Movie Hunt@ Dollar Tree 6/7/2020

I usually don’t write about the hunt for movies to add to my collection but today was a lot of fun. My Sister Sherry tipped me off that a Dollar Tree store had their supply of movies out early. I knew they’d be out this upcoming Friday but I definitely wasn’t going to pass up a opportunity to expand my collection and maybe obtain some hidden gems and out of print classics. So I sat out early this Sunday morning to meet up with my brother from another Mike aka Porkchop. So at 830 am we pitched out tent for stakeout posts awaiting the opening of the doors. We talked our usual banter and shop talk but our eyes never strayed too far away from the doors and our internal clocks at the ready to remind us to head towards the doors and see what treasures awaited us. I must admit inspite of having a larger than most size collection get excited on these days it’s a lot of fun and laughter. Today was equally significant because outside of the masks and other nonsense it actually felt like a normal day like in the past a day where you’re not constantly thinking of the bad things going on as is what seems to be the new normal. With about 3 to 4 mins before the doors would open we made our stroll from our cars to the beckoning doors. As the doors opened we were met with disappointment as the movie bin wasn’t in the usual place we were used to. It looked like it would be a fruitless experience when upon Porkchop asking we were met with the bin of treasures tucked away in a new spot in the store. We both dived in the first few minutes neither of usual say anything but focus on which titles grab our attention we then begin our jokes and banter and bring to each other’s attention certain movies we’ve seen or recommend. From there we amass our new additions and give the bins and our carts the once over before hitting the register. After more banter in the line the hunt is over as we head to our cars with smiles and laughter this has been a good day.

The Joy Of Collecting: Action Figures

I previously wrote about the possible pitfalls of having a large collection. Last time I talked about my movie collection and the struggle behind getting it organized and trying to come with a system for maintaining and tracking. My action figure collection is quite large and made up of various characters both household pop culture names and lesser known ones. My figures range in sizes from 3 3/4 up to 7 inches tall. I tend to collect favorite characters of mine, unique looks and variant figures ( special costumes, limited circulation or limited numbers made ). I take great pride and joy in my collection I look around my place at the various pieces I choose to display and sometimes I just start beaming with pride. One of the struggles with collecting Action Figures at least for me is choosing to decide to open and display some figures or to keep them in their original packaging. Certain ones I buy and can’t wait to open and pose for others I think of how rare they are or will be and I leave in their packaging. It’s awe inspiring seeing some of my favorite characters seemly come to life right off the pages of my favorite comic or movie.

The Joy Of Collecting: Movies

I came up with this new blog entry to talk about the enjoyment as well as the strain of collecting especially having to keep track when you have an enormous collection. I collect many things ranging from movies,action figures and music to souvenirs of various trips. This time I’ll be covering my movie collection since that’s the project I’m currently wracking my brain trying to come up with a new organization system for. Currently I have my DVDs in media albums labeled by number with the contents alphabetized into a book for ease in finding a movie or whether I already own it. I have my Blu Ray’s in their own albums with their own book. Initially this was a great way to keep track of my collection but then my additions to my collection outpaced me keeping up with organization and now I’m working out a new system. Lack of organization is definitely a pitfall to having a large collection of anything if you are frequently in pursuit of new acquisitions and they tend to outpace your organization efforts. It’s easy to get lost and that can lead to double buying a title or running out of room rather quickly ( Another issue I’m working on ) I think currently I own upwards of 4000 movies and various TV series. I enjoy the hunt of finding something new or vintage that brings back memories or can be shown to someone who is unfamiliar with it. Large collections can be both fun and a lot of work. I think the joy much outweighs the sweat every time.

