Sunday, 16 August 2009

Empire Movie Con: Day 1 Roundup

Just got back from a fantastic day on the south bank at Empire’s Moviecon II which I was lucky enough to attend (thanks Bro!). The lineup was pretty sketchy until the very last moment, but they came good and delivered some corking material. A plethora of new footage and trailers, and a super secret screening of (yes!) District 9! (review to follow!). But for now, here’s a brief roundup of what went down..

The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus

Terry Gilliam showed up to talk to us about The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and much against his personal wishes, showed us some clips – Lily Cole smoking fags and flirting with her boyfriend on the back of the Parnassus carnival caravan as it trolls through town, a bemasked Heath Ledger enticing the bemused shoppers of what looked like Covent Garden to enter his Imaginarium, and a stunning long shot of the vast elephantine temple glimpsed in the trailer. Gilliam is hilarious as ever - when asked by an earnest young audience member of his recommendations on how to get into the film industry, his reply came back; the problem is there are too many movies, if I have to scrape and beg to get money out of a studio, why should you be successful?

Kickass is appropriately named

Some awesome, awesome footage from Kickass - the movie of the ultra violent comic book. A super-suited and winged idiot leaps off a sky scraper to his abrupt and sticky death, followed by some witty banter between Aaron Johnson and his pals discussing why, with all the comic book fans in the world no one has ever actually tried dressing up and fighting crime. Next up, Nicholas Cage hilariously training the tiny Chloe Moretz by shooting her in the chest – Good call baby doll! Then to a fairly disturbing/funny sequence where Johnson takes on some local thugs in his green jumpsuit, which ends with horribly realistic results. And finally an extended sequence where the maniac midget Hit Girl saves Johnson from a sticky situation with some hardass gangstas by butchering everyone in the room along with the most explicit language you’ll ever hear from a 12 year old. Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jason Flemyng turned up to talk about the experience and their favourite superheroes – for the record, Red mist (Mintz Plasses character) and Wolverine! All of the footage looked amazing - this is going to be huuge!

Sherlock Holmes - meh. Oh wait there's RDJ, woo I love Sherlock Holmes!!

We saw a smidgeon of new footage – an extended trailer that didn’t add much to my anticipation for this one. But we all had to go berserk when Robert Downey Jr and Guy Ritchie unexpectedly swanned in, RDJ in particular soaking up the admiration with unbridled glee. Ok, maybe I’m a little excited for this one after all. Damn celebrities.

Twilight - New moon: A comedy

Twilight fans rejoice, although I’m not sure there were any in the house – we saw some unintentionally hilarious footage which got a big laugh – probably not the reaction the film makers were looking for – as Taylor Lautner whipped off his shirt to tend to a hurt Ashley Greene to reveal his perfectly chiseled six pack. Fucking funny.

Harry Brown - Michael Caine is mad as hell..

Some superb footage of this thriller starring Sir Michael Caine – an old London geezer who has had enough of the local scumbags and decides to go all Charles Bronson on them. We started with an impressive sequence filmed on a mobile phone where the thugs initiate a new member and inadvertently murder a woman from the back of their bike, before getting crushed by a truck. Disturbingly authentic.

Then, there followed a nice long sequence where Harry tries to buy a gun from two of the creepiest criminals in London – an amazing performance from Sean Harris, who appeared on stage with the supremely eloquent director Daniel Barber. This was a pretty hardcore scene – Harris is scarred and tattooed and fairly out of his mind, unconscious crack whore sprawled on the sofa, a rainforest of weed in the next room – he is a bundle of drug induced nerves and you want to scratch yourself just watching him. Needless to say, Harry Brown doesn’t let ‘em off easy, and finally delivers a tasty monologue to the bullet riddled Harris.

Odds n' Sods

There was more besides, too much for me to recall at such an hour. Trailers and clips from Astroboy (disappointingly bland- and the clips just kept on coming!) British horror flick Triangle (out of contextually impenetrable) the new Nightmare on Elmstreet (promisingly creepy), Jonah Hex (that face looks a bit sore) Taking Woodstock (muddy) and Sorority Row (balls). Cirque de Freak looked very silly with some bizarre casting of John C Reilly as the vampire, while Saw VI wasted everyones time and Daybreakers looked great - imagine a world where everyone is a vampire, and the human minority are farmed for blood! Equilibrium meets vampires indeed.

There was also some extended footage of the Lovely Bones introduced by Peter Jackson (by recorded video sadly), which continues to look hauntingly gorgeous, as does Spike Jonze's dreamlike Where the Wild things are, in which the massive furry creatures romped about the place building a fantastical castle. Amazing.

Altogether, an awesome day of movies and freebies and swag. District 9 made the day – such a buzz when the words “Peter Jackson Presents” appeared onscreen and the crowd went wild. And we have a whole day 2 to look forward to, in which Avatar footage is confirmed. Woo! Expect a full report here soon!


Ness said...

I've read a couple of roundup's on the con so far today and your's by far superior. Thanks for that!


therealbobthought said...

wow, how lucky to attend such an event 1st of all, but the reporting, are you a pro or what?

Munial said...

Ach you're both very kind, but no this is for fun!