Archive for June, 2010

Before the hiatus…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by Jason

Just wanted to let y’all know, I will be heading for Cincinnati for vacation at 9:00 PM tonight.  Movie Battle vol.2 will be up later this evening.  I would have posted it last night, but I got too hungry and tired when I was about 90% done.  See you guys when I get back.

Feeding the Hun-grrr

Posted in Toys, Transformers with tags , , , , , on June 27, 2010 by Jason

So, nothing much has happened this weekend.  We decided to go out yesterday to stock up on a few things we needed for our upcoming trip to Cincinnati.  My fiancee decided to shop for some clothes and suggested that while she was shopping, I should go check out the new comic shop in town.  What a great suggestion!  Now, in the seven years I’ve lived in upstate N.Y., there has not been a comic shop within a reasonable distance from where I live.

I had seen the shop on a passing trip through Cobleskill, and I saw a sign on the sidewalk proclaiming the grand opening of a new comic shop.  I didn’t get to stop that day, but I was amped at the opportunity to be a regular customer at this new establishment.  As the day went on I was informed that the building that housed the comic shop, burned to the ground later that day!  I was pissed!  Here I was, happy as can be because I might be able to rekindle a passion reading comics, and the savior burns to the ground!

There is a happy ending though.  About a week after this the owner of the shop found a new location in town, and was open for business a few weeks later.  The owner told me that he was open for about 45 minutes before the fire occured.  That has got to be a shitty feeling on your first day!  Anyway, not only does he have over one million comics.  He sells vintage toys as well.  He has G.I. Joe toys mint in box, Masters of the Universe( Castle Grayskull mint in box!! ), as well as Transformers and other toys from the 80s and 90s.

This brings us to the point of the post.  I was able to haggle a little bit to get this two headed Transformer I remember having as a kid, for seven bucks!

Further research tells me that this is Hun-grrr.  He is the central Decepticon Terrorcon in the combiner known as Abominus.  He was in one small story arc of the original G1 cartoon.  Obviously, he didn’t have a huge impact on the youth at large, but he held a special place in my heart.  A two headed dragon that transforms into a robot!!  Did I mention that he is a two headed dragon?  I went home and did the happy dance as I transformed him.  Although he looks badass in his dragon form, he will be displayed in his robot form, for now.

At 23, I think he looks pretty good.

 

I hope it’s not too early for Halloween

Posted in Halloween, Memories, Toys with tags , , , on June 23, 2010 by Jason

Okay.  So as I was thinking of some blogging fodder, I remembered something(s) I had that I wanted reviewed.  The thought that followed went something like this…”But that’s related to Halloween.  Why don’t you wait until at least late August to talk about these?”  I figured, what the hell?!  If I know the type of people who visit here, they will happily take something Halloween related any time of the year(except in December when we’re all consumed in Christmas and the X-E Advent Calendar :) ).

I know that McDonald’s was a happy place when I was growing up.  But, there are quite a few differences.  I’m not going to turn this into a rant about how some people just want to suck the life out of everything, rather, help you remember a time when life was sweet and nothing really mattered.  That’s right, I’m talking about childhood and McDonald’s in the 80s!

Before we get to the meat of this article, I would just like to point out some differences and memories of McDonald’s then and now.  Back in the day there was no such thing as a Mighty Kids Meal.  If you wanted 6 chicken McNuggets, you ordered a chicken McNugget Happy Meal.  I was always a fan of their BBQ sauce, but my younger brother always got honey with his nuggets.  What ever happened to the honey?  What ever happened to the Fry Guys?  And, what ever happened to all Happy Meals coming in those cool boxes(bags are so BK)?  And lastly where are our McNugget Buddies?

Well I don’t have any answers for you.  But I do have a few things based on those last two questions that I would like to share with you.  For me, the McNugget Buddies are one of my favorite McDonald’s Happy Meal toys ever!  There was just something so simple, yet so fun with these guys.  Was it the fact that they were little representations of the living McNuggets we saw on television?  Or, was it the fact that they were kind of customizable?  I think the answer may be both.  I also think that part of it had to do with them first debuting as toys around the Halloween season.

If you visit X-Entertainment, you will know that Mumm-Ra crashed these guys’ Halloween Shindig last year.

