Four of Stan Lee’s Favorite Characters

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Stan Lee with fans dressed as their favorite supes…with his true love: Spider-Man

There’s no doubt Stan Lee, often together with frequent co-inventor/artist Jack Kirby, created some of the most beloved, enduring, and influential superhero characters.  Without Lee, there would be no Marvel Universe, at least not with the faces by which we know it. Lee was a man with a mission of hope for millions of kids, giving a heroic voice to the underdogs, the alienated, and the disenfranchised.

Here are a few of Lee’s apparent favorite superhero creations:

  1. Lee seemed to identify most with Spider-Man, an emotional, talkative, and sometimes naive teen. According to Quora: “Spider Man symbolizes the little guy and that appeals a great deal to Stan. I’m not saying that Stan doesn’t love any other creation because that isn’t true. He has love for all of his characters that he brought to life. I just think that Spider Man has a special place in his heart. If you look at some of the publications and advertisements you will see Stan with Spider Man quite often.”
    It doesn’t hurt that this character became the face of Marvel for many years.
  2. Dr. Banner/The Hulk Banner was a man tormented by an often violent inner volatility. His human form contained a man a science, characterized by rational  intellect — never knowing when he would lose his cool to become an overpowered child-like rage monster. He’s the personification of the ultimate battle between the Id and the Ego. AV Club reports: “There’s definitely an element of wish fulfillment in the Hulk for readers that wish they could let themselves fully give in to their anger—my appreciation for the character developed during my closeted teenage years—but Lee and Kirby were clear early on that this was a curse for Banner rather than a gift.”
  3. Black Panther – At the height of the Civil Rights movement, Lee created the first eponymous African superhero, starting with King T’Chaka, eventually  passing the role to his son King T’Challa. A previously under-served, large section of the world’s population could finally find superheroes who looked like them — an entire paradisaical high-tech country of them, in fact — in the secret cities and unspoiled countryside of Wakanda. The Rolling Stone reports: “An entire generation of children will now know that a black superhero, society, imagination and power can exist right alongside Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, and Bruce Wayne. An entire generation of children will not know what it feels like to not see themselves reflected back on costume racks, coloring books or movie screens. We’re at a pivotal time where these characters and stories are coming not out of permission or obligation, but necessity.”
  4. For The X-Men, as an ensemble, this might be cheating, but he loved these fleshed out characters, who tried to do the right thing in a world that didn’t want them. They were flawed but regular people at heart, caught up in circumstances where they were forced to make a choice: to look out for regular humans, or to look out for fellow Mutants. In theory, the choice should be easy (both sides could reap the rewards of working together), but in reality it was like forcing opposite poles of magnets to align. You can’t help but feel a sense of tragedy for both sides. As a child, I self-identified as a mutant, or perhaps as someone from another world, impersonating as a human. According to the AV Club the young mutants were “a bunch of awkward, uncertain outcasts, drawing strength from each other in order to get through life in a world that didn’t especially like them, who just happened to have superpowers to boot. For a pre-teen who often felt like the odd one out in school, it was a lightning bolt, a volcanic eruption that ripped open the pop culture I had been consuming and showed me the way to a different one, one that existed inside the pages of comics. The heroes were fascinatingly flawed, all of them given to social isolation in one form or another, and it spoke to me in a way few things have. The symbolism of the mutant heroes is powerful, which is why they’ve been used as an allegory for just about every marginalized group at this point (and were created by Lee with the express intent of functioning as such).”

This week, the galaxy lost a voice of vast imagination and fun, who held deeply felt humanitarian roots, shaping millions of young lives through the colorful comicbook medium. He also influenced modern adults, bringing all-too-human characters to the big screen, reshaping the superhero landscape indelibly from anything we’d seen before. If you’ve enjoyed the 20+ film saga of the MCU, or the X-Men movies, you can’t help but be touched by Stan Lee’s contribution to entertainment, and feel a deeper understanding of ourselves.

We at RunPee love superheroes, clearly identifying with the underdogs who decided to do something for the world, even if it’s as simple as helping everyday people in small ways, one bladder at a time.

