Happy 1st Birthday for The Mind Reels!

When I was younger, physically and chronologically, not mentally, I often thought about talking and working with people in the entertainment industry. I also thought about being a starship captain like James T. Kirk or walking with dinosaurs, but hey, one dream at a time.

Growing up, I was not necessarily an outsider, but I was often on the fringes of my school groups, I wasn’t necessarily the ‘weird kid’, I was just interested in different things. They liked the movie where such and such happened. I may have liked the same film, but I was always more interested in how the such and such happened on the big screen, the story behind the story. And that’s what I wanted to do with my life, maybe write, maybe direct, maybe even act!

Life, as it tends to, got in the way, and I found myself manning the counter of two of the bigger names in home video rentals, and watched the transition from VHS to DVD, and DVD to Blu-Ray.

It wasn’t til last year, as my 40th Birthday leaned threateningly over the horizon, that someone dear to my heart (you know who you are) pushed and nudged me, insisting I do something with my love of film, television and pop culture. I toyed with the idea as I crawled into bed that night, and just as I was drifting to sleep, my eyes snapped open, and I turned the lights back on, jotting down a title on the notepad I keep next to my bed. ‘The Mind Reels.’ I liked it. It worked. And it worked on a couple of levels. Brilliant I thought.

The next morning, I ran the idea past one of my best friends, Sue, and convinced her (it didn’t take a lot) to partner up with me on this idea. I sought out the advice of where the best place was to start up a blog, and got some advice on podcasting from my friend Ryan, and boom.

Within 24 hours, The Mind Reels had been created.

And now here we are.

1 year later.

And what a year this has been, this blog and our podcast, has taken off beyond any of the dreams I had for the first year. I’ve met some amazing people, some I’m lucky enough now to call my friends, seen tons of movies and TV. I do need to do a little more in the book department (I’m constantly reading – I just never make a post about them, I’ll see about changing that) and yet for all that we’re constantly expanding.

We’ve covered film festivals (thank you Hot Docs! WorldWide Short Film Festival, Toronto After Dark Summer Nights), we’ve covered conventions (Niagara Fall Comic Con, Wizard World Toronto Comic Con, and Fan Expo!) we’ve been to screenings, set visits (Sex After Kids, Pete Winning & The Pirates) and then, there’s the podcasts!

We’re now featured on the internet channel Smithee.TV and Sue and I are constantly looking at one another with dumbstruck looks on our faces… how did this happen?

Our friend Ryan, whose own website is brilliant, gave me all kinds of advice on podcasts, and then after that very important screening of The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard, which we did to support our love of Lost Girl, and it’s cast members Zoie Palmer and Kris Holden-Ried who were both in it, the world of interviews opened up to us thanks to one man… Jeremy LaLonde.

We took a chance, and contacted him and asked him if there was any conceivable way that he would meet us for an interview.

And he surprised us both when he said yes.

I mean, we were shocked! I mean honestly… who were we? Just a couple of people who were interested in films, admittedly I had written a raving review of Paul Shepard (SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!!!).

But Jeremy, one of the people I know count myself lucky to call a friend, told us that in most cases, interviews would be ours for the asking. You just have to find the right route, the right contacts, and network. This year has seen a lot of that.

And look how it’s paid off for us, what a guest list we’ve had… IN OUR FIRST YEAR!!! Jeremy LaLonde, Beth Beard, Christine Horne, Katie Boland, Anna Silk, Rick Howland, Nadia Bassett, Tanya Lemke, Jodi Anne Balfour, Victor Webster, Ali Liebert, Mary Krohnert, Charlotte Hegele, KC Collins, Natasha Eloi, Emily Schooley, Sandra DaCosta, Devon Bostick, Tim Doiron, April Mullen, Amanda Brugel, Mary Krohnert, Anthony Grani, Kate Hewlett, Tony Amendola, Miracle Laurie, Robert O’Reilly, JG Hertzler, Huse Madhavji, Paul Amos, Stacie Mistysyn, Sean Cisterna, Supinder Wraich, Dan Fox, Jay Ferguson, Lucas Bryant, Casey Hudecki, Nina Conti, Ryan Goldhar, Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart, Sylvia Caminer, Melanie Lentz-Janney, Clay Peterson, Michael Harmon, Michael MacLennan, Adrienne Mitchell, Janis Lundman, Rebecca Sandulak, Tanis Rideout, Simon Racioppa, Tony Todd, Jamie Bamber, Daniska Esterhazy, Bruce Sweeney, Chloe Rose, Seth Cooperman, Ashley Hirt, Rebecca Gibson, Kiowa Gordon and Meg Tilly.

