Screen Junkies » wondercon 2011 Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:30:46 +0000 en hourly 1 WonderCon: Lily Collins Talks ‘Priest’ And ‘Snow White’ Mon, 04 Apr 2011 19:50:06 +0000 Fred Topel Is Sir Phil Collins' daughter the new "it" girl?

The post WonderCon: Lily Collins Talks ‘Priest’ And ‘Snow White’ appeared first on Screen Junkies.

I really lucked out with this one. I asked for a 1:1 with Lily Collins for Priest just because I thought the pretty girl from the action movie would be cool. The day before the interview, she gets the part of Snow White in Tarsem Singh’s next movie.

Lucy (Collins) is the target of Priest’s (Paul Bettany) quest in the movie. She’s kidnapped and he goes back on duty to find her. In the footage screened for WonderCon, she hangs from a speeding train.

Q: What an exciting day you must’ve had yesterday, seeing the Priest footage and landing the Snow White role.

Lily Collins: Yeah, first time in 3D, saw it yesterday, that was shocking. Put those glasses on and I thought that was incredible. I didn’t know what the 3D was going to turn into and it was just so amazing and exciting. Yes, and then found out that I was cast as Snow White so it’s quite the big day.

Q: And it was April 1st, but it’s all true, right?

LC: I know, actually that’s the first thing I said when my team called me and told me. I said, “If this is an April Fools joke, I don’t know what I’ll start to do.” Because I was so excited. I had literally read the day before and met the director the day before and then was cast yesterday, so it was less that 24 hours.

Q: What cool stuff do you get to do in Priest?

LC: I have knife fights, I set people on fire, I get thrown off a train and I’m flying through the air, grabbing ont Paul, being whipped by the air. I’m seduced, locked in a cage, starved. I’m kidnapped. I was dirty the entire time and it was really fun.

Q: That’s a lot. Is this a six hour movie?

LC: No, I know, exactly. The cool thing about it is it cuts so quickly and it’s so fast paced, you have a second to breathe but it’s constant action. Yet the story is told in a way that you still fully understand and you can immerse yourself in it. Scott’s vision with the visual effects of it all and creating this alternate post-apocalyptic world is so fantastic that when you see it in 3D you really do feel like you’re there and part of the story.

Q: Who seduces you? Is that vampire Stockholm syndrome?

LC: Karl Urban plays a human vampire which is a new breed of vampire because the other ones are more horrific creatures that were all CG and created by Scott. He wants to turn me and in order to do so it’s kind of that seducing character, tries to seduce me through food and tries to lure me to the other side.

Q: The train sequence looks amazing. How long were you working on that?

LC: I’m on the train pretty much the entire film. When I’m kidnapped I’m put onto the train.

Q: I guess when the motorcycles start chasing the train is what we saw.

LC: Oh, that, yes. That took weeks because the exterior shots and the interior shots were completely different places. The motorcycle training, obviously they had tons of stunts, tons of training, days where you had a certain amount of light time and then all of a sudden the sun was going down so you had to push to the next day, but it was a crazy process and it was all amazing. Crazy journey.

Q: What is the secret to a good movie scream?

LC: I don’t know. They said, “Scream” and that’s what came out. It was my first day of filming. They put me down in this wet dungeon and they just said, “All right, now you’re reacting to stuff going on upstairs.” I just was listening to sounds and they said, “And scream.” That’s what came out. The next day my voice was gone but I only had to do it twice.

Q: How do you plan to make Snow White a modern girl?

LC: I think with Tarsem his vision is so incredible and his imagery from The Fall and then Immortals coming out. We’re not modernizing it. It’s still going to be period but I think it’s more of the action comedy, maybe like The Princess Bride, Enchanted, trying to relate to all generations while maintaining the core values of the story, making people laugh at the same time. It’s not so much making it edgy or making it anything different because I think the fairy tale speaks for itself. It’s just taking the Tarsem twist on it.

Q: I meant modern girl in spirit, for today’s audiences.

LC: Oh, right. I think bringing her spirit and her spunk to life, she changes in this story. She’s very feminine but she also then goes to be with the dwarves and then she has to come back and fight, so she’s got kind of two personalities. She’s the girly princess but at the same time, she’s got this kick butt side. I think she shows a lot of different qualities that young girls have today with the confidence and the excitement. It’ll be really fun. It’s all new for me.

Q: There are other Snow Whites being made too, but yours is going to be the best, right?