Here’s a couple of our recent Stan Lee articles, and one cool quiz: 

RIP Stan Lee – you will be missed

Quiz – Learn About Marvel Studio’s Great Stan Lee

Stan Lee – His Marvel Cameos are a Secret Character

Every Stan Lee Cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Live, in Concert

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Harry Potter Live- a movie and a symphony

I love attending movie showings at venues that set a live orchestra to movie soundtracks. I’ve attended a few of the Harry Potter ones, most recently Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (one of the best Harry Potter films. IMO). On August 5th of 2018, I got to enjoy the San Diego Symphony Orchestra play under the bright lights of downtown’s skyscrapers on one side, and the beautiful harbor on the other. It was, well…a magical experience.

Conducted by John Jenesky, and performed at the Embarcadero Marina Park South, it was beyond cool to see up close how a large symphony was coaxed into creating a wall of music.

I was fortunate enough to snag one of the tables up close by the orchestra, under the massive outdoor movie screen. Wine, good food, and tasty desserts were available. I can’t say everything was perfect: the lines at the PortaPotty “village” were long and stinky, and the parking was awful — you could pay absurd fees to park nearby, or  find a side street out of the area and schedule a long walk in. Also, the traffic once the event ended was just snarly, taking  almost an hour to exit the expensive parking garage; no joke. For all things downtown, I’ve learned it’s better to UBER in and out.

However, it’s very worthwhile to catch these kind of events if you can. Of course the movie was enjoyable alone, and got me more psyched for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald. And I went with my Harry Potter Meetup friends, dressed in my best Hogwarts robes (Gryffindor House, natch). We brought our wands and had ourselves a very merry evening.

There’s something special about having a live musical performance set to great movies with a note-perfect soundtrack. The music sounded exactly like the original track by Patrick Doyle and the great John Williams. (Which, really, one would expect in a big city’s orchestral group. We’re not talking about a high school marching band, after all.)

The Harry Potter series plays one movie a year for the season’s program of Bayside Summer Nights. In previous years, I got to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and The Prisoner of Askaban. I missed The Sorcerer’s Stone, but maybe it will come around again (in…um, six years — or longer if they include the Fantastic Beasts films).

I also recently watched Star Wars: A New Hope in this setting — also an outstanding experience. I’d happily shell out money for these geeky events whenever I find them, whether it’s for Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, the Star Wars oeuvre, Indiana Jones’ lineup, ET, Titanic…anything iconic, with a  strong, distinctive soundtrack. (Notice the prevalence of John Williams’ films. The man is a master.)

If you get a chance to view a great movie set to a live symphony, make it happen. Highly recommended.

Related, on RunPee —

The Movie Music of John Williams  — Concert Review

Star Wars A New Hope — Symphony and a Movie

Star Wars A New Hope — Movie Review

Solo: A Star Wars Party in San Diego

Fantastic Beasts 2 Trailer Released at Comic Con

Final Trailer for Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — Movie Review

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Concert Review – The Movie Music of John Williams

I’m not a huge fan of live music, but I AM a movie lover. The best, most iconic movies are usually supported by an amazing soundtrack. Think of some of the top films of our time…now imagine them without a stirring score. Imagine the 1977 Star Wars without The Imperial March, or Luke Skywalker’s Theme.  Would it even be Star Wars? A great composition carries the viewer into new worlds, offering rousing emotional cues and magical movie moments.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that many of our A+ film lists are heavily weighted by one beloved composer: John Williams.

So when I heard San Diego would host a special summer concert of the music of John Williams, I was all over it, and off I went to the Jacobs Music Center in downtown San Diego. Was it great? Well…it should have been. Part of it was wonderful. The program was in two halves, starting with a sampler variety of films. And the second part? It was all Star Wars. I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise.  😉

I think was did surprise me was the first half:  for some reason, the chosen themes weren’t the most well-known in their franchises. Yes, absolutely play the music from Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Superman, and Harry Potter! But how about the songs we best recognize and love? I don’t think The Last Crusade contains the most memorable Indiana score, nor the Lost World from the Jurassic Park series. I find those choices a little mystifying. Why not use the beloved Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter? And I don’t even recognize the movie title “BFG”…surely something from ET might have been a better choice from the child-oriented end of John Williams’ oeuvre.

