Saturday, April 30, 2016

We Have More Than One Time Travel Mart

This is LA and LA is so big and so vast that we need two Time Travel Marts. You may remember us writing about the Echo Park Time Travel Mart a few times on the site. Now there's another and it's the Mar Vista Time Travel Mart. And frankly, they need to make t-shirts in larger sizes so I can have people question me about them. Oh, and there also gift shops and fronts for a non-profit that help children write and read. But let's be serious and demand more t-shirts in different sizes.

It's not the t-shirt that makes the man, it's the hilarious logo or phrase on them and that's what the Mar Vista Time Travel Mart had when I visited. We were chatting about the robot in the windowsill at first, that is Sarah Lancaster and I, she's Store Manager and been with 826LA, the non-profit behind the Time Travel Marts. Literally behind them. They have rooms in the back of each of their stores for kids to learn how to write creatively. She's been at in since August of 2015, though with time travel on the table you could say she was doing it for years.

Sarah Lancaster
"I love how creative I get to be here. I've ran stores in the past, also non-profit stores, but here I love all the weird products I get to create and working with the writers and designers on these products," Sarah said.

In the year 2016 we were chatting about the wide variety of gifts and goodies to get at the stores. There is a vast collection of time travel goods inside, that you need to get. Sarah tells me her top two sellers seem to be the medical prescription Eels and the Viking Odorant. Sarah says a doctor or dentist came in recently to grab the eels up to make their medical practice just a bit scarier.

Now, I've bought Robot Milk and Shakespearean Insult Gum in the past and have to know what other goodies are coming. "We try to put out five new products a year and I'm trying to ramp it up," she tell me as she walks over and picks up the,"Space-Time Continuum  \Repair Kit... duct tape." I laugh.

We go past mood pencils and Sarah says, "We're working on George Washington Tooth Varnish, termite resistant." Oy, I love these time travel jokes. The DIY Tooth Kit will be next to it, it'll be a block of wood.

"We're working on an at-home cryogenics kit, it's going to be a jar of icy hot," Sarah explains as she starts to laugh.

If the Echo Park Time Travel Mart looks like a convenience store out of the 70's then the Mar Vista location looks like it's out of the 80's the 1880's. It looks like a trading post, something you might see in a western, a western retrofitted with technology out of date like some bad foreign film trying to pull of a western and not really getting what a western is. You won't find frontiersman or cowboys or cowgirls inside, you'll find little kids.

In back, the store is all about teaching kids, and it so loved and used so much that there's a wait list to get in for one school year. Sarah goes on, "We work with kids 6-18, focus is always creating writing. With them we do all kinds of different workshops and topics. Throughout the week we do after school tutoring. So we help them with their homework." That's only a bit of what they do, but at the end of the semester a book gets published of all the kids work for purchase in the time travel marts.

The stores are just fronts, but they benefit 826LA by having people come in on off the street seeing the sight of a time travel mart, it brings in people to volunteer. And they're doing it around the country.

826 founded by writer Dave Eggers has multiple chapters around the country in major cities. Their fronts aren't time travel marts, there's a spy shop and a pirate shop, a bigfoot research institute with a magic supply shop and a robot repair store. New York gets a super hero supply store; check them all out here.

We, the people of LA get time travel as our niche, which isn't so bad as we love making movies about it here.

As we talked students and parents prepared to come in. Soon some high school or college students came in to tutor. And every once in a while someone popped in to look at what was in the store.

I asked about the future of the 826LA Chapter, "We're deciding if we want to have a larger reach or just want to dig in and do more with the students and people were currently were working with. That's something we're evaluating right now" Sarah said.

The workshops she spoke of early vary, "We had a creative workshop: Writing For Pets, a few weeks ago, where the volunteers brought their dogs and cats and guinea pigs and everything in. And the kids got to meet their pets and learn about their characteristics and wrote a story about the pet, " Sarah said.

Time traveling goods are only a front, but a fun one that can catch your attention and make for some really fun gifts.

So, if in Echo Park or Mar Vista check out the time travel mart for the perfect gift for that special time traveler. Check out the dinosaur eggs, poetry phone booth or any of the many products they could really make your desk stand out. Then tell them to get working on larger t-shirts.

