Huge Weekend Ahead!!!!

Hattiesburg, MS

I have to admit that I am totally stoked for this weekend!  Southern Geek Fest is almost upon us and it is looking like it will be a blast!  Rafe White, Tim Nicholas, and a whole bunch of other excellent nerdy people have managed to put together what I believe will be one of the best fan-run first time conventions to come along in a long time.

I’ve been to many conventions over the last few years and a few of them were first timers.  In fact, the very first convention that I ever went to was a first timer and, considering the state of fandom and conventions at the time and the size of the area it was serving, it was very good.  Another one that I went to was in a large city (Houston) and while it didn’t have many guests, it was very well attended and had very few bumps.  That particular convention has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and has become one of my favorite conventions to attend (I’m looking at you, Space City Comic Con).

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Southern Geek Fest has an excellent (and lengthy) list of guests, and you can find most of them listed throughout other posts I’ve done about this convention, but two of the biggest guests that I’m interested in meeting are Ann Mahoney of The Walking Dead and Tim Russ of Star Trek:  Voyager and Star Trek:  Renegades.  Both of these actors are amazing talents and happen to be a part of two of my favorite shows.  Mahoney portrays Olivia on TWD and that particular character is still growing and forming on the screen.  Russ portrays Tuvok on both Voyager and Renegades.  He’s one of my favorite Vulcans and a real source of humor despite lacking all emotion.  I’m really excited to meet them both!

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There are plenty of other wonderful guests that will be in attendance.  The above slideshow gives you just a taste of all of the excellent cosplayers, podcasters, comic artists, and other talent that will be present.  There will even be a village idiot at the event (The Discount Dark Knight, me)!   To get a glimpse at the full lineup, head on over to the convention’s website and check out everything that’s going to be at the event!

I’ll be arriving on Friday evening for the convention.  If you’re going to be in attendance, be sure to let me know and we can hang out for a bit.  I’m looking forward to meeting a few old friends that I haven’t seen in awhile, a few other friends that I’ve never met in person (courtesy of ye old Facebook), and hopefully I’ll make a few new friends as well.

Also, DDK will have a slightly different look at the convention.  Be sure to check out his new cowl and cape combo.  The cowl is in the photo below.  Sexy, isn’t it????

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If you can’t make it to Southern Geek Fest this weekend, have no fear!  Next weekend is CyPhaCon in Lake Charles, LA!  It’s also a fan-run convention but it has been around for a few years and has grown consistently larger and better each year.  I’ll be in attendance at that convention as well, so be sure to come by and say hello to me.  They’ll have Nana Visitor from Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine and a whole bunch of other guests as well.  I’ll be posting more about CyPhaCon next week, so be on the lookout for that post.  For now, go to CyPhaCon’s website for more information.

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Again, I’m really excited to be going to Southern Geek Fest this weekend and I really hope that this convention is a hit.  I personally know some of the folks involved with this event and I want it to be a success for them and for all of Mississippi and the rest of us nerds on the Gulf Coast!

As always, thanks for reading my post.  Talk at ya soon!

 

Black N’ Blue

On The Big Screen And Across The Web

(No Spoilers, So Read With No Worries)

With the dust settling on the recent Deadpool movie (which I still haven’t seen) and plenty of hype surrounding the upcoming Captain America:  Civil War, DC Comics and Warner Brothers decided to sneak in a little flick hoping to cash in on the seemingly endless flow of Marvel’s comic book movies.

Nah, there was a ton of hype for Batman Vs. Superman:  Dawn of Justice, and despite bad reviews from “professional” critics, BvS still managed to have the largest opening for a comic book film in the world and the biggest opener for Warner Brothers ever.

Was it perfect?  Absolutely not.  Was it still a good film?  You betcha!

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BvS, for those who may not know, is a tale that takes place about eighteen months after the events in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (which, for the record, wasn’t that great in my opinion).  After witnessing the destruction of Metropolis firsthand and then watching other events unfold that seem to be a result of the reckless actions of Superman, Bruce Wayne sets out to put an end to the alien’s godlike reign.  Clark Kent, on the other hand, sees the actions of Gotham City’s resident vigilante to be out of control and intends to uncover who really is behind the mask.  Of course, a lot of things are happening behind the scenes and both of our heroes are being manipulated to an eventual endgame, but I don’t want to spoil that for any potential moviegoers.

