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Fantastic Fest is HERE! – updates from the front — by Holly B

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Holly here from Austin and I will be posting updates and mini-reviews of the films and video games and parties that make up Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas over the next week or so. If you don’t know what Fantastic Fest is, just click HERE and check it out.

This is the 7th year that this century’s version of P.T. Barnum; Tim League and Co (co-founder Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News will be in attendance as well) have put on an amazing display of films from around the world (34 countries represented this year!)

There are parties to beat the band (the Chaos Reigns Karaoke party is infamous — seriously… look at the YouTube video of The Rza, Nacho Vigilando and Elija Wood (to name a few) doing drunken karaoke of The Black Eyed Peas’, Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night — you will keel over in envy at not being there), to the Fantastic Debates, in which Tim League takes to the boxing ring to support his side of the debate.

Last year it was Michelle Rodriguez he fought over whether AVATAR should have won the Oscar(tm) for Best Picture. This year, it’s Irish underground bare-knickle boxing champion. Tim is a new father to twin girls born just two weeks ago, and while I personally hope McDonagh takes it easy on him so he doesn’t scare the children, League has had two boxing lessons, so feels completely up to it.

As Fantastic Arcade opens today at The Highball, I plan to be there quite a bit to see all the new games, and hopefully talk to some of the designers as well.

Last night, after you could pick up your badge, and get tickets for the next days’ films, it was off to PINBALLZ, Austin’s only superkillerbadawesome video arcade where you might play on the Elvira pinball machine, a round of Air Hockey or even team up on a 6-person game of X-Men (Wolverine was broken, so I had to play Storm) with friends met at Butt-Numb-A-Thon from Los Angeles, who, if you’re lucky, you get to see once a year. We ran out of token at the end boss of Magneto, but I have a feeling we’ll be back to conquer him sometime this week.

Well, that’s all for this post, keep on the lookout for my updates (with longer reviews to follow as I am able) from now until Sept 29th, where the Gala Closing Film is Morgan Spurlock’s new doc (co-produced with Harry Knowles, Stan Lee and Joss Wheedon!) about the Comic Con experience, titled: Comic Con Chapter IV – A Fan’s Hope will have it’s US Premier. Emails went out about two weeks ago asking attendees to come in costume. I don’t dress up for Dragon*Con, but I put something together for this shindig, and will post photos about it later.

~Holly is a long time cinephile who stays after the movie’s over to look at certain names in the credits is happy to be back in Austin for her first FANTASTIC FEST and happier still that she’s crashing at her brother’s place, and not a hotel. Find her on the tweety @MediaTsarina and follow @FantasticFest for updates and event info.

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