New York Comic Con 2018 Review/Haul

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It’s time to go over perhaps not just one of the biggest events I’ve attended all year, not just one of the biggest events I attended ever, but one of the biggest THINGS I’ve ever attended. A couple weeks ago I’ve been given the absolute privilege to go to New York Comic Con. A friend of mine who I have known for a few years decided to go all out for a graduation gift and give me the most badass thing ever. Given this post, you might be able to guess I got Comic-Con tickets. This is my first time at New York Comic Con, and my second time in New York throughout my life. My tickets were for Friday and Sunday, two out of four days the convention goes on for. As far as my Saturday went, I happened to go around New York City with my mother, but that’s irrelevant here. If you want my thoughts on that, it was fun, end of story. Now let’s focus on New York Comic Con.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

New York Comic Con is a yearly event held in New York, NY’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. As far as attendees go, these conventions usually get somewhere in the six digit range. According to Wikipedia, over 180,000 people attended this very convention in 2016. This year, many celebrities were present from ranges in entertainment, literature, gaming, and comics. The show’s basement has an ENORMOUS Artist Alley, but let me make it clear, I didn’t investigate any further into it. I also didn’t go to any panels, but there were some I would have gone to if I had the time or greater motivation. One was the “Mortal Engines” panel, but I couldn’t get in because once it started, I actually wasn’t in the convention center yet. However throughout my visit I did a bunch of other things that were definitely enjoyable. There is so much to go over when it comes to what New York Comic Con has that it is so easy to say that I am not gonna be able to hit all of it. But all of the highlights I did hit, I’ll document them here. Let’s start this off by going over some purchases.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This first section relates heavily to what I do here at Scene Before. These con posts, I just do them as a hobby. I don’t get invited to cons. It would be nice if I had a chance to promote this site there at some booth or something though. As most of my followers probably already know, my main dedication goes toward movie reviewing. This is probably the con that I’ve gone to that relates closest to movies than any other. I say that because while some cons I go to I am well aware that they have those movies and TV shows that you can’t really buy in other stores (this con has that too), there is one space in this con that is actually a movie store, and that is FYE. I will say though, this is not my first time seeing an FYE at a con. At Rhode Island Comic Con, FYE actually happened to be present every year I went.

1479155353549

In fact in 2016, I actually managed to buy a piece of wall art from there which had Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman on it. I got it signed the next day for very low price of $125. That is $15 cheaper than a professional photo op alongside her.

Although when I went to that FYE, movies were not a priority. Sure, last year I remember seeing a bunch of Japanese anime-related film material. Although I usually don’t seek out anime. This year at New York Comic Con, they decided to show off some Funko Pop Vinyls, including exclusives from FYE and believe it or not, San Diego Comic Con. They also had their exclusive food such as 10th Anniversary MCU cereal, Breaking Bad blue meth, and because the game apparently is still relevant enough to be a thing, Five Nights At Freddy’s cereal. I didn’t buy any food however. Instead, I did buy a few movies. One of the exclusive steelbooks they had happened to be an early purchase of mine on Friday, which was the “Iron Giant” steelbook. I have seen “The Iron Giant” before on TV, however I have never owned it. It’s a really good movie and definitely showcases the absolute talent of director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol). Speaking of exclusive steelbooks, I went back on Sunday and they still had plenty of steelbooks to choose from. They had a bunch of horror related ones, after all it is October, so I went in and got a couple. I picked up the FYE exclusive of John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” which I already watched, and it is pretty much like the 35th anniversary edition. They do have a 4K edition of the movie which came out recently around the same time as this copy did. I never got that, but I went to Best Buy the day after getting home from New York and they had it for a cheaper price. Wah. I also picked up “Halloween II,” more specifically, the Scream Factory steelbook for it. This is also my second possession from Scream Factory. My other Scream Factory product by the way is a steelbook copy of “They Live,” which I purchased a matter of months before I attended this event. Much like “They Live,” this steelbook has only 10,000 copies. It includes the theatrical cut and the TV cut. The TV cut has additional footage which has not been seen in the theatrical cut.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Another purchase at FYE was an exclusive Funko, specifically one of Iron Man in “Avengers: Infinity War.” They had a decent selection of Funkos lined up, but Iron Man was the way to go for me. After all, when it comes to superheroes, “Iron Man” is easily up there as one of my all time favorites, Robert Downey Jr does a great job as the character and his screen presence is nothing short of a crowd pleaser. Although I’m surprised they didn’t make the label “Iron Man (Unmasked)” or “Iron Man/Tony Stark” because you can see his face. And like most of my other Pops, it’s still in the box. Speaking of which, I also happened to buy a Pop protector case. No, I am not using it for this Pop, because when I came home from the con, I went to the mall and stopped inside Thinkgeek. They had an E3 exclusive (also available in GameStop stores) of King Dice from the video game “Cuphead.” As of now, that is inside the protection case. For those of you who want to know more information about this FYE, I will have you know that the receipt actually lists the information for an actual FYE store out there. Similar to how at Rhode Island Comic Con I bought an item there and it tells me that the store happened to be from the Auburn Mall in Auburn, MA. This item is actually from the FYE at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, NY. This mall is located on Long Island and is owned by Simon.

Speaking of places you can get movies, I actually happened to come upon a stand which I happened to recognize. It’s not a store, and it’s not for a particular person either. Instead, it was for a motion picture studio by the name of Magnet. For those of you who don’t know, Magnet Releasing is actually associated Magnolia Pictures, a studio founded in 2001. Magnet believe it or not is a name that is often associated with Magnolia’s genre and foreign films. I bought two movies at the stand, specifically “Marrowbone” and “RBG.” “Marrowbone,” or as it is referred to on IMDb, “The Secret of Marrowbone,” is about a man and three younger siblings who are cursed in a manor which they live. “RBG” is a documentary on the life of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. So one movie is about something that is haunting a house and the other is basically about a woman you can basically picture as a spirit in said haunted house.

I mean, just look at her! That open mouth will contribute to haunting your nightmares!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Also, because I picked up two films, I got a free t-shirt that came with them. Yippee! As you can see, it has the Magnolia Pictures logo on a field of black. That was also the only t-shirt I picked up at the con. However I almost went ahead and picked up a New York Comic Con shirt because I feel like out of all the cons I’ve gone to in my life, this is the one that I would most likely buy a self-promoting t-shirt from. Not everybody wants to promote the fact that they went to Terrificon. Not many people have even heard of Terrificon! I’m not bashing against Terrificon, I went this year and I had more fun than I once expected to. By the way, if you haven’t thought about it already, go to Terrificon next year.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

My next purchase to go over is a Funko Pop Vinyl which happens to be retired. About a month I went into the New England-based nerd culture store Newbury Comics, they had a 25% off sale going around the store. I took heavy advantage of that. One of the purchases I made there was a Pac-Man Pop. Appropriately, when I saw that a place had a Pop for Ms. Pac-Man, I was intrigued. That place by the way was called Shorething Collectibles, which is based in Pennsylvania. They are a family owned business that sells Funko Pops, plush toys, and home goods.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Moving onto another purchase I made, there was this one place that went by the name of Omakase Images. They can be found online at http://omakase-ltd.squarespace.com/, and they specialize in nerdy art with a slightly religious touch. My purchase happened to be a magnet that says “SAINT NEIL: THE INQUIRING.” As you can see in the picture above, it shows Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which I think is just plain cool because it kind of suggests that science and religion have come together. Two ideas that never seem to mesh together, happen to be completing a double-piece puzzle.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

That’s not all the purchases I’ve made. After all, I have gotten a couple autographs, which I will get to. Although one of the biggest praises I can give to New York Comic Con is how they handled crowd control. Given the size and popularity of the convention. The crowd control here is executed BRILLIANTLY. I don’t know exactly what went into everyone’s mind. But I arrived at the convention at sometime around 9:45 AM on Sunday. According to my badge, the doors didn’t open until 10 AM. I still was able to avoid a huge line through the security check. Keep in mind, the security gates are located outside, not too far from where you can enter the convention center. Part of me is willing to bet that maybe there’s something I am unaware of when it comes to this convention that I am truly missing. Although this convention actually manages to have some of it’s cool stuff outside. There’s an “American Gods” diner, some promotional stuff for shows like “Outlander” and “The Good Place.” There was some fun to be had outside. Maybe everyone lined up very early and were let in at 9 AM. Perhaps they all got to stay outside, because that is totally something nerds very often do. Either that or people with VIP tickets were scheduled to go in early and the staff didn’t care if anybody else walked in. It’s New York Comic Con! It’s a party! Some of you might not afford to go next year so let’s make this one count! Overall, it’s a pretty effective use of space and it gives you something to do when you want some breaths of fresh air.

