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Five Cool Things and Tom Petty

A bright end to a week that got off to a rough start.
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I am taking over the reigns this week, the start of which was pretty brutal with the tragic loss of life in Las Vegas and the death of beloved rocker Tom Petty. But bleak news shouldn't stop people from finding good in the world, so here are the cool things I found solace in this week. Daredevil vs. Spider-Man I collect Marvel's Essential line that collects old issues in trade paperbacks, and while reading Daredevil Volume 1, I encountered the two-parter (Issues # 16-17) where ol' Webhead guest stars. Naturally, they have the traditional fight against each other as heroes

Five Cool Things and Annihilation

This week's cool things include Body Double, Cafe Society, Wilco, and more.
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My wife had a birthday this week. I don’t want to complain that my wife’s birthday screws up my ability to consume pop culture, but it kind of does. Don’t get me wrong, if given the choice between spending quality time with my family and watching a show or movie, I’ll always choose the family (though if possible I try to enjoy the two things together) but when you are trying to write a weekly article on the pop-culture things you enjoyed this week, it's hard not to wish (just a little bit) that there was less cake and more
It’s rare these days to get your expectations exceeded. Even rarer is to come upon a treasure that elicits both joy and sorrow. This happened to Zachary Auburn and will happen to everyone who ventures into the world of Joshua Chapman and his Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the field guide, which hit shelves on September 12, we learn how Zachary Auburn discovered the works of young Chapman and his incredible efforts to share said works with the world. As a fan of Star Trek, I was mildly interested when hearing of A

Five Cool Things and Joan Crawford

Cool Things I (re)discovered this week include Swiss Family Robinson, E.T., Hawkeye, Lost at Sea, and Blow-Up.
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I don't know about you but I spend inordinate amounts of time searching for something to watch. You will regularly find me standing in front of my movie shelves trying to decide which one I should put in. Or, as is the case more often these days, you’ll find me scrolling through Netflix or Amazon Prime trying to make that same decision. The perpetual question I must ask myself is whether I want to watch something new or that I have previously viewed. There is comfort in watching something again. Knowing what happens enables you to either catch things you

Five Cool Things and The Shape of Water

Cool things I discovered this week include a new season of Top of the Lake, an old Doctor Who, and a red band Guillermo del Toro trailer.
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I watched one movie every day in the month of August. This is quite unusual for me as I usually average about 15 movies a month. I’m back in my normal track this month as there is just too much good TV out there to only watch movies. So much TV that I made a pact with myself awhile back that I would not watch any new shows until I’d caught up with all the ones I’m currently watching. As you’ll see I’ve already broken that pact. Top of the Lake: China Girl Top of the Lake was originally intended

Fathom Events Presents Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

You haven't lived until you've seen Kirk scream "Khaaaaaan!" on the big screen.
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Star Trek: The Original Series ran on television from 1966 to 1969. It was cancelled after its third season due to dismal ratings. Surprisingly after a few years in syndication, the show became a cult hit and then a cultural phenomenon. So much so that by 1979 Paramount Pictures was willing to spend $46 million on a movie based on the series. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a hit taking in $139 million, but because the high cost of making and promoting it, plus the expectations it would be a Star Wars-like blockbuster Paramount considered it a failure. It

Five Cool Things and Don Williams

Cool things this week include two neo-noirs, a classic Doctor Who, Close Encounters, and a Handmaid's Tale.
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Just jumping right in... Close Encounters of the Third Time There is a scene relatively early in Close Encounters where an alien ship has landed outside a farmhouse in rural Indiana. The mother, panicked, is rushing about the house closing all the windows and locking the doors. Her son, just a toddler, opens the front door. We see nothing outside the door, just dazzling bright lights and then it cuts to a shot of the boy's face bathed in light, full of wonder. In a sense, that one moment exemplifies the entire film, maybe even Steven Spielberg’s entire career. His

Five Cool Things And Hurricane Harvey

Five cool things this week include seeing Castle in the Sky on the big screen, the entire Phantasm series on the little screen plus Arrow Video's release of Re-Animator, and the comics Paper Girls and The Boys.
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As a semi-professional movie reviewer (meaning I get some free perks, but not an actual pay check), I try to find a balance between the things I agree to write about and the things I simply want to enjoy. Sometimes, those things are one and the same. Other times, I find myself carefully watching some god-awful thing pencil in hand, taking notes because, well, that’s what semi-professionals do. This week provided me with a little of both. Castle in the Sky One of those perks is getting press passes to various Fathom Events. Recently they’ve been showing Studio Ghibli films

