Art; Culture & creativity
26 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Star Wars cosplay and costumes at the November 2016 MCM Birmingham Comic Con at The NEC

I've only been to MCM Birmingham Comic Con once at The NEC. This was back in November 2016. Many Star Wars fans turning up in costume. Stormtroopers, some with lightsabers etc. Plus was stationary displays about the convention hall. While I never got around to booking a ticket again for the later conventions at The NEC, it sounds like all the 2020 cons are cancelled. 2021 cons?

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Star Wars cosplay and costumes at the November 2016 MCM Birmingham Comic Con at The NEC





I've only been to MCM Birmingham Comic Con once at The NEC. This was back in November 2016. Many Star Wars fans turning up in costume. Stormtroopers, some with lightsabers etc. Plus was stationary displays about the convention hall. While I never got around to booking a ticket again for the later conventions at The NEC, it sounds like all the 2020 cons are cancelled. 2021 cons?


STAR WARS AT THE NEC

I attended the MCM BIRMINGHAM COMIC CON on Sunday 20th November 2016 on a General Admission ticket. It was in Hall 5. But you had to queue up in Hall 1, to get checked in, get your ticket scanned, and get your hand stamped.

 

On the way in saw all of these Stormtroopers from Star Wars in the queue in Hall 1. They were probably members of the 501st Legion.

They liked to pose with their blasters.

Later spotted them again in Hall 5.

Later saw a parade of Stormtroopers heading out of Hall 5.

 

A Clone Trooper.

 

At least one lady as a Jedi, and two Sith lords. Plus the lady in the middle as Padmé Amidala.

 

A Jedi Knight and a Rebel X-Wing pilot, near the Emperor.

 

The back of: Rey, a Stormtrooper and Kylo Ren from the Sequel Trilogy era.

 

Not sure about this cosplayer below, but probably a Sith lord with two lightsabers. With a Spider-Man style mask.

 

Another Stormtrooper (below), but just a statue.

 

The Emperor and an Imperial Officer.

 

A rebel pilot costume. Near the Rebel Legion stand.

 

At static display with Stormtroopers standing either side of Luke Skywalker's landspeeder. Probably on Tattooine.

One dead Stormtrooper lying in the sand.

Watto from The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

 

STAR WARS is © Lucasfilm Ltd and Disney.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Van Gogh Alive The Experience at the Birmingham Hippodrome

The Birmingham Hippodrome has reopened for the first time since it closed back in March 2020, due to the pandemic / lockdown during October 2020. Not for a play, panto or ballet performance, but for something called Van Gogh Alive The Experience. It opened on the 8th October 2020, and could be on until the end of January 2021. Digital projections on the stage of Vincent Van Gogh's art.

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Van Gogh Alive The Experience at the Birmingham Hippodrome





The Birmingham Hippodrome has reopened for the first time since it closed back in March 2020, due to the pandemic / lockdown during October 2020. Not for a play, panto or ballet performance, but for something called Van Gogh Alive The Experience. It opened on the 8th October 2020, and could be on until the end of January 2021. Digital projections on the stage of Vincent Van Gogh's art.


VAN GOGH ALIVE THE EXPERIENCE

 

Go to Van Gogh Alive to book tickets. This is the UK Premiere in Birmingham. But it has been all around the world. 6 million visitors worldwide, over 50 cities visited, in over 5 continents. It is powered by Sensory 4 projection technology. It is safe and Covid compliant. Wear a mask inside and regularly sanitise your hands.

 

You can book up to 6 tickets per household (Rule of Six). You get a QR code on a PDF. Show on your phone or print out. It will get scanned in the Birmingham Hippodrome about 4 times. Main entrance from Hurst Street. You later exit via the Dance Xchange building on Thorp Street.

 

The digital projections of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings is on the stage. You head down the stairs. The show lasts around 45 minutes to an hour (I think). Classical music accompanies Van Gogh's famous paintings, with some animations, and his life story in France after he left the Netherlands.

