A more formal review is coming, I promise! But I’m too groggy and incoherent to properly articulate the emotional, climactic ending to one of my favorite franchises. So instead I’m going to describe what’s been going on in my life surrounding this event.
Starting about 6 weeks ago, we decided to watch one Harry Potter movie every week until the Midnight release of the final film. Well, clearly our timing sucked. We got the first movie down, then our buddy Smalls took a week off for vacation. This meant we had to double book two of the flicks for the 4th of July weekend (we folded it into a BBQ) and watch Part 1 of the 7th film last night. Yikes.
There were some hitches – and we didn’t get to do a full screening of Part I, which I’d really like to do again in the near future and of course watch Part II right after. Not sure if that will happen this weekend, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it might!
We arrived at the theatre around 8pm last night and sat in line outside for at least an hour before we entered our auditorium and took our seats. There were at least 2,000 people milling about in quite an orderly fashion. So many folks dressed up! Including my mom and oldest nephew. Tons of great Potter-related T-Shirts and loads of folks with lightning bolt scars and horn rimmed glasses.
Dan and I wore the HP scarves I’d knit last fall and Dan crawled up in the attic to fish out the light/sound wand we’d procured from Powell’s during the epic 7th book release party.
We’d purchased three boxes of Bean Boozled (Bertie Botts rip-offs) about a month ago during the height of the coupon craze (yep, I did coupon Harry Potter related items…including the tickets!). After we’d tired of daring each-other to eat booger, vomit, canned dog food and skunk spray tasting candies, we turned on the people around us. Dan and Vincent (to entertain themselves during the down time) wandered our auditorium offering people a taste. Eventually they went out into the lobby and tortured the theatre staff (many of whom we know).
Very fun – those beans. I somehow ended up munching on Moldy Cheese two times in a row. What are the odds?
To kill our wait time we also posed quite a bit in front of standees…I was eyeballing the Ron full cardboard cutout from across the theatre entrance, waiting for an opportune moment to snap a picture or see if one of my theatre buds would let me take it home. The question of the night: Where would you put it?
By my side of the bed of course. Obviously! 🙂
Turns out some other dude got it, but to make up for it…we ended up snagging the Harry Potter standee which you’ll see depicted below. Pretty bad-ass.
Both Dan and I could not believe our luck and good fortune. Perhaps it was sleep/caffeine drunken-ness, but after we wrestled the object home and set it up in the Man Cave, we both drifted into the room 2 or 3 times to stare at it before heading to bed.
Like we couldn’t believe we actually owned such an amazing piece of an era. Like we couldn’t believe it was all over and we’d come away with something so fantastic.
Pictures say it better than words.
No really. I’m coming back. It’s been a long, long time. I’ve got no real excuses except my incredibly demanding job and life took over and blogging about my passion…hell…engaging in my passion of geek stuff and comic books completely got away from me.
But of course – there’s always something astoundingly awesome that happens in my life to reinvest me in loving comic books, video games, the internets, science fiction and everything related to it once again.
That thing – this last weekend, was Emerald City Comic Con 2011. I’d purchased the tickets and booked the hotel room back in a much simpler time period. When I thought I had the potential for a stable position with my current employer, when my husband was employed and when I was pretty much on track to apply and enroll to get an MLS.
All that has changed now. Coping with a lot of big changes in life – a new job, going back to school, a new job for my husband, he is finishing up school (and working at an internship right now), so blogging might only end up being a once a week deal…but I DO NOT want it to get away from me again. Having an outlet for writing and engaging about my nerdy affairs is too important.
FOR THE MOMENT:
I’ve still been involved in our Book to Film Adapation club and would like to transfer some of that to this blog…if not just my ruminations following our discussions.
The long and short of it is – I hope you will consider sticking around, or reinvesting in this blog because I will be. Starting today.
I will be posting wrap-ups and pictures of each day of Emerald City Comic Con 2011 this week: Tuesday-Thursday. Next week you can expect a review of Battle: Los Angeles and we might be joining the PDX Browncoats for a shin-dig on Saturday.
After that – it’s into the great wide open. I picked up a few new books to review and there are a steady stream of compelling movies and television shows out there for consumption, including reviews of Sucker Punch, Being Human, Face Off and more!
While you wait – here is a batch of photos to catch you up on some of the exploits of the last few months until just last week. Enjoy!
Day 3 was another early rise – and it was COSTUME DAY! We donned our BSG gear and headed out around 8am fully prepared to snag the Trolley. We lucked into a shuttle ride over and plopped ourselves down in the Hall H line for the Green Lantern, Harry Potter and Sucker Punch panel.
