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Thread: Weir's "Pop Star on Ice" shows hard work behind the glamour

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
    Okay, I just got back, after having spent an enjoyable night at the movies & eating afterwards.

    We had absolutely no problem parking on this beautiful Sunday (btw parking was free, as it is every Sunday), then we walked a pleasant 30 seconds around the corner into the magestic Egyptian Theatre, showed the staff our tickets & in we went. The theatre was packed ~ full house ~ with only a handful of reserve seats available.

    We took our seats only moments before the expected start of the movie at 6:45PM. However, there were three individuals up on stage (a woman & two men), whom introduced themselves (the woman acted as the host of the SIFF, aka Seattle International Film Festival, and the two men were the producers of the film; one of them mentioned that Johnny couldn't make it but hoped everybody would enjoy the film).

    Then the lights dimmed into nothingness for about 20-30 seconds before the preview began (i.e. a foreign James Bond type of film, lol). Then another black nothingness for about 20 seconds before TADA, there he was!

    Johnny's face literally appeared out of thin air, right in your face, like the trailer that has appeared on the 'net. This odd foreign accent talking about him, then at the end you realize it is Johnny himself, lol.

    I didn't take notes, so am just going by memory, thus I may have missed some things, please bear with me.

    From there I recall being blown away by Johnny's jumps on the ice, his incredible flow into & out of them, in particular he executed a gorgeous triple lutz-triple toe-triple loop, after his coach Priscilla Hill asked him to. And I think afterwards he just smiled at the camera like it was nothing. And I just remember thinking W-O-W! Seriously, I'd forgotten how much talent & how incredibly good Johnny is on the ice, he made me a fan all over again, and I remember thinking at that particular moment he could be the 2010 Olympic Champion. He's a natural, as the movie proved.

    I also have to point out that the skating is what I enjoyed most about this film. That, and seeing Johnny go back to his hometown a few times ~ once to show where it all began, in the oddest of places, in a cornfield behind the house he grew up in, actually talking about how it all froze over one winter & he skated in between the stubs of the cornstalks ~ and he also went back to the elementary school he attended as a child, talking to the kids there, reconnecting with his 1st grade teacher, just having a great time. Lol, I loved the answers he gave to the kids about "are you rich?", "are you popular?".

    PAUSE, I'm going to post this half-finished to make sure it goes through, then continue on. Thanks for understanding.
    Thank you so much for the review ! The film sounds great ! I look forward to the second part of your review. I enjoyed his trailer, I can’t wait to see the whole film !

  2. #17
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    continued...

    I liked the *feel* of the documentary, like being on the inside, instead of on the outside looking in, though I think it could've been made better in the sense that the parts I personally enjoyed were the ones where Johnny wasn't posing for the camera/aware of it, rather the camera caught Johnny without his seeming to know it. Hard to explain.

    Anyhow, back to the film. Interspersed throughout the film was his best friend Paris, either you love him or hate him, no in between. Leastways that's my opinion. Paris acting like a diva, you get the picture. Audience laughed along with him. Personally I think he's the one that holds Johnny back, always by his side, in the bedroom & out, always there to have a good time. IMHO if Johnny really wants to be an Olympic Champion, as he states throughout the film, then drop this guy (at least temporarily; until his amateur career is over). Or set boundaries. Prioritize.

    Johnny has all the talent in the world, but *not* the discipline necessary to reach the very top of the podium. And I know Prisicilla Hill feels as I do. That's the difference between him & Evan Lysacek. The latter has the mental toughness, the discipline, the concentration. Though I've always conceded Johnny is the one with the pure raw talent. But as has been said a million times before, talent alone does not make a champion, it's 95% mental, the other 5% talent. JMHO.

