San Diego Comic-Con: Join Us, It’s Bliss

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Spent two hours in the Warner brothers indoctrination chamber this morning: Where the Wild Things Are, The Book of Eli, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Box, Jonah Hex, and (the reason I came, as they intuited, since they put it last) Sherlock Holmes.

Comic-Con doesn’t make it easy for you to like things. There’s so many fans here, but it doesn’t make you feel part of a community, it makes you feel like a sheep. You (meaning I) want to hate everything just to preserve some vestige of human individuality. And you can imagine the big corporations looking down on you, chortling like Vogons at all the good little consumers they’re creating. And as part of the media I’m just their tool. Oh god I have become the thing I most despise.

So let’s roll those clips! Where the Wild Things Are was pretty and lyrical and almost unbearably sad. It was undoubtedly a triumph, but I just don’t know how badly I want to watch a eulogy for the death of the wonder that is childhood. I already had an actual childhood that died! (Spike Jonze was there to promote it. Just assume the relevant celebrities were there for each of these, doing the things relevant celebrities do.)

The Book of Eli: heavy post-apocalyptic stuff w/ Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington. There is probably already a slash version in which they must somehow mate to assure the future of humanity. The highlight of Nightmare on Elm Street came during the panel discussion afterward, when Jackie Earl Haley (who now plays Freddie Krueger) said “no” in his Rhorschach voice.

The death march went on. Those who fell were shot where they lay. The Box is directed by Richard Kelly of Donnie Darko fame. It’s about a box where if you press it somebody somewhere in the world is forced to watch Southland Tales. (Yeah, we’re taking the low road here. What about it?) Jonah Hex is a pleasantly gritty para-western, notable partly for the incredibly ugly facial prosthetic Josh Brolin has to wear. Seriously, that thing is hard to look at. I guess I’m just squeamish.

Robert Downey Jr. came out unannounced for Sherlock Holmes. He got a bigger ovation than Megan Fox did for Jonah Hex. The footage was … like the trailer. there are so many things about this movie that are basically guaranteed to make it watchable: Downey, Guy Ritchie, Jude Law, Holmes, the steampunkness of it all. And we saw a lot of that — if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll get the idea. (We got a pretty brilliant martial arts sequence starring an apparently undoubled Downey, who has gotten himself thoroughly ripped for the part.) I just haven’t seen anything yet that tells me it’s great.

By seeing those things I missed both a Coraline panel and a Prisoner panel. Comic-Con is a zero-sum game, at best.