Archive for October, 2010

27
Oct
10

Back to the Future 25th Anniversary / Secretariat / Hereafter

Back to the Future 25th Anniversary / Secretariat / Hereafter

Thursday Oct 21st, 2010

Tonight was cheap movie night for me. Here is Atlanta there is a cool movie theater that plays cheap movies for $1.75. On Tuesday nights movies are only $.75 cents. Here is a link to that theater: http://www.zvents.com/marietta-ga/venues/show/42218-picture-show-entertainment

It’s a great way to see recent movie theater hits at cheap prices. It’s one of those theaters that you pay for your movie ticket at the concession stand. Tonight I decided to see The Expendables (2010) again. It’s a good action film with a great cast. I was only expecting to see a few people show up on a Thursday night. But I took a head count and notices that over 30 people were in attendance. Not bad and the crowd was into it. Good popcorn movie.

Saturday October 23rd, 2010

Secretariat (2010) starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Nelsan Ellis and Dylan Walsh. Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown. This movie is a real crowd pleaser. You don’t have to be a horseracing fan to enjoy this film. This film is based on the true story of the last Triple Crown winner. The acting was great especially by Diane Lane who plays the famous owner of Secretariat Penny Chenery Tweedy and John Malkovich who played the horse trainer who comes out of retirement. However one of my favorite roles was played by actor Nelsan Ellis who plays the horse handler that spent the most time with the famous horse Secretariat. Nelsan Ellis is a great actor that can also bee seen as the character Lafayette Reynolds in the great Vampire TV show True Blood. I got a chance to meet Nelsan Ellis at DragonCon last month. I got his autograph and got a chance to chat him up. He’s a very cool guy and nice too. Secretariat is beautifully shot too. The sound editing stood out too especially during the horse racing scenes. This is a good movie that most people will enjoy. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

So it’s the 25th anniversary of the release of Back to the Future (1985) starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover. In 1985, Doc Brown invents time travel; in 1955, Marty McFly accidentally prevents his parents from meeting, putting his own existence at stake. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of this film the movie is being shown twice to coincide with the time that Marty McFly travels in time. So I went to the 12:30 pm showing. There was a great crowd of about 40 to 50 people in the small theater it was showing. Before the movie started the theater staff did some Back To The Future trivia questions for prizes. I won the first question which was: “ What did Marty McFly’s mother think his name was in 1955?’ Answer: Calvin Klein. I won a free drink and soda. Woo hoo! The movie was great to see on the big screen again after all of these years. The movie-looked great too cause of the new digital treatment the film got. I would love to see the 2nd and third one on the big screen too. Maybe I will get my chance.

The last film I saw today was Hereafter (2010) Directed by: Clint Eastwood. Starring Matt Damon, Jay Mohr, Cécile De France. This is a drama centered on three people — a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London schoolboy — who are touched by death in different ways. Clint Eastwood usually can’t miss when it comes to his directed movies, until now. His last films like Invictus, Gran Torino and Changeling were very good films. But this movie was a boring piece of crap. Boring, boring oh and did I mention boring? The only exciting thing and worth seeing scene in this film was the first 10 minutes of the film. There was a great tsunami scene that was filmed that introduced one of the main characters played by Cécile De France. This movie was so boring that I really wanted to leave before the movie ended, but felt compelled to stay to the end to see what happened. Do yourself a favor and see Jackass 3D or Red instead.

All right, that’s it for now. More movie nerdness coming soon. Please stay tuned.

– Spartan Phoenix 

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  142

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 17
  • October           2010: Movies Seen: 11
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24
Oct
10

The Social Network / Red / Jackass 3D / Life As We Know It

The Social Network / Red / Jackass 3D / Life As We Know It

Saturday October 9th,

So I’m a little behind on movie review blogs to an unwanted dental tooth extraction that started with pain and a very bad swollen mouth. This kept me out of the loop for a week. Thanks to Jane for taking care of my big baby ass. When it comes to the dentist I’m a big fat baby. So lets get back on track.

