Friday, September 16, 2016

Flashback Friday: Pirates of the Caribbean World Premiere June 28, 2003

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 
World Premiere
Anaheim, California
June 28, 2003

This week's flashback Friday post is from the red carpet world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl held inside Disneyland Park on June 28, 2003. I recently found all of my photo CDs, and I uploaded them to my portable hard drive.  I had forgotten all about many of the events on those discs, but this was my favorite find.

Orlando Bloom being interviewed on the red carpet at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Orlando Bloom
 I was still working at the park during that time and had to start my shift at 6am due to the premiere.  The attraction I worked would be closed during the premiere so we were scheduled to open early for guests as compensation.  They had blocked our access to enjoy the park as guests, so I had to use one of my complimentary tickets (which we received two of twice a year) to get back into the park after my shift.  I didn't have a digital camera at that time, so I used my Canon Rebel SLR, and only had one roll of film with me.  With a friend, I sat along one of the barricades on the east side of Main St. waiting for the premiere to begin.  There were only stars from the Disney channel shows for a very long time before we finally got to the "big" names.  
The funniest part was when we were all trying to get Orlando Bloom to cross the street to us, and we all started chanting "Orlando-Oh!" He finally turned around and said, "Just a minute." and we cheered. 

Johnny Depp being interviewed at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Johnny Depp
Randomly, Michelle Kwan and a hall of fame baseball player (whose name I've forgotten) were also spotted on the red carpet.

Rebecca Romijn signing autographs at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Rebecca Romijn

Lynda Carter at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Lynda Carter

Daryl Hannah dressed as a pirate at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Daryl Hannah

Michael Rosenbaum signing autographs at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Michael Rosenbaum

William Fichtner signing autographs at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
William Fichtner

Mark-Paul Gosselaar signing autographs at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Michelle Kwan signing autographs of the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Michelle Kwan

Giovanni Ribisi at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Giovanni Ribisi

Scott Bakula at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Scott Bakula

Monkey from the film

Tony Kanal at the Pirates of the Caribbean premiere
Tony Kanal

I had a poster which had been given away in the Disney Gallery above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride the previous week.  I had with me and managed to get a few autographs on it.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

SuperToyCon 2016: Overview

SuperToyCon 2016 – Overview

Orleans Arena

Las Vegas, NV
August 5-7, 2016

A-Team replica van at SuperToyCon 2016
A-Team van replica

I hadn’t heard of SuperToyCon until I saw an ad on Facebook earlier this year.  I’m not a fan of Las Vegas, but I have a friend who goes to Vegas pretty often (he gets comped rooms and game play credit) so I seriously considered going.  Once they announced David Prowse as a guest, I knew I had to go.  I bought a discounted VIP 3-day ticket (which also included the Hall of Champions dinner on Saturday night), and posted on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in going to Las Vegas that particular weekend so I could at least save on a hotel room.  Of course my fan of Vegas friend had a comp room he could use that weekend, and he booked it at the Linq which was closest to the Orleans shuttle.  

Inside of a batmobile replica at SuperToyCon 2016
I love the details on this Batmobile.

Batmobile replica at SuperToyCon 2016

He decided he would get a general admission 3-day ticket for the convention as well, but he wouldn’t have a ticket to the dinner unless he purchased it separately.  We left Los Angeles Friday morning and went to the Orleans Arena prior to checking into the hotel so that we could get our badges/wristbands before the Saturday crowds.  I used my autograph/photo-op ticket, which was included in the VIP package to get my “Darkside” hockey jersey from Geeky Jerseys signed by David Prowse. 

Me getting my Darkside Star Wars jersey signed by David Prowse at SuperToyCon 2016
David Prowse signing my Darth Vader jersey (Photo Cred: John Base)
There wasn’t much going on as far as panels go so we walked around and checked out the dealer floor before heading The Linq to check-in.  After checking-in, we relaxed for about an hour while trying to figure out where we wanted to eat for dinner (my friend also had a $50 food credit at various restaurants on the strip).  We decided to head to Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace.  We noticed that Caesars was celebrating their 50th Anniversary that weekend and were hoping to be finished with dinner in time to catch the fireworks.  Dinner was amazing (I didn’t know a pesto chicken sandwich could be so good!), and we were able to catch at least half of the fireworks.