Speaking of promotions, I also took a picture in front of a car promoting “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I will say something though regarding my picture. It was not taken on any personal camera of mine. It was taken on a camera already set up at the event. Unfortunately, I cannot find the picture of me alongside the vehicle. I will admit I got badges from a friend, and with that in mind, I was willing to imagine that they were linked to one of our emails. As far as I know, it has no link to mine (I checked, even in spam), I asked my friend if they had it just in case, but there was no sign of it. Aw, well. It’s just a picture. Experiencing is what counts.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And this is the one thing that I can imagine is a negative to New York Comic Con. I didn’t really mind this, but I can imagine someone coming here, ready to have a good time, and all of a sudden, they are overwhelmed with one bit of promotional material after the other. All of the convention you can see stuff for Capcom, Marvel, Disney, Funko, and Starz. The badges that I had on me were actually advertising AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” There’s even a Syfy Wire Fan Lounge and a Syfy Wire Live show! It kind of makes sense when you think about it because this convention is organized by ReedPop, which organizes PAX, which I’ve been to. There’s video game advertising up the wazoo. Everybody there is just trying to show off their latest and greatest video game whether your name is Nintendo, Bethesda, Square Enix, or Blizzard. This all kind of reminded me of one convention my friend went to in Las Vegas, specifically the one that celebrated “Star Trek’s” 50th anniversary. My friend explained that she went and was just comparing it to Dragon Con and how she feels that Dragon Con caters more to fans whereas the “Star Trek” convention she went to was more of an advertising effort. New York Comic Con in my personal opinion takes every chance it gets to advertise something, but it also simultaneously keeps everything in balance by providing a good show for the fans. In fact, I’d say it was a wise choice for Syfy to advertise at this event given how they often use the slogan “It’s a fan thing.”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Although, one of my favorite promotions in the entire con has to be for Amazon’s upcoming show “The Boys.” This was one of the first things I saw once I walked inside the convention center. F*cking brilliant.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

One of my favorite video game franchises is “Super Smash Brothers.” Apparently the con had an area full of flat screen TVs and Nintendo GameCubes which all had the game “Super Smash Bros.: Melee.” This is one of my most nostalgic games, not to mention one of my all-time faves. On Sunday, I had time to play a round of Smash with three other people. I don’t know who they are, I don’t know their names, chances are I might never see them again. But they are fine people. I played as Donkey Kong, who is one of my mains. I wouldn’t say I have a “main” in Smash, but Donkey Kong is one of my preferred characters. Although I will say I have been playing the 3DS version a lot recently and Lucina is kind of my main there. Also, if you want my goto main on Melee, I gotta say, it’s Roy. However, he wasn’t unlocked yet. Marth was, but Roy wasn’t. Whatever, I like Donkey Kong. I didn’t win, however I got pretty close in a position of second place. A worthy competitor playing as Falco ended up taking the top position.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Moving onto autographs, I actually managed to get two of them. One of them was from Friday and the other was given to me on Sunday. On Friday, Zachary Levi (Shazam, Chuck) happened to be present in the building. I came to his line at a time when it happened to be rather short. Levi was just finishing up with photo ops, and now he was ready for his next adventure in autographing. So I chucked up $80, no pun intended, and got Levi’s signature on a photo of him as Shazam chewing bubble gum. It’s a true feast for the eyes. It is truly kick-ass until you run out of bubble gum. We happened to chit chat for a moment. Levi said he is enjoying the con so far, and he comes off as a genuine nice guy who at that moment, just became $80 richer by writing his name.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The other celebrity I met is not as well known. The celebrities who were well known had lines in the basement. This one is not really known for a specific TV show or movie, she is actually known for cosplaying. She goes by the name Yaya Han. Now I don’t follow cosplay. I don’t partake in cosplay. I have massive respect for those who do happen to be involved, although I never took part in it. Keep in mind, I said some of those words to her face. So she must be thinking, “What is this schmuck doing talking to me?” Then I got to the point. For those of you who have known me for awhile, one of my all-time biggest obsessions is the TBS reality competition “King of the Nerds.” Yaya Han was not heavily involved with the show, but she was the only guest I met who had some sort of association with it. Sure, there was another guest, Curtis Armstrong, who was at the con for a panel, but that happened on a day which I didn’t have a ticket. Yaya Han however was there when I was. Therefore, I told her I remember her as a guest judge for all three seasons of the show. When I did, I also thanked her for being a part of something that heavily makes me an individual. She commented saying “King of the Nerds” is an excellent production and she has enjoyed it. Shortly afterwards, I got an autograph from Han on a photo displaying her as Batgirl. Besides her name, she also wrote, “Gotham needs you!” The autograph was only $15 and to me it was well worth the money. Afterwards, I took a picture alongside her.

One person I ended up meeting also happened to be someone I was subscribed to on YouTube. If you know me in person, chances are you’d be aware that I watch “Family Guy.” The thing is… I met Peter Griffin.

Image result for real life peter griffin

No, not Seth MacFarlane! I met Robert Franzese. If you don’t know who this guy is, I don’t blame you. On YouTube, his channel name is known as Real Life Peter Griffin. He is known for talking, dressing, and sounding like Peter Griffin. On YouTube, you can find videos of him doing his own version of some of “Family Guy’s” popular bits (Grinds My Gears is a common example), and whatever other funny material he can come up with. I told him I was subscribed to his channel and he said that’s “Freakin’ sweet.” As you can tell, I didn’t get a picture with him.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

New York Comic Con is basically a giant compared to other cons that I went to that when you consider how much I DIDN’T get to do. It all makes sense. I never got a pro photo op. I never went into a panel. There was a bunch of interactive stuff I never really took part in. I never tried out any of the upcoming video games like “Megaman 11” or “Kingdom Hearts III.” There was even one thing that I was kind of curious to do, which was take part in a VR game based on the recent film “Skyscraper.” This had you attempt to make what is referred to as “the impossible jump” and if you make it from the crane to the skyscraper, you will be entered to win $10,000. But the area was cluttered, so I avoided pressing my luck. And I have to say that I have the same excuse for the panels. I’d try going down and checking on them, but the case is either that I am not interested in something, or I just don’t want to wait in line with tons of people and risk getting a bad seat. Only thing is there is only one seat I’d get on the “Skyscraper” game. Regardless of the endless list of things I DIDN’T get to do, it did not make me think I did nothing, because all of the stuff I ended up doing, I really enjoyed.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Guys, New York Comic Con is literally not just one of the best cons out there, but quite possibly one of the best THINGS ever created! The staff is really nice, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, the organizers know their audience, and it’s as big as Kanye West’s ridiculous ego! If I have any cons regarding this convention, I do want it to have slightly cheaper tickets (tickets are $50 for just a single-day admission), but there’s also probably an argument to be made that maybe all that is in store is totally worth the $50 ticket price. I must say though, as a nerd, it has kind of been an objective to hit one of the big two comic-cons before I die. Aside from this one, a con in particular I wanted to hit was San Diego Comic-Con. And now I am super glad to have one of the big two off my bucket list. Will I be back next year? Tough to say. Tickets may be easier to get than San Diego, but I don’t live in New York, I live in Massachusetts, traveling ain’t cheap. Plus, again, just one day at the convention is worth $50. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? Thanks for reading my thoughts on New York Comic Con! If you want to find out more about my con adventures, I should have you know that Rhode Island Comic Con is upon us and I’ll be attending all three days. This is my fourth time going to Rhode Island Comic Con in a row, and as much as I’m excited for it, let’s just get serious and hope that when it comes to organization, they succeed and don’t piss people off. Look that s*it up, that’s usually their biggest flaw. Be sure to follow Scene Before with your WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you go to New York Comic Con? What did you think about it? Or, what is an expensive con that is worth the money? Also, in the comments section, feel free to suggest future cons for me to visit in the future, I’d LOVE to hear them. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Why I Won’t Review The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

mv5bmtawotixmda0mjzeqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mdg1mjgznzqz-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Last night the Super Bowl aired on NBC and with another Super Bowl around that means another set of overpriced ads that are basically trying to become more important than life itself. The ads overall were underwhelming, however there were a few good ones personally. These good ones came from Bud Light, Amazon, Sprint, Groupon, and M&Ms. As usual, the Super Bowl featured a few movie ads. Some of which were trailers for trailers, which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. One movie spot that specifically caught my attention was “The Cloverfield Paradox.”

