Friday, July 24, 2009


disney panel!

And the rest of your post here

so that happened. the pixar boys came out to show toy story 2 in 3-d as well as a brief new trailer for the toy story 1 + 2 double feature that will be playing in cinemas for 2 weeks beginning on october 2nd. then trotted out the opening sequence of beauty and the beat in 3-d, which is being prepped for a valentine's day 2010 release. needless to say,everything looked stunning and as if it was designed for 3-d from the ground up (particularly beauty and the beast). note... as i was typing this sentence i just got a wee bit eyed from peter jackson. spooky.

then 2-d american animation makes its highly anticipated return with this fall's "the princess and the frog." new orleans setting... heavy on cajun culture... a wee bit of atonement for "song of the south," perhaps? anyhoo, it's been too long since we've witnessed 2-d animation this effing pretty... and the fact that it's a bonafide musical makes me particularly nostalgic. songs by randy newman. hilarious. the footage looks good but the characters... i'll reserve judgment. just so happy that disney finally brought 2-d back to the table.

and then MIYAZAKI.

everything at every comic-con until this point mires in the shadow of this cinematic titan... okay, that sentence was a wee bit ridiculous, but what's not ridiculous is that in my not at all humble opinion, miyazaki is the greatest filmmaker to have visited comic-con in the six years that i've been attending. and he's getting water next to me right now. i'm weeping on loquacious muse's computer. okay, where was i? oooh boy... such goosebumps. i now know how it feels to be a twilight fan. the man... donning a white fedora in the style of akira kurosawa... emerged on stage to the largest standing ovation i've ever seen at the con. the questions posed to him were enraptured, as was patton oswalt's moderation of the panel. the PONYO footage was as breathtaking as i anticipated. the animation almost impossibly rich, and the kinetic momentum of the action beats we were treated to as fluid, inviting, and revelatory as anything studio ghibli has produced thus far. fish waves = awesome. ponyo's hair... still vexes.

i hope the film is a wee bit more accessible than what i've seen suggests, as the 800 theaters disney is plopping this sucker into amounts to miyazaki's largest american release by far, and i hope that some of miyazaki-san's singularly weird concoctions don't lessen our chances for a greater stateside reception of his masterworks. why disney didn't give the ponyo treatment to "spirited away," one of the best and most approachable animated films of all time... is beyond me.

i loves me that man. See full post

WB Panel

Where the Wild Things Are

And the rest of your post here

real classy, genuine, candid intro video to the film detailing relationship between maurice sendak and spike jonze. the movie seems so beautifully shot and emotionally resonant, or at least insistent... getting a sense it shares the same tone and timbre with being john malkovitch. not sure how the film will play, but can guarantee it wont pander to kids.

now max records, the 10 year-old kid who plays max in the film, is working the shit out of the room.

three extended clips and an extended trailer. goosebumps city. this shit is gorgeous and will play huge to the 20-30 yr. old crowd, hipsters etc... heard chunks of the new music by karen o. that scores the project and it is pitch-perfect for the material. the creature work is impeccable... gandolfini perfectly cast, as is little max records.


the hughes brothers seem incapable of making movies that interest me, and this looks like more post-apocalyptic mediocrity, this time with denzel washington. they showed a little rotoscoped character intro and then premiered the trailer, which seems pretty rote. haven't read the script so i'm not too sure, don't want to be too damning, but this looks drab and unexceptional.

gary oldman bringing us through the plot. i loves gary oldman... still waiting for LEON 2. guys on the film sitting behind me suggest he just dropped a wee bit of a spoiler but i wasn't paying much attention. yay me. denzel onstage chatting and doing his denzel thing... that is one charismatic human.


denzil and gary seem to get along pretty well. they're laughing about good sex.

yeah, the dude right behind me is the writer. sweet. seems like a really nice guy! hope his vision isn't all that great...

well, the more they talk bout this the more i'm intrigued. would love to be pleasantly surprised.denzel devoted 6 months to preparing for the film and did all of his own fights... hope the choreography rewarded his efforts.

annnddd oldman drops that the next batman movie is shooting next year. curious...


trailerish stuff. freddy being burned alive and then freakin the poo out of some folks. interesting that he seems like both the hero AND the villain in this piece... jackie earl haley comes out - the man is perfectly cast in every role he plays. could be a good opportunity to get into this mythology on the renovated ground floor, so to speak... i dunno, platinum dunes doesn't always deliver the best stuff, but JEH adds a whole heap of legitimacy. could be very refreshing stuff.