But I’m not here to talk about the Halloween McNugget Buddies, rather the cardboard house they came in beore we took them to their new home.  Yes people.  I’m talking about the Happy Meal boxes that these guys came in with you meal.  Nowadys, when you go to McDonald’s, sometimes your Happy Meal will come in a paper bag.  What the fuck!!  Part of the appeal of a Happy Meal besides the toy and the food, was the neat box it was all packaged in.  Growing up, I don’t think a single Happy Meal I got didn’t come in one of those neat boxes.

These are said boxes that the Halloween McNugget buddies came in.

Now from what I remember, there are usually four different boxes to promote each different Happy Meal.  Well, I only have three of the boxes.  When I bought the set of the McNugget Buddies from a garage sale (still in their sealed packages), these three boxes came with them as well.  The woman I bought them from had hundreds of complete Happy Meal toy sets, some had the corresponding boxes sold with them.  She also gave me two of the McBoo pails for free.  Let me tell you, I was ecstatic!  Back to the boxes.

The picture above is of the front of the boxes.  As you can see they are completely covered in Halloween graphics.  There were puzzles, games and jokes all over these boxes.  They really went all out.  Click on any of the pictures to see exactly what I’m talking about.

Halloween and McDonald’s just seem to go together. But it just seems that some people don’t agree with me.  If they would just understand moderation.  And just so they know…I didn’t just tell my parents that I wanted McDonald’s cuz of the hot new toys they were peddling, but I actually enjoyed the food and the atmosphere.  The toys were kind of an extra.  An extra that I was Happy to have with my Meal.

Tonight, tonight…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 by Jason

I have an interesting post coming up tonight.  A flashback of sorts.  I don’t know how these things survived…………….

Yard sale finds #2

Posted in Toys, Transformers, Yard Sale Finds with tags , , , , on June 20, 2010 by Jason

Today we have some cool items that I obtained going yard-saling yesterday.  This venture proved to be less successful than the last.  While I did not get as good a haul as I anticipated, I returned home happy nonetheless(is that correct?).  The items will be listed in the order of their coolness.  I figured that way to be best, because if I showed them in the order that I found them, this would end up being pretty anti-climactic.

So, let’s get down to business.

First up, let it be known that I am a big ice hockey fan.  Since I started watching hockey games at the age of ten or eleven, I have been a faithful follower of the New York Rangers.  Most of the time I go yard saling or garage saling, I’m not looking for hockey related merchandise.  But what I found came home with me because it is a similar to an item I once owned.

I believe these guys were called “Hockey Brats” or something.  This keychain is stamped 1986 and looks almost brand new.  We were perusing the streets a little after 4 pm, and a lot of people were done for the day, so we stumbled upon a few piles next to the curb, marked “free”.  My motto is, “If it’s free it’s for me!”.  I found this guy and a couple of paperback books absolutely free of charge.  I just think it’s funny that the Philadelphia Flyers(the team this guy plays for), lost in the Finals this year and he wound up in the trash.

Next up, we have something that I haven’t owned before.  This is hard to believe.

This is a Koopa Paratroopa from the 1989 McDonald’s Super Mario Bros. 3 happy meal promotion.  This guy is missing the bulb and tube that connects to his rear end to make him hop.  The Koopa Paratroopa is one of my all time favorite Nintendo characters.  He was found in a box of mixed crap.  I figured he probably cost about 25 cents, and when I asked the lady how much, she said, “You can keep it.”  So far we haven’t spent any money and we have something to show for it.

This next item is the most recent.  He comes to us from the 2002 McDonald’s promotion for Transformers Energon.  Ladies and gentlemen…Scorponok!

This guy actually transforms very well.  For a Happy Meal toy, this is surprisingly well made.  He was in a box of items going for 25 cents each.  I located his matching trading card in the same box and got both of them for the low, low price of one quarter.  Still haven’t even broke a dollar yet.

I saved the biggest and most expensive find for last.  I won’t say what it is, I’ll just show it to you.

That’s right people.  We have a 1986 Lazer Tag gun and target.  The gun is missing a cover for the light, but other than that, I see nothing wrong with it.  Both the gun and the target take a 9-volt battery to operate and I currently don’t have any to test it.  I believe the target might have been part of the vest that you would wear, as there’s a patch of velcro on the back of it.  This was the most expensive purchase of the day totaling fifty cents.