At least the concert opened with a bang, using the Superman March from the original 1978 Superman. And the entire Star Wars second half of the program was as nostalgically transporting as any geek could hope.

Here’s the performance list from my July 18, 2018 concert (as worded from my program):

  • “Superman March” from Superman
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: “Harry’s Wondrous World”
  • Suite from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: “Bridge to the Past”
  • “A Child’s Tale” suite from The BFG
  • “Scherzo for Motorcycle” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • “The Adventures of Indiana Jones” I.Swashbuckler (The Adventures of Mutt)
  • “Theme” from The Lost World

Intermission

  • Selection from Star Wars

The program info could have been written better. For example, I’d like to remember which songs from which Star Wars films were used, although I did recognize them all. A list might have been nice. 🙂

Overall, this was a fine experience, but not a great one. The musicians can’t be faulted — everything sounded like it was performed in the movies themselves. Conductor Sameer Patel was lively and probably superb, although I wouldn’t recognize one conductor’s work from another, to be honest. But from the selections chosen, I don’t think I’d pay $30 to see this again.

What I would do again, in a heartbeat, are those outdoor symphony performances of music played TO THE MOVIES. I’ve now seen several of the Harry Potter films performed that way, and most recently, Star Wars: A New Hope (<—–concert/movie review). If I’m lucky, that will become a habit.

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Jurassic Park Ride Goes Extinct

I kind of cried a little on this ride. Yeah, GEEK here.

I got to return to the CA Universal’s Jurassic Park ride this summer, before it closed, not knowing it was on its way out. The ride, yes, felt old and needed refreshing (many of the dinosaurs weren’t moving anymore),  but it was still a joyous experience. I even wrote it up on RunPee. I guess I should mention that it’s officially closed now, and being updated as a Jurassic World ride. Due…2019?

It was a great ride when fresh and new. I was in my 20s when I got to try it, and it was a dream experience; just spectacular. So I got to try it both new and at the very, very end of its lifespan. The flume fall, in particular,  was…um…actually breathtaking, and it totally held up, decades later.  It was longer than anything else I’d experienced on a drop, and you really feel it — it’s like “Wait, we are still falling….?!” YIKES! Loved it.

I really did, though the ride seriously needed updating. Now I wonder where they will take the ride’s narrative: Isla Nublar is no more. (Did you see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? Um, spoiler, sorry.)

So, what now? Maybe the new ride will showcase Jurassic World as a functioning park at first, with happy herbivores surrounding the boat, and then take the ride through the volcanic eruption…ending up with Isla Nublar dying from the volcanic event…including the sad Brachiosaur moaning while the boat pulls away from the dock, engulfed in the pyroclastic explosion. That was the best moment of JW2. So sad: I kind of cried a little there.  🙁  Good storytelling. 

The big flume drop could be re-worked as the moment Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady & company plummet to the sea, escaping the cataclysmic events. That’s my prediction. It would ROCK. It would put us right in the tumultuous moment.  What say you? This could be a great upgrade, like how Disney’s  Pirates of the Caribbean included Captain Jack Sparrow in the “new” narrative.

Anyway. Here’s the USA Today article, announcing/updating the ride’s demise. People from all over lined up to experience’s the ride’s final moments. That’s a great testament to Steven Spielberg’s original movie, the best of the series. So long, Rexie.

Here’s the Ride Review article from earlier this summer: Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studios

Also On RunPee.com: 

Jurassic Park – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park: The Lost World – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park 3 – Movie Rewatch Attempt Number One

The Jurassic Park Movies Poll

Jurassic World Movie Review

Jurassic World Movie References

Movie Review: Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, Missed Opportunities

Everything Wrong With the Jurassic Movies (All the You Tube videos in one place)

Movie Rewatch Review – Jurassic Park III

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Star Wars A New Hope – Symphony & Movie

The Force is with them.

