Tag Archives: Iron Man

A Marvel-ous lunch

AKA Spider-Newman and her Amazing Friends

Hi I’m Stan Lee*

IMG_2752Today Marvel fans we find ourselves in sunny Southend-on-Sea where we join old webhead, Spider-Woman, Iron Man and Captain America at Pizza Express.

Of course any self respecting superhero won’t be in several hundred bounds of Southend as they’ll probably be plenty busy at something like San Diego Comic Con, it was of course Isabelle who had just so happened to have donned a top featuring this fantastic foursome.

Not that it’s that often you hear a peep out of Spider-Woman – or Mrs Spider-Man as Iz called her – so that was a nice surprise for her to pop up on the top and say hi.

Iz’s Marvel-ous pink 3/4 sleeve top displays Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Spider-Woman, with the two Spider folk sporting a somewhat glittery look over their red. Not sure that will follow in the new reboot. She loved it and knew all of the characters, almost.

And it really set her pink converse off perfectly.

I spotted it in Tesco and was just genuinely pleased that there was a superhero top available for girls and not just another My Little Pony or Frozen, not that there is anything wrong with either of those franchises but it was genuinely refreshing to see that the Marvel universe wasn’t just perceived as a boys only universe. Because it isn’t.

SupergirlMarvel’s Black Widow and Sue Storm might be flying the flag for Marvel but with the new Supergirl TV series and Wonder Woman sorting out Superman and Batman , perhaps DC may be more female friendly than Marvel? Besides, Iz loves a little bit of Supergirl.

*Clearly I’m not, that’s just how the likes of The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoons were introduced in the early 1980s.

Supergirl takes flight…every night at my house

Is it a bird? Yes, Supergirl to be precise.

New footage has been released of the new TV series Supergirl, from the same makers as The Flash and Arrow, and it looks goofy fun in a The Devil Wears Prada/My Super Ex Girlfriend via Gossip Girl type-way with Melissa Benoist (Glee season 4 and 5) donning the cape or glasses (in Linda Danvers mode).

The footage, which went on for a good six minutes, certainly gave us a great insight into where she came from, the usual costume choices montage and some Supergirl action where she saves a plane, something of a Superman staple, but it was done well and had a few neat twists. It certainly is lighter in tone than Arrow and is probably more inkeeping with The Flash.

SupergirlSupergirl may well be flying onto a TV screen near you soon but I’m actually Supergirl’s Dad, sort of. Isabelle loved her Supergirl costume when she wore it and loved the running, the fake flying and the potential for superpowers.

Whenever I take her out of the bath I always have to wrap her in her towel to the strains of the original Superman theme and ‘fly’ her into the living room (less easy these days I must admit, she must have switched my powers like in Superman 2).

christopher-reeves-superman-main[1] DSC_0433And it’s hard to not talk of the Supergirl/Superman universe and not mention the late Christopher Reeve. Like Reeve the Super costume really brought Iz’s blue eyes out as she attended a superhero themed birthday party that saw the likes of Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man and a rival Supergirl (echoes of the Superman 3 junkyard brawl there) take to the bouncy castle with their super powers. Guess you could call her Supernewman or Newman of Steel?

red like the sun of Krypton green like kryptoniteThe Man from Krypton coincidences continued throughout the party. The floor was littered with balloons but the only one that Iz was remotely interested in was the singular red balloon, clearly it reminded her of the red sun of Krypton! Iz took more caution as she went for a drink, steering clear of the bright green drink that had more than a passing resemblance of kryptonite about it.

Iz even managed to pull off a couple of his stances, from the hands on the hips to his meaningful stare.

photoWe have a British Superman in the guise of Henry Cavill, so why not a British Supergirl? Iz could quite easily pull off teh mild-mannered Linda Danvers office-based role as well if they ever wanted to do Supergirl: The Early Years.

To paraphrase the marketing campaign for the original big screen Superman back in 1978, you’ll believe a a girl can fly!

The Amazing Spider-Dog

download (1)So, Spidey is getting a(nother) reboot and is crossing over into the Marvel universe with Captain America and Iron Man in Civil War.

That certainly gets the spider-sense tingling and it also looks like it’s goodnight Andrew Garfield. So who next?

