Reel Chat

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

05 Jun

Our Top Musical Movies for Summer

It is June’s Tunes month here at Bookmans and with summer in full swing, the kids home from school and everything hot enough to practically explode, no one wants to do much straining and that includes what you watch. Musicals are the perfect choice for a feel good film that will be enjoyed by everyone. Here are our top picks for the summer!

musicals

31 May

3 Ways To Be An Amazon | Channeling Wonder Woman

The day has come! Not only are we getting solo female superhero movies, but the daughter of Zeus herself will be making her debut on the big screen. Early reviews predict this movie to be a hit and we’re not surprised. Audiences will fall in love with Diana Prince AKA Princess Diana of Themyscira, founding member of the Justice League, demigoddess and warrior princess. It’s no secret we have mad love for the purveyor of justice and a Ms. Magazine CoverGirl. Just ask Todd our Event Liaison in Mesa. In anticipation of Wonder Woman’s theatrical debut, we’ve created The 3 Ways To Be An Amazon.

Wonder Woman

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!

Winner

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!

Ticket

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.

exorcist

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.

recommends

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!

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