Saturday, February 07, 2009

Some Photos from ComicCon

Krod Mandoon (Not an Ethnic Meal Break)

Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a "workplace" comedy series coming up on Comedy Central, that is a bit like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but with a stricter story and less parody. Chris Hardwick of G4 did a great job moderating (he really should be on TV more often,) as two of the execs and two of the stars answered questions, including Sean Maguire, who is making up for the horrible "Meet the Spartans" movie. Unfortunately, the wonderful Matt Lucas (Little Britain,) who plays the key baddie in the show, wasn't in attendance, but Maguire does a pretty good imitation (of co-star Kevin Hart and Marty McFly also,) and is really pretty quick on the draw.

The story about how Lucas became a part of the show was especially a crowd pleaser, as he sort of fell in their laps. "We got Matt Lucas to tape an audition." "Wow!...Who's Matt Lucas?" Seriously, this might have been the most entertaining panel all weekend.
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Summit Brings Us Knowing & The Hurt Locker

The participation was light this time, but the movies certainly piqued my curiosity.

Knowing has been a movie I've been interested in since Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) was attached, and in seeing the trailer and two scenes selected by director Alex Proyas (who couldn't make it due to post-production,) it probably is better Kelly didn't make this movie. The story of a dad who finds a note in a time capsule that predicted every catastrophe in the 50 years since it was buried, and a few more to come, was probably too "big" an action film for Kelly at this point in his career. That said, I don't know how well it will do, because the topic (global disasters) and the terrifying way they are presented is probably just too harrowing for most people, especially NY'ers. It's just relentless in how destructive the events are and how detailed the events are depicted.

The Hurt Locker is similarly intense and similarly possibly too raw, as it depicts a bomb squad working in what looks like Iraq. The 12 minutes of footage shown nearly made me crap myself. It definitely doesn't look like a feel-good movie. Per one of the stars who did a Q&A, it's not an Iraq movie, but a movie about guys with an interesting job.
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Dead Like Me: The Movie

Four of the cast, including charasmatic Callum Blue and grown-up Sarah Wynter, and two of the producers appeared at ComicCon to promote the soon to be released DVD movie before a packed room. Among the tidbits during this remembrance of the late, beloved series are the return of Dolores and Crystal from the series, but one gets the feeling that Blue could have appeared and just sat there and much of the crowd would have been happy.
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Wolverine and the X-Men DVD Update

The show's already been picked up for a second season, and the first volume comes out on DVD on April 21st. The word volume isn't promising in any way, but there's your update.
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Super Hero Squad

After watching the first trailer, with a theme song from the lead singer of Nerf Herder, it feels a bit like the Marvel version of Powerpuff Girls, just a bit more anime. It feels like there's a great deal of fan service in the inclusion of many lesser-known characters, but the lighthearted tone might rub the fanboys the wrong way. We didn't get to see any plot, but the tone is obvious: goofy fun.

We also got to see the world premiere of the fourth episode of the upcoming NickToons show Iron Man: Armored Adventures, which features a young Iron Man (like school-age.) Rock band Rooney did an excellent theme song, the animation looks pretty sweet (almost anime like,) and the story is hardly kiddie, mixing action and a sense of humor that's well written (one Star Trek joke is particularly hilarious.)
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Make My Animation Marvel

Why they would schedule Robot Chicken and Marvel Animation panels, two topics with certain crossover in audience, for the same time is certainly questionable. I've chosen the Marvel panel, mainly because I haven't seen most of what their showing (and the Robot Chicken drawing power of Seth Green has resulted in a ridiculous crowd (and some fire-code defying blockages.)

The panel, hosted by executives from Marvel Animation, kicked off with info on the ridiculous success of the new NickToons series Wolverine and the X-Men (over 1000% ratings improvement) and the new Hulk vs. DVD. A glance over the new BET series, Black Panther, based on Reggie Hudlin's story and John Romita Jr's art, is followed by what could be either a huge failure or massive win: Marvel Super Hero Squad, which airs this fall.

Bringing together all the Marvel characters in super-deformed designs (almost Kirby-esque in a way,) it's a comedy action series for the entire family
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McG on Sarah Connor and Arnold T-800

When asked about the presence of the two popular characters, McG played it coy, talking about Sarah's importance to the mythology and technical attempts to get the original Arnold (not the Arnold of today), so chances are good we'll see something of each in T:S.
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Saturday the 7th

We got a peak at the beginning of the new Friday the 13th, and it's some scary stuff. If they can keep up this pace doe a whole film, people will end up passing out in the theater.
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We have a (New) Winner

Anchor Bay will be theatrically releasing the film Grace, about a woman with an usual child. Just take a look at the poster, which is a piece of marketing genius (and which unfortunately will not be the theatrical poster due to MPAA restrictions.) But even better is the swag they distributed: a baby bottle. Twisted, but great.
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McG on Terminator: Salvation

Director McG talked a lot about his new Terminator film, and his experience talking with James Cameron about the movie, specifically how Cameron would neither approve or trash the idea. McG is pretty good at talking up the film with an amusing, potty-mouthed way of telling his stories, while praising fellow filmmakers Spike Jonze and Zach Snyder. I don't know if it's a new item, but McG said that Danny Elfman is doing the score for T:S.

At one point, McG called Christian Bale at home, but got his wife, who thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm. After that, he unveiled the world premiere of the unfinished trailer (yelling as the lights went down "It better be loud.") Have to say, it looks pretty fantastic, like a mix of a war movie and Transformers, done inside the Terminator mythology.

Funny moment: the mic gave some feedback, and someone in the crowd yelled "That's F'n unprofessional!" His response: "I don't get it" with a smile. Funnier moment: McG puts three fans on the panel to back him up. Funniest moment: McG berates a woman who asks about the Bale rant, Bale-style. Good stuff.
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Gibbons on Watchmen

On the ending: It's the same, but different. But don't expect a squid.

On the possibility of a sequel: If one happens, Gibbons and Snyder will have nothing to do with it. He hopes they don't even think about it, because it's a complete story, not just characters.

On previous attempts: Gibbons talked a bit about Joel Silver's idea of having Arnold Schwartzenegger as Dr. Manhattan, and Terry Gilliams' interest (or as Gibbons' mom put it, "The Monty Python man is going to make a movie from your comic book. That ought to be funny."
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Who Watches the Watchmen. We're Watching the Watchmen

The first big panel of the day is the Warner Brothers presentation of Watchmen, Friday the 13th, and Terminator: Salvation. But of course, the big draw is Watchmen, of which we got to check out the first 18 minutes, plus a scene from the film that's never before been shown to anyone not involved with the film. After an intro by Dave Gibbons, the well-known opening scene, the titles and the follow-up unreeled. The opening felt a bit over-done after years of reading it on a static page, but the titles brilliantly lay out the alternate reality of the film via still photos done in motion (just wait til yopu see it.) The follow-up scene shows just how faithful Zach Snyder has been, looking like the graphic novel come to life. The additional scene, which I won't spoil, is amazing, and gives great hope for the final film.
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Day Two

The tickets for today and the weekend have sold out, and from the looks of things, every ticketholder is in attendance. There's a lot of interesting panels today to check out, so hopefully I'll have some cool stuff to share.

Here's video of the flow of people heading toward the convention. I tried to come up with some witty variation of Trail of Tears, but failed. Sorry.