I actually knew about this movie before it came out, but I didn’t think it would be coming out now. The movie was originally titled “God Particle” and it was going to be in theaters. This film had been in development since 2012 and its release had been delayed several times. After that, it has been confirmed that this is the third “Cloverfield” installment, following “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.” As the trailer for this film aired during the Super Bowl, some people were surprised, and I was too. I’m not sure about other people, but I wasn’t surprised there was a trailer. I was surprised about three other things. The first surprise was that it was out in a couple of hours after the trailer dropped. The second surprise was that it wasn’t called “God Particle” and instead called “The Cloverfield Paradox,” but hey, you gotta make the title come off as something people know. The third, and biggest surprise, is that it’s coming out on Netflix.

As of now, a number of people have already watched “The Cloverfield Paradox.” Many of the final verdicts of the film are on the positive end. You want to know my verdict on the film? Well, I can’t tell you since I never saw it. As matter of fact, I don’t think there will come a day where I actually sit down and watch it. If you have seen “The Cloverfield Paradox” and enjoyed it, good for you, I’m glad you had a pleasurable experience. My reasons behind not watching the film don’t have anything to do with hate towards the “Cloverfield” films or the fact that I’m lazy. Also, if you hated it, I’m sorry, and you probably deserve your time back. Although now that I say that I’m lazy, I don’t really exercise as much as some people. My lack of review has more to do with my refusal to use Netflix.

I sound like a total weirdo that doesn’t belong in the generation I was born into, AKA the millennials, especially considering that almost everyone I know my age uses Netflix. Although I refuse to support them for a number of reasons.

The first reason behind this sounds absolutely crazy, but it still exists. I miss Blockbuster Video. Sure, I was a kid, so I never really had to deal with paying late fees or maintaining a Blockbuster membership card or driving to the place. Heck, even if I was my mother or father, I wouldn’t usually have to worry about that because we used to have one that was walking distance from my house. Even as a kid, there was such a joy to be had about that store that I could only replicate by going to someplace where you could buy a movie. Every time I went there felt like a small birthday present. You can’t get that with Netflix! Not only that, but on Netflix, you can’t actually get a deeper emphasis of the film you’re watching by looking all over the case, seeing images, descriptions, all sorts of information. Also, you don’t even need WiFi to play a DVD or Blu-ray. There’s something about streaming that’s kind of depressing. Granted I do use certain streaming services such as Amazon Video and Crackle, but if anything, Netflix was the biggest killer of Blockbuster. I can kind of understand certain movies going straight to streaming, much like how I can understand certain movies going straight to DVD or straight to TV. Although with Netflix’s exclusive content, it’s pretty much ALL straight to streaming.

Netflix began making exclusive content for some time now, and I can truly understand if Netflix wanted to make a TV show to put on its streaming service right away. I would prefer for Netflix to make their own TV channel, but apparently that concept is dwindling. I honestly don’t like that. It feels nice having a TV schedule as opposed to a TV clutter, and this is coming from a guy who hates schedules! The thing I really hate, is how every Netflix original movie has to be straight to streaming. People are saying that movie theaters are dying, and that is just UPSETTING. People are trying to get with the times by the endless recliner installation and renovation, which I think is overrated because you have a lot less seats than you would if you went to a theater with normal seats. Do you know why I go to see movies at the theater? Bigger screen, more audible sound, clearer images. Can you imagine someone watching “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Cast Away” or “La La Land” and it happens to be on a TV? OK, maybe it’s not that bad of an experience depending on your setup, but what if someone is watching one of those movies on a computer or laptop? What if they’re watching it on a tablet? Or an even more terrifying thought, their phone. What Netflix is basically doing is destroying not only history, because people gather at these places for special events, but they’re also destroying one of a kind experiences.

Netflix’s idea of releasing films the way they do is baffling to me because for one thing, if they release their movies in theaters, they have a chance to make more money! Amazon has a strategy which involves them releasing films, putting them in theaters for ninety days, and around the end of the theatrical run, the movie comes out to home video media and streaming. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can stream the movie for free on Amazon Video. Amazon’s method of showing their films in theaters has brought me to check out their films for this blog. I didn’t review all of the ones I saw, but I kept their theatrical releases in mind. This idea is a good way to make money while at the same time, providing a decent experience. If someone really likes a movie released by Amazon as they watch it in theaters, chances are they could watch it again once it hits Prime. Netflix apparently isn’t as bright of a bulb as Amazon, no wonder they’re in debt.

Will I watch “The Cloverfield Paradox” sometime in the future? I’m not quite sure. Maybe if they put it out on Blu-ray and I find it for a good price I might take it, but I also hope that maybe by the end of the year they put it in the theater. I mean, I’m not gonna be surprised if Netflix doesn’t allow something like this, because they are going to be distributing Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and there’s a good chance it won’t be in theaters. If you don’t know who Martin Scorsese is, he departed the wolves off of Wall Street and made them join an aviator in flying towards the movie theater. Seeing his name on a project can make some people interested in seeing how said project turns out. It’ll get them right into the theater! But no, Netflix is different, and that’s good! What a bunch of malarkey!

To this day, I never really used Netflix for anything. I’ve been with other people while they used it, but I never used Netflix for anything I wanted to do, and unless they start putting movies in theaters, or maybe pick up a reality TV show that has shaped my life for three seasons (“King of the Nerds”), I will not be using their services, and I will not be reviewing their content. Yes, I’m not even gonna watch “Stranger Things.” I won’t watch “Altered Carbon.” I will not be watching “The Crown.” I’m not watching “Orange is the New Black.” If you like these shows, good for you, enjoy them. I just won’t be watching them. Nor will I be watching “Cloverfield 3,” or “The Cloverfield Paradox,” or “God Particle,” I like that the name the best, it’s kind of kick-ass. Thanks for reading this non-review! I’m sorry if I disappointed anyone, but I can understand considering how Netflix disappointed me during the Super Bowl. Although if you actually want to know, I will be reviewing more movies soon, such as “The 15:17 To Paris.” That comes out in a few days, so I might see that movie rather soon! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on Netflix? What are your thoughts on streaming? Did you see “The Cloverfield Paradox?” If so, did you like it? Also, where would you rank it along with “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane?” Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Rhode Island Comic Con 2017 Review and Haul

ricc-dunks-ad-600x280-7d1f5a663b

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.

Image result for the overlords legend of the treasure

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

1510458134146

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.

20171112_224810_HDR

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.

1-01644

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

1510449041636

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.

20171112_130019_HDR

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.

20171110_180731_HDR

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

1510449039692

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.”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.”

SAM_0645

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.”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

1510458138509

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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Rhode Island Comic Con 2017!

 

ricc-dunks-ad-600x280-7d1f5a663b

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we begin this post, I’d like to give a little free promotion to something I personally feel, needs promoting. You see, I live in New England, and I like bowling. For those of you who don’t know where I’m going with this, I should inform you we here in New England don’t have as much traditional tenpin bowling as opposed to another form of bowling. In New England, candlepin is king. And on YouTube you can watch a web series dedicated to professionals competing against each other in the sport. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, “King of the Palace.”

