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O/T: My Weekend!

Hi everyone, hope you've had good weekends! Thought I'd post my account of the ma-hoosive movie event I attended this weekend (Movie-Con 2) for anyone who is into film as much as me :)

Movie-Con 2: 2009

Movie-Con 2009 is the second Movie-Con event in 2 years, hosted by Empire magazine. It features exclusive showings of filsm not yet released, previews and trailers from upcoming movies that have not been shown in cinemas yet, guests including ators and directors, and tons of awesome prizes and freebies for the lucky 300ish people who are lucky enough to get a ticket.

I was one of those lucky few

Saturday started off with a bang, with tons of footage of Peter Jackson's upcoming adaptation of the novel "The Lovely Bones" including a video introduction from Mr Jackson himself. A powerful novel has been crafted into a powerful film but a real master of his art, and from what I saw (about 20 minutes of it) it's going to be a thrilling, emotional journey of a film. Mark Whalberg and Racheal Weisz have great screen presence as the greiving couple breaking apart (in every sense of the word), and I can't wait to see the whole thing.

Next came tons of stuff from E1 including Twilight Saga:New Moon, Micmacs, Sorority Row and Astro Boy. New Moon and Astro boy really stood out in that section as they were the two which actuall showed portions of the film; in Astro Boy's case,. some of it wasn't even finished yet (basically wireframe model animation) which shows how in advance this stuff was shown!

Next was the (I'm sure it's going to be) epic "Harry Brown", starring Michael Cain as and old war veteren who decides that the guns, knife and drug toting youth who terrorise his estate need to be dealth with. Dark, brooding, scarily realistically shot amd featuring performances from individuals who are actually into this in real life, it's sure to ber a gritty, tense, encapsulating and harrowing look at the depravity and crime-ridden poor areas of London. Even seeing just 20 minutes of the film, it's stayed with me 2 days later moreso than anything else I saw this weekend (with the possible exception of Avatar, but we'll get to that later!).

Then there was a very exciting event involving Terry Gilliam himself coming onto the stage to introduce his new film (that has been a while in the making), "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus". This film is Heath Ledger's last film, in fact he sadly dies halfway through it's filimg schedule, something which Terry spoke about in quite depth, very interesting stuff indeed, and the film looks very intriguing. Terry then did a whole bunch of Q&A with us, the audience, before bidding us farewell, but not before hinting at a possible Python re-gathering. We shall see......

Afer lunch (which involved running to back to Waterloo station to get a coffee as there were no cafe's to get into anywhere
) we returned to our seats for the next 3 hours of goodness.

First up was "Kick-Ass". I'm sure some on here will be at least familiar with the comic, but for those who arn't, here's a summary. Set in the real world, some kids who are really into comics wonder why no-one tries to be a super hero, and so set about giving it a go themselves. Cue some very funny and ultra-violent crime fighting featuring home-made costumes and an 11-year old girl ("Hit Girl") knocking 10 shades of sh*t out of gangsters and stabbing them all to death, but not before calling them all c*nts. Ultra-violence, ultra-bad language, ultra-fun and ultra-funny, this film will indeed Kick Ass. The director and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (best known for his "Mc'Lovin" in Superbad) too the stage to introduce the clips and take Q&A from us normal folk, and were very cool indeed.

Next up came the "Super Secret Screening", which was not in any of the nfo packs, not on the website, so no-one knew what it would be. Lo and behold, the reel starts to run and as soon as "Peter Jackson presents" came onto the screen, we alkl erupted into applause and cries of "WOOOOO!". Yes, it was "District 9", not due for release for almost a month yet. I was very, very happy
. The film was incredible, and I won't spoil any of it, I just strongly urge you all to go and see it for yourselves.

Next up was a precview of the film "Dorian Gray". It didn't give much away, but it will certainly be another one to keep an eye on as it looked quite cool.

The day was rounded out with a huge presentation from Warner Bros, including lots of screentime for the remake of "Nightmare on Elm Street" (looks very promising), "Jonah Hex" (another comic-book adaptation and a good-looking one at that), "Where the Wild Things Are" (looks good but not 100% convinced it'll make for a good feature-length film, more suited to a short film methinks), "Ninja Assasin" (basically loads of really, really great fighting scenes and bloody action) and finally "Sherlock Holmes" (which looks funny, action-packed, feel-good and just a great film in all respects).

