Tuesday, July 14, 2015

[Finally] Meeting Joss Whedon

This year was my fourth or fifth year at SDCC, and every year, I've managed to see Joss Whedon in passing. Usually after the EW party, but always somewhere.

The first time I saw him at the con was going by in a pedicab with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. Bit of a whir, but I did see him.

This year, he had his own panel in Hall H (the place I basically lived in all days of the con), and it was the first time I got to see him for an extended period of time in person. Great panel, and ended with Joss receiving an icon award. He got kind of teary and more or less fled the stage after thanking everyone. I didn't know about the award, but I was going to hand him something after the panel, but the opportunity never presented itself.

 Later that evening, I saw him preparing to exit a party. By the time he came out the door, he kind of went in a whirlwind--took two fan photos, and was gone before I could get to him. But, I knew I had one last chance, as he was staying in my hotel. I sat in the lobby, waiting, and waiting, then I finally had to use the loo. I figured I wouldn't miss anything; it'd be quick.

I return, and I ask one of the girls standing in the lobby if anyone had shown up.

Girl 1: Oh, just Joss Whedon.
Me: OMG! WHEN!!?!???
Girl 2: Like two seconds ago.
Girl 1: He was headed for the elevators.

In spite of my feet feeling kind of numb from standing and walking around in heels for four hours, I made a mad dash towards the elevators. I hope I looked like an elegant gazelle, but...anyway, he was taking photos with two fans, which, thank the heavens, slowed him down.

Me: Joss, please can I take a pic?
Joss: Sure.
Me: Oh, thank god!  I've been trying to track you down for some time now.
[Joss smiles at that]
Also, I wanted to say you totally deserved that award and you've inspired me since like age eleven, and it's an honor to meet you.

He smiled and looked touched by it. "Thank you," he said. He reached out his hand after his wife took the pic, and I felt embarrassed cause my hand was wet. Still, it was a glorious moment. I just wish I had one of my The Good Soldier handouts to give him, or a "Hire Me Joss!" sign.

Damn it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


One of the first posts I made on this blog was about my going to the "Magic Mike" premier.  I didn't love it.  There were a lot of things that were very problematic, and the only bits I cared about were of Channing Tatum dancing.

But "Magic Mike XXL," well...Channing's body and its movement are still very much magical, but there were some other nice bits along the way. Here they are in no particular order:


It's rare for me to say I'd want to go and get the soundtrack to a film, but man, did this one harken back my old school, as well as push all kinds of buttons.  Like muscle memory or something.  Er...I mean nostalgia.  No really--awesomely awesome nostalgia.  Nine Inch Nails.  112.  D'Angelo.  And of course, the classic that is "Pony" by Ginuine.


Jada slayed it, plain and simple.  I wish they had had a flashback of her character with Channing, or a sex scene of those two.  Instead, we got a sensuous "hello" kiss and a whole lot of stares.  Anyway, her character was intriguing, sexy, and had personality.  Another thing which the first film lacked.  The leading lady in that one was dull, and had way too many [undeserving] closeups.  Barf.  But Jada!  Omg -



I'm not a fan of Matt's dancing.  He's stiff, and in the first film, I referred to him as the "[Lady] Boner Killer."  Part of the premise of this film, however, are the guys being entertainers and doing what they love as opposed to what they know.  Well Ken?  Ken sings.  And he sings quite well.  It's a wonder Bomer wasn't in a boy band in an early point of his career (er, he wasn't right?).  Not gonna lie--it was surprising, and a bit of a turn on.  He didn't kill this lady's boner, by gum!

*kidding/not kidding


Along with Jada, there's Danny Glover, Michael Strahan, and an entire scene dedicated to black women enjoying some strippers.  Particularly a nice sequence with Channing.  What I would have given to be one of the featured extras who he danced on.  Or breathed on.  Or looked at.  I think Channing makes me easy, ya'll.

Still, even though they needed a script doctor (I couldn't help but think of Tarantino whenever they would have a long, talk sequence), I didn't feel compelled to fast forward through chunks of film like I did with its predecessor.  This film was solid.  I really need to see it again, and get it on DVD asap.