Ther you have it folks!  A pretty good day.  I only spent 75 cents.  And for those of you who wish to know the books I got…they were, Shutter Island, Go Ask Alice and a 1954 copy of Lord of the Flies.

Update 9/9/10: I misidentified the McDonald’s Transformer.  I mistakenly thought it was Scorponok (being that the card I found him with was a Scorponok card, and the color scheme was appropriate), when in fact it is Megatron(which is sadly missing the turret for his tank mode).

Looking back, Chapter 1

Posted in Memories, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by Jason

While thinking of a topic to write about, I had all sorts of things going through my head.  Most of the things that I swirling in my head today are things that I am quite fond of and I have been into or liked for a big part of my life.

Alot of the stuff I was thinking about was in someway attached to my childhood and early teen years.  Things that helped shape me and define the person I am today.  Growing up in the 80’s, as alot of you know was an interesting time.  There is all types of stuff from that decade that I think about on an almost daily basis.  And I know that this is said alot but, things really did seem simpler back then.  And I’m not talking about not having the responsibilities we have as adults.  The economy was on the up and up, the sky was the limit for everything, and in my honest opinion that decade had the best toys and tv programming as well as movies I have seen to date.  I have alot of fond memories of all of this.  Today I guess, I’m still a kid.  I still buy toys and watch old tv shows and wake up early Saturday morning to catch TMNT.  Speaking of which, have Saturday morning cartoons go the way of the dodo, or what?  I remeber the Big 3 networks(NBC, CBS, & ABC), as well as some big but not as huge networks(WPIX & Fox), vying for our viewership.  I’ve looked at the shit they pass off nowadays.  95% of it is garbage!  Let’s look back at some stuff that will give us happy thoughts.

First, I would like to talk about someone I loved as a kid, and still do today.  I watched him find his lost bike hundreds of times, and I knew when he came on tv Saturday mornings, that Saturday morning was over and either golf or tennis would be coming on next.  You know who it is. Don’t act like you don’t!

Even though he’s insane, I think he helps me keep my sanity.  Just watching the intro makes me want to live there.  Here was a grown-up, who was a kid and lived in a house that no parent would ever live in!  He lived by himself and lived by his own rules.  I always wondered what happened to his house in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.  And because of X-E, I can’t look at that door and not have Skeletor with Moss Man’s arms pop into my head!  Anyway, religiously watched his show every Saturday and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was one of the most watched tapes in the house.  One thing me and my younger brother always thought was how much our stepmom looked like Large Marge, I’m serious(I’ll do a comparison in a later post).  I have heard alot of people say that the Large Marge scene scared the shit out of them in their younger days, but my brother and I thought it was one of the funniest things we ever saw!  When we would watch it alone, my brother had a habit of rewinding any parts of the movie we thought was funny, repeatedly!  It was funny about the first 2 times.  Still to this day, I go frame by frame at least once when I watch it.

Next up, we have something that ruled everyones lives.  The Nintendo Entertainment System owned me from 1985 until 1991 when it was Super Nintendo’s turn.  I would play any game on this, any time I could.  Getting a new game was a family event.  My dad would play the games with us and really get into it(I learned a few new words ‘cuz of that).  I’m not gonna get to in depth, because this subject has been covered by so many.  But, being that before we spoke of the NES, we spoke about Pee-Wee…..How about this?

These days it seems that there is little thought put into the child demographic.  But, we have learned to be more politically corect these days and most of that shit wouldn’t fly today.

Another huge part of my childhood was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  They were on everything and they were everywhere!  We had the cartoon, the toys, the movies, the food, shampoo, bed sheets and the all so sacred pudding pies.  To this day, I would say that the Turtles are my favorite cartoon/toy line.  I didn’t have the Turtle Van or Blimp or the technodrome.  My brother and I only got one or two playsets growing up, but we had ass loads of figures.  The figures spanned every major and minor toy line that was available.  The ones we had the most of were G.I Joe, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

 

 Michaelangelo started out as my favorite, but that only lasted for about a month.  Donatello has since been my favorite pizza eating reptile.  By the early 90s, you could watch the Turtles on Saturday morning, and watch them on WPIX(NY), after school on weekdays.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I think the Turtles were the last big cartoon/toyline for me.  As you go through school, certain things made you a “baby”.  Playing with toys was one of them, although I still got toys once in a while, and I haven’t stopped watching cartoons, but the kids in school didn’t need to know that.