“King of the Palace” is a show that takes place at a candlepin bowling alley known as New Palace Lanes in Fitchburg, MA, it features skilled bowlers showing their stuff as they compete against each other. It’s intense, it’s got people who know what they’re doing, and it definitely gets the ball rolling. Whether you’re from New England and want to watch your traditional bowling, or you’re not from New England and want to dive deeper into “weird bowling,” or you just want some moments of entertainment, this show is for you. The show is hosted by Steve Bronchuk, Dave Maatala, and Dennis Nuzzo and they definitely got some fascinating words to say as the bowlers duke it out. “King of the Palace” is shown on TV on some local stations in Massachusetts, however if you want to look at the YouTube channel for it, click the link down below and check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/user/NewPalaceLanes

Now bowling is not the only thing I’m interested in, I’m into a lot of other cool stuff, including conventions. On that note, I’d like to break to you all that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year! Now what is Rhode Island Comic Con? Rhode Island Comic Con is a convention which takes place in Providence, RI. It will be in two locations which are connected, the Rhode Island Convention Center, and the Dunkin Donuts Center. I’ve been to this convention for two years in a row and now this will be my third. This is one of the conventions done by Altered Reality, who also do ComiCONN, Colorado Springs Comic Con, Southcoast Toy and Comic Show, and Terror Con, another convention that takes place in Providence, RI. Rhode Island Comic Con markets itself as the biggest show in the smallest state. I haven’t been to many shows in Rhode Island, but I can guarantee you, this is big. Both years I’ve gone there have been tons of celebrity guests from TV, movies, etc. Last year this show had guests including the cameo master himself, Stan Lee, Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back, Batman), Alice Cooper, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Monster House), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), and surprisingly, Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. This year we have another enormous lineup of guests, and we’re about to talk some of the guests who have actually been announced thus far.

This con has a number of guests that fall into a category of “special” guests, otherwise known as headliners. This is something that happened last year too. Guests like Gal Gadot, Stan Lee, Millie Bobby Brown, and Ray Fisher all fell into this category. These guests were all located in the Dunkin Donuts Center, specifically on the stadium floor, which is kind of a good idea. The lines for some of these guests were long as hell, in fact Gal Gadot’s and Stan Lee’s lines were almost too long. Although my dad only waited seconds to talk to Alice Cooper, another headliner from last year, but then again this was on the last day of the con and everybody was getting ready to head home. If my head isn’t messing with me, the layout in the Dunkin Donuts Center probably won’t change this year. Regardless of where these guests end up, here are this year’s headliners:

Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick)
Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Godzilla)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, Top Gun)
Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints, The Walking Dead)
Paul Bettany (Iron Man, A Beautiful Mind)
Michael Colter (Luke Cage, The Good Wife)
“Weird Al” Yankovic (Musician)
Gene Simmons (Musician, KISS)
Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Collateral)
Sting (Wrestler)
Jason David Frank (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
John Cusack (Better Off Dead, 2012)
Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Punisher)
Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Peter Pan)
Dolph Lundgren (The Punisher, The Expendables)
Freddie Prinze Jr. (Scooby-Doo, She’s All That)
Beverly D’Angelo (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Entourage)
Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty, Gravity Falls)
Carl Weathers (Predator, Arrested Development)
Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street, Regular Show)
William Shatner (Star Trek, Boston Legal)

When it comes to these headliners, a number of them do intrigue me. If I were to meet any and talk with them, it would probably be Weird Al and John Cusack. Weird Al isn’t really an artist I listen to but I do want to talk about his appearance on “Last Week Tonight” with him. As far as John Cusack goes, that’s another person whose work I don’t follow, but part of me is somewhat intrigued to engage in a conversation with him. I haven’t seen “Better Off Dead,” I’m making an attempt to get my hands on a copy though, but I heard Cusack himself hated the movie. I also heard somewhere that Cusack’s despise diminished, I’m curious to know how this happened. I’d probably have time to ask this depending on the lines, both guests will be at the con for multiple days. Weird Al will be there longer, but still. The idea of having Dave Bautista and Elizabeth Olsen as guests does somewhat excite me, but I have a feeling their lines will be long and all they’ll be doing is signing autographs and won’t have any sort of time for conversation. But who knows really? Not to mention, when it comes to those guests, I had no absolute desire to meet them as opposed to Gal Gadot last year. I fanboyed hard when I found out she was going to be there!

This con also has a number of guests appearing which happen to be affiliated with various groups. There are plenty more on the way, but there have been a good number who have already been announced.

Starting off with “Star Trek,” we have a good number of guests there. So far we have a plethora of guests from “The Next Generation” such as Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Marina Sitris, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, and Gates McFadden. Just a fun fact, I’ve actually met Michael Dorn before. I haven’t chatted with him much, but I got his signature for a good friend of mine. Also, for LeVar Burton, I actually heard he’s been doing this series where he reads short stories and he gives his thoughts on them. It’s called “LeVar Burton Reads,” I actually haven’t checked out yet, I might sometime. However if you know me as a member of the Knights of Nerdvana, our challenge for July 2017 was to take a gander at this series. The members who did check it out thought it was worth witnessing, so I might take a look at it before I go and possibly talk to Burton about the series. Also we have a guest from “The Original Series.” Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only… William Shatner. He will, as recently mentioned, be a headliner, and he’ll also moderate the “Star Trek” panel at the convention.

Next up we have “Star Wars” and when it comes to the “Star Wars” guests, many of them are people I wouldn’t exactly know, but there are a couple that stick out to me. The guests are Freddie Prinze Jr., who also happens to be one of the headliners, Jason Isaacs, another headliner, Julian Glover, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Joonas Suotamo, Steve Blum, Spencer Wilding, and Ian. F*cking. McDiarmid. Based on what you just read, you can tell I have extreme excitement for Ian McDiarmid, we’ll get to him in a minute, however one guest I feel like talking about is Spencer Wilding. Some of you might not know who this guy is, although if you look at his IMDb page, you may know him from “Guardians of the Galaxy” as one of the guards, and he was also in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Which character does he play? Only the best character in the entire movie, Darth Vader! You may know that James Earl Jones does the voice, but you may or may not know that someone else is walking around inside the costume. For “Rogue One” in particular, the one walking around is Wilding, which means he’s the one who gave the best scene in the film towards the end! Now let’s talk about Ian McDiarmid. If you don’t know who Ian McDiarmid is, you may know him better as The Emperor, otherwise known as Palpatine, or that crazy maniac who laughs a lot, or the “Star Wars” character most likely to be a mascot for the Tampa Bay Lightning. I admire The Emperor as a character, and when McDiarmid was referred to as Palpatine in the prequels, he was one of the best parts of the entire thing. Just watch “Revenge of the Sith” to see what I mean. Alan Tudyk, who you may know as K-2SO in “Rogue One” was going to show up at one point, but unfortunately ended up cancelling his appearance.

Next up we have “Power Rangers” guests. And for those of you who are waiting for me to tell you Amy Jo Johnson is here, sorry, her name has not been announced. She has been to this convention both years I went, so who knows what could happen? However when it comes to the original series, we have Jason David Frank (Green Ranger), and Steve Cardenas (Red Ranger). We also have cast members from other series’ in the franchise too. These include: Blake Foster, Hilary Shepard, Catherine Sutherland, Selwyn Ward, Nakia Burrise, and Michael Copon.

For those of you who are familiar with the “Rocky” franchise and have watched “Rocky 4,” that’s one reunion taking place here. This is between cast members Carl Weathers, who you may know as Apollo Creed, and Dolph Lundgren, who you may know as Drago. By the way, both of these folks are headliners.

Another reunion is for the movie “The Boondock Saints.” The cast members associated with this reunion are Norman Reedus, who you may know as Murphy MacManus, Sean Patrick Flanery, who you may know as Conner MacManus, and David Della Rocco, who you may know as Rocco. By the way, Norman Reedus is a headliner.

Speaking of Norman Reedus, he’s also one of the many guests from “The Walking Dead” that will show up at the convention. The other guests include: David Morrissey, Jon Bernthal, another headliner, Jeremy Palko, Khary Payton, Tom Payne, Michael Koske, Michael Cudlitz, and Lennie James. By the way, Jeffery Dean Morgan was here last year, and it’s very likely he won’t be back this year due to his complaints about the con.

