As a child, I was obsessed with Ghostbusters. I remember as a 4 year old when my parents got me the Ghostbusters VHS for Christmas and I watched that constantly. I owned all the toys, the firehouse, the slime, Ecto-1 and even the Proton Pack. I wanted to be a ghostbuster. I wanted to be the asian member of the squad. I felt that role had yet to be filled so I set my hopes and dreams on that. I declared this much to my mother: I want to be a ghostbuster for Halloween. And with that, Mama Tansuche set out to make sure her youngest was the best damn ghostbuster on the block. Granted, my mom took some liberties with the costume. There was no brown jumpsuit (apparently that meant I would probably get hit by a car while trick-or-treating) and in its place was a jean jacket with a giant logo that she made and sewn on that back with my name (because apparently we lived in Canada and had a surplus of denim). Yeah, it was awesome and I got so much candy that year because of my awesome homemade outfit. Because of all that, the thing I most associate with Halloween are the Ghostbusters movies and because of that, I jumped at the chance to writeup this section of the Countdown, featuring not 1, but 2 of the villains from the movies. We had a tie when we took a poll amongst the writers with these two characters so we decided to combine both in order to deliver the awesomeness.
Those Lord of the Rings fans who went there and back again to Comic-Con International were rewarded for their line-waiting devotion.
This past weekend Peter Jackson took to the Hall H stage with screenwriter Philippa Boyens and actors Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen (it should be noted he received a standing ovation), Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and Elijah Wood, who was a surprise guest. The panel started with a showing of the latest behind-the-scenes video blog that Jackson has been faithfully providing fans via the official Facebook fan page. Then Jackson revealed a full 12 and a half minutes scenes from both parts of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey (out this December) and There and Back Again (December 2013). A detailed description of each scene revealed can be found at Cinemablend.com or on Entertainment Weekly’s Inside Movies site.
Several seemingly minor yet key announcements and decisions rolled out during the panel.
First, Jackson chose to avoid screening his clips using 3D and 48 frames per second, a decision most likely based on the mixed reaction he received when he did this at Cinema-Con; this may have been in his best interest as the scenes were welcomed far more openly than they were at the previous convention.
Also, Jackson noted that he had shot enough footage to create extended editions of the films or possibly produce a third film. The Internet has been filled with these speculations for the last few days, but Variety says otherwise. A studio representative said there was no “planned surprise,” and that “The plan was always for two” (Variety.com). Time will reveal how this pans out, but Jackson may have to just settle with some whopping extended editions.
A third announcement that should excite the women (or invoke the wrath of LotR die-hards) comes in the form of another female elf named Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly. Philippa Boyens wanted more “feminine energy” in the films: “We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien” (Wall Street Journal). Come December, we’ll see whether or not this is true.
Finally, a fan questioned Jackson on his intentions for a Silmarillion movie. Entertainment Weekly reported that Jackson said he wouldn’t live long enough to pull it off, and he hinted that the Tolkien estate, owning the rights to the Silmarillion, does not like his movies (Entertainment Weekly). Despite being some of the biggest films of all time, The Lord of the Rings films do not always stay true to Tolkien’s books, and this has apparently been scorned by not only the books’ fans but also by the author’s estate itself. Here, too, is a situation that will undoubtedly unfold more clearly the closer we get to December.
Despite my chagrin at the inclusion of a previously unwritten female character (yes, I did just say that, and I support strong women in movies and everything), and my distaste for Jackson’s occasional twisting of Tolkien’s stories, I feel that audiences will have a lot to look forward to in terms of cinematography, acting, and yes, even script adaptation for the two Hobbit installments. The films previous to these have always provided pure entertainment, stunning visuals, powerful themes and messages, incredible scores, and unforgettable interpretations of long-loved characters (remember Ian McKellen’s standing ovation?). I don’t doubt that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again will meet these expectations, and frankly, I just want to see Smaug interpreted on the big screen.
If this article wasn’t enough for you, you can view the majority of the panel on YouTube. Though several users have already uploaded their videos, this one seems to be the best quality overall. Don’t expect to see the clips from the upcoming films; Comic-Con is very strict about not allowing attendees to videotape or post film clips. If you want to be that impatient, go google it yourself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Comic Con coverage. Big shoutouts to all of you who read the articles. I know it sounds corny but you are the reason why we’re doing this. We don’t get paid. Please keep following us on Facebook or Twitter (or start now if you haven’t already done so) for more pop culture opinions.
Sony pictures decided to buy out Comic-Con on Friday with a two hour time slot in the hall H which is the biggest at the convention to promote their three biggest Sci-Fi films Looper, Total Recall & Elysium which all look really good.
First off let’s talk Looper. Johnson’s an undeniably terrific writer/director and Looper looks to be a refreshingly original breath of fresh air in a box office climate flooded with reboots, sequels, and remakes. You absolutely do not want to miss this movie because with these new and original films we just get the same things over and over again. Let’s see the panel video. We have 1 of 3 panel video below; part 2 & 3 is straight after the first.