This week I was treated to an outdoor, live symphony in San Diego (at the Embarcadero Marina Park South, August 18, 2018) playing to a large screen-film showing of Star Wars: A New Hope.  To say it was spellbinding would be an understatement.

I haven’t seen A New Hope (just called Star Wars, back in the day) on the large screen since the original trilogy’s Special Editions came out in 1997. With the San Diego Symphony Bayside Nights offering monstrous screen outdoor movies set to a live orchestral soundtrack, people have started  flocking to these events in droves. It was as packed last night as it was to their Harry Potter versions last year. And the Star Wars audience was surprisingly into the spirit of the story.

Where did you dig UP this old fossil?

While the audience wasn’t dressed in costume like the Harry Potter symphony goers were ( I was one of the attendees in Hogwarts robes), it was clear people were more-than-normally excited. People laughed at almost every line C-3P0 said, applauded when Han Solo first appeared, shouted AWWWW when Porkins died,  cheered as the Death Star blew up, and gave a standing ovation after the rousing credit themes finished. Besides all the clapping, hooting, cheering, and laughing around me, one nearby attendee amused audiences during the Intermission by roaring like Chewbacca. He was quite good. I can’t even come close.  🙂

Strike me down and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. (From a certain point of view.)

It’s hard to describe how amazing it is to watch a beloved movie set to live music. When I could tear my eyes from the screen, I was impressed to see how many string instruments Williams’ score used. He was also heavy on the brass, and light on percussion…although when drums or other percussive instruments were used, they were to magical effect. Nothing sweeps you right along like the Star Wars theme.

After the orchestra members took a bow, it was a matter of inching through the cattle-like foot gates, and waiting an hour to exit the car from the Downtown Hilton parking garage, during which my enthusiasm waned a bit (I recommend Uber for things like this). But John Williams’ iconic score still resounded in my brain. I considered what other movies could inspire enough audiences take the jump from ignoring a “boring” orchestral event, to packing the outdoor grandstand seats and champagne lawn tables for fine arts versions of pop culture immersion.

The Harry Potter movies are a clear success in this format, with eight movies, plus the new Fantastic Beasts versions to choose from. And I suspect they can give it a go for the lineup of other Star Wars films. Other movie franchises with powerfully memorable scores include Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Superman, ET, and possibly Close Encounters. If I’m leaning heavily on John Williams films, that should be no kind of symphonic surprise. But there are certainly other composers lending themselves to this kind of treatment. Think about The Lord of the Rings saga or Titanic. If there are other movie franchises whose tune you can easily identify offhand, that’s a place to start. And if said movie comes with a fanatical following, well, there you go.

I’m excited for the next time I can hit the symphony for a fabulous science fiction or fantasy film super-experience. It will have to be an annual event!

As a re-watch, of course I give Star Wars an A+, film-wise. Seeing it on the large screen with a superb live orchestra takes the film to new heights. If there was a super-grade above A+ for the live musical option, I’d give it.

Great seats. The Force was clearly with me that night!

 

About the Peetimes:

I didn’t even need to use my Peetimes; the event included an intermission. However, since everyone else in the audience used this intermission as well, clogging up the toilet lines, I should have checked the app anyway. We do have Peetimes for A New Hope listed in the RunPee app, even though RunPee didn’t remotely exist yet, as a sort of retro-cool flashback feature. For fun, you can scroll through the movies on the RunPee app, and peek at what we did.

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Movie Rewatch — Jaws

Dun dun. Dun dun. DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNdoodooDOOOO!

This movie still blows me away (not unlike the way a certain 25-foot Great White got blown) and I am super surprised. I knew it was good, but I didn’t remember it being THIS good. Like A+ level good. Steven Spielberg, while young, was already on his game.

It’s hard to hold the title of First Ever Blockbuster. And it’s harder even to look back since 1975 and agree that such an “old” film holds up to our current movie-going standards.

Remember, suspense-horror-action fans, it’s what you don’t see that’s the best kind of scare. Alien did it. Recently the very good A Quiet Place did this perfectly.

This review is going to have some spoilers, but since it’s been a while since the 70s, even people who missed Jaws the first time pretty much knows most of the plot (via pop culture osmosis).

