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CON: Sony Pictures

07.31.2008

Hall H here at the San Diego Convention Center is starting to feel like my second home. I’ve spent hours up hours here, sitting through panel after panel, taking notes and checking out all the cool shite the studios have in store for us. The last day (for me, at least) at this year’s Comic-Con was no different. Sony was cool enough to bring out the cast of next year’s horror / fantasy UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS and next month’s buddy stoner action movie PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. It was expected that they’d be pimping out this October’s QUARANTINE but all we got was a showing of the film’s unrated trailer (which was honestly just like the film’s ‘rated’ trailer with a few more instances of blood and gore).

UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS

The panel for UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS (aka UNDERWORLD 3) started with a bang, as they showed us an exclusive first look at the film’s trailer. The trailer had footage of special effects that weren’t even finished (but presented in their pre-vis form), but that didn’t stop it from kicking ass! If you were expecting something less than what we’ve seen before, then you will be highly disappointed. UNDERWORLD 3 appeared to have the same ‘look’ as the previous two movie, featuring the same blue pallete and striking visuals. Biggest difference here is this is a period piece featuring mostly werewolf action, and not set in present day featuring vampire action. Not only did I get a kick outta the footage, but at the crowd loved it as well, as the whole Hall H seemed to erupt.


Patrick Tatopoulos, Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, and Kevin Grevioux

The panel featured director Patrick Tatopoulos, and stars Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, and Kevin Grevioux. Mitra was looking hot as ever, but almost bored and didn’t really seem to be excited about being there. Nighy was great—people praised him, and he was humble and just cool as hell. The biggest thing I can say about Grevioux, a guy I don’t even remember from the first two UNDERWORLD movies, is that he has to have just about the deepest, scariest voice I’ve ever heard. Period. Nice guy, don’t get me wrong, he was definitely stoked to be there, but holy crap was his voice scary. Anyway, once they came out onto stage the panel kicked into some Q&A with fans. Here are some of the highlights of what they had to say.

  • When Len Wiseman wrote the first UNDERWORLD movie, he also had an idea of the background and the history of the world he created. That background was the basis for this movie.
  • The story now focuses more on the werewolves than vampires, although there are vampires in it.
  • Mitra plays Nighy’s vampire daughter in the film… her character is in love with a werewolf, so the love story is very much like Romeo & Juliet.

  • Nighy is stoked to be involved in this trilogy.
  • Tatopoulos confirms this entry will be similar to tone and style of the first two movies.
  • We’ll see lots more werewolves than we’ve previously seen, as the story is seen though their eyes. There’s even an army of werewolves that make an appearance (seen briefly in the film’s trailer).
  • One big difference between this film and the other films is that this is a period piece, where the others were set in modern day.
  • Mitra promises that some of the outfits she wears in the film are just as sexy as the outfit worn by Kate Beckinsale.
  • A few werewolf characters in UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION will be mentioned in this flick, but only in passing—they won’t have starring roles.

  • Being a production designer on the first two films has made the job of directing this one much easier for Tatopoulos.
  • The physical training for DOOMSDAY really helped Mitra prepare for her role in UNDERWORLD 3.
  • No one got hurt doing the stunts in the making of this movie. Except for Grevioux, who hurt his leg.
  • UNDERWORLD originally came to be after the success of BLADE. They wanted to do to werewolves what BLADE did to vampires: make them cool (and financially successful) again.
  • Tatopoulos likes the Lycans over the vampires, mostly because he designed them and he thinks they’re more interesting.

    And with that, the UNDERWORLD 3 panel was over. They were kind enough to show the trailer again, and yes… even after the second time, the flick looked cool as hell. They haven’t said whether part 3 will be a straight to DVD or a theatrical release, but I would be the farm that this puppy is set for the theaters. Will it be able to survive without the presence of Kate Beckinsale? Mitra may not be Beckinsale, but she’s a pretty close second, and if people were interested in checking out the previous two films, I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to check this one out as well.

    PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

    There’s something funny about the concept of a weed action movie. I don’t know if it’s because it deals with weed, or simply because you wouldn’t normally think of ‘weed’ and ‘action movie’ together. Either way, I can’t wait for PINEAPPLE EXPRESS to come out and show us that a weed action movie can work, and who knows… maybe we’ll see more of them in the future.

    Since I’ve been living in Hall H for the last few days, this was my second time seeing Judd Apatow (VISIONARY DIRECTORS panel) and star Seth Rogen (ZACK & MIRI MAKE A PORNO panel) on stage, and once again, they had me and the entire auditorium cracking up. These guys are f*cking funny as hell, and probably made my first Comic-Con what it was (which was awesome, by the way).