The turtles cartoon debuted in 1988.  By the time 1991 rolled around, I was starting to spend my allowance collecting comics.  It was thanks to this hobby, that I found the gritty Turtles form the original Mirage comic book series.  I will say that I am a huge fan of the original turtles and have many of the original comica and the Donatello Neca figure still inside of his plastic prison.  I went to a comic convention at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in 2002(when I lived in the city), and to my surprise Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Turtles was in attendance.  There was nobody in line for him, so I swooped right in.  He was an awesome individual.  We had a brief conversation and I asked if he would sketch something for me.  He asked if I had anything to sketch on, so I grabbed a backing board from one of my purchases and gave that to him to sketch.  Here is what I recieved a few minutes later.

I got an awesome sketch of “Mike”.  Watching him do this was amazing.  No pencils.  Just a thin tipped Sharpie and a regular Sharpie.  I consider myself a decent artist, but ther would be no way for me to sketch something with a Sharpie that’s suitable for framing.

On a final note.  I would like to say, if you’re a fan of the Turtles and haven’t seen the three episode “Turtles Forever”, jump on it.  The present day Turtles meet their 1988 counterparts as well as their 1984 counterparts.  This was an awesome surprise for older Turtle fans.  They even left the 1984 turtles black and white.  I felt like a kid again, only this time coffee and cigarettes replaced my bowl of cereal.

After work…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 by Jason

There will be a new post going up this evening.  I don’t know what it will be about yet.  I am open to suggestions.  I’ll start when I get home from work(5pm est).  See ya then!!!

My 5 favorite NES games

Posted in Memories, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by Jason

Tonight, I wanted to show a little love for my favorite video game console ever..the Nintendo Entertainment System, or the NES.  I remember that when my dad brought it home, we were like, the second family in the neighborhood that had one.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what the hell Nintendo was until the day my dad brought it home(this was in 1985).  Ever since my first turn at Super Mario Bros. I was hooked!  Now, I always read stories about when people were younger, played this with their friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I played this by myself, with my friends, and…With my dad and stepmom?  Yes, this is true.  My dad was just slightly less addicted to this machine than my younger brother and I were.  In my family, Nintendo was a BIG thing.  For about the first six months after we had the system, we went out every weekend and my brother and I would alternate choosing what game to buy, and my dad would make a selection as well.  The first game I chose was Excitebike(very fun game, not in my top five).  After those initial six months, video stores began to rent them, and my dad was hip to that, so we rented many a game from “Bob’s Video”(seriously, that was the store’s real name!).  Anyways…being how huge Nintendo was to me growing up(and to some extent now), I figured it would be fitting to showcase my top 5 favorite Nintendo games.  There were alot of hard choices to make.  I based my choices on memories of the game, how much I played it, and the fun factor and the playability of the game, even to this day.

Now, this list might not suit everyone.  I’m pretty sure they’re all classics.  I wanna get this out of the way before we start…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(the first one), almost made this list.  I know alot of people cite this game as being to hard and hate playing it.  I too believe it is hard as hell.  But, Everytime I play it, I end up enjoying myself playing it.  I don’t even want to hear about the under water bomb-disposal stage being to hard.  If you take your time, it’s not so bad.  However, after that it’s a bitch!

Let’s get down to business.

Coming in at number (johnny) five is…Metroid.  I remember getting extremely frustrated with this game when we first got it.  I would get the initial power-ups, and then I would get stuck, and than I’d play something else instead.  After I got over sucking at it, I decided to give it my all.  Friends helped me.  Nintendo Power helped me.  And I finally beat it.  This was one of the most satisfying video games I have ever beaten.  Nowadays, this would take me months to beat.  But I guarantee you one thing, if you can make it to Mother Brain with missles, I can beat it from there!  Here is a picture of the cartridge from my collection(all of the games within are my own), as well as a screen shot(all taken from Google images) from the game.

