Saturday, 6 August 2016

Sweet Dreams are made of this

As mentioned in my last post, here is the dream I had a few weeks before meeting Jeremy at LFCC...

I wasn't sure how I was walking, my whole body was convulsing with shakes. If it weren't for Sam supporting my arm and propelling us both forward I was sure I'd be sitting on the floor rocking back and forth in a puddle of my own pee. We were through the door now and I could see him. He was wearing a suit. I wasn't expecting that, I thought he'd be dressed more casually. He turned around when he heard us enter the small studio room and a beautiful smile broke across his face. That perfectly rugged face. Don't pass out, don't pass out.

I wasn't aware of Sam letting go of me, I seemed to be floating towards him now. He held his right hand out to me as I approached the desk he'd been sitting at.

"Hi, you must be Kath, Sam's told me all about you." He gestured towards the second empty seat at the desk.

"Oh god." I whispered, not thinking she'd said anything bad, just trying to process the fact that he was speaking to me. I didn't think he'd heard.

"It was all good I promise." He chuckled, and the sound reverberated through me. I was grateful of the chair.

I was aware I was still holding his hand. "I'm sorry!" I said as I let go.

"Don't be. It's all good mama."

Oh god!!! He called me Mama. Did he? Or did my brain just make that up? I tried to be more human and less like a weird, unspeaking, shaking and sweaty mess. I thought I might be sick.

I swallowed and tried to think of something intelligent to say.

"Can I shake your hand?" Is what tumbled out of my mouth instead.

"Sure." He held out his right hand which confused me. He could obviously tell as he followed that with "I shake with the right, left shakes just throw people."

An entirely filthy image entered my mind then and I grabbed that hand and held onto it for much longer than I should have. I wasn't really shaking it either, just sort of stroking it with my thumb and trying to force myself to remember what it felt like, the weight of it, the smoothness in parts and callousness in others.

"Shall we take the picture or do you need another minute with my hand?" He chuckled again and had the filthiest grin on his face. He knew exactly what he'd said.

I looked over at Sam sitting behind another desk. She was trying not to laugh.

I reluctantly let him go. "I'm good. Lead the way."

We stood up from the desk and made our way to the backdrop. I was so grateful to Sam for arranging this private shoot for me.

"Do you have a specific pose in mind?" He asked, stopping on the marked position on the floor and turning to face me.

"Just hold me."

"You got it mama." He opened his arms and I stepped forward into my moment of bliss.

I didn't get a 'mama' on the day but ironically Sam did. Maybe next time I'll get one too. Oh, and the calloused hand from the dream? Not at all in real life. His hand was smooth as silk. And very warm.

Adventures In Fangirling - LFCC Day 2

Day 2 of our crazy LFCC Renner weekend began with a catsuit, and ended (for one of us Rennerwomen) in tragedy. 

I had decided in my infinite wisdom that it would be a good idea to recreate the below 'budapest' scene from Avengers for my photoshoot with Jeremy. I figured that I could take Jeremy the bow and "arrows" I used for my Catniss cosplay, and if I couldn't speak to explain what I wanted, I could simply show him the image and hope he understood what I wanted to do. 

However, a couple of weeks prior to the event, I had a dream that I'd been unable to attend the photoshoot, and that my friend Sam, who in the dream was Jeremy's assistant, had arranged a private meeting with Jeremy (and a photographer) so that I could finally get my picture. It's only now, after what happened that day that I see this as something of an omen, just not for me. 

I typed up the dream at the time and forwarded it to Sam in the hope that not only would it make her smile to have featured so prominently in my subconscious world, but also in the hope that it would give her some much needed strength. I hoped it would allow her to see that we all had the same fears, and nerves, as ultimately in the dream she was the much stronger of the two of us, and helped me get through the experience. Much like on the day itself, although I had several friends who helped me through the weekend overall because I'm a super lucky lady like that.