    Okay, enough about that, I enjoyed the flashbacks to Johnny's childhood, his progression from a highly talented 12 yr. old to a three-time US National Champion! To start skating at that late of an age & to become Jr. World Champion three years later - unbelieveable. And it all started downstairs in the basement of his childhood home, roller skating, imitating the moves of Oksana Baiul from the 1994 Olympics ~ The Swan ~ and here I thought I was Oksana's biggest fan, no way, Johnny takes the cake!

    That's another thing I particularly enjoyed about this film ~ his inclusion of all those skaters we love ~ one of the first opening scenes was of Johnny & Sasha Cohen. Then throughout the film an assortment of skaters talking about Johnny ~ Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and of course Oksana Baiul ~ as well as a few backstage shots of Stephane Lambiel & Brian Joubert & Evan Lysacek, and of Johnny talking about his relationship with each. Oh yeah, before I forget, Christine Brennan had a few words to say as well, and Phil Hersch was caught asking questions at one of those Q&A sessions after the competition is complete.

    One of the most compelling aspects of this film, if not thee most compelling, was his relationship with his coach of 10 years ~ Priscilla Hill ~ they grew up together on the ice; she the loving mother, he the talented child. So sad the breakup. He just didn't want to listen to her ~ she's just way too nice, not tough enough ~ Galina Zmievskaya was the perfect one to go to, as she will not take any of his sh*t, and he knows that. Hopefully, as is Priscilla's wish, they can reconnect again after his amateur career is over. Heartbreaking.


    That's all for now, but before I go I have to say that one can tell how close Johnny is with his mother & father, especially his mother. I loved the scene wherein they both helped him move into his own apartment, reminded me of the first time I left home.

    Yikes, almost forget to mention that I also wanted to say that I enjoyed the mini interviews with Johnny's Angels, those fans that have supported him from the very beginning. Touching. Good job, Johnny, good job.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
    I liked the *feel* of the documentary, like being on the inside, instead of on the outside looking in, though I think it could've been made better in the sense that the parts I personally enjoyed were the ones where Johnny wasn't posing for the camera/aware of it, rather the camera caught Johnny without his seeming to know it. Hard to explain.

    Anyhow, back to the film. Interspersed throughout the film was his best friend Paris, either you love him or hate him, no in between. Leastways that's my opinion. Paris acting like a diva, you get the picture. Audience laughed along with him. Personally I think he's the one that holds Johnny back, always by his side, in the bedroom & out, always there to have a good time. IMHO if Johnny really wants to be an Olympic Champion, as he states throughout the film, then drop this guy (at least temporarily; until his amateur career is over). Or set boundaries. Prioritize.

    Johnny has all the talent in the world, but *not* the discipline necessary to reach the very top of the podium. And I know Prisicilla Hill feels as I do. That's the difference between him & Evan Lysacek. The latter has the mental toughness, the discipline, the concentration. Though I've always conceded Johnny is the one with the pure raw talent. But as has been said a million times before, talent alone does not make a champion, it's 95% mental, the other 5% talent. JMHO.

    Okay, enough about that, I enjoyed the flashbacks to Johnny's childhood, his progression from a highly talented 12 yr. old to a three-time US National Champion! To start skating at that late of an age & to become Jr. World Champion three years later - unbelieveable. And it all started downstairs in the basement of his childhood home, roller skating, imitating the moves of Oksana Baiul from the 1994 Olympics ~ The Swan ~ and here I thought I was Oksana's biggest fan, no way, Johnny takes the cake!

    That's another thing I particularly enjoyed about this film ~ his inclusion of all those skaters we love ~ one of the first opening scenes was of Johnny & Sasha Cohen. Then throughout the film an assortment of skaters talking about Johnny ~ Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and of course Oksana Baiul ~ as well as a few backstage shots of Stephane Lambiel & Brian Joubert & Evan Lysacek, and of Johnny talking about his relationship with each. Oh yeah, before I forget, Christine Brennan had a few words to say as well, and Phil Hersch was caught asking questions at one of those Q&A sessions after the competition is complete.