A Black Man’s Outrage

First of all this is my opinion I’m not looking for any approval or accolades. A few days ago an event flashed across my television screen Gregory and Travis McMicheal were finally arrested and charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. The indifference, lack of concern, and dragging of feet on the part of law enforcement officials to bring in these men in a timely manner is beyond me. Arbery was minding his own business jogging when these two decided to take matters in their own hands and declare themselves the law. Without a shred of proof of any wrongdoing on the part Arbery they chose to attempt to confront and detain him which led to a struggle ending with blood spilled needlessly. The question I and so many others ask is why did it take so long with a video of the incident which took place in February not to light a fire under officials’ butts to bring charges sooner?! Once again an aged old law is hidden behind and used to justify interference with citizens of color living their lives or giving themselves a license to take law into their hands and detain or attempt to apprehend anyone they deem to be where they feel they shouldn’t be. Too often people of color have been targeted by these busybodies who think it’s their given right to use these laws to appoint themselves deputies of the law. Now we add another name to the wall of injustice along side Trevon Martin and the other lesser known names. I can tell you the truth I’ve been faced to accept people of color lives don’t mean anything and too often they make it fine to try to detain or apprehend us because too often they feel we don’t belong in the area or that they are entitled to proclaim themselves a law official of some kind. I’m so tired of people dying doing the simplest things such as jogging or returning back from the store with snacks too often dead at the hands of some asshole trying to detain them from going on with lives. Too often in spite of lack of evidence of any wrongdoing too many damn times we are targeted and harrassed by some cowardly racially insecure busybody who couldn’t cut it as a cop much less a security guard. Too often the real perps are the ones hiding behind the old laws that were geared towards simpler and lawless times too often you shouldn’t have to live in fear of someone entering your home using deadly force under the pretense they are thought it was their home or getting killed returning from the store after getting yourself some candy by someone who thinks he’s the sheriff of the cul de sac or confronted jogging by a pair of inbred jackasses who think they’re Starsky and Hutch. I ask the question if others can live their daily lives without any harm or interruption why can’t we?! Why is some BBQ Becky or someone feel it’s up to them to interfere in our pursuit of happiness they seem to think they’re the only ones entitled to the enjoyment of life and daily routine. I await with bated breath for the loophole filled media sideshow. So often the media attempts to dig up the deceased’s past as if it’s factors into the crime at hand. I fail to see if the fact that deceased smoked a joint two weeks prior or had a bag of marijuana in their apartment has any importance to the their loss of life at the hands of another. The media too often tips the scales of public opinion and help ruin memories of people than they do to honor them. It saddens me that our younger generation will inherit more injustices, more racial indifference, more imbalanced scales of justice, and more empty promises of equality. I write this to testify my outrage and frustration as a Black man living in America. How someone’s insecurities, feelings of entitlement and being overzealous to take the law into their own hands can cost you your life how in spite of a lack of evidence you can be painted unfavorably by a self serving media consumed with sensationalism destroying your character in death and tip the scales of public opinion all for the sake of ratings. It’s a sad state of affairs where you not only fear the police who are to protect and serve but also some self important prejudging nimrods who hide behind the skirts of the law and it’s allowed.

Can’t Sleep

It’s funny I’m not sure what time it is but I can’t sleep as usual in the wee hours of the night or early morning depending upon how one looks at it. The TV is lousy with episodes of long past shows or infomercials promising some new gadget or health enhancement to simplify our lives. So I decided to go my comic book rack and pick out a few comics I’ve never read before. I go to quite a few comic conventions throughout the year especially after my favorite comic store closed an odd number of years ago. Comics Archives was my destination for comics growing up and throughout my early adulthood I spent quite a few allowances and when I started working after high school a portion of my paychecks. I chose a few books of some of my favorite characters The Justice Society. The new Stargirl series set to debut on both the DC Universe streaming series and the CW Network has me quite excited and looking forward to the seeing some of the Justice Society making their live action debuts. Fingers crossed they do no pun intended my favorites Justice. One aspect that excites me is the involvement of Geoff John’s in the writing and production of the upcoming series. Having just read some issues of the Justice Society he had written reminded me about what made me love comic books and what doesn’t keep me too far away from them. Though I tend to not purchase any of the recent comics( more on those reasons later ) I still love and buy back issues whenever I attend a comic book show or convention. Johns’ writing on Justice Society brings back for me the wonder and amazement looking at these characters and their lives in the mask and outside the mask. My imagination is rejuvenated thinking of interacting with characters such as Hourman and Liberty Belle and joining them for their adventures. Comic books never fail to bring the wonder,amazement and memories of weekend afternoons spent reading the fantastic tales of these characters inspiration to do and be better. As I put down this pen I pick up another book ready to return to my wonderful world of costumes, justice and supervillains still the best way to spend time.

2 Stacks Reviews: Tidal Wave

I picked up this gem recently during the Dollar Tree sale as anyone who knows me or my pal Mike AKA Porkchop whenever Dollar Tree has a sale with DVDs and Blu Rays for a buck we’re there. Going through the new additions I’ve obtained this sale i chose to view this Korean disaster film. Tidal Wave boasts a forgettable cast of characters introduced in downright silly borderline slapstick scenarios. It’s not until the last 30 minutes that it lives up to the hype displayed on the case. The special effects were grade A and the characters seemed to finally come to life as you put the away the silliness and start to take the situation seriously. The last 30 minutes were the best part of the movie and certainly well worth fast forwarding to the last act for the real enjoyment. I’d place Tidal Wave near the bottom of the stack.