Oh and did I mention that Sherlock Holmes was introduced by Robert Downey Jr and Guy Ritchie in person, and that they stuck around and watched it with us and chatted with us about it? ~OH YES~

That was the end of the Movie-Con stuff but I also got myself into a preview showing of "Inglorious Basterds" introduced by Quentin Tarantino
the film was bloody good fun in both senses of the phrase. The acting and direction was superb, and it just had that Tarnatino-Cool egde to it. The crowning scene is about two-thirds of the way through, and as Tarantino himself put it "it's basically Resivoir Dogs, in German, condensed into a 24-minute scene in one room". Might sound a little strange, but trust me, it rocked!

And that wrapped up Saturday's 13-hours film fest, went and got some sleep in preperation for Sunday's 9-hour film fest too

Sunday's stuff in next post.
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WEll after the epicness that was Saturday everyone sitting in my row was buzzing with anticipation of what was going to top it for day 2.

First up, director Christopher Smith introduced his new sci-fi horror film Triangle, showed us about 12 minutes of great footage, and took some Q&A from us normal folk and from and interviewer from Empire too.

Mid-way through the morning there was a substantial amount of footage shown from IRON MAN 2! It look very, VERY awesome, moreso than the first one as now there are multiple suits, War Machine, a kick-ass cyborg-esque enemy... very cool stuff.

Oh yes, and a minor footnote, that was introduced, talked about, watched by and talked some more about with Robert Downey Jr again

Huge props to the guy, he came on both days, chatted with us, and even came and sat with us in the audience to watch the footage. So I can say I've met the guy twice.

Next up was tuff from Icon including "Pandorum" (from the directors of the REsident Evil stuff, looks like a mixture of Resi Evil, 28 days later, Matrix-esque lighting and action and a little somehting else that I can't put my finger on. Basically, it looked very cool), "Paranormal Activity" (shot in the same vein as "Blair Witch" but makes Blair Witch look like a Disney film for toddlers, this film is going to be DAMN scary) and "The Road" (a post-apocalyopse survival horror-thriller-actioner starring Viggo Mortensen. Looked very intense and enjoyable).

Then there was full screening of "Adventureland" which was funny, sweet, sad, touching, identifiable and ultimately uplifting, it's a niche little film that on the surface appears to be another American Pie take-off but is actually a very different film and well worth watching if for nothing other than the few great belly laughs and the great acting from quiter a young and as of yet unknown cast.

Next we had a nice little 8-minutes of the new Studio Ghibli film "Ponyo". Quite what it was all about, I can't tell you, but it looked very fun and anyone who likes Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli will love it. I was transfixed.

Next up we had Kathry Bigalow (director) and Mark Boal (writer) to introduce a 15-minute clip from the film "The Hurt Locker". It was a powerful, realistic and tense depiction of what a bomb-disposal team working in bahgdad in 2004 went through on a regular basis, and I can't wait to see the whole thing when it comes out next month (I think). They also did Q&A with us too.

Next was some stuff from Optimum, mainly "Whiteout" starring Kate Bekinsale and "Bunny and the Bull", a fantastic little low-budget niche movie from the guys who made Mighty Boosh and Garth Merenghi's Darkplace, it looked funny and bizzarre (as you would expect

Getting towards the end of the day, the next showing was the first 10 minutes of a film called "Exam". It's a one-room film (basically, the whole film takes place in one room and never elaves that room). It looked very tense and intriguing, in the vein of the "Cube" series and "12 Angry Men", even the first "Saw" to an extent but without the violence.

Next up was the Walt Disney showcase, all of which was in 3D and done very well to be honest! We had between 6 and 12 minutes of footage from "A Christmas Carol" (animated and voiced by Jim Carrey), "Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 (AWESOME!), "Alice in Wonderland" (not much of it but it looks very typically Burton-esque and cool) and "Tron: Legacy" (kept very much to the look and feel of the original but obviously looking waaay better).

There was also a quiz, I won some prizes (next post has the stuff I got my mitts on
) and a quick chat with the guys from Mighty Boosh about their new film.