    One of the most compelling aspects of this film, if not thee most compelling, was his relationship with his coach of 10 years ~ Priscilla Hill ~ they grew up together on the ice; she the loving mother, he the talented child. So sad the breakup. He just didn't want to listen to her ~ she's just way too nice, not tough enough ~ Galina Zmievskaya was the perfect one to go to, as she will not take any of his sh*t, and he knows that. Hopefully, as is Priscilla's wish, they can reconnect again after his amateur career is over. Heartbreaking.


    That's all for now, but before I go I have to say that one can tell how close Johnny is with his mother & father, especially his mother. I loved the scene wherein they both helped him move into his own apartment, reminded me of the first time I left home.

    Yikes, almost forget to mention that I also wanted to say that I enjoyed the mini interviews with Johnny's Angels, those fans that have supported him from the very beginning. Touching. Good job, Johnny, good job.
    Wow, thank you for the prompt next wonderful review ! Sounds like many interesting parts in it. I envy you could see it so soon.

  4. #19
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    Anyone have a clue where this film could be seen, and when? Probably not the major theaters? Is there a way to search for the more independent film showtimes nationwide?

  5. #20
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    Check the website for all showings


    www.popstaronice.com

  6. #21
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    Thank you for the review, looking forward to reading more. I know Johnny was not there last night but any others from the film there?
    Last edited by momjudi; 05-25-2009 at 08:04 AM.

  7. #22
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    For everybody that would like to read more reviews, I've found several more over on www.fsuniverse.net (I think one or two might be from Johnny's Angels themselves. On that note, I would like to point out that I am a skating fan first & foremost, not a particular fan of one individual skater, which is why I've never had an avatar of a skater underneath my name.

    Regards the film, I would highly recommend the film to figure skating fans in general. This opportunity rarely, if ever, comes about, so if you get the chance to see it, go for it!

    Now that I've had a pleasant night of rest, I recalled a few things I forgot to mention in my earlier review, namely I recall one part in the film wherein Johnny was staying at some hotel (most likely for a competition) & he had an interesting conversation with a Polish woman whom worked at the hotel (think she was a maid). It was touching. She told Johnny in her broken English how much she had enjoyed seeing his SP skate at the 2006 Olympics, and not to give up, believe in yourself, etc. Lol, then right after she left she immediately knocked on the door to ask for an autograph for "Emily". I liked seeing that side of Johnny. His kindness, his genuine appreciation of his fans, that made a deep impression with me personally. Just thought I would share.

    One other incident popped out at me ~ Johnny at Cup of Russia ~ sitting with Brian Joubert & another medal winner up on the conference stage. A Russian commentator asked him in Russian something about what did he, Johnny, need to do in order to compete with Brian mentally & physically. Kinda a rude question, and Johnny had a very short response back. You could tell he was miffed, not only in his response, but the glare he gave the guy. Even Brian, sitting next to him, looked at Johnny differently as he drank his cup of water. That incident just stood out to me ~ first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning.

    Oh yeah, for those fashionistas, there was a 10-minute segment of Johnny getting all dolled up to go to a Fashion Show to walk on the catwalk, complete with full-blown makeup & outrageous outfit that glowed in the dark!

    That's all for now. If I think of anything else, I will make sure to post. And will answer any questions anybody has when I get the time. I'm taking the rest of the day off to spend with family due to it being Memorial Day. I hope everybody has an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.

    P.S. there was a Q&A after the film ended with the two producers of the show, but we couldn't make it, so left right after the film ended, however several fans over on www.fsuniverse.net attended it; it's worth a good read.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
    Kinda a rude question, and Johnny had a very short response back. You could tell he was miffed, not only in his response, but the glare he gave the guy. Even Brian, sitting next to him, looked at Johnny differently as he drank his cup of water.
    ehheh Johnny's got some edge. But then, he always has.

    Seriously, I want to thank you for all the wonderful stuff you've managed to write down for us! All the reports will have to suffice until the rest of us get to see it. And man do I want to see it.

