Weekend Roundup: Highlights from 2016 Wizard World Minneapolis

Happy Monday all! Well it’s a comic-themed weekend for me. Inspired by the Captain America: Civil War screening earlier last week, my hubby and I ended up doing a Captain America marathon with The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier. Yep, still absolutely loved both of them and that makes the Captain America trilogy one of my all time favorite Hollywood trilogies and my second fave after Nolan’s Dark Knight films in terms of comic-book movies.

CaptainAmerica_trilogy

So this weekend is time for another Wizard World comic-con. I only had time to go for a half day on Saturday, so unlike last year where I went to the Karl Urban and Gillian Anderson panels, this year I mainly stayed on the Exhibition Floor.

MplsWizardWorldComicCon

Favorite Cosplayers

Though we didn’t get to attend any panels, it’s still fun to watch the cosplayers! Instead of just the usual Luke and Leia cosplayers (who are no doubt still around), we’ve got some new Star Wars characters that didn’t exist a year ago… Rey & BB8, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren. The Poe cosplayer looked so much like Oscar Isaac, down to his dark wavy hair! He could practically sub for Isaac himself on set I’d imagine, I think they might be of similar height, too!

Click to see a larger image

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Deadpool is a popular one as well. Just on Saturday alone I saw at least four Deadpool cosplayers. But why dress up as only one iconic character if you can mash ’em up right? I love the Deadpool/Stormtrooper dude!

DeadpoolTrooper

But my faves are the family cosplayers. Look at how cute the Scooby Doo family! The guy dressed as Shaggy holding Scooby has such a hilarious expression. The mother/daughter Jedis are so adorable, as was the two Spidey couple pushing a kid in a stroller! But my personal fave is the Marvel family w/ Winter Soldier mom, Captain America dad and Iron Man kid!


DC’s Suicide Squad are quite popular as well, especially Harley Quinn. We might’ve spotted at least five miss Quinns in various shapes and sizes. Of course Marvel characters are still massively popular, and I love the gender-bending cosplayers of the Aasgardians Thor & Loki.


We kept running into the Batman & Superman duo, both are older cosplayers and this Batman is more Adam West than Batfleck. My hubby actually asked them to do thumb-wars for the camera and they kindly obliged!

Dawn of Justice – thumb wars edition
Dawn of Justice – thumb wars edition

It was a fun moment when Wonder Woman joined Batman & Superman duo to complete the DC trifecta! Of course everyone on the floor nearby got their cameras/iPhones out to snap some pics!

SupesBatmanWonderWoman

So even though I didn’t get to see any panels this year, it was still a super fun day and definitely the highlight of my weekend! Big shout out to Wizard World PR people Jerry M. and Ryan for your hard work organizing this wonderful event.


So that’s my recap folks. What did you do/watch this weekend, anything good?

Wordless Wednesday: 10 Memorable Scenes set in NYC

WordlessWednesday

Happy Midweek folks! I always choose a certain theme for my Wordless Wednesday posts and since I’ll be spending a few days in New York City this weekend, I thought I pick ten clips (including one music video) from some of my fave movies set in the Big Apple. I lost count how many times I’ve visited the city, in fact I was just there last year for my sister in-law’s wedding.

In any case, for this purpose I choose scenes that highlight the city, the streets, landmarks, Hudson river, etc., and some shows the daily life of New Yorkers, so they’re not necessarily the best scenes from the film. So without further ado, here we go…

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

 

Superman: The Movie (1978)

 

Working Girl (1988)

 

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

 

One Fine Day (1996)

 

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

 

Serendipity (2001)

 

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

 

The Visitor (2007)

 

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

 


So those are just 10 of my fave New York City scenes, feel free to share your own favorites!

FlixChatter Review – Captain America: The First Avenger

This review is courtesy of Ivan Maramis… a.k.a. ze blogger’s hubby 😀

When it was first announced that Captain America would be made into the big screen, I thought it was such a preposterous proposition. I know of the comic and am familiar enough to sum it up in a :30 second elevator pitch, but never really read the comics growing up. Seriously… the name, the costume — those two alone should be enough to scare sane movie-makers away from even thinking about coming up with a decent plot. And if the previous attempts are any indication, they should pretty much forget about it.Yet as initial promos/trailers were released, the movie actually looked… promising. And guess what, the final product doesn’t disappoint, either.

