Reel Chat

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.

03 Aug

Blast to the Past with #MOVIEMADNESS

The ’90s were the years that gave me all my childhood memories! Being a kid that grew up in the ’90s was like enjoying the best of two worlds. I got to watch all the cool ’80s movies on repeat with my older siblings and I also got to collect all the best ’90s films on VHS. As a side note, I can probably still recite most lines to said films, just in case that skill is ever in demand. If you didn’t grow up in either of these two decades, you may never know the real torture of waiting for a VHS tape to rewind before getting to watch your favorite movie. Not to worry, I’m here to help. You can still enjoy these classic works of cinematic art from the ’80s and ’90s. Behold, these are a few of my favorite movies from my ’90s childhood!

01 Aug

Catch Movie Madness at Bookmans!

Lights, camera, action! August is Movie Madness Month at Bookmans and we’re celebrating cinema with fun events and giveaways. Stop by every location for movie-themed activities inspired by the silver screen. From Movie Nights to Minions to Grease Sing-a-Longs, we’re pulling out all the stops. Be sure to peruse the orange shelves at your local Bookmans for great deals on DVDs and BluRays in addition to fun and free events. Movie Madness is going around and we have a feeling that you’re going to catch it. Get ready for your close up and have a blast with us at Bookmans this August!

17 Jul

Bookmans Recommends | Mad Men

Mad Men, a television drama that originally aired on AMC, had a life of seven seasons.  The first four seasons of the show each won that year’s Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. This is a feat that only three other shows (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and West Wing) have been able to accomplish since the Emmys’ conception in 1949.  The show also holds the record for most Emmy nominations without a win, sitting at 17. Needless to say, this show is hype. A period drama beginning in 1960, the show follows protagonist (anti-hero?) Donald Draper as he wheels and deals in the world of Madison Avenue advertising in Manhattan. In episode one, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” we learn a lot about the character Don Draper. It’s made apparent that he’s got his back against the wall going into a meeting with his agency’s largest client, the non-fictional R. J. Reynolds Tobacco company, owner of the Lucky Strike brand of cigarettes.  The audience knows he’s got nothing to present, but when called on in the meeting, he stands up and somehow manages to give one of the greatest pitches in sales history on the fly.  You see, Don works best under pressure.

14 Jul

Freebie Friday | Transformers the Movie at FilmBar

**CONTEST CLOSED**Cinemania is a 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: Transformers the Movie at FilmBar on Saturday, July 15th at 10pm in Downtown Phoenix!

21 Jun

First Look | Wonder Woman Reviewed

“It’s a sacred duty to save the world and it’s what I’m going to do” – Diana, Princess of the Amazon. It finally happened. The powers that be in Hollywood finally brought Wonder Woman to the big screen! Folks flocked to the theaters and the reviews are in. Let’s take a look at what Bookmans employees thought of the much anticipated film adaptation of DC’s popular female superhero (or heroine); the one and only Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman

14 Jun

Winner Wednesday | The 36th Chamber of Shaolin at FilmBar

**CONTEST CLOSED**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 Winner Wednesday, we give away two tickets to Cinemania: The 36th Chamber of Shaolin at FilmBar on Saturday, June 17th at 10pm in Downtown Phoenix!

Winner Wednesday

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