The gore is surprisingly low key. There are two distinct grisly moments, and one of those is a jump scare. (That would be the one-eyed human head under the boat). And the only real icky scene is the real early one, where the naked girl’s remains are a bloody lump chewed on by a seething mass of crabs. It’s a quick thing, and you get more visceral punch from the random policeman who found her: he’s so squicked out he can ‘t watch, stand, or even be near the remains. You can almost smell it yourself.

The less you see of ol’ Bruce (Jaws’ real-life mechanical contraption) as he swims by or attacks, the better he looks. He’s got one or two raggedly bad side shots that really look awful (like when it’s on the boat, attacking Quint). Since Spielberg knew how bad his rubber shark looked, the crew kept it mostly underwater or head on, where we see only the big bloody mouth coming at the screen.

But. Then. The film really lucked out. Now we’re talking about the human actors – the big three. It works, and works fabulously. You know who they are. These are three very different characters, who come together and make you sit forward, avidly watching each moment build, smiling as they compare scars, then shivering in suspense as the story plays upon what came before. When the stricnine laced needle falls useless to the ocean floor, and the shark cage is in tatters, you’d do just what Hooper did — lie still under some flotsam and ride it out. Recall that the shark responds to prey-like panicky ‘fear’ movement.

Back on what’s left of the ship “Orca” (a great in-joke), Brody has one trick left, and isn’t looking like he’s going to survive this. However, the magic of subtle foreshadowing saves the day in a way that simply makes sense. It’s not a last minute Hail Mary – this has been baked in from early on, if you paid attention. The resolution is incredibly satisfying.

The fine acting of characters Brody, Quint, and Hooper elevate what could have been just another sensational summer disaster film into the stratosphere of real greatness.

And you know what else? THIS MOVIE IS INCREDIBLY FUNNY! I don’t think childhood “me” thought it was funny (I thought it was scary, even though the iconic Musical Shark Cue gave me most of those shivers).

But in this viewing, if I wasn’t gripped by a scene, I was laughing. And sometimes I was gripped AND laughing. This is frakking good storytelling.

The ending is so completely satisfying that you walk out with a big smile. I sat through the entire end credits, just to see Brody and Hooper make it, swimming on those barrels, back safely to shore. Then I could breathe again, and turn the laptop off. I haven’t felt so excited and satisfied by a monster action movie since Pitch Black or Aliens.

Something really fun: there’s a heat wave going on in So Cal, and I’ve been swimming in the pool daily. To the point where I wan’t going to dry out for movie watching…and yeah, I swam and paddled through my entire Jaws rewatch, laptop on the edge of the pool. This wasn’t planned. By the time I realized it, I was glad it was a pool, and not, you now, the ocean. (Although I love the ocean and no fraking fish is going to keep me out of it.) I just thought it was an interesting juxtaposition.

So.

Did I bother to watch the sequels?  Good question. In a word: No.

Should I?

———————————————-

Want to hear some crazy stats from the Jaws franchise? Rotten Tomatoes gives 1975 Jaws a coveted 97% score. For a film in an era of public smoking and casually sexist behaviors, that’s pretty awesome. For the sequels, the critic scores drop down FAST:

Jaws 2 – 57% (Meaning more than half of the reviews think it’s worth a shot – like a B- or C+)

Jaws 3 – 41% (Meaning “meh”…see it at home if you can’t get enough sharks chomping swimmers)

Jaw 4: The Revenge – 0% GOOSE EGG. It’s in fine company with several John Travolta movies (see even recently: Gotti gets the Goose). But the ZERO is way more than enough to sink the shark and his brethren for decades. Only weird franchises like Sharknado returned to this well, and as far as I know (I haven’t seen them), they are mostly a joke, like Snakes On A Plane.

And now….we have The Meg: all about an ancient, titanic sea shark the size of a cruise ship. We’re covering the science of Megalodon, the Mosasaurus, and the Great White on RunPee.com for your geeky enjoyment!

