Comic-Con

Shaun of the Dead

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recap072713

The Reject Recap is back following a week off for the takeover of Comic-Con coverage. Of course, now that Comic-Con coverage is the main focus of the latest review of Hollywood’s biggest news and FSR’s greatest original content. Fortunately and unfortunately, some other notable announcements came out in the past seven days that had nothing to do with San Diego’s fanboy event. For instance, we lost actor Dennis Farina. Also, we pretty much lost all possibility of a Freddie Mercury/Queen movie. Meanwhile, we considered new directions (for better or worse) of such iconic characters as Wolverine, Rocky Balboa and Spike Lee. And we’ve been having panic attacks just from watching a few clips from one of the most anticipated films out later this year. As always, we’ve rounded up the most significant bits of what everyone’s been talking about — or should have been talking about — over the past week. There was the announcement of the latest Toronto International Film Festival slate (with its Oscar-coveting titles), the release of a new Woody Allen movie and, yes, the excitement over possibly seeing Batman and Superman kick the crap out of each other. Here’s your chance to get caught up so you’re not clueless at all of tonight’s parties. Because you know there’s likely to be some discussion of The Act of Killing and its representation of violence. Or there should be, and now you’ll be able to bring it up and be the life of the occasion. Start your weekend […]

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paxton

What a shocking headline, right? When Bill Paxton briefly mentioned Predator 2 during our discussion at Comic-Con yesterday, I could see him cringe with a self-knowing smile about it. He didn’t discuss that 90s classic in detail, sadly, but Paxton clearly lit up when discussing his directorial work. It’s unfortunate Paxton has only made two films behind the camera. Frailty is a terrific family-oriented horror movie, while his Disney “golf picture,” The Greatest Game Ever Played, was overlooked by both critics and audiences. The box-office performance of The Greatest Game Ever Played is probably a reason why Paxton hasn’t directed a feature-length film in eight years, but he’s been keeping busy, both acting and developing projects. When Paxton isn’t working, taking pictures with fans, gladly receiving hugs, or hanging with his daughter — who I mistook as his publicist, surely her dream job — Paxton took a few minutes discuss Seven Holes for Air with me at Comic-Con, a digital comic he’s presenting. Seven Holes for Air is drama about a sick man’s man often represented through the prism of a stylized spaghetti Western, written by John McLaughlin. It’s a story Paxton is hoping to adapt one day, but in the meantime, it’s out there for people to discover.

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Glitter n Gold

As a child, my toy box was mostly devoid of the kind of big name toys made popular in the neon-tinted heyday of the eighties – while I was happy with a murderer’s row of Barbies and Popples of various sizes (do you remember Popples? No one else ever remembers Popples), I never had a Teddy Ruxpin, a Cabbage Patch Kid, a Pound Puppy, a My Little Pony, or a Simon. The coolest thing I had was an ALF doll, and even I suspect that was only cool to my older, foul-mouthed cousins and not to the rest of the innocents who populated my grade school. What I never had, and what I always wanted, was a Jem doll. Star of the 1980’s cartoon series, Jem and the Holograms, Jem was simply everything. Sure, her dual personas – as rock star Jem and music company executive Jerrica Benton (the most amazing eighties heroine name ever) afforded her the ability to be both a businesswoman and a major music star (along with being an excellent friend and the head of charitable foundation), but the show was also packed with awesome tunes, surprisingly wacky action sequences, a love triangle with a dude named Rio for chrissakes, and the use of earrings to trigger the hologram (the hologram! The eighties! Yes!) that allowed Jerrica to become Jem. Jem and the Holograms was awesome and Jem dolls were awesome and I never had one and it was just very sad. Until now! As is […]

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Revolution Television Show

Editors’ note: Hey! TV stuff! With Revolution premiering on NBC this very evening, why not journey back with us to our own world without power – way back in July when we wrote about the show’s pilot episode as part of our Comic-Con coverage. This feature was originally published on July 16, 2012. NBC’s new television series Revolution was everywhere at this year’s Comic-Con, from a giant skin covering the side of the Hilton Hotel (a skin that was unavoidable if you happened to be near the San Diego Convention Center and you happened to have your eyes even slightly open) to a large scale set piece stationed in the middle of the hullabaloo of the Gaslamp District, so it’s not shocking that the series’ panel and pilot premiere was positively packed. The original series is a good fit for the ‘con – a new hour-long drama that takes place in a world without electricity and populated by people just trying to survive, people trying to seize (metaphorical) power, and people trying to figure out why the lights went out (and the planes went down and the cars stopped working and the water stopped running). Creator Eric Kripke is a known name to a niche audience of TV fans – he also created beloved long-running series Supernatural – but it’s the more marquee names that Revolution might be trading on to lure in fans for the show. Both J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau are executive producers on the project (along […]

