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Jun 012016
 

I had a great time at MegaCon 2016 in Orlando this past weekend. Among the highlights were replicas of vehicles, costumes, and large props from different movies and TV shows on display, like in a pop culture museum. Let’s start with Star Wars. As you can see, the Wampa was huge.

Here are some of the Sand People. These guys were cool, but I always found the versions from Spaceballs more interesting because they had more personality.

Then there’s the metal prison Han Solo was held in. As iconic as it is, it’s difficult to remember what this thing is called.

There were some pretty cool costumes on display also, which included this one of the Flash from The Flash TV series.

Now let’s move on the vehicles. Once again, here is the Pokémon car, but this time it includes a bunch on Pikachus wearing outfits from different franchises.

Next there was the Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters. It’s neat that it has Florida plates, even though the Ghostbusters come from New York.

Now here are some vehicles I really found interesting, the Batmobile, Batcopter, and Batcycle from the 60s Batman series.

Even though the Batcopter and Batcycle were only used in the 1966 Batman movie, footage from that was reused in later Batman episodes.

I also met a couple of voice actors, who have voiced quite a few great characters. Check my blog to find out more.

Apr 272016
 

Among the different musical artists that perform at conventions throughout Orlando, my most favorite is Geekapella. They are an acapella group that consists of at least ten singers. The group is hard to keep track of sometimes because each time I see Geekapella perform the members tend to change as well as the number of singers.

One thing will always remain consistent and that’s the music. The songs are entirely based on pop culture. They are very creative and also appropriate for conventions like Omni Expo, Holiday Matsuri, and Space Coast Nerdfest.

It wasn’t until recently at Space Coast Nerdfest 2016, when I found out that Geekapella was selling demos of their album, Geekapella: Legends of the Hidden Demo. The CD cover is a real nice design that resembles an 8-Bit video game.

Geekapella has many songs, but right now let’s just focus on the highlights in the album, starting with Batman Knows What You Did in the Dark. It was certainly different and catchier than most songs about the Dark Knight. At times I wonder if the meaning of the title insinuates that Batman is always watching you, even in your home.

Video games are another common subject that Geekapella sings about like in The Man Who Throws the Tetris Piece. It’s true that Tetris can be a tough game with random pieces coming down, not knowing who throws them down in the first place. That’s pretty interesting if you think about it.

I would also like to point out that of all the video game soundtracks I have heard, Tetris is among the unlikely choices to include. So that definitely shows creativity right there.

John Williams is the Man is a song about Star Wars, though I can’t help but notice that the melody is much like the theme from Indiana Jones.

Then we have Super. It’s basically a medley of theme songs from shows like Ghostbusters, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version). That’s sure a great way to bring back the classics.

I certainly enjoyed this music group. They sure know how to set a mood when I attend a convention. Of course, you never know what Geekapella will perform next, whether it’s an old favorite or something brand new. They never cease to amaze me.

Mar 092016
 

I recently attended another great convention this past weekend. Omni Expo added some really cool displays from movies and TV shows.

First there were exact replicas of movie props from Jurassic Park like the truck and supplies, including a cosplayer of John Hammond.

Remember the shaving cream bottle containing the Dino DNA?

Then there was the car from Supernatural. The trunk contained the hunting gear, fake IDs, log book, and even the little army soldier in the ashtray. It just blew my mind how much attention to detail was put into this.

I also had the opportunity to meet actor Kevin Duhaney, who was Ethan the Blue Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Thunder.

And let’s not forget the cosplay with characters from Jurassic World, Star Wars, Mortal Kombat, and Legend of Zelda.

Although I didn’t attend any Q&A panels, I had a great time. What will they come up with at Omni Expo next year?

May 212012
 

George Lucas is best known for producing the Star Wars films. It turns out that he also produced Willow, an epic fantasy movie that stars Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood, an amateur sorcerer, who goes on the adventure of a lifetime.

On a side note: Warwick Davis has made appearances at Star Wars weekends in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here he is at one of the parades back in 2006.