HOLY CRAP!

Thank you, each and every one of you! You have made such a huge impact on myself and Sue, you’ve come on our show, you’ve made us feel like friends and family, and you’ve spread the enjoyment you’ve had with us to others.

And THIS has just been our first year doing interviews and podcasts!

Now we’ve moved into our full studio, soon to be podcasting live and our guest list seems to be growing, and we’ve got so many amazing things in the works, familiar faces and friends will be back, as will new and amazing guests. Who would you like to see come on the show? I have a dream list that I am constantly updating, and I’m really starting to dream big! I’d love to chat with Steven Moffat, or Steven Spielberg! I’d love to kick back and laugh and have a chinwag with Tom Hanks! But you know what?

I wouldn’t change a thing about any of the interviews we’ve had. Every single one of them has been FANTASTIC, and I truly believe that once they realized we weren’t your usual interview, they all had a great time, and just relaxed and opened up.

In fact, that is my favorite moment in each and every interview, the point that I constantly bring up with Sue in our post-interview talk… I love when each and every guest reaches that relaxation point and just chats to us. They openly relax, we’ve got them to relax by talking about something like their favourite movie, and then we’re just chatting and laughing with one another. That is always my favourite part.

Everybody does interviews, we’ve always been more interested in having a conversation.

It’s literally been a whirlwind, and Sue and I are right there in the center of it. It’s been amazing!

And people read our posts, people listen to our interviews!

That still amazes us, and from the bottom of our hearts, I thank each and every one of you. You read what we write, you retweet it, you respond to it, you tweet us your thoughts about what we’ve shared, you’ve helped us chase down interviews, and we’ve been lucky enough to meet some of you in person.

We have been so fortunate with the people who have come to our website.

So, with my eyes a little teary as I write this…

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

And for me personally, Thank you for letting me do what I’ve always wanted to do, and letting me know that I’m not wasting my time with it.

As we move into our second year, I have high hopes, aspirations and dreams for what’s to come for The Mind Reels, and I know it’s not going to be easy, we’re going to have to work at it, to make it be all that it can! To push ourselves, to chase down leads on stories and interviews. It’s really hard work, but it’s paying off, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. Because I do.

I’m looking forward to many more birthday celebrations for The Mind Reels, looking back on what we’ve done, and going boldly forward to our next goals, challenges, and oh, all those amazing people we get to meet.

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Natasha Eloi (Part 2)

So this week, we present the second part of our awesome chat with with Natasha Eloi, and we talk about a lot of stuff in this second part – there’s toys, there’s movies, there’s interviews, there’s fries and there’s a lot of laughter.

Please join us, and have a listen as we geek out with Natasha Eloi (Part 2).

The Last Starfighter Podcast!

Here it is!

Our chat with the amazing Catherine Mary Stewart and equally awesome (and taller than you think) Lance Guest!

We were very lucky to be able to meet these two amiable and gracious stars thanks to the hard work of a mutual friend, Ryan Goldhar – check out his appearance on our show next week – you won’t believe what he tells us!!

I said in a post from last weekend that it’s not always a bad thing to meet your heroes, and this case totally proved it. They were funny, charming, and made us feel more like friends than interviewers and it makes the experience of watching The Last Starfighter that more amazing and poignant for me now.

There is a quick lull in the middle as seats are shifted that I left in because you can still hear Catherine and Lance chatting with one another (it’s adorable).

So, join us for a convention and an amazing chat on our The Last Starfighter Podcast!

 

Coming Soon On Our Podcast!!!