For wrestlers, this con is currently featuring six, and there are more to be announced in the future. So far we have Dave Bautista, one of the headliners, Rey Mysterio, Sting, another headliner, Brooke Adams, Bret Hart, and a duo who refer to themselves using the hashtag #TeamBestie, Trish Stratus and Amy Dumas.

The last of the reunions the con is currently showing on their website is one I’m highly anticipating, and that is the “Revenge of the Nerds” reunion. This con is going to feature eight cast members from the “Revenge of the Nerds” franchise including: Julia Montgomery (Betty Childs), Brian Tochi (Takashi), Larry Scott (Lamar), Ted McGinley (Stan Gable), Andrew Cassese (Wormser), Donald Gibb (Ogre), Robert Carradine (Lewis), and Curtis Armstrong (Booger). I consider to be “Revenge of the Nerds” to be one of my favorite comedies, it’s not technically perfect, it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s funny and relatable. Not only does it excite me that the cast is coming to the con, but I’m also excited for Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine, probably more than any of the other cast members. If you know me in real life, I’m a huge fan of “King of the Nerds,” the two hosted that show and I consider it to be my favorite show of all time based on what it did for me and other people. I’ve met Curtis before, in fact I met him twice, but I’ve yet to meet Bobby. I’d love to go here, meet Curtis once more, talk with him for a bit, and also chat with Robert. I barely go to panels at cons, but once I see a “Revenge of the Nerds” panel, the con has me running for it! By the way, Curtis, if you’re reading this, I’ll be sure to bring “the shirt” when I go to the con. And for those of you wondering, no, I didn’t meet Curtis topless without having an idea what a shirt is, I met him twice wearing the same “King of the Nerds” t-shirt I owned since March 2015, for good reason. Oh yeah, Bobby will get to see it too!

That’s all for group guests, although I’m gonna do some separate paragraphs on guests I’m particularly interested in that don’t belong in any of these groups.

The first one I’m gonna talk about is Rob Schneider. I feel like talking about Schneider because I honestly never really expected him to show up at conventions. You may know Rob Schneider from “Grown Ups,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Deuce Bigalow,” and the poorly received “Norm of the North.” I never really imagined Rob Schneider as someone who would show up at an event like this. Although once I researched this I found out he was at some other cons this year. He’s actually going to be here all three days of the con, and I’m willing to bet that meeting his fans may be somewhat exciting to him, but I’m willing to bet he’s in it for the money a little more. Although I will say, having Rob Schneider at Comic Con is probably a better idea than “Grown Ups 3” so that’s a plus.

One guest I admire, but don’t necessarily plan on meeting, is Gene Simmons. I feel like bringing him up because he’s actually doing something that I think some of you might be interested in. This year, he’ll be there and the website is also promoting a concert at the VETS Memorial Auditorium which he’ll be performing at. The concert will be happening on Sunday at 8PM so if you want tickets to this concert for Gene Simmons Band, go to the link down below!

http://www.thevetsri.com/events/detail/gene-simmons-band

Another unique guest showing up to Rhode Island will be Geekfest. Geekfest does film festivals and right now they are touring at multiple cons. They are marketing this stop, based on one of their tweets, as the “World’s Largest in New England!” I’m not exactly sure if I’ll be familiar with the films they’ll be showing, but this is unique and it is kind of interesting to me to have a film festival in a convention like this.

One more guest I’m gonna talk about is one I’m undoubtedly stoked to meet, and that is Doug Walker. I’m willing to bet some of you are thinking right now, who the f*ck is Doug Walker? Allow me to say, Doug Walker is one of the greatest people I’ve ever seen on YouTube. You may also know him from That Guy With Glasses or Channel Awesome as the Nostalgia Critic. He remembers things so you don’t have to. I may be a little biased since he reviews movies just like me, but he’s mainly focused on anything that has any sort of nostalgic connection. A lot of Doug’s reviews are mainly for various films highly regarded as some of the biggest abominations known to man including “Batman & Robin,” “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace,” and the 2003 live-action movie version of “The Cat in the Hat.” As a fellow movie reviewer, I’ve actually, well, I wouldn’t say I copied him, but he may have inspired me to take on a certain writing style. You’d see it in my reviews for “Moonlight” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” In recent years, Doug’s reviews have altered, he traditionally still follows the same formula that he does in his older reviews, but we’ve seen more sketches that are basically parodies on the movies he’s reviewing. In fact, he’s now doing movies once they come out in theaters. This is where Doug utilizes his “clipless” technique, which is basically not using actual footage from the movie, and instead, recreating it with his own actors, including himself in order to poke fun at it. You can see this in his reviews for “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Wonder Woman.” I’ve also been exposed to Doug’s panels on YouTube, and one thing I love about them is that people ask him, sometimes in a literal sense, sometimes with subtle hints, to do his “Bat credit card” gag. In “Batman & Robin,” the two heroes are together, we are witnessing a scene where an auction takes place, and there’s minutes dedicated to men bidding on women, and at one point, one of the film’s villains, Poison Ivy, played horribly by Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Gattaca) uses her powers to make men fall in love with her, then Batman and Robin start bidding on her. They’re going back and forth, bidding millions of dollars, then Batman, says “7 million,” he whips out a credit card, allowing us, the audience to hear a cha-ching sound effect, by the way, the card is good “forever.” Doug spent some of the review freaking out about the credit card like a boy who got nothing for his birthday. During the panels, when this whole gag goes down, Doug will get out of his chair, and chase down whoever made him freak out. This is one of the few occasions in somebody’s life when one would say “I’m really glad that dude beat me up.”

I just realized how long I went on talking about the guests, it was long indeed, but let’s move onto something else. As fun as cons are, they’re not always perfect. This con has had a number of issues over the years.

In 2014 for example, there was an issue regarding the number of people who showed up to the convention. At the time, Rhode Island Comic Con only took place in the Rhode Island Convention Center. The center has a maximum occupancy of 17,000 people, but 20,000 people turned out to be in the building. This caused the convention center to close for hours, making people turned off by crowds and some not wanting to go to this convention again.

In 2015, more issues came along. The show expanded itself to put some of its guests and vendors in the Dunkin Donuts Center, but the show still experienced unfortunate crowd issues. There’s a walkway that can take you from one building to another located indoors between the two. It turns out that year, there was clogging in the walkway, which if I remember correctly, is a reason there was such an enormous line to get from one center to another at one point.

In 2016, they had a little spin on what people would normally do in order to meet certain guests. As mentioned, during this year in particular, the Dunkin Donuts Center arena was dedicated to headliner guests such as Stan Lee and Millie Bobby Brown. This didn’t stop the long lines, which isn’t necessarily the issue. The issue here is that being able to get an autograph or photo op from these guests is a little bit tedious. I got an autograph from Gal Gadot, and instead of paying my money during the process of signing, I had to pay at a box office. I didn’t even realize this. Let me tell you what happened. So I was staying at a hotel with my dad, it’s morning, it’s almost the time for the convention to open, so I figured we grab a quick breakfast. We grab something to eat at Dunkin Donuts inside the Providence Place mall, we get in line for the convention, I get inside, I knew where my first stop was, Gal Gadot’s table. I get in line, eventually I find out I’m in the VIP line, I’m not a VIP ticket holder, so I’m taken to another line. The line eventually kept on moving, and once I get to five spots away in my line from Gal, she leaves. To be fair, she was only there Sunday, and she also had photo ops and a panel to do, but it kind of left me somewhat disappointed. I waited probably over five hours until she came back. Then when it was my turn to get an autograph, it turns out that I’m missing something, a punch card. I didn’t even realize I have to pay beforehand. This is something I can kind of understand for photo ops, but not autographs. I have a feeling a reason why they did this is in order to make more money. A lot of people didn’t get to meet Stan Lee like they wanted from what I could tell and I doubt the con gave any refunds for that reason. From what I can tell, I believe they’ll be doing that again this year. (Sigh) Although then again I probably won’t be focused too much on headliners this year anyway so it won’t matter.