Wizard World Chicago 2017 Review: A Pretty Good Show

I came, I saw, and in the grand geek tradition, I had a great time but still complained about it online.
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Another summer has come and gone. School buses once again prowl the streets in the early light of day and leaves threaten to change their hue and coat the yard, leading to long weekends worth of raking and sore backs. Along with these recognizable signs of an impending Fall comes another, perhaps less famous but no less important occurrence - Wizard World returned yet again to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in beautiful Rosemont, Illinois and once again, I was there. I came, I saw, and in my own fashion, I conquered. And by “conquered”, I mean that I

Five Cool Things and a Solar Eclipse

Cool things this week include new trailers for Suburbicon and The Punisher, plus Hopscotch, Married to the Mob, and The Love of a Woman.
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Another week, another five cool things. The eclipse dominated the headlines this week. I didn't have any special glasses but my wife made one of those homemade viewers out of a cereal box. Then my neighbor let me borrow his welding shield. Not sure if that's an approved way of viewing or not. I guess you'll find out next week if I call out sick due to blindness. Until then here's five cool things I consumed this week. Hopscotch I had never heard of this spy caper until last week when I caught sight of it in my Pick of

Five Cool Things and Crimetown

This week's cool things include Star Wars, the 50th anniversary of a classic, a Norwegian crime novel, and more.
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After a long day of work, I typically want to do nothing but lay on the couch, watch a movie, and relax. Last week with the wife and child away, that’s pretty much what I did. It was kind of awesome. And yet there is a realization that this is not the healthiest way to live. It is certainly not the best way to raise a child. With the family back this week and with school starting up again, the wife and I created little nightly schedule that attempts to limit the amount of television in our lives. We have

Ronin (1998) Blu-ray Review: Welcome Back to Cinematic Reality, Kids

Arrow Video revives John Frankenheimer's criminally neglected late '90s gritty crime thriller via a beautiful, all-new 4K scan.
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At one point or another amidst whatever we may have selected (or been selected) for our respective careers, we will fall from grace. Even if you're a great filmmaker like John Frankenheimer. In his heyday, the late director (who passed from this world in 2002, shortly after his final contribution to cinema ‒ an HBO docu-drama ‒ premiered) had crafted several groundbreaking films, from the highly fictionalized (but nevertheless well-made) biopic Birdman of Alcatraz, the must-see WWII locomotive heist classic The Train, as well as one of my personal favorites, the 1962 paranoiac conspiracy Cold War thriller, The Manchurian Candidate.

Five Cool Things and a New Cat

This week's five cool things include an atomic Charlize Theron, Christopher Nolan's war film, a haunted house, and more.
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My wife took my daughter to Kentucky to visit her family this week. As anyone who has been in a long-term relationship can tell you, sometimes it's nice to be left alone. I love my family dearly and now that I’m at the tail end of their absence, I miss them madly, but it's been kind of cool to relive my bachelor years. For me, this has mostly meant watching lots of movies and TV shows. In the nine days they’ve been gone, I’ve watched 11 movies and caught up on about half a dozen shows. Here's five of them.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Returns to the Big Screen for 35th Anniversary Celebration Sept. 10 and 13 Only

Two-day-only cinema event to include digitally remastered Director’s Cut and a brand-new William Shatner interview.
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Press release: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the epic science-fiction adventure that continues to captivate audiences, marks its 35th anniversary with a two-day-only return to cinemas nationwide. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will be presented in a digitally remastered Director’s Cut and, as an added bonus for Star Trek and movie fans, William Shatner will appear in a newly produced in-depth interview that will play before each screening. Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures will present Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on Sunday, September 10, and Wednesday, September 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Five Cool Things and Glacier National Park

After a nice vacation, I'm back with five cool things.
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A big thanks to Gordon for handling some of my duties while I was gone. The family and I took a vacation in Glacier National Park. It is an astoundingly beautiful place and I highly recommend it to anyone who is able to go. It is also a really long ways from my Oklahoma home. It is roughly 1,700 miles one way from my house. That’s about 25 hours of drive time, not counting pit stops for gas, lunch and the occasional - my ass is hurting so bad I just have to get out and stand up for awhile.

