Saturday, July 23, 2011

SDCC: Friday Panel Recap, including everything from THE RAVEN to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

By Kevin Taylor

After I heard about the absurd lines that were developing at Ballroom 20 due to the True Blood panel, I decided to spend my day at Hall H. There were a handful of movies there, and a few that I am very excited about. Lets check it out.

The Raven:
I walked in during the middle of this panel, but from what I saw it actually looked pretty cool. The movie has John Cusack portraying Edgar Allen Poe in the last five days of Poe's life. The story revolves around a series of murders that are loosely based on some of Poe's most famous poems. The look and vibe reminded me alot of Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow, and it will definitely be one to keep an eye on next year, coming out March 9, 2012.


Steven Soderbergh and his crew of secret agent killers were next to take the stage in Haywire, a movie that stars mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano as essentially a female Jason Bourne. The cast is packed, including Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton, amongst others. There were some pretty awesome action scenes, and overall seems like it will be good for a few awesome fight scenes, though I don't know if it will be much else then that. I'll be happy to me proven wrong though!

Underworld 4:
This panel didn't present much interest to me, as I haven't seen any of the first three. However, it was shot in 3-d, and looked like it had some great action. I can only assume that anyone who enjoyed the first three will love this one as well.

See more after the break!

Attack the Block:

I'm excited for this one. It was made by the same guys who did Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but this movie has a much different tone to it. It takes place in a rough part of South London where aliens who are essentially fluffy monsters with glow in the dark teeth crash land. It then follows a group of teenagers who are working to protect their neighborhood. The clips that were shown looked to have a great mix of laughs and action, and has a cast of relative new names, with the except of Nick Frost. This will be one to look out for, and will be released in limited theaters starting next month.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: 
This was one of the biggest surprises of the whole comic con for me. I never saw the first one, but the general consensus seemed to be that it was kind of whatever. The panel began with a very cool video that displayed how directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor had an extreme method of getting shots, which included riding behind motor cycles on rollerblades with cameras in hand to get pivotal shots. Nicholas Cage was at the panel. and talked about how this time, he actually got to play the ghost rider himself, where as before, it was simply a stunt man. This one looked to be alot darker then the first one, and appeared to have alot more action. It should definitely be one to watch out for next year when it is released.

30 Minutes or Less:
By now, I'm sure most everyone has seen the trailer for this movie. In case you haven't, Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari are best friends who get conned into robbing a bank by Danny McBride and Nick Swardson. Its directed by Ruben Fleischer, who directed the fantastic Zombieland. The panel had Fleischer, Ansari, Swardson, and Michael Pena. While McBride wasn't there, he did provide a hilarious video that reminded everyone why we love him. The clips that were shown were great, and this is definitely a movie that I will be watching when it comes out in two weeks.

Total Recall:
This was perhaps the most star studded panel of the day, as every person who was present was a huge name. This is a recreation of the 1990 classic that starred Arnold Schwartzenegger and Sharon Stone., and from the brief footage they showed, it appears to be a great re-imagining. The panel included director Len Wiseman, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho(who has blonde hair in the movie), Kate Beckinsale, and Colin Farrell. The movie is still in the early stages of shooting, but again from what we saw, it definetely looks like it will be action packed madness, everything we would expect from this remake.

Amazing Spider-man:
The main event of the night was the Amazing Spider-man panel. It started with the world premiere of the 3-d trailer, which was the same trailer that had been leaked online just a few days before. After the trailer, the moderator began to speak, but was interrupted by a spectator who took the mic dressed in a home made spiderman costume. It took about 10 seconds to realize that the spectator was in fact star Andrew Garfield, and sure enough, he took off his mask, and continued a lengthy great speech talking about how this was his first time at Comic-Con, and how this was a dream come true.

After his speech, the panel was introduced, which included Director Marc Webb, a couple of the producers, and the two stars of the film, Emma Stone and Garfield. Following the introduction of the panel, there was about 5 minutes of never before seen footage. Almost immediately, I got the sense that this Spiderman would be alot darker then the Tobey Maguire versions of recent years. The suit also had a different look, more so the ultimate Spiderman look, with different designs and colors in addition to man made web shooters rather then the ones built into the suit.

After the clips, it was pointed out that there was no villain in the footage, and the director addressed that. He then introduced that Rhys Ifans would be playing Dr. Curt Connors, aka The Lizard. I remember thinking before that I didn't think The Lizard was a big enough villian to carry the movie himself, but after the clip package they showed, I'm convinced he will do just fine. The lizard himself is very much CGI'd, which bothered some, but not me. It was quite a scary looking creature that will certainly provide plenty of opposition for Spider-man.

Overall, I left the panel much more excited then I was before. I wasn't ready to take on another Spiderman reboot so quickly after the Maguire series, but after seeing that it was going to be quite different then that series, I'm ready to enjoy what should be another great comic movie next summer!

Well there is all the info from Friday. Stay tuned for a full recap of Saturday's panels, including Knights of Badassdom and the always hilarious Kevin Smith!

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