1478985759751

The con itself, as mentioned, is massive. As mentioned in the name, it’s partially dedicated to comics. As you can also tell, it has a major focus on providing tons of celebrity guests, but it also focuses on providing artist guests, games, panels, cars, wedding ceremonies, exclusive items, and something called “Sci-Fi Speed Dating.”

The con also has a number of discounts available for those staying overnight, if you want to stay at a certain hotel, I’d recommend going to the Rhode Island Comic Con website, click on the section labeled “Hotels” (link down below), that way you can check out the discounts you can get on a certain hotel. A number of these are conveniently located near the convention center, but there are also a few that are away from it, specifically in the town of Warwick. These discounts won’t last forever so get them while you can!

http://www.ricomiccon.com/hotels

Alright, that basically is everything I need to say so far about Rhode Island Comic Con, I hope to see you there, I’ll be there ALL THREE DAYS, so you might run into me at least once. So I want to know, are YOU going to Rhode Island Comic Con? What days are you going? What do you plan to do there? Or, what is a con that you think I should attend in the future? It can be far away, and if you actually happen to be working for a convention I’d love to visit your con to review it as long as I don’t have to pay for much of anything, maybe except for food and definitely anything inside the convention center. Also guys, I mentioned before that the hosts of “King of the Nerds” will be at this con, and in honor of that, I’d like to leave a link here that will take you toward a post I made on September 4 about “King of the Nerds” detailing why I’m not done with the show, and what I’d like to hopefully see in the future regarding the show itself. I put a lot of effort into it, and I don’t know why I wouldn’t, I love the show probably more than I love pizza, and that’s kind of saying something. Please look into that post, also stay tuned for more posts, including my series of Tom Cruise related movie reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“KING OF THE NERDS”: Two Years Since Cancellation Was Announced To Public, Why I Am Not Done with the Show: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/king-of-the-nerds-two-years-since-cancellation-was-announced-to-public-why-i-am-not-done-with-the-show/

King of the Nerds: Two Years Since Cancellation Was Announced To Public, Why I Am Not Done with the Show

600x600bb-85

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! You may have clicked on this post wondering what you’re getting into. If you observe the title, it might give some you the impression that I am a spoiled brat that wants everything to go my way. While I may have a lot of cool stuff, I assure you, I’m not Veruca Salt. This is more of a series of thoughts I have in mind and it’s meant to explain a certain number of details to support the topic mentioned in the title itself. Before we dive into this post, I’ll just say, if you know me in real life or on the Internet. I have an enormous fanaticism for the reality show, “King of the Nerds.” Now, I’m not one who would spend lots of time watching other reality shows other than “America’s Got Talent” or something. The reason that I got into “King of the Nerds,” more than anything, is that it was relatable. Let’s face it, do I sound like a person who could relate to the Kardashians? Do I sound like someone who could relate to a real housewife of Atlanta? Do I sound like someone who could relate to a dance mom? If you know me, you’d probably be able to tell that I can’t exactly relate to any of those. I’ll also say, when it comes to most reality shows, I usually hear they’re cheesy and it basically displays what’s wrong with society. Not to mention, does anybody really consider the Kardashians role models? To a certain portion of the population, the Kardashians might be fascinating people who have interesting lives. I don’t know for sure, I don’t even watch the program. Plus I hear a lot of people say Kim K is hot, but that’s probably men who don’t watch the show. Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah, before we go any further. Let’s talk about the show first, because I’m not sure how obscure it is right now.

“King of the Nerds” is a reality competition hosted by Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine, two cast members of the cult classic comedy film, “Revenge of the Nerds.” The premise is that a number of nerds, are all living in a house together called “Nerdvana.” These nerds compete to sit atop the “Throne of Games,” win $100,000, before taxes, and be crowned “King of the Nerds.” How do they compete? They battle each other in several nerd aspects known to man. There are challenges involving topics such as gaming, science, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, debating, engineering, strategy, mathematics, and memory. There’s more to this, but the information presented here just happen to be the basics.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s revisit what I just said in the opening paragraph, which was how the show was relatable. Let me just say, I’m a nerd. If you read this blog, you may consider me a movie nerd, or a cinephile. I also consider myself a fanboy in various ways. And yes, a lot of it applies to topics that have some correlation to film, and if you know me well enough, you can tell part of my fanaticism is directed towards “King of the Nerds.” I liked the show at first, but when the series started, the first two episodes had some replay value over a number of days. I knew from then on, this was the start of something. The whole first season had a replay value in fact, the whole second season did too. The third season did as well, but not as much as the second, but that’s when I started Twitter and I developed relationships with various people involved with the show including Kelsey Syers from season 2, along with Kayla LaFrance who was also in season 2. This was all part of the fanaticism I’ve achieved from watching this show based on how much it connected with me. I resemble the nerds, I look up to the nerds, I see them as passionate people dedicating their lives to something in particular. I might not have the exact same personality traits or interests, but we’re both knowledgeable or passionate about something. Right now, I’m dedicating part of my life to this blog, which I am in fact extremely passionate about. If this blog takes off, I might start monetizing it and consider it my way of life. I’m also passionate about screenwriting, when I grow up, I might end up screenwriting movies. There’s no certainty on that, but that is one thing I’ve always had in mind. I will also say, as a matter of fact, if I do make it to Hollywood, this is a show I’d want any sort of position on.

“King of the Nerds” lasted for three seasons on TBS. The whole series began on January 17, 2013, and the final episode aired March 13, 2015. “KOTN” was officially canceled by TBS on June 26 of the same year. Let me just remind you, from a ratings perspective, season 3, which was the final season, received the best ratings the show’s ever had. That season even aired all of its new episodes on the Friday night death slot. On September 4, Curtis Armstrong himself went straight to social media to warn everyone of the news. Why September 4? That’s pretty much around the time Curtis was even informed about the cancellation. Craig Armstrong (no relation to Curtis) and Rick Ringbakk from 5×5 Media were executive producers throughout the series. The two informed Curtis about it, and they heard about the cancellation of the series through a journalist who interviewed Kevin Reilly, a chief creative officer for TBS, when Reilly told the journalist in a direct question, “We won’t be doing anymore episodes of ‘King of the Nerds.'” If you ever known about the TV show “Firefly,” created by Joss Whedon, that only lasted one season on FOX, but many people say the show got canceled way too early. Just look at its IMDb page, the show has an overall total of 9.1/10, and it’s #17 in the top rated TV shows. I was very young when that show was on the air (2002-2003) whereas I was thirteen when “King of the Nerds” started, and I was fifteen when it ended. “King of the Nerds” was my “Firefly,” only thing is, I’d want “King of the Nerds” to go on forever and ever, whereas I’d be fine if “Firefly” had a final chapter. In fact, when “King of the Nerds” canceled, TBS wasn’t done with reality TV, they went on to do a competition called “America’s Next Weatherman,” presented by Funny or Die. Now I watched that show and while it’s definitely not as unwatchable as something like “Dance Moms,” at least in my book, it didn’t even come close to matching the overall quality of “King of the Nerds.” And besides, look at it this way, TBS literally canceled a reality show featuring nerds, and now they have another reality show featuring nerds (I guess you can say that based on some of the personalities of the contestants), but instead of dedicating itself to showing nerds of all types, they just focus on one group of nerds. We had to cope with this, WEATHER we liked it or not. On a sidenote, I’ve actually talked to some of the contestants from that show online, and they’re nice people, however, I’ve built a community with those involved with “KOTN.”

Despite how TBS never uncanceled “King of the Nerds,” I have spoken with an executive producer of the show, Anthony Carbone, recently. I let him and a bunch of other people know I was watching “King of the Nerds” since I own the entire series on Amazon, and he replied to the tweet saying this:

“People who work/worked for Turner all feel the same way. It was a mistake. Now they spend millions on comedies that no one watches.” -@Carsueda

As one who owns a TV, I agree. After “King of the Nerds” got canceled, TBS started airing a bunch of new shows including “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “Angie Tribeca,” “Wrecked,” “The Detour,” “People of Earth,” “Search Party,” and “ELeague.” I never found myself watching any of these shows. I tuned in for a bit of “Angie Tribeca,” but that’s only because my dad essentially forced me into it. I didn’t really laugh. I don’t watch “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” all that much, but there’s a divide on the show considering it to be amazingly funny or liberal propaganda. You might as well say the same thing for HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” but even if it is liberal propaganda, I actually still continue to watch it because I find Oliver himself to be extremely funny, he does a lot of informative segments, including ones on FIFA, Online Harassment, the NCAA, Net Neutrality, and more. The show also recently introduced me to Lord Buckethead, which, sorry Negasonic Teenage Warhead, there’s officially a name cooler than yours.