Anyway, I'll post the dream after so you can all have a chuckle at how pathetic and hopeless I truly felt in the weeks leading up to meeting Mr Renner.

So because of the dream (which you'll understand when you read it), I had pretty much abandoned the idea of posing with Renner, and especially as I hadn't been able to get a hug the day before (despite my GIANT birthday girl badge) I wanted a hug. Just once. And so it had to be in our photoshoot. 

I wore the catsuit anyway. It was the only clothing I'd brought with me so I kind of had to, and I figured it would make for some cool photos anyway.

Thankfully the catsuit did make it feel a lot less like my dream, as I had been dressed normally in that; although as we queued for our pics Sam was directly behind me (as she had been in the dream), although this time she didn't have to push me - which I'm sure she was grateful for.

The queuing was over in no time, the pictures are taken so fast, I barely had enough time to pass on a fan letter to Kris (Jeremy's business partner) and take a deep breath before it was my turn. I very quickly asked Jeremy for a "full on hug" and told him it was my birthday recently, he said of course and grabbed me into a bear hug. I dimly recall saying "you really do give the best hugs" and I started to float away, then he took me by both shoulders, looked me in the eye and said "Happy birthday baby". I was in a total daze. I almost forgot to pick up my picture and then had a sudden moment of horror when I thought, I don't think I even looked at the camera! I was convinced the picture was just going to be me, snuggled into Jeremy, heaving a great sigh as he held me for a few seconds. 

I didn't even see Sam get her picture taken and she was right behind me in the queue. I waited what seemed like an eternity for my picture to come out and then there it was. I did look at the camera, and I don't think I've ever liked a picture of me as much as I love this one. 

You'll have to excuse the quality. I haven't gotten my digital copy of it yet. But look at those faces. Gosh it's sad how happy this man makes me.

Still feeling euphoric from my Renner pic experience, I suddenly remembered the reason I had signed up for Comic Con this year! Harold! We made our way through the crowds and found his autograph queue virtually empty. I quickly paid my £20 (thanks for remembering to get cash out Donna!), and waited my turn. When I got to the front I was again thankful of my decision to wear the catsuit as he asked me who my Avengers character was and proudly told me he'd just watched Iron Man the other night. Seriously Feige, get this guy in a Marvel movie stat! I told him I'd just met his friend Jeremy (as they are buddies in real life and have worked together a couple of times), and I showed him my picture of the two of us. I encouraged Sam to come over so we could tell him how much we loved The Unusuals, and how sad we were that it got cancelled. He shook my hand and happily stepped out from his desk to take a picture with me. Such a sweetheart of a man. If anyone gets the chance to see him at another event like this I would highly recommend it. He was so genuine and lovely. 

But unfortunately the day couldn't go completely without a hitch. Our friend who was coming for an afternoon photoshoot dressed as the human car crash known as Hawkguy (Clint Barton in the Fraction/Aja comics), actually had a real car crash right outside the event. As a result she couldn't come in to get her photo as she had to go to hospital with a broken wrist! 

Knowing how we would all feel if that were to happen to any of us we clubbed together and bought her a get well autograph from Jeremy. We told him what had happened and he was obviously concerned (as was Kris) and they asked if she was okay. I know the autograph won't make up for what happened but I think it at least made her smile. 

I just want to sign off by saying a huge thank you to everyone who supported me this weekend, everyone who came, who took pictures, all of the new awesome Rennerwomen I met, all of the people who have listened to me relentlessly go on about this (before and after it happened) and to Jeremy and Harold for being tremendous human beings. I love all of you guys, you're awesome. 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Adventures In Fangirling - LFCC Day 1

The last time I put type to screen about my fangirling it was about a year and 3 months ago. I had just come back from the Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere and I'd had a terrible day that had turned itself around. You can read about it here; and the prelude to that day, where this adventure all began is here.