The first movie for this weeks blog is The Social Network (2010) starring Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Andrew Garfield (Untitled Spider-Man Reboot) and Justin Timberlake. Written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) Directed by David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Se7en, Fight Club) In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg begins working on a new idea. In what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications. This movie is popular for one reason; 1 in 13 people on the planet Earth are on Facebook. This movie was disappointing in my opinion. It didn’t have the drama, intrigue or anything exciting. The subject matter was interesting and there was some good acting by Andrew Garfield who is gonna be your next Spiderman and Rooney Mara who will be the new (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The thing that bothered me was the movie made Mark Zuckerberg out as a douchbag. I don’t think he was portrayed right by Jesse Eisenberg. Although Jesse Eisenberg’s acting was good I don’t think the role was actuate. There was one last thing that bugged my about this film. Although the dialog was written well because of Aaron Sorkin, it felt like I was watching a 2-hour TV movie special instead of a theatrical movie. It seems blah. I wish there was more David Fincher and less Aaron Sorkin. Here is an interesting picture comparison of the actors and the real people they portrayed.

Tuesday October 19th, 2010

Red (2010) starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. When his idyllic life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive. This movie was a lot of fun from start to finish. It has a great cast. John Malkovich was my favorite in this film. It was also cool to see Mary-Louise Parker play someone interesting and intriguing on-screen as her character on the TV show Weeds. This movie had a good blend of action, humor and intrigue. Bruce Willis commands the character he plays. The other character that stood out was the agent played by New Zealand born Karl Urban that pursues Bruce Willis. Karl Urban is a stand out actor that can be recently seen in movies like Star Trek (2009), The Bourne Supremacy and as Eomer in the Lord of the Rings sequels. Red is a fun movie for all. Check it out!

Jackass 3D (2010) starring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera and Steve-O. Can you believe that Jackass 3D (2010) made 50 million dollars in its opening weekend? I was shocked when I heard this stat. But I guess like me everyone wanted to see these silly and gross out stunts in 3D. I have to say I guiltily enjoyed this film. It was very funny. Some of the stunts fell flat for me, but most of them were funny and entertaining to see. I have one question though; if you can intelligently answer this for me please let me know. What make these guys professionals? Each of these movies claims these are professional stunts performed by experts and that you and your idiot friends shouldn’t duplicate them at home. So what makes them professionals? Do they have “stunt man” licensees? Do real stuntmen train them? If you know this answer please let me know. The move is not a must see in 3D. There are a few slow motion scenes that are cool to see in 3D and are very funny. But the 2D version should be just as entertaining. I’ve hear rumors that there will be another Jackass movie pushed out sooner than you think due to the fast success of Jackass 3D (2010).

Life as We Know It (2010) starring Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel and Josh Lucas. Two single adults become caregivers to an orphaned girl when their mutual best friends die in an accident. Katherine Heigl continues her romantic comedy movie string. She is charming and cute in this film. But I would like to see her break out in more of a dramatic or action type of role. Here romantic comedy characters are becoming formulaic. Josh Duhamel was hansom charming and hunky as usual. He can pull off the romantic comedy lead, but I’m glad he’s doing action films too. This film was only interesting for me cause it was filmed in Atlanta so it was cool to see some of the locations I drive by often in the film. Overall the film was boring. I ended up falling asleep at the end of the film until I heard the closing credits rolling to someone’s slow cover of “Sweet Child O Mine”. As I was leaving the theater I had to ask a couple what happened at the end of the film? It ended as I predicted, no surprises here, but that’s OK, especially for romantic comedies, they should end with happy endings.

Next time I’ve got Secretariat, Hereafter and Back to the Future baby! Stay tuned!

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  138

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 17
  • October           2010: Movies Seen: 7
17
Oct
10

Zombieland: The Invention of the Tallahassee Costume for Dragon*Con 2010

Zombieland: The Invention of the Tallahassee Costume for Dragon*Con 2010

October 2010.

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, always has been, since I was a kid. I love dressing up in costume. I was always the guy showing up at school or work with the costume for Halloween. Since I visited my first Sc-Fi convention back in the early 90’s I found out about these wonderful places to dress up in costume when it wasn’t Halloween. My first con was a Star Trek Convention put on by Creation Entertainment http://www.creationent.com/ in Pasadena, California back in the early 90’s when Star Trek The Next Generation was exploding with a new fan base that was joined by the “Trekie” fans from the original series. This is where I saw the first hard-core costumes from devoted fans. Then I went to the much larger San Diego Comic Con http://www.comic-con.org/ and saw way more than just Star Trek costumes. Costumes from all SciFi shows, movies, comics etc. I also saw fantasy; Disney, horror and classical themed costumes worn by fans that were so real and meticulously detailed that they could have been extras or a stand in that walked off the movie and TV show sets.

