Alex's Best of Comic-Con 2006 Upcoming Films
by Alex Billington
July 26, 2006
It's been a few days since Comic-Con has ended and I've been able to relax a bit and dwell on all of what we saw while out in San Diego. As my mind mulls over all of the footage and clips we were shown and the panels and questions that were asked (and answers that were given), I've been able to stew out the truly most exciting upcoming movies from Comic-Con 2006.
This list is my own best of Comic-Con 2006 list that showcases what made me enjoy every last second of my time out at Comic-Con and again reiterate just how awesome opening day will be for each and every one of these listed here.
(Also check out fellow First Showing staff Josh's Best of Comic-Con 2006 Upcoming Films)
1) Spider-Man 3
Do I need to say more? Not only did I have the chance to meet Sam Raimi and the rest of the cast (check out our videos), but I got screwed over and didn't see the footage! It's true, but thanks to the power of the world wide web, I've been to able to see, in horrible quality, the footage. And although 300 has taken the top of the list, the grainy, out-of-focus, incredibly low quality footage was more than enough to nudge up Spider-Man 3 to the glorious position on the list that it deserves to be in. I have been saying to my friends here, and I'll tell it to the world: Spider-Man 3's opening will be the greatest day of my life.
I was previously excited for 300 knowing that any adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel would be incredible. Watching the production diary videos got me even more excited and I yearned every day for a trailer. Then they showed it and, wow, just WOW! The quote that starts it up, "Spartans, tonight we dine in Hell!" still runs around in my mind and my jaw drops again even just thinking about it. The audience loved it so much that they encored it once again after it first debuted and again at the end of the panel. Everything in the trailer they showed was so immensely epic and powerful that I was just shaking I was so excited. I will again say with confidence to the world (as I just did with Spider-Man 3) that this movie will be the second greatest day of my life.
Although I'll admit that I did get to see this movie while out at Comic-Con, that is enough to confirm that it was a Comic-Con experience worthy of being 3rd on the list. Not enough people know who Borat is and why he kicks ass, but when we saw the clips they showed first at the panel, both Josh (from First Showing out there with me) and I nearly keeled over laughing. As sick as it sounds, Borat gets into a fight with a 300 lb. fat man and they wrestle while both of them are butt naked for about 10 minutes all around a hotel. And it is classic, CLASSIC! I can assure you that there were other critics out there that we heard from that agreed with us that the Borat movie was one of the greatest comedy experiences they've seen in a while.
4) Southland Tales
Richard Kelly is a genius! Well, although during the panel he admitted he wants to move on past Donnie Darko and focus on his new film given he is an aspiring director and has more to do, he is still a genius. I have faith in him as much as I do Guillermo del Toro and Sam Raimi, and those are just about the only directors I have faith in. They showed a short clip with Justin Timberlake (!) doing a music-video-like lip-sync to a song in an arcade. It didn't explain anything at ALL in regards to the story in the movie, but his style and what he talked about and his ideas are what makes me put my confidence in him as a director and especially with Southland Tales. Putting the clip he showed and the other clip that is online (from Cannes), I know that this movie will be just as dense and powerful as Donnie Darko but in an entirely different, new, and advanced style that Richard Kelly is creating.
5) TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
This movie was already on the top of people's "want" lists before Comic-Con began. Kevin Munroe came out alone and ran the panel by himself amidst non-stop cheers and continuous praise from many fans and took the crowd by storm. Although it is incredibly rare to see an animated (whether CGI or regular animation) film top any of my lists, this may have done it. I am a kid who's childhood surrounded falling in love with the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. There has been all the talk of how awesome this one is going to be given it may be the "real" continuation after The Secret of the Ooze (since that piece of shit 3rd one was not), and all of what was said may certainly make it into that. The special 10 minute montage of in-production clips, animation tests, and grey-scale vids were awesome enough to really prove to me that the Ninja Turtles have a chance to again dominate all of our lives.
6) Reno 911 Miami
I am a fan of the Reno 911 TV show only in the sense that whenever I actually get around to watching it I enjoy every minute of it fully. And when I heard that they were making it into a movie I couldn't help but be excited (in the same way I was for Borat). There was a clip that made its way online (also shown on Conan or Letterman) that really wasn't that funny. But the 3 people from the show who came to the panel and the clips they showed were seriously awesome. They showed a trailer that parodied the Miami Vice trailer with that Linkin Park song and it blew the crap (both literally and figuratively) out of the Miami Vice trailer by far. This comedy adaptation is going to probably fall second in line behind Borat for best comedies coming up.
7) Grind House
I'm not that big of a fan of horror or zombie movies, and so I can't say that I am overly hyped for this. However Rodriguez and Tarantino teaming up is an irrefutable team that will only produce fantastic films together, guaranteed. Not only did they bring out a selection of the most finest ladies in the film business to dominate their panel (6 in total!), but the clips they showed have made me already realize that this will be the next Army of Darkness. We have it emblazed in our minds: the image of Ash with his chainsaw-hand kicking ass. And now that will be worked up again upon release of Grind House with the predominate lady with a machine gun leg. Even their idea behind making a movie that has the old "Grind House" movie theatres feeling with dirty reels and scratched up film and everything is… brilliant!