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First of all, everyone at the “What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction” panel knew each other. And if they were not busy pre-panel exchanging hugs and stories, they had their nose buried in a book (only a few of them were the books by the authors we were about to meet in the panels, having been torn through by these voracious readers already). There’s little question that the popularity of The Twilight Saga film franchise kickstarted a major surge in interest when it comes to both other YA series and in adapting those new series to the screen, but if this particular lit genre owes anything to Hollywood, it’s just that the rise of the YA movie has given way to other YA books to be published (and happy that is, as these readers are hungrier than ever for more stories to read and to love). As author James Dashner commented during the panel, held on the last day of this year’s Comic-Con, “there was no YA section when I was a YA.” But now that’s changed, and in a big way – of the eight authors who served as panelists (along with moderator Nathan Bransford, also an author), seven of them have written YA books that are certified bestsellers, and most of them have already sold the film rights to their biggest YA hits. But just which of the many books represented on the panel stage by their respective authors is going to be the next Twilight or Hunger Games?

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Having never previously covered the behemoth known as Comic-Con, I’m currently feeling woefully unprepared (underprepared?) for the experience. But years of monitoring and reporting on the news coming out of the ‘con has prepared me for something – the incredible flood of tangible marketing material that accompanies the convention. We’re not talking about panel chatter, rumors, or announcements, we’re talking hard stuff like posters and banners, material spotted out in the wild of the convention floor as often as it’s released before Preview Night even kicks off that you may one day be able to possess for yourself (and your walls). After the break, feast your eyes on every poster and banner (within reason) released at Comic-Con, an ever-evolving gallery of both pretty pictures and essential information, including such highly anticipated fare as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Pacific Rim, Dredd, and some very special original works by the likes of Mondo and Gallery 1988.

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The final day of Comic-Con has traditionally been the most quiet one – a good time to catch up on more low-key panels, spend time with friends, and buy a metric ton of cool stuff on the convention floor. This year at Comic-Con, however, proved to be one of the most busy and wild, so even Sunday afternoon didn’t provide much relief, even on the floor. But such a still-bumping last day did provide plenty of still-awesome material for your eyeballs. After the break, check out a (somewhat) quieting San Diego, new NECA toys for The Dark Knight Rises, Gremlins, and The Hunger Games, a wall of Tribbles, and – you better believe it – Avenger Playboy Bunnies.

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The Hobbit at Comic-Con

What is Movie News After Dark? Most nights, it’s an innocent bystander in the world of film and television. Reporting the news from around the industry. Tonight, it gets sucked into Comic-Con mayhem. Who knows, by tomorrow it may be wearing a mask… We begin this evening with a shot of Hobbit trolls from the Comic-Con floor, as tweeted by the folks @Dolby. As preview night kicks off in San Diego, we’d like to wish all of our readers traveling toward Comic-Con safe travels and the best of luck. You’ll be needing it, as we’ve set both Brian Salisbury and Robert Fure loose on the city.

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Arguably the biggest and best part of Comic-Con, the Exhibition Hall offers a mind-boggling 460,000 square feet of exhibition space, featuring all manner of items for sale to the ‘con-going masses, a true example of something for everyone (ball-jointed doll collectors, gather ’round!). Seeing everything is impossible (and so is buying everything ), but there are also tons of affordable (and adorable) items worth seeking out – stuff like Hooked Hands’ incredibly cute knit dolls. Hooked Hands’ own Giovanna Forsyth knits every doll herself, with an eye to crafting little knit cuties with a major pop culture bent. Hooked Hands is returning to the Giant Robot booth at Comic-Con this year, offering up a Hayao Miyazaki-inspired line that includes Totoros, Kikis, and Ponyos. The Hooked Hands Etsy shop also includes a ton of other geek-friendly dolls, including Yoda, Spock, Dr. Who, Batman, The Joker, Captain America, and even Fraggle Rock. Not finding exactly what you like? Feel free to shoot them an email to discuss your own individual creation, brought to life in glorious yarn! If you’re at Comic-Con and looking to pick up your very own Hooked Hands creation, be sure to get to the Giant Robot booth (#1729) post-haste, as the dolls sold out last year! Check out a closer look at some of the available items after the break.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that will not be ignoring Comic-Con, because the world does not ignore Comic-Con. It will also try to remain unbiased and report the news, not seethe with jealousy over all the cool things that some of you will be seeing in its absence. We begin tonight with a nice little tease of what’s transpiring inside the San Diego Convention Center. Those traveling down for the big show — including our own Robert Fure, Kate Erbland, Brian Salisbury and a special correspondent who snuck onto our contributors page under the cover of darkness — will meet some big-ass Game of Thrones banners (found courtesy of @DustinMSandoval).