I had been hoping to have something to report after the Captain America: Civil War premiere in April but unfortunately that was a terrible day that never improved.

We'd gone up to London 2 days previous to the date of the premiere to collect wrist bands for the event (as for some reason the event organisers felt this was a better idea than giving them out on the day). We left at the crack of dawn on the day, and were subsequently pushed so far back that not only did I not get a decent picture of Jeremy (below was the best one), I couldn't even see him. A second autograph was definitely out of the question.

I left feeling tired, frustrated and completely let down by the whole day. Unsure of when I would be able to see Jeremy again I tried to put it out of my mind. The one good thing about the day was that I had the good fortune to meet yet another lovely Rennerlady, and our little band of 4 premiere-goers subsequently went as a group to go and see Civil War a few weeks later.

I had just started a new job in April too, so I had that to concentrate on, and a busy few months ahead. Then in mid June I decided to book tickets for my best friend and I to go to London Film and Comic Con on Sunday 31st July, as part of a belated birthday weekend for me (as it was my birthday on the 26th July). I made that decision based on Harold Perrineau appearing as a guest, as an autograph or photo with him was only £20, and I've liked him since I saw Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet.

At the end of June came the announcement that Jeremy would be joining the star guests at this year's event. My excitement hit peak level (or so I thought). I was due at a friend's birthday party on the night the announcement came in, and was characteristically late because I'd been sitting at home in a bit of a daze after purchasing my diamond pass which allowed me a photo with Jeremy, a ticket to his talk and an autograph.

We arrived rather late on the day and so I went straight in to get my autograph. I'd opted to take my Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation poster with me which I'd been sent by the film's director Chris McQuarrie, after myself and 3 of my 'Rennerlady' friends had done an impromptu location hunt for the London locations in the movie. You can read about that here. He'd been kind enough to send posters for all four of us that he and Tom Cruise had signed, and now I wanted to add Jeremy's signature to that too. 

I waited in line with my friend and when I was finally standing in front of Jeremy I started telling him he'd already signed one of those today (as my friend who also received one had already been in for her autograph on the same poster). I quickly realised however that I wouldn't have time to tell him how I came by the poster, so I asked to shake his hand and told him it was a pleasure to meet him. On my way out I made sure to say bye to his business partner Kris who was sitting on the sidelines watching the proceedings.

When I got outside to my waiting friends I was shaking like a leaf, but I do now have Jeremy's signature on my poster, which I would not have been able to get any other way.

Next up was the talk, which sadly unlike conventions in the US we were not allowed to film at. Jeremy was quite animated throughout and answered each fan question as though it was the first time he'd been asked "what other Avenger would you like to be?" I had planned to ask a question about his tattoo, as I'd been curious as to when he got it, but as the time dwindled I found my hand was still not in the air. After a few not so subtle prompts from my bestie and the Rennerlady on my left, I eventually mustered the courage to put my hand up. And in a strange twist of luck, because the lady behind me managed to ask a question, she handed the mic straight to me after and I finally got my chance. 

Being the short ass that I am, Jeremy couldn't see me in the audience so they asked me to stand up. My legs were shaking as I told Jeremy my question was frivolous, to which he told me he would give me a frivolous answer. The interviewer on stage with him joked that I 'knew all his tattoos' because I'd said that the one in Senior Trip, although being in the same place as his own Renner crest tattoo, didn't look to be the same, and I wanted to know if it was a cover up or if he'd not yet gotten his tattoo when that film was made. I informed the interviewer that he only had one (to my knowledge) and I resumed my seat. Jeremy said he didn't remember but he didn't think it was a cover up as he only got his tattoo in 94/95. Good enough for me. 

We grabbed some lunch after the talk and accompanied our friend to her first photoshoot of the weekend. Understandably she was a little shaken up afterwards, but her picture was adorable and immediately made me wish I'd signed up for an additional shoot. Mainly because I was worried that the one I had booked for the day after would be terrible. Why had I made the decision to go in my Black Widow costume?