DEADPOOL: And you are?

NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD: Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

DEADPOOL: Negasonic Teenage… what the s*it? That’s the coolest name ever!

When it comes to programming on TBS I watch, it’s either reruns of sitcoms such as “Seinfeld,” “The Big Bang Theory,” or “King of Queens.” If there’s anything “new” that TBS airs on their channel, it’s either episodes of “Conan” or “American Dad!.” Now keep in mind, “Conan” has been on TBS since 2010, so there’s a sign people still watch it. Not to mention, Conan O’Brien does a lot of cool events with his talk show. He takes it on the road to various venues across America, including New York City, Chicago, and he even took it to San Diego Comic Con for the past few years to shoot episodes there. He’s even done international shows. Overtime there have been various shows in places including Mexico, Cuba, and Armenia. “American Dad!” isn’t original to TBS either, it actually started out on FOX, but they canceled it and TBS picked it up. On the bright side, it’s a sign that TBS likely doesn’t have a rocky relationship with one of “King of the Nerds’s” hosts, Curtis Armstrong, because Armstrong plays a supporting character on “American Dad!” named Snot.

Anyway, with all of this being said, let’s go back to Anthony Carbone’s tweet. Since people involved with TBS’s production regret this decision, why can’t they undo it? I don’t know if there’s anything against it. My suggestion would be to either cancel one of your unsuccessful shows, or put a show on hold for awhile, and allow “King of the Nerds” to fill in a slot. If you can’t do that, the people behind it might as well find a new home for it, which we will get into.

I’m not sure what has been going on with one of the show’s hosts, Robert Carradine, lately. I am planning meeting him at Rhode Island Comic Con this upcoming November, but I don’t know much of what he’s been up to lately. I’m aware he’ll be appearing in “Solitary Confinement,” a horror game that is set to come out October 1, but there’s not really much else I know about him. I do however, sometimes communicate with the other host, Curtis Armstrong, on Twitter. I also met him in person twice, he’s a nice guy, sounds like someone I’d hang out with, which is interesting for me to say because I never hang out with anyone. When it comes to other people I can talk to on Twitter, I have follows from Xander Jeanneret from season 2, Mary Kate Smith from season 2, and Kelsey Syers from season 2, who I actually brought up earlier. I also mentioned Kayla LaFrance, also from season 2, we talk often and while we may not agree on certain matters (Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Pac-Man) we still enjoy communicating with each other. If we the people can find a way to unite together like everyone did at Nerdvana, whether it be in teams or just being in the moment together as a nerd family, we can get the show back. It could work. Not only do we have the production crew and contestants working alongside each other, there will also be an avid supporter of the show like me involved in the process. Perhaps this can spread across social media and people who have watched the show in the past and enjoyed it can either take part in the cause or at least bring it to the attention of others.

I am currently taking action on this matter by myself, since I’m only 17 years old, live in Massachusetts, and have no experience in Hollywood, I’m doing what some folks would do for certain causes, sharing a petition (link is below). I have shared it before and I even did a post on it. I’ve shared it online with contestants, people behind the show, including Armstrong himself, I asked him if he approved of the petition, and he did. I mean, why wouldn’t he? I just wanted to know for sure because I didn’t know if he was done with the show and thought it would be weird doing it again. If I were working in Hollywood, I’d work on that show for the rest of my life if I could, it would be a passion project for me, even if I am not one of the main folks behind the production. Anyway, the petition is on Change.org, the ideas I had were to put it on one of two channels that I considered priorities. I’m not saying they will accept the idea, but I’m saying this show sounds like it would fit properly with one of these two channels.

“KING OF THE NERDS” SEASON 4 PICKUP PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/game-show-network-have-a-network-pick-up-king-of-the-nerds-for-season-4

The first channel I had in mind was the Game Show Network, otherwise known as GSN. You may know them for their neverending Steve Harvey “Family Feud” reruns, along with original programming such as “Divided,” “Idiotest,” “Baggage,” and “Winsanity.” They even have their own adaptations for game shows which have been done before such as “The Chase” which has other variants around the world, and “The Pyramid” which is basically a revamp of a classic game show that was mainly hosted by Dick Clark. For those of you who think that “King of the Nerds” isn’t a game show, that’s up for debate, but GSN has also had experience with reality shows, there was a point when they would air reruns of “Dancing with the Stars,” they also have an original show called “Skin Wars,” a competition involving body painting, and “Steampunk’d,” which if you can’t tell by the name, involves steampunk. By the way, just to let you know, steampunk has been a part of “King of the Nerds” before. Just watch the first episode of season 3. While “Steampunk’d” is officially cancelled, “Skin Wars,” has neither been canceled or renewed for a new season. So far, like “King of the Nerds,” “Skin Wars” has aired three seasons and it’s previous episode premiered June 29th, 2016, which doesn’t count the spinoff of the show, “Skin Wars: Fresh Paint,” hosted by RuPaul, who you may know from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” If “Skin Wars” is officially cancelled, there’s a good chance it hasn’t been announced, or maybe GSN is focusing too much on other originals. Although if “Skin Wars” isn’t cancelled, I have an idea. Renew “Skin Wars” for season 4, and consider that one of your main reality shows, and while that show takes a break, “King of the Nerds” can come in, then the two shows can switch back and forth. If this show does end up on GSN, it can probably still keep its $100,000 prize and maybe we, yes I said “we,” because I feel like an imaginary part of the show, can work out an agreement with GSN that we’d apply something game show related to the show for at least one season. In fact I even have an idea for what can be done. Maybe for one episode we can bring on someone who hosts one of GSN’s originals such as Ben Glieb from “Idiotest” or Mike Richards from “Divided,” and I even have a game show themed nerd-off in mind. It’s called “Push Your Luck” and the two competitors are given multiple choice questions related to game shows. If they answer correctly, they get to spin on the “above-average sized board” to earn points in order to increase one’s chance of winning, if that doesn’t work, we can put in a wheel or something. We can even put something in place that will either take away points or forbid someone from getting additional points. I’m thinking either “dragons,” “sith lords,” “stormtroopers,” “enchanted bunnies,” “ghosts,” or “kaiju.” I know this sounds a lot like “Press Your Luck,” and it does, and that’s not even the only game show element I can apply to this. I even have a way to include Mindy Robinson, AKA Pom Pom Kitty, a “character” on the show if you will, in the challenge. Robinson can stand by the board, and applaud the competitors, kind of like Vanna White during “Wheel of Fortune.” This game show deal doesn’t have to be mandatory, only do it if GSN is little skeptical about the show or something. Some people may say that game shows aren’t as nerdy as comic books or science, but if you think about the people who go on “Jeopardy!,” heck season 3 of “KOTN” actually had a “Jeopardy!” contestant, he even appeared on “500 Questions,” a game show so intense and had so much potential but during both seasons, the combined questions asked to every contestant who appeared in a single season didn’t even reach five-hundred. By the way if you’re curious to know who I’m talking about, that’s Colby Burnett. He won a Teacher’s Tournament back in 2012, earning $100,000, he went on to a Tournament of Champions in 2013 where he won $250,000, and he was in 2014’s Battle of the Decades where he won $25,000 as a semi-finalist. I’m just proving my point to you, game shows and nerds can make an excellent combination. Last thing I’ll add here, as a nerd, game shows are a passion of mine. Just saying.