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The film takes a fair amount of time to develop, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that has ever viewed a Zack Snyder film.  However, I will say that this film has plenty of action laced throughout and I never found myself bored while watching it as I did with Man of Steel, Sucker Punch, or Watchmen.  If you managed to tolerate the development of the first Iron Man film, you’ll be able to make it through BvS.

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The cast is fairly solid in my opinion.  Gal Gadot is excellent as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.  Jeremy Irons drew laughs from the crowd as Alfred PennyworthHenry Cavill does a decent job with what he’s given to work with as Clark Kent/Superman, but I still believe that the character is terribly underdeveloped.  Holly Hunter, Tao Okamoto, Laurence Fishburne, Harry Lennix, Christina Wren, and Kevin Costner provide solid support as new characters and a few old ones revisited from Man of Steel.

Two other members of the cast were written off almost as soon as they were announced.  Ben Affleck was ripped to pieces by plenty of angry fanboys and other idiots, but he pulled off both of his characters with brilliance.  “Both”?  Yep, I consider Bruce Wayne and Batman to be two different characters.  Up until this film’s release, I considered Michael Keaton to be the superior Batman on the screen and Christian Bale as the best Bruce Wayne.  Ben Affleck has replaced both of them as my favorite actor in both roles.  His portrayal of an aged and mature Bruce was perfect.  His grizzly and violent portrayal of Batman injected some much needed fear and brutality into the character on the big screen.

While most people share my opinion of Affleck’s performance, Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t get as much love.  In fact, he’s probably the most polarizing presence in the entire film.  People either love him or hate him.  I happened to really enjoy his performance in the film.  He’s young, aggressive, and a bit stuck on himself.  To me, that’s the perfect base for the future power-hungry and intelligent man he will become.  Let Eisenberg’s portrayal grow on you a bit, because I believe that big things are coming for the character later on.

Many have said that the plot is off balance, convoluted, and just plain trash.  Those people have every right to express their opinion, but I just don’t see where they are coming from.  Yes, there are a few bumps in the road, but in no way is this film trash.  The story develops just fine in my opinion, with action on par with both of the Avengers films and, in the case of Batman, brutality that gives the R-rated Punisher films a run for their money.

The big face-off between Supes and the Dark Knight was excellent.  Borrowing heavily from the same sequence within Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the fight is paced well, is believable within the confines of a comic book, and has a decent payoff.

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Of course, you can’t expect two of the comic world’s greatest heroes (and best friends) to end their feud on a sour note, so a new threat makes its presence known in the third act as the result of the actions of the grand manipulator.  While I won’t name that villain here, the name and image of that character has been plastered in countless articles and even in trailers for the film.

When this baddie shows up, a third hero pops into action.  That hero, Wonder Woman, enters the battle and takes the action up a notch.  Many people were glad to see Diana Prince on the screen (I was one of them) and while she’s only in the film for a brief time, she makes full use of every second.

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When the dust settles, we’re left with the foundation for the future of DC on the big screen.  In recent years, only the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight films have impressed me.  As mentioned earlier, Man of Steel isn’t a favorite and Green Lantern could have been a whole lot better….really, a whole lot, but I do believe that BvS gives DC some solid footing in the market.

Marvel is way ahead of the curve when it comes to comic-to-film adaptations.  They’ve got many years of developing their stories and characters under their belt, and I believe that because of this there is a lot of unfair comparisons between Marvel and DC on the silver screen.  Yes, DC is playing catch up, but where critics give Marvel a pass on plot holes and foreshadowing that may or may not make sense at first, they hammer DC in this film for doing the same thing.

NEWSFLASH:  DC FILMS ARE NOT MARVEL FILMS

Once critics get this through their heads and decide to hop off of the “Marvel makes nothing but awesome films” bandwagon (I’m looking at you, Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, Thor:  The Dark World, and The Incredible Hulk), I believe that the playing field with critics will level out a bit.  Until then, ignore the critics and give this film a shot.  It’s the basis for what looks to be great things to come, and I can’t wait to see some of my favorite heroes on the screen together for the first time.

