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.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" Leaves the Past Behind

But in a good way.

Fourteen years ago, I was disappointed in the first "X-Men" film, in spite of adoring the performances and portrayals of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Sir Ian McKellen's Magneto, and Sir Patrick Stewart's Professor X.  As the years passed on and the movies rolled out, this sense of tremendous disappointment would continue onward until 2013's "The Wolverine," which was Bryan Singer free, with James Mangold at the helm (which has a sequel in the works.  Yay!).

In spite of being at the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" panel last year, I was skeptical (and have been skeptical for sometime) because Bryan Singer, who brought me film on top of film of disappointment of some kind over the years, was once again the director.

I'm happy to report that I am more than happily surprised.

This film redeemed all of the other films that sort of crapped on my childhood.  I loved watching the X-Men cartoon on Saturday mornings.

And I don't mean redeemed in just style, story, music, and editing, but also the acting.

Halle Berry finally portrays Storm properly.  I loved how they changed her aesthetics--very fitting.  And while it's true, she doesn't say much, she looks more serious and subdued.  Something about her previous performances always came off as not-serious/a bit of a joke to me.

Jennifer Lawrence--her role previously in "X-Men: First Class" was a total dud.  But I'm starting to think it's because she doesn't do carefree very well.  Raven in that film verses Raven in this film is ten times better.  She is clearly burdened and colder.  She rarely smiles in this film.  She's somber and on a path of vengeance, and this is the type of role that suits Lawrence quite well, and she was able to serve the character properly this time around.

This is the second time travel film I've seen this week, and it did it right (as well).

My only criticism of this film is that there wasn't nearly enough Quick Silver.  What a great character.  Evan Peters, just steal my heart.  Oh, that's right, Michael Fassbender, who had a plethora of screen time, has already taken it.

In closing, if action/sci-fi/fantasy films are your thing, and if you liked the previous films (even if you didn't), I recommend this film as part of your summer movie experience.

Happy Watching!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Edge of Tomorrow" Movie Review

Note: For those of you who don't like to read, scroll down to check out my sixty-second movie review on YouTube.

Tonight, I was able to attend a pre-screening of Tom Cruise's latest sci-fi action film, "Edge of Tomorrow."

I was actually at San Diego Comic Con, and terribly shocked when Tom Cruise walked on stage to talk on the panel of this film.  Can I just say how much I squeed when he did that, and he looked at me and winked.  Winked!

*feels special*

Anyway, I went into this film a bit skeptically, given my gigantic disappointment with the first two films to kick off the summer sucked balls for me.  No, really.

*Glares at "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"; Squints at "Godzilla"*

"Edge of Tomorrow" brings a butt-load of action, comedy, intrigue, and a smidge of romance to this time traveling flick, which is basically "Groundhog's Day" meets "Independence Day."  I'd classify this film as a sci-fi action thriller, layered with comedy.  It isn't straitlaced, but takes itself seriously at the same time.  I like the reasoning for time-travel here (and we do get a concrete reason).  Everything just works in it.  Everything.  I saw it in 3-D, a medium I'm terribly "meh" on, and even that worked!  I didn't feel like I was looking at a video game or anything.

Now, off with you to the movies!

Well in June.  This film shall be released June 6th.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Trouble with Godzilla

I saw "Godzilla" yesterday, a film I'd been looking forward to since last summer.

Sadly to say, I was grossly disappointed.

Here is a bullet pointed list explaining why:

  • There wasn't nearly enough Bryan Cranston.  For a film that wanted to have monologues and focus on character, they didn't utilize the best actor asset they had.
  • The film also didn't have nearly enough Godzilla.  The bug creature things got way more screen time, and were generally unpleasant to look at.  [I really, really hate bugs.]
  • Not!Mary Kate or Ashely Olsen bothered me.  Maybe it's because I keep thinking of her sisters, but something about her face seems off.  Could be her nose.  As for her character--she was so terribly disinterested in the welfare of her husband, who potentially could have been dead, to the point where she makes one phone call to locate him, then leaves her phone on vibrate.  Um... 
  • Anytime there was a decent action scene a-brewin', it would jump cut to several moments (sometimes hours) later.  Why?  Did they not have enough money in their budget to fund the CGI?  Speaking of--
  • Why the crap does Godzilla have cankles?  He didn't look very lizard like...
  • After all of the in depth backstory and explaining how these massive beings came to be, I am still unsure of where Godzilla was all that time (admittedly, I lost about 20-30 minutes of the film, for I fell asleep), or why they thought, sorry, knew he would battle the other two giant creatures to the death.
  • And finally, the biggest flaw with this film?  They didn't have Stephen Spielberg at the helm. I think under his supervision, it would have been done how it was supposed to be.  I'm not sure anyone lesser could pull off this particular film properly.  Peter Jackson may have also been a good choice (but my money's on Spielberg).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DIVERGENT Movie Review

While I have not read the books, I was all too curious to see the latest in teen film phenomena (presumably), "Divergent."  In addition to it taking place and being filmed in my awesome city of Chicago, was based on the novel by Veronica Roth, who wrote the first one as her thesis for a creative writing class at Northwestern University.