After a couple of weeks off, believe me, we were not resting on our laurels, Sue and I are returning to our podcasts with a vengeance this weekend!

This Saturday we’ll be sharing our chat with the amazing and delightful Catherine Mary Stewart and Lance Guest for our Last Starfighter podcast. This was sheer delight for us, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Then coming down the pipe we are joined by the friendly and exuberant talent agent and producer Ryan Goldhar, who is working with our good friend Jeremy LaLonde on Sex After Kids. You won’t believe the news he brings to me and Sue!

Also on deck are interviews with the brilliant writer and co-creator of the hit show Bomb Girls, Michael MacLennan.

But wait there’s more… We’re planning on chatting with the adorable Katie Boland, and perhaps some of the artists and directors from the Hot Docs film festival we’re covering, and of course, catching up with our friends on Lost Girl, Bomb Girls, Sex After Kids, and anyone else we can get our hands on…

If we could give you a wish list, I know that a revisit with Kate Hewlett would be on there, her brother David, the entire cast of Haven, the lovely Jewel Staite (who will be in Toronto, we’re just trying to track her down… if we can) would all be on there.

And honestly… who else knows who Sue and I will come across??

Stay tuned…

Wizard World Toronto Comic Con – Sue’s Thoughts

I’m just gonna put this out there right off the bat: I go to cons a lot. As often as financially possible, really. For the past several years, conventions and film festivals have kind of been my thing. And collecting things – prop replicas, toys and the like. Yep…I am a big nerd. More or less proud of it, too. ;)
When Wizard World brought their event to Toronto for the first time, I was on board before they even arrived. I was excited for something a little new and different to hit the city, and this one seemed to have a nice mix of classic guests and guests from more current things, with some wrestlers and reality TV stars thrown into the mix. It was the first convention that I could attend that brought me the lovely and talented Erin Gray as an actual guest – usually when I get to see her, it’s because she is working behind the scenes through her company, Heroes For Hire. I met Erin several years ago at an event in California, and now kind of consider her to be more of a friend, but the chance to do all the geeky things with her – like photo ops and autographs – while she was an actual guest was far too much fun for me to pass up!
So yeah, I’m a fan of the Wizard World events, and bought my pass for this one right around the time they announced that Sean Maher was coming, I believe! I would have been going, anyway (even without the Mind Reels table involvement), but I think Sean was the first announcement that solidified my ticket purchase!


Anyway, this year would prove to be an extra interesting one, simply because we got a table to help advertise our blog/podcast, and hopefully spread a little word-of-mouth promoting for some of our other favourite projects, as well. We had some Guidestones stuff, some Dyke Master 3000 stuff (and Dyke Master herself was there on the Sunday), we had advertising for both of my books (Carving The Light and Ebon Black and the Seven Dryads), and pics from several of our interviews, including those with the cast of Lost Girl and Bomb Girls. Just a bunch of things to show what we’re all about, and help pimp the stuff we love.


