In today’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Hollywood’s center of gravity has temporarily moved about 130 miles down the coast, to the San Diego Convention Center.
So good morning, Comic-Con.
Before he appeared on a Comic-Con panel and revealed that he’s making a movie based on the Disneyland Haunted Mansion ride, director Guillermo del Toro (photo below) sat down with Borys Kit to discuss a film that he insists will be “a unique combination of dark and fun.” The idea, he says, is to honor the side of the Walt Disney legacy that created “some of the scariest images in my childhood.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
One of the marquee movies of the day was “Tron: Legacy,” back in San Diego for the third consecutive year, but with footage to show this time around. Kris Tapley provides some perspective, and likes what he sees: “Like ‘Avatar’ last year, a truly immersive world was presented today.” (In Contention)
Dixon Gaines live-blogs from the “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” panel, at which creator Bryan Lee O’Malley begins by promising a 2D movie. “How do you feel about not wearing sunglasses to watch a movie?” Apparently like the panel, the live-blog starts out with one-liners and ends in confusion. (Movieline)
Germain Lussier says that the panel discussion between J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon was a worthy successor to last year’s Comic-Con panel with Peter Jackson and James Cameron. He took nine pages of notes, he says, and uses many of them over the course of almost 1,500 words. (Collider.com)
Adam Quigley is sold on Sony’s “Battle: Los Angeles,” which he and Peter Sciretta describe as “‘Black Hawk Down’ meets ‘District 9.’” They agree that the footage shown on Thursday has lots of action but doesn’t tell much about the plot or characters. (SlashFilm)
There’s no telling how many tweeters were roaming the grounds of the Convention Center, but Matt Singer kept track so you don’t have to. His list of the best Comic-Con tweets is kind of skimpy, but it includes some good ones. For example, “russfischer: What the insanely long line to get into Hall H needs: vuvuzelas.” (IFC News)
Here’s yet another story about the Pixar brain trust being used by other filmmakers: according to Borys Kit, the makers of the upcoming Muppet movie flew to Northern California on Wednesday for a table-read in front of the masterminds behind 11 straight commercial and critical hits. The piece is vague on the details of who exactly took part, though. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away from Comic-Con, Matt Zoller Seitz takes notice of the dire financial situation for Blockbuster, and looks back fondly on a company that he says was “at the center of popular culture” between 1990 and 2000. He reviews the company’s failures (its resistance to letterboxing, its rejection of the NC-17 rating), but also its place in the movie-lover community. Here in L.A., I’d say that most movie lovers I knew tolerated Blockbuster, but that was about it; if you wanted a deeper, cooler selection, you knew to look elsewhere. (Salon)
Is this truth in advertising, or commercial suicide? The Anthology Film Archives, New York City’s repository for experimental cinema, is launching a “Boring Masterpieces” series curated by avant garde cinema icon Jonas Mekas, who kicks off the series with Andy Warhol’s eight-hour “Empire,” a static shot of the Empire State Building taken one night in 1974. Of course, commercial suicide is pretty much the starting point for many of the films that form the core of the Anthology’s collection, so being upfront and playful about it is probably a good idea. The Wall Street Journal talks to Mekas, while the Anthology’s website has the details on a special offer: if you sit through the entire film this Saturday, you win tickets to a tour of Warhol-related sites in Manhattan. (Anthology Film Archives)