We posed for a couple of pictures, went for a cuppa before our separate trips home, and then very quickly started to droop after dinner. 

More from Day 2 tomorrow...

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Archive Cinema Visits 2012

Pitch Perfect ~ 30/12/2012
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 ~ 12/12/2012
Gremlins ~ 11/12/2012
End Of Watch ~ 05/12/2012
Silver Linings Playbook ~ 04/12/2012
Ruby Sparks ~ 02/12/2012
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 ~ 15/11/2012
The Sapphires ~ 15/11/2012
Argo ~ 08/11/2012
Rust And Bone ~ 04/11/2012
Frankenweenie ~ 23/10/2012
On The Road ~ 21/10/2012
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower ~ 07/10/2012
Looper ~ 07/10/2012
Hysteria ~ 28/09/2012
Lawless ~ 25/09/2012
Paranorman ~ 23/09/2012
Anna Karenina ~ 20/09/2012
The Watch ~ 07/09/2012
The Bourne Legacy ~ 05/09/2012
Total Recall ~ 28/08/2012
Ted ~ 27/08/2012
The Wedding Video ~ 26/08/2012
The Expendables 2 ~ 26/08/2012
The Bourne Legacy ~ 24/08/2012
The Dark Knight Rises ~ 19/08/2012
Brave ~ 19/08/2012
The Hunger Games ~ 01/08/2012
The Amazing Spider-Man ~ 22/07/2012
The Dark Knight Rises ~ 22/07/2012
The Imposter ~ 21/07/2012
Magic Mike ~ 12/07/2012
The Five-Year Engagement ~ 10/07/2012
Katy Perry: Part Of Me 3D ~ 09/07/2012
The Amazing Spider-Man ~ 08/07/2012
The Amazing Spider-Man ~ 04/07/2012
Friends With Kids ~ 30/06/2012
Snow White And The Huntsman ~ 20/06/2012
Jaws ~ 18/06/2012
Prometheus ~ 17/06/2012
Avengers Assemble ~ 27/05/2012
American Reunion ~ 22/05/2012
Avengers Assemble ~ 17/05/2012
Dark Shadows ~ 13/05/2012
Avengers Assemble ~ 08/05/2012
Silent House ~ 07/05/2012
Avengers Assemble ~ 02/05/2012
Avengers Assemble ~ 30/04/2012
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen ~ 29/04/2012
Avengers Assemble ~ 26/04/2012
The Cabin In The Woods ~ 16/04/2012
Mirror Mirror ~ 08/04/2012
Titanic 3D (IMAX) ~ 06/04/2012
A Dangerous Method ~ 02/04/2012
Wrath Of The Titans ~ 01/04/2012
The Hunger Games ~ 23/03/2012
We Bought A Zoo ~ 21/03/2012
John Carter ~ 18/03/2012
Bel Ami ~ 14/03/2012
This Means War ~ 06/03/2012
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close ~ 04/03/2012
The Vow ~ 26/02/2012
Safe House ~ 25/02/2012
Man On A Ledge ~ 17/02/2012
The Muppets ~ 16/02/2012
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D ~ 15/02/2012
Big Miracle ~ 12/02/2012
The Woman In Black ~ 10/02/2012
Man On A Ledge ~ 09/02/2012
The Descendants ~ 05/02/2012
Like Crazy ~ 31/01/2012
Like Crazy ~ 27/01/2012
J. Edgar ~ 25/01/2012
The Artist ~ 22/01/2012
Haywire ~ 21/01/2012
The Darkest Hour ~ 17/01/2012
War Horse ~ 15/01/2012
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol ~ 11/01/2012
The Iron Lady ~ 07/01/2012

The Neon Demon (and a mini review for Ghostbusters)

Where do I begin to paint the picture of how very bad The Neon Demon is? Bad taste, badly edited, overly stylised direction, barely any script, but then again it is "written" by Nicholas Winding Refn (who apparently now refers to himself as NWR so I shall do the same), and he's not exactly known for his dialogue; but no, it's mostly just bad in sense that it leaves the taste of eyeball in your mouth at the end.