San Diego Comic-Con 2017: Taking a Step Back for a Look

Four days in July that celebrate everything to do with popular culture.
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What if I said that the San Diego Comic-Con International has nothing to do with comics? For anyone that has attended in the past 15 years, that's probably not a shocking statement on the surface. But what if I told you that the much heralded Comic-Con didn't exist as a cultural touchstone because of movies, television, art, anime, or even Star Wars cosplay? I've written reviews of my experiences at Comic-Con for over ten years and they all follow a similar pattern - I listen to very talented and passionate people talk about shows, books, and subjects that have evolved

Five Cool Things and San Diego Comic-Con 2017

There were cool things all over San Diego this weekend.
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Mat, the normal curator for this coulmn, and his family have gone on vacation, but with San Diego Comic-Con having happened over the weekend, there were too many cool things not to draw attention to some of them. For example: Brigsby Bear While upcoming superhero movies dominated the Con, the one that looked the most interesting was this strange film from Kyle Mooney and friends about a young man obsessed with a television show that features the titular character. Attendees were treated to the first twelve minutes or so just as Kyle's character's life is about to be forever altered

Hailing Frequencies Open with Dennis Hanon, IKV Stranglehold

A discussion about the long-running panel's history and workings.
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Stranglehold is a not-for-profit, San-Diego-based fan group that not only puts on the long running Klingon Lifestyles panel at San Diego Comic-Con (this year held 8:30 PM on Friday in Room 6A), and also cosplays as pirates, steampunk villains, and now Doctor Who. I spoke with Dennis Hanon, who portrays Fleet Admiral K'Han Den to learn more about the panel How did the fan group start? It started as a fan group dedicated to the Star Trek aliens known as Klingons. Through the years it changed from being a fan group to a performance troupe and later adding other elements

Five Cool Things and Ready Player One

This week's cool things include Search Party, Castlevania, Stranger Things, and more.
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As I’m desperately searching for cool things to write about each week, I’ve come to realize that while I’m discovering a lot of new TV shows I’m rarely completing them. Scroll through the archives and you’ll find me talking about starting a new show or a new season of an old show, but ask me if I made it through the season and likely I’ll be answering in the negative. Once I’ve written about something, I have to move on and find something else. This article would be boring if I just wrote about one show every week. Maybe someday

The Fate of the Furious Blu-ray Review: The Franchise Gets a Much-Needed Jump Start

Fate looks good for the F&F family and for fans.
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The Fate opens with the series returning to its roots. Dom (Vin Diesel) gets involved in a race on the streets of Havana standing up for his cousin Fernando. The audience's senses become engaged with bright colors, loud sounds, and beautiful bodies, as the cars race through the streets of Cuba in an intense action sequence that gets wilder by the minute. While walking the streets alone, Dom plays the Good Samaritan to a woman with car trouble, only she turns out to be the notorious cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who mysteriously gets Dom to work for her and turn

Five Cool Things and Edgar Wright

Cool things I consumed this week include the Cornetto Trilogy, Baby Driver, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver came out last week. I made plans with my cousin to see it on Tuesday afternoon. So of course I spent all day Monday watching the Cornetto Trilogy. What else is a guy supposed to do on a long weekend? I didn’t actually plan it that way, but after finishing up a little work Monday morning, I thought it would be fun to throw on Shaun of the Dead as a way to hype myself up for Baby Driver. When I finished it, the wife was happily sewing something and the daughter was busy upstairs playing

Five Cool Things and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Cool things this week include a Jumanji sequel, classic Doctor Who, a Death Note movie and more.
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Another week, another five cool things. GLOW I spoke a couple of weeks back about the trailer to the new Netflix series GLOW and now it's finally dropped. I’ve only made it one episode in, but so far I’m digging it. They definitely get the look and feel of the early '80s just exactly perfect. Marc Maron is great as the down-on-his-luck producer trying to throw some misfit ladies together and make them wrestle for ratings. I’m not quite as sold on Alison Brie’s performance yet, but I’m rooting for her. It's not quite figured out its tone just yet.