LC: [Laughs] Kristen Stewart is the other Snow White and I really admire her as an actress. She’s so fun and so sweet and we’re both very different. We’ve both very, very different and I think we’re going to have two totally different takes on it. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens but I’m very excited to be involved with mine with Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer and Tarsem. I’m still completely amazed.

The post WonderCon: Lily Collins Talks ‘Priest’ And ‘Snow White’ appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 6 lily-collins1
WonderCon: ‘Cowboys And Aliens’, ‘Immortals’, And ‘Dylan Dog’ Footage Breakdown Sun, 03 Apr 2011 17:05:58 +0000 Fred Topel Favreau finally showed an alien! If you like '300' you'll probably like 'Immortals'.

The post WonderCon: ‘Cowboys And Aliens’, ‘Immortals’, And ‘Dylan Dog’ Footage Breakdown appeared first on Screen Junkies.

Cowboys And Aliens

As far as I was concerned, Jon Favreau just showed some footage of a cool new western he made. I was looking at all the western parts and what impressed me were the silent exploration and the subtle score.

The western town looks like a Leone/Eastwood movie, where it’s just past the studio backlot era and it looks like a real place people live. Those figures of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig posing side by side in a widescreen frame are impressive, and Lonergan (Craig) sneaking around town to patch up his side wound is good visual storytelling.

Dolarhyde (Ford) gets a dramatic reveal, with the camera pushing in from behind as he turns around, looking up from under a hat. His issue is his cattle have been blown up, and it’s still approached like a rancher dealing with a real problem. Who would assume aliens? He drags the herder behind a horse because he assumes he’s lying about this bright light that zaps the cows (of course we see it in a flashback).

We saw a substantial alien attack. The ships za the town and snatch up some locals with their long tentacles, but Lonergan is able to blast one out of the sky with a device attached to his wrist. Lonergan establishes that he has no memory before waking up with it attached to his wrist.

After that first attack, the cowboys examine the downed ship at night. The townies are screaming about their captured family members but Dolarhyde shuts them up. A spark startles him though and he fires a round at the ship. That’s a joke, because it just clanks on the metal.

In quicker clips we saw Dolarhyde butt Lonergan with his rifle and Lonergan returned with a sock to Dolarhyde’s jaw. Alien ships fly over the stony canyons. There’s a big battlefield with horsemen galloping below the flying ships.

Jon Favreau said that the quick shot of an alien growling at a cowboy is exclusive to WonderCon, and he’s not going to show it any marketing before the movie comes out. That’s a great plan to keep the aliens a mystery, but I’m not sure the design is so original it’ll surprise anyone. I mean, a hulking mass of dark tissue with lots of pointy teeth kinda looks the same to me.

I don’t mind it. The cool part will be how the old west deals with this creature. CGI just looks like CGI, at least from a quick glimpse, so it seems to me like a familiar sort of creature to today’s audiences.

The Immortals

Immortals will benefit from the public’s interest in getting to know who this guy playing Superman is. Henry Cavill plays an action hero on Greek myth before he become The Man of Steel. At WonderCon, they showed a teaser trailer for Immortals.

I remember the teaser for 300 shown at Comic-Con and this is pretty much the same deal. There are a few memorable money shots and some flashes of setting to establish the tone. Only 300 was the first time we’d seen anything like that. Immortals REALLY looks like 300.

I’ll give Tarsem Singh credit that there’s an overall aesthetic plan. They picked out some shots of armies lining up and slow motion kill shots. It’s got that artificial golden light added in post production, set atop cliffs with fortified castle walls, so it all looks like a moving graphic novel.

Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has a harem, an arsenal and armory. Theseus (Cavill) seems to be the only man equipped to lead armies, although Zeus (Luke Evans) is on his side so that helps. Theseus finds his bow and it seems to get a magic spark. At the end of the teaser he shoots four arrows in quick succession and they fly with zinging sounds and glowing charges of light.

One totally Tarsem shot is what looks like a grounds-eye-view of a huge battle. You see all the soldiers as if they’re standing on glass. Maybe they were supposed to be flying through the air but I got the impression they were on the ground battling hand to hand, only we got an omniscient perspective, but from below instead of above.

Theseus gives a speech to motivate his troops and he even says, “Today we fight for honor.” Tonight we dine in hell, the glory of Sparta, blah blah blah. 300 had at least three glory speeches so if Immortal talks about honor four times I guess it wins.

Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night

Only two scenes screened for Dylan Dog: Dead of Night’s WonderCon footage, but that might be good. The two clips made the film look very entertaining, didn’t overdo it or give away too much.

