Salt Lake Comic Con Violated Copyright Law For Using “COMIC CON” *FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Occasionally on Scene Before I talk about conventions. To be specific I talk about my experiences at certain cons that I go to or I simply announce that I’ll be present at a particular con. This post will have a focus on conventions, but it’s a bit more law based as opposed to what I usually do. Recently, there was a lawsuit involving two conventions, and even more recently, there was a court case for this. Let’s introduce both sides of the situation.

*Cue “The People’s Court theme*

First off we have San Diego Comic-Con, AKA the original Comic Con. Established in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, this event became the one of the largest and most well known fan conventions in the US and on the planet. The event has gone by multiple names aside from Golden State Comic Book Convention since its inception. These names include San Diego Comic Book Convention and a name that the convention goes by today, Comic-Con International: San Diego. Despite mentioning that recent name, the convention often goes by the names Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and SDCC. This convention has a focus on comics, sci-fi, fantasy, TV, movies, etc. In fact, this convention often features celebrities you wouldn’t usually find in many other conventions and considering its popularity, this con is known for revealing material such as trailers for upcoming content at panels. When tickets go on sale for this, there’s no messing around. They sell out pretty much instantly. This year they sold out a little over an hour of going on sale. The organizers of SDCC, Comic-Con International, are also the organizers of Wondercon, held annually in Anaheim, CA.

Next up we have Salt Lake Comic Con. First held in September of 2013, this convention is held semi-annually. The convention goes by two names and one event in terms of when it’s being held comes before the other, Salt Lake Comic Con, as recently mentioned, and the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. What’s the difference? Salt Lake Comic Con tends to focus more towards science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and superheroes whereas FanXperience tends to focus on fandoms that aren’t traditionally found at most comic book conventions. This event is so outside the box to my knowledge that in 2016, Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man to walk on the moon, appeared as a guest! These events, regardless of whether it’s just a traditional comic con or FanX, brings in tons of people whenever it’s held and it shows no sign of slipping in the future. Interesting fact, on September 25, 2015, when the third Salt Lake Comic Con was held, a world record was broken here. That record by the way happened to be the most costumed comic book cosplay characters in one location.

These two recently had a battle in court. How did this all start? On July 25, 2014, San Diego Comic-Con International sent a cease and desist letter to Salt Lake City Comic Con over its use of the words “comic con.” Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake City Comic Con, responded saying that this can affect tons of other conventions. Salt Lake was unwilling to go through with the cease and desist letter thus beginning a legal battle. I wouldn’t say Salt Lake is wrong when it comes to this case possibly affecting other “comic cons.” Just look at how many “comic cons” there are:

  • Rhode Island Comic Con
  • Boston Comic Con
  • Granite State Comicon
  • Emerald City Comicon
  • New York Comic Con
  • ComiCONN
  • Delhi Comic Con
  • Colorado Springs Comic Con
  • Phoenix Comicon
  • Motor City Comic Con
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Alamo City Comic Con
  • Silicon Valley Comic Con
  • Baltimore Comic-Con
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con
  • Nottingham Comic Con
  • Wildcat Comic Con
  • Big Apple Comic Con
  • Comic-Con Russia
  • Wales Comic Con
  • Oz Comic Con
  • Mumbai Comic Con
  • Bangalore Comic Con

Yes, some of these events are referred to as Comicon and are altered slightly in terms of name to separate themselves from other events, but the point is, the use of comic con is pretty much as common as putting cheese on a pizza!

Leading up to the court case, Salt Lake Comic Con pointed out the same statement I recently made, “comic con” is a popular term used in names of conventions around the world, and they pointed to more than one hundred events in the US which use the term.

Once the case concluded, San Diego Comic-Con International released the following statement which I happened to find in an article for FOX 13 Salt Lake City:

“San Diego Comic Convention has used the Comic-Con trademarks in connection with our comics and popular arts conventions for almost 50 years.  We have invested substantial time, talent and resources in our brand resulting in world-wide recognition of the Comic-Con convention held annually in San Diego.   The jury today upheld San Diego Comic Convention’s trademarks as valid.  The jury also found that Dan Farr Productions, Daniel Farr and Bryan Brandenburg each infringed San Diego Comic Convention’s marks.  San Diego Comic Convention respects the decision of the jury.  From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.  Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this.  For that we are grateful.”

Let’s dissect this from each important point. First, they point out that they “used the Comic-Con trademarks,” which I’ll mention once again, is used on tons of other conventions, which leads me to a serious question. Wanna trade? Oops, sorry, I mean, when did you f*cking trademark the term?! Next, let’s talk about the jury’s decision to verify the “comic-con” trademark as valid. Who was in this jury? Was it people who have only been to San Diego Comic-Con and not other conventions? Was it a bunch of jocks who have never gone to a con? Was Mike Pence in that jury? Was Casper the Friendly Ghost in that jury? Was Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” in that jury? Was Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds” in that jury? I don’t know if it was all nerds, in fact, based on the results, I don’t think that would have been possible, because I talk to nerds on Thursday nights and we were discussing this legal battle, they thought comic con is a term used in so many conventions now that it’s absolutely pointless for San Diego to do what they’re doing. One of the last parts of the statement contained this: “all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.” Sure, maybe in one way that’s not asking a lot, because it was a simple request, but following up on that request is an absolute impossibility in all reality. It’s almost like saying, despite being a convention that has similarities to San Diego, not to mention just about ANY comic book convention that has ever existed, it can have a name that a high fraction of these types of conventions use. Also, my biggest question is this: If San Diego is so upset about their f*cking trademarks being used by someone else, why are they so concerned about Salt Lake? Not to mention, Salt Lake isn’t completely identical to San Diego in terms of their trademark. Note the difference: San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Like Comic Con. Can’t see it? San Diego has a dash, Salt Lake doesn’t. Let’s also observe the last sentence concerning San Diego’s response to the verdict: “For that we are grateful.” Allow me to respond with eloquence…

*Clears throat*

*Taps microphone*

OK good, this thing’s on.

F*ck you!

You may be grateful, but you may have just turned the entire convention game upside down! If you are the convention that everybody loves, you would be supportive of the influence you have on the convention community! At the time of San Diego’s inception, there was nothing like what they had going for themselves. Now they’ve spawned an enormous number of conventions to the point that it’s extremely hard to visit them all. You know one reason why I go to Rhode Island Comic Con more often than San Diego Comic-Con? It’s closer to me! These conventions have expanded to the point where anyone in the world can conveniently go to them. Granted, nerds everywhere may consider going to San Diego Comic-Con their version of a pilgrimage, but in all seriousness, you’ve got to consider how we don’t have the time, gas, money, or complete motivation to go to your convention. There are other options out there! This is why they make multiple brands of soda. Coca-Cola isn’t the only thing around, there’s also Pepsi! In fact, this is why they make multiple flavors of soda! It doesn’t have to be plain, it can be cherry, vanilla, or orange!

One of the biggest purposes of conventions (aside from loading celebrities up with cash) is to unite people together in one place. This isn’t just applicable to only “comic-cons,” but also gaming conventions, anime conventions, brony conventions, all of that stuff. We’ve gotten to this point where San Diego is saying that they literally started this craze (to be fair, they did technically) and for that, they think they can get away with taking LITERAL OWNERSHIP of a name that’s so popular around the world that doesn’t just apply to them. It’s like if the Beach Boys said that “Boys” was a trademark to them forty years after they started performing. Groups like the Backstreet Boys, Boys II Men, and the Beastie Boys are would have freaked the f*ck out if this happened! If this were between San Diego Comic-Con and another convention that has the EXACT SAME NAME, I’d be more understanding of this, but as far as this goes now, this is ludicrous.

One big question behind how this all came about is literally, how did this come about? I will remind you that Salt Lake was sued on July 25, 2014, which is almost a year after the first Salt Lake Comic Con happened, and also a few months after the first Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience happened. Is this all because of the FanX event occurring? After all the primary focus of FanX is to think outside the box and include other aspects to a convention other than anything that’s comic related. The event is technically called the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, maybe instead of telling Salt Lake to change its name entirely, just tell them to eliminate the “comic con” from their FanX title. However I wouldn’t do that, I’m not an asshole that forces people to do things that they probably don’t want to do.