Movie Grade: A+

About the Peetimes:  “The Meg” inspired us (Dan, Jill, and RunPee Mom) to do a rewatch of the classic JAWS and add Peetimes for it. (Just for fun.) We even recorded a podcast of our discussion about which Peetimes we would select. To sum: With a perfectly made film like this, finding Peetimes was easy and a joy. We always maintain that a well made film has both times of excitement, and times to recover. The movie builds on these solid principles.

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Dinosaurs and Mead in San Diego: Bronto Brewery

Where can you have a serious sword fight  beneath the skeleton of a T-Rex, drinking handcrafted mead from ancient recipes, play geeky games, and watch classic sci-fi movies? That would be the Bronto Brew Meadery in San Diego.

The owners are certified geeks, just like their patrons, and if that sounds like you, then you’re invited to come in until, like Cheers, “Everybody knows your name.”

Deanna Giwlt, Dan Gwilt, and Ryan Gwilt created Bronto Brew Meadery exactly two years ago (with a celebratory anniversary coming up), with the intention of using a Jurassic Park theme. There’s a T-Rex family in the entry, a giant nest of Brontosaur eggs inside, ancient vinesrcreeping in, dino prints and the sense of entering a long-abandoned Mesozoic-sourced lab when you sit inside to order your mead.

Mead — honey wine, at it’s most distilled point — is what they do. It’s ALL they do. And they do it very, very well. Something for all tastes – some are like a hoppy IPA brew, a sweet wine, a heady cider,  fruit-forward vino, or a rich red port.

I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour of the Bronto Brew Meadery with my photographer Ola Sojoba. We saw the entire process, starting with massive vats of honey, to small production bottles of such rarities as Stegosaurus Blood (ask for it and they might make more. It’s, shall we say, deeply red and wonderfully rich). My favorite is the classic, however, the Pure Bronto. This tastes exactly like I would expect a classic mead to be: a brew that Nordic gods like Thor,  or heroes like Beowulf, or kings like Theoden, are used to serving in their golden halls.

Deanna is especially nerdy, in a good way, about her dinosaur-themed establishment. They welcome nerds, geeks, and “normals” of all stripes, with a full array of giant screen movies, a towering stack of games, regular D&D events, special dragon goblets to rent, and a giant jenga. And swords.

During our tour, Sojoba and I were treated to a full “Pterodactyl Flight” and a game of Exploding Kittens (which is weirder than it sounds, and it certainly sounds strange enough).  Deanna and I also took up swords and hacked the holy hell out of each other, while the men cringed and hovered protectively. We plan a rematch soon. Avast!

Because this of the week leading up to the newest Jurassic World movie (JW 2: Fallen Kingdom), we were excited to attend the movie rewatch, projected huge dino-sized on the wall. Starting with Jurassic Park Classic (the best; still holds up), we moved on to The Lost World (also pretty good). Coming up is the woe- begotten lame JP III (it has a campy value, I guess), and the nicely thrilling, recently revitalized Jurassic World 1 (do not underestimate the value of Chris Pratt). This will probably be a annual event. 

All FREE, of course. You don’t even have to buy a brew, although, heck, you should give it a try. I’ve had many meads in my day, and these guys are the real deal. Cloudy and rich, just like they enjoyed it in the Middle Ages.

The tour was really involved. We saw big vats of organic honey. Those were fermented into a “must” with special yeast, with the addition of either hops, of flowers, or sweet fruits, to create a lovely flight of surprisingly different colors/tastes. If it’s your first visit, we recommend trying a flight, starting with the Pure Bronto, and asking for the rest by mentioning your interest in hoppy, floral, or sweet tastes. Most names have some kind of dino-relation in the title, which is only appropriate. It’s a good time at a good price.

Deanna said she chose the title Bronto because there were not a lot of mead, beer, or coffee places with dinosaurs in the titles. She said, “Dinosaurs stand out and draw attention to them.” When they go to the farmer’s markets, the first thing they see is the T-Rex , and that people crave dinosaurs. She said even introverts feel inspired to talk it about and ask about their mead. These people become regulars for gaming nights, socializing over board games.

