QUINT: COMIC CON: INFO OUT THE WAZOOOOO!!! BEHOLD YOU COWARDLY KNAVE!
Published at: July 25, 2004, 7:54 a.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here from Comic-Con. I'm sure you're all up on the big-big panel today... with the announcement of the new STAR WARS title REVENGE OF THE SITH... I, unfortunately, wasn't there for that panel due to some exclusive 1-on-1 interviews I was doing for SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, but expect a full report from Mr. Beaks or Frosty Skywalker or one of the other regulars that I know got to view the whole panel.
But I did catch two great, great presentations... outside of the ROTK:EE footage, the best stuff I've seen at the Con was today. First up is Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's SIN CITY and then Trey and Matt's TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE followed by the "Mheh" RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE footage.
Holy shit, guys. SIN CITY is going to rule each and every one of your asses. Rodriguez showed up with the opening of SIN CITY, which is the footage he shot with Josh Hartnett and did all the effects work on to get Frank Miller to step on board. It was also the only thing he brought with final backgrounds in place and it's fucking amazing looking in noir-ish black and white. It was taken from one of the smaller stories from Miller's SIN CITY world called THE CUSTOMER'S ALWAYS RIGHT.
It has Hartnett's character smoothly meeting a woman in a red dress (which vibrantly pops against the black and white world)... her lips, also, are red... and telling her about his desire to protect her from whatever she's running from... how she must be tired of running. They embrace and BANG... she sinks to the ground as his voice-over talks about holding her until she's gone... smoking gun in hand, his voice-over tells us he's gonna go get his paycheck... Welcome to Sin City, gang! The camera pulls out over the city, then up higher and higher until the lights of the city make the title: SIN CITY, which changes to the exact font and color of the comics with the added "Frank Miller's" before the title.
Robert also showed some character footage, which cut alternately with panels out of Miller's book to show how faithfully it's being adapted... Those worried about no boobs in the movie have nothing to worry about. The very first thing he showed had boobage... I think it was Carla Gugino as Lucy from the first book (which Miller has apparently given a specific title... he calls it SIN CITY: THE HARD GOODBYE... that's Marv's storyline)... Showed Mickey Rourke as Marv and the make-up is amazing. Imagine if the characters in DICK TRACY looked real, not rubbery. He has a Kirk Douglas chin, rough (but very real looking) skin and a flat top.
There was some great stuff with Benicio del Toro and Clive Owen with Owen holding a blade an inch from Benicio's eye... there was also Benicio's threat to the streetwalker... him pulling the gun and her saying, "Sugar. You just made the biggest mistake of your life." All this is from THE BIG FAT KILL. They showed Nick Stahl in the YELLOW BASTARD make-up and it looks fan-fucking-tastic. Lumpy, disfigured... ugly as all hell... it's the perfect shade of yellow, too... not neon bright, but more like the way a highlighter run over smeary black lettering looks.
My favorite shot from what was shown was of Jessica Alba, playing Nancy, dancing behind Bruce Willis' Hartigan using deep focus so they're both sharp in the frame... all in slow motion. It was hypnotic and sexy as all hell. Her assless chaps will be obsessed over by a great many spank-monkeys out there. She isn't topless, but she looks so beautiful and her lusty pelvic thrusts make up for it in pure, unadulterated sexiness.
Also seen was Miho, played by Devon Aoki, (my God, the bright red blood splattering on her black and white face and dripping down was awesome!) and Rosario Dawson's character, who looks stunning in her tiny leather S&M getup. Missing was Elijah as Kevin, but I'm sure we'll get a glimpse of that sooner than later.
It was great stuff and the backgrounds weren't even in place... in much of the clips shown it was all against a jet-black background. You want to see this footage? Rodriguez said that this footage will hit the net in the next few weeks. I can't wait to see them again with frame-by-frame action. The babes came out... Jamie King, Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba...
They didn't have much to say, but it was really sweet for us sitting up close as the room proved to be a little too cold for Ms. Alba.
Here are some of the tidbits from the panel:
-The film's rough cut is done and at 2 hours and 15 minutes, but the final film will be under 2 hours.
-Rodriguez said that the DVD will have the film and the option to watch each of the 3 SIN CITY stories from beginning to end just as they were in the comics, even if each story had some scenes cut for the theatrical film. DVD will also have a big, big feature on the making of the film.
-Frank Miller said there are more SIN CITY comics in the works.
-Rodriguez enjoyed the process so much that he wants to get together with Frank Miller and shoot every one of the SIN CITY stories so there will be a moving version of each book... he said he may put those onto on big DVD release at some point so you can access any of the SIN CITY stories at your will. Sounds badass to me! I'd buy it!
Jesus God. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses. They showed the trailer which started out with a list of celebrity names flying out at the audience. It was like, "George Clooney, Janeane Garafalo, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, George W. Bush, John Kerry and Kim Jong II... Will all hate this movie!"