In a village of dwarfs, a human baby named Elora arrives. Since Willow was the one who found it, the village counsel decides to send him and a few other dwarves to take Elora back to the outer world. Special note: In this movie, dwarves are called Nelwyns and humans are called Daikinis.

Meanwhile, the wicked Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) wants the baby too because there’s a prophecy that it will be the queen’s downfall.

The first human Willow and the others find is Madmortigan (Val Kilmer) the human swordsman and he is hilarious. It takes awhile, but Willow trusts him to take care of the baby. Unfortunately, the adventure doesn’t end there. The fairies and brownies tell Willow to find Raziel (Patricia Hayes) the sorceress. It’s seems like Willow is in over his head now, especially since most of the other dwarves deserted him.

As two of the brownies lead Willow on his quest, they find Madmortigan once again, this time disguised as a woman. It seems like he’s always getting into some kind of trouble, doesn’t it.

Willow soon finds Raziel, but Bavmorda had transformed her into a possum. Although Willow has Raziel’s wand, which will return her to normal, he has no idea how to use it. If that weren’t enough, Bavmorda’s forces, including her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) capture them all.

Sorsha is a wicked warrior. Thanks to the Brownies’ love dust, Madmartigan falls in love with her, but Sorsha knows better than to give into temptation, or does she?

After Raziel leads Willow and Madmortigan to Terracelee, they’re left to face an army of soldiers, led by General Kael (Pat Roach) a very fearsome warrior. I mostly see it that way for the skull mask he wears. Where do you suppose he got it?

Unfortunately, a couple of trolls arrive to stir up trouble, especially after Willow accidentally turns one of them into a giant two-headed fire-breathing monster.

Luckily, another army comes to the rescue, but Kael captures Elora in all the chaos. Now Willow, Madmortigan, Raziel, and the good army head over to Bavmorda’s castle in Nockmaar to rescue her. Bavmorda won’t be easy to stop though. She’s as powerful as Salloman from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, if not worse.

These are are some of my classic Willow action figures.

This was a good movie filled with adventure, excitement, and humor. I couldn’t help but think about how hilarious some of Elora’s expressions were in the close ups throughout the film, even when there’s a dangerous situation happening near her.

May 132011
 

Not too long ago, my sister and I went to the Kennedy Space Center for the first time and it had some real interesting exhibits throughout. Obviously, real space travel is nothing like how it’s featured in pop culture. However, it did make me think of some pop culture references that made space travel appear more exciting and adventurous. Of course if your spacecraft was like the Winnebago on Spaceballs, it’s the only way to fly. Anyway, here are my top five favorite space traveling references from whatever the source.

#5) Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope: One of the most exciting scenes is when Luke Skywalker and the rebel forces fly to the Death Star for a full-scale assault followed by the classic trench run. The Star Tours ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios used to feature the same trench run along with a crystal meteor shower. I look forward to the new Star Tours ride that’s coming real soon.

 #4) The Adventures of Mark Twain: Even though the vehicle that’s featured is an airship and not a rocket ship, the climax had an exciting chase into space to catch up to Halley’s comet. Before reaching it, Mark Twain and the crew must dodge meteors and head into the comet’s channel. It goes to show that comets are so much bigger up close.

#3) Raiden Trad (SNES): In this video game, you fly an aircraft on Earth to fight an enemy from another world. All that’s featured is enemy vehicles to blast. Then in the later levels, the aircraft goes into outer space, where you blast more enemy vehicles and astroids everywhere. It surprised me at first, but remained exciting as before.

#2) Gradius 3 (SNES): Here’s another classic video game about flying through space and blasting various enemies. What really stands out is the soundtrack, which makes it more adventurous. Here’s a clip I found on YouTube to provide an example.

#1) The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera Ride: Back when this classic ride was at Universal Studios theme park, there was an exciting story behind it that makes it one of my most favorites. We all ride a spaceship with Yogi Bear as the pilot and Boo-Boo as co-pilot, chasing down Dick Dastardly and Muttley through the world of Hanna Barbera to rescue Elroy Jetson from their clutches. To keep it simple though, the ride only goes through the top three franchises, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and The Jetsons. Although Jimmy Neutron has replaced the ride, it still keeps the exciting space chase in check.