Car in the "Car show" area outside.

Hot Wheels car in the car show.
We spent most of Saturday checking out panels and the Hot Wheels racing room. I’ve mentioned in my panel recaps that they were too short at 30 minutes, and they really should have them be an hour long.  The dealer floor was pretty small as was the car show behind the Arena.   My friend and I both headed back to the hotel because we were pretty bored. My back was also hurting, and I wanted to take a nap before getting ready for the dinner (business attire dress code.)  My friend headed to the casino to spend his credit, and I rent to the room to nap.  

Cars Land toy set up at SuperToyCon 2016
Great Cars Land set up on the dealer floor
The dinner was a nice buffet, and there was a lot of food.  Sam Jones was there and went around to a few of the tables to chat.  I sat at a table where there were mostly females and two males, and Sam Jones tells us when he’s about to leave our table to let him know if we have any problems.  I asked him if he was going to be our bouncer, and he said that he was a Marine before he was an actor and smiled.  I regretted not getting a picture with him, but I caught him at the end of the event to get one. I mentioned to him that one of my favorite movies is “My Chauffeur” and he said, “Oh, good!” 

Selfie with Sam Jones at SuperToyCon 2016
Sam Jones and I
My friend and I decided not to attend the convention on Sunday as there wasn’t anything else we wanted to see or do that day.  We had lunch at the newly opened Wahlberger’s then headed back to Los Angeles.

Overall, the convention was small and relaxed, but I would only return for the guests and the dinner.  There really wasn’t a need for the VIP ticket as the lines were pretty short, and it didn’t give you priority access to the panels.  There was priority access to the dinner, though, and a goody bag at the dinner for VIP badge holders, but I’m not sure it’s worth the money for a regularly priced VIP badge.  I happened to get a discount on my VIP badge so I would only get a VIP ticket again for a discounted price. 

On a personal note, the weekend ended horribly for me when I came home to a 3-day notice from my landlord and it turned out that my rent payment had been stolen from the mail, forged and deposited.  I can’t recover the money and a police report has been filed, but I’m not holding my breath for getting my money back (the amount was just under the $950 to make it grand theft).  It’s caused me to cancel my trip to San Jose for Heroes and Villains Fan Fest which really upsets me as that is probably my favorite convention to attend.  The guest list this year was insane, too!!   I’m going to do my damnedest to get to Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in Orlando in June (my birthday weekend, too!!!!) as long as I can get the time off from work in addition to the week I take in July for San Diego Comic Con. Cross your fingers!



Monday, September 5, 2016

SuperToyCon: The Karate Kid Panel

Karate Kid Panel

SuperToyCon 2016

Orleans Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

William Zabka, Rob Garrison, Sean Kenan and Martin Kove at the Karate Kid panel during SuperToyCon 2016
William Zabka, Rob Garrison, Sean Kenan, Martin Kove
Before the official start to the Karate Kid panel, the panelists were standing off to the side of the room waiting and joking around. The panelists were William (Billy) Zabka, Rob Garrison, Sean Kenan (Karate Kid, Part III), and Martin Kove.  My friend and I were sitting in the front row, and Billy Zabka sat in the empty seat next to my friend while the other panelists went to their seats on the stage.  He said that he was going to just sit there and watch the panel.  

At that time, the wife of the previous panelist came over to Billy Zabka and told him that he was her first celebrity crush.  He thanked her and joked around with her.  The rest of the panelists were telling him to come up on stage, and after some cajoling, he to a seat on stage and the panel officially began. 