    Judd Apatow hosting the PINEAPPLE EXPRESS panel.

    With Apatow hosting, the rest of the panel featured PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (and SUPERBAD) co-writer Evan Goldberg, director David Gordan Green, and stars Amber Heard, Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, and James Franco. Apparently people love Franco because when he came out the crowd went nuts, and lots of chicks from all over were screaming about how hot they thought he was and how they all wanted to do him. He got the biggest response from the crowd, in which Rogen responded with a big “Hey, f*ck you guys!” And with that, the panel jumped into some Q&A.


    Amber Heard, Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, James Franco.

  • Rogan has always wanted to make a weed action movie.
  • Franco was initially approached to play Rogan’s part, but liked the role of the drug dealer better… and since Franco was in SPIDERMAN, he can pretty much have any part he f*cking wants, so he and Rogen switched roles.
  • The two worked well together, and only argued about what kind of sweats Franco’s character would wear.
  • Director Green wanted to loosen up (from his previous films) so he decided to make this movie, where he gets to wreck cars and blow shit up.
  • Green was very welcoming of ad libs, so much so that McBride and Rogen didn’t even half to read the script… hell, they didn’t even have to know how to read.
  • McBride’s biggest challenge was figuring out why his character shaves his armpits. There’s no reason for it in the script…
  • Green didn’t give them directing cues like “next time, do it faster” or “next time, do it with more emotion,” but rather cues like ‘next time, do it like you’re taking a shit.” Apparently a few of those takes worked so well they made it into the final picture.
  • Someone wanted to know who was a better kisser, Heard or Franco. Rogen said Franco was because he was a guy and he knows what a guy likes. He has that home team advantage.
  • Rogen says that “dipping your balls” doesn’t really count as having sex.

  • Goldberg had a better time writing PINEAPPLE EXPRESS than SUPERBAD, because he got to write about shooting guns, blowing shit up, and having a high body count.
  • A coupe of dudes (both famous comedians) ask the panel if PINEAPPLE EXPRESS was written by Frank Miller, and if they knew Frank Miller, and who would win in a fight between Franco’s character and a character from one of Miller’s comics. They were making fun of geeky fanboys (of which were mostly in the audience) but everyone thought they were funny as shit—and so did Rogen and Apatow, who went with it.


    Sweaty butt-cheeck guy.

  • The other comedian asks a similar question, noting how sweaty his butt cheeks are because he was so nervous. The crowd loves it.
  • The next guy, who was not a comedian, says he’s so excited that he’s talking to Rogen and Apatow that he has a huge hard on. That freaks the panel out a little bit.
  • Rogen and Goldberg wrote an upcoming episode of THE SIMPSONS that looks like is going to be made—the episode revolves around comic books.
  • No real weed was smoked during the filming of this movie. After filming, however, was a different story.
  • A girl and her best friend, who just happens to be a dude, ask a question. Out of nowhere Rogen tells her she should be f*cking that guy. They’re totally embarrassed, and the crowd is on the floor laughing.
  • Rogen, Franco, and Jason Segel will never make a movie together if that means Rogen has to show his dick on camera.
  • Rogen confirms that he has been a stoner pretty much his whole life.
  • During filming, Green would do multiple takes of the same scene, asking the actors to be higher in each take than the last.
  • The only movie on Rogen’s plate that doesn’t involve him doing drugs or drinking is THE GREEN HORNET. He doesn’t care about being typecast as the stoner guy, considering he writes a lot of the movies he stars in.
  • Some stoner asks Rogen if there’s something else out there beyond space. Rogen’s so shocked, he doesn’t know how to reply.


    The guy who asked the question about 'beyond space.'

  • The menstruate on the pantleg scene from SUPERBAD really happened to a friend of theirs, but Rogen and Goldberg were the dudes laughing at the guy that it happened to.
  • In reference to a question regarding facts supposedly off of Wikipedia, Apatow says that Wikipedia says he cans suck his own dick, and he can’t. Moral of the story: don’t always believe what Wikipedia says.
  • The smokin’ out of the fishbowl bit in KNOCKED UP is Rogen’s favorite way to get high.
  • Franco says the main difference between PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and SPIDER-MAN is that SPIDER-MAN they had stuntmen and safety, and in PINEAPPLE they didn’t. So they all kind of got hurt a lot during the making of the movie.
  • Rogen could give a shit if the script for PINEAPPLE was leaked online. He thinks anyone who would rather read the script than just see the movie must be a f*cking moron. Why read it when you can watch it?
  • Making SUPERBAD was surreal, but making PINEAPPLE felt more like an accomplishment for Rogen and Goldberg, mostly because they didn’t really think their weed action movie would ever get greenlit.
  • Apatow has no plans on returning to television… he’s sick of just being canceled on anyway.
  • Someone asks if Pineapple Express was a real kind of weed, what would it taste like. Rogen: it’d taste like smoke and weed—not pineapple.
  • The last question is about whether they’ve actually tried smoking the infamous cross joint in real life. Rogen says that, in high school, everyone was smoking the cross joint. Only f*cking losers didn’t smoke a cross joint.