Another thing I’ll mention is that according to the FOX 13 article that I’m using as a reference for this post is that Salt Lake Comic Con used SDCC’s trademark “without permission.” Is the article stretching this statement? Possibly, I can’t be sure, I wasn’t one of the people doing jury duty as this case was going on, but this s*it is bonkers! What other “comic con” needed “permission” from SDCC or Comic-Con International to give their specific event an identical name to San Diego’s? This is determining a convention’s name, not asking a student’s parents through a slip they have to sign if they allow their kid to watch a R rated film in class for educational purposes!

To sum it up, San Diego Comic-Con started out as a place for nerds to unite. Now, they’ve become the jocks that are stepping on the territory of other conventions that are trying to do the same thing. Being a nerd is about inclusion, it’s about tolerance, it’s about respect for yourself and those around you. To say that you are the kings of conventions isn’t exactly an improper thing to say, but to say that someone can’t be like you NAME-WISE on something as basic as a small part of your name that’s used WORLDWIDE, is a load of crap. For a portion of my life, there was a part of me that always wanted to attend San Diego Comic-Con, because it has always come off as the ultimate nerd convention, now that they’re essentially being an asshole to another convention that probably wouldn’t have even existed today if it weren’t for SDCC, I wouldn’t say I’m off their radar entirely, but I’m skeptical of whether I truly want to take a trip there in the future. I love conventions, I love nerdy things, I love sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, all that stuff, but I’m not sure I’m loving San Diego Comic-Con as much as I once was, which leads me to this…

San Diego Comic-Con, why do they call you a con? Oh yeah, because you’re a f*cking cheap con! You know what? After my experience of watching “Anchorman,” I’d say Ron Burgundy was right about the origin of San Diego, let’s change your name to A Whale’s Vagina Comic-Con! It almost seems that this naming fiasco has you out of line, but don’t worry, if there actually is a line in this circumstance, I’m sure it’s not as long as any of the lines during your convention! Also, I’ll remind you to get back in line, and once you do, there’s no cutting allowed, you already did that to Salt Lake Comic Con’s name! I wonder what’s next for you and changing things around, perhaps making certain celebrities not show up because they may have heard about the name situation and they disagree with the final verdict? Well I guess that means we have our next “Star Wars” movie! San Diego Comic-Con, I’m a huge nerd, I have been all my life. All I want to do is make things the best they can be, and to do that I have to sometimes be tough, so if you think you can exclude me from your convention in the future just because I said some stuff you might find to be harsh, I’m sorry, you can’t do that “without permission.” Whose permission you ask? My f*cking permission, you morons!

If I don’t go to San Diego Comic-Con in the future, that’s fine, I’ve got plenty of other conventions to go to that are cheaper, closer, and perhaps even less crowded. New York Comic Con is a beast in terms of size which kind of intrigues me, so maybe I’ll go there in the future. Thanks for reading this post! Later this week I will have my review for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” which I will be seeing opening night, so I’ll have the review up not long after it releases. Look forward to that and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you been to San Diego Comic-Con? What are your thoughts on it? Have you been to either Salt Lake Comic Con or the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience? What are your thoughts on either of those? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Rhode Island Comic Con 2017 Review and Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you were in Providence, RI last weekend like I was, there’s a good chance you were there for Rhode Island Comic Con, which advertises itself to be “The BIGGEST show in the smallest state!” I went for my third year in a row, I had my reasons for going, and despite wanting to go right away just because I had a lot of fun at this event for the past two years I went, new enormous reasons developed along the way. Mainly the fact that a good number of the people who were in “Revenge of the Nerds” were showing up. Not to mention, you’ve also got the legends I like to call Curtis Armstrong (Booger) and Robert Carradine (Lewis), the hosts of “King of the Nerds,” which is perhaps one of the most overlooked shows I’ve ever watched in my entire life.

The convention had one of the biggest lineups for any con I’ve seen. If you want to come here for autographs or photo ops, you’ve got the whole day ahead of you because you’ve got a plethora of guests from various realms including movies, TV, and music. For movies, I’ve recently mentioned the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds” was having a reunion, but you’ve also got a couple folks from the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies including Dave Bautista, who you may know as Drax the Destroyer, Sebastian Stan, who you may know as the Winter Soldier, and Paul Bettany, who you may know as Vision and JARVIS. Not to mention you’ve even got a couple folks from “Back to the Future” including Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen) and Christopher Lloyd (Doc Emmett Brown). For TV, you’ve got a number of “Star Trek” cast members, mostly from “The Next Generation,” which includes Brent Spiner (Data), Michael Dorn (Worf), Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher), Marina Sitris (Deanna Troi), and Jonathan Frakes (William Riker). You’ve also got a cast member from CBS All Access’s/CBS All Cash-Cow’s “Star Trek: Discovery,” Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca) and a man who needs no introduction, but I’ll introduce him anyway, William f*cking Shatner (Kirk), who moderated a panel dedicated to the cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” There also happened to be some cast members from “Married with Children” including Ted McGinley (Jefferson), Amanda Bearse (Marcy), and David Garrison (Steve). Also there were a couple of musical artists including Gene Simmons and Al Yankovic. This is just scratching the surface of the neverending guest list, I could write every single person’s name down, but for the sake of not killing my keyboard, I’m just gonna stop here.

There were a number of guests who also happened to be artists. I didn’t really take much of a gander at them, but I did notice that there were a lot of these people. A lot of them happened to be local, I actually happened to talk with one of them, in fact since we’re on that I actually will bring something in particular up to you all next.

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Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce, “The Overlords!” “The Overlords” is a book series written by J. Michael Squatrito Jr.. According to the website, it’s a “fantasy adventure set in the times of warriors and magic.” Seven men and a special dog embark on a journey to find the coveted treasure of the land, the bounty left behind by the ancient Four Kings. The main character is referred to as Harrison Cross, an orphaned warrior. There’s an antagonist who goes by the name of Lord Nigel Hammer, which by the way, badass name! That might even be a better name than Taserface! This antagonist has an army and often gains the upper hand which damages the adventurers. There’s also a humanoid race known as the Seynthians, who want to eliminate humanity as a whole. If you want to find out more about this, click the link below to find out about these books on their website. Also, if you’re reading this before December 2nd, the author of this book will be attending the 5th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo, where many Rhode Island authors show off their material. This takes place in Cranston, RI, so if you’re into that, check it out!

THE OVERLORDS WEBSITE: http://the-overlords.com/Default.aspx

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Moving onto the con itself, the con was more organized than I thought it would be. I say this because I’ve gone the past couple of years and they kind of f*cked up. I remember going in 2015 and it happened to be overcrowded, which interfered with me as I was simply attempting to go to a panel. In 2016, the autograph system was a little different than I was expecting it to be (in ways). The convention had multiple headliners including Millie Bobby Brown, Stan Lee, Frank Grillo, and Alice Cooper. They had you pay for your autograph at a box office before heading in line, which I didn’t even know about until the moment I was near a celebrity when I went. I don’t know how many other conventions are like this, but I don’t really think that’s a good idea, because for what I know, it’s non-refundable, which only benefits the con and not the customer, but also it prevents you from deciding whether or not getting an autograph from someone is actually a good plan. By the way, they had the same system this year for the headliners. Although one thing I did notice this year that I didn’t notice last year, is that for certain celebrities on the Dunkin Donuts Center floor, you don’t even have to pay at the box office, you can just give the money at the table. Sticking with last year’s headliners, the line for Gal Gadot was all over the place, and I know that because I was in that line. For what I know, none of the issues I encountered, including one I had this year which I’ll mention in a second, were as abysmal as 2014, a year I didn’t go. I first heard about this from a con-goer as I was facing my 2015 incident. Unlike the years I went, 2014’s Rhode Island Comic Con took place in the Rhode Island Convention Center. While it still happens there, 2015 has brought an expansion to the mix at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Although before that happened, 20,000 people had tickets, but the convention center could only hold 17,000. The convention center had to shut down due to overcapacity, making this a first in the building’s history. I had an issue where you had to literally make a loop around the Dunkin Donuts Center to get to the convention center, but that’s not the big problem I had. My main issue this year was the organization for a panel I was attending. Granted it was in a tiny room with people you’d probably only know if you were constantly surfing the web, but nevertheless, it irked me. A lot of people were in line for a panel, and when you hear what it is, you’d understand why. Apparently, around the time of my panel, which was for Channel Awesome, there was a “Game of Thrones” panel. There was almost no line whatsoever for Channel Awesome because “Game of Thrones” is more popular, but what really caught me off guard is that there were basically people next to the walls of the doors to the room which I was trying to reach happened to be located. They were in the “Game of Thrones” line. I guess size DOES matter. My suggestion is that you’d put down barriers for each panel room. When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came out, I went to a local theater and they had barriers for each auditorium dedicated to showing the movie so you can discern which auditorium is showing it and which line you should get into. The photo ops were organized and they didn’t even use barriers. Although it makes sense because they were in a tent which is covering the sky, and the lines happened to be drawn in yellow chalk. The staff was a mix between nice, unaware of various situations, or just there to organize. Some of the staff could have used a more pleasant tone when this happened, but still. Speaking of misunderstandings, I have a story for you, but we’ll dive into that later. For now, let’s talk about a purchase I made.

