On the off chance that something momentous might get broken at Paramount’s big panel o’ product, I’ve decided to live blog this nonsense for your goddamn benefit – because if you’re going to hang on each morsel of casting news, title news or on-the-fly descriptions of footage that will be on YouTube before the end of the day… well, I’d rather you get it here at CHUD. From me. With all undue snark.
Allow me to set the scene: I’m nowhere near as hungover as I should be after boozing like like a John Cheever patriarch. I’m crammed into the press section near the front of Hall H seated next to Ryan Rotten of ShockTilYouDrop.com. He smells of sex. I wish this was my doing. But he rebuffed all of my clumsy advances last evening. I think he may pummel me soon. I do not think he knows that I want this so very badly.
1:36 – We’ve been informed that anyone leaking footage to YouTube will be disappeared to a screening of Mark Goldblatt’s The Punisher at an undisclosed location (an Applebees in Bakersfield).
1:40 – The Lonely Island boys take the stage to shill the ever lovin’ piss out of Hot Rod. They show a pretty amusing clip that finds Andy Samberg relieving his anguish by heading to his "quiet place" (a forest) where he promptly breaks out into Kevin Bacon’s interpretive, warehouse dance-off from Footloose. After a minute or so, he trips over a tree trunk and tumbles down a rather steep slope for another minute or so.
1:51 – A few innocuous questions, and the Lonely Island crew is shuttled off the stage.
1:52 – Stardust. Neil Gaiman is apparently this year’s "Guest of Honor". This year’s "Guest of Dishonor": Devin Faraci.
1:54 – I don’t remember Jane Goldman being this cute last year. I’m liking the bright dyed-red hair. I’m off Rotten.
2:08 – A bit of footage, a couple of questions and on to Beowulf: the movie already hated by the internet!
2:09 – The Neil and Roger show again. Neil plays barely tolerant older brother to Roger Avary’s precocious, amusingly scatterbrained younger brother. They should get an interview show on IFC or something. I’m curious to see how this trailer plays in 2D.
2:22 – SWEENEY TODD!
2:22 – A special-to-Comic-Con poster is revealed. No footage. Boo.
2:24 – Cloverfield trailer plays. JJ Abrams walks out in an Infocom t-shirt.
2:24 – "I’ve wanted a monster movie for so long." "We need a monster movie. Our own monster movie." No real title today. "You think we called it monstrous? No." Poster unveiled sans "Monstrous" tag. On to The Spiderwick Chronicles.
2:27 – Phil Tippett’s here.
2:35 – Tippett’s going in depth on his f/x process. The air is going out of the room. This isn’t Tippett’s fault; the room was ready for Abrams to spill on Cloverfield and he gave ‘em nohing but a poster that’s been widely disseminated over the last few days.
2:50 – Drillbit Taylor teaser. Steven Brill tries to make his first average movie under Judd Apatow’s tutelage.
2:56 – Iron Man trailer. Unexpected. Tone is just right: playful, but not silly. The action is pretty great, too. Best moment is a soldier trying to sneak up and deliver a fatal head shot to a stuck Iron Man (early, silver, bulky make). Gun goes off, bullet ricochets into soldier‘s brain.
3:00 – Here comes Indy. Spielberg joins us live via satellite. "This picture, I promise I’m making for you guys." Camera pans to the left, and there’s Harrison. He looks great. He’s joking around, the glint in the eye is back… where’s this guy been? Spielberg produces Marion Ravenwood. Indy and Marion together… I was the jackass writing about not wanting this movie months ago, right? Right now, I’ve got goosebumps.
3:04 – Star Trek. Abrams: "It needs to be worthy of [Shatner]. It needs to be worthy of you."
3:08 – Zachary Quinto saunters out flashing that trademark Vulcan hand sign.
3:09 – "I thought we agreed to announce only Spock today." Surprise, surprise… they’ve got another announcement. Abrams is stalling.
3:10 – Leonard Nimoy is produced. Standing ovation follows. "He’s putting the ears back on one more time for our movie."
3:12 – Why did Nimoy come back? The creative team impressed him. "The answer is: it was logical."
3:13 – One last live long and prosper from Nimoy, and we’re through.
Too rushed. The biggest bulk of time was dedicated to selling us on The Spiderwick Chronicles,
which looks decent enough but completely bored a room anxiously
awaiting Indy and Trek… anything. Though the wait was worth it,
Paramount would’ve been better off letting The Lonely Island guys field
questions for another ten minutes than go so heavy on Spiderwick.
Indy 4 is
winning over the cynics, and it’s all about Harrison Ford being
Harrison Ford again – though he got a huge assist from Karen Allen
today. It was a cheap nostalgia ploy, but goddamn if it didn’t work.
I thought Iron Man
looked very appealing, but the jokey tone turned some folks off. I
thought the tone worked because it was tailored to Robert Downey, Jr.’s
persona, but the purists are balking. Shock of shocks: there’s a
small cadre of geeks pleading for "dark and serious" where it doesn’t
belong… yet. I will say this, though: playing it this loose makes
me think they’ll skip the "Demon in a Bottle" storyline until movie
three (if there is one).