Because I had purchased my ticket before we got passes for the table, however, I was determined to enjoy as much of the event as I could, while letting others man the table more often than I was. On paper, Saturday was going to be a mostly photo op-filled day, while Sunday I planned to enjoy more Q&A’s and such. The only switch-up was that Paul Wesley (Vampire Diaries) was only there on the Saturday, so I needed to basically stalk his handsome self if I was going to get a chance to see him much at all. And because we were planning to interview our fave Last Starfighter duo on Saturday, we hoped to surprise them with an official photo op on the Sunday, once we all knew one another a little better. Basically, I went into the weekend with everything all mapped out for myself, ready to go.
And yadda yadda yadda – best laid plans, and all that – cons tend to take on a life of their own once they get rolling. So really, while I SORT OF stuck to my plan – a lot of things I wanted didn’t happen (ie every single Q&A on the Sunday) and even more things I hadn’t expected DID happen (ie The Edge…good grief, more on that shortly). I’ve learned over the years to just go with the flow and see where it takes me, and this event was a whole new kind of animal, once we got our table set up and access to the con floor ahead of doors open each day.
So, let’s see. Saturday once we got settled, I noticed that I could see where Paul Wesley would be sitting from where *I* was sitting, and that alone made me kinda giddy. I tried to get an idea of where everything was before the doors opened and people started arriving for the day. I always like to know where the guests are, where the photo booth is, where the panel rooms are, etc. Oh, and what kind of food will be offered, even though I know I should be avoiding it all together – and usually do. I just like to know where the smells will be once I get hungry. ;)
I also had to find where Phil Ortiz would be setting up to ‘Simpsonize’ people, because I really wanted to try and get that done first thing Sunday morning, if I could. I always like to take a quick walk through before the floor gets too crowded, just to get the lay of the land. I was happy to be in the North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, too. I know the South Building is bigger, and therefore better for larger events, but my first con experience was in the North Building, and it always feels a little like home to me now, being there. There’s just somthing about riding the escalators up to the convention floor that is exciting – I had to stop and just stare for a minute the first time I went up there, and always feel that nervous/excited pounding of my heart every time I ride up and get my first glimpse of all the geeky treasures that await me that day; stretching out before me like a sea of promise and hope.
See? I’m not just a nerd – I’m a nerd who writes! ;)
First up on the official Sue Plan docket was a couple of photo ops with my lovely Firefly boy, Sean Maher. One pic is never enough…I really should have stretched them out for both days, but still…did two shots, right in a row, which was awesome, regardless.


Tim and I went to introduce ourselves to Lance Guest and Catherine Mary Stewart, so they’d have faces to put to the names and recognize us when it came time to interview them. They were both wonderful right from the start, and we officially got even more excited to do the interview after that first quick meeting. They both really took their time with each fan – and with us – which is always very nice to see. I like when things aren’t rushed. Except sometimes when I am far back in line, of course!


I had two more duo photo ops that day – one with Paul Wesley and Torey DeVitto from Vampire Diaries (has there ever been a more aesthetically-pleasing couple, I ask you?), and one with our fave Quantum Leap pair, Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell. Both had huge line-ups, and passed in kind of a blur, but while Paul and Torey were friendly and beautiful, it was the Quantum Leap moment that sort of took my breath away…more after the fact than during, though. You see, I realized suddenly why I hadn’t been nervous for that one, and it was because I was standing with my arm around someone I knew very well – Dr. Sam Beckett. He’d spent years inside my livingroom, after all, and I’d gone on countless journeys with him and Al (oh, there’s Al now, on the other side of Tim!), so it felt completely natural to me, standing there. And for his part, Scott was SO open and gracious and…just…SAM – I didn’t even realize what had happened until after it was over. So crazy. In an awesome way, that is. :)


I didn’t get to see the whole of Paul and Torey’s Q&A, but I loved what I did see. Both of them were goofy and fun, they joked around a lot. I took a lot of blurry pictures from the back of the room, and was happy to note that the questions for each of them seemed to be pretty balanced. I hate when there are two people on the stage and only one gets asked all the questions. In a way, that little interaction made me like the show even more than I already do – I got to see the actors behind the characters, and feel somehow more connected to it all. Or something.
Our interview with Lance and Catherine went better than we could have hoped. Oh, we were interrupted a few times, and we went back and forth between them for awhile, until they were able to pull their chairs together and chat about everything together more, but all the wee hiccups made the whole thing even more fun, I think. We were laughing so much, and watching them joke around together was just delightful. You could see their genuine friendship and enjoyment of one another, and Tim and I both just kept cracking up at how fun they were. So awesome…I can’t wait to hear that podcast again once it goes up!


And then, finally, there was The Edge. Adam Copeland, known the world over as WWE superstar The Edge, and known to me as the mysterious and super-cool Dwight on Haven. I thought he was pretty good-looking with the long hair. Gave him a scruffy manly look. But holy monkeys, is he ever beautiful with short hair! As soon as I saw him, I decided a photo op with him had to happen. I didn’t care that he was only there for the day, or that his line-up was huge, or that I was one of the only people who wanted to talk to him because of his acting career, rather than his wrestling one. I was going to have that handsome creature put his arm around me and smile if it was the last thing I ever did. And so it was:

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I later spot the dude wandering the con floor, checking things out. Tim and I were alone at the table at that point, and I told Tim that if The Edge wandered our way, we had to give him our card and tell him we were Haven fans, and tell him that we interviewed Lucas Bryant and that we’d love to talk to him even by phone sometime before season 3, too.