But it wasn’t until I visited Dragon*Con http://www.dragoncon.org/ in Atlanta GA 1999 for the first time I realized how fans took to the costume hobby lifestyle seriously. I’ve been to Dragon*Con for almost every year since then. I’ve been to four straight. I don’t dress up in costume every at year Dragon*Con, but when I do I try to go all out and get the best costume together that I can. You cant bring crappy costumes to Dragon*Con. Forget the plastic masks with rubber bands, at Dragon*Con you need to bring you’re “A game”. Although Dragon*Con 2010 was last month (Sep 3-6, 2010) I got most of my costume together a month after last years Dragon*Con so I would have one ready for this years event.

One cool zombie killing mofo!

After I saw last years movie Zombieland (2009) I knew what costume I would be putting together for Dragon*Con 2010. I saw Zombieland opening weekend, October 2, 2009. My goal was to put together a costume of the character Tallahassee played by Woody Harrelson. Woody Harrelson stars as Tallahassee who prides himself as proficient zombie killer and has fun doing it. He is one of the coolest movie characters in recent time. After seeing this movie I had my costume idea. Woody’s character had a great look and was a very funny bad ass. My goal was to premier my costume later that month for Halloween 2009, which was less than four weeks away so I was under the gun with time. This would be a good trail run for Dragon*Con 2010. So I thought I would share with you how I got my Zombieland Tallahassee costume together. Here is how I put this costume together.

In the movie Zombieland Tallahassee has four key items to his look: His jacket, his hat, his gun and his gun holster. However the main key item to his look is his jackets.

The Jackets:

Tallahassee wears two jackets in the movie. The first half of the movie he has a black leathery or nylon jacket with zippers.

The cool black jacket

I was lucky to find the black leather jacket for a reasonable price on ebay later (after Halloween) that would be a good stand in for the Tallahassee’s black jacket. The black jacket was an after thought. It wasn’t “The Jacket” I wanted first.

The jacket he wears in the second half of the movie is a snakeskin motorcycle leather zip up style jacket. This one stands out “cool” and is mentioned by name in the movie. I wanted this jacket bad. This is what I needed to sell this costume. This costume starts with the jacket.

the coolest slick snakeskin jacket!

I have to be honest. I got lucky when I finally found a good stand in version of this jacket. I searched the Internet and found ones online that weren’t as close as I wanted and too expensive anyways. Then I found one on ebay right away that someone was selling used. The jacket was too large, too long and a button up instead of a zipper up. But the color and overall look was perfect. I won the auction with no other bidders to compete with. Didn’t anyone else want to be Tallahassee for Halloween? I guess not. Score one for me.  When I got the snakeskin jacket in the mail I took it to get altered to fit me and I had the jacket shortened to fit the look. I was very pleased with the out come. This jacket is so cool. Its not real snakeskin, but I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get one in such a short period of time. I now own a snakeskin jacket bitches.

My Tallahassee snakeskin jacket

The black leather I got for Tallahassee's other cool jacket

This reminded me of other iconic characters with snakeskin jackets like Nicolas Cage’s character Sailor Ripley in Wild at Heart (1990). To quote Nicolas Cage’s character from the movie: “This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it’s a symbol of my individuality, and my belief… in personal freedom”

Nick Cage as Sailor Ripley in his snakeskin jacket

The Hat:

When I was searching online to find the jacket I found a link to this site: http://realdealbrazil.com/ This is the company that made the hat Tallahassee wears in the movie. You can read more about that at this link: http://realdealbrazil.blogspot.com/2010/06/real-deal-brazils-in-zombieland-new.html

The “The Real Deal” is a tarp hat made in Brazil and crafted from recycled tarps of Brazilian cargo trucks in an attempt to cut down on the wasting of resources. Most likely the fabric in The Real Deal hat traveled from the Amazon to Sao Paulo and back again. As they say “So don’t take care of this hat, it will take care of you”. Again, I got lucky with the hat. The hat is cool too. I’ve worn it outside doing some recreation fun and mowing the lawn in the yard. I haven’t decided if I can get away with wearing it outside of the Tallahassee costume. Probably not, but I don’t give a fuck.

The Guns:

Tallahassee uses many guns in the movie. However his main gun that he holsters on his left leg is a shortened Winchester type lever action style rifle from the late 1800’s. The barrel and the butt of the rifle are sawed off or custom shortened. I found a “toy” like version of the rifle at a local costume store. It was made out of metal and wood, which is close to the look I wanted. I then sawed both the butt and the barrel of the toy gun to match the length and the overall look of the gun.

