Thursday, May 9, 2013

Of Movies, Comics & Star Wars

Joy at Collectors' Paradise for
Free Comic Book Day 2013
I'm going to postpone today's regularly scheduled "80's TV Thursday" post to talk a bit about last weekend, May 3rd - 5th.

As long-time readers of my blog know, this same weekend last year was chock-full of activities, and this year was no different.

MOVIES
The weekend started on Friday, when my wife took the day off of work so she and I could go see an early afternoon showing of "Iron Man III" at our local Arclight Theater.

Note: Spoiler-Free (unless you haven't seen the TV trailer)
 
I liked this film a bit better than "Iron Man II," mainly because it didn't focus on yet another villain wearing an armored suit. I never understood while they went that route with "Iron Man II." Iron Man has a pretty deep well of villains that they could've gone to, but instead they just created another guy who makes a bigger, better armored suit? Isn't that the same plot as the first "Iron Man" movie?

One of the things that bugged me about "Iron Man III," and believe me, I know this is a small quibble, is the amount of time that people who wear the Iron Man armor insist of flipping the stupid face mask up while they are wearing the armor. This part is right from the trailer, so I'm not spoiling this for anyone, but at one point, Pepper Potts puts the armor on. And, she dons it during some serious stuff happening. She's not wearing it go to pick flowers in the garden or do her Excel spreadsheets at the corporate office or whatever it is Pepper is supposed to do in these movies. No, she and Tony are being attacked and she's got the armor on for protection. And yet, at least 18 times (I may have lost count), she flips the visor up rather than keeping it down to use the built-in "heads-up display thing whatever it's called" to actually operate the suit. 

Now, I get that the studio paid a lot of money to have Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey, Jr. in the movie, and I'm sure that their agents made sure that part of their contract insists that their face be shown a lot, or whatever. But, come one! That's just lame. It makes no sense. There's no reason at all that you'd need to flip the face mask up while wearing the suit, with the exception of the studio demanding it because they paid a lot of money to have these actors in the film, and also because movie studio executives are notoriously bad at gauging the intelligence of the audience. I'm pretty sure some idiot in a suit sat in a screening of the movie and said, "How is the audience supposed to know that's Pepper Potts wearing the suit! Redo the scene and have her flip her face mask up so the missile can hit her right in the eye!"

I'm pretty sure the conversation must've gone something like that.

That said, I did like the film, and there is the obligatory little scene after the end of the credits. I don't understand how, at this point, people can still be surprised that there's a little Easter Egg scene at the end of Marvel movies. I'm constantly amused by people in the audience who are caught unawares and are shocked that there was another scene coming. Seriously. I guess they don't have access to the Internet or haven't seen every other Marvel movie ever. 

STAR WARS and COMICS MASH-UP

Williams Sonoma Star Wars
Pancake Molds
Saturday morning, the family woke up and I immediately went to work making some pancake batter so my wife could make Star Wars pancakes using some fun Yoda, Darth Vader, and Stormtrooper pancake molds we got from Williams-Sonoma. This year, my wife outdid herself and did some "freehand" Death Star and number 4 (for "May the 4th Be With You") pancakes. While we ate, we listened to the music from "Star Wars: Episode IV" on my iPad. My daughter loves this music, as I've mentioned before, and we're considering taking her to see John Williams conduct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra later this year as a little treat.

My Marvel Comics Star Wars Shirt
Donning my red Marvel Comics: Star Wars #5 t-shirt (because, see... it's both "Star Wars" and Comics!), we then headed over to my local comic book store, Collector's Paradise, for Free Comic Book Day. Last year, Joy and I went by ourselves, but this year, my wife came with us. As predicted, the store was extremely crowded, but at least we didn't have to wait in a line to get in. We each picked up our six free comics and then set about browsing through the store for other items. They were offering a sale of "Buy 3, Get 1 Free" of anything in the store, so we ended up getting eight trades/graphic novels (paying for only six) - Saga Volume 1, Dial H Volume 1, Action Comics Volume 1, Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon, Wonder Woman Volume 1, The Creep, Hero Bear (for my daughter), and Darth Vader & Little Princess. We left the copy of Hero Bear with the store manager because the writer and artist, Mike Kunkel, was going to be at the store later that day to sign copies for fans, and he said that he'd get it signed for my daughter.

