Finally—the rest of the Con report! I’m going to be briefer than usual, mainly because I’m tired and Ann Aguirre and I are hitting the road early tomorrow to sign books all the way up the coast on our way to San Francisco for the RWA Conference.
I gave you the basics on Friday, but I didn’t get to give you my impressions of the panels I attended.
I mentioned that the entire cast was present (as well as Zach Snyder and the illustrating genius Dave Gibbons), but I was especially excited about being in the same big room as Billy Crudup. You see, I’ve had a thing for him since the days of SLEEPERS, back when he was in round one of the whole “He’s the next big star” bout. (He’s been on so many verges of stardom I’ve lost count.) I even try to overlook all the scandal between him and Mary-Louise Parker, and his charm and wit on this panel only justifies my blind devotion to him.
Anyway, Zach Snyder—who’s quite a looker himself—allowed us to see a very operatic, frakkin’ gorgeous extended Con-exclusive trailer for WATCHMEN. Later in the day, Kevin Smith called it a “religious experience,” and I’m sure tons of Con attendees agreed. I, myself, wasn’t wriggling on the floor and frothing at the mouth, but, even so, I can’t wait to see WATCHMEN. And, once again, if you haven’t read the comic, now’s the time. It’s a beautifully dark and complex work that’ll have you looking at the world—and pop culture itself—in a different way.
Oh, one more thing. The funniest part of the panel was when they started taking questions from the audience. When the camera lit on the first person to ask a question, the image of a full-on Batman filled the huge high-definition screens, and the actors onstage lost their shit. I mean, the Batsuit was really a great one, and to all of a sudden see Batman standing there, all serious and ready to question the panel, was just soooooo Comic-Con.
This is a Con tradition, and I have to say that even though they didn’t show anything brand spanking new, I still had fun. I hadn’t seen the new James Bond trailer yet, and I love how his character arc is extending even into the sequels. I finally saw the TERMINATOR: SALVATION trailer, and I’m squeeing inside even now—especially with that punchy ending. Other trailers of interest? THE CLONE WARS and HAMLET 2 (God help me.).
Benicio del Toro and Emily Blunt and the great Rick Baker were there to show us the trailer for this old-school horror flick that I’m totally going to see. I had no idea that they were setting it in the 1800s, so color me excited. Basically, I got the vibe of a less Wagnerian BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA. In fact, I’d say that this fills out a perfect trilogy of gothic yumminess along with DRACULA and the DeNiro FRANKENSTEIN.
Frank Miller’s first true solo directorial outing (SIN CITY, co-directed with Robert Rodriguez, preceded this.) looks to be a nourish, tough-talking, entertaining time at the theater. It’s true that the visuals are very, very reminiscent of SIN CITY, and maybe that already makes THE SPIRIT old hat, but it’s still a striking thing to see. Samuel L. Jackson was part of the panel and, as always, he didn’t disappoint with his hilarity.
STAR WARS update
Steve Sansweet, the voice of Lucasfilm, was on hand again to give fans an update of what’s going on in the STAR WARS universe. In a few words: the FORCE UNLEASHED video game looks mindblowing, THE CLONE WARS movie is supposed to be a return to the initial trilogy’s “swashingbuckling fun,” and the approaching animated series—starting this fall on TNT and Cartoon Network—is going to rule my DVR. We saw extended clips from both the animated CLONE WARS movie and the series, and I was quite happy with what was presented. In particular, I loved THE CLONE WARS clip, which featured a battle on a crystal planet. The pacing was hell-for-leather yet clear—an excellent re-start.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY VISIONARIES: FILMAKERS
What do you get when you put Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow, Zach Snyder, and Frank Miller on a panel together? Well, you get a lot of dirty jokes from Smith and geek-fan admiration amongst the lot of them. This was basically just a shoot-the-poo fun time with the audience asking questions and the participants riffing on each others’ answers.
KEVIN SMITH MAKES A PORNO
Instead of the traditional Q&A format this year, Kevin Smith shared his ZACK AND MIRI MAKES A PORNO with the crowd. I wrote a bit about this in the last post, but I just want to reiterate that I think this movie is going to show some real heart and bring the funny….
On Saturday, I went to two more awesome panels: LOST and HEROES. I couldn’t stay for all of LOST, seeing as I had my own panel (which ended up being lots of fun, BTW), but I did stay long enough to see Matthew Fox make an appearance (pant). Also, the “Dharma Initiative” was recruiting out on the Exhibit Floor. I didn’t make it to their booth, but evidently, the Initiative was asking a lot of messed up psychological questions. (Team Viral Marketing for Lost is genius.)
I’m going to blog about HEROES in a separate post in a little bit because it needs its own section. You know why? Because it wasn’t enough that the cast showed up (!), but Tim Kring BROUGHT THE THIRD SEASON PREMIERE AND LET US WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!
Now, please refer to the HEROES post(when it's up) while envying me. Thank you and enjoy.