Posts Tagged ‘tron: legacy’

Fear and Loathing @ Comic-Con 2010 Part 1: TRON LEGACY, J.J. ABRAMS & JOSS WHEDON, THE EXPENDABLES and SCOTT PILGRIM!

July 29, 2010

We were somewhere around  San Diego when the geek-gasms began to take hold. I remember saying something like, ” I’m feeling a little lightheaded…” And suddenly there was a huge roar all around us and the streets were filled with Supermen, Wonder Women, Klingons, Stormtroopers, Steampunks, Zombies and millions of other costumed geeks. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Moly! Who are all these goddamned nerds?”

Welcome to Comic-Con 2010!

This year’s Comic-Con was something special, because I was there to represent the awesome movie podcast  THE POPCORN MAFIA, along with its lovely host Grae Drake. We stayed in an amazing hotel suite that was a light disc’s throw from the convention center and after checking into press registration on Wednesday, we hit the floor for preview night. I made a stop to the GENTLE GIANT LTD. booth to pick up my official Comic-Con exclusive Darth Vader bust that is based on the original Ralph McQuarrie design. Score one for the Star Wars nerd that lives inside me! The next day we made our way over to Hall H for the first panel of the day, MEGAMIND from Dreamworks…

Will Ferrell shows up in costume for the panel.

Tina Fey keeps the comedy rolling.

Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt's standee join the panel.

I’ve been a fan of Dreamworks animation ever since I saw ANTS and just recently I loved the holy hell out of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, so I’m really looking forward to their take on the superhero genre. This story involves two sworn adversaries that are constantly at battle: a superhero called Metro Man (Brad Pitt) and a supervillian named Megamind (Will Ferrell). But, when Megamind manages to actually destroy his crime fighting nemesis and is allowed to do whatever his evil little heart desires, he learns that a bad guy is nothing without a good guy to oppose. It looks amusing and has a very funny cast that also includes Tina Fey and Jonah Hill. The panel was good and Ferrell had some great jokes about how he was the only one who showed up in costume. Next up, the most highly anticipated panel of the day and possibly the whole con…

The Big Tron-bowski, Jeff Bridges!

Tron himself, Mr. Bruce Boxleitner.

The REAL creator, Steve Lisberger!

The TRON LEGACY panel was moderated by PATTON OSWALT and was absolutely mind-roasting awesome! The cast came out headed up by Flynn himself, JEFF BRIDGES, and also included OLIVIA WILDE, MICHAEL SHEEN, GARRETT HEDLUND (Flynn’s son) and of course, BRUCE BOXLEITNER (Tron). Also, on the panel was TRON LEGACY director JOSEPH KOSINSKI and the original creator STEVE LISBERGER. The footage shown was beautiful and exciting and looked stunningly gorgeous in Real 3-D. One long scene shown involved Flynn’s son (Garrett Hedlund) and his introduction to the computer game world in much the same way as his father’s was in the first movie. The flying ships that look like three dimensional versions of the aliens from SPACE INVADERS are back and they look similar, only much more detailed. Everything I saw has the same design from the first TRON, only more engaging and fully realized. The light cycle race looks crazy-ass sweet and there are fucking light cars, too! I can’t wait till December and you better believe I’ll be seeing it in IMAX 3-D for sure.

After TRON, Disney showed a teaser trailer in 3-D for the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie that featured JOHNNY DEPP as Captain Jack addressing the audience. It made me want some rum.

Then it was announced that GUILLERMO DEL TORO will be writing and producing a HAUNTED MANSION reboot and Hall H went crazy when DEL TORO took the stage to talk about it. He said that ever since he was a little boy and went to Disneyland for the first time, he has loved HAUNTED MANSION and he intends to make a movie that will honor how fucking cool and scary and fun that attraction is. He also said that EDDIE MURPHY will NOT be getting a call for this one. Sounds great to me, as I too love HAUNTED MANSION and can’t wait to see the marriage of DEL TORO’S mind with what already exists there visually!

PATTON OSWALT and GUILLERMO DEL TORO discuss HAUNTED MANSION.