What’s also nice is that mead is gluten free. So people worried about whether they can drink the classic beverages are safe. It’s an historical drink that no one has to stress about.

July 21 is the national natural Mead Anniversary, and Bronto is very excited about preparing for this event, showing FREE large screen movies having to do when the era mead was popular.

August 1 will showcase a HUGE event  as their Mead Day, where children, dogs and adults all will be welcome. Homemade necklace pendents and earrings (priced at $12) will be available to purchase. Teeshirts cost $20, with two priced at $30.

Information will be be updated on their Facebook page, and incluce all the info on their regular games and fun events. I’ll keep fan apprised here as well.

What kind of new dinosaur decor should we expect from the Bronto Brew? We’re told there will be more vines and some ‘aging’ decor, to make it clear this is from the Isla Nublad era, around where the science fell into ruin. We likee. Last time I visited, the vines started showing up and the scene was set for a decayed trip to Jurassic Park. Very nice. More jungle ambiance and dino murals are expected soon.

The original look of biolab coats and lab hazard signs are up and ready to go.

Deanna said that she grew up with The Land Before Time, the Flintstones, Puff the Magic Dragon, and that even the Power Rangers had dragons! With the new binge-popular shows like Game of Thrones, plus the revitalized Jurassic movies, this is the perfect time to bring dinosaurs back to popular consciousness.

So what dino themed mead drinks can you choose from? Ask for these:

  • Pure Bronto- the house Mead, a perfect meady blend
  • Stegosaurus Blood – deeply fruit and dry – a select small batch
  • Velicoberry – fruity dry
  • Citrodon – beery fun
  • Hibiscus Berry – floral beer-like taste
  • Cretaceous Bloom – a nice sour
  • Achilobactor
  • Hoposaurus – A sweet IPA beer version of mead

The tap masters have a full array of choices to pull together different mead  cocktails — choices to make all patrons happy, putting their favorites into unusual blends.  These guys are seriously creative, and in love with their unusual product. Ask for the mixologic options

Deanna concludes, “Jurassic Park is using science and tech to bring back something ancient and fun – and we love it.”

Look for Part Two of this series on Bronto Brew Meadery, where we take you from honey vat to finished treat, postedaboutt Mead Day. RunPee will update you on on what FREE mead-themed movies will be posted to get you in the mood.

All images by Ola Sojoba, Owned by RunPee.com – all to be added ASAP  (traveling in Mexico right now and it’s a challenge). 

Hours of Operation

Friday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Saturday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Bronto Mead
9235 Trade Place, D, San Diego, CA 92126
(619) 796 – 3096

 

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Review: Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studios

Rexie’s a little old and worn, but the drop is still breathtakingly long.

I love dinosaurs. I was a dino geek before dinosaurs were cool, and to make me stand out even further, I was a “just a girl”. Girls who were geeks in the 70s were a rare breed. Fortunately, I was also a Klingon, so efforts to bully me landed on deaf ears. 🙂 Hell, I was a Dinosaur-riding Klingon.

This Klingon has mellowed over the years, but my fascination with dinosauria is still up there next to my now-mainstream fangirl delight in Harry Potter, Marvel, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and yes — Star Trek. This brings me back around to dinosaurs.

I went to Universal Studios this summer for ONE reason: to proudly wear my Gyffindor student robes, and be selected in the wand choosing ceremony.  And drink Butterbeer. OK, this is more than one reason but it’s all about Harry Potter. And you can read about my amazing HP day in this article (link and photos to be added).

After a long day at Hogsmead Village, my travel companion was looking a little googly eyed, and suggested we do something else in the park. We headed down 1,000 stairs (I don’t think I am exaggerating) to the lower park area, then boarded the log flume that slides under the King-Kong sized entrance — long-time Jurassic Park fans will get the reference. (Can you name the quote in question?)

The ride is still a good one…but it, like the original Jurassic Park movie, has aged. The movie, happily, still wears well. We get goosebumps when seeing dinosaurs the first time, fear levels rising when we watch the unseen Velociraptors feed, blowing to full-on fear in that stainless steel kitchen scene.