 

From Paris (1886-88) to Arles (1888-89) to Auvers-sur-Oise (1890). Including his time in hospital and at an asylum. Vincent famously cut one of his ears off later in his life. Born in 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands, he died in 1890, aged 37 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France (suicide by gunshot).

 

It opened on Thursday 8th October 2020, and if all goes to plan (depending on the latest lockdown restrictions) it could stay open until the end of January 2021.

 

Birmingham We Are's person with passion, award winning Elliott Brown paid a £20 ticket and went on Sunday 11th October 2020. Hopefully inspiring other people to go (depending on the new Covid Tier 2 restrictions).

There is timed slots, so hopefully not too many people in the theatre at one time. I'd advise you to not take a large bag, as the cloakroom is closed, and they do a bag check when you first arrive.

 

Van Gogh Alive - outside of the Birmingham Hippodrome in Hippodrome Square, Hurst Street.

Queue outside, put your mask on, get your QR ticket ready on your phone (or print it out at home and take it along).

Down the stairs, then before going to the stage, was this area with reprints of Vincent's famous art with descriptions. One way in and out, stay apart, wear a mask at all times.

 

Vincent's artistic story in France in the 1880s.

Starting with Paris 1886-88.

Arles 1888-1889

Starry Night.

Auvers-sur-Oise 1890

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles, France, a recreation.

Visitors on their way out can stop to have their photos taken with their family. Sit on the chairs, or on the bed.

After this, exit by heading up the stairs. Leave via the gift shop that was selling Van Gogh merchandise. There was also a coffee shop open (I think). The exit was past the toilets towards the Thorp Street exit (the Dance Xchange building).

 

Van Gogh Alive The Experience was created by Grande Exhibitions and Sensory 4 Immersive Experience.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
14 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Superhero and Villains street art around Digbeth and elsewhere in the City

Most of the graffiti street art of superheroes and villains are located in Digbeth. There is some in Southside. Not all the pieces I've seen are still on the wall or hoardings they were painted on. Mostly from Marvel. You can find the Joker from DC in a car park in Digbeth. Plus Judge Dredd is in Zellig Car Park.

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Superhero and Villains street art around Digbeth and elsewhere in the City





Most of the graffiti street art of superheroes and villains are located in Digbeth. There is some in Southside. Not all the pieces I've seen are still on the wall or hoardings they were painted on. Mostly from Marvel. You can find the Joker from DC in a car park in Digbeth. Plus Judge Dredd is in Zellig Car Park.


2000 AD

JUDGE DREDD

Located in Zellig Car Park. Seen during October 2019. As far as I'm aware these pieces are still there. Painted as part of the High Viz Street Art Festival.

This piece of Judge Dredd below is by After the Robot Apocalypse.

JUDGE CASSANDRA ANDERSON

PSI ANDERSON DIVISION

DC Comics

TWO FACE AND THE JOKER FROM THE DARK KNIGHT (2008).

Located at The Paper Mill Digbeth in a car park off Allison Street in Digbeth. Seen in September 2019, it should still be there now. Two Face looks like ex PM David Cameron. Joker is obviously the late Heath Ledger in the Batman movie.

MARVEL

CAPTAIN AMERICA

This piece by the Forty Eights was seen in Digbeth near some wasteland from High Street Bordesley back in August 2011. It is still there. Seems to me to combine The Terminator T800 endoskeleton in a Captain America costume. This land has sometimes been used as a second hand car dealership.

There used to be another Captain America piece in Lower Trinity Street Car Park in Digbeth. Seen during February 2015, I think this has long since been painted over. Had a K instead of an A on the top of the helmet. Possibly painted for the City of Colours in 2014.

IRON MAN

Located in Digbeth Court Car Park. Seen during May 2019. It is still on that wall. It is visible from High Street Bordesley from the buses in and out of the City Centre. Same artwork style as Wolverine. Credited artist seems to be Ziah.

But was tags CRZ and VOID on either side of Iron Man.

WOLVERINE

This was located in a wasteland in Acocks Green near the Warwick Road. Painted around the time that Stan Lee passed away. Seen in November 2018, it is no longer there. But at the time was visible from Olton Boulevard East.