After the Disney panel, the Sony Pictures presentation began with SALT. The breathtakingly sexy ANGELINA JOLIE and the very reserved LIEV SCHREIBER came out to show some footage from SALT and I must say that I had zero interest in this movie until I watched some scenes from it, and now I think it actually looks pretty cool. They showed us this really great car chase scene where Salt (Angelina Jolie) escapes from custody in a car full of cops and beats their asses Jason Bourne-style. That combined with watching Jolie’s big red lips tell the crowd how hard she worked on the movie from the huge jumbo-tron in Hall H guarantees that I’ll be checking it out soon.

Next up was the BATTLE: LOS ANGELES panel and AARON ECKHART and MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ were trotted out for that. The movie’s about an alien invasion and a group of soldiers sent into an occupied L.A. to take back the city. There was some really intense fire fight footage shown of the squad going head to head with aliens armed with advanced weapons in an urban street fighting scenario similar to BLACKHAWK DOWN. I’m looking forward to this one a lot, because I never get tired of alien invasion movies and war flicks and this is both genres combined. THE HURT LOCKER meets HALO.

Mmmmmm, pass the SALT please.

LIEV SCHREIBER talks SALT

Harvey Dent on BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.

Feisty MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ fights again in BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.

Sony was followed by the Summit Entertainment presentation of RED, which is another graphic novel turned motion picture. This one features BRUCE WILLIS, HELEN MIRREN, MARY LOUISE PARKER and KARL URBAN, who were all on hand for the panel. The movie’s about a group of retired CIA agents who are forced out of retirement because someone’s trying to off them. Nothing I saw got me that interested. Maybe it was because BRUCE WILLIS couldn’t have seemed more bored and detached from the proceedings and answered everything posed to him in an unenthusiastic tone similar to a Cylon, only without the fun costume cred. Even the free swag for RED was unimpressive.

BRUCE WILLIS tries to stay awake for the RED panel.

MARY LOUISE PARKER and HELEN MIRREN are young hot and older hot.

Next up was the “visionaries” panel hosted by Entertainment Weekly. JOSS WHEDON and J.J. ABRAMS came out to discuss their bodies of work, future projects and their thoughts on the current state and future of fantastic cinema. It was very cool to hear these guys talk about what kind of things motivate them and what their influences are. JOSS WHEDON talked about how excited and frightened he is about the forthcoming AVENGERS project and his hope that MGM eventually releases his recent movie CABIN IN THE WOODS. J.J. ABRAMS had a lot to say about the forthcoming SUPER 8 and his love for old school SPEILBERG-style AMBLIN’ entertainment. He looks so cool in glasses, he made me wish I had shitty vision. I’m really looking forward to basically everything these guys do.

J.J. ABRAMS and JOSS WHEDON.

Following that, the testosterone level in Hall H went up to about 200% because it was time for THE EXPENDABLES panel! HARRY KNOWLES moderated the proceedings with cast members TERRY CREWS, DOLPH LUNDGREN, STEVE AUSTIN, RANDY COUTURE and none other than SLY STALLONE himself. Even a much more lively BRUCE WILLIS came out to support this exciting new throwback to the old school action flicks of the 80’s. This was the most macho panel of the entire con and I was afraid that at any second people could start fighting or fucking, or both! A few clips were shown, including a badass fight scene between SLY and STONE COLD where STEVE AUSTIN actually broke STALLONE’S neck for real! Talk about sacrificing for your art! This panel got me even more pumped up than I already was! I wanted to shoot some juice, lift some weights and blow something the fuck up with a bazooka while hanging from ANGELINA JOLIE’S tits!

TERRY CREWS is more than a little excited about THE EXPENDABLES!

DOLPH LUNDGREN comes in peace, but leaves in pieces!

GO FOR IT, SLY!