I was able to see a pre-screening at IMAX for this film.  The trailers left me intrigued, but sometimes, you can never be too sure.  I must say that it wasn't misleading.

"Divergent" offers a spin on some new ideals, but includes all the basics to make for an engaging film--action, angst, that feeling of being different/other/outsider, romance and change.

There is some strong supporting cast, including Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, and Tony Goldwyn.  Newcomer Theo James is a great male lead--nice to look at, and not too shabby on the acting.

All these things and more were enough for me to overlook the weak acting efforts delivered by Shailene Woodley as the lead, Tris.  Good lord, there was just no...real zest to her.  Oh sure, she was nowhere near as dull and unbearable as Kristen Stewart's Bella, but there's still something integral missing.  I watched her on screen and thought of Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy or Jennifer Gardner's Sydney Bristow.  Geena Davis' Charli Baltimore.  To have both that edginess and tenderness is a tricky thing, and for the moment, Woodley does not have that.

I think this would have been a role better suited for Saoirse Ronan or Michelle Trachtenberg.

That being said, it's a great film.  I plan to see the other two in the series, and check out the books, and you should too.

Meeting Josh Holloway and Ian Somerhalder

Today's Fangirl moment is brought to you by Karen:

Last night at the LOST panel at Paleyfest, I finally fulfilled my ten year quest to meet, talk to and get an autograph from Josh Holloway. Needless to say, I am more than thrilled.

As expected, he was a real Southern gentleman. He was only going to sign my photo, but after seeing the TV Guide with me yelling at him at the season 6 premiere, he signed that too! This Lostie's mission is accomplished ;p

Also, called me "darlin'" and touched my shoulder after the signing.

After, I saw Ian Somerhalder. He had to rush to catch a plane and said he could not sign, but guess who he recognized and stopped for?

That's right.

He said "Oh hi, sweetie. How are ya?" I said please Ian and he said, "Okay, I will for you." He only signed for me and the girl next to me.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

And the Oscar Goes to...

Best Picture Nominees:

"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"12 Years A Slave"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Who I think should win: "12 Years a Slave"
Who will probably win: "12 Years a Slave"

Best Actor Nominees:

Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years A Slave"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Who I think should win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Who will probably win: Matthew McConaughey

Best Actress Nominees:

Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"

Who I think should win: Meryl Streep
Who will probably win: Amy Adams

Best Supporting Actor Nominees:

Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years A Slave"
Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Who I think should win: Michael Fassbender (with Jonah Hill as an honorable mention)
Who will probably win: Jared Leto

Best Supporting Actress Nominees:

Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"

Who I think should win: Lupita Nyong'o, omg
Who will probably win: Jennifer Lawrence (vomit)

Best Director Nominees:

David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"
Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave"
Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf Of Wall Street"

Who I think should win: Steve McQueen (honorable mention to Scorsese)
Who will probably win: Steve McQueen

What are your picks?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Living Single Movie

When I went to San Diego Comic Con 2013, I unexpectedly ran into a woman who portrayed one of my favorite TV characters--Living Single's Erika Alexander.  I couldn't think of her name on the spot, so I asked her, "Maxine Shaw?" to which she quickly replied "Attorney at law!"  And then we hugged.  So awesome.

She was there on comic related business (to which I can't recall the name of, sadly), and the chat got around to Living Single.  I asked her would there ever be a big screen reunion in the works.  The gist of her response was that Queen Latifah more or less wouldn't discuss it.  I must now wonder why?

The cast, from what I gathered, were on fairly good terms.  And given the commercial success of the Sex and the City films (based on a show, which, came after Living Single) and "The Best Man Holiday," you'd think they all would be chomping at the bit.  I mean Latifah is still an actress.  Producer.  Started her career on a message called UNITY.  What's the real opposition here?  Showing a big screen version of this successful series which features successful black women who are BFFs?  It would be positive and funny and highly successful, and it's not even like one would have to be familiar with the series to enjoy the film.  This mysterious opposition baffles me to no end.

So, if there's anyone out there in touch with Queen Latifah, tell her to have a bit of fun and bring joy to the hearts of movie goers with a green light for a film adaptation of one of the funniest sitcoms of the 90's.