Welcome to The Morning Read.
Very possibly the last Morning Read ever published. I am, after all, leaving the house in a few hours to drive to San Diego, where I full expect I’ll have a massive David Cronenberg style meltdown sometime around 5:30 on Friday afternoon. Expect the second half of my Con coverage to read largely like this:
“Oh god, oh, god, ohgodohgod, oh, god, ohgod. So. Many. Nerds.”
Then screaming. Lots of screaming. I dunno… maybe the Benadryl will help. I plan to drink a gallon a day.
Keep in mind, I say that as a self-avowed professional nerd. I’m not opposed to nerds on an individual scale. It’s just taken en masse that the thought makes me want to black out. Whatever the case, I’m off to enjoy Wednesday through Sunday at a hotel somewhere in lovely San Diego. I’ll be back in my own bed Sunday night, and then I’m off to what could sort of be described as a Comic-Con field trip of sorts for a few days. I won’t be back on a regular schedule until Thursday of next week. That’s not to say you won’t get content… in fact, you’ll be getting more content from this blog than normal, and much of the HitFix team is going to be in San Diego as well. Dan Fienberg, Greg Ellwood, Katie Hasty, Jen Wilhelmi, and myself will all be onsite for some or all of the convention. I’m going to be at preview night tonight. I’m going to an IMAX reception before that. I’ve got a Thursday that doesn’t seem physically possible already booked, and a Friday that’s just as crazy.
Friday night, don’t forget, we’re going to be screening Hayao Miyazaki’s latest delight, “Ponyo,” the new Disney dubbed version that will be released in August. This is your chance to see the movie with the legendary filmmaker in attendance, introducing the film, and somehow, they’re actually letting me introduce him. WHICH IS INSANE, BECAUSE HE IS AN ENORMOUS GENIUS, AND I AM A DUDE THAT CAN TURN A CLEVER PHRASE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S WORK! It’s still amazing to me that they’ll let me be in the same building as him, much less introduce him to an American audience before they get to see one of his films for the first time. That’s seriously a crazy honor, and one of the many, many moments I expect will make all the stress of the next seven days worthwhile.
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I mean, my god… Terry Gilliam’s in San Diego this weekend. Hayao Miyazaki’s here. James Cameron is here. Peter Jackson is here. Who knows who I’m going to see and spend time with? Those are just four names. I could list another dozen that are equally exciting to me. It’s sort of crazy, the line-up and the collision of styles and voices I expect will be represented. Everything from Pixar to “Kick-Ass” to “Iron Man 2,” with a side order of Park Chan-Wook and Quentin Tarantino. I know, I know… it’s not about the comic books anymore. Fine. Call it “Geek Vacation” or whatever, but if you’re pretending that you’re above the stuff we’ll be seeing, maybe you’re a little too goddamn jaded about what you are doing for a living.
I whine ahead of the event, but that’s just because of the sheer logistical flustercluck phobia I have. You give me the opportunites I’m being given over the next seven days, I’m bringing the most incredibly wide open mind I can bring to things. I want to be dazzled. I want to be impressed. I want to be tempted. I want to be blindsided. Bring it on.
Quint’s got the best Tuesday Comic-Con piece up, by far. Getting onto the floor of the convention a day before preview day? Hilarious. Next year, someone will camp out all weekend the weekend before and broadcast live from inside the empty convention center. Just to get the scoop. And I can’t believe that box of swag from Hasbro. Holy plastic robots, Batman.
Harry had a good day yesterday with that great Sam Raimi scoop and his Robert Zemeckis interview. It’s a good one. I was just talking about Zemeckis yesterday with someone, and a lot of what I mentioned is addressed in the conversation they had. Crazy. I am looking forward to seeing him at the Disney panel on Thursday. And if you haven’t read Harry’s enthusiastic “G.I. Joe” review yet, he reeeeeeeeeally liked it. He also reeeeeeeeeally liked “Van Helsing.” Just sayin’.
USA Today and Yahoo Movies both premiered some new “Iron Man 2” images. It’s amazing how so far, Cameron has yet to release a single image to any of the Comic-Con preview pieces, even now… even two days away from showing the footage at the panel. That’s sort of amazing. I’ve heard that last week’s Entertainment Weekly cover was Cameron’s, but he decided against it, making way for “Iron Man 2” to swoop in and suddenly be everywhere. I’d say right now, walking into the convention, it’s “Iron Man 2” that has the highest media profile. That’s the “big” film before anyone sees anything.
Let’s see what the landscape looks like Monday morning. I look forward to some heated and insane arguments in the days ahead.
Finally, as I walk out the door, I spent this afternoon chatting with Neal Brennan (who was the co-creator of “Chapelle Show”) and Jeremy Piven, and then went to check out “The Goods,” the raunchy, crazy, grimy little car salesmen comedy that Paramount’s releasing on August 14th. I liked it. It’s very funny, and it’s definitely got its own sensibility. It doesn’t surprise me that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are producers on this, because it’s just weird enough and demented enough that I can picture McKay wetting himself during many of the film’s big moments. Including Will Ferrell’s appearance. Which is… just…
You’ll see. The cast is great. Ving Rhames. Charles Napier. Kathryn Hahn. Ed Helms. Ken Jeong. David Koechner. James Brolin. Alan Thicke. And everyone really seems in tune with Brennan’s desire to make a comedy that never forgets that it’s a comedy. I hate movies that shift gears in the third act to be all serious and maudlin, like that’s what makes something a “real” movie. I’d rather see something that stays funny, start to finish. “Duck Soup” is the best of the Marx Brothers films because it’s the most focused, the most breathless. Now, don’t get confused. I’m not saying that “The Goods” is “Duck Soup.” It ain’t. But it is very dirty, very silly, and I was surprised how many of the jokes land dead-center.
Here’s a clip from the movie that is very, very NSFW (the language is outrageous), so be warned.
I hope to see many of you at Comic-Con. I hope the rest of you enjoy the coverage. I’m gonna hit the road now to go pick up AICN’s Mr. Beaks, who is joining me in my trip down, and I’ll catch you later today when I’m settled in San Diego.
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn’t.
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