SDCC ’14 [The Bible Scale, Pt. V]: Strike down upon Hall H with…’Fury’ous Anger!
And even greater vengeance.
It’s only appropriate that Moody & The Goddamn Wu braved the trenches of Hall H last Saturday (and her on Thursday, as well) at San Diego Comic-Con. Sure, we had to use some Jedi Mind Tricks to get ourselves in there, but, for the love of Hell Hydra, it was all worth it.
Of course, we saved all ye faithful congregation with the best for last: The #SDCC Bible Scale — Movie Edition. Lots of links, LOTS OF TRAILERS; this one should be a breeze.
–As Above, So Below
–Hot Tub Time Machine 2
–Crimson Peak/Warcraft/Skull Island
–Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
–The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
–Mad Max: Fury Road
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Paramount) – In 60 minutes, Paramount was able to squeeze a lot of never-before-seen footage/trailers and movie panels in Hall H for audiences to enjoy on Thursday, July 26th. However, due to time constraints many panelists had to sneak off the stage while footage was running on the big screen. But, it was fun, for the most part, starting with the happiest, most enthusiastic sponge on television who’s now a Sponge Out of Water. The new animated/live action film is about the main characters coming to our world and rewriting themselves into superheroes to fight off a pirate that ruined their homes. It is definitely a trippy ride that both adults and kids will enjoy. – Lisa Wu
2 TOASTED BIBLES
Interstellar (Paramount) – Paramount decided to end their amazing build of fun with the panel humdrum of the drama Interstellar. Sure, the fans cheered for the surprise guest panelists, Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey, but the rest of the panel was like one bad date. The trailer was just another of Nolan’s overly-budgeted attempts to be sophisticated. I found that Nolan’s films after The Dark Knight all have been predictable and pretentious (You’re insane. – Editor Moody). Interstellar is no different. Frankly, the film looks boring and screams “I’ve been done before!” Nolan effectively killed Batman with the horror that was The Dark Knight Rises (Effectively, yes. – Moody), so the disappointment of this trailer wasn’t too much of a shock. – Wu
Project Almanac (Paramount) – This relatively unheard-of feature was next in line, and attempts put a new spin on a classic idea. P.A. is about a group of PA’s that yell at extras (oh, no; that’s Moody’s movie idea!), but rather kids that find and put together a time machine that can only make things temporary better than worse. The dark part is the implication that the main character may have to destroy himself just to end the cycle of destruction and tragedy. Thankfully, the tragedy of all this dullness was over when “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson surprised everyone in the crowd, walking among the fans, hugging people, giving high fives, and announced the purchase of 3 theaters in town, so his fans at SDCC could catch a preview of Hercules. His army of scantily clad Greek ladies, his own appearance (of course), and what he did for the fans was the absolute highlight of Hall H that Thursday. – Wu
As Above, So Below (Legendary) – Other than the mediums of video games (The Evil Within) and comic books (anything Steve Niles/Scott Snyder), I’m just not a horror guy. Now, while there’s no doubt that this Paris catacomb-based film is going to make many shit their pants come August 29th, this documentary-style shot film appeared little more than the “Blair Witch of demonic possession” to me. – Travis Moody
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Paramount) – After the Rock’s appearance, you would think that they would have just ended the panel right there. Honestly, who or what could follow that performance? Still reeling from being starstruck, the trailer with the hot tub is back and the boys will be traveling though time to affect both their own history and the nations’. If you liked the first one, you are going to want to take off your clothes and hop right into this… – Wu
Godzilla 2 (Legendary) – Although we already knew it was coming — and Moody didn’t like the movie as much as the general populace — kudos to Godzilla director Gareth Edwards for creating a nifty teaser, and being a marketing genius. With the all very exciting announcement of Mothra and Ghidorah, Godzilla 2 already proves to be a far more promising film than the last. – Moody
Jupiter Ascending (WB) – OK, now this appears like an awfully low score for a film that looks REALLY REALLY good, but think about it: The Wachowski Brothers/Brother&Sister’s haven’t made a good film in exactly 15-years. I know, I know; a lot of people enjoyed Cloud Atlas. Then again, a lot of people didn’t. If this movie flops, the directing duo will end up no more than one-hit wonders. Moody will admit that Jupiter Ascending does look like the closest chance to having “another Matrix”. This wasn’t much of a Q&A either, with Mr. Tatum just kinda sayin’ a few things. For roughly 3000 screaming Comic-Con gals, that surely seemed like enough. – Moody
