TROUBLE CITY

Comic-Con 2008 Day 3

BlogsDustin TurleyComment

   Saturday is always the jam packed day here at Comic-Con.  It is purposely loaded with programs and shows due to the enormous crowds that can make the Saturday schedule.  So in knowing this little tidbit, my brother and I made sure we arrived early enough to get ready for our day at Hall H.  The schedule for today was piled up with things we needed to see.  First on the docket was the Heroes panel, followed by Lost, then Terminator Salvation.  There was a small break in there where Disney/Pixar was showing off their stuff, but Universal was next preceding Sony.  The hall did not open until nine thirty, one hour prior to the show.  We strolled up at what we thought would be the early time of eight fifteen.  To our dismay, we found that the line for Hall H had twisted and turned all the way around the convention center and looped until it reached Seaport Village.  For those of you who are not familiar with the San Diego Bay area, Seaport Village is roughly 3 miles from the convention center.  After about ten minutes of walking and not seeing the end of the line, we decided that maybe we ought to resort to plan b and head for the upper ballroom and catch the Futurama panel.  Every year it gets worse and worse.  They over sell the hell out of this event and every year more and more people try and cram themselves into the hall.

 

 

   Upon arriving upstairs at Ballroom 20, we were met with yet another line.  This was not near as bad however, as it only wrapped around two times.  Ballroom 20 is the second largest venue at the convention center and can hold roughly six thousand people.  We were seated in the second to last section from the back, but only a few rows from the jumbo projection screen so our view was not too skewed.  As it is every year, the Futurama panel began with the introduction of the entire cast of voice over actors as well as the genius team of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen.  The team discussed their plans for the final two Futurama films as well as the other projects the cast was working on at the moment.  Futurama is a fine show that pushes the envelope of animation.  The best way to describe it, is The Simpsons, but with a more intelligent edge.  David Cohen assured us that if we pleaded enough, maybe Fox would here us and bring the show back on the air.  I see no reason to with all the other crap Fox is green lighting these days, not to mention the crap being put out on other networks.  The panel was only slated for a short forty-five minute time slot as The Simpsons were coming on for the final forty-five.  We said our goodbyes to the cast and welcomed back Matt Groening and his writing cast as they appeared on stage to talk Simpsons.

 

   As per the usual, we were given information regarding the slew of celebrity guest stars the show had lined up for its twentieth season on the air with Fox.  It seems hard to imagine that this show has been running for so long, but it is true and it has the record for the longest running television series ever.  If that wasn't long enough, writer Al Jean assured us that they have signed the cast to a four year deal, so we have at least that many more years to enjoy our favorite animated family.  When asked by a member of the audience if he was intimidated by the Seth McFarlane franchise, Mat Groening professionally answered, "I think it is great that we have so much room for animated TV.  We need more animated shows in primetime."  An answer I don't think any of us were expecting due to the amount of success Family Guy is having at this moment in time, but if he truly love the medium, then that is the perfect response.  So we have many more years to come from the great show that brought us, "cowabunga" and "Eat my shorts"

 

   Before I start this next topic, I must say that I believe Dean Koontz is a brilliant author and storyteller and I in no way mean him any disrespect, but he was not the panel I came to see.  As I have said in the past, you tend to learn many tricks coming to this thing every year and Ballroom 20 has its ways around things.  After every show there is a line waiting outside to see the next one.  Usually, if you don't want to sit through a panel that lies between two you want to see, you are forced to sit through it anyway or lose your seat.  Ballroom 20 has a loophole however.  If you get up to leave, they give you a bathroom ticket to bypass the line and get back in as long as it is during the timeslot stated on the ticket.  In our case, we wanted to see the Futurama and Simpson’s panel, but not the Joss Whedon or Dean Koontz ones, but we did need to see the Battlestar Galactica one.  So we devised a plan.  We leave at the beginning of the Joss Whedon panel, grab a ticket, wander the exhibit hall and get a bite to eat for an hour, and then return just before it ended to validate our tickets and get our seats back.  Then when the Dean Koontz panel began, we would leave again, grab a ticket, get a bite, and then return at the end to get our seats ready for the Battlestar panel.  We never waited in a line all day.  I am sure we are not the first to think of this, but at least we did.

 

   Knowing full well that this would be the must-see panel of our day, we settled in and got our camera ready.  Much to everyone's surprise, the moderator of the panel was none other than the film maker fan favorite, Kevin Smith.  For those of you who do not know, Kevin Smith is the creator of View Askew productions, makers of such films as Mallrats, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike back.  His cockiness and blatant disregard for humility made for quite the interesting panel.  He started off by saying what everyone who has ever watched the show thinks, "Welcome to the panel of the greatest show ever shown on television."  He then introduced the cast as well as the directors and writers, Ronald Moore and David Eick.  Most of the cast was there including, Tricia Helfer, Katie Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Michael Trucco, and Tahmoh Penikett.  There were mixed emotions as the cast spoke of their final days aboard Galactica and the goodbyes that were made by each of them to end the saga that is Battlestar.  Kevin Smith put them all on the spot asking if they ever had awkward moments on the set and if since 'frack' is such a great word, they had a Battlestar equivalent for cocksucker.  After all the questions had been answered and the goodbyes said, Ronald Moore showed off his new spin-off series to debut in the next year titled, "Caprica"  It takes place fifty to seventy years prior to the events of Battlestar Galactica and follows the lifestyles of the galactic civilization prior to cylons and AI.  It centers on Joseph Adama, father of Bill Adama, as he makes his way through life as a lawyer.  I All in all, the panel was a blast, and I cannot wait for Caprica.  You can see all the pics from the panel here.

 

   As soon as the panel ended, my brother and I sauntered down to see if Hall H had some openings.  To our surprise, not only did the place have no line, but there was plenty of room.  We went in and sat right down.  We began our time in Hall H by seeing trailers from Universal pictures, showcasing some great films.  The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor staring Brendan Frasier and Jet Lei looks to be another mummy picture not unlike the previous two.  If you liked them, you'll like this one.  Next was the Hollywood remake of Deathrace staring Jason Statham, as he plays a NASCAR driver framed for murder, so he may race in this futuristic prison race for freedom.  Finally, there was the film adaptation of Land of The Lost, staring Will Ferrell.  All great movies by Lionsgate, most of which will be released in the next year.

 

   The final panel of the day was for Sony Pictures.  Underworld: Rise of The Lycans, showed very much promise as it tells the story of how the events of the original Underworld came to be.  But the most interesting panel of all was for Pineapple Express, a film by Judd Apatow and staring Seth Rogan and James Franco.  It tells the story of two pot smoking buddies where one witnesses a murder and the other helps him escape death to get to the authorities.  Seth Rogan is a hilarious man to say the least and can hold a crowd like no other.  His quips are unmatched and cannot be outdone.  He also was there to plug his new film adaptation of the comic book, The Green Hornet, where he stars as the masked detective.  Pineapple Express premiers in two weeks on August 8th.  Don't miss it. 

 

That's all I have for now.  Check back later for Day 4.  The Final Day!

 

-T