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If you like “Star Wars” but hate the changes George Lucas made to the original trilogy, you’ll love what you’re about to hear. This here is the original theatrical version reconstruction of what’s now commonly referred to as “Star Wars Episodes IV-VI.” This started out as a fan project which involved tons of Photoshopping, reconstructing, color correcting, and all sorts of other stuff in order to create an HD version of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. Hardcore fans are aware of this, but in case you don’t know, there was a time when “Star Wars” started releasing what became known as “special editions.” A name which nowadays a good number of people disapprove, because the only thing that could be considered special about the special editions is not watching them. Granted, they are still the original movies, but they’ve added some changes here and there. Pretty much all of them are unnecessary. Some of them have enraged fans, including me. What made many viewers outraged is the change made during the conversation Han Solo and Greedo have in the Cantina. Specifically, they changed Han shooting first and made Greedo shoot first. There was also a Blu-Ray release in 2011, which brought more changes, including a change to the Cantina scene where Han and Greedo shoot simultaneously. This also brought my least favorite change, which happens to be featured in “Return of the Jedi.” During the scene when Luke is being electrocuted by the Emperor, Darth Vader screams “No!” like he did at the end of “Revenge of the Sith.” So essentially, these three discs take that pile of unfortunate s*it, and throws it into a trash compactor, leaving it to die. I already have seen the original versions of the “Star Wars” original trilogy, but I can’t say I’ve seen them all in HD yet. I will say though, one complaint I have, and it’s rather minor for now, is that the discs are in 720p HD as opposed to what Blu-rays traditionally have, which is 1080p. Speaking of stars, let’s move onto some “stars” I ran into during my visit.

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Let’s start off with a guest I took a professional photo op with. This is also the first pro photo op I’ve ever done at a con. I’m pretty sure you’ll be impressed with my first choice, Christopher Lloyd. For those of you who haven’t been to conventions or don’t get to experience pro photo ops, these are very quick, so I never got to say hi to Christopher or engage in conversation with him. I did utter “Hey, man” as I was walking up to him however. One pro I will give to the entire staff behind the photo ops is that they seemed nicer than the con’s main staff. Also, for those of you who don’t know, the photo op company taking charge at this year’s convention is Celeb Photo Ops. Last year the convention had Froggy’s Photos, which I heard brought some issues last year, which is why Rhode Island Comic Con made the switch.

 

Before we get into other guests, I have a story that occurred during the con that quite honestly, will make you slap your knee harder than whenever a bitch slap occurs. So I was looking for a certain guest, and I run into this man, the man you see in the five photos above alongside me. That man is David Garrison. I don’t see anything on his table worth signing, but I notice the price for a posed photo, which happened to be $20, so I’m just going, OK, I’ll do that. I take my camera out, I give it to a guy sitting next to David, the guy is then referred to by David as a “great photographer.” The camera I was using happened to be a Samsung ST150F, which I don’t think is a bad camera for the money, but it’s by no means anything professional. I pointed out that unfortunately the camera he was using was probably not the greatest, I had more professional cameras in my mind. I tried to be humorous, calling the device “a camera that looks like something traditionally used by soccer moms.” We took five shots, then I headed away from David. Only thing is, when I headed off, I had no idea what I was in for. There was another guest two seats away from David, it’s Ted McGinley.

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The placement which was just recently described makes sense, because Ted McGinley, like David, happens to be from “Married With Children.” I actually walked up to him and I had something to say. “You say that guy (David)? I thought you were him.” I even told him “I took five photos! I paid $20!” Ted responded to me saying that he was in a similar situation when he was signing autographs for people while getting off a bus and someone asked what this was. They thought McGinley was someone else. My memory remembers him saying “George Michael” or something like that. Although it could have been David because he said he’d rub this story in David’s face if I had that worded correctly. Although when we were taking a photo I said “screw George.” Before we did that, we high-fived each other. Just a little fact about Ted, he’s known for playing Stan Gable in “Revenge of the Nerds.” When I was talking to David, I was unaware of the embarrassing situation, but he said “See you on the reruns,” obviously referring to “Married With Children” as I was walking away from him. I don’t think he quite made out what I said, but I replied back saying “And the “Nerds” movies.”

F*CK. ME.

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Here we have two autographs, one of them is from Ted McGinley, specifically the one the right. If you can read the left one clearly enough, that one was from Donald Gibb.

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Here we have a picture of me alongside Donald Gibb, a guy who some folks might refer to as Don Gibb, but also a guy who as of just recently, I personally refer to as “Surprisingly Not Santa Claus in a Live Action Movie or TV Show.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’m right. I scrolled through his IMDb. Gibb was fun to talk to, granted this was a day after a panel I attended featuring him so we had something to talk about, but we still had fun talking to each other.

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We’re not quite done with “Revenge of the Nerds” just yet, we’ll be coming back to it. For now, let’s focus on Channel Awesome. Channel Awesome, if you don’t know the name, is an online media production company. One of its popular series’ happens to be “Nostalgia Critic.” This is a series where Doug Walker, AKA the Nostalgia Critic (middle) gives a commentary on whatever random topic related to movies happens on his mind. Doug’s brother, Rob (left), and their father, Barney (right) also join in on Doug’s content. These folks have a pretty dedicated fanbase. I know someone who watches Channel Awesome’s material, and by the way, on Sunday, I went up to the trio and purchased an autograph for that friend. That wasn’t the only time I went up to them, because my sister was trying to get an autograph for her friend as well and this happened on Friday. When I went up on Friday, I informed the trio I wanted to help out someone who’s often shown in Channel Awesome material, Tamara Chambers. I had a DVD for “Point Break,” the original, not the remake. I figured I’d give it to them so they can give it to Tamara since she wasn’t at the con. Why was it exclusively for Tamara? I wasn’t sure if she saw “Point Break,” but if she didn’t, she could make this a part of her “Tamara’s Never Seen” series. I didn’t have the copy of the movie on me at the time, it was in my hotel room, I said I’d bring it over before the con ends. They said they have it and the movie can be an idea for Tamara to watch. I told them that was OK. I honestly figured Tamara just watches whatever she owns, I didn’t think she would take them from the Walkers or the Channel Awesome studio. Going back to Sunday, Rob noticed my shirt. You’ve already seen it in a few images, the one that says “Jar Jar Stinks.” By the way, remember the folks behind The Overlords? They thought it said “Star Wars Stinks” until I corrected them. Rob actually took a picture of it and sent it to his friend. I also attended their panel, which was advertised as a “Movies Everyone Disagrees With You On” panel, but was also, according to the panelists, a Q&A. Although it was mainly a “Movies Everyone Disagrees With You On” panel. The panel was fun, not to mention surprisingly calm, and Channel Awesome would agree because at one point, someone said they didn’t like “Napoleon Dynamite.” I own the Blu-ray for that film, but I haven’t seen it. Although it was mentioned that whenever Channel Awesome does these panels, “Napoleon Dynamite” has caused some violence in the past.

