San Diego Comic-Con International 2012: Hall H, Thursday

Hello from the hotel… Thursday, day one of Comic-Con, is behind me. But what a memorable day it wound up being.

After getting worn down by the floor in the morning, I decided to check in to the Hall H line earlier than expected, and do a little blogging from the Hall H grass as I waited. Never happened. Unexpectedly, the line rolled right in to the auditorium, and I wound up getting in within 30 minutes or so. Practically no wait at all by Hall H standards.

The good news was, I was there in plenty of time for the Disney panel. The bad news was, for the second time in my three year Con career, I had to sit through a “Twilight” panel. LOL

But it wound up being an amazing day in the Hall. For having little plans or expectations on the day, I wound up seeing directors Tim Burton and Sam Raimi, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and John C Reilly… and then Jackie Chan served as a warm up act for the best panel I’ve ever seen… “The Expendables 2”, which notably featured Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing the same stage!

Click through to read about it, and see the pics of this amazing day in the Hall.

Twilight is supposed to be a monster. People were camping out. This morning, the line was around the back of the building (although that might have been a Comic-Con idiosyncratic line up here and not there things). What I think it did though, is I think it scared people off. A mere 45 minutes before the panel began, I essentially walked right in (in Hall H terms, 30 minutes is walking right in).

The thing about Hall H is that it’s enormous, so if you don’t get in early, your seats will suck… there’s SUCH a big difference between being at the back and being up front. Its enormous. Thankfully though, even though my seats for “Twilight” were terrible (*sob*), the mass exodus afterwards left plenty of primo seats up for grabs up front.

Which is where I found myself for the Disney panel. Disney brought three movies to promote over the course of their 1;15 panel, beginning with “Frankenweenie”. Timmy B was in the house, promoting. To do so, he brought a special trailer (which is ten times better than the ones we’ve seen so far) and a couple of scenes. I’ll be honest about the fact that even though I’m a Burton fan, ’til now, “Frankenweenie” has looked “Meh” to me. What I saw was a mind changer though, definitely. Particularly a classroom scene where a Vincent Price looking teacher voiced by Martin Landau explains to the young kids what being hit by lightning is. Tim Burton style. I’m happy to say I’m now looking forward to this one.

Up next was Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful”, for which Sam Raimi, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams were in attendance, with Kunis and Williams being brought out as surprise guests. They unveiled the world premiere of the trailer, and at this point, I’ll have to say I’m not sold. It was very bright and very colorful, and had a shot of the Emerald City, but James Franco has been spotty at times (and he’s Oz), and the primary selling point appeared to be look how cool we could make Oz look using CGI. I’ll be interested to hear what everyone else thinks once it hits the net.

Finally for Disney was “Wreck-It Ralph”, the story of a coin-op video game villain who’s fed up with being a bad guy, played by John C Reilly. Reilly was in attendance, along with co-star Sarah Silverman and director Rich Moore. Reilly was very clever and funny, having fun being a wiseguy with some of the audience members who were asking him questions. They brought a full ten minutes of “Ralph”, and it looked every bit as good as the trailer did. They showed the open, and then a few snippets from deeper in the movie, and I have to say, I’m highly looking forward to this.

After the Disney panel wrapped up, Jackie Chan had a panel presenting his upcoming movie “Chinese Zodiac”. Jackie himself was funny, than and more a little hyper, as one might expect. I think I’m going to award him this year’s annual “Francis Ford Coppola’s odd panel award” for bringing out a guy covered in roller skates who literally skated around on several different parts of his body. Apparently that’s in the movie… which we haven’t seen. Next time, just bring a scene, Mr. Chan (he brought a trailer).

The true stars of the night were Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. With “The Expendables 2” right on the horizon,  the two appeared together to promote it. Crewes, Couture, and Lundgren were also present and accounted for, but the stars of the night were Sly and Ahnuld. It didn’t take long for Schwarzenegger’s enthusiasm to loosen up Stallone, and before you knew it, the two were bantering, retelling old stories, discussing their careers… it was awesome. It was everything you’d want a panel to be. Fun. Entertaining. Memorable. The panelists were having as much or more fun than the audience. Schwarzenegger was throwing out his catchphrases left and right. He gave the entire “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women” it was awesome. Just fantastic. He also deserves to be called out for twice (during the “Expendables” panel and later, accepting Comic-Con’s “Inkpot” Award) calling out his fans and thanking them for all their support in a very, very genuine and meaningful way. It was moving. I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe it.

All in all, it was an unforgetable panel, and probably the best one I’ve been to yet. It’s hard to top two icons of your childhood playing it up for the crowd. Comic-Con 2012  still has a full slate of events to come, but it’s hard to imagine them topping that.

21 thoughts on “San Diego Comic-Con International 2012: Hall H, Thursday

  1. Re: Arnie. Remember that he’s had a lot of time as a politician to brush up on his audience ass-kissing skills. Sounds like it showed! lol

    Glad you had a blast!

    So… what happened at the Twilight panel? Is wasserface preggers, or what? Did any of the audience swoon? Was there any outstnading geekery? As a people watcher, I sort of think the audience for that would have been a hoot.

    • Ironic you should say that. This year I power blogged through it (got my mid day Cineplex post done) but in 09 that’s exactly what got me through.

      Here was the interesting phenomenon then.

      Taylor Lautner!!!

      [Tween audience “SHRIEEEEK”]

      Robert Pattinson!!!

      [Tween audience “SHRIEEEEK”]

      Kristen Stewart!!! (Who comes out on her Joan Jett look as she was shooting
      “Runaways” at the time)

      [Tween audience “SHRIEE… EWW!]

      That cracked me up. 😀

      Yes, Ahnuld knew how to work the crowd. I don’t care, though, if he had a team of coaches… He was awesome, I totally bought in. 😀

  2. Wow. Michelle Williams AND Mila Kunis?? Possibly my two biggest “crushes” in one room, damn.

    And then you get to see a panel with Arny/Sly? Holy hell man.

  3. Pics and panels ; great great post. 🙂
    Ahnuld and Sly – BEST PANEL EVER!
    How awesome to actually hear Ahnuld say THE line from Conan – WOW!
    Keep havin’ a ball.

  4. Sounds like the Expendables panel was a blast. The Disney one sounds like it would have been fun as well. I suppose I might have sat through the Twilight panel for all that. If I had to.

    Saw the trailer for “Oz the Great and Powerful” earlier today… it looks OK, but like you, it hasn’t really sold me yet. I did think the use of 4:3 for the black and white shots was a nice added touch, though.

  5. Frankenweenie looks awesome! I hope it’s return to form for Burton. Also please tell me that since you were so close to Mila you hit on her?:)

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