Rest in peace STAN LEE … thank you for all your entertaining + inspiring creations

Today the world lost a beloved legendary comic book writer who’s been entertaining and inspiring us for decades. Stan Lee died today, he was 95.

The co-creator of SO many iconic Marvel characters — Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Thor, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four — Stan Lee was larger than life. There’s even a Wiki page dedicated to ALL of the fictional characters he created or co-created. Some even called him a real-life superhero, and rightly so. He was an inspiration to many, and was a pioneer in his field as a comic book artist… he broke down barrier between artists and audiences as THR pointed out in this article, and he condemned racism and bigotry through his heroes in his comics, as well as directly using his Marvel “Stan’s Soapbox” column in 1968…

I remember reading how Stan Lee often felt that what he did (as a comic writer, editor and publisher) wasn’t really important work… as many people in entertainment could relate to. But of course his work inspired millions, as many people would attest today as we all mourn him.

I watched his documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story at Twin Cities Film Fest in 2011 and wrote a brief review of it here. His characters resonated with people as they too had real problems and real angst that people can relate to. X-Men for example, deal with a message for tolerance for outcasts, real-life themes that are still pertinent to this day that elevate the comic-book stories to be more than simply entertainment.

I greatly admire him and am one of those millions who are entertained as well as inspired by his creations. I read a bunch of articles about Stan Lee today, but one of them stood out to me because it came from a personal experience: What 20 Years of Lunches With the Comics Legend Taught Me. Apparently the ‘private’ Stan Lee wasn’t that different from ‘public’ Stan Lee and he’s just as eccentric (in a fun way) as I had imagined.

Naturally, tributes have been pouring in all day from various celebrities … this one from Captain America himself echoes my sentiment about Stan Lee… and clearly, not every superhero wore capes.

Let me end this small tribute with this video of every Stan Lee cameos from 1989. In fact, I had just seen his cameo (in cartoon form) in Ralph Breaks The Internet as one of the main characters was in the Oh My Disney fansite.

I always enjoy seeing Stan the Man in all his cameos, but some are more memorable than others. My top three favorite cameos are:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – “I am SO fired!”
  • Captain America: Civil War: “Are you Tony Stank?”
  • Thor Ragnarok: “My hands aren’t as steady as they used to be.”

You’ll be sorely missed, Stan Lee… but your legacy shall live on forever.

What’s your favorite Stan Lee’s comic book creation… or if that’s too tough to answer, what’s your fave Stan Lee cameo(s)?

TCFF Spotlight: 5 Buzz-worthy Documentaries

Less than a week away until Twin Cities Film Fest starts on Tuesday, September 20th. So today I’m going to highlight five documentaries worth seeing that are premiering next week at TCFF.

I don’t watch as many docs as I should, in fact, out of the five I highlighted from last year, I’ve only managed to see one, The Cove. It’s a good one if you haven’t already seen it by the way, check out my full review of it from last year. Another one I’ve been meaning to see is Art & Copy, which offers a fascinating look into the world of advertising. Now, these five below are definitely worth checking out:

The Bully Project

Tuesday, September 20, 7:30pm

I’ve talked briefly about this in this post, it seems quite harrowing to watch. Bullying wasn’t as huge a problem where I grew up in Indonesia, at least not in the degree that a lot of American kids go through every day. I think it’s a really serious issue that needs to be addressed and not be dismissed as something trivial. Some kids are driven to the point of suicide because they were bullied, which is just tragic.




I commend Lee Hirsch, a Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, for creating a character-driven documentary that tackles the topic on the bullying crisis head on.

Revenge of the Electric Car

Saturday, September 24, 8:15pm

This is a Midwest Premiere of a fascinating documentary about who’d be the first to deliver the car of the future!

In 2006, thousands of new electric cars were purposely destroyed by the same car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back… with a vengeance. In Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil, this new generation of car is America’s future: fast, furious, and cleaner than ever.

It’s apparently a sequel to Who Killed the Electric Car? which premiered in Sundance in 2006. This looks really fascinating, check out the trailer below:

Where Soldiers Come From

Saturday, September 24, 3:45pm | Sunday, September 25, 12:30pm

This is a must-see for every American, especially living in a time we’re in today. Freedom definitely is not free.

From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war. A documentary about growing up, “Soldiers” is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown, director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access following these young men as they grow and change from teenagers stuck in their town, to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home. This documentary looks beyond the guns and policy of an ongoing war to examine the effect on parents, loved ones and the whole community when young people go off to fight.

Thunder Soul

Sunday, September 25, 

This one looks like fun, I mean the music alone will make you want to get on your feet and starts dancing. It already won a few awards last year at SXSW, Hot Docs in Toronto, as well as in L.A. and Dallas Film Festivals.

They brought funk like no one else could.

Presented by Jamie Foxx, Thunder Soul follows the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band, who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old “Prof,” their beloved band leader who broke the color barrier and transformed the school’s struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s.

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story

September 25, 3:15pm

Now this is a must-see for every comic fan, and having just been at Comic-con and missed Stan Lee’ appearance, I’ll definitely going to be seeing this with my hubby in tow. I’ve mentioned this in this lineup post but I’ll include it again here:

At 88 years old, Stan Lee’s name appears on more than one billion comics in 75 nations in 25 languages! Told through the words of Stan himself, as well as numerous interviews with comic book creators, actors, film producers, family and friends, With Great Power paints a portrait of a man whose creativity knows no bounds and whose characters have grown from humble beginnings in the pages of Marvel Comics in the early 1960’s to power house properties in all media  – including film, television, video games, toys, merchandising, and beyond.

There are a few other docs worth checking out this year as well:

  • Yoga Is from Suzanne Bryant is a feature-length doc that reveals how yoga began, tells the story of yoga’s passage to the West. There is also a special Yoga class on Thursday 9/22 taught by the CEO of CorePower Yoga himself, Trevor Tice. With your donation of $30 or more you will receive admission to the yoga class, along with 1 ticket to either one of the two Yoga Is screenings taking place during TCFF.
  • An environmental-themed Yert , a thought-provoking, inspiring, and sometimes hilarious, documentary about the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history.
  • Five short documentaries from Minnesota filmmakers that explores various aspects of arts, music and culture

If you’re in the area, I hope you have time to check this out at TCFF. As for the rest of you, anything from this list appeals to you most?