BOB STENCIL ASKING JEH A QUESTION. YES PLEASE. prods JEH to go into watchmen mode. englund will not be making a cameo, even though he supports both haley and the film.

i just had an opportunity to yell "WOOOO, CHILD ABDUCTORS!" love sdcc.

JEH took 3.5 hours to get into make-up, and then an hour to get out. thinks people would have thought make-up was real if he had worn it in the real world. See full post

Thursday, July 23, 2009


All the stuff that happened between Tim Burton being awesome and James Cameron's Avatar will be in a later post. Stop.

It's Avatar time.

Yo. All right. Ladies and gentlemen check your boarding passes please.

Here. We go.

Epic scope and intimate emotional storytelling were the keystones of Lawrence of Arabia which the moderator (insert name here) worked on and never thought he'd experience again. We waiting for this footage and this panel do not doubt in the slightest his claim that this film, James Cameron's Avatar, is the closest he has since come to that experience.

Fourteen years after venturing into the world of this project, James Cameron seems remarkably well adjusted and not at all wound up. He honors the fans by thanking them for their dedication cuz he a classy sumbitch.

Because he's also smart, the clips are self explanatory and add up to about 24 minutes. We are excited. We are grateful. He is also both of these things.

Let's go.

And that was the footage. Not since I saw Jurassic Park, 8 years old and at what I had thought was the height of my dinosaur obsession, have images excited me and my imagination, quite that way. That was exhilarating, breathtaking, transportive- the film we just viewed actually took me someplace else. It was freakin' awesome.

My greatest hope is probably that we'll see a lot more, in the final film, that involves both the avatars and the Nav'i interacting with humans and practical sets actual environments. Personally, it's when these two things blend seamlessly that a true victory can be called with this technology and for this film. But that's just me. So, to sum up, OMFG AVATAR.

And now they're gonna talk. I like it when they talk. Oh Sigourney. Your hair is never not awesome.

The training for Zoe was intensive in multiple ways, as the role was not only physically demanding but the dialectical work required not only learning a new language and ways of making her mouth work (glottal stops!! Theater kids, throw up the horns!) but then learning how to speak English with a Nav'i accent, so essentially learning two languages. Creating entire culturally unique physicalities required "a lot of research and inventiveness". Bet they did. The degrees of thoughtfulness and attention to detail here is going to be... significantly impressive. Yeah. Significantly impressive. That's what I'm gonna go with.

So, Zoe, tell us: How hot IS Sam Worthington the Third?

Good question, moderator.

The answer is extremely.

Cameron talks about how the Nav'i, and the film, explore the basic human conflict of existing in and doing battle with nature. I'm intrigued.

david is going to be all over this with another write up, I'm sure, but this panel and the footage shown will probably go down in Comic Con history as in the top five Most Awesomest Things Shown in Hall H Ever.

See full post

It's a Hall H Thursday!

Hey it's Thursday morning!!

A Christmas Carol

Zemeckis has made this a ghost story, as it should be. The footage is, of course, largely 3D-mindful. The scene between Scrooge and Marley is intensely overblown in the dramatics but, if you're actually a Dickens fan, this should suit you. It is appropriately dramatic, but Scrooge's innate sense of miserly, grudging skepticism and taciturn expression makes for a number of comedic moments- it's not funny if someone's not getting hurt. Basic comedy theory.

The look is fantastic. There is very little stylization about the character design- it appears, like, Beowulf, to be designed to be true to life, if heightened concentrated life. Most exciting for CGI fans, the Shoulder Problem seems to have been greatly diminished. Starting back in the awful Final Fantasy: Blah Blah of Spirits or whatever, God I loathed that movie, and up through Beowulf, animators have had a huge problem creating realistic looking human shoulders. For whatever reason, that particular joint, that articulation has been impossible for them to replicated. Here, they seem to have done a pretty awesome job. Will need see more to be certain.

Marley looked fantastic though. Still, the general feeling is that of a cartoon- a perfectly dramatic one, but a cartoon nonetheless which to be honest, will save this movie from a scathing talking to by moi, because I really resent the concept of this art form being used to replace actors.

Will There be a Roger Rabbit sequel?

