Sunday, February 14, 2010

WB Movie World!

The Gold Coast is the theme park capital of Australia! Since it's only a 45-minute drive from Brisbane, last week I went with some of my theatre friends to Warner Brothers Movie World! The only amusement park I've ever been to is Playland/PNE (well, and Splashdown, does that count?) so this was a pretty epic adventure. After all, anyone who knows me knows I love movies!

Me at the front entrance!

First we went on the Batman ride, which took us through Wayne Manor (complete with listless teenage Australian tour guide who couldn't act his way out of a paper bag - which just made the experience all the more awesome), then through the Batcave with animatronic Batman, then into some sort of Batpod simulation that flew us through Gotham City. Super sweet.

This is the Batboat Val Kilmer rode in Batman Forever.

And this is the Batmobile he rode in it. Yes, the actual one. Nerdy Mary secret: Batman Forever is my favourite Batman movie, just because Jim Carrey is in it.

We wanted to go on the Superman Escape (my friend Nikki's favourite ride) but it was closed. It looked pretty awesome though.

It was sure a beautiful day for it. Next we walked through the central area, where we saw Batman fighting the Scarecrow, Catwoman, Marilyn Monroe with some backup dancers and the Flash.

Also, the awesome Harry Potter shop:

From there, it was on to the Lethal Weapon ride, which was a roller coaster, but the kind where your feet dangle. I'd never been on one of those and it was actually pretty scary and awesome. It knocks your head around, though, you go upside down and everything. The wait was about 1/2 an hour.

Then we went and watched Hollywood Stunt Driver, which was an excellent stunt car show (again, something I'd never sen before). It was so well choreographed, the cars were always so in sync, and then of course it ended with a big explosion, the heat of which we could feel from out seats.

Then we went on the Scooby Doo ride, which Nikki kept talking up as the "best ride EVAH!" I will say one thing about Movie World - it sure didn't have as many rides as Playland, but they make up for it in atmosphere. The waiting lines are really well decorated - behold the gargoyles in the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster castle:

Nikki was right. It was the best ride ever. At first, it's this little ride through a spooky castle, with suits of armour attacking you with swords and swooping blades just missing you and all that, but then a spooky elevator takes you up in your little tiny car and then you fall backwards and then turn around and you're in a big dark room with lasers and fog going on a Mouse-like coaster of death. We went on it twice.

Then, it was off to the Wild West Falls, the water- log ride. Vultures welcome us to the Old-West style part of the park:

This is the chute you shoot down. But it's so much more than just a water-coaster. You go up in a pseudo mine-shaft, get shot at by toothless varmints and float down a river through a ghost town. Then you get completely soaked.

The Looney Tunes Carousel

Wait a minute! How did I get to New York City all of a sudden?!

Haha, it's just painted backdrop like they used to use in the old-timey movies.

As our last hurrah, we went on the Shrek 4-D adventure. What is 4-D you ask? It's the next big craze, apparently. More immersive that 3-D, that's for sure! It was lots of fun.

There's still plenty more parks to explore on the Gold Coast - SeaWorld, Wet n' Wild Waterpark, DreamWorld and Australia Zoo. I'll have to ration my trips - but it was fun inaugural experience!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

GOMA and Queensland Museum

Not last Saturday but the Saturday before, it was off to the Cultural Centre for some free culture (art galleries and museums are free here, as they should be everywhere). There was a fantastic exhibit at the Gallery Of Modern Art known as the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Here are some wacky pieces to contemplate.

This was great - the Buddhas started out as plain white ceramic and there were stickers that anyone could come and stick on them, anywhere they wanted. The stickers were all sorts of fun things, Scooby Doos, hearts, stars, candy, flags and what have you.

"Road To Tomorrow" by Rohan Wealleans

Toshitomo Nara's art studio, a camper van with a little cabin on top. Look closely and you can see his art in the top, all little cartoon girls. Kawaii!

This is "People Holding Flowers" by Zhu Weibing & Ji Wenyu. Such tiny little men. So tiny.

This is called "Line In Control" by Subodh Gupta. A mushroom cloud of pots and pans. Awesome.

You can see more wonderful Asian art from the GOMA if you click this link.

Also, take the virtual_tour! It's worth it, if you can get the website to work for you. Highly recommended:

So much of the art was interactive. You had to go into rooms and you were surrounded by it. There was a small glass room that you could walk-in (barefoot or socks only) that had varying lengths of a shoelace-like substance. It's almost impossible to describe, but it was so cool. You had to walk very slowly, because you couldn't see anything, and sound was muffled, too.

I'd go back there in a heartbeat! Whenever there is a new exhibit, I will be there.

Also, after perusing the gift shop, I rediscovered one of my favourite contemporary artists, Marion Peck. Check her out if you haven't heard of her and you like creepy/cute.

This one was from the Queensland Museum. I just loved this genuine old-school fire truck - a quadricycle. The gold things in the middle are the fireman's helmets. The museum was very cool, though not quite as awesome as the Melbourne Museum. There was a lot of great old cars, planes, boats, carriages as well as a parade of stuffed animals mingled with life-like prehistoric creatures. There was so much there that I don't feel we saw everything, and we should definitely go back a few more times to really digest all the information. It's free, so why the heck not!