Here’s the plot summary taken from the official site:
Captain America: The First Avenger will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving.)
The first thing I noticed was how the movie look resembles that of the Indiana Jones series — and that’s never a bad thing. The sepia tones and the softer, muted color rendition give a stylistic retro feel to the 1940s setting. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that director Joe Johnson directed the similarly-fashioned The Rocketeer, and was also the visual supervisor for Raiders of the Lost Ark. But incorporating this retro look to a superhero genre is especially refreshing considering most major superhero comics were written in the 40s – 60s.

There is nothing extraordinary about the story, especially if you judge it just as another “superhero” movie. It’s an origin story of our protagonist evolving from a scrawny frail guy into a government-approved-steroid-injected dude. Throw in a megalomaniac villain to fist fight with, add some humor and a pinch of love interest in the mix, and you get a pretty safe (possibly bland) formula for a superhero movie. It’s a simple good vs. evil plot. And that’s not necessarily a bad approach. This is the era where politics was much more black and white than it is today, and you know you just have beat the Nazis to win the war.

Steve Rogers... the amazing transformation

Chris Evans gives a believable portrayal as an earnest guy with a pure heart who simply want to serve and protect the country. You sympathize with the character right away, in the same way that Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) discovered him to be the perfect candidate to receive the super soldier serum. But soon after Rogers got his instant body-building look, the experiment facility was burnt down by one of the Red Skull’s men (played briefly by Richard Armitage).
Realizing that Rogers is such an expensive asset to risk in a war, the government instead use him as a celebrity mascot performing in USO tours to entertain the American troops in Europe. He’s given the costume that’s pretty much an American flag wrapped around his body, with a stage name Captain America. Die hard comic fans will immediately recognize that his stage costume IS the classic Captain America suit depicted in the comic.
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Remember what I said earlier about the two things that could potentially break this movie? The name and costume were half of the major issue in bringing this character to life in a believable way. But Johnston and his team solve the problem brilliantly by making our good ole’ star spangled Cap attire originated from a campy stage show. It gives a witty nod to the comic, but it also creates a sensible transition as to how Steve Rogers get to keep his identity as the Cap, and eventually wear his stage-inspired but a more practical combat suit. He also got an improved & battle-ready shield, thanks to the brilliant inventor Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper).
Comic fans or not, you might ask why use shield as a weapon of choice? There was a scene earlier in the movie (pre-serum) when Dr. Erskine asked Steve if he is ready to go and kill some Nazis. And Steve responded by saying, “I don’t want to kill anybody. I just don’t like bullies…” Shield is primarily a device to defend and protect, though in more than occasion it served as more than combat armor. It reinforces Steve’s genuine desire to protect the weaklings now that he’s been transformed into a super soldier.

It's not easy being red ...

Hugo Weaving brings in a solid portrayal as the Red Skull. It’s not quite the same caliber as Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning the Joker where he nearly overpowered the film, but Weaving infuses enough authority, pompousness and deranged sensibility to the character (sans the over-dramatic maniacal laugh). I was afraid that his Agent Smith voice from The Matrix would echo heavily here, but his voice actually sounds quite different and his German accent is not over the top or pretentious. Weaving is the epitome of a charismatic leader — whether playing a good guy, or in this case, a bad one.
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The rest of the cast are commendable as well. Atwell’s Peggy Carter brings in a more authoritative and no-nonsense female figure, a refreshing take when compared to the typically-expected damsel in distress. Her relationship with Steve Rogers is convincingly sweet — there’s an palpable chemistry between them yet they it doesn’t move too fast to make it corny. And I can’t ask for a better actor to play Colonel Chester Phillips than Tommy Lee Jones. He’s got the look, the grit and the sarcastic wit and his scenes offer plenty of comic relief. Sebastian Stan’s role as Bucky may be a supporting one, but it plays a critical part in shaping Steve Rogers to become the person that he is. Thus, while the performances perhaps won’t win any major award, the casts work nicely as a strong unit.
Captain America: The First Avengers may not be as mind-bending as the The Dark Knight, but it delivers a satisfying and entertaining fare in the vein of Indiana Jones. The action scenes are engaging enough even without 3D — it’s absolutely unnecessary so if you haven’t seen it, might as well save your money and see it in 2D. Be sure to stay until after the credits to see some special treats from Marvel!
Closing thoughts: The movie is patriotic without being preachy nor overly political, encouraging without being overbearing. It’s simply a good, clean entertainment with a message that the basic trait of a true hero is his or her heart.
4 out of 5 reels

Well, has any of you got a chance to see this movie? I’d love to hear what you think.

Captain America signing @ Comic-Con on Thursday!

Hi everyone! Greetings from California!