Blackhat (Legendary) – Another great trailer — and by one of my all-time favorite directors, Michael Mann — but another slightly underwhelming panel. Now, while it was great to witness the legend up-close-and-personal (for his first time at Con), I couldn’t help but feel how out-of-place this was (see: the terrific End of Watch). Then again, is truly ANYTHING out-of-place at SDCC anymore? Comic books, maybe? The only thing that mattered was watching the now-unworthy Chris Hemsworth (my heckle caught a few laughs from the tough nerd-crowd) do his best to immerse himself into something else entirely: The world of a professional thief. Mann referred to this authentic take on the digital underworld as “reverse escapism,” while the very film Brad Pitt-esque Hemsworth complimented his director’s amount of precision and detail on set. “I was taught how to type properly, and at least the basics of how to code… It was really scary.” You can catch Thor-meets-the-Watch_Dogs in January. – Moody
The Boxtrolls (LAIKIA) – LAIKIA, the Oregon stop-motion animation studio that brought us feature films like Coraline and ParaNorman, will soon be releasing their latest imagination 3D stop-motion and CGI animated film on September 26, 2014. Boxtrolls was inspired from the novel Here Be Monsters!, written and illustrated by Alan Snow; this lighter and friendlier take will still address such topics as alternative families, differences in cultural/social behaviors, and yes, even genocide. The audience follows the adventures and struggles of the protagonist, Eggs, who is raised by underground trash-collecting trolls and eventually attempts to save his family and the entire Boxtroll race from being wiped out by Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley). As horrible as the character Snatcher sounds, Kinsley said, “that anyone who has been consistently passed over by life, who feels somewhat ignored, who feels somewhat pushed into a corner by fate is very vulnerable…hugely socially ambitious, and his ambitions are never quite fulfilled.” The Mandarin continued, “so, he has to invent a whole world that he can conquer in order to empower himself; I always like the little crack that makes a character vulnerable.” And, with deep character analysis like that, how can anyone not be curious about about these dynamic characters? – Wu
Crimson Peak/Warcraft/Skull Island (Legendary) – It’s always a FUCKING good time when Guillermo del Toro shows up in town, this year to start more rumors (Hellboy 3, Mountains of Madness; no mention of Justice League Dark) and talk about his next film, Crimson Peak. With his return to Gothic romance, del Toro wanted to do something very “beautiful and creepy in Spanish, [yet] pulp fun in English.” The writer/director/producer also went on to credit his “scarier-than-ghosts” actors as his own special effects, since nearly everything built for the film’s 3-story Victorian Mansion was hand-crafted, similar to that of living paintings. “Although not all of the parts of the bathroom worked,” del Toro joked. Teasers for Duncan Jones’ Warcraft — as in World of Warcraft, non-nerds — and the next King Kong film, Skull Island, were teased. But most of Hall H would have preferred to see a teaser from Jurassic World, if you heard the hiss. – Moody
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (WB) – “But.. what.. just.. you just.. wait a second now there, MOODY! That clip was AMAZE-BALLS!” Okay, okay! How can the World Wide Web’s #1 Defender of all things DC Cinematic Universe (I gave Man of Steel 5-Bibles dammit) give such a great clip such an underwhelming bible score? It was a clip. Nothing more, nothing less. Exciting? Yes. Did we get to see Ben, Henry and Gal strut out in front of 6-thou? Yes. Did they talk? Was there ANY info on the movie? Was Khal Curry/Arthur Drago a.k.a. Aquaman there? No. “But wait, Trav. (Can I call you “Trav”?)” NO! “Oh, okay, StarMoody. But didn’t you see Wonde…” OF COURSE I DID! I’m terribly madly fucking sickly in love with this woman…
(Cont.) …but we still didn’t get the chance to hear DC’s Holy Trinity of Justice.. speak. And Dawn of Justice still very much remains a mystery, other than the fact that Batfleck looks EXACTLY like Bruce Wayne from Batman: The Animated Series. Bravo. – Moody
TMNT (Paramount) – Beginning with a brief documentary of how the Ninja Turtles came to be, the panel introduced us to Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Ninja Turtles. He spoke about the characters and stories he created before the rest of the panel including actors Megan Fox and Will Arnett took the stage. Two exclusive SDCC clips were shown: The first introduced us to the paramilitary nature of the Footclan and the Ninja skills, and the second showed off individual character traits of our favorite pizza-munching heroes in a half shell. The clip gave off the impression that O’Neill might have known Skinner prior to meeting him in the sewers. But most importantly is that, yes, everyone will hear the words “Cowabunga” and see some serious kick ass action scenes– perhaps a little more than desired as the second clip had some major Bay-esque influences. – Wu