And by “we” in all that, I meant Tim. Clearly, because I’d apparently lost the ability to speak temporarily once the man drew closer. After he’d had his little fun, Tim finally did hail him, and he came over and shook our hands and remembered that I’d told him I loved him in Haven and he took our card, said Lucas was an idiot and that’s why they get along so well and … I don’t really remember much more than that. I know I said stuff…yeah. It’s kinda a blur. In a great way. :)


Sunday didn’t go at all as planned, either, but I did manage to get myself Simpsonized, and Dyke Master arrived to attract attention in her sparkly gold shorts, so that was a ridiculous amount of fun. The Phil Ortiz line took up the first couple of hours of my day, but totally worth it:

Besides, we were all kept entertained by the presence of Toronto Batman, who had a booth right next door. :)
Watching Dyke Master work the room was really more fun than should be allowed. She pulled attention to her like moths to a flaming rainbow unicorn, and I loved every moment I got to spend watching. You really have to check out her comic/blog/Twitter/Etsy store, etc. She’s awesome, she skated through her first con experience like a champ, and I am very proud and honoured to know her. :)


I skipped every Q&A I’d planned on seeing on Sunday, but I spent a lot more time at the Mind Reels table, and had a great time getting pics taken with Lance and Catherine when they had a few minutes to spare.

First of all, you have to understand how much this pair meant to us when we watched Last Starfighter growing up. Catherine Mary Stewart was this really beautiful girl who seemed like such a natural, genuine sweetheart – and she is. Not only is she a delight to be around, but she’s actually more beautiful now than ever. Lance Guest was this really good-looking, sweet guy, who always seemed to be an incredibly intelligent, grounded, well-spoken dude – and he is. His eyes are somehow bluer than I remembered them, he’s taller than I anticipated, and the fact that we didn’t seem to annoy him with our…us-ness…was one of the happiest surprises I think I’ve ever had! The two of them together pretty much made our whole weekend, really. DEFINITELY a highlight!
So yeah, going back to their table the day after our interview and getting to giggle with them through a few casual shots for the podcast, and then having the official group shot taken as my last trip through the Wizard World photo booth for the weekend – all of that was like icing on an already amazing cake.


While we’re on the subject of photos, actually, I want to issue a quick shout-out to the folks working the photo booth this weekend. They were fun yet professional, and had even the largest lines running smoothly and quickly all weekend long. That ability to not only capture a person’s convention experience, but to also enhance it, is often overlooked, and I will always take a moment to thank the photographers, etc who I feel have done a good job for me in the brief time we’ve had together. It was my first experience with Celeb Photo Ops, but I truly hope it won’t be my last. They really were great!
What else? The Blue Jays won, Tim and I got awesome hot dogs and such from the street meat carts outside, and because Sunday was a slower day, we were able to pack up and leave a little bit earlier than initially planned – so we hit Silver Snail for a few more comics before heading home.
What can I say? We’re nerds – it’s how we roll. :)

Wizard World Comic Con Toronto

It was a pretty sweet weekend for Sue, and I. We had our first fan table at the Wizard World Comic Con here in T.O, and we had so much fun with it.

Our mornings started with a quick chat and beverage with our fellow con -goers and exhibitors. That is an awesome and eclectic experience because you just don’t know who you’re going to bump into.

Sue and I settled into our table, getting set up, and ready for the two days ahead of us. Sue and I were giddy with excitement over what we were going to see and do this weekend., and who we would be talking to, and all the new people we would meet.

First thing Saturday morning we wandered over to the Last Starfighter table to say hello to Lance Guest and Catherine Mary Stewart, as we were lucky enough to have a mutual friend who had arranged an interview for us.

Then we settled in, after our photo-op tickets had been purchased to chat with all those people who visited out table… and some of them looked very familiar…

It was also an odd experience to be working our table, and be approached to a couple of people I hadn’t seen in years and who were stunned to find me here touting our successful blog and podcast.