"I can neither confirm nor deny." If the project were to go forward, however, the "2D characters would remain [animated] in two dimensions." I love you Rob.

Alice in Wonderland.

Squeals for Tim Burton echo off the lighting fixtures. This is Burton's first Comic Con panel evar.

Tim was attracted to the project by the prospect of creating a film anchored in a "hardcore realistic setting". Lulz.

Cheshire cat not quite as evil or manky looking as American McGee's but still is disturbing. Apparently, Burton not a cat fan. Still, being voice by Stephen Fry, I anticipate an amount of lugubriousness and wit that will make me a very happy camper. Slides of Tim's vaca to follow the clip.

Clip is beautiful. Has the wonder of Nightmare Before Christmas and the bright otherness of Edward Scissor Hands. This is going to be lovely. Oh here it comes again!

Movie will be based not just on the first two books but largely, as it's an expanded history, on the Jabberwocky poem. Which gets me psyched, because it's the only poem I know by heart. LOVE.

First time Tim's done a lot of green screen, which if anything demonstrates how totally awesome he is. His first foray into it.

"Okay that's cool. Bye!" I love you, girl with question.

Scissor hands is important to him, Ed Wood was special.

Alice felt right because someone was going on a weird journey trying to work out problems in their head. Wizard of Oz therefor holds no interest.

Tim, you are awesome. Oswald, you are ALSO awesome.

See full post

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And On The Seventh Day, They Rested

Hey, now, guys. Guys. GUYS. /Film. Hitfix. All o'y'all. HEY.

What the hell is the problem?

Comic Con this year is scheduled with some of the biggest stars, previews and projects it's had in years. Peter Jackson's first appearance, 3D in Hall H, the upcoming slew of Marvelicious cinematic and published goodies, the most creative and well written shows on television, it's all gonna be there, Thursday through Sunday.

Through SUNDAY.

Yes, SUNDAY. The day everyone seems to have decided to call out as being in some way less because..... why again? Because Jake has decided to deprive us of his washboard abs? When has Sunday ever been a day of blockbusters? I must have missed that the past few years.

But you know what I didn't miss on Sunday? The amazing, smaller panels of interesting and worthwhile projects that don't have some A-Lister's stamp on it, or don't have hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, or haven't been adapted from a hugely successful Asian property. Things like, oh, say, I dunno.

Shaun of the Dead

I don't know if you guys saw this little romzomcom Britflick, came out in 2004? It was at SDCC before its release, a panel played to an audience less than half full. On a Sunday. Yeah, that's right.

A Sunday.

The attitude that seems to be permeating the online buzz-generating community right now just baffles me. In what way is the Sunday scheduling disappointing? There needs to be a day for the smaller projects, for breathing, for exploration. Sunday is that day. It's a break from the dog and pony show so you can see what's actually happening in the genre community, not just the Hollywood. This year also, Sunday will feature lots of television programming, including some with huge cult followings. Supernatural, anyone? Dr. Who with David Tennant's first and only appearance? Indie films that have the chance to break the mold and bring something new to the table, and tv shows fans care about.

Yeah, Sunday sounds like it's going to suck.

There is a bizarre sense of condescension and entitlement coming from the blogging community. People writing off Sunday and the Sunday panels, who are indicating they won't even intend to attempt to attend them, are being ridiculous. You're going to get up and bitch about the crowds, bemoan the overriding commercialism, and then skip the Independent film panels and write off the cult tv panels? Okay. That makes total sense. Have fun doing your write ups on the same panels that everyone else is doing their write ups on, posting the footage we'll be able to see in High Def on next month, complaining about how the Wrath of Con didn't live up to your expectations (if you got in), and sullenly eyeballing the teeming masses who clearly have no idea what they're doing. Enjoy yourselves.

Or save david's iPhone some storage and just don't go so we don't have to read the plethora of tweets that will invariably follow.

Additionally, it's not the convention's fault that studios didn't/wouldn't/couldn't schedule things for Sunday. They way I hear it, from various avenues, is that SDCC would in fact have loved to have provided fans with one big, high profile Sunday event to go out on, but none of the major studios or big projects would step up. They can't arbitrarily create content to meet your criteria. They also can't go around changing the schedule just because a couple thousand people on twitter complain about time or conflicts or wishing something was in a bigger room. That's logistically implausible, to say the least, and they have another hundred and fifty thousand people or so to take into account as well.