Both scenes focused on Marcus (Sam Huntington) and all his zombie powers. In the first clip, Dylan (Brandon Routh) is in the supermarket, pushing Marcus around in a shopping cart. Marcus actually wakes up and notices the smell of his own rotting corpse. He’s also got a tattooed left arm of a different ethnicity he doesn’t recognize. It had to be replaced and they didn’t have any more Caucasian arms.

So Dylan explains that they’re picking up floor cleaner for soap, bleach for his teeth and other ways of keeping zombies fresh. Marcus tries to eat some food left on a counter for samples, but ends up vomiting it into a plastic bag (zombies can’t eat food like living people do.) The deadpan timing with which Dylan hands him the bag shows that they’re onto something here.

The second scene is lit by candlelight, or Dylan’s lighter to be accurate. He and Marcus are locked in a crypt. Marcus really freaks out about it, and a scene that could be annoying is actually endearing. Marcus tries his cell phone in a panic.

It turns out, as Dylan explains, that zombies are world class diggers. Marcus has the power to dig them out. Marcus protests no, no, no, no, no, I lost count of how many “no”s he says. Huntington made it sound like character, not schtick.

Closing with a brief montage, there were monsters and a buff shirtless Routh. Dylan Dog looks like a legitimate Hollywood movie considering its underground indie pedigree. Monster makeup is a plus for me and I like the irreverence towards living with a monstrous condition.

The post WonderCon: ‘Cowboys And Aliens’, ‘Immortals’, And ‘Dylan Dog’ Footage Breakdown appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 0 cowboys-aliens-ford-daniel-craig-poster-ad1-300×225 Theseus-Immortals dylan-dog
WonderCon: Jon Favreau Explains Old Tricks That Make ‘Cowboys And Aliens’ Seem New Sun, 03 Apr 2011 16:45:38 +0000 Fred Topel The old school approach is always more legit.

The post WonderCon: Jon Favreau Explains Old Tricks That Make ‘Cowboys And Aliens’ Seem New appeared first on Screen Junkies.


Jon Favreau made a big deal about the reveal at the end of his Cowboys and Aliens WonderCon footage. He showed an alien, which he’s been keeping out of the trailers and plans to keep out of the marketing until the film is released. He’s actually got a whole plan for the aliens that can play out in sequels, but you’ll see it just in the way they invade the western frontier.

“Let’s assume that all travel is sublight and let’s assume that there’s no transmutation,” Favreau said in the WonderCon pressroom. “You can’t develop whatever elements you want, so essentially the people coming here are what we were like coming to the new world. It’s not people just hitting a war drive and ending up wherever they want to in the universe. I guess I grew up with Planet of the Apes where you’re traveling a great distance and it takes a great amount of town to go to the other Goldilocks planets. There’s a methodology because you don’t want to just be steampunk and you don’t want it to just be plug in your standard sci-fi look into this movie. We wanted to feel part of the landscape but justify it.”

The footage showed Daniel Craig patching himself up in a dust town home and Harrison Ford punishing farmhands he blamed for killing his cattle. The aliens invade, snatching up locals and firing at the galloping cowboys.

“You’ve seen that there is fun to it but the fun is not at the expense of the stakes. That it’s badass but it’s still human. There’s some confusion and emotion. These people are vying to get their families back. The odds are really long and how are we going to do this in a believable way? Because we set up a conundrum that seemingly can’t be solved. That’s the fun. That’s the fun of making movies.”

The western parts really feel like a western, and that’s partly because of the musical score with that wind chime-y cadence. Favreau chose Harry Gregson Williams for his combination of classical and technological skills. “The tone is so much determined by the music that if you have something that feels a little too playful, it’s going to feel like a wink. And if you have something that doesn’t embrace the western enough, it feels like we’re being dismissive of it. For a guy that you could actually phase in and out of, and as the movie changes, you want sweeping emotion sometimes, themes, but you also want to have that tension building and getting into that more tech-y, synth-y sound and being able to marry the two to give it a unique soundscape.”

If the film looks like an old school western, it’s because they shot with anamorphic lenses (REAL widescreen) and didn’t try to make it 3D. “In anamorphic, the lenses feel twice as long as they really are as far as the framing goes. So you get great flares and you get great blurry backgrounds and that’s why you get away with so much in Close Encounters where you don’t know if that light’s a mile away or 100 feet away. It’s that ambiguity that feeds into your imagination. We shot two days of test footage, because if I was going to shoot it I was going to shoot it digital stereo. I didn’t want to convert. It is something I think is good for certain movies. I look forward to working in 3-D but for this particular film I felt it held us back and now it’s part of what I think makes us original and unique and that seems to be our strongest asset right now. In a summer where a lot of things seem familiar, this one seems very different.”