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Speaking of panels, let’s talk about one I attended on Friday. At 6:00, there was a panel for the “Revenge of the Nerds” cast called “Nerds on Stage.” This does make sense because two of the sequels in the series have similar subtitles. Those sequels are “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” and “Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love.” The panel was moderated by Clare Kramer, who you may know from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as Glory and “Bring It On” as Courtney. Each actor had something to say, Donald Gibb was trying to make everyone laugh saying that he can’t read. Curtis Armstrong was talking about how he got the role of Booger and how he didn’t want it. I heard that story multiple times and it never gets old, especially when I hear it from him because he delivers it with such passion. Julia Montgomery was saying that she didn’t appear on “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” because her character was cheating on Lewis, played by Robert Carradine. Speaking of Robert Carradine, someone asked him to do the laugh that you’d often hear in the series. Andrew Cassesse was talking about how he was much younger he was compared to the rest of the cast as the first film was in production. This was one of his earliest films, and it’s interesting to realize Andrew, who at the time, wasn’t even a teenager, appeared in a movie containing nudity, sex, and panty raids. At one point, Curtis Armstrong brings up what was originally thought of as an attempt to cash-in on “Revenge of the Nerds.” This is now known as “King of the Nerds.” He and I basically agree that it is a show that definitely deserved lots of praise, and its passing is mourned every day. I’m trying to get it back though, and Curtis is well aware of that. Curtis also pointed out a “King of the Nerds” contestant was here at the con and he happened to attend the panel. By the way, that contestant is Colby Burnett, he’s a “Jeopardy!” champion whose combined winnings come out to $375,000. He talked about his time on the show and what it was like. I actually interacted with him before the panel, and this isn’t the first time I actually had a conversation with him, because we were once on a Google Hangout together. We talked about “Jeopardy!,” Austin Rogers, and other contestants. I wanted to talk to him one more time by the end of the con, but by the time I came up with something that I really wanted to discuss with him (“500 Questions”), he was nowhere to be found. Oh well! Nevertheless, the panel was a blast and I loved seeing these cast members come together.

Staying on the topic of the “Revenge of the Nerds” cast, I happened to meet Julia Montgomery, and when we met, it was almost like we were long lost cousins. You may know Julia Montgomery from “Revenge of the Nerds” as Betty Childs, a cheerleader and head of the Pi Delta Pi’s. We talked to each other, I ask her to sign an autograph. I also mention that she may know me from Twitter, and I happen to mention my name. She knew who I was and she said she comes across my stuff a lot. Just for the record, she follows me. She even called me “famous.” Oh yeah, if you want to join Julia in that club, be sure to search my handle, @JackDrees! When I met her on Friday, I forgot to take a photo, so I did it on Sunday. Julia Montgomery was not only nice and beautiful, but she also had a great fashion sense. Just look at what she’s wearing in the photo where I stand alongside her.

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Some of you might be wondering what this is here. Well, it’s basically everyone from “Revenge of the Nerds” who happened to be part of the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity. I’ve already talked about a couple of these people while I was focusing on a panel I attended. I didn’t go into full detail however, when I talked with them in person.

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Starting off with Andrew Cassesse, you may know him as Wormser. Cassesse appeared to be a nice guy, we shook hands, he gave me an autograph, we talked a little bit about the con, and we took a picture. It’s interesting to see his progression into an adult. I wonder how many people who have watched the “Revenge of the Nerds” films would recognize him now because in that movie he was very young and looked a bit different than he does when I walked up to him.

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This here is me with Brian Tochi, who you may know as Takashi. For those of you who happen to be big “Star Trek” fans, you might also recognize this guy from two episodes in the franchise. His earliest appearance was in the third season of “The Original Series” where he played Ray in “And the Children Shall Lead” and he also appeared in the fourth season of “The Next Generation” as Ensign Kenny Lin in “Night Terrors.” We talked for a short amount of time, he gave me an autograph, we took a photo, and I went off. When I went off, I actually managed to receive a sheet of paper detailing what this guy has done throughout his career.

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Right here we have Larry B. Scott. I met this fellow on Saturday, and I consider him to be a nice guy. It was almost the end of the con (as far as Saturday goes), so he said “You came in at the bottom of the ninth!” If you watched “Revenge of the Nerds,” you might know him as Lamar. I had a chat with him, he gave an autograph, we took a photo, and before I headed off, he asked if I’m coming to the after-party. I said I couldn’t because I wasn’t 21. He said “That’s OK, you’re still my friend though!” To me, that’s great, because I could use more friends. We’ll see if we run into each other again as “newfound friends.”

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Before we dive into this next photo, I will remind you that Julia Montgomery recognized my name based on her experience on Twitter and she happened to call me “famous.” This next person who you may recognize said the same thing. Although I’ll remind you that this is the second guest I ran into during the entire con, Julia was the fourth. When I was talking to Julia, and she exclaimed “You’re famous!” I shouted in a voice in a pitch higher than what I usually give off, “He said that!” Who’s he, you ask? Well, he is Robert Carradine, although I personally call him Bobby. He is one of the two hosts of “King of the Nerds” and when I walked up to him, I asked how he was doing, he said he was good, I went on saying I had a story to tell him, and I assure you this is true. I was vacationing in Delray Beach, Florida. There are barely any times I leave the New England area, but this wasn’t one that I personally enjoyed. The main parts I enjoyed was watching “King of the Nerds” because season 3 was happening. So I mention that one night I’m at a restaurant, I’m looking at my phone, and a notification pops up saying something along the lines of “@bobbyislewis is following you.” If you don’t know what @bobbyislewis is, that’s Robert Carradine’s Twitter handle. The name does make sense since Bobby plays Lewis in “Revenge of the Nerds.” That moment made my vacation. Yes, you can argue that there’s more to life than Twitter, but I was 15, and my Twitter life was just getting started. Robert guesses who I am with two words that part of me still can’t believe he uttered… “Jack Drees?” I get that I’m super active on Twitter, but for what I know, he barely goes on there! I’m just amazed he knows my name! I confirm I’m the guy he’s thinking of, he says I’m famous, and he asks how far up I am. I say to him “30 minutes north of Boston.” Although maybe he meant followers, I probably didn’t understand what he was going for during the conversation. I got an autograph from Bobby on Friday, and I took a photo with him on Sunday. This just goes to show how much one person’s dedication towards something, even after perhaps a good number of people had it erased from their memory, can pay off. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, I’m speaking of “King of the Nerds.”

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If you have followed this blog, you might already know about how much I admire “King of the Nerds.” You’d know that me talking about it here on this post isn’t necessarily a once in a blue moon event. “King of the Nerds” not only introduced me to Robert Carradine, but it also introduced me to Curtis Armstrong. My memory goes back far enough to seeing material containing Armstrong prior to “King of the Nerds,” specifically “Jingle All the Way,” but I didn’t even find out he was in that until months ago. Since we’ve been on the topic of “Revenge of the Nerds” the whole time, I might as well state Curtis plays the character of Dudley Dawson, but you can call him Booger. Let me just remind you, this isn’t the first time I met Curtis. I went to this same con during November 6-8 2015, and Curtis happened to be there all three days. I first met him on the second day because this con is large and there was an entire area which happened to be open that I didn’t even know about. I went back to him the final day saying he was the best part of the con. Then came July 12th, 2017. Curtis releases his new memoir, “Revenge of the Nerd,” great read by the way! There happened to be an event dedicated to it where Curtis talked about the book, it took place at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA. I happen to run into Curtis there, and he’s signing books for everyone who wants a signature. I already purchased a book, so I brought mine in case the autographs were bound to happen. It took a moment for him, but he recognized me. Now we’re here during the time of November 2017, it’s been a year since Donald Trump was elected, and there are still two controversial sides related to this, the Houston Astros won the World Series, and “Will & Grace” is now back on the air making new episodes! It’s also the time of my next meetup with Curtis. Instead of having to remind him of who I was, he recognized me instantaneously. He recognized me because I was wearing the same shirt I wore every time we met. In fact, a little something extra that could’ve helped, but also possibly didn’t matter, is that I was wearing the same sweatshirt I wore when we met for the first time. When he saw who I was he got up and hugged me. We talked for a moment, I told him I recently watched “Ray,” a movie he’s in, and I thought it was great. Curtis said he loved that movie. I ask him to sign an autograph, which was free by the way, I’m not trying to brag, I’m stating the truth. No fake news here! We take a photo, and I leave telling him I’ll see him at his panel, you know, the one I recently talked about. There was a point in my life where I considered Curtis to be an idol. I still do by the way, although based on our recent meetups, I consider him a friend. We may not hang out all the time. In fact, if he wanted to be alone I’d respect his privacy, I need plenty of alone time so I can understand someone else feeling the same way. I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done. By the way, if you’re weirded out by the photo of me alongside him, let me just say that I have no idea what I’m doing either. I can just tell you I’m not impersonating Booger during the belching contest in “Revenge of the Nerds.”