The Mar Vista Time Travel Mart 12515 Venice Blvd
MV 90066
Phone: 310-915-0200
Hours: Tues-Sun 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Echo Park Time Travel Mart
1714 W Sunset Blvd
EP 90026
Phone: 213-413-3388
Hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Echo Park:

Friday, April 29, 2016

High-Rise Quick Review

The Ben Wheatly indie film about a 1970's dystopian future taking place in a London high-rise has some of the slickest visuals you would expect from any art house film that had so much buzz. Sadly, the 1970's notions stay with Amy Jump's writing adapted from the J.G. Ballard novel it's based on. That is to say it is a mad cap script that doesn't make much sense as to why no one just leaves the High-Rise or breaks down into such a disarray. Yet, even when eating family pets, the characters remain British in practically, speeches and bureaucracy. If you're going just for a break-down of human society and don't care how you get there, then by all means enjoy.

It's painful to write it off when so many small pieces fall in together. So much effort was put into small roles and little nods to the tiniest of actions a character may have.

If the director or the script could have just changed how everyone got there with a bomb going off we don't even need to see on screen or society overall falling apart it would have resolved why everything in the High-Rise was going insane. Instead, it's more of a premise from Monty Python that happened to get Tom Hiddleston to play the lead.

-Lots of artsy visuals
-Sex times

High-Rise is out now on VOD.

Decoration Armament Online

Check out the anime love from the Decoration Armament gallery online.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Traffic Ticket Kiosks

If you don't want to use the lousy web-site or horrible forms there is a third way to deal with traffic tickets here in LA. Brand new kiosks are outside of the Van Nuys West Courthouse, West Covina Courthouse, Metropolitan Courthouse, the Chatsworth Courthouse and the Beverly Hills Courthouse.

They'll cost you $three bucks for each transaction, but you can check the status of a ticket, pay and a ticket, request an extension, make a traffic payment, request traffic school and reserve a court date. And if not and English reader it also services you in Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.

via LAist

25th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast in 70mm Sold Out

Disney nostalgia love is strong in this city. I believe LAist just report on the third night of The Little Mermaid being added to the Hollywood Bowl. Now we have to report that 25th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast sold out. The special event was only a week and a half away, part of the Oscar event series.

There will be a stand-by line for the event, but good luck trying to get in.

Universal Studios Needs Walkers

Universal Studios is holding auditions early for Halloween or really for this Summer's new Dead Inside, The Walking Dead attraction. Next week May 5-6 you can try out to be a walker or a survivor.

For those interested in auditioning, please visit: to sign up for an audition appointment. Auditions are expected to attract over 1000 prospective walkers.

Damn Your One Fine Books & Stationery Store, Kinokuniya Santa Monica

On your way to the beach and you suddenly might see a mirage, nestled into the Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa Marketplace is

Kinokuniya Santa Monica Books & Stationery
3760 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 482-3382

A smaller version of it's sister store in Little Tokyo the store carries a wide selection of not only Japanese imported books and magazines, but specialty items for your desk or home office. Or even perfect gifts for little kids. 

It has a sizable collection of manga, anime and video game art books and Ghibli films in stock for anime fans.

Stationery up in there makes Staples look like a fool. The pen selection is still off the charts, I mean you can spend time finding the perfect writing utensil and gift for a birthday.

Too much good stuff is inside of the store, we're only sad there aren't more of the shops in LA that use space so wisely and give you so much volume to find something that you just have to get.

Our Own Alien Day In LA

The line was out the door to get into the special screening of Aliens from the Alamo Drafthouse. Though the new theater for the Drafthouse won't open until 2017 in downtown, Drafhouse have had special screenings in LA's many older theaters. The Theatre at Ace Hotel was Aliens venue and a perfect choice as the interior looks like H.R.Gigers in some aspects. Soon fans wearing sci-fi homage clothing were bustling about inside almost like a swarm of xenomorphs ready for human prey.

It was all in celebration for Alien Day, the first one taking place on 4/26. The date chosen for the location of the colony and where we first encounter the xenomorphs with acid blood, LV-426. So all around the country and LA there were special LA Alien/s screenings.

I prayed I would get a special edition Ripley Tee from artist Jay Shaw inside. And I'm glad to tell you while writing this that I'm wearing it. Please be jealous as you can't get them online or in stores. The special edition tee was limited to the screenings by the Drafthouse around the country. The line inside for it it wrapped around the theater like a facehugger's tail around a victim's neck.

Fans inside the LA screening could also purchase special edition Nostromo patches and pins. While waiting they could get a specially-themed Alien inspired drink at the bar like the vodka LV-426 or the Pabst Blue Ribbon Ripley & Newt. Then you could stare longingly into a few pieces from Sideshow Collectibles on display. Or you might have gone upstairs and gotten your picture taken with an alien at the picture facade.

This was all before Aliens was screened before a fan-filled audience that clapped at every famous line and snickered at the subtly of how Paul Reiser played the perfect 80's douche as Birk.