The cheezy less scary version

After this I did more searching online and found a perfect working full size replica of the gun on ebay. This one is the best looking one I could find. It’s called “Mare’s Leg” simular to the one used by Steve McQueen’s iconic character Josh Randall in the Wanted: Dead or Alive TV series 1958-1961,

Tallahassee Mare's Leg gun

Tallahassee's Hero? Steve Mcqueen as Josh Randall

The Holster:

When it came to the holster I knew that it had to be custom made. I’m sure Tallahassee had his custom made. I have had some experience with leather fabrication in my past. Lets just say I was introduced to this in the late 80’s during my hair metal days:-) I went to Tandy Leather here in the Atlanta area. http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/

I bought some scrap leather, a snap kit and a rivet kit. After consulting a rifle scabbard design kit at Tandy Leather I made a mock up of the holster that I cut out of a large thin piece of poster board paper. After the mock up was done I laid it out over the leather I bought and cut the leather to fit with a razor knife. I used a drill to make the holes. Then I used the rivet kit and a hammer to fold and fasten the leather through the holes I drilled into the final holster design itself. Then I used the snap kit and a hammer to make the leg strap to anchors the holster to my thigh. The last thing I did was use olive oil to darken the leather. I rubbed the olive oil in several time and left it in the sun for a few hours to give it a “worn” look.

My hand crafted leather holster and ebay bought gun replica

Other Costume Items:

The other items that round out the Tallahassee look are his boots, shirts, pants, necklace, more guns, sunglasses and a Hostess Twinkie (if you’ve seen the movie, you know why:-). You can use any brown leather worn in cowboy style boots. I found a used pair of brown leather cowboy boots at a local vintage costume shop. His pants are regular blue colored tight fitting pair of jeans. I used my 501 Levis that are a worn dark blue color that worked fine. He uses two shirts under his jackets, a navy blue or purple colored v-neck t-shirt and a gray long sleeve Henley style shirt.

Tallahassee has two necklaces, one having some leather and blue turquoise look to it. I found one that was similar at another local vintage clothing costume shop. The other necklace has some type of square locket or pendent attached to it with a tree engraved on it. Believe it or not this was the most challenging item of the costume to find. I still haven’t found and exact match for it, but I did find a square sterling silver pendent at a local mall that will suffice until I find a better match. I handcrafted and attached my own leather necklace to the pendent. The sunglasses that Tallahassee has are worn in the beginning of the movie in one scene. I didn’t find and exact match but I found some cheap $10 gold framed sunglasses that match the hat and jacket I have.

The Tallahassee bling

As for the guns he also uses a few shotguns, pistols and a type of submachine gun. Here is a link to all of the Zombieland weapons that were used:

http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Zombieland

At the end of the movie Tallahassee uses a military tactical style vest with a special scabbard attached on his back that holds two shotguns. I might add these items to my costume at a later time, but I don’t want to spend too much more money.

The costume that I put together for Dragon*Con last month was a successes if you ask me. I only met one other person dressed as Tallahassee at the con. He didn’t have a jacket for his costume and didn’t realize that Tallahassee (Woody) is left-handed.

Tallahassee: Who wore it better? I'm the one on the right.

My Tallahassee w/ black jacket DragonCon 2010

My Tallahassee w/ snakeskin jacket DragonCon 2010

I think I make this look good!

Zombie kill of the week comin' on... right...now!

Well there you have it. That’s what it takes to put together a Zombieland Tallahassee costume. I have to admit, most of the fun is finding and assembling the pieces. My costume is not done. I’m still trying to find the “little things” to round out the costume completely. To quote a couple of the Zombieland survival rules: “You have to enjoy the little things” and my favorite, “Get a kick ass partner!”

 

More movie nerdness to come from yours truly! Stay tuned!