Cowboys and Aliens are coming this July.

The post WonderCon: Jon Favreau Explains Old Tricks That Make ‘Cowboys And Aliens’ Seem New appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 0 cowboys-aliens-poster
WonderCon: Henry Cavill Talks ‘Immortals’ And ‘Superman’ Sun, 03 Apr 2011 16:35:51 +0000 Fred Topel It's hard as hell training to be a warrior and superhero.

The post WonderCon: Henry Cavill Talks ‘Immortals’ And ‘Superman’ appeared first on Screen Junkies.


Henry Cavill came to WonderCon to promote Immortals, so everyone from the fans in the panel session to the reporters in the press room had their Superman questions ready. He was kind of perfect, saying just enough to acknowledge he’s playing Superman and drop a mention for Immortals without being a douche about it. Here are the topics I caught in a press session with Cavill, which must be totally different from his comments in the public panel or to other reporters on the red carpet.

“Certainly for me, [these are] wonderful opportunities and an honor to play such an iconic role,” Cavill said. “I can’t wait. I really can’t wait. As a young actor, it’s a dream. I think the most difficult thing with Superman is going to be doing a true justice to the role while re-imagining it.”

Immortals is about Greek gods and mythological battles. Cavill plays Theseus. Kinda like how comic books are modern day myths, eh? “Superheroes came from people having difficult times and their needing imaginary superheroes to fix their problems. This is exactly where mythology came from. It’s the same place, people going through hardship and having these imaginary heroes who would defeat the big bad guy. I believe the original Superman is him flying around and picking up Hitler and bringing him back to the UN. It’s the same thing with mythology. Some bastard king who’s killing everyone and raping all the women, then they have this imaginary demigod hero who goes and kills him, and kills his beasty in the labyrinth and all sorts. It’s all the same thing, just in a different era.”

Playing Theseus got Cavill in a Superman-worthy shape. “The biggest challenge on this one was maintaining the physical shape because it was extraordinarily difficult with the hours that we had. As I say, 14 hour days minimum with a half hour lunch and you can’t eat that much, and you’re in every day, there’s no time to sit back and relax and settle and then have your recovery day and then go back in. It was nonstop brutal. That was the toughest thing.”

Now that’s taught him a lesson he’ll use for Superman, if the producers let him. “I think on Superman it will be slightly different because I’ve approached it with the experience of Immortals and I’ve said, ‘Look, guys, I’m going to need recovery time and I’m going to need this, I’m going to need that, if possible, please, please.’”

Recovery time was such an issue on Immortals, Cavill found himself dragging when he was supposed to be the most badass soldier of all time. “One of the most taxing things about being on set was the lack of energy we had because we are eating so little and training so hard all the time and trying to fit in training in a 14 hour day when you have a half an hour lunch and that’s your minute to go okay, I can finally sit down and eat, is really difficult. You can start to feel your mood slips, you get a bit grumpy. Tarsem [Singh] on that 15th hour on a Friday is the guy who picks you up and keeps you going and pulls that extra performance out of you. It’s remarkable and incredible. He sets the standard.”

Just a week ago, Cavill found out who would be playing his Lois Lane. He’s giving props to his whole cast. “I think she’s a great actress and I’m very excited [about] all the actors there. Wow, that lineup already. The opportunity with an actor of my experience, only 10 years, to be a part of that cast and to be leading it is fantastic and I really, really can’t wait to be shaking hands and discussing all the stuff with all of them.”

Otherwise, there’s no connection between Immortals and Superman or Immortals and “The Tudors.” “There’s nothing intentional about my job choices. It’s just what jobs I get offered. I often hear about people saying, ‘Oh yeah, so and so’s choices’ or this and that. I think once you get to a certain level of notoriety and fame where you can open a movie, then yes. You are offered scripts and stories and you get to choose. Certainly at my level, you just get the jobs that you’re offered. If it’s a job that you like, you go for it. But there’s no preplanning. It’s not like I went on ‘Tudors’ and said, ‘Okay, next time I play a hero for my campaign for Superman.” It all happened to happen as it is.”

Cavill refused one request to show off his Kansas accent. “I shall not.” But he did admit Superman was his favorite superhero. “Of course. I’m hardly going to say otherwise anyway.”

See Henry Cavill first in Immortals on Nov. 11, 2011.