Coming in at number four, we have everybody’s favorite 8-bit shooter.  Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Select, Start.  Ring any bells??  I hope at least 85% of you knows what this is.  This is the classic 30 lives code for Contra.  Out of all the gun upgrades in this game, I’m a fan of the spread gun(Matt over at X-E prefers the laser).  This was a game that my dad would play with me and my brother.  I remember one time I said that I wanted to get the flame thrower that just came on screen, and my dad was pissed saying that he needed it, and I expressed how I needed it.  Then, it came down to him telling me to take it…awww.  I refused, and he said to take it or he would turn the system off.  Me, being the hard-headed person I am and was, still refused and he turned it off.  I think I went outside and played with toys and dirt and he watched a baseball game.  Another fond memory I have of this game is…My dad had acquired a gun upgrade that he didn’t want and said, “I needed that like I need a hole in my head.”, and immediately got shot.  We laughed about that every time that game was played.  And yes, I can beat this game.  Haven’t tried it recently withhout the 30 life code though.

The next game on my list is what started my obsession, of course it’s Super Mario Bros.!  I used to play this game non-stop.  When I discovered the warp zone to levels 6-8, I had my older brother, who was babysitting us at the time, call my dad at the restaurant he was at with my stepmom to tell him the good news.  It stands the test of time in my book.  I will play this game and beat it anytime it’s in an NES.  There’s nothing much I can tell you about this game that you already don’t know.  Well…maybe…Before Mario Bros., Mario was known as Jumpman.  Long story short, at Nintendo’s office in New York, their landlord was an Italian man who looked like Jumpman, his name was Mario.

I played Duck Hunt alot too…Fuckin’ dog!!

The next game is a game that I consider, a game that I’ve mastered.  I only consider Super Mario Bros. and this next game, games that I have mastered.  Meaning 10 out of 10 times i will beat the game with one life and no continues, without warping or passwords.  Sometimes it’s 9 out of 10, but hey, we all drink sometimes!  This was a game where I got my tips from school before I got my subscription to Nintendo Power.  This was a game before the ear-biter, was an ear-biter(Mike, you were the shit in The Hang-Over!).Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!  All of your opponents were racial stereotypes, this shit wouldn’t fly nowadays, but I guess Punch-Out for the Wii proved me wrong, in a way.  Some of the shit your rivals say in the original wouldn’t be on the Wii version, right(I don’t own a Wii)?

And, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, my number one NES game of all time(any game for that matter), The Legend of Zelda.  This game was all I played for quite awhile.  I’d wake up early on weekdays so I could eat and get dressed before school, and play some Zelda.  I would wake up before cartoons on Saturdays and play me some Zelda.  For some reason, I was the only one in my family to really like this game.  We all played for a little while and then, it was just me.  I have a few questions like Matt…Why did that Moblin give us rupees?  Why were we only allowed to carry a maximum of 255 rupees?  And why was the cartridge gold?  I love the gold cartridge version.  The only other gold cartridges for the NES were The Adventure of Link, unlicensed games, and the NWC gold cart(of which only 26 were confirmed to be produced).

Well, those are my top 5.  Discuss your top 5 in the comments.

Trading Cards

Posted in Trading cards with tags , , , , , , on June 13, 2010 by Jason

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about something a little different, but I’m sure many have indulged in.  Just as there was toys and comic books for cartoons and movies, there were trading cards.  For me, collecting comics and trading cards went hand in hand.  Sure, I collected baseball cards in the beginning, but then I found non-sports trading cards.  Just as there were kids trading their Pokemon cards at school 10 years ago, I remember trading Marvel Universe trading cards before class.

These things were all the rage in my school.  Even if you weren’t into comics, you collected these cards.  For me though, these were an awesome addition to the comics I was reading and collecting.  There were cards of characters you knew and ones for those that you weren’t familiar with.  But with these cards, they added something every kid pined for.  Randomly inserted into these packs were 5 different hologram cards for kids to collect.  I think on average, there were 2-3 holograms per box.  I learned a trick to finding the holograms before you bought a pack from a kid a grade above me.  These packs were made of plastic.  If you scratched a small hole on the front of the pack, you would see if that pack had a hologram(all of the hologram cards manufactured were the first cards in the packs that contained them).  Of couse, store owners and employees realised this and had to place them closer to the registers.  To get around this, I found out another way to find out which packs had those precious hologram cards.  If you placed 2 packs side by side, you could tell which packs had holograms by finding which packs were just a bit taller compared to the other packs(hologram cards were just a bit thicker than ordinary cards).

Here are two sealed packs from 1991.  Sorry, I’m not going to open them today.