2 Stacks Reviews: Contract Killers (2014)

An underbaked generic would be action flick. Contract Killers introduces us to Marshall( James Trevena-Brown) just on his 1st assignment as a hitman is saved by Sebastian a experienced hitman who he returns the favor and saves him from capture by the police fast forward a few years later. Sebastian is among a list of hitmen set up to die at the hands of a mysterious assassin (Rob Young). The movie is lousy with bad editing, cliche scenarios bad acting doesn’t help as the main actors and extras both are obviously still honing their craft. Brown is okay as Marshall for what he’s given to work with which isn’t much Young portrays the cold blooded assassin without much enthusiasm or anything to make the character his own. Contract Killers is nothing new we’ve already seen this story before and done much better this movie definitely earns it’s place at the bottom of the stack.

2 Stacks Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

I just got through watching the latest incarnation of the Eastman and Laird creations Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This incarnation is pretty clever with the action and the turtles scences also the villain Shredder is pretty cool but his armor reminds you of The Silver Samurai from the movie The Wolverine. The film opens up with reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and cameraman Veron Fenwick (Will Arnett) chasing down stories. O’Neil is desperate for a scoop on the mysterious Foot Clan who are raising crime rates in their efforts to take over New York. Stumbling on a attempted heist O’Neil soon has an encounter with the Turtles who foil the heist. She tries to report this next day but no one believes her story including Fenwick. After the foiled heist Shredder orders the Foot clan to create a hostage situation to draw out their adversaries. O’Neil happens upon the subway hostage situation and ends up taken hostage with the subway commuters. The Turtles intervene blowing the lights and using surprise and stealth to capture the Foot Clan members. O’Neil desperate to prove herself tails the Turtles to the rooftops where she takes pictures which the Turtles erase before they part company and you know the next day no one really believes her leading to her getting fired from the TV station. The rest of the movie is typical actioner with a lot of convenient circumstances. Fox and Arnett try yet both their characters come off as annoying and flat. Their scenes are drawn out and bring the film to a halt. The lackluster chemistry between the two is cringeworthy the scenes with the Turtles are fun silly and over the top as they should be. This version brings nothing really new but a drawn out plot with lackluster characters. I give this version of the Turtles a bottom of the stack unfortunately.

2 Stacks Reviews: Clearskin

Today I watched a film I picked up during a recent movie hunt at Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree has within the last few years become a great place to pick up DVDs and Blu Rays to add to your collection at a minimal price of only a buck. They have begun having more of these sales as the popularity has grown. I picked up a Sean Bean action thriller called Clearskin. Bean stars as a clique secret agent will a tragic past who doesn’t say much and just mopes around looking sad. Bean’s character is hunting for a terrorist group who have stolen some explosives and used some for one terrorist attack with a much larger one yet to follow. Most of the film is relatively routine except for a few twists that you definitely do not see coming. It was a slow burn which dragged in certain parts but it certainly picked up in the final act. Clearskin is a middle of the stack film but definitely worth a viewing on a boring day or with a quarantine going on.

The Action Figure Headhunter 00

Welcome to my 1st edition of the Action Figure Headhunter. My new blog entry devoted to my love for action figures. I’ve always had a thing for action figures that dates back to growing up in what I now consider the true golden age the 70s. In the 70s you had some of the best lines everything from Evel Knievel to The Six Million Dollar Man to my personal favorites The Micronauts. I’m sure I’ll be covering them all in future entries especially as I hunt nostalgic figures I grew up with. I just added to my collection a DC Comics Kingdom Come Superman. This figure is based on the 1996 4 issue mini series written by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. The artwork also by Ross is phenomenal bringing the characters to life. The mini series deals with a future where Batman Superman and Wonder Woman are retired and the world is a powder keg with the superhero/ supervillain community in battle with mankind in the middle. The mini series is a thing of beauty I highly recommend for readers. The moment I saw this figure online I knew I had to get one especially with there being only 3 available left in inventory from the toy website Toy Wiz. I ordered and waited patiently for my newest treasure to arrive. Finally I opened my front door to see a box on my porch from Toy Wiz. So excited I could barely get the mail and box in the house as the box seemed to scream ” open me ” I managed to shut the door and put any envelopes down as I turn my full attention to the box sitting on my table. Opening slowly with care I open to a thing of beauty seeming to leap right off the pages of the mini series. The figure sculpted from Ross’s artwork is a thing of beauty which stands out and gives you a wide grin of ownership. I know this one will go into my collectables pile that remains unopened and be a jewel for many years to come.