At out table, we were not only promoting our own site, we also chatted about Sue’s books Carving The Light, and Ebon Black and the Seven Dryads, as well as talking about the awesome webseries Guidestones and the new comic book series by our friend Kate Carlsen – Dyke Master 3000. We had a great bunch of people come over and chat about our podcast and blogs (welcome to our site if you came here because of Comic Con).

People were friendly, interested, and were more than happy to engage in conversation with us about all the things we cover here on the blog.

Kate skated around in front of our table (in character) and chatted with everyone! She had a great time, it was her first con experience ever, and I think she really enjoyed herself.

Sue got to say hi and have her photo taken with the Vampire Diaries guests, and then was completely gob-smacked by The Edge, like a giddy school-girl . I should make clear right now, that neither Sue nor I are wrestling fans, but we are huge Haven fans, and he seemed absolutely delighted that we were interested in that and his acting career.

We had a brief chat with him at our table and hopefully laid some groundwork for a future chat with him. He’s on his way back to Nova Scotia to join the cast for Season 3.

So while Sue was being all giddy about that, I got stunned to my core twice on the weekend.

Once when Sue and I had our photo op with Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell… Anyone who read my post on Quantum Leap KNOWS how much that show means to me.

So moments into the picture-taking process, after shaking Dean and Scott’s hand telling him what a huge pleasure it was to meet him, I had to just stop talking, or I was going to break down right then and there. You can almost see it in my eyes in our photo. I’m holding on but barely.

I stumbled out of the photo-op, and Sue was very sympathetic, knowing what an emotional experience I had just been through.

With The Mind Reels we’ve met and interviewed some amazing people, and at previous cons and expos I’ve chatted with some major names… But Scott and Dean together about knocked me down completely.

But I had to outdo myself on day two. In a moment when there weren’t a lot of people in his line, I stepped away from our table, which Kate was manning, and raced through his line-up, chatting with his minders and telling them no, no I don’t need a photo-op or an autograph, I just want to say hi.

Then it was my turn.

I almost froze.

I introduced myself, shook his hand, he was very gracious. And I explained about our blog and podcast, and pulled out a hard copy of the one I had written about Leap a couple of weeks ago. I told him, that I just wanted to say thank you…

And then I couldn’t talk anymore. I just about lost it.

I told him he could throw it out as soon as I stepped away, but I just had to give it to him, and say thank you. On that second thank you, my throat locked and I couldn’t say anything at all.

Scott was polite, friendly and thanked me for those words, and for coming to see him. I couldn’t do anything else but wave at him as my eyes and throat began to burn.

I just about broke down right there in the middle of the con, and barely stumbled back to our table.

I don’t know if he’ll ever read that post, but I know I gave it to him, I know it’s out there forever, so maybe someday… somehow… someone will get it into his hands. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll actually be able to talk to him.

Sue found a mo to step away to have herself Simpson-ized by original Simpsons artist, Phil Ortiz, it looks fantastic!

Sadly while Sue was away…

I was attacked…

Somehow, I survived.

It was touch and go there for a moment, since there were no stormtroopers, jedi or superheros around to save me.

I also made sure I ran over to introduce myself to Sean Maher, because if it wasn’t for our shared love of Firefly, Sue and I may never have met.

He was a little stunned at first that that was why I had come up to his table, but was more than happy to shake my hand over it, and accept my thanks.

The highlight of the entire weekend, and we told them this when we saw them, in our professional photo shoot, was spending time with Catherine Mary Stewart and Lance Guest.

They found time for us, each and every time we went to see them. We chatted back and forth, and the podcast should be just bril when it goes up next weekend.

It just blew us away, that these people, who we grew up thinking were cool, and still are, thought we were cool as well, and happily accepted us.

Both of them said very kind things, and were just amazing, they made us laugh, and by the end of the weekend made us feel that we were more than just another interview.

Like I said in yesterday’s post, meeting your heroes isn’t always disappointing, sometimes they exceed your expectations of them…

For me, Scott, Catherine and Lance (who is so much taller than you think he is) are those exceptions.

Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do.

And Catherine and Lance, thank you for being so damned cool and friendly!

I call the Toronto Wizard World Comic Con a wonderful success!!

See you next year!

The Last Starfighter

“Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-dan Armada.”

Those words make me smile, and give me excited chills at the same time.

Now, for Sue and I, it’s taken on a whole new level of awesome. Believe me, this film was already at an incredibly high level of awesome for me.

This weekend at the Wizard World Comic Con here in Toronto, Sue and I had time to chat with the film’s two leads, Lance Guest and Catherine Mary Stewart.

Wow.

And just chatting with them set the wayback machine that is my brain back to that wondrous year…

1984.

Alex Rogan (Guest), a dreamer, living (read as stuck) in a trailer park in a small town, his walls are covered in pictures and posters of places he can only dream that he’ll visit. His lone escapes are his girlfriend Maggie (Stewart), and a stand-up arcade game called Starfighter.

He learns that the game is a modern Excalibur test, overseen by a flim-flam-type character Centauri, who takes him off-planet to save not only Earth, but the universe from the threat of the Ko-dan armada.

The film, coming up on its 30th anniversary in just two years, holds up amazingly well. And the CG, considered revolutionary at the time, and it truly was, nothing like it had been seen before, still stands up. Though the effects are nowhere as sharp and glossy as they would be today, they lend to it a sense of fun and sheer cinematic joy.

Alex is the dreamer in all of us, and though I never had a mobile hanging from my ceiling, I totally related to watching him tilt and move in his chair to maneuver around them.

I would do the same thing for years, I still do. But back in the 80s, I got to do that in the best of places, under the unpolluted skies of Bermuda. I can remember laying out in the field of the Canadian base just looking at the masses upon masses of stars that were visible, and just dreaming.

At it’s heart, Starfighter is the traditional quest film. But in an addition to that, it’s fun.

And that fun must have extended off-screen as well, because chatting with Lance and Catherine today (wait until you hear THAT podcast) it’s obvious that there is not only genuine affection between them, they revel in one another’s company, chatting and playing.

I know there are some people who haven’t seen this film, I know there are some people who don’t want to see this film.

In both cases, I can only say, you don’t know what you’re missing.

The film delights with all that it is.

And honestly, is there anyone who hasn’t dreamed of being taken away to a distant planet, and told that you can be a hero, and given the means to do it?

Who wouldn’t want their own gunstar??

There is an innocence and joy that permeates this film. An optimism that sometimes seems sadly lacking in the films of today.

I love this movie.

They say you should never meet your heroes.

I got to meet a few of them today.

And they did not disappoint.

I’m well aware of the separation of the art from the artist, but seeing Lance and Catherine laughing and chatting together, and with Sue and I… There were moments when I felt that I was looking at Alex and Maggie almost 30 years on, and it made me smile.

They’re gracious, funny, and made Sue and I feel like friends right from the start.

And now, every time I watch The Last Starfighter, and it’s playing again now, even as I write this, the experience is enhanced with the time Catherine and Lance found for us today…

So what are you waiting for Starfighter? Launch that gunstar, load up death blossom, and let’s go take on the Ko-dan armada!!

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

What are you up to this weekend?

Sue and I will be manning our table at the Wizard World Comic Con here in Toronto this weekend!!
If you’re there swing by the table and say hi! Sue and I would love to meet you.

We’re planning to say hi to a couple of the folks there ourselves, we’re looking forward to saying hello to Catherine Mary Stewart and Lance Guest, the leads from the awesome 80s film The Last Starfighter.

I’m also going to make an effort to swing by and say hello to Scott Bakula. I figure after the article I wrote the other week about him and Quantum Leap, I should make an effort to approach him and thank him in person.

I mean when am I ever gonna get a chance to say hello or thank him again?

Cons are always a lot of fun, there’s the things you know you want to see and do, but then there’s the things you just come across and sometimes those surprises are the best.

Sue and I are looking forward to a fantastic weekend, lots of pics to share, and hopefully meet a lot of people…

And who knows maybe an interview or two to share with you in days to come…