They have not been released on any official DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital form. They only live in a 2 Channel/Stereo VHS limbo. I  present some of my personal favorites. Enjoy, movie buffs…

On The Right Track, Gary Coleman, 1981 – (Comedy, 20th Century Fox Home Video)
Movie Madness

Coming off his fame on Tv’s Diff’rent Strokes, child actor, author, musical artist, comedian, and later  politician, Gary Coleman takes off running in this fun family hit. I originally saw this in the theater, and always had trouble finding it not already checked out when it was released on VHS at the local video store. It has everything! Comedy from Mr. Roper in Three’s Company, Lisa Eilbacher from Beverly Hills Cop and 10 to  Midnight.  Sid And Marty Krofft fans will also notice Kaptain Kool And The Kongs singer Michael Lembeck in this film. I can’t say enough awesome things about it. Its Gary Coleman…enough said.

From the Video Box:  “While some may not view a railroad station as am ideal home, 10 year old orphan Lester finds his Union Station residence more than adequate. It serves as a comfortable refuge from the frantic city life until Lester’s extraordinary knack for picking racetrack winners becomes public knowledge.”

01 Aug

Catch MOVIE MADNESS at Bookmans

Warning!!! Bookmans has Movie Madness, a highly contagious disease that causes one to think of nothing else but cinema. Oh, the agony that is our obsession with cult, comedy and action films. We can’t get enough! All six Bookmans locations are hosting free, fun and film-tastic events to lure innocent customers to our stores. We invite you to attend these sensational cinematic events at your own risk and be warned that you will most likely catch this silver screen sickness. Side effects include an unexplained affinity for Star Wars, a furious fondness for Minions and an unrequited love for The Labyrinth. In other words, we’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more movies. Not to worry, Bookmans has you covered with our vast selection of films on DVD, BluRay and even VHS. We feel confident that you will have a marvelous time at your local Bookmans location this month. Movie Madness will reawaken your love for the movies.

Movie Madness 8-16 square


27 Jun

Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary

When I was a kid growing up in Boston, I watched the syndicated reruns of the original Star Trek series and was entranced by the adventures the crew endured aboard the USS Enterprise. Though I loved all the characters, Spock was my favorite with his unflappable personality and logical way of thinking. In fact, somewhere there is a 5th grade class photo with a young Paul Lee sporting a Spock shirt complete with the Enterprise emblem and gold officer bands. Flash forward to 2016 and my addiction to Star Trek is back in full force. Star Trek Beyond, the 50th anniversary celebration and the new series have awakened my inner treckie. I am in the depths of an all out Star Trek binge, consuming all of this beloved sci-fi series properties including once again watching the original series in all its glory.

Star Trek

23 Jun

Geeking Out With Ready Player One

There’s one book that currently has every Bookmans employee geeking their socks off. It’s everything we love about the 80’s, science fiction and the thrill of a great competition. Earnest Cline’s first novel, Ready Player One has quickly gained top spot on the Bookmans Recommends list. Wade Watts, an overweight loner who’s only escape from the crumbling reality around him is plugging into a virtual reality game known as OASIS. Imagine the internet 10x and also on steroids and you’ve got the game that all of humanity is itching to play. When the multi-billion dollar genius behind the creation of OASIS dies and leaves the sum of his inheritance to the winner of a competition of his own making, all of the world plugs in. A grand hunt soon takes place as many, including Wade search for clues picked personally by OASIS creator James Donovan Halliday.

ready player one

22 Jun

Stay Out Of The Heat With Summer Movies

With Summer in full force the heat can be oppressive. All of us are trying to find fun ways to relax and wait until the sun goes down. Many kids are out of school in need of a diversion and something to do. Movie theaters are a great escape but if you have a family it can be quite costly. Never fear, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange has solutions. New releases and timeless classics make their way to our shelves daily.  These Summer movies can be purchased with that trade credit that’s been burning whole in your pocket all spring. Don’t sweat it, literally. We have plenty Summer movies including blockbusters, cult classics and family friendly films sure to help you stay cool. .

Summer Movies

Summer Movies

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange buys, sells and trades used books, music, movies, video games & musical instruments.
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