The line was pretty comparable at that point (at least, we thought) to where we were at on Thursday, but we ended up in the last five rows of the auditorium despite our early rising and pre-planning. The WB swag for this panel was incredible – a reasonably sized tote bag, a “Wanted” HP shirt, a limited edition Green Lantern comic book and a Sucker Punch bracelet.
The Green Lantern panel itself was pretty exciting. Ryan Reynolds is a bright and terribly funny dude, and the clips they showed had some pretty wicked cool CGI. They will feature a lot of the Lantern Corps characters (none of which I know, but the audience seemed pretty excited) and even had the scribe Geoff Johns on the panel confirming that the movie will be bad-ass. They skirted the issue of a Justice League film in the future…but clearly this film is a jumping off point for that.
Ryan Reynolds had a delightful exchange with a young questioner who asked him how it felt to recite the Green Lantern oath (which he promptly did to the delight of the audience) and signed a free comic book for the boy, who was wearing a green lantern ring. Then Reynolds handed off his own ring to one lucky con-goer.
The Harry Potter panel was next – and Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy arrived to show us the clip, which was an extended trailer rather than a chunk of the film itself (which many of us were hoping for). It all looks very stunning, but honestly the 3D didn’t add much to my experience, so I don’t think I’ll be plunking down an extra $3 in November. It was a little under-whelming and half of the Hall bolted out the door (including Smalls, on her way to a Vampire Diaries signing) immediately after.
Which leaves us with Sucker Punch. I’d seen a single image from it – featuring four scantily clad dangerous looking womens and some leering male ringleader, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. Clearly there is fighting and action as the title would seem to indicate, and the presence of Jenna Malone brings an element of respectability to the affair…though I am on the fence about Zack Snyder as a director. The premise is intriguing – a woman confined to an insane asylum creates a fantasy world along with three other ladies who can share in these adventures which centered around killing Nazi zombies, slaying dragons and fighting robots. So – count me in. Even if it lacks substance, the visuals alone were quite stunning.
I was annoyed though by our proximity to the entrance doors, the constant stream of chatting and rustling during the panel made it hard to hear and concentrate on the women. Snyder kept referring to them as “the girls” as if they were one unit, and the majority of the audience questions were “did you know you’re a woman?” Ugh. It was frustrating.
We sacrificed our long wait for Hall H seats after that and dashed over to the Hilton for The Guild panel. We happened to arrive there just at the same time as Ryan Reynolds, so Dan was able to shake his hand and compliment his work as an actor. It was definitely a very cool moment.
Just a little over-shadowed by our complete inability to make it into the panel we wanted. We waited for an hour and then gave up once the announcement was made. But we got to hang out by the Bay, stare at a Dole boat and catch a glimpse of some crabs…so it wasn’t entirely wasted time.
Since we didn’t have anything else on the docket aside from potentially seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in the evening, we wandered back towards the Convention Center and noticed that the Hall H line was nearly empty, so we decided to camp out and try to make it back in for the Marvel Panel.
Diagnosis: Comic Con = Too Much Good.
There is no way humanly possible to do or see all that one would like at this event. Despite this setback, we have cobbled together what we’d like to see, and surprise, surprise, most of it isn’t about comic books at all.
No wait, why isn’t that surprising? Because Comic Con is almost not really about comic books anymore. It’s largely dominated by Film and TV, along with video games and whatever other popular culture elements I cannot fathom at the moment.
And that, sadly, is fine by me. I’ve got enough comic book goodness up here in the Pacific Northwest to sate me. What I want from SDCC, as honestly as I can describe it – is to see some celebrities up close and personal and watch exclusive clips and get some free shit and soak up some sun and record as much of it as I possibly can.
I’ll be updating often on this blog and the Tiny Heroes Twitter account for anyone who is interested.
You can also look at My Schedule (along with alternate panels) here.
Wednesday July 21, Preview Night
– Walking the exhibit floor, getting freebies from booths, etc.
Thursday July 22 – Hall H
– 10am-11am = Megamind
– 11:15-12:45 = Tron
– 1:00-2:00 = Battle Los Angeles/Salt
– 2:15-3:15 = Red
– 3:30-4:30 = Visionaries (Joss Whedon/JJ Abrams)
-4:45-5:45 = Expendables
– 6:00-7:00 = Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
– 7:30-8:30 = Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog
Friday July 23- Ballroom 20
– 11:30-12:30 = Caprica
– 3:00-4:00 = The Joss Whedon Experience
– 4:00-5:00 = Girls Who Kick Ass
– 5:15-6:15 = True Blood
HIGH SCHOOL CHRONICLES OF ARIEL SCHRAG
Thanks to the lovely She Has No Head! column running an article on the Top 10 Webcomics, I was introduced to Ariel Schrag’s Ariel and Kevin Invade Everything. She is the author of four comic books (published in three volumes) chronicling her High School years (1995-1999).