Marvel Studios (Marvel) – This shows you how good Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios are. They didn’t announce anything new, this side of an Ant-Man villain reveal (which still, technically, wasn’t really anything new), and they still won over a very exhausted 6000+ strong in Hall H. Why? Because they brought out all of their guns. They pulled an X-Men: Days of Future Past from last year. Honestly, I thought it was a mask for not having a newly announced Doctor Strange on hand, or the balls to announce Black Panther, Inhumans or anything of the sort. We know they need something to keep fans just as excited for the future of Marvel as they will for Star Wars: Episode VII next summer, so “playing it safe” at SDCC 2014 was smart. Read more about Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and more via my article at the New York Daily News. – Moody
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (WB) – Yes! Lunchables for all my Hobbits! Warner Bros. really knocked it out of the park this year. In fact, this epic Hobbit panel may have also capped off the entire Lord of the Rings saga, moderated by the all-hilarious Stephen Colbert— himself a tremendous fan of Peter Jackson’s films and everything-Tolkien. To the delight of many, clips of the Desolation of Smaug-smothered, Colbert Report star playing a “peasant spy” led into an even more hysterical speech recounting the “dark days of dial-up internet” when eventual LoTR-director Peter Jackson was first announced to recreate Tolkien’s magic. Colbert concluded with a sweet poem with hope that “folks wouldn’t roll their eyes when [he] spoke of Middle-Earth, [as he realized] that total run-time of 11.5 hours was too damn short.” Soon after, an Ian McKellen-dominated gag reel exploded onto the screen, followed by the impressive new teaser trailer for The Hobbit‘s dark finale, Battle of the Five Armies…
(Cont.) Following the clip, Jackson said that in addition to all of the “sadness and tragedy” of Five Armies, that there was still editing and motion-capture of a few battle sequences to do — I mean, what else? — along with more creature animations to shoot with his own virtual cam. Colbert then clowned Jackson for the saga taking up “a full generation” of his life, where the director went on to recall his initial pitch to Miramax: The Hobbit first, then two Lord of the Rings films. As for any continued Tolkien adventures, Jackson gagged that “if Warners could find a way to do that, they certainly would.” Our moderator also sprinkled many jokes throughout the panel, many of them regarding the actors’ appearance. “Why don’t you age?,” Colbert asked Elijah Wood (who’s actually never read any of LoTR) after Frodo claimed he was 18-years old when Fellowship came out. “And he’s still 18-years old,” retorted Colbert. There were an infinite amount of quotables in this panel, but it was perhaps Sauron/Smaug who stole the rest of the show. “Green-screen is much harder than mo-cap,” Benedict Cumberbatch said. “I was just throwing myself around a carpeted floor like a lunatic.” – Moody
The Giver (The Weinstein Company) – Not only was this one of my favorite books as a kid, but it was one of my favorite books to teach when I was a middle school Language Arts Teacher at Buist Academy for Advanced Studies in Charleston, South Carolina… And now I am writing for a site called GodHatesGeeks, calling myself The Goddamn Wu, and cursing like a fucking Marine… Wait, I always did that (I really hope a potential parent finds this article when they Google the school). The first year I had the pleasure of teaching this novel, I was pulled into a parent/teacher meeting because a parent found its content too graphic and unsuitable for children, especially the scene where a baby is euthanized. In addition to euthanasia and infanticide, other topics for complaint were the violence, murder, suicide, drugs, etc.
(Cont.) This is why you can somewhat understand why Lois Lowry’s The Giver has shown up on the American Library Association’s list of frequently banned or challenged books. In fact, Lowry commented that “I always try to remember that when people write me letters saying, ‘Jesus hates you! These are just people who are trying to protect their children’.” I would have to respectfully disagree. These are people who want to keep their children ignorant, so they limit the freedom and take away joys of choice like the dystopian community in The Giver. The novel encourages people to think for themselves and question, which, to some, is very dangerous. The controversy surrounding this novel is perhaps the reason why it took Lowry and actor Jeff Bridges (aka The Dude), a huge fan of the book, 15-years to adapt into film. Here’s to hoping the film is truly a product of love and passion for the novel, and doesn’t disappoint on August 15th. – Wu
Mad Max: Fury Road (WB) – No contest. If you haven’t already checked out my article from the New York Daily News on George Miller’s next entry into the world of Mad Max, please do. This movie skyrocketed to the top of my list for next year based on these furious few minutes alone…
Now that’s how you make a fucking movie.
Whew. – Moody
This has been one hell of a San Diego Comic-Con! While The Bible Scale is all said and done ’til next time, we do have a slew of exclusive interviews and another “0” episode of #GHGtv (wrapping up the Con) coming your way very soon.
And, countless thanks to you, the fans — our most lovely congregation — for keeping it locked with GHG.
For now, I’ll leave you with this…