Well Garfield may have played Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, but this time it could be less of a cat-namesake (tenuous lasagna loving cat reference) and more of a canine one vieing for the role, sort of.

You can forget Spider-Pig, bid farewell Krypto the superdog and utter goodbyes to Underdog (loved the poster though)…there is a new super mutt in town!

Turns out Missy has taken a liking to my Spider-Man dressing gown (alas it comes minus web slingers), so I guess if she’s Spider-Dog then her alter ego must be Peter Barker?

img_1608Not sure there is much need for a superhero dog that can sleep all day (she’s like a cat dog so perhaps she is more mutant superhero) and sense cheese being opened miles away though!

Like Superman she has her Achilles heel in the form of a bark button – touch a certain part of her back and watch her go – and chocolate. She once searched and destroyed two regular Lindt chocolate bunnies (they were only identifiable  from their remaining bells) which saw her turn the shade of the Green Goblin.

photoStill, she’ll always be a superdog to Isabelle, especially with Iz in her head essentially being Penny and Missy as Bolt,  from the film of the same name.

You can hear her now asking Missy to Bolt bark (back to that bark button again) or giving her the command to zoom zoom when she is on her scooter. But most of all, just like Penny and Bolt, they are best of friends and always have been.

iz-and-miss

Iz it a bird…Iz it a plane…

Batman vs Superman might well have started shooting recently but anothsuper rester DC superhero was spotted the other weekend round Southend…none other than Supergirl.

DSC_0433 christopher-reeves-superman-main[1]I think that Iz gave Helen Slater quite literally a run for her money, practically readying herself for take off as she runs down an alley Christopher Reeve style.

Like Reeve the Super costume really brought her blue eyes out as she attended the superhero themed birthday party that saw the likes of Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man and a rival Supergirl (echoes of the Superman 3 junkyard brawl there) take to the bouncy castle with their super powers.

red like the sun of KryptonThe Man from Krypton coincidences continued throughout the party. The floor was littered with balloons but the only one that Iz was remotely interested in was the singular red balloon, clearly it reminded her of the red sun of Krypton!

green like kryptoniteIz took more caution as she went for a drink, steering clear of the bright green drink that had more than a passing resemblance of kryptonite about it.

images[7] DSC_0439Jumping back to Reeve (in a single bound naturally) Iz even managed to pull off a couple of his stances, from the hands on the hips (no, not like the Time Warp) to his meaningful stare.

She even found time to ape his kneel before Zod pose, although she didn’t go round crushing people’s hands.

 

kneel before ZodNo sooner had the party finished that Isabelle wanted to do it all again, alas she was unable to fly round the world backwards at supersonic speed to turn back time.
Instead she went back to being the mild-mannered (yeah right) Isabelle Newman.

But for that one afternoon you’d have believed that a Newman could fly!

Supergirl

The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour has sets appeal Part 2

In this second part of our visit to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour, join us as we go behind the scenes of the magical movies and see how they were brought to life…

As the door opened we were let into a room where you see a montage of Harry Potter posters from across the world greet you to remind you that the world of Harry Potter practically took over our one, we are then treated to how the transition was made from books to film so this very much serves as our prologue.

It very much reminded me of seeing the likes of seeing Terminator 2 3D at Universal, the excitement just builds and builds and if you weren’t excited before then shame on you, but you now feel a step closer, to what we aren’t sure, but its progress.

The doors swoosh open to reveal a small cinema, we take our seats, the light darken and the screen comes to life showing us a highlights package the Harry Potter films, until we meet some familiar faces; Daniel, Emma and Rupert. It’s great to see them and for them to be part of the introduction of this experience, something which at the end of the day has also been such a  big part of their lives as well and in many ways where they grew up as people and not just as characters.

At the end of the short film the threesome disappear behind a familiar large door that takes them into the Great Hall. They bid us a fond farewell and exit through a giant door and then the cinema screen is majestically raised to reveal THAT actual giant door…for some it’s almost like the reveal of King Kong in the theatre and you can hear an audible gasp and certainly it was with the group we were with initially, these were grown adults, we aren’t talking kids here! They gasped; for this door is an entrance into Hogwarts, but it is more than that it is an entrance into the great hall…the first ‘this is what we are here for’ moment on the tour. To be honest they just keep coming after that, a bit like a child who has too many Christmas presents and just doesn’t know what to play with first.