A question was asked regarding any onset injuries from the fight scenes.  Billy said that Elizabeth Shue actually hit him every time in the country club scene.  He (Billy) had also actually kicked Ralph Macchio in the face during the fight at the fence scene. 

Martin Kove told a story about how the last scene for the first film was actually the fight between his and Pat Morita’s characters in the parking lot after the tournament.  (For anyone who doesn’t know, that scene is actually the beginning of the second Karate Kid film.)  Martin hurt his hand during the parking lot scene because of the car.

Martin Kove at the Karate Kid panel during SuperToyCon 2016
Martin Kove

 It’s mentioned that they had to reshoot the fence fight scene because Billy’s hair was wet and looked red with the lighting they used, and the production team thought people wouldn’t know who he was.  Billy denies they had to reshoot the scene because of his hair, though he doesn’t give a reason for the reshoot.

William Zabka and Rob Garrison at the Karate Kid panel during SuperToyCon 2016
William Zabka and Rob Garrison
Every scene of The Karate Kid film was shot by the director, John G. Avildsen, on a camcorder prior before shooting with the film cameras.  Jerry Weintraub (producer) didn’t want Pat Morita for the role of Mr. Miyagi, but John Avildsen shot a video of Pat and showed it to Jerry to convince him of Pat Morita being the right choice. 

Another fan asked about the martial arts training and/or background each panelist had for The Karate Kid.  Rob and Billy said they had about three months of training four hours per day, five days per week, but Billy had additional training of seven days a week for the months just for the final fight scene.  Sean trained in martial arts since he was 13 years old, and his Sensei was Pat Morita’s stunt double in the first Karate Kid film.  It was this Sensei who told Sean about the open call in Los Angeles for Karate Kid 3.  

Sean Kenan and Martin Kove at the Karate Kid panel during SuperToyCon 2016
Sean Kenan and Martin Kove
There were some jokes made about the Karate Kid reboot, which they called “The Kung Fu Kid.”  A few of them were invited and attended the premiere.

The wife of the previous panelist I mentioned before asked a question, and prefaced it by telling Billy he was one of her first celebrity crushes.  He responded with, “You told me over there,” pointing at the seat was sitting in, “that I was your first celebrity crush, not one of.”  My friend said, “Yep, I heard it” and we were both nodding.  Billy said, “See?  I have witnesses.”  Everyone was laughing, and I don’t even remember what her question was.

William Zabka at the Karate Kid panel during SuperToyCon 2016
Billy Zabka: "I have witnesses!"
This was a really fun panel, and I really wish it had been an hour long rather than thirty minutes.



Friday, September 2, 2016

Flasback Friday: American Ultra Premiere

American Ultra Premiere
Theatre at the Ace Hotel
Downtown Los Angeles, California
August 18, 2015

Theatre at the Ace Hotel Marquee (old United Artists Theater)

Today's Flashback Friday post is about the red carpet premiere of a terrible movie, American Ultra.  I was going to skip attending until I saw a tweet from Brett Dalton saying he would be attending this premiere later that day.  So I decided to go.

My ticket for the American Ultra Red Carpet Premiere
My ticket
They had us line up across the street from the theater, which is also where the fans were lined up hoping to get selfies or autographs from the celebrities.  Here are a few pictures I took of Topher Grace (the only good thing about this movie as his performance actually made the dialogue funny) and John Leguizamo.

Topher Grace at the American Ultra Red Carpet Premiere
Topher Grace
John Leguizamo signing autographs at the American Ultra Red Carpet Premiere
John Leguizamo
I happened to be standing next to Brett Dalton in the lobby while I was in line to get the complimentary soda and popcorn.  I asked him if I could get a picture really quick.  He said, "okay, really quick" and I took the picture and I returned to the line to get my concessions.
Selfie with Brett Dalton at the American Ultra Red Carpet Premiere
Brett Dalton and I.
My brief encounter with Brett Dalton is the only thing that made this event worthwhile.  

The inside of the historic Theatre at the Ace Hotel during the American Ultra Red Carpet Premiere