Friday, August 08, 2008

Comic-Con Post 8: The Final Chapter

In retrospect, I believe we left Saturday's Comic-Con shortly after the Joe Hill signing. We trudged back to the car, drove around, and stopped at a Taco Bell to eat. There we found a woman who told us all about the "Heroes" panel we had missed (and may have given Merrill her panties, I don't know). The thing with the convention is, though it technically begins at 10:00am and ends at 6:00pm, there are presentations, screenings, and activities throughout the night, the last one Saturday beginning at 2:15am (which I guess is actually Sunday).

But fighting our way through crowds, finding and walking from our parking spots, and the drive, in addition to the San Diego heat, takes a lot out of a couple of pudgy dudes, and we took off early. Maybe we should have gone to the masquerade, or at least watched it on the monitors, but we had a long drive to look forward to the next day, so that was Saturday.

Sunday is often the least eventful day at Comic-Con. There are fewer panels, fewer attendees, and the schedule is truncated, probably to give people the time to pack up their stuff and make their lengthy trek back to Santa Monica or Redlands. It was this day that I decided to sacrifice much of my day to standing in line to buy toys. I ended up next to a Mexican family, and to pass the time, I asked the guy what all the superheroes, movies, and STAR WARS characters are called in Spanish.

Merrill, I believe, walked around and got free stuff, and claims to have checked out THE LITTLE MERMAID: A NEW BEGINNING before dismissing it as crap. My theory is that he wept like the little fat girl he is, reliving his happier days as a child of the sea.

At this point, I ought to mention that Merrill really regrets/regretted even sticking around for Sunday. He and I were sort of hurting for money, and he thought Sunday was so lame that we should've headed for home on Saturday night and not spent another night at the motel. Of course, had we done that, he wouldn't have gotten that "Pushing Daisies" bag he was so sure his wife would love (I believe her exact words when he presented it to her was "And what am I supposed to do with that?").

The only panels I really had any interest in were the Horror-related ones, and Merrill reluctantly came along. We went to the presentation of Paramount's* new FRIDAY THE 13TH remake.

It stars Amanda Righetti (who I interviewed at last year's Comic-Con) and Jared Padalecki, as well as newcomer Derek Mears as Jason Voorhees. The producers were also on hand, but as you can imagine, the majority of the questions were about their intentions in remaking the beloved franchise, or directed at Mears.
During this, Merrill leaned over and said, "If they tell us they're exploring Jason's motivations so we feel sorry for him, I'm leaving." Then he went into fetal position and started reading a book (though it may have just been a front to hide his LITTLE MERMAID tears and humming the new songs. The presentation wasn't very long, and they had brought a trailer and a clip, which I found interesting (it seems much more a remake of FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH PART TWO than the first one, though he does get the hockey mask).But even more interesting was when they started talking about how the movie gets into Jason's head, his thought process, his rationale for doing what he does. This Jason, they claimed, is much scarier than the old one, because he's smart and fast, and you understand him, even sympathise with him.

There was a distracting boom as Merrill broke the sound barrier getting out of there.

After that, in the same hall, Wes Craven came out to talk about his new film 25/8. When I heard about it, it sounded like a veritable remake of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but in listening to Wes talk, it not only sounds much more original, but like something I'd enjoy seeing.It tells the story of a man with multiple personalities, one of whom is a serial killer. He dies, and each of those personalities transfers itself to a baby that is born that very night. Cut to several years later when the seven babies are all in high school, and the personalities begin to emerge, though we know not which one is the murderer.

I'm not able to describe the film the way Wes did--in a way that makes people think it sounds good--but I will say that the clips they showed made the film look scary and fun. I wish him success.

Lastly, David Goyer came out to give a presentation on his 2009 horror film THE UNBORN.

I'd met Goyer once before after a screening of BLADE: TRINITY, where he seemed like a fairly cool dude, and not entirely to blame for the awfulness of that film. But I hadn't noticed that first time that he has those kind of arm-covering tattoos that appear almost to be sleeves.
The film looked ridiculously scary, telling the story of a dubiously attractive girl who originally had a twin in utero, but he died (or maybe he was absorbed like Thad Beaumont's in "The Dark Half." And were we to understand that that's what happened to Charles Xavier's sister Cassandra as well?), and now that she's a very hot teenager, the twin is trying to come out again.

Odette Yustman plays the girl, and sure enough, she was dubiously attractive in person too. She was in CLOVERFIELD, which you might have seen, and WALK HARD, which you probably didn't, and this was the best photo I could get of her:
I do have to admit, though, that I became a little bit fixated on Justman, though, thinking about how everybody says that Megan Fox from TRANSFORMERS should play Wonder Woman, and that I would cast this girl, since she hasn't become a household name yet. And heck, she looks the part. In fact, I'm going to stick a picture a professional took at the panel on here, so you can actually see her.
Besides, there's just something nicer about her than Megan Fox. Like this girl would feel bad about stomping your heart into little bits. You know what I mean?

Actress Meagan Good was also on the panel, and I think Merrill was more impressed by her than the CLOVERFIELD girl.After that, we wandered around the main hall for a few minutes, hoping to find really great deals like we did the last time we came. Basically, the vendors are so eager to not have to pack up their stuff and haul it out of there that they're willing to get rid of it at actually-reasonable prices. Merrill and I literally filled my little car with toys and comics and junk when we left in 2006, and except for bumping into Jason Mewes amid the throng, there wasn't much of note that we saw or bought. Basically, most of our crap-buying money had been spent on the motel and the extra gas to and from Temecula.

So, we left Comic-Con International and went back to the car, long before they so rudely kick people out at the end of a day.

The drive home was fairly uneventful. I drove most of the way, which I don't really mind, and at one point, we raised our seats up as high as they could go so the tips of our heads poked out the sunroof. Just like two years ago, it was fearfully hot driving through the desert, yet it started to rain really hard passing Baker ("Home of the world's largest thermometer!").

We spoke into the night and through to the next morning, and I guess tiredness brings the privacy barriers down because he told me all sorts of things I might have been wiser not to know about his life and his marriage. He also farted a great deal, and I gotta admit that after eight hours or so, I started to yell at him every time he did it, since he could have rolled the gorram window down as a courtesy or something.

Though I have painted Merrill as a Neanderthal, he did use the word "benighted" when describing the nation of Brazil, so he may be handsome, suave, and athletic, but the bastard is also smart. When he writes something good or uses a word like that, it makes it impossible for me to feel superior to him, and I wish he'd stop.

We got home before the sun came up (which did NOT happen last time), and I'm sure we both slept the sleep of the dead when we hit the sheets. Unlike last time, Merrill did not talk about how we were going to have a better time next year, or what kind of things we'll do for next year's Comic-Con differently, so I guess that means that he doesn't want to do it again.

I sort of can't blame him, because it was an uncomfortable, expensive experience, but a part of me hopes that it will be like child-bearing, and he'll forget the pain, tears, straining, pressure, swelling, kicks, exertion and wetness, and only remember the good stuff, come July 2009.

We'll see.

Rish Quint Outfield

*It could technically be a New Line property now, but New Line isn't really a studio anymore, and I went to the IMDB to check, and it says Paramount there.

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