We’re en route to San Diego this morning and boy, I’m already so excited for my comic-con debut tomorrow! Well, sounds like Marvel ain’t abandoning comic-con after all, as I just saw this exciting news today just before I went to bed last nite:

Per SuperheroHype, Marvel announced the following for The Avengers at Comic-Con:

All ready for the fun and excitement that Marvel is bringing to Comic Con International in San Diego this week? Well we’re ready to turn it up a notch by announcing the signing schedule for “Marvel’s The Avengers!” Here’s your chance to meet some of the superstars involved in the highly anticipated major motion picture – only at the Marvel Booth (#2329) during the convention!

THURSDAY, JULY 21 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
CHRIS EVANS – CAPTAIN AMERICA

(Clark Gregg & director Josh Whedon will also be doing the signing Friday & Saturday respectively)

Woo hoo! I know it’s some sort of a raffle so I might NOT be fortunate enough to get the signing ticket but hey, everyone’s got the same chance right so wish me luck that either my hubby and I would indeed be able to get in front of Chris Evans!

I’ve read a couple of the reviews of this movie already and they both have been positive so I’m really looking forward to see this movie now. In fact, since we didn’t score the free screening at 10 on Thursday, we’ve bought tickets for later in the evening so we’ll indeed see it a day early before its official release. Can’t wait! 😀

Well, that’s the update for now, folks, stay tuned for more updates of the event as soon as I’m able to. Again, say a little prayer for me that I can get the signing ticket! Thanks everyone and hope you’re all well. Cheers!

Poster of the Week: Captain America retro poster

Oooh, lookie here! Thanks to my friend ScarletSp1der for the tip on the 15 Questions Meme post. I LOVE this retro poster! It’s perfectly suited for the WWII era the movie is set in. I’m surprised this doesn’t open in the Fourth of July weekend here in the US (its release date is July 22), considering how patriotic the movie is, exemplifying a hero’s valor and courage to fight against evil. For those who read the comics will undoubtedly recognize the inspiration from this comic book cover.


The poster was designed by comic book artist Paolo Rivera (visit his blog)

Typically I don’t like posters that have too much going on, especially those with FHS (floating heads syndrome) like most posters are these days. But regardless of how busy it is, I think it works here and your eye still focus on the main action element of the poster of our valiant hero punching the heck out of Hitler. Chris Evans kinda looks like a young Cary Elwes in this poster, don’t you think?

Speaking of Joe Johnston, my favorite movie of his is The Rocketeer as you probably know (especially in regards to the villain). I really like this retro poster from that film which was set in the late 30s.

I gotta admit I’ve become increasingly more interested to see this movie, though I wasn’t as excited about it before. I’ve never read the comics and I sort of thought the story is pretty cheesy. But I’m looking forward to it now. I think the retro look is a huge appeal for me, and I am a big fan of the actors in the villain roles: Hugo Weaving as Red Skull and Richard Armitage as Nazi officer Heinz Krueger.


What do you think of the poster? Are you psyched about Capt. America?

FlixChatter’s Most Anticipated 2011 Movies – Part I

This post has been in my draft folder for a while… originally I wanted to post right after award season is over. Now Oscar is already behind us for nearly a month (boy, I kinda forgot about it already), so I better not procrastinate any longer.


This post will be divided into two parts, Part I is from March – July and Part II consist of movies released in the later half of 2011. I only list those that I’d most likely be seeing in the cinema, based on the release date information from Movie Insider as of last night. As dates get shuffled and more movies are added, I will update this list accordingly. Anyway, here they are in order of release:

MARCH

March 11 (limited) – Jane Eyre
Synopsis:
The Gothic story of a lowly governess who captures the heart of her employer Mr. Rochester, only to discover that he’s hiding a terrible secret.


I’ve blogged enough about this topic that I don’t think I need to explain further why this is on the list. Check out the
trailer and stills from the movie. I can’t wait to finally see this in two weeks and find out how Michael Fassbender fares as Rochester compared to my all-time favorite.

APRIL

April 22 Water for Elephants
Synopsis: A 90-year-old man reminisces about his life during the Depression, when he found work at a B-level circus taking care of the animals. He sees the brutality of circus life while falling for the wife of an abusive animal trainer.

There’s something about the world of the circus that intrigues me, it certainly adds a layer of mystique to the love story. Amongst a sea of comic-book superhero flicks, it’s nice to see a romantic drama to break things up. The trailer looks pretty promising with gorgeous setting and lovely music. Rob Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon seem to have a decent chemistry and having Christoph Waltz here is a big plus. I’m ready to be swept away 🙂

Maybes:

  • HannaEric Bana and Cate Blanchett in one movie… how bad can it be? The premise of a child assassin isn’t very appealing to me, but still I might be curious enough to check it out because of the cast. Plus I like director Joe Wright’s previous work.