And these are the cards

As you can see, there were a few different sub-sets.  We have Super Heroes, Super Villains, Rookies, Famous Battles and some cheesy Spider-Man interview cards(not pictured).  On the back of each card it gave you some stats, such as, their real name(if known), their height and weight, as well as the comic book they first appeared in and their win/loss record.  On the bottom of the card backs there were little trivia blurbs, titled, “Did you know?”.

I bought countless packs of these and eventually completed the set and had each of the 5 holograms.  Of course, alot of wheelin’ and dealin’ went on.  For some reason, it seemed that the card of Quasar was the most difficult to obtain, and he’s like a D-list character!  This was the first of many wildly successful comic book trading card series

Of course comic books weren’t the only cards that got the trading card treatment.  If you’re around the same age as me(31), I’m sure you remember Nintendo being a way of life for a good chunk of years.  There was merchandise for everything Nintendo.  Games, magazines, sheet sets, stationary and toys.  In 1989 our good freinds at Topps, put Nintendo GamePack trading/scratch and win cards on the market.  There were one of three Nintendo characters on the wrappers.  There was Mario(of course), Princess Peach and Link.

Here is an unopened pack with Link on the wrapper.

And here are the cards.

The idea behind these cards was the same idea of scrtch-off lottery tickets.  On the back of the card, they showed you all of the possible icons you would uncover by scratching the different spots on the front, and their meaning.  Your objective was the same as the game that the card represented.  There were six different games represented, with a total of 10 different cards for each game.  The games represented are, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.2, The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, Punch-Out!! and Double Dragon.  In addition to the 3 trading cards cards you got in every pack you also got 2 stickers.  On the back of these stickers there were “Top Secret Tips”. Most of these so-called ‘tips”, were bullshit!  Almost every kid on earth knew them already!  Maybe I’ll show you some examples in a future post.  The cards were pretty much useless after you scratched them, but that didn’t stop me from buying a whole lotta them!

The last set of cards we’ll revisit are cards that I went absolutely nuts for in the 3rd grade.  I present to you…ALF trading cards.

In 1987 our friends at Topps(seriously, is there a property they didn’t make cards after?), unleashed ALF trading cards to the masses.  As you can tell from the picture above, the cards must have been successful, as they released a 2nd series.  In each of these packs, you got 5 cards, 1 sticker and 1 stick of Topps’ famously stale gum(do not eat!).  I remember trading my regular cards and stickers for the “Bouillabaseball” cards.  These cards were cartoon drawings of different Melmacians that played on various bouillabaseball teams.  I have no idea how they came about, but I loved them.  They had a weirdness about them that totally spoke to me.

Here’s a few of the cards and stickers you could have got.

And there you have it!  A few of the many trading cards marketed to the kids we all once were.  I wouldn’t say that I won’t do a similar post in the future, as I have a huge selection in my personal collection.  I hope you had fun on this trip back in time.  And with the famous line from Jerry Springer…”‘Until next time America”.

Movie Battle vol.1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by Jason

OK.  So, I was trying to think of a subject I could talk about here.  I figured I would entertain you with an alphabetical movie face-off of my collection.  If I haven’t seen the movie, it will not be eligible for the battle.  I have a few movies I have bought and just haven’t got around to watching them.  Some of the movies are my fiancee’s, and I haven’t watched(I have watched some of her movies).  I’m so bad at getting around to watching movies.  I have like 4 movies I borrowed from one of my friends, and I still haven’t watched them over a year later.  Some of the titles you will love, others you might hate.  There might be some that you think “why does he own that?”  And others you will refer to as classics.

This will be the first of a hopefully ongoing series.  In each volume of this series we will pit 2 movies(which I’ve seen and own) head to head.  I will discuss memorable scenes and/or quotes, and give a letter grade, to determine a victor.  Understand this is my opinion, and I fully expect some of you to disagree with me in my choices.  I am hoping I will spotlight some of your favorite flicks as well.  There will be six matches this evening, for a total of one dozen movies.  “Let’s begin, shall we?, Shall we?!”  100 points if you know what movie that line is from.

Let’s meet the combatants for the first match.  In the red corner we have 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag.  And in the blue corner we have 3000 Miles to Graceland.

Now, before we get to the mini review for each film, let me inform you that the review will represent what I remember.