Five Cool Things and Game of Thrones: Season 7

Cool things I discovered this week include La La Land, Catwoman comics, and a new Game of Thrones trailer.
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I work from home which has all kinds of advantages. One being that I don't have a boss with prying eyes constantly checking out what I've got pulled up on my screen. Nerd that I am what I've got pulled up on one of my screens is usually a comic book. Whenever I need a short break I pull one up and read a few pages. Day after day, week after week I've been able to read quite a few comics. Got two read this week which is nice because the movie watching took a bit of a hit. But

Wizard World Sacramento 2017 Review: Great Guests and Even Better Panels

This year's con proved to be a better experience for pop-culture fans than the previous year.
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Ever since making its way to Sacramento in 2014, I’ve had the pleasure of covering each Wizard World convention. That was actually the first time I had attended an event of its kind, and I was completely blown away by how much of a nerd nirvana it turned out to be. Whether you are into movies, television shows, comic books, or anything pop-culture related, there was something for everyone at the event. I’ve always looked forward to each one, but, to be honest, I was a little let down by the 2016 convention. I’m not saying it was an entirely

Actor Kevin Sorbo Talks Hercules and More at Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con

Sorbo also talks about playing an exaggerated version of himself in a movie and some of the future projects he has lined up.
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I first interviewed Kevin Sorbo back in 2013, when he was doing a promotion for a little film called Storm Rider. But, back then, I was talking to him over the phone while on my lunch break at the day job I had at the time. This year, I was able to speak to him in person for five minutes. Sure, that’s not a lot of time for an interview, but it’s enough to get in some questions while he’s on a break from signing autographs and taking pictures. Sorbo is one of the many guests lined up for the

Five Cool Things and Anita Pallenberg

Cool things this week include Sherlock, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Panther, Shotgun Stories, David Sedaris, and the Rolling Stones.
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Summer has come to Oklahoma which means it's hot. Damn hot. Too hot to do anything but sit inside and watch movies and TV, which is exactly what I did this week. So let's get to it. Sherlock: "The Six Thatchers" The newest season of Sherlock has been out a little while but I’m just now getting to it. It comes out so sporadically (its been on since 2010 but is only in its fourth season) that my memory of what happened last time is always fuzzy. This episode focuses on Mary, John’s wife, who I barely remember as a

Five Cool Things and Wonder Woman Getting Spanked

Cool things this week also include Bruce Springsteen, The Godfather, American Gods, and Alfred Hitchcock.
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I spent much of last week catching up on all the DC films to prepare myself for the release of Wonder Woman. We had planned to see it on Saturday, but we all got ourselves too excited and wound up catching it Friday night. More on that in a moment. The rest of the week was brimming with lots of cool things. So many in fact, I had to spend a little time narrowing down exactly what I wanted to talk about. Which is my definition of a great week. So let's get to it. Wonder Woman This is the

Five Cool Things and Foo Fighters

Cool things I consumed this week include Xenomorphs, superheroes, and Tatiana Maslany dancing in her undies.
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I try to go into movies cold, knowing as little as possible about them. I might watch a trailer and read the blurb, but there is something really nice about letting a film unfold before you without expectation. That’s really hard to do in this age of anticipation. We are pummeled with so much information about a movie long before it opens I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it before I walk into the theater. This is especially true with big summer blockbusters and comic-book movies. This week I caught a couple of movies I’d been avoiding because the culture

Five Cool Things and The Gifted

Cool things this week include Alfred Hitchock's Sabotage, a new X-Men series, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Bloom County, and more.
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Its been a tough week around here. Last weekend, the cat we’ve had for 12 years went into kidney failure, and we had to put her down. It was like losing a family member. My heart still aches. To clear my head and move away from those thoughts, I watched a lot of movies, read some funny books, and generally tried to be excited about pop culture. Here's the coolest five things I discovered this week. Sabotage I have this weird fear of early Hitchcock films. Mostly, this is due to my mother purchasing me one of those cheap-o boxed

Five Cool Things and Chris Cornell

Cool things this week include Arrival, Burden of Dreams, Foreign Correspondent, Bob Dylan, and Blow Out.
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It was a good week for movies in the Brewster house. I watched a couple of things I’ve been wanting to see for a long while and a couple of others I didn’t know I wanted to see until I sat down and watched them. There was a good comic book, too, and some really good music. I’ll hash it down to five cool things so let's get to it. Arrival Ever since I heard there was an alien-invasion movie whose hero was a linguist (played by the always wonderful Amy Adams), I knew this was a movie I wanted

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