MAY

May 27 Tree of Life
Synopsis: The story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.

Click image for more photos at Collider.com

I’m more intrigued about this more for its director, Terrence Malick (who also wrote the screenplay), than for the cast (Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain). Malick’s last feature film The New World was back in 2005, which is a relatively short gap compared to the 20-year span his fans had to wait between Days of Heaven (1978) and the Thin Red Line (1998). The premise is intriguing and promises to be thought-provoking, and judging from the poetic trailer below, a sweeping visual vista is to be expected. This is certainly on the list of virtually every movie sites/blogs out there. I know it’s highly unlikely but it’d be nice if for once a movie like this beats a franchise film like Pirates at the box office.


Maybes:

  • Thor – Though initially I was anticipating this, the two trailers have been underwhelming. I’ll wait for the reviews before deciding whether to see it in the cinema or rent this one.
  • The Beaver – Yes, I don’t mind seeing a Mel Gibson movie. It actually looks pretty amusing from the trailer and the script made the top of the 2008 Black List (a list of yet-unproduced top screenplays picked by about 250 Hollywood execs).


JUNE

June 3 – X-Men: First Class
Synopsis:
Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together with other Mutants, to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift happens that propels the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.


This one is probably in my top five anticipated movie of the whole year. If you still don’t know anything about this movie, check out the
trailer and the gorgeous character posters. I think Matthew Vaughn has picked a wonderful cast for the main characters, especially James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Charles and Eric respectively. The dynamic relationship between these two are what I’m looking forward to the most.

June 10 – Super 8
Synopsis: In 1979, after the Air Force closes a section of Area 51, all materials are transported to a secure facility in Ohio. A train carrying some of the materials derails during an accident and something escapes from one of the cargo cars. A group of kids making movies with their Super 8 cameras accidentally capture what escapes on film.

The teaser that came out a few weeks ago was intriguing, but it wasn’t until the full trailer came out that I’m actually excited about this one. It’s a throwback to the classic Spielberg sci-fi movies like ET and the kids-cast kind have that Stand by Me vibe to it. The auteur is teaming up with JJ Abrams who wrote and directed the movie. The creator popular TV show Alias, Lost and Fringe, Abrams proved his directing chops in Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek, so I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. Kyle Chandler is a likable actor who finally gets to shine in a leading man role, good for him.

JULY

July 15 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
Synopsis: The final adventure of Harry Potter as he attempts to bring an end to his nemesis, Lord Voldemort.

This is the event all Potter fans been waiting for. No matter how you feel about the first installment (read my review), one thing we can all agree on is it made us look forward to this final film all the more. One of my favorite parts of this franchise is watching all those British thespians in various roles, both good and evil, and we’ll finally learn which side he/she really is on (I’m looking at you Professor Snape).

July 22 – Captain America
Synopsis: After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals.

I’m not as familiar about Capt. America amongst other Marvel superheroes. But the two main reasons I’m anticipating this are Aussie thespian Hugo Weaving as the main villain Red Skull and the retro look and feel of the movie, which director Joe Johnston has done before with Rocketeer. One thing for sure, Johnston has a knack for casting great actors in the role of villains (as he did in the role of fabulous baddie Neville Sinclair). Plus, one of my fave British actor Richard Armitage also has a small part as Nazi officer Heinz Kruger. The trailer looks pretty decent, so at the very least this could be the perfect popcorn entertainment of the Summer.


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July 29 – Cowboys & Aliens
Synopsis: Set in 1800s Arizona, a battle between cowboys and Apaches is interrupted by the crash landing of a space ship. The alien commander plans to tame the Old West and enslave everyone, but the cowboys and Native Americans turn their six-guns against the alien invaders.

Initially I was a bit disappointed that Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t going to re-team with his Iron Man director Jon Favreau for this, so it kinda fell off my radar. But then I saw the trailer and went ‘whoa!’ It’s got to be one of the most memorable trailers I’ve seen for upcoming movies, it’s bizarre in an exciting kind of way. I mean, it’s hard not to be intrigued even just reading the title! Gritty Bond Daniel Craig looks all bad ass in his cowboy outfit and whatever it is on his wrist certainly looks cool. Add curmudgeon Harrison Ford into the bargain (and sexy Olivia Wilde for the boys), then this just might be the one to beat at the box office this year.
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PART II will be posted later this week. For a full listing of ALL movies released in 2011, visit the-numbers site.


Well, any of your anticipated movies make the list? What movie(s) are you anticipating this Summer?