The second channel I had in mind was Syfy, home of “The Magicians,” “The Expanse,” and the continuously growing “Sharknado” franchise. As far as reality show experience goes, Syfy has done “Face Off,” a show with a science fiction and horror focus. Contestants on the show duke it out against each other trying to create prostheses such as ones found in science fiction and horror films. The show currently has twelve seasons, so imagine how long it could keep “King of the Nerds.” When it comes to money, I’m not sure what it will allow the show to offer as a prize, when it comes to “Face Off,” it’s traditionally $100,000, something makeup related, and a new car. When “King of the Nerds” was on TBS, the prize was always $100,000 and nothing else, so while I don’t know what will happen here, Syfy would probably be cool with this. I honestly have a more elaborate plan for the series to end up on GSN, but if it doesn’t work out with GSN, Syfy would be a good backup choice. Both channels are nerdy in one way or another, and their experience with reality shows might be a benefit for “King of the Nerds.” You may have noticed I put down no streaming channels. It’s a personal reason, but it stands in my book. I personally want to livetweet to the show when it airs, kind of like I did for the entirety of season 3.

As far as other channels go, I did think about TruTV at one point, but that’s uncertain right now. Before we go any further, I would like to remind everyone reading this now, if you like this show and you want to bring attention to others about the show. Notify channels on social media with the hashtag #SAVEKOTN, you can also use #NerdsRule or #NerdArmy as another notification. The more you do this, and the more people that get involved in this, the greater chance there will be of the show coming back for another season.

If anybody reading this has an idea on how to bring back “King of the Nerds,” leave your thoughts in the comments down below, maybe your thoughts will be executed in the future. I want to know, have you seen “King of the Nerds?” What are your thoughts on it? Or what is a show that has been cancelled that you want back? Leave all of your thoughts in the comments section, and I assure you, I do read them.

One last thing before we finish this post, pretty soon I’m gonna have a mini-review series starting up and that is for Tom Cruise movies. You may know Tom Cruise as a famous actor who is well known for a lot of roles, but nowadays you’d see him in big action flicks including “Edge of Tomorrow,” the “Mission Impossible” series, and the “Jack Reacher” series. By request, I’m gonna be starting the series off with the 2003 film “The Last Samurai,” I will also include a review for “Risky Business,” along with a review for one more movie with Tom Cruise in it. I’m thinking either “Top Gun,” “Collateral,” “Days of Thunder,” or “The Firm.” Only time will tell, we’ll see what happens. Stay tuned for those reviews, and please, if you want “King of the Nerds” back, take action! It is the ultimate nerd show, celebrating all things nerdy, so if you want it back and happen to be currently worried about not getting it back, do something about it! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Revenge of the Nerd: A PROMOTION (Plus a Personal Story)

915ujnxkjil

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Today I little wanted to do something for someone I admire. If you remember months back on this blog, I did a post on the TV show, “King of the Nerds,” a reality competition on TBS that aired from 2013-2015. I honestly want it on the air longer, but that’s not something I want to talk about right now. One of the hosts of that show is Curtis Armstrong.

Even you haven’t seen the show “King of the Nerds,” you may be familiar with this name. If you don’t know the name, there’s a chance you may know the face. Aside from “King of the Nerds,” you may have seen or heard Armstrong in “New Girl,” “Supernatural,” “Ray,” “Risky Business,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Moonlighting,” “Dan Vs.,” and “American Dad!.” In real life, Armstrong, seemingly has numerous qualities of a nerd. Although I am looking at his IMDb and it kind of says otherwise, “I’m not an improv guy. I’m not a nerd, I play one on television.” He’s also revealed to be a bibliophile, Beatles fanatic, and Sherlock lover. I also consider Armstrong to be a fine role model and one of my all time biggest idols.

ctqr5xpucaanu5_

I’ve also met him in person at Rhode Island Comic Con in 2015. The moment I met him and got a picture with him is currently my profile pic on WordPress along with other social media including my Twitter and Google accounts. I mean, why not? It’s a picture I personally revere. Not to mention, I’m wearing my favorite t-shirt, a “King of the Nerds” t-shirt I won in a contest which shows the hosts, Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine, and it shows them in a bunch of different colors and facial expressions. You may also notice I have sunglasses as well, those also have a “King of the Nerds” logo. When I met Curtis I didn’t show that part to him, it could’ve slipped out of my mouth, but who knows? The same day, I actually got an autograph from him. Then I came back the following day to tell him he was the best part of the con. I wasn’t lying when I said that. Curtis was nice, we talked together more than I did with other guests, not to mention when I was talking to Curtis, it felt like I was talking with an actual person. I’m not saying the other guests weren’t friendly or nice. It’s just when I talked to Curtis, it almost felt like he didn’t want me to leave. Did he want me leave? Probably, there were other people waiting in line, and that always is a justifiable reason to leave. But I was having fun with him and I would imagine he was having some sort of fun with me. I felt that when we talked on the last day of the con, when we left, it almost felt as if I was in a movie. Curtis said he’ll see me “next time.” If that were a movie, it might as well be called “Jack and Curtis,” it would be less than 4 minutes long and probably wouldn’t make it to theaters, although it would definitely have more substance than the new “Transformers.”

I may be rambling here, but I feel it’s worth it, because if you’re new to this blog, or if you just want to hear a personal story of mine, this is one I enjoy telling, and it makes sense for what I’m doing. Because Curtis Armstrong has a new book coming out in a few days. This book is going to be called “Revenge of the Nerd” and it features the subtitle, “Or… The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger.” Why am I doing this? With everything Curtis does for me, I feel the need to do things for him, and this is one of those things.

“Revenge of the Nerd” is an autobiography Curtis has begun creating earlier this decade. This is going to contain some information on his early years in Detroit, a city which actually coined the term “nerd.” There’s also gonna be a focus directed towards his acting career, including some things behind the scenes of some of Curtis’s various projects.

I have not read this book yet, nor has many other people, so I can’t really give my own thoughts on it, it’s actually yet to come out. The official release date for this book is next Tuesday, July 11. This seems like a short promotion, and yeah, I did basically say just about everything worth saying about the book itself, however I’m not done.

Curtis has been going around various places promoting his book, in fact, when the book releases, there are more promotions coming up. I actually have a list right here. Right now, Curtis is actually at Indy Pop Con, in Indianapolis, but once that’s over, plenty of more promotions are on the rise.

NEW YORK, NY: Barnes & Noble Tribecca (July 11, release date of the book)

BOSTON, MA: Brookline Booksmith (July 12)

PORTLAND, OR: Powell’s Books (July 13)

PASADENA, CA: Vroman’s Books (July 18)

CHICAGO, IL: Chicago Flashback Weekend (August 4-6)

TULSA, OK: Circle Cinema *INCLUDES REVENGE OF THE NERDS SCREENING* (August 26)

BURBANK, CA: Monsterpalooza (September 15-17)

HUNT VALLEY, MD: Monster Mania (September 29-October 1)

PROVIDENCE, RI: Rhode Island Comic Con *INCLUDES REVENGE OF THE NERDS CAST REUNION* (November 10-12)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 80’s in the Sand (November 13-18)

You know how I mentioned, looking back, I felt like I was in a movie when saying goodbye to Curtis? Well, my plans which are set for this Wednesday may as well be considered the sequel. In case you guys wanted to know, I’m going to at least one of these promotions. I’m gonna be going to the one in Boston on July 12, and it’s quite possible I’ll be at Rhode Island Comic Con from November 10-12. I mean, I went the past two years, so why wouldn’t I be there? If you didn’t know, Armstrong is famous for playing Booger on “Revenge of the Nerds,” and he often finds people who recognize him as Booger, he’s not offended at all, he’s actually delighted by it. So viewers, I want to know in the comments, out of curiosity, do people ever call you nicknames? This can also include ones people don’t call you much anymore. Also, I REALLY want to know, have you ever had a nickname that had some sort of relation to something disgusting? For me, I don’t recall receiving any disgusting nicknames throughout my life, but I want to know if you’re any different. I’ve received some nicknames throughout my life including J-Man, Dr. J, Jackson 5, and Dr. Ees. Also, guys, I got another Christopher Nolan movie review coming up pretty soon. Stay tuned for that. As far as new theater releases go, I’m not sure which movie I’ll see next, maybe “War for the Planet of the Apes” even though I haven’t seen many of the other movies. Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

TAKASHI: Excuse please, but why do they call you “booger?”

BOOGER: *Picks his nose* I don’t know.