After the EXPENDABLES panel, there was a presentation for SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, but I was starving and had to leave to get some food. Besides, why watch a panel for a movie that I was just about to see an advanced screening of?! Grae got us both into a sneak peek of SCOTT PILGRIM at the beautiful Balboa theatre in downtown San Diego and EDGAR WRIGHT was walking up to everyone in line and personally thanking them for coming. No problem Edgar, your movie was absolutely awesome! SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD is a romantic rock ‘n roll action comedy that takes place in a comic book universe where our hero must battle the League of Evil Exes in order to win the heart of the girl of his dreams. The audience gave it a standing ovation and after the film, Edgar brought out the entire cast. Then the screen raised and METRIC rocked out for the crowd with a mini-concert that was off the hook EPIC!

EDGAR WRIGHT and ME at the SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD screening at Comic-Con!

The cast of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD!

After the concert, Grae and I went to the MACHETE party. Sadly, we missed the footage shown, but we were still able to load up on some free swag and grab a couple tacos from the MACHETE taco truck. It was late and we were exhausted, so we headed back to our hotel to rest up for the next action packed day. Stay tuned for part 2 of my Comic-Con adventures. Nerd out!

I got my Comic-Con on!

July 27, 2009
Holy shit! I'm at Comic-Con!

Holy shit! I'm at Comic-Con!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a nerd. But for one reason or another, I’ve never made the geek pilgrimage to San Diego to witness the spectacle that is Comic-Con. This year however, I scored a last minute ticket, and hot footed it to the “whale’s vagina” for a full day of nerdocity. I made it there around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and hooked up with my good friends, The Popcorn Mafia. We hit the floor around 11 and as I made several passes around, I was dumbstruck by the amount of costumed nerds I saw. There was a pack of six predators that either came together, or met on the floor and decided to hang with each other. I’m not sure.

Somebody call Governor Schwarzenegger!!

Somebody call Governor Schwarzenegger!!

There were scores of nerd-ladies dressed like Wonder Woman, that varied on a sliding scale of hotness. I saw a stormtrooper dressed like Elvis. I saw robots, wizards, ninjas, jedis, hobbits, aliens, monsters, ghouls, Klingons, zombies, and Harry Knowles in the men’s bathroom waiting to take a leak. It was awesome!

Around 1:30, we hit the infamous Hall H, where we scored great seats and hunkered down for about 4 hours of geekgasms. The first panel we saw was for EXTRACT, the new Mike Judge comedy, starring Jason Bateman, Kristen Wigg, Mila Kunis, and Ben Affleck. It looks very funny and has an amazing ensemble cast. I’m a huge fan of Judge’s film work, including OFFICE SPACE and the criminally underrated, IDIOCRACY. The panel consisted of Mike Judge, Jason Bateman, and the gorgeous Mila Kunis, who was dissed by a young nerd asking a question, when she incorrectly complimented his “stormtrooper” costume and was informed, rather rudely, that it was in fact a “biker scout” costume. I gotta feeling this kid’s never gonna get laid with that attitude.

This was followed by the ZOMBIELAND presentation, which started off with a new super-violent comic-con exclusive trailer. It was a great trailer and made me even more excited about seeing it. I love zombie movies and this one looks like a big, crazy zombie-comedy, ala SHAUN OF THE DEAD, only on a much larger scale. The panel consisted of the director, Ruben Fleischer and cast members, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and the awesome, Woody Harrelson, who got a great reaction from the crowd. They showed us two scenes from the movie that were very good. One involved Jesse Eisenberg consoling a pretty girl he has a crush on who’s just been attacked by a zombie, only to have to defend himself against her once she turns into one. Another scene, involved Harrelson smashing zombies over the head with a banjo in a supermarket. Good times.

Next up, was 2012 with Roland Emmerich on the panel. It started with a brand new trailer that really rocked the house. Say what you want about him, but Roland Emmerich is this generation’s Irwin Allen and 2012 looks like the mother of all disaster movies! Emmerich showed us an action scene, but warned us beforehand, that about 70% of the effects were perfect and 30% needs a little more work. The scene I saw was jaw dropping cool and looked 100% to me. It featured John Cusack attempting to drive his family out to the airport as L.A. crumbles around him in what looks like a magnitude 50.9 size earthquake. Cusack drives through falling buildings and finally they get on a plane that takes off as the runway collapses underneath them. It was really fucking wild and I’m really looking forward to this.