Back to Digbeth for this Wolverine street art. First spotted it in September 2019 on Milk Street.

It was still there in March 2020 before the lockdown happened. Next to a Hoakser piece.

This piece below was a bit like Wolverine combined with Mickey Mouse, if Wolverine was played by Mel Gibson. The USA flag with Marvel all over it. Years before Disney bought 20th Century Fox. Seen in Lower Trinity Street Car Park back in Sepember 2015. It is no longer on that wall. Was also Captain America's shields.

SPIDER-MAN

The Marvel Playstation 4 Spider-Man mural located in Lower Trinity Street Car Park (now called Custard Factory Car Park). Seen during September 2018. Painted by the artist Jim Vision for the Hi Viz Festival. This might still be there, but was a Peaky Blinders banner over it in 2019, but I think it's still there.

Gent 48 painted this Spider-Man on the former Chinese Herbal Medicine & Health Care at 31 Smallbrook Queensway in Southside. It was there in March 2020, but Gent has painted over it with something else. It looks like the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man.

DOCTOR DOOM

The super villain from the Fantastic Four was on the hoardings on High Street Deritend near Zellig Car Park and the Custard Factory in Digbeth during September 2019. Painted at the time for the High Viz Street Culture Festival. It is no longer there, and has been painted over a few times since with something else.

BLACK PANTHER

The late Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Seen near the top of Hurst Street in Southside during October 2020. Painted for the B-Side Hip Hop Festival 2020, also for the Black Lives Matter movement. Chadwick sadly died in August 2020 of Colon Cancer, aged 43.

STAN LEE

The late great Stan Lee. Located on a wall on Barford Street in Digbeth, behind the former Birmingham Wholesale Market. Painted for the B-Side Hip Hop Festival 2020 and seen during October 2020. EXCELSIOR! Stan THE MAN Lee died during November 2018, aged 95. He famously made cameos in many Marvel movies over the years.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Travel & tourism
12 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Enterprise bridges at Destination Star Trek at The NEC in 2016 and 2018

I went to Destination Star Trek Europe at The NEC in October 2016, and two years later as Destination Star Trek Birmingham in October 2018. Both times they had the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 and NCC 1701-D. I didn't go in 2019. Star Trek turned 50 back in 2016.

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Enterprise bridges at Destination Star Trek at The NEC in 2016 and 2018





I went to Destination Star Trek Europe at The NEC in October 2016, and two years later as Destination Star Trek Birmingham in October 2018. Both times they had the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 and NCC 1701-D. I didn't go in 2019. Star Trek turned 50 back in 2016.


Destination Star Trek Europe was held during the weekend of the 7th to 9th October 2016. I went on the Sunday, the ticket cost about £30 online. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek which started on NBC in the USA on the 8th September 1966. This was the first time an official Star Trek convention was held in Birmingham (technically within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull).

Fans could get their photos take on the bridges of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 from Star Trek: The Orignal Series (1966-69) or the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94). They could also be in shot with some of the stars (for a price). I of course wasn't going to pay for that.

 

Captain's Log Stardate 77854.6. We have arrived in the City of Birmingham, but it seems like we are in a Borough called Solihull. Never the less, The Birmingham NEC is located here. Plenty of fans in cosplay, plus recreations of the bridge and other sets. I speculate that these halls are large enough to film episodes of Star Trek, if CBS Paramount wish to film the shows over here.

 

TOS BRIDGE

TNG BRIDGE

Marina Sirtis played Counselor Deanna Troi.

 

Destination Star Trek Birmingham was held at The NEC during the weekend of the 19th to 21st October 2018. The second time in Birmingham. It would return once again a year later in 2019, but I didn't see the point of paying another £30 for a third time, and didn't find the second visit as good as the first.

TOS Bridge with Tribbles

TNG Bridge returns

I've got plenty more photos from both events for future possible posts. I couldn't take the classic props at the 2018 convention as photography was not allowed for that (private collection). But was able to get the costumes / props in 2016.

