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Comic Con Film Highlights, 2011

I did not get to San Diego Comic Con this year, and I have a number of perfectly good excuses as to why not (one: I was in San Diego two weeks earlier and didn’t want to go back. Two: I forgot to beg to get me a press pass. Three: An earlier incident involving me cosplaying as Metal Bikini Princess Leia caused me to be forever banned from the event). But like a good science fiction and fantasy film geek, I followed the movie news, interviews, trailers and panels coming out of the event. With those in mind, here are thoughts on some of the movies announced, previewed or otherwise touted to the nerds.

Prometheus: Ridley Scott is hugely important in science fiction film, having directed two of its canonical films (Alien and Blade Runner),
but he hasn’t made a science fiction film since Blade Runner, nearly
three decades ago. So the fact that he’s coming back to the genre is
huge — and the fact that Prometheus is tangentially related to the original Alien film (but apparently only tangentially related) is even more huge.

is a director who is hit or miss, but even when he fails he tends to
fail in ways that are more interesting than some other people’s
successes. I’m hoping Prometheus doesn’t fail, but either way I’m
going to be there opening day, with my 3D glasses on — Ridley Scott
being the one director on the planet aside from James Cameron who I
trust implicitly to do the three dimensional thing correctly and

Paradise Lost: I have a soft spot for director Alex Proyas dating back to The Crow and Dark City — I even think I, Robot
was pretty good, as long I remember the mantra that a movie is not the
book it’s based on — so the idea that Proyas is making an adaptation of
Milton’s take on the fall of Lucifer intrigues me. It intrigues me in
part because I see in my mind all the various ways it could horribly,
completely, and totally fail, chief among them Bradley Cooper as Lucifer;
sorry, Cooper, I don’t find you so insidiously charming that I see you
as a shoo-in for the original fallen angel. But if Proyas actually makes
it work — well, that would be worth seeing.

Pacific Rim: Director
Guillermo Del Toro explained this one as “What would happen in the real
world if twenty-five story tall monsters appeared?” Dude, you had me at
“twenty-five story tall monsters.” The fact that there will also
apparently be equally sized robots? I’m sorry, my inner eight-year-old
just went squee. Del Toro’s has had some disappointments recently —
he had to back out of the Hobbit films, and his pet Lovecraft project
got shot out from under him for cost reasons — but this sort of film is
right up his alley. If anyone can make you believe in twenty-five story
tall monsters, it’s Del Toro.

Mass Effect: Oh, look,
another attempt at bringing a video game franchise to the big screen.
There’s yet to be a video game based film that is actually good, and the
movies based on shooters have a particularly bad record (see: Doom).
Nevertheless, some reasons to live in hope include the Mass Effect
games having an interesting story line in themselves, and announced
screenwriter Mark Protosevich having some decent work behind him,
including the Will Smith version of I Am Legend (and the somewhat freaky 2000 film The Cell).
My default assumption regarding any video game film is “terrible until
proven decent,” but on the other hand I am a gamer. I actually want a good video game movie, one day.

Knights of Badassdom: This
very silly-looking film about a demon invading a LARP weekend (if you
have to ask what a LARP is, you’re not nearly nerdy enough — come back
when you are) had a trailer
that suggests that Peter Dinklage actually is made of highly
concentrated awesome, and the rest of the cast isn’t so bad either:
Steve Zahn, Ryan Kwanten, Michael Gladis, and Summer Glau show up for the
fun. I suspect this film will play best in a somewhat altered frame of

The Avengers: Otherwise known as Iron Man Drags Along His Relatively-Underperforming-at-the-Box-Office Pals. Comic Book Movie Burnout: I can has.

Amazing Spider-Man: Remember what I said about comic book movie burnout in that last sentence? Still applies.

Snow White and the Huntsman: Methadone for Twilight addicts, right down to Kristen Stewart as Snow White. And why not? Twilight addicts need love too.

Total Recall: No offense to either Colin Farrel or director Len Wiseman, but there’s no possible way they’re going to out-insane Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven’s version. If you can’t do that, why do it at all?

And now, I’m going to watch that Knights of Badassdom trailer again. Excuse me.

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