8) Saw III
(Repeat first line of Grind House statement) I'm not that big of a fan of horror movies, and so I can't say that I am overly hyped for this. However, Josh (our resident horror movie buff) has caused me to not only become a fan of the filmmakers behind the Saw trilogy, and Lionsgate as a studio, but also a fan of the "Saw genre" (if I do claim that there is one). It's horror, but not really. It's a thriller/gore film, but not really. There's no "make you jump" scary scenes, and the villain is an awesome guy named Jigsaw (played by an awesome guy named Tobin Bell) who psychologically forces you to kill yourself (or even save yourself). The clip we saw was the most intense clip of any at Comic-Con and on that alone has gotten me excited to see what twists and turns and tricky traps they've dreamt up for Saw III.
Broken Lizard is another fabulous comedy team. Everything they've made so far (except for that Puddle Cruiser movie, what?!) has been gold. Too many people dislike their crude sense of humor, but on the same, that it makes it all better for the rest of us to enjoy. They showed a select 10 minutes of "in-post-production" clips from Beerfest and I can say the least that I am excited. As everyone has said, a movie about drinking beer, who the hell wouldn't want to see it anyway?! The 10 minute footage selection we saw was minorly less comedic than the trailer but still excited me to look forward to seeing the completed comedy in its masterpiece glory. Keep rocking on Broken Lizard!
10) Surf's Up
This is probably the sore thumb sticking out in my top 10 list, but it's there. It was one of those movies that went from knowing nothing to being way interested, oddly enough. This is the movie's first debut, even the name or plot or anything. At the Sony animation panel the director debuted the "opening 10 minutes" where about 10% of it was actually fully completed CGI and the rest was grey-scale animatics or test runs. Interesting to see them debut this (half-completed footage), but in the same, it got me interested. The other penguin movie, Happy Feet, I completely despise. However, the story, maybe even the voice actor, and the way this whole Surf's Up movie is laid out has gotten me drawn into it. And that right there has given it enough of a right to deserve the 10th and final spot on my list here.
The Missing Ones:
1) Ghost Rider
Unfortunately due to extenuating circumstances, I was unable to get into the Sony panel at all, and in addition remember hearing the rumbling of his motorcycle (in the clip) while sitting and listening intently to Thomas Haden Church, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Topher Grace answer our delicately prepared press questions. Unfortunately the footage that they showed has not worked its way on the internet (in the way that the Spider-Man 3 footage did), and therefore I am at a loss to say that this should've and could've been high up on the list but is not. I am incredibly hyped for it and have it on the top of my general excitement list for 2007, but given I have nothing from Comic-Con, it hasn't topped this list.
2) Pirates of the Caribbean 3
In the same token that I couldn't make it to the Ghost Rider and Sony panel, I couldn't make it to the Disney panel. It was occurring over the exact same time that not only was I upstairs awaiting for the arrival of the celebrities for our press roundtable interviews, but I would have otherwise been upstairs in Room 6CDEF listening to Jon Favreau and Avi Arad talk about the future of Marvel's film productions, including Iron Man. So, either way, I missed it, and would've loved to check it out. I am yearning to see the ending of Pirates of the Caribbean, given they set it on the edge of some steep cliffs at the end of Dead Man's Chest. And I read a description from what they showed - and damn does it sound good.
3) Children of Men
I surely wish I could've seen the footage for this movie. For whatever reason (I think I was at Richard Kelly's panel) I was not in the big Hall H while they did the panel on Children of Men. The other First Showing guy out there, Josh, was saving our seats and happened to catch a glimpse of this movie and an extended clip and won't stop talking about how incredible it looks. The story line itself is enthralling enough that it's on my mind, but I wish I could've seen the clip to truly understand why it'll be amazing. Apparently they shot these 10 to 20 minute shots that are non-breaking single-camera shots (for 10 to 20 minutes each) for most of the movie. On top of that it was an action scene with tanks and more destruction all following Clive Owen's main character with one camera and a non-breaking shot wherever he goes. Sounds intense! But, alas, I didn't see it so I don't know just yet.
4) Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny
Although I did see an "extended clip" from the movie, it just didn't tickle my fancy. I'm not a big Tenacious D fan, nor was I incredibly hyped during the clip, but it doesn't mean that what they did show was awesome. Anyone who is at all a minor fan of Tenacious D or Jack Black would have had their jaw drop off from not only constant laughter but amazement at just how truly sweet the clip they showed was. It featured about a 10 minute (or longer) rock opera on the life of little Jack Black growing up as a kid at home and getting into rock music. I'll go see it, but it isn't on my top lists from Comic-Con.
5) Harry Potter 5
Given how incredible the 4th Harry Potter was, I am certainly extremely excited for the 5th one. And although Warner Brothers did do a short little feature on the movie, it was nothing more than a taped video of Daniel Radcliffe and the director chatting for 2 minutes on a set "just for Comic-Con." And unfortunately that doesn't constitute enough in my books to be worthy enough of being the best, especially when we weren't shown any footage or had any additional hype for the movie. It doesn't matter, because when it swings around next summer in full force it won't have needed a Comic-Con clip.
And if you've read this far down, well, I've unfortunately got nothing else special for you. I do want to agree with every other press out there making this statement: this was the best Comic-Con (yet) and will stand out in my memories for quite some time to come. Don't forget to keep checking FirstShowing.net for updates as these movies get released and our opening day events we are planning for each. Register for the events e-mail list to stay on top of the news.
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