My Top 5 favorite things during Comic-Con 2013

BETH2067blog#5 – Jennifer Lawrence

I got in line for Saturday’s Hall H panels at 5 PM on Friday. One of the reasons I was so determined to get a good seat (more on that later) was to see Jennifer Lawrence. She’s talented and gorgeous and amazing and I really wanted to see her in person and get good pictures of her. (I only accomplished one of those things.)

I love The Hunger Games. The panel was pretty good. Not as spectacular as some of the other panels, but definitely fun. I think all of my favorite moments involved Jennifer. My favorite part was probably the story about the spit. Look it up on YouTube if you haven’t seen it!

BETH1295blog#4 – The Orphan Black panel at Nerd HQ

I started watching Orphan Black just a few days before Comic-Con. My husband had a Nerd HQ ticket for it that he was going to give to me if he was able to get in as press, so we both watched all ten episodes in just three days in order to catch up in time for the panel. I’m so glad I did, because not only is the show amazing, the cast is also amazing in real life. That was one of the most enjoyable panels I’ve attended. Everyone was lovely and kind and well-spoken, and you could see that they were good friends in real life.

IMG_7441blog#3 – Loki in Hall H

There was no panel for Thor. There was just Loki. Tom Hiddleston came out in full costume and totally in character and took over Hall H for about two mesmerizing minutes. He had total control over the audience. It was spectacular.

BETH2749blog#2 – X-Men: Days of Future Past

This one is high on the list just for the number of amazing people who were on the panel. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, and many more. There were about 18 people total. The star power was pretty dazzling.

BETH0766blog#1 – Walter Robotics Expo

Walter Robotics Expo is sort of a mini one-day convention with vendors, performers, autograph sessions, and photo ops. This was a huge part of the week for me. I didn’t set foot in the convention center on Thursday because I was at WRX all day. James and I did the photo ops, printed the 8x10s in time for the autograph session, and took video footage of Steam Powered Giraffe’s show. Working with Steam Powered Giraffe is always fun and rewarding. WRX was by far my favorite thing during Comic-Con.


My least favorite thing about Comic-Con 2013

As I mentioned earlier, I got in line for Saturday’s Hall H panels at 5pm on Friday. There were about 60 people in front of us when we got in line, but by the time we were let into the hall it was close to 300 people. Our seats weren’t terrible, but they were far enough away that my photos weren’t anywhere near as good as they would have been if so many people hadn’t cut the line.


The Chemical Garden Trilogy: Non-Spoiler Review

whither1Thanks to a botched attempt at genetic engineering, females die at age 20, while males die at age 25. Girls are frequently snatched off the streets for brothels or to be placed in polygamous marriages for breeding purposes. The latter is what happens to Rhine Ellery, who finds herself in a luxurious mansion with a stranger as a husband and three sister-wives. She wants to escape and get back to her twin brother, but her new father-in-law has made a perfect prison, one that holds dark and dangerous secrets.

That’s the basic premise of Wither, the first book of the Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano, but it gets a lot more complicated and interesting than that. Admittedly, the plot isn’t perfect. Some basic aspects of it don’t seem to make sense. However, I think that overall the story is a good one, and the characters are engaging enough to make up for whatever deficiencies the plot might have.

I started reading Wither in a bookstore after seeing a YouTuber recommend it, and I didn’t want to put it down. The second book was a bit slow compared to the first one, but the pace picked back up again for the third book. I really enjoyed reading this series.

Overall rating for the series: B-

Pacific Rim

I tend to get bored during action movies, and I had the impression that Pacific Rim was just going to be one long action sequence after another. I wasn’t very interested in seeing it based on the trailer, but I gave it a chance because I heard nothing but positive reviews from everyone who saw it.

The trailer definitely didn’t do the movie justice. Pacific Rim is not just an action movie. It actually has an interesting story and likable characters and it spends enough time developing them that you can become emotionally invested, instead of rushing to get to the next action sequence like I thought it would. There’s still plenty of giant robots beating up aliens, but not so much that it becomes too tedious. I only got a little bored once or twice.

I recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D.


Steam Powered Giraffe

On February 27, 2012, I was scrolling through Twitter and came across the following tweet:

@hankgreen Video: I would like a semi-accurate count of whether or not I am crazy for liking these people.

My curiosity was piqued, and I clicked the link. It lead to Hank’s Tumblr post with an embedded video. A person in weird makeup made odd movements and opened a skeletal umbrella. I was confused, but I kept watching. Now there were three strangely costumed and made-up guys on the beach. Everything was in black and white except for the red details on their outfits. Then with the strum of a guitar, everything was suddenly full color and a beautiful voice began to sing.

“You didn’t have to look my way
Your eyes still haunt me to this day
But you did. Yes you did”

From then on, I was hooked. From their Patronism site:

Steam Powered Giraffe is a San Diego based band of three movement artists portraying malfunctioning antique musical robots. With backgrounds in improv, street busking, musical theatre, mime, and illustration, the performers have created a unique act that has entertained thousands.

I watched all the videos on their YouTube channel and subscribed to every social networking site they had. I bought a bunch of merchandise. When I was finally able to see them live on March 31 at Balboa Park, they more than met my high expectations. I would encourage everyone to check out these talented performers.

This video I took at Balboa Park gives a sample of the humor you see in their live shows.

I took another video from that show that you can watch here, but if you haven’t experienced Steam Powered Giraffe before, I highly recommend that you start with the first video of theirs that I ever saw, Honeybee.

Review: X-Men: First Class

This review contains minor spoilers.

One of my favorite things about the first X-Men movie was the relationship between Professor X and Magneto. They were supposed to be mortal enemies, but their past friendship was so strong that after years of being on opposite sides it was clear that respect and even affection still existed between them. I’ve been wishing for a prequel showing the beginnings of their friendship for years before this movie was announced.

X-Men: First Class is a fantastic movie. It’s visually pleasing, intellectually engaging, and emotionally satisfying. It easily surpasses the first one, which I also love, as my favorite X-Men movie. The whole cast is outstanding, and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender definitely met my very high expectations as Charles and Erik. They had wonderful chemistry that made it easy to see how the characters’ friendship would have endured throughout their lives in spite of their differences.

My only complaint is that there should have been more scenes concentrating on Charles and Erik and developing their relationship. A significant chunk of the movie passed before they even met, and then the time that they spent together before their separation was surprisingly short. I’m not sure exactly how much time passed between their meeting and separation, but it’s certainly much less time than the first movie lead me to believe. However, I understand that the filmmakers had a lot to pack into one movie, and they did an incredible job.