Everyone who was in HS in the mid-to-late-90s should check these books out. Hell, everyone who went to HS in the last two decades would probably be able to find something which resonates with Schrag’s voice and experiences. She drew me in by reminding me so much of a group of my HS friends, and then held me captive for almost 900 pages of illustration and text as she explores her sexuality and attempts to tackle her art, classes and eventually a part-time job – all while preparing herself for college.
My personal favorite is Potential – it garnered her an Eisner award nomination. This one is the documentation of Schrag coming to terms her homosexuality, falling in love for the first time, and suffering through her parents divorce. It’s raw and blisteringly painful but perfectly captures the essence of HS and first love. It was nearly impossible to put down.
My only bone of contention is with the final book – Likewise. It’s far too experimental for my tastes and strays heavily from the format of the first three books. It features blank panels, sketchy scenes and lots of word salad. There is also not a strong feeling of closure, especially since this is the final volume in the autobiographical series. Of course, it doesn’t take much effort to learn that she eventually went to Columbia and spent a few seasons as a writer on The L Word.
What’s compelling is that she was able to conceive, create, publish and distribute this work at such a young age, with seemingly little support from her parents (aside from freedom and funding).
Most of the artistic style featured is cartoonish, but the few sequences where she renders herself and her love interest Sally in full artistic scope are mind-blowing. I would love to see more pieces like that evolving in her work, but she manages to eek a lot of emotion out of the big eyes, skinny limbs and tousled hair of her subjects.
Bechdel Test: All three books PASS the women test, two PASS the men test and no books PASS the race test.
That’s the entertainment question, for the ages…or this age at least. Or maybe just the last year. Yeah, probably just the last year.
Hollywood has decided that 3D is the only way to get your human meat in their theatre seats lately. And I get it – some of the 3D has been quite fun.
Being HUGE freaking movie nerds, the DH and I have had this discussion more than once…what makes a movie 3D worthy?
I’ll argue strongly that 3D only belongs in animated flicks and fantastical or horrifical worlds. Up, Avatar, Alice in Wonderland – in these places 3D makes sense, because you are already at a higher level of belief suspension. The world is funky enough for the slightly disorienting and blurry effect of 3D to barely go noticed.
My main concerns about the prevalence and rabid push for 3D in Hollywood lately is that somewhere along the line, a studio is going to insert it where it doesn’t belong. Like in a Martin Scorsese or Coen Brothers film. *shudder* Oh wait – Scorsese is looking to make one. Does anyone really need to see Leo DiCaprio protruding from the screen? It looks like the Coens are steering clear from the extra dimension, thus far.
I’m highly skeptical of how appropriate 3D is for horror movies that aren’t slashers like My Bloody Valentine. And honestly – I’ve never seen a horror movie in 3D. *gasp* But it’s true! Only really gimmicky horror movies are getting the extra dimension treatment, and those are the ones I generally avoid like the zombie plague. And from this list, you can see the general schlock-fest of 3D horror movies coming down the pike.
Now zombies in 3D, I would pay a little extra to see. What could be more horrifying than a 30 foot tall zombie horde lurching towards you? Wow – can Hollywood make this happen now-please-k-thanx? Ok, you already read my mind (a trick you really need to teach my DH) and set up Zombieland 2 in 2011 to take place in the third dimension. Amazing. Can I marry you Hollywood? I’ll do the dishes!
Another smart move studios have made on the 3D front is keeping it’s viewing entirely optional. So – you only have to pay $13.50 (in PDX anyways) to see a 3D movie if you really, really want to. But every time you do so, you are voting for more 3D…and with more 3D comes less of a choice. Honestly, in the future if most of the movies being released are in 3D, do you really think a movie theatre is going to support a non-3D version for which tickets cost less?
Movies I Will Most Likely See in 3D:
– Resident Evil: Afterlife (hello, Zombies!)
– Any other cartoony, computer-animated film my horde of nephews wants to see. I would prefer How to Train Your Dragon
3D Movies I’ll Watch in 2D (thank you very much):
Actually – The Cabin in the Woods might be the catalyst for me to watch a slasher/horror film in 3D. Resident Evil movies don’t count because they’re not horror – it’s a video game adaptation. Totally different genre.
Check out this 2010/2011 list for more scheduled crapfest movies like Halloween 3, Step Up and JackAss. Quite a few on the list I haven’t seen media for, so they’re up for grabs as to quality.
So – should ALL movies be in 3D?
Interesting 3D related articles: