Hello everybody! Pardon the late updates of my second (and last) day at Comic-con. I was hoping to be able to blog Friday night when I came back home but it was already late and our flight was super early on Saturday morning, so it just wasn’t possible. I only had time to take a bit of a nap post flight and off we went to the U2 concert that was delayed from last year for Bono’s back surgery.
In any case, I hope you’ll stay with me as I summarize everything that went on inside the mighty popular Hall H on Friday. I’m happy to report that we actually got to see most of what I had hoped to see that I listed on my Comic-con countdown post, hence the two-part post for the sake of length.
Well, we got there by 7:30 and the line was already quite long but the people in front of us said that the day before they were further back in the line but was still able to sit about halfway inside the hall, so that gave us hope. The hall was finally opened at 10:30 or so… but this year, the organizers were nice enough to put up tents so we didn’t have to be under the scorching hot sun for 3 whole hours! It was surprisingly bearable and actually felt pretty fast as we were chattin’ away about all kinds of movies with a couple of con-goers from Canada [too bad we didn’t get their names]. I really think one of the beauty of going to comic-con is to be amongst folks who love movies as much as I do.
It really was a great decision to spend our time in Exhibit Hall on Thursday instead of lining up at Ballroom 20 or Hall H as I wouldn’t have been able to meet Chris Evans @ Marvel booth! Btw, the guy next to him, Michael, was the one holding the bucket of the raffle tickets.
Considering the lineup for Friday, it was truly worth waiting in line for 3 hours. Before I get to my summary for each of the panel, let me just tell you how gratifying it felt to even be able to get into the massive hall. I’ve read all the horror stories of people camping the night before just to get in, etc. and some who lined up for hours and still couldn’t get in. So the fact that we’re able to get a front row seat at the left section right behind the Q&A mic is a huge blessing! Hall H holds 6,500 seats, a giant stage where the panel table is and four jumbo screens so the people way in the back can see what’s happening — but from where we sat, we could actually see the panel itself with unobstructed view. Oh, and because the lights focused on the area when I was sitting during the Q&A segment, sometimes the people on the panel appears as if they’re looking directly at my husband’s camera! 😀
So here’s Part I of the rundown from Hall H on Friday … read on:
11 AM – The Adventures of Tintin panel
The day started off with a big bang as one of the most iconic filmmakers, Steven Spielberg, graced Hall H to receive the Inkpot Award before the panel for his massive contribution to films and pop culture. It’s a historical event in itself as it’s also his first time ever at SDCC!! He literally brought the house down as the crowd was cheering at the top of their lungs when footage of his movies were shown during the introduction, I got a bit teary-eyed to see all the movies he did that I saw growing up, like E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Peter Jackson showed up a few minutes later to join him at the panel and we’re given a trailer and some exclusive clips of The Adventures of Tintin in 3D which was awesome! The moderator Geoff Boucher (whom I follow on Twitter) thanked Spielberg for Raiders (which coincidentally is MY all-time fave Spielberg movie), and Jackson for The Lord of the Rings (also my favorite from his work!).
The Q&A section was fun as well, lots of great questions that gave insights to stuff I didn’t know before. Here’s a good question for Spielberg:
What movie did you produced that he wished you had directed?
The answer: American Beauty [wow, that’s news to me, I had no idea he even produced that one!]
There’s also an interesting tidbit about Tintin that I was curious about, which is in regards to why The Secret of the Unicorn book was the one chosen for the movie treatment when there were so many other Tintin books that Hergé wrote. Jackson replied that it’s Capt. Haddock’s back story about that involves his ancestor, the 17th century Sir Francis Haddock, and the beginning of his friendship with Tintin that appeals to him.