When the T-Rex bellows in the erstwhile visitor center, draped in the banner announcing “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth,” I’m one happy human.

 

The ride didn’t fare so well. It seems that several animatronic (“auto-erotic”, anyone?) sauropods forgot how to move. The ride gets bumpy a few times, is a big loud cacophonony, seems a lot shorter than I remembered…and the effect of the chasing T-Rex sticking her head into the waterfall is now rendered campy, instead of scary. It was a jump scare at first, but now I expect it, and Rexie’s looking aged. The best part of the ride is still the crazy long flume drop that seems to go a few more seconds than anyone expects. That’s the best and most obvious thrill.

The last thrill is the most subtle. As the flume logs start backing up at the end, we’re in the diddling around in the Diloposaur Paddock. That’s the poisonous fringed lizard who wouldn’t chase a stick, who decided Nedry looked more delicious. Nedry was a walking pie to those guys, and here they are at the end of the ride, with your log at a jammed stand-still…when a poisonous Dilopsaurus spits RIGHT AT YOU, with that rattling sound.

It’s fun and menacing, and there’s a perfect Easter Egg for fans, right under the low canopy of ferns. It looks at first like someone tossed some garbage at the ride, but JP fans will be rewarded: it’s that can of Barbasol Shaving Cream, the one full of stolen embryos. Very cool, and if you’re not looking for it, you’ll miss it.

My friends, this is world building. Adding the soaring John Williams sound track over it all, you are transported a little away from your cares. The ride clearly needs refurbishment, but with a second Jurassic World movie out this week, making 5 movies in the entire franchise, I’ll bet Universal will “spare no expense” to give the Jurassic Park/World ride its due. I bet Chris Pratt will even reprise his role in it, like he did for the awesome Guardians of the Galaxy Ride at Disney. Jeff Goldblum would be welcome too.

NOTE: The previous time I went to Universal, decades ago, I was lucky enough to walk through with an employee, and she let me run amuck in the lodge/gas station setting where they filmed The Lost World, reprised in Jurassic World. I pretended to be a raptor and chased my friend…and sadly, this was a long way before smart phones and so I don’t have photos. Also, this area of the park burned down. In the words of Dr. Ian Malcom, “So, so there it is.”

This article is brought to you by John Williams. Actually via Amazon’s Alexa, playing Williams. I’m sitting here penning the ride review while listening to this iconic  score. Here’s a link to the soundtrack, and the teeshirt to wear on the ride and at the Jurassic movies! Show your Geek cred!

Related News: Jurassic Park Ride Goes Extinct

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Jurassic Park Movie Rewatch at Bronto Brew Meadery

If you’re in San Diego and you can’t wait for Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom to come out (whoo hoo — next week!), then get your dino fix on at The Bronto Brew  Meadery for four free nights of sauropod fun.

All four previous Jurassic movies will be presented in the meadery on their large screen, and you can buy mead beverages as you sit by a nest of Brontosaurus eggs, or under the skeletons of a T-Rex family.

The meadery has an appealing dinosaur setting, encourages gaming and the gathering of geeks, and serves unique mead beverages. Mead is a honey wine, and they hand brew it on the premises, in both small and large batches (from 7 to 150 gallons).

It’s all mead, all the time — but each one tastes different. Some are sweet and some are dry, some are hoppy and others fruity.  They experiment with new mead flavors regularly. Their current tap list includes great dinosaur-themed names like Cretaceous Bloom, Hoposaurus, Velociberry, Citrodon, and Pure Bronto. You can also order a “Pterodactyl Flight” of 4 tastes.

I’ll be taking a behind the scenes tour tomorrow and get a lot of details for a proper review, with lots of pictures of their dino decor to help celebrate Dinosaur Month at RunPee.com. I’ve been there before — anything with dinosaurs interests me — but never for a review tour. So this should be fun.

Here’s the details of Bronto Brew Meadery’s Jurassic Park movie showings:

 


Hours of Operation

Friday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Saturday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Bronto Mead
9235 Trade Place, D, San Diego, CA 92126
(619) 796 – 3096
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 More, on RunPee.com:

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)