Wizard World 2014 Recap

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Sorry for the bad lighting! (Photo Credit: Beth Anderson)

Before you could blink, another Wizard World Philadelphia is in the books.  Above, you see the Social Justice panel I was on.  Guess which one I am.  The panel went extremely well, and I’m pretty proud of what happened, especially when a sweet Luna Lovegood cosplayer came up to me and thanked me.  That meant a lot.  I was Emma Frost on Saturday, and it was a great deal of fun.   +2 Comedy also had an amazing showing in their panel, which was packed!

Five Things I Learned at Wizard World Philadelphia

  • Rob Paulsen (voice of Pinky and Yakko) is the sweetest man on the planet.  Seriously.  If you ever have the chance to meet him, by all means do so.
  • The cosplayers are getting more and more elaborate, which means more hilarious photo ops.  Seriously, a good cosplayer can be a more valuable photo op than any actor.

See also: this picture of an amazing Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas, which probably puts the costumed character at Disney to shame.

If I were on his Boogie list, I'd get out of town.

If I were on his Boogie list, I’d get out of town.

  • There is a Wawa next to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and that’s a really, really good thing.
  • Lines were not nearly the issue they have been in the past for panels.  People were able to get into the 3pm Firefly panel right up to 2:45 (which is something that is unheard of in many conventions.)  Lines for photo ops and autographs, however, were terrifying and apparently poorly organized.
  • Anthony Mackie is incredibly charming, and Christopher Lloyd does not wish to be called Christopher.

In the end, Wizard World Philadelphia was an amazing, with everyone having a good time.  I’m going to Too Many Games Expo this Saturday, and I’ll see you there!

Wizard World Philadelphia: What You Need to Know

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If you’re in or near the city of brotherly love, this weekend is a good weekend for nerds.

Wizard World Philadelphia, the largest convention in the area, is here from today-Sunday.

Here’s the rundown on some quick things you need to know.

You will have to stand in line for some of the biggest panels.

This is pretty new for Philadelphia.  When Chris Hemsworth turned up in 2012, fresh from Avengers, there was no line to get into his panel in the grand ballroom.  Last year’s Firefly panel, however, drew incredible amounts of people that lined up hours in advance.  This year’s Firefly panel boasts Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, so expect that to be rough.

You may have to pay extra for some things

Both Matt Smith/ Karen Gillan and Jason David Frank are hosting extra-ticketed events, as well as the standard paying for autographs and photos.

There is a Wawa and a new Panera Bread near the convention center

Trust me, these are the quickest, easiest places to go for cheap decent food.  Prepare for confused employees.

If you’re coming from NJ, the PATCO is reliable but crowded.

If you miss your train, it might be awhile for the next one.  Keep that in mind.

Have fun!

 

Pretty Nerdy Movie Review: Maleficent

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Angelina Jolie as Maleficent

“Let’s take an old tale and tell it anew.”

So begins Maleficent, a fractured fairy tale that addresses a surprising number of issues while still being thoroughly entertaining.

The closest allegory to sexual assault that I have ever seen in a Disney movie comes early in the film, when the peasant Stefan drugs his childhood friend Maleficent and removes the beautiful wings she prizes so much.  He directly steals her bodily agency for his own status.  When she wakes up, her confusion melting into pain, rage, and horror is tough to watch.

 Wicked-ish storyline aside, a lot of the problematic factors in the fairy tale were addressed and even fixed in the film.  For example, Phillip has a lot of reservations about kissing the unconscious girl he met earlier that day in the woods, and only does so when he is told it’s the way to break the curse on her.  No pressure.  When his kiss fails, it is Maleficent’s that saves Aurora.  Phillip is still around for Aurora at the end of the film, but you get the idea that they’re taking it slow.  The film does not end with a kiss, but rather with Aurora’s coronation as queen.

The movie isn’t over when Maleficent saves Aurora.  Aurora returns the favor by freeing her beloved “fairy godmother’s” wings and returning them to their rightful owner.  A traumatic event can destroy you, but the people you love can help to make you whole again.

It’s a fantastic fairy tale for little girls, as well as a cautionary tale.  Yes, the “true love” being non-romantic love was just done in Frozen, but I don’t think hammering the message through again hurts us any.

All in all, I would definitely recommend Maleficent to all but the very very young fairy tale fan in your life.  Four out of five involuntary shapeshifters.

Dragons arrive in Orlando

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The Gringotts Dragon

Here be dragons.

This lovely lady has just been placed on top of Gringotts in Universal Studios’ Diagon Alley.  I’m so excited. She was quickly shrouded in scaffolding, so Touring Plans columnist Hate to Fly managed to get quite a picture.

Rumor is that the opening will be on June 26, but guests might be allowed in as soon as June 7.  If anyone manages to sneak in, please drop us a line at prettynerdythingsblog@gmail.com


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