Oh, speaking of Haddock, Andy Serkis also made a surprise appearance at the panel! A couple of minutes before Q&A session started, he took a seat on the exact same row where we sat, just a couple of people away from me! Everyone next to him were oblivious to his presence but I recognized him right away even with his dark sunglasses on. I kept looking at his direction and was really itching to say hello to him (I mean, he’s Gollum for crying out loud!!), but didn’t want to interrupt what was going on. Sure enough when he went to the mic, the moderator revealed who he was and the room went wild.
The best part of the Q&A is when a fan wearing a t-shirt that says ‘If possible I would like to meet Steven Spielberg just to shake his hand and say thank you very much.‘ When Spielberg saw it, he immediately waved to him to come to the stage. The crowd went wild as two of Hollywood’s greatest directors practically fussed over the guy and took pictures of him with their own personal camera. It was a hoot to see Jackson ‘directing’ the shot of Spielberg shaking the guy’s hand in various poses. You might’ve seen some news footage of the t-shirt-wearing fellow as news people immediately pulled him as he got off the stage and he became the subject of multiple impromptu interviews on the spot. Needless to say, not only did he get to meet his idol, the fan also got his 15 minutes of fame. Awesome stuff!!
Noon – 1 PM — Relativity Media’s The Raven and Haywire
The Raven – Neither one of these movies were on my radar before SDCC but I must say that the trailer shown at Hall H looked pretty gripping. It’s a fictionalized account of the last days of Gothic American author/poet Edgar Allan Poe’s life, in which the poet is in pursuit of a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories. John Cusack plays Poe, whom he called “[the] Godfather of Goth,” and Luke Evans plays detective Emmett Fields in the 19th century period thriller. All the cast and director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) were all present at Hall H. “It’s an art movie and a popcorn movie all at once,” Cusack said during the panel.
The trailer reminds me of Sherlock Holmes but darker and bloodier… “a little bit of Misery, a little bit of Seven” was how McTeigue described the film. Looks pretty good, but I think it’s too spooky for me to see it on the big screen. I’ll post the trailer once it’s available.
Nothing particularly memorable from the panel, I’m actually more interested to see what Luke Evans had to say. He’s one of the up and coming Brits on my watch list and I’m glad he’s got a bunch of projects in the pipeline, including three that I’m really looking forward to see: The Three Musketeers, Immortals and The Hobbit as Bard the Bowman.
Haywire – This is another Steven who’s made his debut at Comic-con besides Spielberg. Steven Soderbergh that is, who’s on hand to promote Haywire, about a black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. So basically a Lara Croft-type who’s a super spy instead of a wealthy archaeologist-adventurer. I’ve never heard of Gina Carano, but apparently Soderbergh discovered the beautiful mixed martial art fighter when he saw her on TV and ended up building an entire script based on her. Based on the trailer below, it’s safe to say she won’t be winning any acting awards (nor would her co-star and fellow panelist Channing Tatum) but she sure is bad ass.
They also showed a clip of her super intense fight scene between Carano and Michael Fassbender (who’s sadly absent from the panel) and the director said the scene was filmed with the actual actors doing the fight sequences, not the stunts. He even said that Fassbender was knocked in the face by a vase despite having trained and warned NOT to look at the vase. Tatum also mentioned being knocked over a few times by Carano during filming. So I guess that’s cool that Soderbergh hired someone who actually could fight in real life [unlike the scrawny Angelina Jolie], but the movie itself doesn’t seem interesting to me (yes, despite Fassbender being in it).
1:30 – 2:30 Underworld 4 and Attack the Block
Underworld Awakening – There’s really not much to say here as I have zero interest to see another Underworld movie. Even my hubby who thinks Kate Beckinsale is one of the most beautiful women ever has no interest in seeing it. The first one was ok but this is really not a worthy franchise. The trailer did nothing to convince me as it only had Kate looking hot in a leather bodysuit going all bad ass doing flips and shooting up a storm. [yawn]
I have to say that director Len Wiseman is just as gorgeous as his wife Kate Beckinsale. He kinda looks like Eric Bana at times, and Kate really is a knockout in a little black dress with her luscious brown locks framing her gorgeous face.
Attack the Block – I first heard about this when my friend John from TDYLF said on Twitter that he got a free screening to see it. The movie about a teen gang in South London defending their block from an alien invasion had been winning rave reviews from various film festivals earlier this year. I can see why, even though it’s not my kind of genre, it looks really well-made and well-acted, despite having mostly young newcomers between the age of 10 and 17. British director Joe Cornish, producer Edgar Wright, and lead teen actor John Boyega were present at the panel and they were all great. Nick Frost (who’s absent from the panel) may be the big name of the movie, but Boyega is poised to steal scenes as the gang leader. He cited Season 4 of HBO’s The Wire as an acting inspiration, “Those great actors create stories through their eyes,” Boyega said. He seemed wise beyond his years, definitely one to watch from Britain.
The panel itself was quite entertaining, which is to be expected considering the British humor. Cornish sounds like an impressive visionary director, he seems very confident and knowledgeable about his craft and what he wants from his films/actors. One fan at the Q&A said he had seen the film at a Los Angeles sneak preview and said it was his favorite film of the year, Wright replied, “If it’s the best film you’ve seen all year, then don’t seen any more films!” Cornish cited John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London as his main influence, looks like Attack the Block is poised to be a cult favorite as well.
Btw, the part about him teasing Wright about his silky dark hair was pretty funny, and Wright went on to say people can go touch his hair right outside Hall H after the panel or something of the sort. You know what, now that Cornish mentioned it, Edgar does have amazing hair 😀
2:30 – 3:30 – Fright Night remake
This movie wasn’t even on my radar that I didn’t even mention it on my countdown post, but it was actually a pretty entertaining panel. I had seen the original Fright Night (1985) with Chris Sarandon as the scary & seductive vampire so it was great to see him moderating the panel.
This time Colin Farrell takes his place as the vampire next door, and Anton Yelchin plays Charlie, the neighbor who has to save his family from his wrath. Colin is perfectly cast as Jerry Dandrige, as Sarandon aptly said “[Colin] Farrell is feral in this movie.” The Irish actor brings his virile charisma to the panel with his shirt unbuttoned all the way down to his chest… I don’t usually find him all that irresistible on screen, but I must say I found the bloke quite sexy in person. Oh, he also showed a bit even more um, skin when a screaming fan asked for his table top name tag and Farrell went over to the edge of the stage to kneel down to sign it just before he gave it to her. Just as he did that, he inadvertently ‘half-mooned’ the camera before the cameraman realized it and panned away. The director poked fun at him about going commando and Farrell actually blushed a bit as he hiked up his pants and joked about forgetting to remove the pimple on his butt. Ahah, that was freakin’ hilarious!
Back to the panel, there’s Yelchin—who’s quite good in Terminator Salvation and Star Trek— joined by director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), lovely British actress Imogen Poots (Centurion) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad). But it’s David Tennant who stole the show via satellite video announcing the free screening of the movie later that night. The trailer showed the Scottish Doctor Who actor chewing the scenery in his role as a vampire killer masquerading as a Vegas magician Peter Vincent. For a minute there I thought he was Russell Brand with his long, black hair, wearing only black leather pants and crucifix necklace on his bare chest. The trailer also made fun of Twilight which panel had been at Hall H the day before, no surprise there.
That’s it for Part I, folks. Stay tuned for a full Captain America review coming tomorrow, as well as Part II of the SONY Pictures panel presentation that includes Ghost Rider 2 (yes I know, I WON’T be watching that), 30 Minutes or Less, Total Recall and last but definitely NOT least, The Amazing Spider-man! If you have a keen eye, you might be able to spot me and hubby in some of the pics and clips that have been circulating all over the net of Spidey star Andrew Garfield pretending to be a fan asking a question from the Q&A mic 😉
So which ones of these films are you looking forward to the most? Comments/questions welcome.