I ended up spending most of the day in the gigantic Hall H watching Hollywood previews after I discovered that even the panel for The Guild was full. When a video podcast in the morning is full, you can tell what sort of day it's going to be.
I got into Hall H a little late for the Warner Bros event -- big thanks to littlestar, who called me just in time to let me know that she was several rows ahead in the same line. I also went to the spotlight on Kazu, where he talked about quitting his job and managing to make the first Flight and Daisy Kutter while living off of $15K in savings. Flight came out around the first time I went to Comic-Con, and it's amazing to see how it's evolved into a full-fledged mini-studio of its own.
My gut reactions to the various movies/panels:
- Sherlock Holmes: I have to say, Robert Downey Jr.'s self-aware narcissism shtick still works, and the movie looks really good. They showed us a montage of clips instead of a scene, so I hope that they still leave a little bit of sleuthing in between the fisticuffs.
- Jonah Hex: could be entertaining, though Josh Brolin doesn't fully inspire me as the anti-hero Western gunslinger. Megan Fox seemed to have an uncontrollable urge to lick her lips and toss her hair the entire panel. They were fairly proud of how much they did on so little of a budget, and the Merrimac-style ship in the previews did look pretty cool.
- The Box: Might have been interesting. A man shows up with a box to a home in Northern Virginia in 1976, presents housewife with a box with an offer: press the button, and someone you don't know dies, and you get a million dollars. It's based on a short story by Richard Matheson. The "might" comes from the fact that it sounds like Cameron Diaz gave away the entire third act, and the fact that Cameron Diaz is the star.
- Ponyo!: Miyazaki was, as expected, curt with his translated responses to translated questions, but the epic sea storm sequence that they showed us was an amazing feat. This is going to be a strange, strange film, but I'm excited to see it, even if just to watch that sea sequence again.
- Princess and the Frog: this is an attempt to re-Disney Disney. Having a black female lead, even in frog form, is a move forward, but it feels like it might get bogged down in the tropes of trying to be a "Disney" film, yet new at the same time.
- Beauty and the Beast 3D: Gimmick. While the ballroom scene was probably the inspiration for doing this, the 2D animation with faux-3D just gave a jerky effect to my eyes and was a distraction.
- Toy Story 1 and 2 3D: Not gimmick. We saw the opening sequence to Toy Story 2 was awesome in 3D. The movies are identical, just re-rendered in 3D. I'm not sure about the wisdom of requiring audiences to sit through a double feature, but it is two for the price of one, so you could always go twice.
- Toy Story 3: Michael Keaton as the Ken doll might just make this movie -- they showed a short 'interview' with Ken that was hilarious. The movie itself will take place when Andy leaves for college.
- Prep and Landing: this is a special that Disney/Pixar will be running on ABC for the Christmas holidays. It features and elite team of elves that is the advance team for Santa. I wont' give away the gags, but it had the audience rolling. I'll definitely setup the TiVo for this one.
Side note: Studio Ghibli, I realized, is the opposite of Pixar. Female lead characters, hand animation, and no sequels...
- The Nine: this movie looks really, really cool