After taking place in Los Angeles last year, WonderCon returned to the Anaheim Convention Center this year, taking place March 31 through April 2! Read on for a recap of our first day at the con.
Our journey to WonderCon 2017 had us going to the distant (not really) Anaheim Convention Center. The Convention Center is about 15 minutes from our house, but unfortunately for Violet and myself, we worked our real jobs on Friday. I got off at 3:45pm, and then went to pick up Violet who now works about 5 minutes from me in Santa Ana. She got off work at 5pm, so we made our way to the Convention Center.
Getting to the parking was a bit of a hassle. This was due to it being a Friday, being right by Disneyland, and then the rest of the WonderCon crowd that already seemed to be departing for the most part.
But we finally parked, made our way to the Anaheim Convention Center, and after maneuvering through the crowd, found our way down to Hall D so that we could retrieve our badge from the press pick up area. The area was pretty empty–I am guessing most people who came on Friday had already picked up their badge, or would be waiting until Saturday to head down. Plus, if you ordered your badge early enough, it was mailed to you.
My (Josh’s) badge had no issues with being retrieved; however, the staff seemed to have misplaced or lost Violet’s. They asked her a couple times (politely) if she had already picked it up, or if she was with a group that had picked it up on her behalf, which wasn’t the case. After about 10 minutes of waiting, the staff was able to print another badge, and we were on our way.
The Exhibit Floor – Briefly
We headed onto the Exhibit Floor to see what was going on. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, it was a bit after six, and Violet and I were famished. We headed to one of the food court booths, and got some quick snacks. By the time we ordered and headed for a seat, they closed up shop. I guess we made it just in time.
After we finished eating, it was about time to head to the Rotten Tomatoes panel.
Rotten Tomatoes: Your Opinion Sucks Panel
Violet and I headed up to the third floor of the Convention Center to Room 300DE. The previous panel was finishing up, and we retrieved our Rotten/Fresh paddle which would be used during the panel.
We went to this panel last year, when WonderCon was at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We only really had attended this panel because the Preacher panel was right after, but it turned out to be a pretty fun panel. Enough fun, that we decided to check it out this year.
How the panel works, is the moderator, Grae Drake, will call people up to defend their opinion on a movie–whether they believe it should be “rotten” (below 60%) or “fresh” (60% or above) on the site Rotten Tomatoes. Then the panelists, Matt Atchity (Senior Editor in Chief at Rotten Tomatoes), Jacqueline Coley (IT Project Manager for Black Girl Nerds), Sasha Perl-Raver (from Collider and Schmoes Know), and Scott Mantz (from Movie Mantz) will argue their point of view on the movie (whether they agree or disagree with it). Finally, Matt Atchity would reveal the movie’s actual score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Grae Drake warmed up the panel asking about a few movies–Logan and Get Out. The audience would raise their paddles, indicating whether they thought the movie was rotten or fresh. The room pretty much coincided with how the Rotten Tomatoes score would go–about 90-95% raising their “fresh” side of the panel.
Grae Drake brought out the four panelists, and the panel was under way. The first movie that an audience member wanted to debate was Titanic, attempting to argue that it should be a “Rotten” movie. As expected, the room disagreed with the man who attempted to put this opinion forward. Surprisingly, one of the panelists agreed with him too. The argument for it being a “rotten” seemed to come down to the fact that Jack and Rose say each other’s name too much, decided to romance inside of a car on a boat, that Rose decided to toss the necklace overboard, and that Rose didn’t let Jack on the makeshift raft at the end of the movie. Oh, and the poor performance they felt Leonardo DiCaprio gave in the movie. The other panelists came to the movie’s defense though, defending it with the number of Academy Awards it has won, the technological improvements the movie provided, along with the excellent storytelling done in the film.
Another film discussed was one the audience already held their paddles up for, which was the movie Get Out. The girl who tries to argue this as a “rotten” movie was flayed while trying to present her argument that the movie was too predictable, not scary and just was not enjoyable. All of the panelists, and essentially the entire room, disagreed with her. The panelists all seemed to agree that this movie (specifically Scott Mantz) would be nominated for best original screenplay for the Oscars. They also seemed to agree that this movie was also a great way to examine racism, as well as provided unique storytelling ideas.
Two other films brought up are no surprise–one person tried to argue that Captain America: Civil War is a “rotten” film, and another person tried to say that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a “fresh” film. Clearly, both of these people are wrong, and I don’t think I really have to give my opinion on these movies. You can read our reviews on these two movies here [Batman V. Superman] and here [Captain America: Civil War].
The panel discussed a few more movies, but they were ones we hadn’t seen, nor had a strong opinion on, such as Power Rangers, Alien Versus Predator, and Kong: Skull Island.
This panel was a lot of fun, especially with the social interaction the audience had with the panel. During each movie, the projector screens would show tweets from people who had opinions on the movie being discussed, and who had hashtagged #rtyos, and some of them were pretty funny. I had hoped for some more controversial films to be talked about, but unfortunately, the majority of the films sort of went along with the “mainstream” opinion, with the person creating an argument for/against the film being on the opposing side. I guess this makes for a more entertaining panel, but arguing a movie that is more on the fence, like Beauty and the Beast‘s remake, could have been entertaining.
Wrapping Up Friday
Unfortunately, due to both Violet and I getting to the con so late, there was not much else to do. We made our way back to the car, but unfortunately we were stuck in the car for quite a while, as the exit of the parking lot was pretty packed. It took about 45 minutes to get home, when it normally takes about fifteen! It was frustrating, but at least we made it. It was time to head to bed and get ready for the next day.
Stay tuned for our WonderCon Saturday Reports, featuring the Agents of SHIELD and Warner Bros. panels, and more!