Just some highlights from the panel:
- Gordon-Levitt was asked how he went about embodying Bruce Willis, but he admitted that he’s not a good mimic. He didn’t feel like an impersonation would be proper, so he internalized it. He watched all of his movies on repeat and even put the audio of his movies on his iPod so he could listen to his voice a lot.
- A guy came up and asked what it was like to work with Bruce Willis, and Gordon-Levitt said that he’s really sweet and actually soft-spoken. He said some big guys come into a room with a booming voice, but Willis doesn’t have to make himself heard and he doesn’t have to raise his voice.
- Johnson said that he’s “the luckiest son of a bitch in the world” to be able to work with people like Blunt and Gordon-Levitt. He said that writing drafts of the script after he had his cast was just as difficult as writing the script for the first time.
Courtesy of Collider, full read out here
Second, let’s talk Total Recall panel. It’s rare for a film to come to consecutive Comic-Cons, but Total Recall showed up last year at the beginning of production, and now its returned with the theatrical release only weeks away. So for that it’s a unique set up and I suppose it’s great for promotion. I don’t currently have the panel video for this, I may be able to update this article later but for now I have a great interview with Bryan Cranston on Total Recall.
Just some highlights from the panel:
- Farrell says he had a good time making the film, but he didn’t feel like he had to fill Schwarzenegger’s size 16 shoes.
- The actors are asked about how they physically prepared for the role, but Cranston cuts in because he wants to see how the sign language interpreter signs “Cohagen has been described as a douchebag.” He then notes how his co-stars had to go through so much physical training, but they probably got a good sleep every night. The other actors describe how they prepared to the physical stuff. It boils down to eating right, working out, and Biel adds “Boxing, boxing, boxing, boxing…and chicken.”
- When asked what attracted to the film, Wiseman said it was the mystery that intrigued him even though he geeked out on the action and world-building. So it was the mix of “the art stuff and the fun stuff.”
- Cranston said he was also hesitant to jumping in to something that had been done before and done well. But Cranston looked at the character of Cohagen as someone who wants Quaid (Farrell) not to die but “to behave.” He saw Cohagen as benevolent and if people just listen to him, he can lead them to utopia. That approach is what drew him to the role.
Courtesy of Collider, full read out here
Third let’s talk about the Elysium panel. Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9 was an amazing feature film debut, and whatever he chose to do next would demand the attention of all the fans he amassed in 2009, which of course includes me. Elysium had been a complete mystery until a synopsis recently appeared online. After reading the synopsis, Elysium was easily one of my most-anticipated movies of Comic-Con 2012. Hope you enjoy the panel video below.
Just some highlights from the panel:
- People on Elysium never get sick because they have machines that can cure diseases. One shot shows a woman getting into a machine that instantly cures her cancer just by scanning her over.
- The corner Max is backed into is when he gets trapped in a radiation vault at his job. He’s hit with radiation poisoning and given pills to manage the symptoms, but he’ll still die in five days. The only way to save his life is to get to Elysium.
- His ticket to Elysium is to join a heist where he and two co-horts plan to download important information directly out of a guy’s brain (the guy is played by the great William Fichtner). Even though Fichtner’s character is on Earth, he’s a citizen of Elysium. Max is basically turned into cyborg in order to be able to extract the information from Fichtner’s character. However, that was incredibly important data so Rhodes sends down an assassin-type character played by Sharlto Copley.
- Bloody destruction; if you loved how the weapons in District 9 obliterated people, Elysium is going to follow suit. One goodie we saw was when some guy gets hit with a ninja shuriken in the chest, and some other guy says “That’s not so bad,” and then the guy who was hit with the shuriken explodes.
- Damon was drawn to the project because of Blomkamp. “It was a very easy decision for me,” says Damon because he was so impressed by District 9. But beyond that, Blomkamp showed Damon a graphic novel he had done that was on Blomkamp’s computer. And then there was a book about the weaponry and another about the vehicles. “Normally, we don’t get to see the movie before we’re in it,” but Damon says there was so much information here, and there was no way he was going to let this project get away.
- Blomkamp’s approach to Elysium was similar to District 9. “It’s an equally scaled up version. You’re trying to push the budget far beyond what the budget can sustain.” The pressure on the crew remained at a high level. Blomkamp went on to say they wanted to get more reality so they went to Mexico City rather than try to dress up Vancouver. He said how some crew members thought Vancouver was tough, and Blomkamp knew that they were going to go to Mexico City, and thought “You guys have no idea what you have in store.”
Courtesy of Collider, full read out here.
So while it seems like Warner Bros. has been taking the Con by storm, Sony wasn’t going to be outdone and blew us away with a serious of great panels for what look to be some great movies. To see our previous articles on these check out our links below.