Ocean's 11 moment

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World

Going into this film, I had the idea in my head that the magic from the first film would be impossible to capture [ever again].

And I was right.

But, even though I was totally right, it doesn't mean that this film was bad.  In fact, it was great.  It ended up being like, a movie orgy of "Romancing the Stone" and "Predators" with "Jurassic Park."  Well, I guess that sounds more like a threesome than an orgy.  Anyway, there are throwbacks and direct mentions and odes to the first film, and that is what definitely elevates the film.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt make for solid and interesting leads.  There's something pixie-ish and womanly about Bryce, and the camera loves her.  The best part is that she can act.  Chris is rugged and funny, and I can totally see why he was nominated to be [the next] Indiana Jones.  I still no way in hell want there to be a next Indiana [at least not directly--Jr. or a nephew or a neighbor or something, fine], but I can see it.  There chemistry wasn't electric--more on the "meh" side of things, but it was enough to kind of/sort of buy it.

And then, there are the dinosaurs.  And nature.  And there are moments as we the audience view the tours of the park--like kayaking with Brachiosauruses  drinking along the riverbanks, or driving as the...other herbivore dinosaurs [whose name escapes me] run along side the vehicle.  For a moment, I thought, "I want to go to there.  Er, if those were the only animals part of the tour.  Cause duh, trapped on an island with a slew of carnivores who are my size or much, much bigger?  HELLLLLLLL no..."  But yes, it made me briefly lament that Jurassic World (well, parts of it) wasn't real.

And then the musical score--they basically stole the sheets from "Jurassic Park," and played with my nostalgia through my ears.  Manipulative, but effective. 

The characters who you know will die--well, no spoilers but, how they die is a bit more shocking than anticipated... They really go for the kill in this one.

In short, I would totally recommend seeing "Jurassic World."  Three stars and two thumbs up from Fangirl.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wizard World Shenanigans and Meeting David Boreanaz

Note: Sorry for the delay.  I wrote one version and it got accidentally deleted, so I had to start all over.  Maybe this one turned out for the best.

Mild anxiety attack.

Didn't know he had been doing autos first, so I got in line for the photos early.  First dozen people or so were in front of me, which I figured was good in case the line got rushed near the end.  The only trouble was I was so effin' nervous.  With a bit of effort, I was able to get my dumbass Wizard World wristband off (it was hot pink--eww) so it wouldn't ruin my photo.  There was a strict no touching policy, and I let nerves get the best of me.  I usually don't listen to that crap--I ask the talent directly what they're comfortable with.  But I couldn't think, as this was my first time really meeting him.  Oh sure, I'd seen him ten years before, but it was in a q&a session across several rows of people.  This was going to be for reals this time.

I got there, smiled at the gorgeous hunk of man who looked well [marginally taller than me, but not as tall as I thought he'd be], thinner than I anticipated, with an aged face, but aged with grace.  We leaned into each other for the photo, and right before the click of the camera, I said, "I waited ten years for this."  He said, "Aww, really?" and then the camera flashed.

He turned and looked at me.  "Man, can you imagine if we'd done that during the picture?" all the while smiling that brilliant Boreanaz smile.  I was totally dazzled and charmed, smiling as he kept talking while the lady running the line was yelling, "Next.  NEXT!" doing her best impression of the Soup Nazi.  And though I wish I had remained unfettered as it was David totally talking to me, and not the other way around, I said a quick, "Thank you," and scurried off like a huge lame.

This was not the Jill I'd become, but the Jill from days of yore, perhaps.

Had David reduced me to my adolescent self?  Perhaps.  Whatever the case, afterward I felt incredibly giddy, with a slight inclination to cry.  Verge of hysterics?  Maybe.  But I definitely wasn't on m flowers/overly hormonal, so I have no idea.  It was a foreign feeling to be sure.

I spent the better part of that weekend proposing a crusade for an Angel panel, as they had not only David, but J. August Richards and James Marsters there as well.

It started with James.

(start at 25:18.  Also, sorry for the quality--well, I'm not responsible for recording it, but I wish I had recorded my own version D:) :

I just adore that James.