 

CyPhaCon!!!

One Month And One Day Away

Hot on the heels of Southern Geek-Fest in Hattiesburg, MS, Lake Charles will host the sixth edition of one of the most successful fan-run conventions in the state of Louisiana.  CyPhaCon opens up for what looks to be another successful year with an excellent gathering of media guests, comic artists, cosplayers, performance groups, vendors, and panelists that are sure to please.

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Sci-Fi Guests of Honor include the lovely Nana Visitor of Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine and the dashing Aaron Douglas, perhaps best known for his work on the reimagined Battlestar Galactica.  Both of these guests have a long list of performances that range from stage to screen and include appearances on shows such as Grimm and The Flash.

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Tony Amendola is this year’s Pop Culture Guest of Honor.  An actor with a long and successful career, Amendola is known for roles in features such as Blow, The Mask of Zorro, and The Legend of Zorro.  He has also appeared on multiple television programs including Once Upon A Time and Stargate:  SG-1.

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Anime fans, the folks that I consider to be the foundation of much of CyPhaCon’s success, aren’t left out of the fun this year.  Monica Rial (Dragon Ball Z Kai, Tokyo Ghoul) joins the guest list as does returning local favorite, Kyle Hebert (Naruto, Wreck-It Ralph) to give anime fans the chance to meet the faces behind beloved voices in anime.

Sure, celebrity guests are excellent, but what can be done for the rest of the day?  CyPhaCon has you covered with a room full of artists, vendors, and crafters.  They also have excellent entertainment that includes cosplayers like Silly Little Missy and Cute Classy Chaos, performance groups such as Take One Productions and the lovely ladies of Orion’s Envy, as well as three bands for your listening and viewing pleasure.  The Tugboats open things up on Friday night, and the Suzaku 7 and Bedlam Bards offer up entertainment during the weekend.

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Orion’s Envy

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The Suzaku 7

CyPhaCon has a ton of other excellent things to see and do over the second weekend of April.  Visit them on Facebook or check out their website for more information.  Be sure to be a part of this excellent weekend one week after Southern Geek-Fest!

Oh, and here’s a couple of photos of myself with some of the excellent guests that will be in attendance at CyPhaCon.

As always, thanks for reading.  I can’t wait to see all of you in a few weeks at Southern Geek-Fest and then CyPhaCon one week later!!!

 

Southern Geek-Fest!!!

One Month Away!

It’s hard to believe that Southern Geek-Fest is just one month away.  I know that this has been a major project for Rafe White, Tim Nicholas, and their vast army of geeky support to put together, but everything appears to be coming into place for this first year event!  I cannot wait to be a part of this excellent convention!

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Over the last few of days, the convention staff has really amped up the push for the convention by adding even more guests, linking the convention to Twitter (@SGeekFesT) and Instagram (SGEEKFEST), and posting videos from guests like Tim Russ and Kimberly Battista on Facebook.  The list of guests has expanded greatly, so be sure to check out www.southerngeekfest.com for all of the latest info.

For just a little primer, here are a few of the guests that they plan to have on hand for the event:

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And if that isn’t enough for ya, here are a few more:

Still not convinced?  Well, you drive a hard bargain, but some excellent cosplayers will also be on hand like these gifted young ladies right here:

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Look, folks, there are literally a ton of other guests that will be on hand for this event.  Fan-run conventions of this caliber don’t come along very often, so be sure to go out and support Southern Geek-Fest next month.

I hope I get to see all of you out there and if not, maybe you’ll run into my boss:

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Yep!  That’s right!  You’re ol’ pal DDK will be in attendance at this event.  Come by and say hello to him, get a high five, a hug, free candy, or who knows what else he’ll have in his utility belt!

Thanks for reading as always.  I plan on trying to get at least one or two interviews at this convention and will post them as soon as I can after the convention.

I hope to make these convention posts a regular thing in this blog.  Be on the lookout next week whenever I’ll focus on CyPhaCon, which happens exactly one week after Southern Geek-Fest!