Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday : Comic Con Day One ...

Early rise 3:45am, Cold fog greeted us and a lite rain drizzle, not the San Diego weather i expected. Both Abby and I got down to the Hall H line up first while Trevor got a few extra hours of sleep, tag teaming with us later to save a spot in line and go grab breakfast. In line we met up with Kristina, a fellow nerd traveller from Toronto Canada, down for Comic Con and a city tour. another fantastic person, who tagged along with us all day and the four of us got along really well. Once Trevor had made his way down to us in line, we headed for a Ralphs visit (major grocery store 10mins from the convention hall), stocking up here for the whole day with groceries so we wouldnt have to sample the convention foods of pizza / nacho's and pretzels. I dove straight in and grabbed a tub of pinapple, an egg and ham bagel, 2 huge sandwichs and a few other things... Trev and Abby passed the comment of "I guess you HAVE TO EAT EVERY TWO HOURS eh?" haha, seemed that way. these two were super fast eaters.

First up in Hall H, (the convention hall set up for all the movie studios to present panels and trailers) was Mastermind, staring Will Ferell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey. its a new animated flick staring a bunch of stars lending their voice talents to the story. i wasn't a bit interested. i was there for Tron Legacy :) but Will Ferrell saved this, great spirit, coming to the show as a commedian dressed up in the Mastermind costume lol. no Brad Pitt, no one cared. a lite hearted panel with laughs to warm up the crowd for the day.

Tron Legacy entered second on the Disney Panel selection. We began the presentation with a new selection of video showing Sam first entering the new digital world, and being picked up by a Recognizer. First off, this digital world of Tron looks amazing. the footage was fantastic and well received, showing a montage of disc battles, and how Sam collects his suit. afterwards though i still think it was a bit overhyped, and probably the second showing last year overshadowed this presentation. the new trailer debut and a tiny amount of extra footage solidified this as a winner and a huge movie come December. the panel of stars chatting after the movie included all the major characters. "The Dude" was uber cool.

It gets me thinking though, is the wait in line all really worth it? all that effort for maybe 8mins of footage... and if the panel is crap, the day can be exhausting. I later mentioned to Mike that this is really not "Comic Con" anymore... its a Pop Culture event, and yes, the DisneyLand ride is worth it, for those four days of crazyness.

Next up was Salt. Angelina Jolie made an appearance, mostly because she's the star of the production. again, this didnt grab me at all. not one bit. it seemed like another tomb raider action female role for her, and the storyline didnt grab me, revolving around some CIA espionage action were a russian american ... yada yada you've heard it before. even in the panel afterwords, her answers were really put on and it left a very fake hollywood taste in my mouth.

Battle : Los Angeles was next up.. first thing to come to mind. Guess they couldn't call it Battle of Los Angeles or Rage Against The Machine would have their balls on a rope. ok the premise has me hooked, as the core of the story if the UFO flap of 1942 over LA. great. then .... its Black Hawk Down from there. again, came off a tad cheesy and the panels answers were kinda lame. the whole "we got down like marines" was utter bullshit, and i expected more from Aaron Eckheart, but the footage was uber cool and much more interesting than Salt. look out for this one to be a sleeper hit and a franchise in the likes of Battle : NYC etc etc.

From here on I left Hall H and the other guys to duck out to the Dark Horse comic publications panel (famous for Mike Mignola and Hellboy). I think this was my first for the Con, having left the others viewing the Joss Whedon and J.J Abrams panel. I was primarily here to see Mignola and some of the other writers and creators for Dark Horse. learned quite abit. great panel. exhausted though after the 3am wakeup, so much so that the aircon was putting me to sleep. learned about Mike's new book series, Baltimore: The Plague Ships. I must admit I really do like DH press, and the indie horror feel over the hyped up superhero angles from DC and Marvel which just seem too PG. minus the Bat ofcourse.

written so much and this was only half of the first day at the Con...

After the DH panel I decided to try and make it back into Hall H with Trev and Abby. the line was crazy, and I spent another hour in there, but organisation is great, calm people in line, undercover and chilled. unlike the floor which is just UTTER CHAOS! for a person who likes his space to breath and can't stand people cutting you off or stopping dead in front of you when the traffic flow is moving.

Finally I re-entered Hall H again, and was in time to catch the Expendables. Sly Stallones panel for the movie directed and staring him and a bunch of other 80s / 90s action heros. Fantastic and one of the best movie panels of the day, and the Con. i really thought this was going to be cheesy and terrible, but in actual fact Sly was awesome, comedic and charismatic. the flick is a balls to the wall action fest that screams fun. great to see the main stars turn out too. can you believe Sly's 60? can't wait to see this. now heres the crazy thing. the rest of the evening and all its greatness could simply not have rolled out better if it had been planned. and i'll go on to explain.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World was next. ok apart from the trailer I had seen early in the year, i really had no major background to this film, or its Oni Press comic series from the last 5 years. so much so i didn't figure until after that alot of kids roaming around the Con were dressed like the characters from the series. along with the Expendables cast, this panel went down as the best of the day. star, Michael Cera even came out dressed in a Captain America suit! lmao. The story is basically a huge pop culture reference on video games and a group of 20 somethings living in Canada. A love story that follows a young guy chasing a girl, and quirky story involving him having to battle her 7 evil ex boyfriends. seriously this is so much fun and a ball to see.

Now here's the crazy bit, after the Expendables panel, somehow Trev and Abby had saved my seat near them and i frantically sms'ed them to see if i could sneak back in. sure enough my seat was there and i decided to re-join them. through the Scott Pilgrim panel we got free buttons handed out to us with the instruction we were not to "swap them" with anyone. it was later revealed this would be a ticket for a full advance screening of the film!!! that night!! I mean how lucky was that? not only did i make it back into Hall H, but i managed to get back into the seat i had at the start of the day which was the only row to receive these advance screen tickets.

Oh it gets crazier ... we were then told to immediately leave the Hall and follow the director to a theatre in San Diego for the screening. lol however as you can imagine it was utter chaos as a few hundred people scattered in their frantic race to find the theatre. in our excitement we hadn't payed attention to the directions and figured we'd follow the crowd. well the crowd split in two and we got lost! haha, eventually we found our way, with Edgar Wright the director high fiving all of us as we entered! sitting down to an advanced screening, free popcorn, drinks, this was geek heaven.

how could this get better? as the movie finished, and the curtin raised, METRIC!!! were set to play! LIVE! yeh the whole band! playing 4 or 5 tracks, and man did they kick ass. what an EPIC day. Thursday down, 3 days to go.