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If I had any other disappointments to list, it would be that I didn’t get to meet John O’Hurley, who didn’t really show up all that much despite having his name on the guest list. Although overall, I’m inevitably coming back to Rhode Island Comic Con for another year. If there are any guests that I would suggest bringing to the con (that weren’t there this year), I’d say that a few of my requests are Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory, Hitch), Ezra Miller (Justice League, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), and Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand by Me). This convention was organized by Altered Reality, who also does conventions including ComiCONN, which is a convention that occurs once a year in the state of Connecticut. They also do Terror Con, which also occurs in the Rhode Island Convention Center, but has a dedication towards horror as opposed to comics. There’s also Colorado Springs Comic Con, which takes place in Colorado Springs, CO. And a new convention will be popping up next year called Empire State Comic Con. This new convention will take place in the Albany Capital Center in Albany, NY. One guest has already been announced, Jason David Frank, and based on what these guys have done for Rhode Island Comic Con, I’d say for some folks this could be worth checking out.

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Thanks for reading this post and thanks to Rhode Island Comic Con for providing a wonderful experience for me. It wasn’t perfect, but I hope my criticisms would help you in next year’s organization. I would like to thank the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds,” Christopher Lloyd, some of the lovely people from Channel Awesome, all of those people for providing me a great time. What will the next con be? Who knows? The Empire State Comic Con I just mentioned sounds somewhat intriguing. Maybe PAX East, maybe when Super Megafest announces their next convention, we’ll have to see. Although a little note to conventions, I want to come to you, and I know you want me there. So if you want me there, leave a comment below, send me an Email (visit my contact page), and I’ll see what I can do. As far as upcoming reviews go, I am hopefully going to see “Justice League” this weekend, but it’s not a certainty yet. Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to ask, did YOU go to Rhode Island Comic Con? What did you think about it? What did you do there? Have you gone in years before this one? OR what conventions do you want me to cover in the future? Let me know down below in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks, and with a thanks to @ClareKramer having this tweet up, let me leave this little moment from the “Revenge of the Nerds” panel down below for you all to look at.

 

What the Heck is Up with Justice League (2017)?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Last weekend we got a new movie from Marvel Studios, specifically “Thor: Ragnarok,” and while many people, including myself, say that Marvel has proven to create excellent films, there are also many that say DC, isn’t like Marvel. Now, I will say this, I saw “Wonder Woman” in the theater this year, and as of now, I actually think I like that movie better than any of the movies released thus far in the MCU. Based on Marvel’s past records and reception, it’s guaranteed that “Thor: Ragnarok” will be a box office success and a likable movie according to many viewers. Now the real question I have is, can DC deliver on the same thing?

As much audiences and critics loved “Wonder Woman,” not everyone thought movies like “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and “Suicide Squad” were worth watching. Also, this upcoming “Justice League” movie is being directed by Zack Snyder, who I haven’t seen GREAT films from yet, but many people like him for his work on “Watchman” and “300.” I haven’t seen “Watchman,” but I have seen “300.” If you ask me, I enjoyed “300,” I thought it was a visually stunning movie with a very fitting vibe, some great music, but it ultimately rounded out to a 7/10 experience for me. I’ve also seen “Sucker Punch,” which like “300” is visually appealing, although not as good. However there’s one action sequence in that movie that was f*cking amazing! Zack Snyder’s films, from memory, don’t usually have much substance, but a good amount of style interjected into them. That style has worked for our eyes even in the DCEU (Detective Comics Extended Universe), the way the action is shot in “Man of Steel” is extremely exhilarating to the point that even Doug Walker, AKA Channel Awesome’s Nostalgia Critic, someone who in a video said “‘MAN OF STEEL’ SUCKS!”, said that the action in the movie was super awesome and felt like “Dragonball.” In “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” part of the movie was shot in the IMAX format, which looked great when presented on IMAX screens. Interestingly, when the movie came out on home video, the aspect ratio changes which were shown in IMAX theaters, weren’t shown on the home video version. The movie is also full of eye candy visuals all over the place. Not to mention, Wikipedia suggests “Batman v. Superman” is the 7th most expensive movie ever made, which is tied with “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and “The Fate of the Furious.” Zack Snyder isn’t the only one who has a major say in the production of “Justice League” however…

If you have seen or heard “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” you may know those movies were directed by Joss Whedon, who is also known for creating the TV shows “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly,” both of which have received followings from nerds over the years. Whedon is also involved with “Justice League’s” post-production and that’s because Zack Snyder’s daughter died after committing suicide. This happened March 20th, 2017, and this lead to Snyder initially hiring Whedon to take over. Speaking of replacements, when it came to the movie’s score, Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool), who also did part of the score with Hans Zimmer for “Batman v. Superman,” was originally hired to do “Justice League’s” score, however Joss Whedon hired Danny Elfman to take his place. This does make a lick of sense if you think about it, because Elfman has worked with Whedon in the past during “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” If you ask me, that score wasn’t very good. Nothing stood out about it except for the end of the movie when the theme you hear from the first “Avengers” film pops up, which wasn’t even an original piece from Elfman, that was done by Alan Silvestri, who also did another score I admire, specifically “Night at the Museum.” Now, I like Danny Elfman. The man’s done some of my favorite scores (Spider-Man trilogy, Oz the Great and Powerful), but given the vibe we’ve seen from this universe thus far, and having heard Elfman’s past scores, I seriously wonder how the music would go with the movie in terms of meshing together properly. Although this might be good for “Batman” fans, because reports have come up lately that his theme for Batman will be in the upcoming “Justice League” movie. You know, the one audiences first heard back in 1989. Also, this might be interesting for “Superman” fans as well because another report came out suggesting that his score will feature a dark twist on the iconic “Superman” theme, originally done by John Williams. As interesting as that is, the future, as far as this movie goes, seems shaky. But on a positive note, specifically for myself, the music we’ve gotten in the Detective Comics Extended Universe thus far is miles better than most of the music in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s hard to know what to expect from this film, considering you have multiple minds taking control of it. You have Zack Snyder’s and you have Joss Whedon’s, whose mind came into play during post-production. In fact, I’ve seen a change in terms of the vision when it comes to the film’s look as a whole. I went to YouTube and took screenshots of a similar part of both the trailer released in March and the most recently released trailer. In the trailer released in March, the sky looks dark and blue, whereas in the latest trailer it looks fiery and red. Just compare the scene where Aquaman is car surfing and see what I mean. Two different visions might ruin the movie and affect it significantly. Not to mention, it just begs a ton of questions. These include “How much has changed?” “Why was there change?” “How will the changes affect the final product?” If you ask me, Joss Whedon can direct better stories than Zack Snyder whereas Zack Snyder is better with style. This movie has reportedly gotten reshoots since Whedon took over, so maybe the original product had not much story and it’s possible that Whedon could be changing that. Although there was another movie that has gotten reshoots in the DCEU that while it ended up pleasing certain people, it couldn’t make everyone happy, specifically “Suicide Squad.” There’s a good chance that the reshoots might not end up paying off and leaving certain people rather unsatisfied with the results. Also, what if these reshoots are making this movie a simple carbon copy of “The Avengers?” I ask that because Whedon directed that movie and if you think about it, in fact if you know the material you don’t even have to think about it, they’re very similar in terms of concept.