Everyone knows certain studios suck, right? It's taken as rote. One studio in particular has amazing properties that you desperately hope work out and then they treat them horribly. As a studio, they have a reputation (online, at least) for douchery. Do you honestly think that doesn't extend to their behavior and dealings with the other studios and the convention? Or do you think, maybe, it's possible that when you get giant commercial studios who are in it for the money and the advertising to try and schedule two days of sneaks, previews, screenings, and big name talent, that maybe one or two of them might be uncooperative? Maybe. Possibly.

Look, as an American citizen, I have a dual responsibility to my government. One is to abide by its laws while taking any and all advantage I can of the freedoms those laws afford me, and the other is to be intensely critical of that government's actions and policies, because that's my country, dammit.

As a fan, I have a dual responsibility. One is to support and partake in the movies, shows, games, books, et all that make up genre media, and the other is to be critical of the people and corporate entities who produce, market, and control that media. Tearing down and ragging on the SDCC is a chump move that displays a lack of understanding in how the convention is run and maintained as well as an inflated sense of ego. You have a website, you have a column, you have a twitter account. You're heard, by a minuscule fraction of the world's population. That fraction cares about what you have to say, though, so that lends your words weight. It's a small community, so being a big name in it counts for something. But you cannot think what we say or think influences major film studios' decisions on what day to schedule their panels. Be a fan, and be a critic, but for frakssake, how hard is it to be supportive of the groups who are actively endeavoring to bring you access to the things you care about? Why can't you just be excited as hell for the things we're about to be shown? You seriously can't curb the pessimism and complaining until after the sneak preview for whatever Keanu property is up next?

Okay, no, I'll make a concession there. If it's a Keanu property, feel free to commence bitchage now.

See full post

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tom Lenk Is My New Favorite Person

So last night, fellow podcasters @scarletscribe, @da7e and I, along with my dear friend Matthew went to go see Tom Lenk do musical comedy at Don't Tell Mama, a Cabaret/Piano Bar adjacent to Broadway. I suspected the show would be, you know, cool, but I had NO IDEA it would be ACTUALLY incredible.

He opened the show singing a cabaret version of Gimmie More, which you can check out from an old Lenk performance below. I found the clip in an article by Nathaniel R from The Film Experience about Tom Lenk, written a while back. You should definitely check it out here.

I so wish I had recorded some video last night, but we weren't sure whether we were allowed to or not, so alas.

After the show stopping Gimmie More, Tom performed a song he actually wrote on the plane on the way here about his "Last Minute Show" which was also fantastic. He writes pretty damn well!

What followed for the next 30 min was some of the best stand up I've ever seen. Granted, I haven't seen much stand up, but holy crap was he hilarious. He regaled us with stories about how in LA homeless people love to yell at him, spit at him and threaten him with scissors and told an epic tale detailing why you should never date someone who a. asked to be set up with you because he was a fan of your work on Buffy and b. who is 8-9 years your junior.

One of my favorite portions of the stand up was when Tom busted out his favorite "Men Seeking Men" ads from Craigslist. Priceless. Even better was when Tom read out loud the comments from an old Alloy article, called "Your Next Crush," featuring Tom. The teenage girl' comments started out sweet and quickly descended into "Eyu, this guy's an elf!" It was truly hilarious, and made even better by the fact that Tom clearly takes it all in stride.

We then entered the portion of the show where Tom sang some songs he wrote in Jr high & high school, which although had hilariously juvenile lyrics...were accompanied by pretty great music. Apparently he sent in all of his songs to Cher & the B52s so they could record them. And you know, they should have :).

Then, out of nowhere, suddenly I'm crying as Tom tells us about his best friend from jr high/high school who had cystic fibrosis and had to move away in tenth grade for health reasons. Months later, she wrote him a note that he read aloud and it literally made me bawl.

We were then treated to a sketch involving a German Star Trek fan to close the show, a song about the Master Cleanse Tom wrote that EVERYONE looking into fad diets needs to hear. It was amazing.

After the randomly brilliant show, Tom stood outside and received every single one of his guests, shaking hands, taking pictures, talking as long as we wanted. He is a truly sweet, talented guy who deserves to be successful. Today he is auditioning for something pretty huge here in New York, so let's all collectively put good vibes out there in the world for him. See full post

Monday, July 6, 2009

Prisoner/Palin Mash Up [Video]

I've never seen The Prisoner (I know, shoot me now. But hey, Eruditechick's seen almost every episode at this point! So...yaaay!) and this still made me giggle like crazy.