After a film that still stands up to today's CGI came out three special guests. Private Vasquez; Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn;Newt and Frost; Ricco Ross. Matt Gourley from the I Was There Too podcast hosted.

Newt, I mean Mrs. Henn revealed she is now a fourth grade teacher, the grade she somewhat missed while filming Aliens. Her favorite moments from the film were going down the utility shaft, in reality a very fun long slide that she couldn't remember how many times she went down, shea had too much fun doing it. Another favorite a scene in the director's cut where she gets to hit her real life brother who was cast alongside her in the film with her doll. Her and Jenette, Vasquez, revealed they were both getting NECA action figures.

It turned out that Jenette had a letter in her file over at Fox saying she would never let her likeness to be used, she told the crowd that it was a complete lie and it was a bureaucratic screw up. So now an action figure for all those tough girls is coming out. Jenette told how she at first thought the role she was going for was for an illegal alien when she cameo read for it. She was wearing too nice a dress at the audtion for how strong her role would be in the film later as a marine.

Ricco Ross was beyond happy by how the film holds up and that fans still enjoy it years later. He talked about the hard choice of choosing between being in Aliens and Full Metal Jacket when it was being cast in the 80's.

The night was filled with memories of horrible monsters impregnating and killing people, a true night to be glad you live in LA which has so many great screenings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters at LACMA This Summer

Nothing since the Tim Burton Exhibit seems quite as fun as this summer's Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters upcoming exhibit at LACMA, July 31–November 27, 2016.

Details on the up to 500 items from LACMA and director del Toro's private collection will be on view at LACMA. For those who don't follow the director's work or know much about him you're in for a treat. He is known for horror and fantasy films. He has also amassed a huge collection of rare and strange items for himself that he keeps in his mansion called Bleak House here in LA. Think of him as a fanboy with enough money to buy almost everything he ever wanted.

The exhibition will be organized into eight sections: Childhood and Innocence, Victoriana; where visitors will subsequently experience a version of Del Toro’s Rain Room (not that Rain Room), a favorite spot in Bleak House in which del Toro has installed a false window and special effects to simulate a perpetual thunderstorm. Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult, with Movies, Comics, Pop Culture and Frankenstein and Horror, Freaks and Monsters and finally Death and the Afterlife.

Each section holds something close to del Toro's heart and will have some wonderful memorabilia, art or collectibles in it.

It hasn't been announced, but we can only speculate that there will be screenings of his films at LACMA.

We'll have more details on how you can visit the exhibit in the future.

Film Hype: LA Film Festival & Criterion Streaming

The LA Film Festival, June 1-9, has had some big news of late. They're finally out of the awful and hard to get to LA Live Regal Cinemas and now will be at ArcLight Hollywood. Forgot downtown, only worry about Hollywood, a much easier Hell to deal with. It's downright relaxing then LA Live.

Other big news was the announcement of the competitive films, which is a really the main films of the festival. Their synopsis pages aren't up yet or schedule, but you can see what made the cut.

Check them out here

FilmStruck, a new streaming service comes to us through Turner. You'll be able to stream Turner Classic Films and the Criterion Collection. This is huge news for cinephiles as both groups have some of the best classics and art house movies under their belts for viewing. Sadly, this service doesn't come out until this Fall.

Also announced was TCM Backlot, a special fan club of TCM that gives special access to fans.

From press release:
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced the launch of its first ever-official fan club, TCM Backlot, which will serve as the ultimate destination for enthusiasts of TCM. TCM Backlot will give fans unprecedented access to all things TCM including exclusive content, never-before-seen talent interviews, archival videos from the TCM vault, an exclusive TCM podcast, as well as opportunities to win visits to the TCM set, attend meet and greets with TCM hosts and the opportunity to influence programming through online votes. TCM Backlot can be accessed at for an $87 annual fee and will be available for fans to join on April 27, as a kick-off to the 7th annual TCM Classic Film Festival which begins the next day in Hollywood. The fan club was created in partnership with fullcube, a platform integrating and automating subscription-based businesses.

Last Loveline Tomorrow

Dr. Drew Pinsky calls it a quits this Thursday. After three decades and a lot of questions about love, sex and messed-up stuff Loveline comes to an end.

A local favorite of listening to the radio when driving back or to events around the city, the strange sexual questions asked and the real answers Dr. Drew told the so very stupid will be missed.

On Thursday, April 28th, 10pm-12am Loveline will air its final broadcast with special co-host Adam Carolla on KROQ. The two will continue on together with the Adam and Dr. Drew Podcast, with more details to be announced.