This is the story of a girl who wanted to be a model, and who undoubtedly would have made it had she not been so shitty to those helping her to the top of the ladder. I get the metaphors too, modelling is dog eat dog (literally) and if you're big headed and rude to the people helping you on your way up, they're likely to be the ones to push you off the top. I get it. But I didn't really need to sit through 2 hours of strobe lighting and over-long scenes where nothing (and I mean nothing at all) happened, in order to get it. 

It's so sad too because they have some really great people in the cast. Keanu Reeves is criminally underused, Jena Malone, you can do so much better than this honey, what are you doing? And even Elle Fanning who showed real promise in Super 8, is above the level this movie stoops to. Character wise, did we need to know that the crooked motel owner was also a paedophile rapist? Or that the make up artist was a necrophiliac lesbian? No, I really don't think we did, and shocking for the sake of shocking is so very 90s.

I enjoyed Drive, even though it too was over stylised and under dialogue-d on reflection, but at the time it came out it was different, refreshing even. I missed Only God Forgives in cinemas and when I attempted to watch it on TV I only managed to watch about half before I was so bored I gave up. If I'd watched this at home I don't know that I'd have made it half way, but I paid my £8.70 dammit and I was determined to get my money's worth. 

So we're three major films in to NWR's career (I'm aware that in total he's got 13 director credits) and I already feel he needs to try a different tactic, because this one is now old hat. It's clear that after the success of Drive he believed his own hype, and now has no originality left. 

Before the film started there was an advertisement for a season of films that "inspire" NWR. One of those films was Under The Skin. "Inspired" is a funny word when used in this context because if you played Under The Skin and The Neon Demon side by side, you'd see a lot of similarities. The music is one, the look of the film is another. And if you read my review for that movie you'll know what I thought of it. This too has no real point to it, nothing of any value to really say for itself, no likable characters, in fact nothing really to redeem it at all.

The irony is that everyone has praised The Neon Demon and criticised the hell out of the rebooted Ghostbusters, but I actually enjoyed that much more, and thought it more original even though it was a reboot of an existing film. It felt more fresh, the cast were all superb, it features a some fantastic role models for women and young girls, it prominently features both a funny and knowledgeable woman of colour, AND a kick ass and smart gay woman. If you have to pick between the two, go for Ghostbusters. It's not perfect, I think it would have worked better as a sequel rather than trying to be a stand alone movie, but it's been done this way, and as it stands I would much rather see a sequel for this new team of Ghostbusters than sit through the tripe that was The Neon Demon again.

The Neon Demon 1 out of 10 / Ghostbusters 6 out of 10

The Neon Demon Viewing Date - 20th July 2016
The Neon Demon Release Date - 8th July 2016

The Neon Demon Cast Overview:
Elle Fanning ~ Jesse
Jena Malone ~ Ruby
Karl Glusman ~ Dean
Bella Heathcote ~ Gigi
Abbey Lee ~ Sarah
Christina Hendricks ~ Roberta Hoffman
Keanu Reeves ~ Hank
Alessandro Nivola ~ Fashion Designer (uncredited)

Written and Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (with assistance from Mary Laws and Polly Stenham on the script)

Ghostbusters Viewing Date - 11th July 2015
Ghostbusters Release Date - 11th July 2015

Ghostbusters Cast Overview:
Melissa McCarthy ~ Abby Yates
Kristen Wiig ~ Erin Gilbert
Kate McKinnon ~ Jillian Holtzmann
Leslie Jones ~ Patty Tolan
Chris Hemsworth ~ Kevin

Written and Directed by Paul Feig (with assistance from Katie Dippold)