Joy's Signed copy of Hero Bear
by Mike Kunkel
After a detour at a "Color Me Mine" place where my daughter, Joy, painted a little "jewelry tray" and I attempted to paint a Wonder Woman-themed cereal bowl for her, we all grabbed lunch and my wife and I had some tasty craft beers at our local Stone Brewery Tasting Room. We encouraged all of the families we saw there to head over to Collector's Paradise for Free Comic Book Day. Many of them sounded interested and said they were going to check it out.

We actually stopped back at the store to see if we could meet Mr. Kunkel and also get pictures of Joy and the various costumed characters who had shown up. I snapped some pictures of Joy with Thor and Superman, and she and I also got to meet Mr. Kunkel and chat with him briefly, and I took a picture of Joy and him together. Unfortunately, none of these pictures turned out because I'm stupid and didn't realize that my camera's SD card was full.

By this time, around 2:30pm or so, the store was nearly out of free comics. They only had a third of one small table left with copies, and were now only offering one free comic per person since they didn't have much left. The store was way more packed than it had been in the
morning, and I learned later on that the two guys who work at the store, who know Joy and me pretty well, didn't even remember that we'd come back. They were that busy. Good for them. That's awesome - my wife and I both heard while we were in there that several people mentioned that it was their first time in the store, and one guy who was there for the first time didn't even realize it was Free Comic Book Day! (I guess he didn't see the dozens of signs and posters all over).

Joy's custom signed sketch of Hero Bear by Mike Kunkel
For dinner, we just ate at home and my wife and I made a little Star Wars themed dinner considering of homemade "Chewbaccaroni and Cheese" (my very bad pun) and "Jar Jar Links" (sausage links, and my wife's even worse very bad pun) and a salad my wife called "Dagobah Salad" even though that doesn't really rhyme with anything. I actually protested the use of "Jar Jar" in naming our food, because I haven't yet explained to Joy that there are three other "Star Wars" movies aside from the ones that I've told her about. I figure when she's 18 and moves out of the house, she can choose to watch them. Until then, we are a firmly anti-Prequel family. And I also have to think really hard about about letting her watch "Episode VI: Return of the Teddy Ruxpins." Because, seriously.


The Williams Sonoma Star Wars
Cupcake Decorating Kit
I also made some Star Wars cupcakes (triple butterscotch) using a cupcake decorating kit that my friend bought us for Christmas a few years ago.

Joy's evening finished with me reading Joy's new Darth Vader and Little Princess book to her, even though I had to ad lib much of the reading to avoid revealing that (SPOILER ALERT) Darth Vader is Princess Leai's father.

After we put Joy to bed, my wife asked if we could watch (get ready)... the JJ Abrams' "Star Trek" movie.

Yep.

I tried to explain that watching a Star Trek movie on Star Wars day was sort of like mixing matter and anti-matter and that it was bound to create a hole in the universe and destroy everything, but her response was "I want to watch it again before we go see the new Star Trek movie IN TWO WEEKS."

I guess we weren't planning on having an evening free to prepare to see the new Star Trek film.

AFTERMATH
The next morning, on Sunday, Joy woke up a bit earlier than usual and wanted to crawl into bed with us to relax and hang out. I told her to go get a book and I would read to her, and she said, "I know just the book to get!" and disappeared for a few minutes. She returned holding her Star Wars: Villains book in one hand and her My First Superman Book in the other.

"Because I know that yesterday was an important day for you, so we can read these and talk about it."

What a great kid.

Hanging: Home office (laptop)
Drinking: Glass of 2005 Core Wines Hard Core. Drank it last night with dinner and was hoping that some extra decanting would have helped, but I'm pretty sure it was heat-damaged due to poor storage.
Listening: "Stay Tuned (Featuring Sojourn)" by Ohmega Watts

2 comments:

  1. What a great weekend!

    I'd be interested to know what you think about Saga and Hawkeye. Saga is very popular indeed amongst comic fans and while I do like it myself I can't quite figure out why it's so popular. As for Hawkeye, I've heard excellent things about it, but I haven't got around to taking a look.

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  2. Saga is one that my shop owner was shocked that I hadn't read, which is funny because pretty much everything I buy is from his store. He said that I would enjoy it given that I'm a dad.

    I'm also excited to read Hawkeye because I've heard it described as Marvel's best title right now, so I'm intrigued but I have to admit that I have very high expectations which will probably not be met.

    Just earlier today, I picked up Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1 which I would have purchased last weekend if they'd had a copy in stock. The subject really interests me, and I've also heard it listed as one of the best Image comics, so again, my expectations are pretty high. Then again, I've also read Fatale, East of West, Jupiter's Legacy, Ten Grand, and Sex, all by Image, and I liked all of them, so I'm hoping MP maintains that standard.

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