FAN EXPO DALLAS Flexes Some Serious Star Power March 31-April 2

The stars will be big and bright in the Lone Star State’s biggest congregation of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming fans. The 16th annual FAN EXPO DALLAS™ returns to Big D at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center Friday, March 31, through Sunday, April 2, 2017. I am so excited to attend this year's Fan Expo Dallas with my daughter again and see all the wonderful cosplayers, guest appearances and insane artwork. 

Headlining the impressive list of pop culture luminaries on hand will be Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, the living legend Stan Lee, as well as members of the cast of the internationally famous cult movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, including actors Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell.

“We have Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Ian Somerhalder … I’m just scratching the surface,” said Fan Expo Vice President Andrew Moyes. “We have a great guest list, heaps of attractions, a show floor of over 300,000 square feet of retailers and hours of programming. Everyone will have to come down and see for themselves why it’s going to be such a jam packed, fun weekend.”

Other celebrities attending include This is Us’ Milo Ventimiglia; Doctor Who’s Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston and Karen Gillan; Adam West and Burt Ward, the original Batman and Robin in their final Dallas appearance; and dozens more. The full guest list is available at http://fanexpodallas.com/guests/.

Producing a show of this magnitude is no easy task but it is well worth it. Moyes said, “Honestly, it is truly about the fan experience … our mandate is to deliver the ultimate fan experience. We get the privilege of building a platform for fans to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences like meeting their idol Stan Lee. That’s what truly drives us. At the end of the day, we work day and night to make sure the best possible experience is put together for all of our fans.”

The just released full program schedule is available here and includes the following ticketed celebrity events:

  • Mark Hamill- the actor known for playing Luke Skywalker comes for questions and answers on Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.
  • The Tim Curry Experience- Fans will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Frank-N-Furter in person on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2.
  • Breakfast with Stan Lee- the legendary comic creator welcomes guests to an intimate breakfast on Saturday, April 1, at 8:30 a.m.
  • Batman & the Joker Live- the people behind the voices of the animated Batman series, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, come together in a rare appearance on Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

Other free events throughout the weekend include:

  • Celebrity Q&A with Stan Lee on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m.
  • Celebrity Q&A with Spongebob Squarepants Rodger Bumpass on Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m.
  • Celebrity Q&A with Doctor Who’s Catherine Tate on Saturday, April 1 at 12 p.m.
  • Voice actor live script reading of The Princess Bride on Saturday, April 1 at 2 p.m.
  • Celebrity Q&A with John Barrowman on Saturday, April 1 at 5 p.m.
  • Celebrity Q&A with Buffy and Angel star James Marsters on Sunday, April 2 at 11 a.m.
  • Farewell to Dallas from Batman’s Adam West and Burt Ward on Sunday, April 2 at 12:30 p.m.
  • DC Comics: Special Event- a panel featuring Batman writer and artist team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo with world-renowned comic book artist and DC Publisher Jim Lee on Sunday, April 2 at 1 p.m.
  • Celebrity Q&A with the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m.
  • The Walking Dead Duo Norman Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan- Negan and Daryl of The Walking Dead meet face-to-face once again.

FAN EXPO DALLAS runs Friday, March 31, through Sunday, April 2, 2017, at the Dallas Convention Center (Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center) located at 650 S. Griffin St. Tickets are priced from $25-$129. Hours and information are available at fanexpodallas.com.

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring! I cannot believe its finally here. It’s hard for me to get rid of my cozy comfy sweaters, but I am ready to embrace some sunshine, the blooming flowers, the green grass, hearing the birds chirp in the mornings, the sun staying up longer (yes to daylights savings time) and especially the temperature increases. I mean who doesn’t enjoying wearing pretty spring colors? Even Starbucks embraced the color palette with their new minimal spring cups. 

