San Diego Comic-Con: In Which I Find the Movie of the Con

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This is what it’s like to be press at Comic-Con. It’s not that you don’t feel like an ass, when you walk past a mile-long line to get into a big screening, fans who have sweated and ground out the hours it took to have a reasonable shot at a reasonable seat. You wave your flimsy little purple construction-paper pass, go in the side door, step behind the stupid purple curtain, where a studio dude waves you through. You walk past the crap seats up to the front, where there’s a chair with a green ‘reserved’ cover. You sit. You feel like a colossal ass. But not so big of an ass that you don’t do it.

A quick note about yesterday. I saw footage of New Moon, in which Jacob took off his shirt to reveal a stomach more heavily muscled than any human stomach I have ever seen. After that I chaired a panel on the state of fantasy, including Jacqueline Carey and Patrick Rothfuss. I just tried to keep up. (Will recap at a later date. It was too cool to abbreviate.)

Then I sat down for a few minutes with Chris Weitz, who directed New Moon. You never know what you’re going to get with directors, but I’ll tell you, he’s a really smart, funny, sane person who knows exactly what he’s about, and is not particularly distracted by the Tiger Beat madness surrounding the franchise he just got handed. He talked about the scene on set, and the problems with his last movie, Golden Compass, which was a major education for him in using CGI, but not totally successful qua movie. He was visibly relieved to be working on a movie without computer-generated ferrets in it. (Will transcribe when I have a sec.)

After talking to Weitz I pelted back to Hell H to catch what turned out to be the best movie of the con so far, which was Kick-Ass. This is Matthew Vaughn adapting a graphic novel by Mark Millar and John Romita, about a kid who wants to be a superhero, but has no superpowers, and winds up getting his ass repeatedly kicked. He meets up with a partner (Christopher McLovin’ Mintz-Plasse) and a brutally murderous Matrix-style martial artist who is also a little girl. It’s all played for ultra-violent laffs, and blew out about a dozen action-movie conventions in the space of 2 minutes. The hall was half-full, but when the lights came up people stood up and roared.

Then I had dinner with Eoin Colfer, who wrote Artemis Fowl and has written a final book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series. (It’s pronounced ‘Owen.’ It’s an Irish thing.) Which, against all odds, he was entirely successful at doing. And he’s extraordinarily charming and funny.

Now I’m sitting in Hall H again, watching footage and getting exposed to toxic levels of celebrity: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Cameron Diaz etc. etc. Sorry, this is getting episodic and disjointed. And what is up with my suddenly liking everything and everybody? God dammit, I used to be cool.

p.s. I met somebody who recognized me from the DVD extras from Watchmen. Auto-squee.

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