    If that sounded like a lot of fun, trust me… it was. Everything about Rogen, from his constant cracks to his contagious laugh was just… funny. Yes, his movies are funny, but I never would have thought that he was actually this funny. Interlaced throughout the Q&A, they were cool enough to share a few clips from PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, one I’ve seen before, and three others that were new to me. Let’s just say there’s no way this movie isn’t going to rock when it finally comes out.

    CLIP 1: The infamous cross joint clip.

    I’d explain what went down here, but you might as well just watch it for yourself below.

    Funny shit, right? Maybe it’s just the latent stoner in me, but that clip right there has be rolling every time I see it. But the laughs don’t stop there—oh no. The next clip we see features Rogen, Franco, and Danny McBride… hilarity ensues.

    CLIP 2: Franco and Rogen go to McBride’s house to hide out and find out where they can get more of the Pineapple Express weed. Rogen has a funny feeling about McBride, who then tries and calls the cops in a double cross. A funny-ass fight scene is kicked into motion, featuring lots of bodies flying into walls, bongs being broken on heads, and a face full of shitty kitty litter. We also learn why McBride’s character shaves his armpits…

    McBride’s a funny dude, and this clip shows that while he’s new on the scene, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him in the future. The fighting hit hard, but was also funny, and Franco’s stoned ass was one of my favorite parts. Switching things up a bit, we’re shown a clip featuring a conversation between Rogen and his high school senior girlfriend Amber Heard.

    CLIP 3: Rogen is crying on the phone to Heard, making up for something, telling her that he loves her and wants to stay with her forever. She starts crying and agrees, saying that they should get married. Rogen stops crying and tells her she’s crazy and immature, in which she says the same thing about him. Heard calls him a loser and wants to know how many people he’s slept with and he says “2 ½.” What? How can it be a half? Because dipping your balls doesn’t really count as going all the way.


    The lovely Amber Heard.

    Rogen’s reasoning for the ½ person he’s slept with was classic, and their little scene was pretty funny all around. The fact that Rogen’s character is dating a high school senior alone is pretty funny. And now, for the final clip… a clip that had me laughing so hard I almost peed myself.

    Rogen gets arrested for selling weed to a kid and is cuffed in the back of a cop car. After walking out of a mini-mart with slurpees in hand, Franco sees Rogen getting canned and sets off to help. He steps in front of the moving cop car and throws his slurpee at the windshield, covering it in red sludge (looking like blood). The cop gets out to see what happened, Franco sneaks around and gets behind the wheel for the escape, only Rogen was having the cop help them out. Rosie Perez (the bad cop) begins chasing them through the streets, in which Franco tries to kick out the windshield so he can see, only to get his foot stuck in the windshield. He finally gets his foot out (“Hey, I can see throw my foot hole!”) and more action packed car chase ensues, ending with Perez crashing her cop car big time.

    I would have never thought that a car chase sequence could be funny, but this scene proved me wrong. I nearly pissed myself I was laughing so hard, especially at Franco for getting his foot stuck in the windshield. It’s shown a bit in the trailer, but really… the trailer doesn’t do it a lick of justice. The nice cop lady is also pretty funny, stealing the scene away that she shares with Rogen. If the final movie is only half as funny as this one scene, we’re still going to be in for a great time.

    My final panel at this year’s Comic-Con went from the horror of ravishing werewolves in UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS to pot smoking action set pieces in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, which was surprisingly fitting considering the way my whole experience went. Finishing off the Con with a panel featuring Apatow and Rogen (along with everyone else… that Franco is a funny motherf*cker as well) was the best possible way to wrap it up, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m also stoked that I’ll only have to wait until August 6th before I can experience the PINEAPPLE EXPRESS in theaters for myself. UNDERWORLD, on the other hand, will be slamming into theaters sometime in 2009.

  • Source: JoBlo

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