Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Assembly Required

Been a hectic couple of weeks. By now, you'll probably not only have seen my review of Avengers Assemble that was kindly hosted by those cool guys at Forces of Geek, but by now you've probably seen the movie (if you haven't yet, don't worry, my review isn't too spoilery at all - but the video I'm going to embed below is...). However, there's a tale to tell regarding the Avengers...

It was a strange sequence of events that came about thanks to my blogging for the UK SyFy Channel website. I'd done a series of features and reviews for their site, and due to this I was invited by the incredibly cool press company behind The Avengers movie to go to a screening of the film and to attend the UK Press Conference. However, the SyFy Channel's site hasn't been working with the bloggers for a while, so I called upon those excellent dudes at Forces of Geek and asked if they'd like me to review the film for them. Thankfully, the US has to wait an extra week before the Avengers opens there, so a review from a British reviewer is a particularly early scoop for them, and they said yes.

As I mentioned, I did the review, but the Press Conference? Now that was a surreal experience. I'd never really gone into the posher areas of London before, let alone Claridges Hotel, possibly one of the poshest and fanciest of five star hotels in the capital. I'd arrived early, so I lurked around outside while Rolls Royces dropped off and picked up people in suits, wondering if I really belonged here... Inside, the Marvel publicity department had booked the Ballroom, and decked the place out with the huge Avengers display as a backdrop.

Now comes the couple of downsides - one, I couldn't film or take photos at the event once it had started. Professional photographers were there to take pics and the publicity department would release them to the reviewers later. The other downside is that I couldn't audio record the event as my phone had died the previous night. Typically, I'd turned it off for the advance screening of the movie, and it just refused to come back on. On a particularly major night when friends and family needed to contact me as well...

That being said, I took a couple of photos before it started, mostly of the cool backdrop and table they'd set up for the stars. One of the advantages of getting in early? - Sitting on the 3rd row, just a matter of feet away from the stars of the movie.

I also took a pic of me there, just to prove I'd gone.

Edith Bowman, Radio 1 presenter, was in charge of the proceedings and came out first, letting us "press" know the rules of the conference. Then came the stars. I won't go into detail about what was said at the conference, as the whole thing can be seen on the Youtube video (produced by Digital Spy) embedded below - WARNING: THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS VIDEO)

[As a side note, at 0:22sec there's a camera pan to view the answer to the first question, and the camera whizzes over to the right. There's a tall guy in a white shirt on the second row, I'm sat one row back and off screen to the right. Just out of shot. Don't worry, spoilers start about 15mins in...]

Very strange being in the same room as these people. They're all horribly attractive. Robert Downey Jr is just Tony Stark. As you can see in the video, he's just Tony Stark all the time. Scarlett Johannson is rather purdy, and Jeremy Renner was very jetlagged. Cobie Smulders (who plays Maria Hill in Avengers) is gorgeous in person... you can see why these people are actors, and why they didn't cast uggo the ugly as I'm known in some circles.

Anyway, that's about it for the conference. It was very cool. Didn't last too long, but being about 15ft away from these people was possibly the ultimate end to the trip to London to see the excellent movie. (Seriously, go see the movie, read my review!)


On a more serious note, the blog posts here may be less frequent over the coming weeks for a couple of reasons. 1) Blogger is no longer supported by my ancient Mac. It's just a mass of crap on screen and I can't actually make new posts or format them in any way, and 2) had a bit of a family crisis which obviously takes priority. I'll post here as and when I can...

Until then, stay multi-classy.

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