Archives For July 2010

While waiting in never-ending lines at Comic-Con I had some time to catch up on actual comic reading. Locke & Key quickly became my new favorite comic, and I devoured the first two graphic novels, only to become frustrated and unsatisfied when I went to order the third one on Amazon and saw that it’s not out yet. I’ve been thinking about the story and wondering about what’s happening to my beloved characters.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the name of the comic is pretty lame– it doesn’t convey the striking images and gripping story that await in its pages.
Here are some illustrations that blew my mind, especially in the context of the story.

The story is gripping, sophisticated, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The plot is complicated enough to keep me wondering, but straightforward enough to keep me reading. There’s a perfect balance of suspense, dramatic irony, and nonlinear storytelling.
It’s about a family that moves to a house and they keep finding keys that do unusual things. As the family falls prey to some pretty twisted people, they try to figure some stuff out– like ghosts, echoes, and the human mind itself. It sounds innocent enough, but it’s a dark story. There’s death, murder, manipulation, sinister characters, disturbing images, and a whole lot of “WTF?” moments… but in a good way.

It’s going to take me forever to post all the cool stuff at Comic-Con, so I hope my readers will bear with my self-indulgence. Here are two panels that I wasn’t excited for, but that won me over with their Comic-Con charm and super-cool movie clips.

If you couldn’t tell from the picture, Will Ferrell dressed up like Megamind for the movie’s panel, which I have to say, was pretty charming. There weren’t as many people who dressed up this year, and it was fun to see an actor go the extra mile and do something that took time and effort. Not to mention, his banter with Tina Fey and Jonah Hill made the panel the funniest at the Con.
The clips also made the movie look better than I’d thought. I’m going to give away a little bit of a spoiler, but I think it’s worth sharing because it made me want to see the movie. It was clear that Megamind kills Metroman at the beginning of the film, and that the rest of the film deals with Megamind coping with the boredom that comes after killing his archnemesis. It seemed like a much more sophisticated plot than the previews had shown.
The Cowboys and Aliens panel was a surprise hit. First of all, it was Harrisson Ford’s first appearance at Comic-Con (hence he made it look like it took handcuffs and an escort to get him there). Since Ford is a geek god between Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Blade Runner, it was the most insane reception I’ve ever seen in my 5 years in Hall H. Between the screaming and roaring applause, it felt like the walls were going to cave in.
The panel also included Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell. What could be cooler than Indiana Jones, James Bond, and Justin Hammer all in one place? I acknowledge the dumbess of the title Cowboys and Aliens, but the actors were impressive and the clips looked pretty awesome– like a classic western with some aliens thrown in. I was sold.

Comic-Con Sunday

Ashley Walton —  July 26, 2010 — 3 Comments

My last day at geek mecca. However, this isn’t the end of my Comic-Con blog posts, because I have lots of stuff to fill in.

The cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia unveiled their premiere for next season. It’s entitled, “Who got Dee pregnant?” and needless to say, it’s hilarious. Kaitlin Olson, the actress who plays Sweet Dee, actually showed up to Comic-Con with a bun in the oven. The main characters also had Cricket on stage with them and assured us that the gang is not through torturing poor Cricket.
This was one of the highlights of my day– these two girls “dressed up” like Hall H victims. In case you haven’t heard, on Saturday, two guys got into a scuffle over a seat in Hall H and one guy stabbed the other in the eye with a pen. I was there, and I can tell you, the seat wasn’t even good.
The final hurrah of Comic-Con was the screening of the Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling,” which is a sing-along with a Rocky Horror vibe to it. I yelled “Shut up, Dawn!” so many times that I lost my voice. We also yelled, “Bite me!” whenever Spike appeared on screen and “Liar!” when Buffy tells Spike she’s never going to be with him and when Xander tells Anya he’ll never leave her. If that wasn’t enough fun, we were given clever traffic tickets (which I’ll post later) and little monster finger puppets (so we could say, “Grrr! Arrrgh!” during the closing credits).

So I’ve been a bad girl, and I didn’t update my blog yesterday, which means I’m bursting to get tons of cool stuff off my chest. The last two days have been insane. Let’s start with what blew my mind the most.