The last thing of the day, and really, what everyone in the place had been gagging for all weekend: Mr. Cameron's AVATAR. Yup, a full 11 minutes of 3D, completed new-method-of-doing-CGI-and-motion-captured goodness.

At this point, I need to take a deep breath: *gasps for air then cries out loudly*

Seriously, you have never seen photo-realistic visuals like this, nothing even CLOSE.
It is, truely, and immense step forward. I can't say much more, as nothing I say can really describe just how amazing it is.

Suffice to say, we cried and cheered and whooped and clapped so hard that they gave in and showed it to us for a second time straight after it had finished, and we all cried for a third time too, but to no avail.

And then, that was it. Movie-Con 2 was over.
In the evening there was a preview showing of "Funny People" introduced by Jonah Hill in person too but that wasn't strictly part of MC2.

And now, here I am back home.
It all seemed a bit surreal to be honest.
But, it's an amazing feeling to know that I have been privilidged to see so much fantastic cinematic footage before any other public audience on the planet.

I'm keeping my eye on the Empire website for tickets to MC3 next year alread! :D
Here's the free stuff I got while at MC2:

All the goodies

A very limited edition "George Lucas as a Stormrtrooper" figure, these are going for over $70 on ebay!

Bag, Watchmen badge and my entry ticket :)

A mug, Evan Almighty soundtrack, Sherlock Holmes puzzle and exclusive weekend gudebook

Exclusive free 20-page sampler from the script of Kevin Smith's upcoming film :)

3 free DVD's, and a free 6-month subscription to Empire magazine

there was also a "Ugly Truth" tshirt, a little box of sweets, a "Kick Ass" bookmark, and a few other small bits like stickers and stuff.

Not a bad haul for free, huh?


I'm going to be slim
S: 15st10lb C: 15st2lb G: 9st6lb BMI: 40.1 Loss: 0st8lb(3.64%)
Wow Pete what a weekend puts mine in the shade
S: 12st6lb C: 10st8lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 28 Loss: 1st12lb(14.94%)
Sounds fantastic - all that free stuff and a new best mate in Robert DJ (i think hes great!)
sounds like there are some good films coming up

daisy x


Gotta Make A Change
Ahhh man that's sweet
would have loved to have gone to this
Robert downey jr sounds like a quality guy
and I can't wait for district 9 or Sherlock holmes
did you get any pictures with the stars?
By the way Pete when roughly do tickets come out for the event?


Guess who's back...?
S: 16st10lb C: 13st7.5lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 29.7 Loss: 3st2.5lb(19.02%)
One word... AWESOME!! How much were the tickets? I want to go next year for sure!! I am such a movie junkie it's not even funny! Great reviews too, felt I was there! Am a little moist thinking about Avatar, cannot wait to see the end product in full- too cool! A xx
No pics sadly as we were not allowed to take any kind of audio or visual recording equipment in with us. Understandable really! They don't want stuff leaked onto the 'net when the films arn't due out for 10+ months.

The ticket was £25 from the empire website, went on sale about 6 weeks ago I think. They go really quick, so you just have to keep checking!


Gotta Make A Change
One word... AWESOME!! How much were the tickets? I want to go next year for sure!! I am such a movie junkie it's not even funny! Great reviews too, felt I was there! Am a little moist thinking about Avatar, cannot wait to see the end product in full- too cool! A xx
hell im the same movie junkie through and through and Avatar well i cant wait :) and yeah pete summed it up so well its like we were there :)

Pete how many tickets is an individual allowed to purchase? i really want to go for sure
I don't know about a ticket limit, my mate bought 2 (1 for him 1 for me) so at least 2 :p

Here's a few pics I forgot I took on my mobile before I had to hand it over to security before I was allowed inside the theatre.

Me, my Marvel tshirt (a medium! :D :D :D ) and movie-con 2 poster. Oh and a cheesy grin too :p

Me and my bag of goodies :)

The view from my hotel room next to Tower Bridge (10th floor)

Me on the second day having a coffee before heading to the theater.
Geeky Marvel tshirt #2 :p

There are a few more pics but they have my mate in them so I can't just put them up without his sayso!


Gotta Make A Change
brillant pete :)

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