– Spartan Phoenix

08
Oct
10

Dragon*Con, September 3 – 6, 2010. Atlanta, GA

Dragon*Con, September 3 – 6, 2010. Atlanta, GA

As October begins I wanted to get a Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man blog entry in about Dragon*Con. Dragon*Con 2010 has gone and passed, it ended a month ago and I’m still thinking about it. Dragon*Con is an entertainment juggernaut in Atlanta Georgia every Labor Day weekend. What is Dragon*Con? To quote the official Dragon*Con web site http://dragoncon.org/  “Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe! Dragon*Con is hosted by four hotels that all are in close proximity of each other (The Marriott, The Hyatt, The Hilton and The Sheraton). Here are pictures of the Hyatt & Marriott lobbies during a typical day during the convention:

Hyatt DragonCon 2010

Dragon*Con has been going strong for the last 24 years. My first visit to Dragon*Con was in 1999. I’ve been going for almost every year since then; I have missed a few years since 1999, but have gone 4 years straight up to this year. I did more partying in my early years at this convention. As I get

Marriott Lobby DragonCon 2010. The place to be to show off your costume!

older it’s becomes more of a fan boy con for me. The things that I enjoy the best about Dragon*Con is the gaming, costumes, panels and the celebrity signings and appearances. I also enjoy the old friends I connect with again every year here and the dealer rooms, which provide a lot of cool, unique and hard to find items.

Dragon*Con has something for everyone. It’s got the freaky side with the late night debauchery parties. It also has a wide variety of live music and entertainment. The con has a wide variety of panels that cover celebrity appearances, educational classes, auctions, and a mish mash of other sci-fi and fantasy related events. Dragon*Con also provides a daycare center and many activities for children. One of the highlights of Dragon*Con is the parade downtown that passes the Hyatt hotel on Peachtree street which include every one of all ages showing off their best costume creations.

Speed Racer and the Mach 5!

Speaking of costumes, lets talk about that. Dragon*Con by far has the best costumes I have ever seen. When you wear a costume at Dragon*Con you have to bring your “A game”. I have been to many nerdy sci-fi, fantasy and gaming related conventions in my time. Being the nerd I am, I’ve lost count on how many I have been to. Dragon*Con has the best and most creative costumes I have ever seen. This is what makes the convention the best place to people watch. My girlfriend and I got into the costume fun too. Jane went as the character Abby Sciuto from the popular TV show “NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service”. I went as Woody Harrelson’s character Tallahassee in last years movie hit Zombieland (2009).

Abby and Tallahassee rockin out with the costume masses!

A pro photog tacked us down!

I met another guy who dressed as Tallahassee at Dragon*Con. Who wore it better? I think I did!

Tallahassee's! Who wore it better? Guy on the right, right?

I get a lot of questions about the quest for a good costume for Dragon*Con. I will post another blog entry on that subject shortly.

Some of the most popular costumes this year were Superhero’s, and characters from Iron Man and Kick-Ass. But the biggest trend this year was Steampunk costumes. What is Steampunk? Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, Steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often-Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. For more info on Steampunk go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

Steam Punk Gang

Steam Punk Family

Superhero costumes were big because of Dragon*Con’s world record attempt of the most costumed superheroes in one location. Unfortunately the record was not met from what I heard. The record is somewhere between 1200 to 1300 participants I think. However the Dragon*Con attempt was impressive. Here are just a few that participated:

One of many different Superhero group shots

Here is a collection of other great costumes that I thought should deserve some attention.

Bossk with a wookie head

The Hangover Guy

Hit Girl from Kick Ass!

Mickey Mouse Indiana Jones! My favorite costume at DragonCon2010.

Gaming is one of the things that draw me to Dragon*Con too. They have a large game room in the Hilton that cover a wide variety of game for people to take part in. Most of them are role-playing games, board games and card games. I’m a big fan of the Star Wars and Star Trek CCG (Collectible card Games). Even though these games are now out of print and no longer in production there are still plenty of people playing these games. I hosted and ran a Star Wars CCG “Cube” tournament.

Star Wars CCG Cube Tournament!

I’m an autograph card collector. It’s one of my hobbies related to the collectable card gaming I do as well. My hobby with CCG’s started 1995. Since then I’ve been to many conventions with celebrity appearances and autograph signings. I’ve chosen to collect autographs on cards cause they take up less space than 8 x 10 pictures. Cards are easier to display too. I have over 300 autographed cards from TV and movie actors. Most of my collections cover celebrities from Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, Stargate, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Harry Potter and now True Blood. Most of the autographs that I have I got signed in person with the celebrity. The rest I got from friends that had them signed for me from conventions I couldn’t travel to.  Dragon*Con has an impressive variety and large turnout of celebrities from Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and action movies and TV shows. This is where I spend the most money, on autographs.

