Thursday, July 24, 2014

San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Thursday w/ Turtles and Paramount

Hot Damme, Thursday, literally, it's hot out!  Welcome to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Thursday because it's TMNT all over the Con.  After walking the floor for a bit, I ducked into the Marriott's screening room to catch, you guessed it, 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!  A classic comic book movie before there were comic book movies, TMNT still holds up with it's deft blend of action, laughs, brotherly love, production values and Henson assisted costumes and animatronic heads.  Back on the floor I scouted out Mondo's booth and picked up their selection of Batman: The Animated Series vinyls of Clayface, The Joker, Mr. Freeze and Harley Quinn.  NECA was sold out of exclusive Pacific Rim Jaegers but may have more tomorrow.  Remember yesterday when I told you I bet I could walk right into Hall H for Paramount's 3:00PM session?  Yeah, totally did.  Even stopped to get lunch and grabbed a decent seat near the first pillars.  After Hall H welcomed Benedict Cumberbatch for DreamWorks' latest animated romp then The Dude himself Jeff Bridges showed up to talk about The Giver.  Bridges' advice for young careers was to pull a Stallone and go out and make their Rocky since anybody with a cell phone is now a filmmaker. 

After a short intermission it was time for Paramount's panel.  The guide listed no information, just a look at their upcoming slate.  Ninja Turtles was up first as a quick clip showcasing the awesome franchise going from simple sketch to the comic book, cartoon, live action movie, toy and video game empire played before TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman took the stage to somewhat surprisingly muted applause.  I'm guessing the crowd is still on the fence about the new Turtles movie as it looks like they've been "Transformer-ized" or "Bayhem-ed" with a super slick, destruction heavy trailer which I didn't mind but their borderline grotesque design and CGI appearance hasn't whet my appetite.  The producers claim to have been longtime fans and one even produced a signed photo of Kevin from 21 years ago.  Eastman says the flick is fantastic and that the producers were intent on making the best TMNT movie possible from the start 3 years ago.  A clip introducing reporter April O'Neil and the turtles rolled which was surprisingly enjoyable with a nice mix of big action and humor, mostly coming from Michelangelo's wise cracking.  Actors Megan Fox and Will Arnett were brought out with the former being a fan since childhood and the latter just being an extremely funny guy.  Another clip played showcasing another big action scene involving snow, big rigs, hummers, rocket launchers and bulletproof shells.  The voices of the Turtles was a little hard to get used to as it's Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo, Anthony Shalhoub (PAIN & GAIN!) as Splinter with Mikey sounding like a little kid and Raphael coming off as RZA. 

Some other movie about time travel was previewed before audio from Hercules filled the room and boom, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson walked onto the floor and greeted the fans before taking the stage and welcoming himself back, WWE style.  Funny, huge and seemingly happy to be there, The Rock let us know he bought out 3 theaters and would Tweet the details to attending a free screening.  Clarke Duke came out with two lovely ladies on his arms to show us a trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 which looks pretty Damme funny as they're sent to the future this time around.  Then a new trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar played, this one interspersing snippets from former astronauts in with the film.  Our moderator introduced a first time Comic-Con attendee, Matthew McConaughey!  The Reign of Fire star and Oscar winner looked very ruggedly handsome while explaining that he got a call from his agent to meet Chris Nolan, went to his house for a 3 hour meeting where they discussed everything except working on a film together.  A week later a script showed up and Denton Van Zan was in.  Guess we can really call it the McCONaissance now huh?  McConaughey wanted to hear Hall H's legendary hollering before describing Nolan as an original, the director might have been inspired by a Stanley Kubrick movie but his interpretation would be wholly new.  Another Comic-Con first, director of Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy Christopher Nolan walked out looking as dapper as can be.  Without giving too much away, Nolan discussed his love for science-fiction and how in his youth, becoming an astronaut was the highest career someone could aim for.  Influenced by the likes of 2001, Star Wars and Blade Runner (his favorite film), Nolan talked about making things as real as possible for the actors in terms of sets and production and using IMAX to enhance the experience. 

Next on deck is a panel on the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the form of a new documentary as well as Hero Complex's Comic-Con soiree and maybe a movie trivia contest.

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