  9. #24
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    Thank you Nadine for the wonderful review! Can't wait to see it And I agree Johnny has tremendous pure raw talent. I became his fan right away when I first watched his program in 2004. However some of my friends decide not to be his fan (because I never get it that how can you not be after you saw his performance, but that's just me. Good luck to him for 2010 Ogame.

  10. #25
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    Thanks everybody for the kind comments, much appreciated.

    I just want to give back to GoldenSkate in any way that I can, as it has been my pleasure to read this board over the years, and it's the only board I've ever posted at (exception being Adrian Chew's fantastic board back in 1998/1999) ~ all the interesting articles, the play-by-plays, et al ~ I can't thank everybody enough for all that. And since I live in Seattle, and Johnny's premiere would be here, I thought "aha", I can at least give a review. After all that GS has done for me throughout the years, I wanted to give back, no matter how little.

    On a final note, I would strongly suggest *NOT* to bring kids/little children to the film, as I saw a few little ones at the premiere. I personally don't think some of the scenes are appropriate for them. JMHO.

    P.S. there was a strong turn out of the gay community at the film, rightly so, as the Egyptian Theatre is located on Broadway in Seattle, which is a well-known gay area/hangout/whatever you call it. I only mention this because I noticed that the film is listed as documentary/gay,lesbian. I think this was an appropriate rating of it. Once again, JMHO.

  11. #26
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    Nadine, thank you again for the review, curious as to what scenes do you consider inappropriate for young children? Does the film have a rating or is that not necessary for a documentary?

  12. #27
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    I guess Johnny is doing a great job in promoting Figure Skating and definitely US Figure Skating. He really is proving and has proven that artistry and sports can be fused. Figure Skating is really complex as there are people who would like to watch sports mixed with artistry and Johnny has just been the ambassador for it. Gender definity, plain or elaborate costumes, Johnny has shown that you don't have to be ashamed of who you are and what your sense identity is. He must be given a commendation among/above all skaters because he has stood up and survived all the past and present controversies of figure skating. I would be glad for him to win the Gold for the Olys. He deserves it. Through all the years and gossips and controversies, he has proven that there is a JOHNNY WEIR. Family plays a vital part in one's life and with Johnny, he has shown through the documentary that with a strong family relationship through all the hardships/happy and sad times, all these will mold you both mentally and emotionally to go through what road you have chosen in life. GOOD FOR YOU JOHNNY !!!!!

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by momjudi View Post
    Check the website for all showings

    www.popstaronice.com
    Errr. So I can only see this movie in WA, RI, NY, MA, MD and CA? ...

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by momjudi View Post
    Nadine, thank you again for the review, curious as to what scenes do you consider inappropriate for young children? Does the film have a rating or is that not necessary for a documentary?

    After musing your question over, momjudi, I'd have to honestly say it's an individual judgement call. Personally, I'd suggest having the adult go see the movie first & foremost, and if the adult thinks it is appropriate for his/her child, then so be it. That's up to the adult to decide. And, no, the documentary does not have a rating.

    I personally really enjoyed it, and will say again that I highly recommend it to all *adult* figure skating fans. There's something for everyone.

    Johnny has all the talent in the world, I can see why people get frustrated with him. I'm one of them, lol, as I would like to see him fulfill his potential, which IMHO includes an Olympic medal, of any color. If he worked the hardest he's ever worked in his life, even when he gets tired, I could see him on the very top of the podium.

    By the way, I love the song that played at the very end of the movie, reminded me of one of my favorite songs, written & sung by Eminem of all people. "Lose Yourself"

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    Errr. So I can only see this movie in WA, RI, NY, MA, MD and CA? ...
    Right now the movie is only being shown at film festivals, no word yet if it will be released to general theaters. The film will be shown on the Sundance Channel in the fall and will be released as a dvd eventually.

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