One thing I am lacking in my closet are off the shoulder blouses. Off the shoulder blouses are so perfect for this time of year because you can wear them with shorts or jeans and they are a great item to have in your closet for any fun spring/summer night ... I recently found this pretty pastel pink off the shoulder blouse and fell in love. Being one who was iffy on wearing off the shoulder style shirts simply because I was afraid of it riding up my shoulders in the middle of brunch or dinner, this one is so comfortable and fits perfectly that I don’t have to worry about that. The fabric is light and airy and I just love the flowy cuffs. I am wearing it in a medium size for that baggy for that easy to tuck in my jeans feel. It also comes in a pastel blue if this is too pink for your taste. I paired it with my white jeans that is always on repeat in my closet for spring and summer time, and finished off the look with my Dolce Vita wedges, Michael Kors shoulder bag, and of course the new Spring Starbucks cup. 

From casual afternoons, to nice dinners to summer parties, an off the shoulder blouse is the perfect staple that you can wear over and over again! Have a great week everyone! -xo Mel

Photo Credit: Melissa King 

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Movie Review: 'Beauty and the Beast' Enchanted or Nah?

It’s a tale as old as time and song as old as rhyme. That’s why the story of a beautiful girl giving her heart to a beast remains a classic. And it’s why this much-anticipated live-action musical adaptation will win over fans of all ages at the box office this weekend. Wellllll ... for the most part. As a stand-alone Disney production, though, this blooms like an enchanted rose. But as far as the storyline, it falls slowly just like the last petal.  

Let me set the stage for you: If you’ve seen the 1991 movie, you pretty much know the story, to which Director Bill Condon has made a few alterations. The story begins showing that Beast (Dan Stevens) is an adult, not a child, who turned away the enchantress that turned him into a beast. The movie also explains that the enchantress’ spell made everyone forget that the castle existed, so that’s why the townsfolk don’t know about the giant magical castle near them. Additionally, in a callback to the original fairy tale, Maurice (Kevin Kline), is taken prisoner not for enjoying the hospitality of the castle, but for taking a rose from the garden. When his daughter Belle (Emma Watson) comes to rescue her father, she takes his place as Beast’s prisoner, and starts to humanize the Beast as they spend time together. Maurice makes his way back to the village for help, and the evil Gaston (Luke Evans) and his sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad) agree to rescue Belle, but only so that Gaston can try and marry her even though she refused his early proposal. And blah, blah, blah, I won’t bore you with the rest of the story. 

My point of view: The 1991 film runs roughly around 84 minutes. The new movie is 129 minutes, and it feels it. While there are some stories where you stop and think, “Yes, I would like to spend more time with these characters and this world,” I think the director invests his energy in the wrong places. I didn’t really need to go into too deep on the father’s history, and I didn’t need to know what happened to Belle’s mother (sounds mean, but I think it wasted a lot of time). I didn’t like to get introduce to some of the news songs in which I will not remember as much as I still do the original classic songs from the 1991 version. What I needed is a love story between Belle and Beast and investment in their relationship, which their love story doesn’t really begin until about an hour into the movie and than it felt rushed and not as believable as the original Disney classic. 

All in all, I did enjoy resurfacing my inner child singing along with some of the old songs that I knew by heart. The sets were visual stunning and I love the CGI on the appliances. Best example: all the dishes and flatware and napkins dancing across the screen in the show-stopping “Be Our Guest.” And of course I couldn’t keep my eyes off the iconic yellow ball gown as she walks down the staircase in it … it’s as true (and goose bump-inducing) as it can be. I adore the 1991 Beauty and the Beast, and I had high expectations for the live-action remake. That being said, this isn’t a matter of not living up to a classic original as much as there’s a lack of consideration for making sure that everything works. There’s no reason Beast’s CGI makeup to look half done. It wasn’t believable for me. There was also no reason the new songs shouldn’t be outstanding when you’ve got Alan Menken back to do the music. There’s no reason to add new things if those things don’t make the movie better overall. Condon didn’t have to stay devoted to the 1991 film, but most of alterations and changes don’t make his version feel fresh. They feel like they’re seeking for relevancy. But overall, I still think its worth the trip to the movies this weekend as a good family-friendly thing to do. 

I give it 3 out of 5 stars. My heart still belongs to the original 1991 Disney classic as one of my favorite love stories told. Let me know what you guys think if you get to see it. Did it meet your expectations? -xo Mel