Speaking of shooting troubles, let’s talk about Henry Cavill. It was reported that he would be in the movie, but at the same time, it was also reported that he was shooting for “Mission: Impossible 6” which is set to come out in 2018. In fact when he was shooting “Mission: Impossible 6,” his role required him to have a beard. He had to go back and forth between productions, which by the way, different studios are behind the two films. Paramount is behind “Mission: Impossible” and Warner Bros. is behind Justice League. Cavill couldn’t shave his beard during his time working on “Justice League” so essentially it was removed digitally during post production. That’s pretty much all I’ll say about him because if I go on with certain thoughts related to Cavill, it would spoil “Batman v. Superman.”

Speaking of actors in this movie, let’s talk about Ben Affleck. A lot of people like Ben Affleck, both as an actor and a director. Here he’s acting as Batman, which going into “Batman v. Superman,” some people were worried about, but as audiences walked out, they actually didn’t mind his interpretation. Although some might wonder what the future is going to be for this man. You may be aware of the whole Harvey Weinstein fiasco going on at the moment. You know, the sexual harassment scandal. Turns out that Affleck is chums with Weinstein and he made a tweet containing the image below:

Fun fact about this tweet, someone noticed it, that someone being Rose McGowan, she called Affleck a liar, because he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s actions. She later tweeted “Ben Affleck fuck off.” I will say though, there is a time that she took this kind of case too far, when it came to another person who tweeted about this, Ryan Gosling. He tweeted saying he felt bad about everything that’s going on, and she quote tweeted Ryan’s tweet saying this: “you could at least do us the courtesy saying our names.” My response, just be thankful. Ryan Gosling is trying to remind people this is a serious issue and this is his way of doing it. It’s like saying every single birthday card must have a gift certificate inside it, otherwise it’s not a birthday card. Although in all seriousness, this is literally where we are at! A cinematic universe’s biggest star caught in a scandal that’s larger than the Mall of America! It doesn’t even end there, in the wake of this, several people have called out on Affleck for sexually harassing them. For example, in 2003, he groped Hilarie Burton’s breasts on MTV’s “TRL.” Another example is during a Golden Globes party in 2014 with Annamarie Tendler. On October 11 of this year, she made the following tweets:

As far as other cast members go, they’re not exactly involved in any of this Harvey Weinstein business, but this is a serious matter. Ben Affleck has such a major role in the DCEU, so he’ll either be kept around, which I think might result in slight controversy at the very least, or he’ll be fired, needing to find a new actor to play Batman. After all, this universe’s Batman is getting a standalone film directed by Matt Reeves, director of “Cloverfield” and this year’s “War for the Planet of the Apes.” Not to mention, Jason Momoa, the fellow playing Aquaman, was recently under a similar situation. You may or may not know he happened to be Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones,” otherwise known as the one reason many people either subscribe to HBO, or the one reason some people pirate it. Jason Momoa attended a San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2011, which was for “Game of Thrones.” He said at one point that he loved the show because he got to “rape beautiful women.” Based on what I’ve read, this is a much smaller case than Harvey Weinstein’s super-sized scandal, but it is something that many would consider a distasteful comment. Although to be fair, he did apologize for it.

Next up, you have the release date. This film is being released on November 17, 2017, which is two weeks after “Thor: Ragnarok.” That movie owned the box office on its opening weekend. It soared past the first “Thor” at an 84% increase, and also flew by “Thor: The Dark World” at a 41% increase. As far as the US goes, this is the fourth largest opening of the year. There’s a chance that while this movie is out, people might still be thinking about “Thor: Ragnarok.” Plus, people in general have gone to see Marvel movies and liked Marvel movies as opposed to DC movies. This takes us into an interesting battle: “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” vs. “Captain America: Civil War.” Both movies had heroes fighting against each other and despite the fact that two of DC’s most popular heroes were duking it out in a fight that many fans have waited to see for years in a live action movie, “Captain America: Civil War” ended up making more money. According to Box Office Mojo, “Captain America: Civil War” is in the top 3 films, in terms of gross, released in 2016, with a total of $408,084,349 domestically and $1,153,304,495 worldwide. “Batman v. Superman” earned a spot as the highest grossing film released by Warner Bros. in 2016, and it made it to the #7 spot in terms of all films for the particular year. That film’s total gross came out to $330,360,194 domestically and $873,260,194 worldwide. Now there are multiple factors that could have contributed. People seemed to give more positive reception towards “Civil War,” which in my opinion it deserves. Although I will say the audience score for “Batman v. Superman” on Rotten Tomatoes is at 63%, which is a positive score. However the critic score is much lower at a total of 27%. Compared to “Captain America: Civil War,” both scores are lower. The audience score and critic score are nearly identical for “Civil War” with the audience one being 89% and the critic score being 90%. By the way, Rotten Tomatoes in general should be taken into consideration since it is a source that a good number of moviegoers seem to rely on before they decide whether or not a movie is worth their time and money. There’s a possible chance that more families went to see “Civil War” as well, which I wouldn’t be too surprised by considering Marvel has shown to advertise themselves as slightly more family friendly than some DC films. Also keep in mind there are more heroes in “Civil War.” While “Batman v. Superman” has two heroes in a fight, a mega-throwdown is a crucial part to “Captain America: Civil War.” “Batman v. Superman” has Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman interjected in there. “Captain America: Civil War” has Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, Vision, Rhodes, Bucky (yes, he counts here), Scarlet Witch, plus the introductions of this universe’s interpretations of Black Panther and Spider-Man. The biggest thing that triggered people like me to go to this movie aside from being in the MCU is that Spider-Man was in the movie! Also, he was being played by a teenager! Plus, you gotta consider, Marvel’s owned by Disney, the creator of Scrooge McDuck, and as of now, a literal Scrooge McDuck. Maybe the world is used to Marvel movies, know they’re good according to personal opinions, and have less to say about DC. Also, there’s a possibility that certain individuals ended up seeing the movie more than once during its theatrical run. I will admit, I was one of those people. I went on opening night and I went again during its third weekend. I didn’t see “Batman v. Superman” twice in the theater, I did however watch it more times overall compared to “Captain America: Civil War” when I bought the Blu-ray. Speaking of weekends, “Batman v. Superman” also suffered a significant box office drop from its first to second weekend. The total drop happened to be 69.1% (not counting Thursday previews), compared to 1997’s “Batman & Robin,” which dropped 63.3% from the first to second weekend. I’ll remind you, “Batman & Robin” is a movie considered by an enormous number of people to be the worst “Batman” film ever made, and quite possibly the worst, if not one of the worst comic book films ever made. You never know what could happen. Maybe people will see it. Maybe people will like it. Although there is a good chance that if this movie fails to impress people, it could drop dramatically, in a result that’s possibly worse than “Batman v. Superman,” because if the world has taught us anything about movies and opening weekends, comic book movies are the bomb. Not to mention more money is given towards it if more than one hero is part of the story, unless we’re talking about a movie I’ll mention in just a moment. Also less people will go see it the more negativity they hear about it. In 2015, “Fantastic Four” was widely disliked and that also suffered a tremendous drop from the first to second weekend. To be specific, it turned out to be 68.2%. Also, I won’t go into much detail about this because it’s kind of in assumption territory, but I wonder how many people are avoiding this because they think we don’t need “another Marvel deal.”