Then, it was the J. August panel.  I didn't actually get to ask him anything at the panel, but someone else did.  Sadly, the footage cannot be found.  I thought that there would be one person who would post his q&a in its entirety.  Instead, all I have is this crappy highlights portion of the panel found here.

At any rate, J. August was totally down with doing an Angel panel, and immediately sent a tweet out about it and tried to get it trending.  He is an amazing guy (and taller than I thought he'd be). Really cool, down to earth, and frankly?  Inspiring.  He's said some prolific things at these panels and I love hearing him talk.  I hope great things are on the horizon for him.

Also?  Was my second time meeting him.  I had actually met him the month before at the EW party in San Diego.  I was in costume at Wizard World, so he didn't quite recall me (I don't think), but was curious about how I got into the party, as he had a very difficult time entering himself.

Me: "But you're famous.  You're walking around with your face and stuff."
J.: "I know!  But they asked for my ID and everything.  Had to pull up stuff on my on my phone to get in."
Me: "That's crazy!"
J.: "Tell me about it!"

My partial Maleficent costume. Or "Magnificent" as I was calling myself.

Finally, my question to David (start at 5:37):

So yeah, that sucks.  But I saw a pic of him and J. later on, and a pic of J. and James at the airport on their way to Chicago.  But all I really wanted was this:

Maybe one day.  Maybe one day...


Later, I saw him in the auto line, in which I was second.  I gave him an Angel pic to sign, and I apologized for like, I don't know, harping on it.

Me: "I know it's been ten years and that you've done other stuff since then, but that show had such an impact on me."
David: "That's wonderful."
Me: "I feel like such a nerd."
David: "You're not a nerd."
Me: "I just feel awkward and lame talking to you about Angel."
David: "Don't say that.  You're not awkward and lame.  I'm glad you loved the show so much."
Me: "Thank you.  So great to finally meet you."

And then I shook his hand.  I wish I had said more or something profound...but yeah.  Mental regression.  Maybe if I see him again, I can act like a normal adult-aged person.

Michael Rooker

The first celeb I saw on the first day there was Michael Rooker.  I was walking the dealer room early (for VIPs), and there were scarce few people about, and I saw three men walk past--one with a hat on who brushed past me.  I didn't see his face, but I heard his voice--it was Michael.  

I didn't say anything, as he seemed to be in a hurry.  The next night, however, I saw him at my (or our) hotel.  He was taking pics with a few fans, but by the time I got up to him, he told me that he had to run as he was on his way to dinner.

Michael: "But you can have a hug, darlin'."

I gave him a hug, and he said, "Ooh!" and hugged me back.  It was a nice hug.

About fifteen minutes later, I saw him on the lower level, and it looked like he was dodging people.

Michael [sotto voce]: "Shh!  Come here, quick!  And get your camera out!"

I came over quickly with my two friends to take pics with him.

Michael: "I didn't mean to be rude earlier.  It was just too many people around."

He took pics with all three of us, then asked us which direction was the quickest exit, and headed off.

Evan Peters

Good lord, he seemed like such a kid.  Terribly quiet and shy...cute, but just so damn young.  He seems older through the screen.

Sebastian Stan

Good lord, is he fine.  He had his nose down 95% of the time, concentrating on signatures.  His line was hella long, though.

Anthony Mackie

[Picture not found]

His line, while not as long as Sebastian's...yeah, he didn't have the time for a photo.  He seemed nice, but a stickler for rules, which was fairly lame.

Shawn Ashmore

Nice guy, but I wish I had talked to him when I saw him at the hotel (for free).  He liked my costume though, and that was cool.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Let's Be Cops

...Or as it's better known as--

"Let's Be Psych--The F/X Edition"

"Let's Be Cops" is a buddy film that involves an odd couple of bros who are also BFFs for the last ten years or so.  You have Shawn Ryan, who's unemployed and likes to relive the glory days of his youth, goofing around, living off of a small fortune he got a couple of years ago from a herpes commercial.  Then you have Gus Justin, who is the responsible half of the couple who does in fact have a study job, but has trouble talking to women or gaining respect at work. 