There was a short break, but it was like the calm before the storm. I gobbled up a hot dog that tasted like an old shoe and a huge pile of the most disgusting nachos ever made, because I hadn’t eaten anything all day and was coasting on geek fumes. Then the spectacle of IRON MAN 2 filled the hall and made me forget about my hideous lunch for awhile. The moderator was introduced to the rabid crowd, some douche bag from Access Hollywood who’d been creeping us out with his insincere enthusiasm all day. He received a chorus of boos that echoed ominously throughout Hall H. He ignored it all and introduced the director, the guy from PCU, who showed us the world’s shortest trailer. Not even a trailer, but more like a teaser of a teaser. The expectant crowd tried to contain their disappointment when suddenly, Robert Downey Jr. (looking very Tony Stark) hit the stage and the joint went BANANERZ!  He insisted that they play some footage from the movie at once and we were treated to three new scenes from the upcoming sequel. One featured a meeting at Randy’s Donuts in L.A., between Stark and Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury. It was cool but very short. Second, was a congressional hearing, featuring Gary Shandling as a U.S. senator trying to force Tony Stark to give them his Iron Man suit for study. The scene was great and Downey is very funny in it. Last was a scene involving Don Cheadle (replacing the fired Terrence Howard) and Sam Rockwell getting together to build the War Machine suit, which we then saw in full on, ass kicking action. It was awesome!

Robert Downey Jr.'s face fills Hall H.

Robert Downey Jr.'s face fills Hall H.

Then they hauled out Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell to answer questions from the nerds. The highlight was when a geek asked the magnificent looking Johansson if she had to do anything special in the audition to get the part. She mentioned something about doing deep knee bends and every male nerd in the audience giggled and in unison ran to the bathrooms to masturbate. I got your “Iron Man” right here. OH! There was also some brief talk about the upcoming Avengers movie. I personally want to see a CAPTAIN AMERICA movie set in WW II more than anything, but that’s just me.

Hall H exhausted the shit out of me and the Popcorn Mafia. We also needed decent food and drink, so we all went to an Italian restaurant (big surprise) to recharge our batteries and share our feelings about everything we had just witnessed. Unsure of what to do next, I remembered a tip I got from my nerd friend Cat, who I stumbled into on the main floor earlier. She spoke to me of a place outside the convention center, on sixth street, that was a replica of Flynn’s arcade from TRON. Now, I’m a huge Tron maniac from way back in the day, so I convinced the group of nerds I was with to check it out. Great idea!

Wow! Flynn's arcade!

Wow! Flynn's arcade!

Classic 80's arcade games everywhere!

Classic 80's arcade games everywhere!

Back in the day, I was a master of the Tron arcade game.

Back in the day, I was a master of the Tron arcade game.

We waited in a line for about 20 minutes and then were allowed into a replica of Flynn’s arcade from the movie Tron, complete with 80’s arcade games. They had Battle Zone, Defender, Joust, Asteroids, Missle Command, and Tron the video game, which I was addicted to like a crackhead back in the day. We were all having fun playing video games, when suddenly a wall opened up and everyone was ushered into a dark hallway that had large, illuminated pre-production sketches of the new lightcycles for the upcoming sequel, TRON: LEGACY. The hallway led to a room filled with throbbing electronic music and low and behold, an actual full size lightcycle from the new movie! It looked awesome and I went into geek convulsions.

I was very impressed with the sketch of the new lightcycle.

I was very impressed with the sketch of the new lightcycle.

I was even more impressed with the actual lightcycle!!

I was even more impressed with the actual lightcycle!!

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Needless to say, I was totally blown away. And as a bonus, they gave us a free “Flynn’s Arcade” t-shirt as we left. It had been a very cool and long day for us, so the Popcorn Mafia and I hunkered down at the Hyatt to get drunk and go over our numerous adventures during the day. For my first ever Comic-Con experience, I was completely satisfied at all the coolness I had absorbed into my geek mind. Tired, I grabbed the arm of the nearest and most attractive nerd woman I could find and ran off into the night. The next morning I was on the road back to L.A., but I will return next year Comic-Con. You can bet your geek ass on that!