8 heads in a Duffle Bag-  Joe Pesci is a mobster, who has a duffle bag  with 8 decapitated human heads in it.  The reason he has these heads is for evidence that he killed these guys.  Then, we have a couple going down to Baja, and the man of the couple mistakes Joe Pesci’s bag as his own…you know, the classic “mistaken luggage movie plot”.  The man discovers that he has the wrong bag when the dog pulls a head out of the bag.  He does a good job from hiding it from everybody, but every time he tries to dispose of the bag, something foils his attempt.  Joe Pesci needs those heads or he’s a dead man.  Hilarity ensues.  Grade-  C+

Memorable line-  I can’t remember any dialogue from that movie.

3000 Miles to Graceland-  Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell are part of a small band of thieves who rob a casino dressed as Elvis impersonators during a huge Elvis convention at said casino.  One gets shot during the getaway, and Kevin Costner basically puts him out of his misery.  Mr. Costner then procedes to try and eliminate the rest of the crew so he doesn’t have to share the score with anyone.  He succeeds in killing 2 of the remaining 3.  Kurt Russell doesn’t go down like a bitch.  A lot of bad-ass shit goes down between the two.  In the end Kurt Russell and a smokin’ Courtney Cox live happily ever after.  Grade-  A

Memorable line-  “What’s the smartest thing to ever come out a bitch’s mouth?”  “Einstein’s cock!”-  David Arquette

Winner-  3000 Miles to Graceland

Our next match-up is a doozy!  Coming to the ring first we have…American History X.  And following that entrance, we have Anchorman-The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

American History X-Derek Vinyard’s(Edward Norton), father is a firefighter who is killed in the line of duty.  Derek believes that his father died because of minorities.  Derek becomes a skinhead and rises through he ranks quickly.   His younger brother Danny(Edward Furlong) emulates his brother and wants to be like him.  Derek ends up in prison and while in there, he realizes how wrong he is about everything.  Meanwhile Danny is becoming more heavily involved in the skinhead lifestyle.  When Derek is released from prison, he makes it his duty to try and reverse his brother’s thinking.  It ends up being to late, as Danny is shot and killed in a school bathroom.     Grade-  A-

Memorable line-  This movie rings so true.  I don’t think that there is a true memorable line, but rather, a memorable message…Life is too short to hate.

Anchorman-The Legend of Ron Burgundy-  Will Ferrell is Ron Burgundy, the hottest anchorman in town.  A woman(Christina Applegate) is hired to the station and Ron tries to bed her.  She wants to be a co-anchor but Ron doesn’t believe that is a position for a woman.  Eventually Ron gets fired and is all depressed.  In the end he saves the day and gets his job back and gets the lady.  Grade-  A+

Memorable line(s)-  “LOUD NOISES!”  “I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!”-  Steve Carell

Winner-  Anchorman-The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Our next contestants are…Austin Powers:The Spy Who Shagged Me and Back to School.

Austin Powers:The Spy Who Shagged Me-  It’s been a long time since I saw this one.  But we were at Big Lots and it was only 3 bucks.  How could I say no?  We all know this is a spoof on the James Bond series.  Mike Myers plays our hero, Austin Powers and his nemesis, Doctor Evil.  As I said, I haven’t watched this in forever, and the only thing I can tell you is…that mini-me makes his debut as well as Fat Bastard.  Right?  Austin stops Doctor Evil from destroying the world and saves the day.  Grade-  C-

Memorable line-  “Yeah baby!”-  Mike Myers

Back to School-  Thornton Melon(Rodney Dangerfield), is a self made millionaire, with his “Tall and Fat” stores.  His son, Jason is in college and is stressed out, and wants to drop out.  Thornton doesn’t like the idea of that , and being that he never went to college, he decides to enroll himself, and encourage Jason.  Being that Thonrton is a millionaire, he is the life of the campus.  The dorm he, along with Jason and his room mate share is top notch.  The place is the size of 3 dorm rooms and has a hot tub.  Thornton parties hard and pays to have experts do his assignments.  Jason begins to resent his father because he is not working for this achievement, he is paying for someone else to do it.  Thornton gets the message loud and clear.  He studies and memorizes hard-core to pass  a final exam and not get expelled.  He succeeds and Jason is once again a proud son and now a graduate.  Grade-  A+

Memorable line-  “Say When.”-  Girl in hot tub, pouring champagne, “Right after this drink.”-  Rodney Dangerfield

Winner-  Back to School

This next match is scheduled for one fall.  Starring John Travolta, we have Be Cool.  And starring Michael Keaton, we welcome Beetlejuice.

