Thursday, July 12, 2012

Comic-Con Day 1 (July 12)

So, here I am in San Diego again, and the space bar on my craptop seems not to work at all.  For example, thissentence waswrittennormally, with no attempts to make it not work.  Hmmm.  Maybe it works sporadically.

It’s Comic-Con time again, boys and girls, and I’m doing what I can to stay positive and patient.  It’s very, very humid, and has been record-level hot over the past few days.  I got little sleep, and I’ve blown an obscene amount of money today (I had to call my credit card company and ask them to please allow me to spend above and beyond what I normally do--then the damn thing ended up still getting declined one of the times I tried to use it).  I spent the night at my uncle’s place, and he had already been up an hour when I awoke at six.  Last night, I asked  him if he still got up super-early, and he said, “Not super-early, no.”  The power was out at his place, and it felt about two hundred degrees in there. Turns out it was only one hundred.
I often worry about the choices I’ve made in my life, and where my priorities lie, but then, July arrives, and I can’t wait for Comic-Con, despite the myriad headaches, frustrations, and buggery that goes on here. 

This should be the logo of Comic-Con, not that eye thing.
Is it that there's something magical about the SDCC?  Or is it that I'm surrounded by so many like-minded people?  Or do I just like free stuff and the chance to buy things no one else can get?
I'm not really sure why this amused me, but it did.
Today, the crowds were ginormous (as usual), and I had to walk so far from the parking spot I found that I was a sweaty, suffering mess when I got inside.  Then, I was so weighed down with boxes and shite that I chose to walk all the way back to stick it all in my car.  I decided to do this just a little too late, unfortunately, as the big bag I was carrying down the sidewalk broke (everybody who bought a pass got a big vinyl Warner Bros. bag that should have been able to safely carry a small child around inside).  I turned around and went back inside, telling them my bag tore and asking if I could have another one.  They told me I could trade the torn bag for a new one, but as I was transferring all my stuff from the one bag to the other, I realized that this new bag was probably going to have the same problem.  Ultimately, I put most of my acquisitions in the new bag, and some of the light stuff in the torn bag, so to balance it out a bit more, then took off when no one was looking.

The positive of all that walking and straining is that I’m bound to have lost a pound or two with all the sweating and exercise.  Heck, maybe this weekend is the equivalent of a marathon.  I ain’t saying I’m in shape to run a marathon, but walking several miles in miserable heat, carting bags of collectible poo, that’s gotta mean something.

Luckily, I got a new camera since the last convention, specifically choosing a more expensive, more professional one than before.  Alas, while that means I'll have more photos I can be proud of, it also means there will be far fewer pictures like this one:

It was always fun to play the Identify This Famous Person game when most of my photos came out badly.

I did get out to one panel on this day, and it was in Hall H, which is usually quite an ordeal to get into.  There was an EXPENDABLES 2 panel, and I was kind of curious and excited to see the two "headliners," if you will, of the panel, who were Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

These two icons of Eighties Action movies had been (apparently) friends for a long time, and now they're able to work together, and play off each other in panels.  They tried to one-up one another, and talked about how fun it was to make the movie (and THE TOMB) together.

Maybe I should mention that I didn't think the first EXPENDABLES was a great movie, but there were a couple of moments in there that were great.  And I think it's possible, that since Stallone is not directing the sequel, that the second one will be better.  At least, he seems to think so, talking about the things that worked in the first flick and building on those for the second one.  The best sequels are not the ones that try to replicate the original, but take the relationships and situations established in the first film, and expand from there, maybe even, dare I say, going in a new direction.

Actually, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how impressed I was by Terry Crews.  He seemed humble, friendly, and really, really cool, and I hope that somebody somewhere who is in charge of a Luke Cage movie thinks of this guy first.

The picture I took really sucked.

Also on the panel were Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren.  It's the job of the moderator of a panel like this to ask everybody on it a question, so they don't just sit there the whole time, feeling like I do.  But once the Q&A section of the panel began, every single question was only for Stallone and Schwarzenegger.  And those two do a really good job of these press things.  They're funny, they're enthusiastic (Arnold maybe a bit too much so), and they seemed to appreciate all the adulates the fans gave them.

I often talk about my favorite moment in my Comic-Con experience being when somebody asked Samuel L. Jackson if those snakes (on the plane) deserved to die.  Well, we got a very similar moment in this Q&A when a fan (dressed as a Viking) asked Arnold THE question.
My question is for Arnold (he said in a mock Austrian accent).
Could you tell me please, what is best in life?
Well, the audience applauded, and Schwarzenegger knew what we wanted to hear.  THAT was cool.
He still remembered the three things.
Unfortunately, he did it four or five more times throughout the panel, saying "Hastalavista,baby!"* and "It's not a tumor!" and "I'll be back!"  I think Big would have been disappointed to find out he didn't say, "Ice to see you, to cone a phrase."
A lot of the guys who got up to ask questions had built their lives around the flicks these guys made back in the day, and Terry Crews said that he had not only grown up watching Stallonzenegger's films, but that they used to watch Rocky and Terminator movies the nights before his NFL games. And the second-best audience question was "If all of you got in a fight, who would win?"

They pretty much unanimously said that Randy Couture would win. Wonder if that got him laid that night.

Schwarzenegger came out again afterward to get one of those Inkpot Awards I've seen them give out.  He said a few words, and while it was insanely self-serving, his story of coming to America and being told he would never be a leading man because of his accent and name and musculature and then proving them wrong was quite inspiring, in its way.

And that was pretty much it for that day.  I usually try and catch a screening or two at night, but I was tired, and nothing they were showing grabbed me, so I called it a night, heading back to the motel (I still had to check in), soaking my feet, and writing a few things up on ye olde craptoppe.

Maybe I'll post some of that on here.


*That reminds me of the time I watched TERMINATOR 2 in Spanish.  You know what he says right before shooting the frozen T-1000?  He says, "Sayonara, baby."  I actually found that pretty darn impressive.

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