And then the night of their college reunion happens where they're supposed to show up in costume, and shenanigans ensue.  Shenanigans that entail playing pretend while in uniform, until things get a tad too real...

I enjoyed this film.  I laughed and was grossed out (the way this type of film is supposed to gross you out at times, and not disgusted, just so it's clear).  The film hit all of the notes it intended to do.  However, I was a bit flummoxed at seeing Rob Riggle in a non-comedic role in a comedic film, and seeing Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Upgraded Jr. [even though their chemistry was spot on], I couldn't help but think of their TV counterparts, James Roday and DulĂ© Hill.  Psych has only been off the air for one season, but I do miss their bromance and shenanigans.  

Anyway.  This film was both fun and funny, and I look forward to Johnson and Wayans teaming up in a follow up film.


Look out, Jonah & Channing, and Sandra & Melissa.  These buddy cops are coming for you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy

Going into the pre-screening for this film, my expectations weren't terribly high due to my slight ambivalence over its predecessor.  I didn't really care about any of the characters; actually wanted one or two of the main characters to just die already.

This film, however, turns it all the round.

It feels as if the first film almost didn't exist, or was so terribly irrelevant, it's not worth mentioning anymore.  This film is like... "The Hunger Games" meets "The Following" meets...the dynamic of the survivors in The Walking Dead, while starring a lead that's akin to a Liam Neeson character in basically any action movie he's ever done.  I care about these characters, damn it.  I want to know how (and if) they survive The Purge.

Given how much senseless violence that occurs in this country, a film like "The Purge: Anarchy" doesn't seem entirely far fetched.  Most people lock themselves away, and want no part of it, while a small few take glee in the violence and destruction, quick to crow it's their right, bestowed upon them by their forefathers.  This adds an extra, creepy layer to both the scenario and its violence.

That being said, this movie is not goretastic (that's a made up word, I know)--one of the most chilling deaths, involving lots of machetes, we don't even get to see.  I am thankful for that.  This film shows violence without bashing you over the head with it (no pun intended).

All in all, I'd give it three stars.  Yep.  It's solid, suspenseful, and contains likable (although sometimes really, really, really annoying characters who you so want to be just...backhand slapped one good time in the face) characters.

I anxiously await its sequel.  Or, seeing this one more time.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Maleficent and the Power of Pure Love

Yes, pure love, and not true love.

Note: Very mild spoilers.

Admittedly, I am a HUGE Angelina fan, but I did in fact go into this film as an impartial viewer.  If it had sucked, I would be honest and say that it did, but it did not.

Let's start with the audience--lots of children and their mom's (specifically), with smatterings of adults, mostly women, and a few men.  I saw this in 3D.  This is yet another film where 3D is wholly unnecessary, yet the CGI and fight scenes were great.  The beauty in this film was made of CGI whimsy, and lacked the "I''m in a video game!" feel of "Avatar."  Though the whimsy is short lived, and only present for a fraction of the time.  This film is not only dark in tone, but in design (and with great, valid reason).

This is an origins story, told by a much older Aurora, which gives validity to the tale.  Think of it as an "Ever After" type of fairy tale (with actual fairies).  Maleficent, an orphan, is deemed protector of the Moors where the fairies live due to her abnormally large size.  She meets a young, human boy, and eventually falls in love.  Tale as old as time, right?  Until said boy grows up into a power hungry man, roofies her, and disfigures her in her drug induced slumber, leaving her to walk slowly on a cane for most of the film.

Maleficent becomes bitter and enraged, appointing herself as Queen of the Moors, building her strength, then strikes when her assailant [and former love] is made a King and father.  She gives him the mind-fuck of all time via a curse on his baby girl (not a spoiler).  The results are instantaneous, as he sends the baby away for sixteen years, never visiting her, and never having any other children.  He also abandons his wife for his obsession to destroy Maleficent, and eventually becomes Gary Busey-like in manner.

Jolie is stunning in her fairy prosthetics and devil headgear, and shows us the power of pure love as opposed to (and shown to be fabled) true love, and showing how it can change us and help us grow for the better. Also, props for having a black guy with a speaking role in this film (which is rare for fantasy/period films).

Worth the ten bucks.