This year the celebrities I was looking forward to meet and get autographs from the most were, Stan Lee, Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell and actors from TV shows like “Firefly”, “True Blood” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The road to Stan Lee’s autograph turned out to be a near clusterfuck. I bought his autograph online prior to the convention so I could have a “priority” line placement, meaning I would get his autograph sooner and not have to wait in line as long. When I got there for his signing the volunteer staff fucked up the priority line placement arrangement. Fortunately I was standing next to someone bitching out loud to the organizers about he got screwed like me. We were then escorted into the signing room with Stan Lee and asked to wait in a “side line” for 10 minutes before we got about autographs. I had Stan Lee sign my trading card I had with his image drawn as the superhero “Mr. Marvel”. Stan was the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. He was very cool and thanked me for coming.

The Legend that is Stan Lee autographing my card!

I saw one of the weirdest things during Stan Lee’s autograph session. Whether it has been on TV or a movie we have all seen fans get celebrity autographs on part of their body and swear they will never wash it off or get the autograph permanently replaced with a tattoo. As I’m waiting in my “side line” I see this guy approach Stan Lee’s autograph table. The dude takes off his shirt to show his all over back tattoo of Spiderman’s face and a bunch of other supporting characters from the Spiderman comic books that Stan Lee co-created. This dude wanted Stan Lee to sign his back so he could get it tattooed permanently. Some of Stan Lee’s handlers were hesitant in letting this happen, but the gentleman that Stan is, was gracious and signed this dudes back. Thank god this Spiderman fan shaved his back before Stan signed it. Check out his freshly autographed back:

This is one serious Stan Lee Spiderman fan!

Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell from the TV show Quantum Leap were there supporting their recent turns on their other sci-fi shows Star Trek: Enterprise (Scott Bakula) and Battlestar Galactica (Dean Stockwell). These were important autographs for me to get cause these guys don’t make a lot of convention appearances.

Scott Backula and Dean Stockwell together again!

The other important autographs I was chasing was three actors from the HBO True Blood TV series Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis and Michelle Forbes who was also on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Speaking of Star Trek I have been trying to complete my Star Trek Next Gen “bridge crew” autograph card collection. The only two I needed are LeVar Burton (Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge) and Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher). Levar was here this year at Dragon*Con and I got his autograph. Now all I need is Wil Wheaton’s autograph to complete my quest. I got Patrick Stewart‘s and Brent Spiner’s autographs last year at Dragon*Con. Who new that Will’s autograph would be the toughest to get and the last one I need. Go figure. My good buddy Cat said he would give me a card he got autographed by Wil Wheaton, so that’s cool. Awesome, thanks man!

The other autograph I was very happy to finally get was actress Summer Glau from the short-lived but awesome TV series “Firefly” (2002) and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Her signing line was such a bitch and took very long to get through cause she took her time with each fan and took a lot of pictures with fans that were paying an extra $10 bucks for the picture with her. When I finally got up to her for the autograph I decided to pony up the extra $10 bucks for a picture with her. It was worth it, cant you tell? Besides she like my shirt, she told me so.

She liked the Chewie shirt!

Overall I had a great time. It was nice to have a hotel room to go back to after a long day and or late night at the convention festivities. Even though Dragon*Con is only 10-15 minute drive from my home, it felt like a much deserved vacation or “stay-cation” that I have been looking forward to all year. It’s a month later and I’m planning my next 10-15 minute drive for next year.

More Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Blogs coming soon and an in-depth look into the “A-Game” costume creation for Dragon*Con.

 Till next time…peace out – Spartan Phoenix

PS: Here are some more Dragon*Con 2010 pics to check out:

Iron Man 2 Dancers

 

Tracy Lords autographs my Highlander CCG card!

The picture above was taken last year but I thought I would share it!

05
Oct
10

Catfish / Let Me In / Legends of the Guardians 3D / Suck it Roadrunner, you douchebag!

Catfish / Let Me In / Legends of the Guardians 3D / Suck it Roadrunner, you douchebag!

Tuesday October 5th, 2010 

Go Team Wile E. Coyote! Suck it Roadrunner!