THE ENTIRE AVENGERS CAST WAS REVEALED! Not only was the cast revealed, but everyone showed up, along with the film’s writer/director Joss Whedon. I kid you not, I had geek chills. I lost my voice screaming. So the big reveal everyone’s been waiting for: The Hulk will be played by Mark Ruffalo. And surprise! Jeremy Renner will play Hawkeye.
I have the highest hopes for The Avengers movie. It would be difficult for most writers and directors to juggle so many strong characters and actors at one time, but Whedon has experience doing exactly that with Firefly and Serenity. And I can’t wait for him to write some snarky lines for Tony Stark (snarky wit is another of Whedon’s specialties). I think he’s going to blow people away.
The highlight of the Green Lantern panel, believe it or not, was not the film footage (which was short and didn’t show much– it didn’t even show the suit). In fact, the highlight was when a young fan asked Reynolds to recite the Green Lantern oath, which he had refused to do on many other  occasions. You could see the kid brighten up and renew his love for comic book heroes as Reynolds said the lines in his best heroic voice.
Unlike the Green Lantern panel, the Thor panel showed a lot of polished footage. Visually, it looks great. The color palette, set design, and other-world feel was done well. Plus, I’m a sucker for Natalie Portman. What geek isn’t?
The Captain America footage was more like a teaser. It’s definitely going to be his origin story, set during WW II. What we saw, clearly showed what Marvel has already hinted at– that they’re carefully interweaving all their different characters into one universe, which isn’t an easy thing to do. The stories overlap slightly, and all the characters exist on the same plane, culminating in the big movie everyone’s waiting for– the Avengers. Pretty effing cool.
As a side note, there was a stabbing in Hall H today while I was there. It was pretty crazy. I guess a fan got into a scuffle and stabbed someone in the eye over a seat. The whole thing was so unexpected. Nothing like that has ever happened at Comic-Con. Geeks are such a peaceful people.

Comic-Con Thursday

Ashley Walton —  July 23, 2010 — 3 Comments

So here’s the scoop on what happened at Comic-Con today. I’m not gonna lie, some pretty freaking awesome stuff went down.

Jaw-dropping moment today: Guillermo del Toro announced he’ll be directing a remake of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. He beamed as he made his announcement and explained that he has an entire room in his house devoted to the spooky Disneyland ride. He says this film will not be a comedy; it will be scary but fun. He also assured the crowd, “Don’t worry, we have not been returning Eddie Murphy’s calls.” I love Guillermo del Toro.

At the Tron panel, they showed some amazing footage. I now have more faith in the film than I ever did. The film shows the Jeff Bridges you see before you, but it also shows a digitally-altered Jeff Bridges, who appears 27 years younger. The effects are seemless. Check out the exclusive Comic-Con trailer here  http//
In case you haven’t heard, I’m at Comic-Con. The geek fest leaves me tired at the end of the day, but I’m going to try to leave little blog posts everyday, and I’ll fill in the blanks later. So here’s the coolest stuff from today.
Light cycle from Tron.
Set piece: throne room from Thor.
True Blood is coming out with a comic.
Tron Wii remote.
Prop from the Green Lantern movie: Abin Sur (the alien who gives Green Lantern his powers).
Got trapped in an action figure package.
Predator head.
Played with zombie movie props. Yes, that’s two chainsaws ducktaped onto a paddle.
While I’m at the Con, I’m constantly tweeting, and I upload photos to my Twitter first, so follow AshleyGeekGirl on Twitter if you want all the juicy details.
Inception was delicious eye candy. I’m not ashamed to say it, and I’m not ashamed I liked it. But I don’t intend to watch it again, unlike many others who have seen the film. The story was interesting, the writing was good, and the acting was par. But it was the visual aspect that grabbed me—I’m glad I saw it in IMAX.

I’m gonna cut to the chase—the visuals had me drooling the entire time. It wasn’t too over-the-top or incohesive (like a Terry Gilliam mess) and it wasn’t what the layman labels “creative” (like M. Night Shyamalan or Tim Burton). It was actually different and interesting.

Between the beautiful shots of people fighting while floating and cities folding into themselves, there were certain inconsistencies within this world that did not make sense to me. But that goes with the territory when you see a film like this, and it’s almost unavoidable. You just have to set all your logic on the shelf before the film begins. Luckily, the story and the visuals will soothe your logic-less brain. And after walking away, don’t bother wasting time pondering the film’s contradictions or lapses in logic.

I recommend a one-time must-see. It’s the film everyone’s talking about, and you’ll be shunned from social circles and awkwardly ostracized at parties if you don’t see it. But you don’t have to succumb to peer pressure and pretend you’re going to see it twice.

The Real Avatar

Ashley Walton —  July 8, 2010 — 2 Comments
The skeletal structure of The Last Airbender is fantastic. It has a story rich in mythological background, a riveting and sophisticated plot, and beautiful visuals. Having said that, it has terrible pacing and jarring dialogue, which I blame on the master massacrer of film, Mr. Shyamalanalan.  
When I saw the film, I was able to set aside the fact that everyone pronounced Aang’s name wrong. I was even able to set aside some of the out-of-place dialogue. But the pacing and editing was unbelievable. At times, it was so choppy that it was difficult to follow what was going on. It moved so quickly to try to fit in an entire season’s worth of plot that all character development and deeper plot development was lost. There were few scenes that lingered on one shot for more than sixty seconds, and the shots that did take up more time were baffling ones of meaningful glances instead of plot explanation.
As badly as Nighty Night butchered the adaption, the story itself is so appealing that it did shine through to a certain extent. I enjoyed watching the world that was created and the live-action benders. I just wish the film had let me enjoy it a little more.
When all is said and done, I would recommend this movie to fans of visual effects and epic fantasy tales (and obviously to anyone who watched the animated show on Nickelodeon—which company changed its logo by the way, and the logo’s premiere in the opening credits interested me almost as much as the film itself). Otherwise, I think you’d find yourself lost in the complicated plot and hating life.