Plus I once went to MCM Birmingham Comic Con back in November 2016 (didn't go back to it in the years since).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
08 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Bill & Ted Face the Music at Cineworld

I've seen Bill & Ted Face the Music twice. First time at Cineworld Broad Street Birmingham on 16/09/2020. Second time at Cineworld Solihull (Touchwood) on 02/10/2020. As it was £4. At the time didn't know that Cineworld was closing down again. The movie is amazing. Even got the book on the Trilogy and the soundtrack! Excellent!

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Bill & Ted Face the Music at Cineworld





I've seen Bill & Ted Face the Music twice. First time at Cineworld Broad Street Birmingham on 16/09/2020. Second time at Cineworld Solihull (Touchwood) on 02/10/2020. As it was £4. At the time didn't know that Cineworld was closing down again. The movie is amazing. Even got the book on the Trilogy and the soundtrack! Excellent!


I'm back, kind of. Been having a minor rest from this site for a bit. The break may continue. Until then all I've been thinking of is Bill & Ted, as Bill & Ted 3 just came out in cinemas (that are open). I have ran out of ideas for Birmingham related posts, and wont be doing those architecture ones.

 

Going to the cinema now is so different under pandemic conditions. As usual with Cineworld I book my ticket online or on the app. And use the e-Ticket that gets scanned at the cinema. You have to wear a face mask in the foyer and in the screen. Go to the numbered seat you chose online. The screens I've been in have been almost empty. First time wasn't too bad. Second time in Solihull was hardly anyone there. No wonder cinemas are struggling right now.

 

The doors at Cineworld Broad Street in July 2020. The cinema reopened at the end of July.

The view in August 2020 of Cineworld with the Westside Metro extension to Hagley Road.

A few weeks later I went back to the cinema to see The New Mutants. Bill & Ted Face the Music wouldn't open until the middle of September 2020.

 

Spoilers below if you haven't seen the movie.

The movie is 90 minutes long plus the adverts and trailers. There is a new CGI Creature Discomforts advert from Aardman Animations. Was a trailer for James Bong 25: No Time to Die (sadly postponed again until April 2021).

Bill & Ted Face the Music is well worth seeing if you are a Bill & Ted fan. I've been waiting the best part of the last decade for it. Bill & Ted are now in their 50s with families but haven't written the song that will save reality and time as we know it. They now have daughters in their 20s called Billie & Thea.

I missed Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) in the cinema. I think I first saw them on VHS rental, probably in 1992. Loved them straight away.

The excellent duo decide to travel into their future to steal the song from themselves. But it gets worse further into the future they go. Including Prison Bill & Ted.

At the same time Billie & Thea use Kelly's time pod to get historical musicians to form a band.

There is also a robot called Dennis Caleb McCoy. He later zaps everyone and sends them to hell.

The group later finds Death (the Grim Reaper) and convince him to take them back to the real world.

They arrive at MP46 to perform the song at 7:17pm in San Dimas, California. They realise that Preston / Logan is their daughters, who DJ the band to play instruments, while Bill & Ted time travel across realities to get everyone to play an instrument.

There is a funny post credits scene at the end.

 

Cineworld is closing again due to a lack of blockbusters coming out due to the pandemic. Many movies have been pushed to 2021 or 2022. So is nothing much else coming out in the next few months.

 

I've not been back to Odeon since the lockdown began. Sounds like Odeon is going to a weekend only model.

 

Follow Bill & Ted 3 on Twitter. Follow Bill & Ted Face the Music UK on Twitter.

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

AND ...

PARTY ON DUDES!

 

RIP to Eddie Van Halen. There is a memorable scene in the first Bill & Ted movie where the excellent duo discuss making a music video and wanting Eddie Van Halen on guitar. Watch it here on YouTube Bill & Ted Wyld Stallyns. EXCELLENT!!!!!!

 

Bill & Ted Face the Music is © Orion Pictures 2020. Distributed in the UK by Warner Brothers Pictures. The franchise is now owned by MGM under their Orion Pictures label.

 

Photos of Cineworld Broad Street taken by Elliott Brown.

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