Today was the first movie marathon I planned for the month of October. The Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Year Long Blog enters its 9th month.  Before the first movie started there was an animated short before the first film starring the adventures of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner called “Fur of Flying”. As usual Wile E. Coyote failed with his ACME ordered contraption to catch The Road Runner, which of course backfired on Wile E. Coyote. When I was a kid watching these cartoons I always rooted for The Road Runner and nailed his signature “Beep Beep” call he always flaunted in front of Wile E. Coyote. You know, for the first time in my life The Road Runner can suck it. Now a days he comes across as a “grade A” douchebag. According to Urban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=douchebag

The definition of douchebag is: “Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and asshole, however not yet reached fucker or motherfucker.” I hearby claim The Road Runner a douchebag! That smug little ass clown can suck it. I now support team Wile E. Coyote! Check out Wile E. Coyote finally getting some payback on the Road Runner here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhojPjZuD9k

After the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner 3D short, the first movie of my marathon started. It was Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole 3D (2010) It was directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen). Starring the voice talents of Ryan Kwanten (True Bloods Jason Stackhouse), Helen Mirren, Anthony LaPaglia, Sam Neill, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush and Hugo Weaving. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a animated film based on a 15 book series written by Kathryn Lasky. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is based on three of those books. Its about a young barn owl who is kidnapped by owls who formed their own orphanage, and are brainwashed into becoming soldiers. He and his new friends escape to the island of Ga’Hoole for assistance in their quest to fight back. Visually this move was pretty cool to see in 3D, but it doesn’t fall under the “must see in 3D” category I have giving to a few of the other 3D films I’ve seen during this marathon man blog. This film is directed towards kids only, which I found disappointing. Adults write kids films for the most part. I think that kids films should relate to adults too so that the parents or movie marathon weirdo’s like myself can enjoy them as well. Movies like the Toy Story (1995) series, Despicable Me (2010), and Monsters vs Aliens (2009) accomplish this very well, just to name a few. “The Muppet Show” (1976) and all of the original Muppet movies mastered this with adult overtones and inside jokes that we could enjoy later as we saw them again as taller humans. As an adult seeing this film, it kinda sucked when it came to the dialog. I was bored with the story as it translated to film. The 3D visual aspect of the film was the only thing keeping me awake.

*Note* No detailed plot spoilers will be given for the next movie below.

The next movie I saw was Catfish (2010) starring Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman and Megan Faccio. This is the new movie to get the viral online buzz like The Blair Witch Project (1999) and last years Paranormal Activity.

To save the so-called twist from being spoiled the tag line for this film is “Don’t let anyone tell you what it is”

I guess its supposed to be a real documentary about the online risks of relationships and what on-line dating can lead to through the social media that Face Book and other online sites can provide. Its about a New York photographer and his filmmaker friends who sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of his online relationship that develops with a young artist. The trailers and critics are calling this a reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times and a must see for the “Internet Generation”. When I saw the original trailer for this film, it came across as a thriller mystery movie of fiction. The trailer was cleverly done to grab you this way. This movie is not what it seems and the trailer is misleading if you ask me. So I was disappointed cause the original trailer led me to believe something else was going to happen. Even though the movie was disappointing to me I would still recommend it and what it covers and how it’s documented. True or not this is an interesting story. There was one scene in the movie that hit home with me and jolted me emotionally due to personal reasons that I will not disclose in this blog. The scene that I speak of will not affect most people that see this film unless they have a family member with a similar “issue” that one of the persons had in this film. This movie is not what you may suspect, so be warned and throw your expectations out the window.

The last film in my marathon today I saw was Let Me In (2010) starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas. It’s about a bullied young boy who befriends a young female vampire who lives in the apartment next to him with her guardian. This is the USA remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008).

The majority of American remakes of successful foreign films can be disappointing. This was not the case for this movie. Both movies are good in their own way. The original one Let the Right One In is good cause it’s the original but felt more bleak and ominous throughout the whole film, which was its appeal. The original seemed bloodier than the remake too. The remake Let Me In had scenes that mirrored the original but the portrayal of the young female vampire played by Chloe Moretz is what I liked more in the remake than the original. Chloe Moretz recently portrayed the character Hit-Girl in the movie Kick-Ass. Her turn as the vampire girl was captivating to me.  The other thing I liked about the US version is that it takes place during the 1980’s and made me crave Now And Later candy which I consumed a lot of with New Coke and Fun Dip back then. If you are movie savvy like myself and have seen the original version of this film; Let the Right One In, I don’t think you will be disappointed with Let Me In.

So there you go, October starts with a bang! More to come, stay tuned my movie nerds!

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  134

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 17
  • October           2010: Movies Seen: 3