Quarters Worth

THE CUT IV

Cleaning Lipstick Off Turds

Written by John Andreula

Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk

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Did you miss me?

. . .said no DVD, video game, book, or collectible EVER!

Yet there they all sit, trophies of our wanton disregard for what has actual value in our lives.

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Buying impulses are short-lived. And somehow we still relent and give in all too often. The dopamine hit from shedding the non-recyclable polyurethane skin of newness quickly recedes into the pit of buyer’s remorse.

This may just be a sensationalization of reality, but the fact remains: We’ve all got way too much stuff! Even those freaks among us that seem to have much more peaceful and empty homes still struggle.

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Fellow 5280 Geeks, it doesn’t have to be so.

We all hold within a special ability that will allow us to take back control over our things, our space, and our lives.

Just approach any bookshelf, comic long-box, media tower, or anywhere else that holds the largest collections within your home. On each you will find it easy to discern between the possessions which belong in your hearts and homes, and those that belong at a second-hand media retailer or in a giveaway bag headed to Goodwill. You just have to be honest with yourself.

Look upon each item. Hold them within your hands. If what you grasp is truly a favorite, it will be as if a beam of light comes down from the heavens and says, “This is good!

If the item doesn’t inspire that wave of warmth in your heart then what you are holding is just another dusty turd.

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This edition of THE CUT features some of the many items that try to trick us. Nevertheless, they are turds.

Each is an example of items that are almost worth keeping. . .almost. They are entertaining. Some are even close to greatness, but as the saying goes, horseshoes and hand grenades.

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Without further delay, here’s the latest edition of THE CUT.


Item #1:

THOR & LOKI BLOOD BROTHERS Hardcover Graphic Novel

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THOR & LOKI BLOOD BROTHERS is a big and beautiful hardcover book. It includes seven comics, including the featured story originally printed as “Loki” issues 1-4 in late 2004.

The “Blood Brothers” arc features Esad Ribic’s incredible renderings of one of MARVEL’s most beloved gods and Avengers, as well as one of the MARVEL universe’s all-time less-loved and favored characters. The story is a bloody and violent one that seems closer to A Song Of Ice And Fire than it does a traditional superhero and villain tale.

The additions of the two 1960s Loki origin stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and the J. Michael Straczynski alternative origin, are fun as well. However, classic comic stories are becoming less readable due to their need to describe everything through text and dialogue. Modern comics seem to allow the artwork to do the majority of the ‘splaining.

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The Verdict:

CUT!

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While the book is worth reading—especially in regards to its sheer size—I don’t believe THOR & LOKI BLOOD BROTHERS will have much reread value.

The brutal ending as well as Ribic’s wonderfully drawn characters and scenery are incredible, but the dimensions of the hardcover make it awkward to store on a bookshelf with the rest of the graphic novels and trade paperbacks.

Value:

One is available in very good condition for $8.69 on eBay as of the writing of this article.

That’s a fantastic price for such a large and vibrant hardcover. Maybe I’ll need to rethink my verdict and find some room. . .


Item #2:

MARVEL OMNIBUS HULK Hardcover Graphic Novel

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This book is a monster! Sorry for the dumb Hulk joke. But seriously, included within this massive tome is twenty-nine—that’s right, 29—Hulk issues.

The Omnibus is more than a typical Bruce Banner anger management story. It’s the life-story of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, including his reasons for hating the Hulk so much, as well as the origins of Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk.

The volume itself is heavy, not just in the depth and berth of Jeph Loeb’s telling, but in its actual weight. This is one hefty hardcover. If you threw it at someone it would probably feel like getting Hulk-Smashed!

There’s a ton in the book—as can be expected from any MARVEL Omnibus. ALL the Hulks are in it, as well as two Abominations, the Fantastic Four, X-Force, the Punisher, and an overall who’s-who of the MARVEL universe.

The best part is the Wolverine story, “Puny Little Man.” Check out the picture below!

It’s almost too much for one book. . .almost.

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The Verdict:

CUT!

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MARVEL OMNIBUS HULK is interesting. Red Hulk is definitely one cool antihero/villain, but a lot of the book just isn’t. Leonard Samson plays too huge a role and frankly is a lame, non-compelling character. The central placement of this knock-off player is a significant turn-off.

Another negative is the seemingly endless pages of Mini-Hulks, written by Audrey Loeb. My daughter may enjoy reading these comic strips, but I do not. They are mindless and completely unnecessary page-fillers.

Like THOR & LOKI BLOOD BROTHERS, MARVEL OMNIBUS HULK is worth reading once, but buckle in. It will definitely take more than a few sittings to finish.

Value:

Available brand new and sealed on eBay for $66.95.

For only $49 you can get the Locke & Key Slipcase set and still have a Jackson in your wallet. Better get that one before the seller realizes how much they’re undervaluing it. They only have 4 left.


Item #3:

“SECRET WINDOW” DVD

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This mystery/thriller is based on the Stephen King story, “Secret Window Secret Garden.” It stars Johnny Depp and John Turturro.