And so we entered into the great hall of Hogwarts…

It’s perhaps the most iconic and widely recognised sets from all the Potter films and for many who have made this pilgrimage it is their filmic Mecca as in this very ‘room’ so much so significant, so memorable has happened through each of the books and subsequent films…this is where Harry history was quite literally made.

As a set it is impressive and all that is seemingly missing is a bank of floating candles (and a roof to the build, to complete it. Although still large, as with many actual sets it is smaller than perhaps you might imagine it, not that this takes away from any of the magic of being there, from seeing the fireplace, the never ending house tables and at the end clothed mannequins standing in the very spots where Dumbledore, Snape and Haggrid once ‘stood’.

Even though one part of you is telling you that it is only a set and not actually a great hallway all your other senses, especially underfoot as that is very much real flagstones you are stepping on, tell you that it is and that it is as real as say something like the Tower of London.

We found that there were plenty of photo opportunities here, even if some folk did try and hog(warts) the models for far too long, but we never felt rushed.

From here it was into Studio J, which was a feast for the eyes as pretty much every inch of this Studio was filled with sets and pieces from all of the films. To say it was vast just doesn’t cover it as the horizon just went on and on with its sets and costumes and sets, each one instantly recognisable.

And the great thing about this warehouse of wonder, one is reminded of the vastness of the warehouse from the very end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, this is your Potter playground to discover and uncover things at your leisure as you could spend as much time in that section as you wished. The only rule being that once you left to go to the next section you could never return, which was of course was for handling crowd numbers, but all the same sounded suitably like something Harry and Co would have to adhere to on one of their quests.

As you walk through into the Studio be sure to keep your eyes peeled as if youlook above you you’ll see a golden snitch suspended in mid-air.

Although there were lots of people in the Studio looking round at the menagerie of sets and delights it very rarely seemed that people were stood in your way or that you had to wait anytime to catch a closer glimpse of say the potion room, the Weasley house interior, Hagrid’s Hut, Dumbledore’s Office or one of the Dorm rooms, to name but a few.

The decadent chocolate feast from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire looked, well, good enough to eat but don’t get too excited though as it turns out most of it was painted resin. Mmm, resin, as Homer Simpson might say. The detail is amazing, complete with a pesky trail of sugar mice.

The Hogwarts Gates, from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, look like something straight out of Hammer Horror, no doubt they would have looked right at home in Radcliffe’s first post-Potter outing, The Woman in Black. Rather than that though it was more a case of The Bloke in the Green Coat when I stood in front of them, I did have my glasses on as well so that must at least count for something!

In the Gryffindor dormitory, inexplicably there seemed to be a distinct lack of an Ordinary Boys single, as featured playing in Harry Potter and, surely the darkest point of all the Harry Potter films . You know, they were ‘famous’ for five minutes when lead singer Preston was in Big Brother.

The Leaky Cauldron, as well as home to the rather large and obvious item that gives the pub its name, in this drinking establishment there was also a great example of forced perspective, made smaller as it goes off into the distance to make it appear much longer than it actually was, an old Hollywood and stage trick that is still as effective today and shows that not everything has to be done in a computer.

One of my favourite pieces has to be the giant stone griffin, almost like a giant maltese falcon, whilst he portraits of Hogwarts saw over 350 hand-painted ‘masterpieces’ showing the wizards and witches of times gone by.

Set designers clearly had to Phink Pink (one for old Pink Panther cartoon fans there) when it came to the set design for Dolores Umbridge’s Ministry of Magic office from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, it echoed many of those same features and – ahem – styles featured in her Defence Against the Dark Arts Office in Order of the Phoenix.

The Death Eaters and their masks were certainly one of the more sinisterly memorable features from the Potterverse, which no doubt  cropped up in a few nightmares post trip to the cinema, this one giving Iron Man a run for his money.

It was nice to be able to take the time to take in some of these glorious crafted moments, not just in some of the bigger recreated sets but also the smaller objects and the massive amount of care and detail that has been put into everything, even if it only appeared on screen in the background or was a fleeting appearance.

And so onto the next section of the Tour, a section that would see us get hands on with some of the props, a place where we would meet our greatest foes, say hello to some old friends most people decided to exit throught the door, I thought I’d take the more direct route…