WONDERCON – A 3-Day Journey into Movies and Comics (but mostly movies)

DAY 1 – Friday

Wondercon: the younger smaller sibling of Comicon, who lives in San Francisco. Wondercon, who, like his older sibling was once just a humble comic convention that is now being over run by movie moguls. But that’s where the money is right?

Hey, I’m not complaining. I love comics and I love movies so it’s the perfect place or me. However this year I’ve a purpose. I reason for going, outside buying comics and trying to get Kevin Smith’s autography. And that purpose is to inform all of you unfortunate souls who either live too far away or are just too cool to go to a comic convention to get the inside scoop on all the biggest summer blockbusters.

Sadly my work prevented me from catching the first presentation, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Stars Jason Segal and Bill Hader amongst others were there to talk about it. Oh well.

I was however just in time for Wanted, the new action film based on a comic book starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. As I was walking in an exclusive sneak peak was presented to the crowd eagerly waiting in the dark. It was a five minute chase scene that was of the likes I’ve never seen. Not the best mind you, but totally insane and over the top. Jolie and McAvoy are in a red Viper and some dude in a giant pastry truck is chasing them. At one point Jolie shoots out the front windshield and climbs out so she can shoot back at the dude leaving McAvoy inside to steer though he has a better view of the inside of her dress than the street (which garners much laughing from the crows). Towards the end Jolie spins the Viper sideways and flips it over a police barricade and lands on the side of a bus, which is knocked onto its side so that the Viper can drive off. The dude in the pastry truck is blocked by the bus, but that doesn’t stop him from firing three Matrix style bullets around it to hit the Viper. Surely there is much more going on here than meets the eye. As the clip ends and the lights come up the crowd cheers wildly.

Rather perplexed by this eye candy I’d just been force-fed I was pleased to learn that Mr. James “Atonement” McAvoy himself would be coming out to talk about the film and take questions. Odd to think that he is here now talking to us and that on Sunday he’ll be down in LA at the Oscars.

McAvoy was a very charming fellow and while the clip may not have won me over completely, listening to him talk about the film made me want to see it when it comes out. McAvoy also graciously put up with the barrage of bland lifeless questions one gets at any conventions. “What was it like working with Angelina Jolie?”, “What was it like working with the director?” (not mentioned by name mind you but referred to as “the director”) and “What was it like making an action film?” Still he smiled his charming smile and gave plenty of quotable material. And Mr. McAvoy, I apologize if I haven’t got these quotes 100% correct, as I was scribbling away in the dark as you spoke.

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“I wear leather pants [in the film].” many girls squeal. “Wow, I was joking.”

In response to doing an action film: “In one day I’d find myself thinking: I’m gonna have to climb up that in a minute. Then I’m going to have to do a scene where I cry. Oh no, which do I save my energy for?”

On why he chose to do the film: “Deep in me there is still a 14 year old boy…” “…not that Back To The Future is an action film but Michael J. Fox jumped over more things in Back To The Future than Mel Gibson did in all the Lethal Weapon films… Michael J. Fox jumped over the DeLorean, and I jump over a bridge so…”

Following this we had a sneak peak at the worlds first ever live action digital 3-D film: Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3-D. The film stars Brendan Fraser and utilizes the modern 3-D technology that James Cameron has been developing these past several years. We were privy to what could only be describes as a rather nice making of special feature that I’m sure will show up on the DVD. It was nice but since it was in 2-D it wasn’t able to show off any of the fancy new technology. After this enjoyable 8 minute puff piece Encino Man himself as well as the producer and a special effects guy came out on stage to talk about the film. And well… I’ll just let Mr. Fraser speak for himself:

After this enlightening experience I sped off into the main hall in search of comics. I found three back issues of Uncanny X-Men I needed and had just enough time to pay for them before everyone was kicked out.

My Friday had come to an end. Join me tomorrow for all of Saturday’s exciting reveals and surprises.