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What is Movie News After Dark? The title seems pretty self explanatory, at least where the topic of conversation and timing are concerned. You should also note that it happens every night of the week and is read all around the world. Thanks for joining in on the fun. We begin tonight’s rundown with an image of Ron Perlman visiting Zachary. Who is Zachary? You might ask. He’s a six-year old boy currently undergoing treatment for leukemia, whose Make-a-Wish desire was to “meet and become Hellboy.” The folks at Spectral Motion, the creature effects shop of Guillermo Del Toro, and Perlman were more than happy to oblige. And here’s a tissue…

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Just as it did last year, this year’s Comic-Con will open with one heck of a bite – that’s the bite of rabid Twilight fans who are so undone by what they are watching on stage that their mouths just naturally fall open into a scream and then just naturally stay that way and then just (oops!) naturally bite into whomsoever is unlucky enough to be sitting by them. Natural, you know, like a nerdy teen falling in love with a sexy vampire. Be that as it may, Summit Entertainment has just announced that their The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 panel will be the opening panel of this year’s Comic-Con and the kick-off panel of the hallowed Hall H. Details are still scarce, but we do know that the panel will take place on Thursday, July 12 (duh) and that there will be “exclusive footage” of the final chapter (last year’s panel included showing two scenes from the film). We also don’t yet know which talent will be there, but it’s safe to assume that Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner will be around for the panel’s cast Q&A session. Feel free to check out the official release after the break and, San Diego, prep your eardrums accordingly.

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Boiling Point

San Diego Comic-Con, the Western Hemisphere’s nerd mecca, is rapidly approaching and with it will undoubtedly flow the inane, poorly thought out, and overused “anti-Comic-Con” rhetoric we’ve come to expect and loathe. While my objects will almost assuredly have little to no impact on the flux of lazily written articles, I want to slam my Gandalf staff down and attempt to prevent the Balrog of Boring Comic-Con commentary from passing. Comic-Con, bloated and sometimes misdirected as it may be, is a fun time, and the following arguments just don’t float any more:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a pretty gangsta nightly column of news and notes about the world of entertainment. Not quite as gangsta as the image above, but pretty gangsta nonetheless. Tonight kicks off with a new image from Breaking Bad. Can you tell that we’re excited to see Walter and Jesse back in action next month? If not, you must not be paying attention. We’re very excited, as it turns out.

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Were you a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer long before Marvel Studios even thought about a summer tentpole release of The Avengers? Do you find yourself swearing in Mandarin when you get angry? Have you made a Facebook post with that image comparing the one-season cancellation of Firefly to the multi-season accomplishments of The Jersey Shore? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, you still might find Morgan Spurlock’s charming documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope entertaining, but you’ll also have ulterior motives for buying it when it hits DVD on July 10. Spurlock’s documentary will be released in a special Collector’s Edition with action figures of both Spurlock himself and geek-hero-turned-billion-dollar-director Joss Whedon. That’s right, you can be the proud owner of the first ever Joss Whedon action figure, and all you have to do is buy Spurlock’s latest film.

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As an expert on Asylum movies, the bar isn’t exactly high here, but what’s most striking about the trailer for Jose Prendes‘s The Haunting of Whaley House is that it looks like an actual movie – not a CGI-from-1994 slathered abomination cribbing close to the legal limit of blockbuster theft. Granted, it’s a haunted house film, and it looks like it’s maintained the central tropes, but there’s lighting! And decent camera work! And the lines don’t completely read like they came from a a sophomore in high school with a loose understanding of grammar! Could it be? Could The Asylum have produced a good movie? It’s too soon to tell, but we’ve acquired proof that it’s highly possible:

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Take a deep breath and prepare to learn everything you need to know about Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope straight director Morgan Spurlock‘s fast-talking mouth. Will it change the world? Probably. Plus, Junkfood Cinema enthusiast Brian Salisbury accepts the dangerous mission to play Movie News Roulette. Download Episode #128

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Editor’s Note: This review first ran as part of our Fantastic Fest coverage, but Comic-Con Episode Four hits limited theaters this week. Delivering a massive event with his trademarked smile behind the camera, Morgan Spurlock‘s Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope is the kind of joyous celebration that might also serve as a gateway drug for those not initiated into geek culture. It’s a documentary that easily straddles the line between service to those already fascinated by the subject and to those that haven’t ever heard of a comic book. It could have been annoyingly fluffy, but Spurlock has crafted a film that doesn’t just act as advertisement for the largest comic book/multimedia convention in the country. In fact, the question of whether the convention is still faithful to its comic book roots is at the center of the multi-faced exploration that gives the movie much more dimension than it initially lets on. The doc is composed of several stories – a pair of artists looking to break into the business, a costume designer and her crew looking to make a mark, a young couple who fell in love at the event, and a comic book dealer who is trying to justify coming back financially. All are woven together with expert timing (and a fun, comic book style art element that turns them into characters of a different sort).

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Why Watch? What if you found out your father was a superhero? What if he only played one in the movies? This short film has a giant heart beating beneath its emblem-covered chest, and it contains a brilliant use of Kid Logic – that pesky logic that children use which makes absolute sense but is completely untrue. Here, a young boy discovers a picture of his actor father on the cover of a magazine touting the return of a spandex-wearing hero, and he jumps to the most natural conclusion: that his father has super powers. What does it cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Check out the trailer for The Legacy for yourself:

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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