Another thing that has some people worried, including myself, is that as of now, no reviews of this film have been put out yet, and there’s a reason for that. The review embargo doesn’t lift until the day before the movie comes out, specifically November 16th. Let’s compare this to other movies based on comic books. The “Logan” review embargo was lifted on February 15th, 2017, which was multiple weeks before the movie released and that movie is considered by many to be one of this year’s best films. “Thor: Ragnarok’s” release date was placed two weeks prior to the one for “Justice League,” specifically November 3, 2017. The embargo for that movie was lifted on October 19th, two weeks prior to opening night. Many people praised that film and commercials even stated by MCU standards, it’s the best reviewed movie yet. 2015’s “Fantastic Four” had its review embargo lifted August 6th, which was the day before the film came out. So “Justice League” ultimately has something in common with a film that was considered terrible by comic book fans, terrible by average moviegoers, and may as well have just been for Fox to just keep the rights to the franchise so it doesn’t go to Marvel Studios. There was a point this year where I thought based on my personal tastes, “Thor: Ragnarok” was going to be slaughtered by “Justice League,” but now I’m increasingly thinking the opposite. The production for this film is so clunky that it makes the production for “Suicide Squad” look like a walk in the park! The trailers have evidence of used footage which has been changed from one trailer to the other! And in the end it almost feels like some of this is just being rushed!

I can describe my current excitement for “Justice League” in the same way I did at a point for “Thor: Ragnarok.” I’m excited, but also worried. Part of me really wants to enjoy this movie because it’s “Justice League.” You’ve got all the DC heroes coming together, the effects look good, the casting choices are stellar! However the behind the scenes stuff and the review embargo news makes me apprehensive. I also wonder what certain theaters are going to do now that Ben Affleck is constantly being called out for his actions related to sexual abuse, not to mention I wonder how audiences will react to this movie now that this is going on. If this movie fails, the DCEU might die hard and that would personally be disappointing news because I wanted to see what Warner Brothers would do with a cinematic universe related to DC Comics. Also, I want to see more work from Gal Gadot. Although if I could make a suggestion, if Affleck is fired, I’d like Warner to ask Christian Bale if he would like to return as the caped crusader. On a lighter note, let’s talk about a convention.

This weekend, specifically November 10-12, I will be in Providence, RI for this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con! I will be going all three days, Friday through Sunday. This will be taking place at the Rhode Island Convention Center, the Dunkin Donuts Center, and a hint of the Omni Providence hotel. I’ll be walking around the convention, making purchases, attending panels, all that jazz. I’ll even make a post documenting my time at the convention for you all to read if you’re interested in checking that out. This convention is dedicated to comic books, movies, and TV. You’ll be seeing a good number of artists there, not to mention vendors, but you’ll also run into a ton of celebrities. Some of the headliners include William Shatner, Elijah Wood, Michael Colter, Mark Ruffalo, Ian McDiarmid, Jerome Flynn, Dave Bautista, and Norman Reedus. There will also be some music related guests including Gene Simmons and Al Yankovic. What I’m personally most excited for is the “Revenge of the Nerds” reunion, where several cast members from “Revenge of the Nerds” will be coming to the con, signing autographs, doing photo ops, and will be talking at a panel together. This is gonna be sick! If you want to find me at Rhode Island Comic Con, you do need a ticket to get in, they are still on sale by the way, and chances are you might see me in blue sunglasses. This is my third year in a row going to this event, it’s a lot of fun, I highly recommend it, and I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading this post, hope to see you at the convention this weekend if you can make it and if you can’t make it, that’s fine. Also, if you are part of a convention or convention organization and want me to review a con related to it, either comment or email me! I do have a contact page so don’t be shy. Stay tuned for more reviews and posts! Also, how do you feel about this buildup to “Justice League?” Worried? Calm? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Terrificon 2017 Review and Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you have followed this blog recently, you may be aware of me going to a convention called Terrificon, it is a convention dedicated to comics, superheroes, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and to the world’s misfortune, fidget spinners. The convention went from Friday, which was August 18, to Sunday, which was August 20. I was there Friday and Saturday, I had quite a bit of fun and I can’t really say I have many complaints about it.

As far as guests go, it’s your usual situation there, you’ve got your celebrities, your artists, and your vendors. I didn’t really see too many artists, however I recall my sister interacting with a number of them. When it comes to celebrities, the convention had people such as Burt Ward (TV Batman, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders), Lee Merriweather (TV Batman, Barnaby Jones), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Gilmore Girls), Chris Sullivan (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, This is Us), Shannon Purser (Riverdale, Stranger Things), Finn Jones (The Defenders, Game of Thrones), Jessica Henwick (The Defenders, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Benedict Samuel (Gotham, The Walk). A number of the vendors were local, the ones I bought items from were NY Collectibles from Bronx, NY, The Dragon’s Lair from Wallingford, CT, Festival Flea Market Mall from Pompano Beach, FL, Greg White Comics from Kissimmee, FL (believe that’s the correct info), and Fuzzy Fish Inc from an unknown location (There’s one in Tybee Island, GA but I highly doubt that’s even close to the correct info, who knows I might even have the wrong name.).

Throughout I met three celebrity guests, Chris Sullivan, Shannon Purser, and Violet Beane. For Chris Sullivan, I actually met him alone, we shook hands, and I took a photo with him. The photo cost $30, which I ALMOST forgot to pay because after taking the picture, I got so close to just walking away! I would have likely ended up feeling guilty if I did. I had a good laugh with Chris and a guy near him about it. Also, before we took the photo, I talked to him about “This Is Us,” a show on NBC which he plays the character of Tim. I don’t watch the show, but my grandfather does, we actually talked a bit before I went down to the con, and my grandfather told me to tell him he was angry to never find out something that some viewers may be mad about me saying because it sounds like it is in spoiler territory.

The next celebrity guest I’ll bring up is Violett Beane. My sister watches CW’s “The Flash,” I don’t commit to many TV shows, so I don’t watch it at the moment, heard good things though. She’s on there and she plays the character of Jesse Wells. My sister got an autograph from her and she was asked if she was excited for the new season. She responded saying she was, and I, being the party pooper I was, had to admit I don’t watch the show. I didn’t say I didn’t LIKE it, I said I didn’t WATCH it. I asked Violett if I should start watching, she said yes like I was stupid. I didn’t hate her for the way she said it, she may have been dumbfounded with me, but it was understandable. Plus it was almost like she said it with a hint of swag. Hate that word! For the record, I would watch it, but I’m in the middle of “Star Trek: TOS,” “Firefly,” and I need to also catch up on “The Goldbergs” and “Kevin Can Wait.” I’ll remind you, I review MOVIES, which takes away from TV.

And finally for the celebrities, we’re gonna dive into Shannon Purser, hehe, that kind of sounds like a sexual innuendo. You may know Shannon as Barb from “Stranger Things,” another show I heard good things about and don’t watch. This time I have a better defense, which is the fact that I don’t use Netflix. I went with my sister to Purser’s table, she got some custom art signed, and Purser said a few kind words about my sister’s “Doctor Who” t-shirt.

For the convention itself, this took place in the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville, CT. The center itself is nice, and it looks fancier than other convention centers I’ve seen. This was especially noticeable with the floor and ceiling. The venue is a decent size, and there weren’t many crowds pushing each other. While the whole center isn’t exactly big, it’s definitely good enough for a convention like this. Everything seemed to be organized and clean, so I can’t give many complaints there. I didn’t go to the second floor, but there were panels and professional photo ops being done there. The first floor had the ballroom and the pre-function lobby, where a few comic artists and all the celebrity guests were. There were barely lines for anything whatsoever, and the only people that had crowd control barriers leading up to them were Burt Ward, Lee Merriweather, and Dean Cain.

Now, let’s dive into some of stuff I got at the con. First off, I got a couple license plates. They happen to be the original “Ghostbusters” Ecto-1 license plate and a license plate that said “Assman,” which you would know about if you saw “Seinfeld.”