The movie takes place in a small lake town in upstate New York. Anyone who has ever been in the woods in the northeast at night knows that kind of setting is scary as hell. The film uses this as a foundation for its own manufactured schizophrenia.

Johnny Depp plays Mort Rainey, a recently divorced author and lay-about who is struggling with depression and writer’s block. Enter John Shooter, aka crazy-ass John Turturro, who claims Depp’s character stole one of his stories and changed the ending. The latter being the crime he just cannot abide by. Stalking, madness, and violence ensue in classic Stephen King movie fashion, all culminating in an outstanding climax and twist ending.

The “SECRET WINDOW” DVD includes several deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes features, and commentary.

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Creepy-ass John Turturro photo courtesy of BBSpot.com

The Verdict:

CUT!

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“SECRET WINDOW” is good. The casting is fantastic, particularly John Turturro’s interpretation of the Shooter character. In fact, he steals the movie.

Yet the movie also suffers from the same affliction every movie with a twist ending does. Once viewers know what will happen the film is only worth watching once more to search for hints and things they missed during the first viewing.

I recommend watching “SECRET WINDOW”, but not owning it.

Value:

Three to four dollars on eBay right now.

Keep your money and borrow the movie from your local library.


Item #4:

“THE RUNNING MAN” Special Edition DVD

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Now that it’s 2020 and the future in many movies is now present day, it’s time to rewatch all those future dystopian films and determine how accurate their predictions are. Obviously, we have to start with 1987’s “THE RUNNING MAN”, based off another Stephen King short.

The year is 2019 and Arnold Schwarzenegger decides not to fire his helicopter’s guns into a crowd of unarmed civilians. As a result, he is arrested for treason and framed for the massacre that ensues regardless of his inaction.

Richard Dawson leaves Family Feud sometime between 1985 and the future to host a game-show where convicts are selected to participate in a televised competition where they can earn their freedom. The catch? The TV contest is to the death for the viewing enjoyment of the masses.

All the Governator’s friends of the era play characters in the film. This includes Jesse “The Body” Ventura and hall of fame running back, Jim Brown.

Conceptually “THE RUNNING MAN” is cool. It’s a mash-up of Acclaim’s 1980’s video game “Smash TV” and the films “Logan’s Run” and “Blade Runner”. Unfortunately, it also suffers from time and technology. The baddies’ costumes and vehicles look as if the production designers used their childrens’ Lite Brites and Erector Sets to produce the props.

This 2-disc Special Edition features a bunch of extras and documentaries.

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The Verdict:

CUT!

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Even though everyone loves Arnold’s Swiss-accented cornball catch-phrases—and there’s no shortage of these in the film—it’s “Hasta la Vista, baby!” to “THE RUNNING MAN.”

But definitely watch it once. It’s even better paired with some Marijuana.

Value:

Around $5 on eBay currently.

It actually might be worth buying at that price if you’ve never seen it. You can just pass it off to a friend afterwards.


Item #5:

A Wrinkle in Time Paperback

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A Wrinkle in Time is an imaginative young adult science fiction novel from 1962. It won the Newberry Medal and several other awards for outstanding fiction.

It’s the story of three children who journey to the vast reaches of space to save the father of two of them. The kids do so through very nontraditional means of space travel.

The plot is fantastic, suspenseful, and downright scary. Charles Wallace and the three Mrs. are some of the most compelling characters in all of literature.

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Just some of the many covers of A Wrinkle in Time. Photo courtesy of GeekMom.com

The Verdict:

CUT!

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This is one of the tougher calls in the history of The CUT. A Wrinkle in Time has plenty of reread value. Unfortunately its just so common that you can pick it up at any used book store for a couple of dollars. Therefore, there’s no point in keeping it.

That’s said, it is worth so little to sell on your own that unless you’re in the midst of a serious minimalization kick you can just put it back on your bookshelf.

Value:

Four to five dollars depending on the cover you’re into.


Item #6:

TOOL “Vicarious” DVD

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This weird DVD by the legendary metal band, TOOL, is somehow even stranger than the group’s music. The packaging—see below—is even stranger than the contents of the disc. But that’s what one should come to expect from TOOL.

The DVD features the music video for the titular song, “Vicarious,” as well as an in-depth look at the surreal artwork created for and by the band.

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The Verdict:

CUT!

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“Vicarious” is too short and there’s nothing earth-shattering on or in this package for anyone less than a hardcore TOOL fanatic.

Value:

I’m selling my copy for $11.99.

On second thought. . .it’s the best thing ever. You should buy it right now.


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By now we are all prepared to attack the hordes that are our things. Remember, there’s much pyrite and cubic zirconium mixed in with all the genuine diamonds and gold.

Think upon what you want to spend hard-earned money on, as well as what’s worth carving out space and time in your life for. You might just surprise yourself with this new super-power!

And if you find yourself in a fun—or strange—inner-battle over a particular item we’d love to hear about it. Just use the comments section below to share.

Until next time, stay geeky and cut the crap!

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John Andreula is a geek and reformed collector residing in Colorado.

More of his works of can be found at:

Moving On Upwards

For media & commission requests:

Info@MovingOnUpwards.com

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