Comic Con: ‘2012,’ ‘Zombieland,’ ‘9,’ ‘Extract,’ ‘The Final Destination’ and More

ON

This was my fourth year covering Comic Con and I remember how busy I was the first year as a result of interviewing everyone as well as attending the myriad of panels. But those were different times. The only Hall H preview I missed was Spider-Man 3 because I didn’t make it back to Hall H in time after interviewing the cast. This year I got in line as early as 4 in the morning in one instance for fear the line would be dominated by Twilight fans (it wasn’t, however, and I could have got there at least 3-4 hours later and been fine). Nonetheless, the convention has actually gotten too big.

On Friday the Warner Bros. and Walt Disney panels totaled five hours of time and covered 13 different projects between the two. Needless to say, covering them took all day. So obviously a few films slipped through the cracks and while I watched the panels and the footage I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to writing them up since I knew the majority of you would have a larger interest in other projects. However, a few of these look like they could impress, so here is a brief breakdown of nine movies I haven’t yet discussed.

The Final Destination

Starting off with one of the better panels I have yet to discuss, WB’s The Final Destination looks like it is going to be one whole hell of a lot of fun. However, I hope I haven’t seen every single kill from the film, but I swear I saw at least 10 different kills including two overhead impaling as the object of destruction zoomed toward the audience in 3-D and another in which a guy was squished through a chain-link fence in digitized 3-D pieces, which elicited a huge roar from the crowd. As I said earlier in the week, the 3-D presentations were quite impressive this weekend at Comic Con and this was another one of the highlights that could be a lot of fun.

If you are wondering about my take on the Final Destination franchise to put it into comparison, I thought the first film was just okay, I thought the opening sequence in the second film was phenomenal while the film itself, too, was just okay, and the third film pretty much sucked. This fourth installment looks like it will easily be the best yet.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

This one I have no real interest in whatsoever, but the footage we saw looked just fine. I mean, it’s a kid’s movie in 3-D… Haven’t seen one of those before have we? However, it could be entertaining and is sure to do well with the kiddies.

The Hole

I would say this was the worst looking preview of the weekend. Joe Dante directed Gremlins 1 and 2 and with this movie I couldn’t tell if he was going for comedy or flat out horror, but there was nothing funny or horrifying about this preview as it seemed simply vanilla. Even more curious is that it is going to be released in 3-D, but Bold Films has yet to set a release date so I am not sure what kind of attention this one is ever going to get.

For those that are still interested, the story centers on Susan (Teri Polo), a mother who moves with her teen sons to a rural house where the three are forced to face their fears after discovering a bottomless hole in the basement.

9

Most of you have already read much of what I have said about 9 and it’s also a part of my listing in “The Contenders” with a definite chance at nabbing an animated Oscar nomination. Watching the preview at Comic Con I still get the feeling this is going to be an impressive film, but I can’t help but wonder how big the audience for it is going to be. It looks vastly different than other animation out there, but is that a good thing or a bad thing?

The clip that was shown at the convention is now online and I have added it below for you to judge for yourself. I think it looks great and can’t wait to see it, and only hope others feel the same.

Legion

I didn’t really expect much from Legion but what they delivered actually looked decent enough to get interested in. The film was described by director Scott Stewart as an “angels with machine guns” story and he means it quite literally. This looks like a religion meets fantasy feature, which is something I can certainly get down with and it stars Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Charles S. Dutton, Kate Walsh, Kevin Durand, Doug Jones, Adrianne Palicki and Willa Holland which gives you a pretty good idea of what we are talking about. It’s going to be somewhere in the C-to-B-level range fantasy/CG effort that will most likely be a decent night at the movies or a great night on DVD.

In the film Bettany stars as the archangel Michael, the only one standing between mankind and an apocalypse, after God loses faith in humanity. Man’s lone hope rests with a group of strangers who must deliver a baby they realize is Christ in his second coming.

Solomon Kane

I arrived to this preview a little late as my only intention on Saturday was to catch the Iron Man 2 panel, but this one ended up impressing me far more than it really seemed it should have. As a result of my tardiness I missed the first screening of the Comic Con trailer and was subject to a few clips from the film that didn’t necessarily impress me all that much. However, after all the talking back-and-forth with director Michael J. Bassett and star James Purefoy they showed the exclusive Con trailer one more time and I really couldn’t have been more impressed after what appeared to be something of a dud. The effects looked spectacular lending well to what appears to be a rather interesting story based on the classic pulp stories by Robert E. Howard. Unfortunately the film does not yet have a domestic distributor or a release date so may end up being watched Stateside on DVD alone unless the Con panel really changed some minds.

You can check out the new poster and the first still from Solomon Kane in our gallery right here.

Extract

Considering it’s from Mike Judge (Office Space, Idiocracy) I think we already know this is one to keep an eye on, and with Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck and J.K. Simmons starring it’s unlikely this one will be overlooked by the masses aware of the quality of talent involved. Affleck looks like something of a story J.C. and already seems like it will be another one of his great supporting roles.

We first got a look at the trailer, which didn’t impress me whatsoever outside of the final moments, which did generate a large round of laughter from the entire crowd. However, they followed that up with some clips that did much more for the film than the trailer could even pretend to achieve, but even those were edited and bleeped (much to Judge’s surprise) so it appears we will have to wait for theaters to see exactly what this R-rated effort can actually deliver on. Extract will be released by Miramax on September 4.

Oh, and the inevitable question regarding an “Arrested Development” movie was obviously asked of Bateman to which he said he wouldn’t be surprised if he got a call and they were starting in six months and alternatively said it could also be as much as 18, but the projects is not dead. And it sounds like they are going to go the direction of the last line of the television show and do something of a making-0f-the-Bluth-family-movie, which could be a blast.

Zombieland

I have really had no interest in this movie, since the overwhelming amount of zombie movies are beginning to weigh on me, but if this one can manage to tread somewhere around the quality of Shaun of the Dead all while bringing its own blend of humor to the table then it really could be good.

The footage that was shown wasn’t half bad, especially a moment where they are riding a roller coaster and using a baseball bat to take down zombies along the way. They also showed a clip in which Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) takes out a zombie Amber Heard with the top of a toilet tank when only moments before he was monologuing his desire to sweep her hair behind her ear. Good stuff.

Zombieland hits theaters October 9.

2012

Director Roland Emmerich was on hand to debut a length scene from his latest attempt to destroy the world in which John Cusack rushes to pick up his ex-wife, her husband and his child before the Earth falls away beneath them. Cusack is a limo driver and after getting them in the car it is off to the races as he drives like a bat out of hell, dodging and weaving slow-moving traffic that appears unaware of the world crumbling around them, gets to the airport in just enough time to take off on a small prop plane and narrowly avoid certain death. Emmerich said the scene was only 70% finished, but as absurd as it sounds and looked, it was quite a bit of destructive fun. Is it possible Emmerich will finally make a disaster movie that is both CG-filled as well as… good? We’ll have to wait and see on November 13.

So here ends my recap of movies missed and I still have a few things left to discuss as I also saw 15 minutes of Jennifer’s Body, sat in on a press conference with Megan Fox, Diablo Cody, Jason Reitman and Karyn Kusama, have some interviews with the Iron Man 2 cast I am going to try and make sense of (they weren’t that great) and am now heading back to the convention for my first walk-through of the convention floor where I hope to get some pics and video to share.

Stay tuned… the ride isn’t quite over yet… Plus I was able to get some great editorial/conversation piece ideas while here that should be fun to discus in the coming weeks.