Be Cool-  John Travolta is a music producer and…okay I’ve seen this twice and while it’s a good movie I can’t remember much more than an all-star cast.  Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a.-The Rock does an awesome job as a gay siger/diva.  In my opinion he makes this movie.  Rounding out this A-List cast is, Uma Thurman, Andre 3000, Cedric the Entertainer, Vince Vaughn and a cameo from Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.  Grade- B

Memorable line-  John Travolta(Chili), looking at man’s chest hair,  “Is that chest hair real?”, “Yes.” says the hairy man.  John Travolta then grabs him by that hair and throws him across the pawn shop.

Beetlejuice-  The yuppie Maitlands die on their way home from their hardware store, and end up in limbo.  A new family has purchased the house and are gutting it and making it their own.  The Maitlands try their best to scare the new family away, but humorously fail.  They end up seeing a commercial for “Beetlguise” and enlist his services.  Beetlejuice(Michael Keaton), wreaks havoc and turns everything upside down.  In the end, they get rid of Beetlejuice and the 2 families, alive and dead, learn to live together.  Grade-  A+

Memorable line-  “Ya bucha losers!”, “You’re dealin’ with a professional here!”-  Michael Keaton

Winner-  Beetlejuice

Only two matches to go!

Facing off in the squared circle, we have…Big Bully vs. Big Money Hustlas

Big Bully-  When David Leary(Rick Moranis) is in grade school, a moon rock is brought in to the school for a display.  Rosco Bigger(Tom Arnold) stole it and David ratted him out.  He was arrested and he moved.  I’d say it’s about twenty years later, and David starts a teaching job in his old Minnesota school.  Little does he know, his childhood bully is a teacher at the school as well.  The battle pretty much starts out where the childhood rivalry left off, this time a little more adult like yet just as immature.  Everything gets settled, and we have a happy ending.  Grade-  C+

Memorable line-  Another I haven’t seen in a while.  But, c’mon!  It’s got Rick Moranis in it, you can’t go wrong.

Big Money Hustlas-This is basically a spoof on 70s blaxploitation movies and police dramas.  If you aren’t a fan of the ICP(I’m down, but we won’t get into that.), you probably won’t like this movie.  Sugar Bear(Shaggy 2-Dope) is the top cop on the streets.  He’s a hero in San Francisco, and now he’s come to New York to help rid the city of Big Baby Sweets(Violent J).  As expected in this comedy, the good guy wins and saves the city.  There were a few other celebrity cameos as well.  We had Fred “Rerun” Berry, Rudy Ray Moore(Dolomite), Twiztid, Myzery, Harland Williams(his role was big, he was a main character), and Mick Foley.  All in all, a fun movie.  Grade-  C+

Memorable line-  “I’m inna ape suit!”  “Means I don’t give a fuck!”-  Violent J(Ape Boy)

Winner-  Draw

Our last match on the card tonight is………..Big Top Pee Wee vs. The Boondock Saints.

Big Top Pee Wee-  Pee Wee now lives on a farm in the country.  He has a talking pig named Vance, he’s a brilliant botonist and he’s dating the town’s school teacher.  A circus is traveling through town and runs into problems, so Pee Wee agree to house them until they are back on track.  The grumpy townsfolk are in an uproar to get the freaks out of town.  Pee Wee makes a strange potion that turns the people into little kids that end up loving the circus.  He gets the foreign girl from the circus and they live happily ever after.  Grade-  C

Memorable line-  “Mmm.”  “Egg salady.”-  Pee Wee Herman

The Boondock Saints-  Two holy brothers rid their Irish neighborhood of gangsters and criminals.  I don’t want to give anything away here folks.  Watch the movie, you won’t regret it.  Willem Dafoe does an excellent job here.  Grade-  A+

Memorble line-  “I can’t go and buy a pack of smokes, without running into a guy you fucked!”-  Funny Man

And there you have it.  The first of many alphabetical movie battles.  There are a few that were skipped over because, I’ve either not watched them or have seen them once, and don’t remember much about them.  These are the ones that didn’t make it this round.  300, ALF Tales(animated fairy tales), Alfie, Almost famous, Backyard Wrestling:There Goes the Neighborhood Collector’s edition DVD, Big Momma’s House and Black Snake Moan.

Like I said, this is the first of many.  I hope you have enjoyed it so far.

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