These two license plates came from the shop which I assumed was “Fuzzy Fish Inc,” I currently don’t have any pictures or promotions to prove what I just said. I’m just going from memory and what the program map tells me based on where I remember walking around in the convention center. I mentioned the Ecto-1 license plate from the original “Ghostbusters,” but they also have the Ecto-1 license specifically from “Ghostbusters II” and the one from “Ghostbusters” 2016, or as I like to call it, “Ghostf*ckers” 2016, because the people behind this film f*cked it up so much and may have f*cked up what was so good about the 1984 “Ghostbusters.” OK, that actually sounds like a terrible nickname because that almost sounds like a porno, let’s go with “Ghostsuckers” 2016, because the movie sucks so much that it shouldn’t have been made or even thought of to begin with. Oh wait a darn minute! Sucking is what some people do during sex to a penis! Gah! Forget what I said about Shannon Purser, THOSE, are sexual innuendos! The store also has “Outatime” license plates, which you may recognize from “Back to the Future” as a license plate for the DeLorean. I actually own one of those, it’s in my room, and I’m gonna put these two plates next to it.

I got one video game at the con, it’s “Kingdom Hearts II.” I own the first game, so I figured why not get the sequel. The game cost ten bucks which I wouldn’t consider a bad deal considering how revered this game is by the gaming community. I also saw the first game for twenty bucks, but I already own it, so I saved myself some money there. This came from NY Collectibles in Bronx, NY. I actually talked to a guy who was checking out the game for me, he pointed out how scratched the game disc was, and believe me, it was scratched like hell. The scratches made me somewhat skeptical of whether or not I should actually buy this game, but then he assured me that the disc was playable. I believed him. I haven’t tried it out, but we’ll see what happens in the future. After he gave me his assurance, I said, “Well, you aren’t GameStop.” Granted, I like GameStop and I do shop there occasionally, but I hear gamers sometimes give a lot of crap about them. The guy went on saying he went to a GameStop once and he saw a disc that was so scratched it was unplayable. I said I POSSIBLY could relate, and now that I think about it, I can relate. Because in 2012, I got “The Bigs” for the Xbox 360, it’s a baseball video game and it’s kind of fun. I now own the PS2 version, which I have played occasionally. The disc was so scratched that I returned it the next day and ended up not getting another copy of the game, but instead getting a copy of “The Bigs 2.” Interestingly enough, the disc now has a circular scratch, which is likely to be my fault from once tilting the Xbox 360. I mean, I get why gamers don’t like GameStop, they only carry newer console titles, even though that’s what you find in places like Walmart, Target, or Best Buy, they are extremely corporate, meaning that you can find them everywhere, so it’s basically the McDonald’s of video game stores, and they will literally pay you nothing for selling your games. Speaking of games…

At the con, I purchased my favorite card game of all time, “Cards Against Humanity.” This was purchased at The Dragon’s Lair from Wallingford, CT for a price over $40. For your information, you can get this game for a cheaper price in other stores. Target sells it for $25 for example. For those of you who don’t know what “Cards Against Humanity” is, take “Apples to Apples,” forbid the children from joining in on the fun, and top it off with a vibe you’d find in “Sausage Party.” This game is not for kids, I play it a lot online with friends, and I laugh my ass off every single time. Although another difference between this and “Apples to Apples” is instead of associating the player’s cards with adjectives, these are fill in the blank associations. If you haven’t played the game I highly recommend it. It’s fun with friends, it might be awkward with family though, although my mom actually wanted to play this with me and I’m more than happy to let her play with me if the opportunity ever comes up. I mean, as far as nontraditional mother-son events go, this is one I’d rather do than watch “Fifty Shades of Grey,” not because of the sex and kinky scenes, but because how poorly received it was. I wouldn’t even want to watch “Fifty Shades Darker” either because I heard that’s as much of a s*itshow as “Fifty Shades of Grey.” And no! I’m not reviewing it! I already reviewed “The Emoji Movie” for you all, consider that a favor! We’ll see what happens in the future.

I also picked up four posters. Where did I pick them up? To my knowledge, I believe the place was Greg White Comics. This place had a ton of small posters, a lot of which I remember were from “Star Wars,” “Spaceballs,” and “Terminator.” Speaking of “Star Wars” and “Spaceballs,” those were two of the posters I picked up. As far as other posters I got, I got one for “Blues Brothers” and “Family Guy,” specifically, one that was a parody of the original “Star Wars” movie. You know how during season 6 the first episode was an hour long parody of the original “Star Wars?” Well this poster is associated with that. By the way, if you haven’t seen that episode, please watch it, even if you aren’t a “Star Wars” fan you’ll laugh. The “Blues Brothers” poster, from what I can tell, is foreign, which I actually didn’t notice until looking at it as I’m writing this. I saw this poster on IMDb, but something weird I noticed about it is that it said the movie was rated PG, and the poster I purchased said the movie was rated PG-13. By the way, I Googled what the rating was, and it was PG. Last but not least is for “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” or in this case, “Revenge of the Jedi.” If you are a hardcore “Star Wars” fan, a collector, or possibly alive during the eighties, you may be aware that before “Return of the Jedi” was released to the public, it was at one point going to be called “Revenge of the Jedi.” The store I got these from had a good deal where you could get four posters for twenty bucks, so why would I NOT get these four posters?!

I also picked up a couple t-shirts, t-shirts which in fact I can’t wait to wear. These were sold by comedian and actress from the Nickelodeon show “Every Witch Way,” Lisa Corrao. Seeing her in person, I had no idea who she was, then I Googled her to find out she was forty-two. I couldn’t even tell she was forty-two, she actually looked like she was in her twenties. It’s kind of like Julia-Louis Dreyfus, the older she gets, the younger she looks, at least to me when looking at her in real life. I purchased two shirts which were twenty bucks each, one which said “Jar Jar Stinks” and another which said “You’re not Groot.” The first shirt, if you can’t tell, is making fun of the obnoxiously horrible “Star Wars” character known as Jar Jar Binks, which may be the worst thing about the prequel trilogy, possibly rivaled by midichlorians, Anakin and Padme’s forced romance, the fact that Samuel L. Jackson never got to scream like crazy, Hayden Christensen’s performance, or Jake Lloyd’s performance. I always thought of the phrase “Jar Jar Stinks” as a nickname in my daily life and I’m glad to a see a shirt that says the same, although at the same time, I wanted to be the one to make it. You’d know what the second would mean if you know what “Guardians of the Galaxy” is, or at the very least, if you know who Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy” is. You may know the only thing he says is “I am Groot,” and when he says it, it’s in that order. So instead of saying, “I am Groot,” the shirt says “You’re not Groot.”

Corrao also gave me a free autograph, which was also the only autograph I got at the con. I pay for a good number of autographs when I go to cons, so the fact that this was free was awesome. If the autograph was given only because I bought shirts, it’s still worth it in my book.

This con, if you didn’t know was also paying tribute to Adam West, who you may know from TV’s “Batman” as Batman, and from “Family Guy” as Mayor West. There was a lot to see when it came to “Batman.” There was a Batmobile, a Batcopter, the rope you’d see for batclimbing, a Batsignal, a Bat Kiddie Ride, a Batboat, and a Batcycle. Around the area where all of these battacular objects were, the sixtes “Batman” theme was playing in the background. There was also a screening of the 1966 “Batman” movie. I didn’t attend it, I personally I’m fine with not attending it, although I could imagine attending it would have been fun. Not to mention you have Lee Merriweather, who played Catwoman along with Burt Ward, who played Robin. The two of them were also at the screening and they even did a Q&A.

That pretty much completes my review and purchase analysis of Terrrificon 2017, I wouldn’t mind coming back next year when they do this again on August 17-19. One difference between this year and next year is that this is gonna be in a bigger space which is also in Mohegan Sun. Next year, instead of being in the Mohegan Sun Convention Center, this is going to be in the Mohegan Sun Exposition Center, which is cuurrently being built and is set to open in summer 2018. The center will have three times the space of the Mohegan Sun Convention Center, allowing more people to fit in. So I want to know, did you go to Terrificon, how was it? What did you do there? Did you buy anything? Leave a comment below, and I assure you, I do read them. Also, pretty soon I’m hoping to review “The Glass Castle,” but only time will tell when I actually get around to it. Stay tuned for more reviews, and if you guys want me to check out any cons, let me know about that down below! Also, cons, weird request, if you want me at your con either to review it, or less likely, as a guest, notify me! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!