Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The best TV show you are probably not watching

There is a new half hour family comedy that showed up on network TV, ABC to be exact, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Alex, Inc.

Starring Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, Elisha Henig, Audyssie James, Michael Imperioli and Hillary Anne Matthews.

The story as it is shown is about Alex who decides to start his own podcast company. To me though the show is about family and how family comes together to support and love through all the craziness that life brings.

The extra bonus to the show is that Alex’s wife is Hindu and you get to see inside that culture. It is most apparent in the episode The Mother-in-Law when she visits to help with the family as Alex tries to get his business going. They talk about Holi and even try to go to a Holi celebration but Alex didn’t read the fine print on the celebration and it isn’t exactly what they were expecting.

I miss family shows. Happy, healthy, real, less drama, poignant family shows. There was The Neighbors, Parenthood, and The Middle (ending this season), just light, good shows, clever at times, shows I could identify with more than not. Alex, Inc. brings that back to my life.

Yes, there are still some odd things in the show but I can easily get past them or overlook them because I am just happy to see a family work together and be happy.

I highly recommend trying it out. I have two stories to tell in relation:

1) Zach Braff did a movie called “Wish I Was Here” and it was a tough, harsh, amazing film. A film that I originally turned off and didn’t finish because of the language and some of the scenes. But I went back for the second half one day and I am forever happy I did. It is an amazing film about perseverance, family and overcoming life. I see Alex, Inc. as the cleaner, sweeter side of the character Zach played in this movie and I enjoy seeing the other side of his life played out here.

2) When my iPhone updated to the new calendar there was new items listed that I did not put on my calendar. One was Holi - which I firmly believed was an error on the calendar. That the actual holiday just didn’t finish loading its name on the day. Fast forward to April 18th and Alex, Inc. episode 5 and here Holi is a Hindu holiday! It is the “festival of colors” and how it works into this episode is brilliant and beautiful. In fact, that is exactly what I wrote in my tweet about the show and Zach Braff answered:

Check your local listings and let me know if you see what I see in it.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for April 20, 2018

[Greetings, Starfighter!] -- In 1984, Lance Guest, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Preston, and Catherine Mary Stewart played across filmscreens across America as The Last Starfighter rocketed into our collective move consciousness. Lance Guest, in the movie's title role, portrayed a smart teenager named Alex Rogan. Alex was consumed with one goal: Escape from the trailer park where he grew up. Wait, make that two goals: He wants to beat the high score on the STARFIGHTER arcade game. While he has big plans to make it "out there," the game is his only other escape from the drudgery and isolation of the park. However, little does Alex know that the game is actually {** SPOILER ALERT **} a recruiting tool for finding people capable of being actual starfighters "to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada!" Anyway, this movie deeply resonated with me, a 16-year-old nerd who dreamed of escaping his remote part of Pennsyltucky. I wasn't much with video games, but I truly identified with Alex's yearning for more than the sparse options of his present situation. And The Last Starfighter remains one of my all-time favorite films to this day.

So, any time there's buzz about a potential reboot of or sequel to The Last Starfighter, I get a little cranky. Fortunately, such stories come and go pretty quickly without cause for concern. But earlier this month, another contender for a Last Starfighter redo (possibly a requel?) made the rounds, starting with this tweet. And there's concept art, so this one might actually have legs. Or thrusters. Whatever.

Anyway, at least this gives me an excuse to revisit the soundtrack to the original (and, so far, only) Last Starfighter film. Craig Safan composed and conducted the movie's score, which came out the same year as the film, 1984. There were two expanded re-releases -- the first in 1995 and the second, more complete one, in 2015 -- but the soundtrack is currently, and unfortunately, difficult to acquire. With a total of 22 possible tracks for me to choose from, which items made the playlist this week? Well, insert your quarter so you can read and hear more after the jump. (That was a video game joke; I'm not really asking for your quarters.) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Review by Dangrdafne

So we finally watched Logan. We meant to see it in the theater but it just never happened. Well just like Rogue One, I am kind of glad we didn’t see it in the theater. I cried... I cried a lot.


It was very hard to watch Patrick Stewart playing a dying Professor Xavier and just as hard to watch Hugh Jackman play a dying Wolverine. Thank goodness the movie gave them things to live and die for before their ends. The young girl was phenomenal. I loved her primal scream, I felt her release every time she yelled and it was a good feeling.

I thought it was a good story for the most part but really I only cared about what was happening to the professor and Logan and what it means for the X-men franchise. I have a hard time with endings and I kept my hopes about these endings knowing that this movie is set in the future. Sooooo they still could show up in other movies :)

Of course, the movie was violent and sometimes just too violent for me but I understand that it is Wolverine and that is his MO. I know want to go back and watch the pre-release interviews etc. I am curious how you sell the child role to a child and their family. How do you tell them they are going to kill LOTS of people and it’s all ok. I think the girl handled it very well and she has a bright future if she wants it.