Moriarty did a great write-up from the set of TEAM AMERICA (the bastard!) and described the marionettes very well... There is no attempt to hide the strings and the heads are fully articulated, but not in a wooden puppet way. More like a Chucky way, with full control of the eyes and mouth movements. The trailer is cut like ARMAGEDDON and those kinds of movies. Matter of fact, when Trey and Matt came out and chatted with the audience they said that their goal was to make it a Bruckheimer musical puppet movie.
They showed two clips from the film, the first being my favorite. It's the opening of the movie that Moriarty described in his set report... Set in Paris, the folks of the city go about their daily lives. This stuff is detailed and very fucking impressive. There are times when upwards of 10 or 12 marionettes are on screen... in the foreground and background, going about regular lives. This one little boy, eating a melting chocolate popsicle bumps into the stereotypical terrorist... Older with a white beard, dressed in tan colored robes with a turban on his head and a metal blinking briefcase. The little boy stares up at him, mouth open. The terrorist's eyes close to slits and the boy goes running back to his mother.
She looks at the terrorist group and all of a sudden a big red, white and blue helicopter flies onto the scene. The briefcase terrorist's eyes widen as TEAM AMERICA shouts an ultimatum to the group. They don't listen, of course and the AKs are whipped out. TEAM AMERICA repels down and the people on the street scatter in a panicked mob. Keep in mind all this is done with puppets on strings and is literally cut to Bruckheimer-like action.
Random puppets get shot down by stray bullets before TEAM AMERICA takes control. One of the terrorists is confronted by a female member of the team who pulls out a shotgun and shouts "Hey, terrorist! Terrorize this!" and blows him back through a window. She does the "action girl" hair flip after blowing the dude away. Another member of Team America fires a rocket-launcher at the briefcase terrorist and misses, hitting one of the legs of the Eiffel Tower, collapsing it to the ground. Whoops.
It all culminates with one terrorist running out of ammo... The American he's facing down throws down his own weapon and they prepare for a fight... The camera spins around these two as they strut their stuff and strike their poses. Of course the terrorist falls back on the Miagi crane kick pose... the music rises, the cuts happen quicker and then they charge each other. It is some of the funniest shit I've seen all year. The two puppets, after all that build up, just slam into each other and hop around... arms flapping wildly and getting caught in the strings... It's like when you used to make your toys fight as a kid and just ram them together... except with strings! And hopping around! But as long as a fight sequence of this sort is supposed to be. This goes on for almost a minute until the Team America guy finally gets one hand to hit the terrorist in the face, knocking him down.
The other scene they showed was of the villain of the piece... real life dictator Kim Jong II. This voice is very much a combination of Cartman and the "Goddamn Mongolians! Tear down my shitty wall!" guy from South Park. Stereotypical Ls pronounced as R's... He's being visited by a UN Inspector who is demanding full cooperation in his inspections. Jong utters the Cartman phrase, "You're busting my balls! You're busting my balls!" and ends up getting fed up with the guy. After a quick lever pull, the dude falls through a hole in the floor and gets his ass ripped apart by giant catfish (real fish). Here's a pic of a big photo they had set up at the panel that has Kim Jong in it:
It was hilarious and Matt and Trey, while being obviously tired, still entertained. These guys seem like they'd be a blast to hang out with... Matt was talking about how much of a bitch it is to make the marionettes work and that they have 50 takes for what you'd think would be a simple shot of someone knocking back a shot of booze, but the puppet's arms kept flying off in weird directions. He was kind enough to demonstrate:
I can't wait for this film!
RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE
I caught this panel right before I had to jet. They showed a clip that is seen in the trailer, but extended a bit more. It has Jill Valentine and two others in a church with 3 Lickers wandering about. Her and a big dude run out and unload their clips into these suckers.... not killing them. They run out of ammo and are being surrounded when Milla bursts through the stained-glass on a motorcycle and rams the main Licker. She revs up and runs her bike at the licker and does a back-flip off while pulling two pistols and firing two shots. The bike hits the Licker and the bullets hit the gas tank and it explodes.
Not bad, but not particularly good either. I like the fact that the main characters run out of pistol ammo when facing down big bastards... if only because I've been in that situation in the few times I've played any of the RE games.
That's it from me. I saw a little bit of the special footage from THE GRUDGE and it looks really creepy... it was an extended version of the trailer with some added scares... nothing that isn't already seen in the trailer, though. Just more flashes of that fucked up ghost and some more light shed on who the people are. Nothing all that exciting.
Anyway, I'm off to bed. Tomorrow's the last day of the Con already! Got some pretty neat stuff lined up and I'll begin my one-on-one transcriptions tomorrow night, so look for the first of them to appear Monday or Tuesday!