Patrick McGoohan's "The Prisoner" TV show mashed up with bits from Sarah Palin's resignation speech. See full post

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Game Slump

If you're like me, you like playing video games all year round. If you're not, just stop reading.

Okay, so for those of you who remain, let's talk about new video games released in the summer....there are none. Long ago, somewhere along the line in the history of video games (probably towards the beginning), someone decided that it was best to release games in the winter. Everyone agreed, and honestly didn't give much thought to the rest of the year. They all made money, some made good games, and everyone patted each other on the back at the New Year's party. Later, someone invented E3 to remind people every summer that new games were indeed going to be released... eventually. Thus was born the Summer Game Slump.

Summer Game Slump (n.)
The time from January to August in which few new games of note are released. (see: most of the year)

With this depressing gap in mind, I thought I'd get my act together on ATF and share with you five awesome things from E3 that you may have missed. Read on, after the jump!!

1. Fat Princess
Coming Late Summer 2009 to PS3
If you haven't seen this game yet, take a look at the trailer. I'm hoping this turns out to be an amazing party game, assuming the multiplayer isn't online-only. Basically, it's capture the flag, but WACKY! Instead of a flag, your team has a princess whom you can fatten up by feeding to make her harder to steal. The game has a class system so that you can pick a specific job to perform during the chaos.

2. Final Fantasy XIV Debut Trailer
Coming Eventually to PS3, Windows
While we continue to wait for FF XIII, Square is of course already at work on XIV, it's second attempt at an MMORPG. So far, no surprises here...chocobos, spiky hair, swords, etc. Perhaps this one will really catch on. Either way, its good to know Square Enix stays committed to constantly having a game to show us that is YEARS from American release.

3. Forza Motorsport 3 Ridiculous Stunt Trailer
Coming October 2009 to XBox 360
I'm not much of a racing game aficionado, so all I can really say about this game is that it's supposed to be absurdly realistic and beautiful. Regardless of whether you appreciate racing games, though, you have to appreciate this trailer. Watch it uninformed and you think "Yea, cool. Neat racing tricks." However, once you find out that all the stunts seen in the trailer we actually performed by the development team and recorded live to make the trailer, you have to respect the obsessive work that must have gone into this car ballet. Just to clarify, that means that everything you see in this trailer was done by someone IN THE GAME. Enjoy and admire...

4. Final Fantasy VII Released on the Playstation Store
Available Now on PS3/PSP
This long-awaited nugget came without much fanfare, but this is can't-miss news for any RPG fan. Final Fantasy VII, arguably the best RPG ever made, is now available to play for $10 on your PS3 and/or PSP.

5. New Super Mario Bros Wii!!!
Coming Holiday 2009 to Wii
For the first time EVER, Nintendo is releasing a 4-player simultaneous coop Mario game. It's like playing Super Mario World, but with three friends on the screen with you at the same time. It'll probably end up being a fantastic game to play at the end of a night, when you're too tired to compete and just want to hop around with some friends.

See full post

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why Is 6 Afraid of 7?

You've all heard that old joke right? Well here is a trailer for the film 789. I mean, it's not for a real film...I'm pretty sure...but the trailer is spot on & hilarious. I found out about it because someone I went to high school with (who actually happens to be very cool!) composed the score. Enjoy!

See full post

Our Pick in the Netflix Find Your Voice Competition! [Vote!]

Friend of Fangirl, Laura Ramadei, is currently working on an independent film called Future Weather. The film is a coming of age story about a young girl abandoned by her mother, whose obsession with environmentalism parallels her own struggle to find stability in an unstable environment at home. Not only does the script promote green values, but production will also be entirely sustainable - slated to begin this fall. The screenplay was awarded Showtime's Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting and is currently a semifinalist in the Netflix Find Your Voice Film Competition.

We share the film with you in the hopes that you'll RATE FUTURE WEATHER 5 STARS at The grand prize is $350k in cash and equipment for the film's production, as well as online Netflix distribution and screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Voting is super quick and easy - no obnoxious registation required - and you can even vote below within the embedded video. If you have an extra minute, bug your friends too! Voting closes on July 5.


Get to know the film and its creators at and Follow the film on Twitter at See full post