I give this movie 3 paws.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for April 13, 2018

[a-ha-coustic] -- I know you're probably expecting a Friday the 13th connection, but I decided to go in a different direction. A stripped down direction. But first, some background. A-ha's 1985 debut album, Hunting High and Low, was an international success. All four of its singles charted within the top 40 of most countries' music charts. In the US, their first two singles broke the top 20, and their debut single, "Take On Me," peaked at #1. The strength of the album's singles, and the band's video rotation, helped propel Hunting High and Low to a peak position of #15 on the United States Billboard 200 (album chart). A-ha was even nominated for a Grammy (Best New Artist in 1986). They didn't win, but this nomination made A-ha the first Norwegian band to earn a Grammy nod. And let's not forget about that iconic animated/live-action music video

But this week's post is not about that 1985 track. No. See, I recently learned that a-ha played at Giske Harbour Hall in Norway last June. Yes, they played last June, and the news I'm about to share made the round in October. I'm behind the feed! I get it! Anyway, during Norway show, a-ha performed a hauntingly beautiful, stripped down version of "Take On Me."

If you liked that, I have good news for you: that version of "Take On Me" and 16 other a-ha hit tracks are available on MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice, an album and DVD they recorded while in Norway. Read all about it on their website.

But before you dash off to their website, perhaps you'd like to check out more of this concert. Well, I've got you covered with a little help from DailyMotion:

That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Review by Dangrdafne

A little late to the party here but well worth the wait I would say.

I have been wanting to see this movie since it came out. I missed going with my friends and Brainwise was not too interested in going otherwise. So I missed it in the theaters. Overall though I am ok with that after seeing it now on my TV. I am just glad I didn’t miss it completely.

I like the new Star Wars films better than the old, all of the old. I believe this is because when I saw the old films I was not the biggest sci-fi fantasy fan. And then when I was finally into it, it was the newer three movies and they just were not good to me. I distinctly remember laughing...with everyone in the $1 theater during the Yoda fight scene. It was like throwing a muppet around and seeing what would happen. Anyway, I digress, Rogue One was a thousand times better than the others but I would still choose The Force Awakens as my favorite overall (I have not seen The Last Jedi yet, shock there I know).

It is funny that I have seen all the newest Star Treks in the theater and pretty near opening day but Star Wars except for The Force Awakes when I went with my friends have all been later and now only on my TV. Thank you Netflix. Of course it was during the most recent Star Trek that I fully determined and realized I am a Trekkie. I like science more than fantasy.


Everyone dies.

No really,

I hadn’t really thought about this until about half way through the movie. I realized... none of these people show up in the later movies... none. And it definitely made me sad. I was getting to know these people, like these people. While I know what they did was admirable and saves everything later, it did not make it easier to watch them get wiped out. Although this is not uncommon for me, I really cried at the end of this movie. I was grateful that I hadn’t seen it in the theater at that point. I really cried hard.

I loved Jyn and would love to have seen more of her life and her. Hmmm as I sit here thinking about what to write, I am realizing that no character is ever fully realized in this movie. The characters simply exist for this story and this story only. I don’t even mean that in the way that they all die, I mean that there is no background and no support for these characters outside this specific story. And while it seems odd, I am ok with it. I still enjoyed the movie and I still cried for the people but I guess I am ok that they will not appear again.

I definitely loved the humor from K-2SO and Chirrut and they were definitely the hardest, along with Bohdi, to watch die.

There were two things that really jarred me in this movie, though. The Polar Expressed Grand Muffin Tarkin (i am leaving this auto correct because it is too funny)  Polar Expressed young Princess Leia. Oh my that was not easy for me to watch. They didn’t fit, they definitely were out of place and I think just showing Leia’s robe would have been enough - we knew who it was. They were important parts but I had a very hard time with them not appearing real, although I am sure I may have freaked out more if they looked so real that you couldn’t tell they weren’t.

I give this movie 3 paws.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Atomic Blonde

Review by Dangrdafne

Oh how I wish I had seen this movie in the theater. Not only because it would have supported a woman lead movie, it would have looked incredible on the big screen.


Soooo violent, like John Wick violent if not worse. It seemed even more real though. I easily believed they had hit each other and threw each other. The bruising and the pain were disturbing and completely realistic. The blood, etc splatter was beyond real looking *shivers*.

Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton was incredible. She was tough, vulnerable, gorgeous, wicked, sexy, shocking, brilliant, and absolutely perfect.

Sofia Boutella as Delphine was a great match for Charlize. They made a gorgeous couple and you never really knew which side Delphine was playing.

James McAvoy was incredibly sleazy and gross, exactly what he was supposed to be. For some reason, I found James distracting. I think I wish the role was an unknown actor. I felt like James was there to make sure males would see the movie, that it couldn’t just be Charlize against unknowns.

John Goodman and Toby Jones were ok. I always expect Toby to be bad so imagine my shock when he wasn’t anything at all. John was fine but again he felt distracting. Charlize’s character definitely shows them up ... or does she?

I almost don’t want to discuss the ending, just in case someone is reading who hasn’t seen the movie yet. I loved the ending but figured it out when she was driving the Asset. I noticed something different about her voice and I am curious to know if it was planned, an accident or my mind playing tricks on me. Either way it helped me figure out what would happen for the most part and I was very happy with the outcome.

Lastly I usually rate a movie on if I would watch it again. This movie can not fit into that reasoning. This is a movie that really is amazing once. With all the twists and turns, once you know what happens it makes it difficult to watch it again, especially with all the violence (for me at least). I am sure I could still appreciate the acting performances but the movie overall would lose some luster as the best parts of the movie are the twists and not knowing what is happening.

I still give this movie 4 paws.