CON: Max Payne
Before the MAX PAYNE panel even begun, the lights went dark in Hall H and the screen went up. It was our first clip. In the clip, Payne walks into an apartment with gun brandished. Something is clearly wrong. Mirrors are shattered, furniture is turned over and a lamp lies on the ground with the bulb pulsing as it slowly dies. "Alex?" asks Max. As he creeps through the apartment we see a door that's ajar and swinging back and forth. There is a mirror hanging on the back and as it swings back we see a dead body on the ground. Alex. Out of the back comes someone kicking Max's ass. Kicking, slamming, punching. Payne tries to crawl away over broken glass and kickes the dude off of him. As he does he reaches down to his ankle holster and busts a few caps in his ass.
The lights come up to cheers and Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and director John Moore are already on stage. As you might expect the crowd went nuts for Wahlberg. For reasons you'll read about later in my TWILIGHT column, the crowd was made up of a LOT of women. More women I think than I've ever seen in my history at the Con. And if you thought fanboys made a lot of noise, you haven't been around thousands of fangirls. They can screech. And did they screech for Wahlberg, which prompted perhaps my favorite quote of the day from the former Marky Mark: "Now I know why the New Kids on the block came back." According to Mark, the feeling of thousands of cheering girls makes him "warm in the pants."
Back in the Funky Bunch days I used to get women with breasteses out to here...
Asked the predictable question on why he wanted to star in MAX PAYNE Wahlberg said he wanted to get back to kicking ass after movies like THE HAPPENING and THE LOVELY BONES. He described this movie and the character as most similar to his character from THE DEPARTED or FEAR and wanted to get back to that kind of physicality.
Shortly thereafter we were treated to Clip #2. In starts with Payne walking through an empty subway station. Empty except for three drugged out thugs. Payne walks into the bathroom and the thugs quickly follow. Inside we see Payne at the sink washing his hand. On his wrist is a gold watch. Thug #1 compliments him on the watch and says he used to have one just like it. Payne quickly responds that it used to be his but he pawned it at a pawn shop an hour ago. The thugs quickly realize that they weren't following Payne but the other way around. Thug #1 asks, "Are you a cop?" Payne takes off his badge, drops it in the sink and says, "Not tonight." Turns out Payne is really after Thug #2 and after dispatching the others with some kicks and punches, he chases his target around the bathroom with a huge hand cannon blowing doors of the bathroom stalls as the thug tries to hide.
Finally the guys in the audience get some lovin' and Mila Kunis gets a chance to talk. To play the sexy and badass Mona Sax, Kunis trained with all kinds of guns, learning to put them together and take them apart, as well as with a baton she apparently uses to beat f*ckers down in close proximity (as Arrow might say, I'd like to beat her with my stick). She gets to speak some of her native Russian in the movie but she was a bit too shy to bust it out for the crowd. That didn't stop Wahlberg from rattling off one of the two Russian phrases he knows (apparently for a scene in a previous movie that got cut out).
Yes, she really is that adorable
Before the final Con-only trailer, John Moore talked about the filming technique and how they wanted to stay true to the visuals in the game. Though the game uses bullet time, they felt that was overdone in movies and wanted to come up with something new. So they got a new camera titled The Phantom, which shoots at an astonishing 1,000 frames per second (most videos you see out on the web are running at about 23 fps). That allowed them to slow the shots down to an unbelievable level, which leads us into our new trailer for the film.
Trying to describe this trailer for MAX PAYNE will be hard because the action goes by so quickly but I'll do my best. The trailer was set to a live version of Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," which was an odd yet inspired choice. There's shooting, some more shooting, that hot chick from HITMAN, Mila Kunis taking her top off and Payne in some kind of break-in/escape from some corporate office. We get an example of the slow motion shots where it almost seems like the shot is paused but that's how slo-mo it is. All you can see is the flakes of snow falling so slowly and then the barrel of the gun slides back and a flash erupts from the tip of the gun. Later you see Payne doing a backflip with shotgun in his hands. I don't know how the movie is gonna turn out but that effect really is impressive.
King Kong ain't got shit on me!
And that was pretty much it for MAX PAYNE. It was impressive for a video game movie though honestly at that point, I knew WOLVERINE was coming up next and I was jonesing for some snikt-action. MAX PAYNE hits theaters this October.
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