August 13, 2008

Cheetah Girls Premiere

Oh man, it's been a loooooong time since I've posted to this blog. I've been busy with work (which is good), mostly battling French and Italian producers and broadcasters overseas on one (very frustrating) project that's taken up most of my days and nights, while at the same time writing another Care Bears feature film and a Care Bears DVD... but those are topics for posts yet to come. I dunno if one can actually digress before starting their topic, but I think I just did.


Emily, who works at Disney (my former employer) had tickets to the "world premiere" of The Cheetah Girls: One World which took place last night in Hollywood. To say I was less than thrilled at the prospect of attending this event would be an understatement - but it promised to be a big "Hollywood" type blow-out. Something that the Disney company rarely springs for and something that the Disney Channel never hosts - and THIS was a Disney Channel event. So it was a big deal that I had to check out.

The "Cheetahs", minus Raven.
Smirk to the camera if you just bought new boobies!

To be honest, I was not prepared for how big an event this was. After working for years at the Disney Studios as a writer and producer and experiencing cheaper, lamer, and more disappointing holiday parties and events, I was shocked to see the Disney Channel spring for a full-on Hollywood premiere like this. I guess it makes sense though, because right now the Disney Channel is king with their pre-teen and teen live-action TV movies, like High School Musical.

Just getting to the El Capitan theatre where the premiere was held was an ordeal for us. Both sides of Hollywood Boulevard were filled with tourists and fans with cameras trying to get a glimpse or picture of those who were exiting from the line of limos. We were not arriving in a limo, we had to park and walk.

It's a madhouse, a MADHOUSE!!! Soylent green is PEOPLE!

Waiting in line to get into the premiere, we were directly across from the Chinese Theatre where lotsa' people were watching... including a Marilyn look-alike, complete with air-blast rising skirt. I didn't ask where the "air" was coming from.

Marilyn moons Hollywood.

Our wait in line wasn't very long. Soon we had our "guest" badges and were strolling down the aqua/blue carpet - Disney couldn't spring for the Red Carpet, I guess that was not in the budget. It was wild walking past all the fans, reporters and paparazzi who at first looked at us expectantly, then frowned in disappointment once they realize that we were nobody. Similar to the looks I get when I go back to my High School reunions.

Emily, ready for her close-up.

As we headed into the theatre, we passed plenty of notables who were getting their pictures taken or signing autographs for fans.

Kim Kardashian... not in Cheetah girls, but working
that "I'm famous without trying" look.

In fact, ALL the Kardashian's were in attendance, even Bruce Jenner (not in the picture below) - whom I got a look at - and to say he looks creepy due to all his plastic surgery is like saying a soup sandwich is messy.

Quick! Take the picture while Bruce is busy reattaching his nose.

Once we got past all this craziness we pushed on into the theatre. Our tickets said we were in the balcony - Oh boy!

Row KK, seat 2, this must be a GREAT seat!

As it turned out, our seats were nearly all the way at the back, up near the ceiling. We were up where the pigeons roost.

Our view of the screen. We were in row "suck".

The movie was supposed to start at 6pm. We were seated just a little before 6. And then we sat... and sat... and waited... for the cast and crew to be seated on the main floor. We sat there for nearly an hour. But that wasn't so bad, at least they had music playing the whole time! Oh wait. It was bad. It was the just title music to the Cheetah Girls movie, played over and over and over in an excruciating loop of torture!

Darn, I just had my nails done! Now they're all waxy!

It was HELL being stuck listening to the same whiny, over-produced track repeatedly. Everyone around us was ready to kill each other just to end the misery. But at last it stopped. And then the real torture began, the movie started... and began with the same track of music we'd been tortured with for the last friggin' hour!

The Trailer for The Cheetah Girls: One World

The movie was pretty awful. Look, I know that I'm a crappy animation writer who's responsible for his share of horrible kid's stuff, so I'm not putting myself above any of this. I'm sure that the pre-teens will eat this up and love it - good for them! But the acting (of the three Cheetah girls) was horrid. All of the songs and the singers' voices were so over-produced and tonally modulated that each girl (and even the guys' who sang) sounded exactly alike. I mean exactly. It was nearly robotic. In the previous Cheetah Girls films Raven Symoné was the featured actor, and now I can see why. She was carrying the other girls, big time. This film really needed her. And the story?... um, what story? This had all the flash and depth of a car commercial. I know, I know... this coming from a guy who writes Care Bears movies.

The real stars of the film should have been these two:

Rupak Ginn and Deepti Daryanani

They were the best performers and most engaging characters in the film. Sadly, they weren't featured enough. Anyway, this post isn't meant to be a review of Disney's latest effort at doing what they do best, selling product - but for what it is, the film is wholesome, harmless, and forgettable.

After the film, we all walked one block to the Roosevelt Hotel for the after party. This is where things got good!

This is just a lot of sheet, you know that don't you?

Since the movie had taken place in India, the downstairs of the Roosevelt Hotel, lobby and all, was decked out to look as if we were in the heart of Mumbai... but without all the poverty, overcrowding, beggars, and unsettling aromas.

Dancers on the tables, makin' with the Hindi moves.

There was plenty of food and booze to be had-- and the food was actually good... and so was the booze. Since there were a lot of younger kids in attendance, the menu did not include much authentic Indian food, but there was plenty of mac n' cheese, chicken fingers, and fries. Who says Disney doesn't know their audience?

No, I said get your hand off my glass.

All in all, we really had a good time. I got to reconnect with some of the Disney people I hadn't seen in awhile and I got to meet some of the folks Emily works with at the Disney Channel.

We even got our picture taken with the cast... via green screen and Photoshop trickery.

Us on the left side... I'm the floating orb next to Emily.


Oak N said...

What's that ribbon around your neck? Did you win a medal for just watching the movie?

swenlin said...

That Marilyn was a MAN, baby!

(Not to be confused with a "man-baby". Eww. Creepy.)

Tom said...

Yes! All of us who were able to endure the film were given awards afterward. I thought this was something quite special, but mine just gave me a rash.

Eugene said...

Weird. A friend saw Kim Kardashian at Comic Con, too. She may be stalking you, Tom.

Though better her than Bruce Jenner. (shudder)

Tom said...

I can take being stalked by Kim Kardashian, but Bruce Jenner? That would be like something out of "Friday 13th".

cszponce said...

We had an awesome time in L.A. promoting our pilot, but that's too cool that you got to be at a premiere!

You should write a show about the original Disney girl group called "The Gazelle's" that mysteriously disappeared when the Cheetah Girls hit the scene...

I'm glad to hear neither of you were trapped in orbit around Kim Kardashian's derriere.