The post WonderCon: Henry Cavill Talks ‘Immortals’ And ‘Superman’ appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 0 cavill_henry_250
WonderCon: Four Minutes Of ‘Green Lantern’ For Your Eyes Sat, 02 Apr 2011 19:58:55 +0000 Col. Longshanks Are we feeling more positive about this film now?

The post WonderCon: Four Minutes Of ‘Green Lantern’ For Your Eyes appeared first on Screen Junkies.

Since not all of us are lucky enough to spend this weekend in a convention center in San Francisco, Warner Bros. has released four minutes of Green Lantern footage that screened for the WonderCon crowd. Everyone seems to be feeling more positive about the film after witnessing something beyond the first craptastic trailer. What say you? Are you now down with the Lantern and his blingy jewelry?

The post WonderCon: Four Minutes Of ‘Green Lantern’ For Your Eyes appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 2
WonderCon: ‘Priest’ Footage Breakdown Sat, 02 Apr 2011 07:39:23 +0000 Fred Topel A full sequence and a sizzle reel screened to an impressed crowd.

The post WonderCon: ‘Priest’ Footage Breakdown appeared first on Screen Junkies.


I’ve seen the movie Priest already. The 1994 Miramax drama really asked important questions about the church. I was the only one at WonderCon who got that joke. The version of Priest that previewed there looks way cooler. They showed a full sequence and a sizzle reel.

The money shot in the extended sequence is when Priest (Paul Bettany) cracks open a bible, crosses fly out and turn into ninja stars which he hurls at the vampires. Priest and Hicks (Cam Gigandet) have entered Night Shade, an underground reservation for surviving vampires.

There’s slime on the banister and Priest kicks in a door to find a Renfield-esque creature babbling in the dark. Some vampire goons throw axes at the vampire hunters, and Hicks just tosses one back at ‘em. Hicks is going to shoot the other three, but Priest tells him to save his bullets and takes them all out with broken bones and stabbing.

It’s only when the sun goes down that Priest advises Hicks to get his gun. That’s when the horde of vampires come out and Priest has to unleash the ninja crosses. The nighttime vampires look like CGI. They’ve got four fangs biting at the heroes and bald wrinkly heads covering any eyes they may have had but no longer do. It’s a generic monster. The way they’re dispatched is cool.

The sizzle reel kept coming back to a sequence with a train. In a Mad Max-ish desert, they ride motorcycles to catch the train. We see Priestess (Maggie Q) take out a lot of evil motorcyclists. She jump kicks one off his bike. She knee slides under a scythe blade. She lassos a bike and flips it over. She even lassos a vampire in mid-air and rips him in half. A lot of trainto fighting too.

The footage had a familiar gray-blue look although the production value looks higher than the usual blue-gray horror movie. The 3D looks fine but creates a good solid image for Bettany and Q to pose in after they take out the bad guys.

The post WonderCon: ‘Priest’ Footage Breakdown appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 0 priest-movie-still
WonderCon: Ryan Reynolds Knows ‘Green Lantern 2′ Premise, And Quit Talking About His Abs Already Sat, 02 Apr 2011 06:52:32 +0000 Fred Topel He works out hard, okay? Get over it.

The post WonderCon: Ryan Reynolds Knows ‘Green Lantern 2′ Premise, And Quit Talking About His Abs Already appeared first on Screen Junkies.

WonderCon: Ryan Reynolds Knows ‘Green Lantern 2′ Premise, And Quit Talking About His Abs Already appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 1
WonderCon: ‘Green Lantern’ Footage Breakdown Sat, 02 Apr 2011 06:41:59 +0000 Fred Topel Won me over to making this comic book a reality.

The post WonderCon: ‘Green Lantern’ Footage Breakdown appeared first on Screen Junkies.


I always thought Green Lantern would be a tough one to do as a film, because you’re not just talking about a guy getting superpowers. You’re talking about aliens in space and mental constructs. The footage screened at WonderCon answered my question and won me over to making this comic book a reality.

It opens with characters in space with Albin Sur running around a spaceship talking to a crackly hologram of Sinestro. Their musclely heads look a little like Hellraiser but they’re supposed to look like that. No one’s in pain. Albin bounces around the shi fighting the Parallax monster, and that’s all the special effecty CGI you imagine. Albin is fast and moves to his escape pod quickly, but that’s not the extraordinary part.

Albin lands and gives Hal the ring. Ryan Reynolds gets to make a joke about Albin’s purple blood before his corps solidifies. He also gets to make a joke improvising the oath Albin told him to say to the lantern. The magic happens when the lantern intuitively teaches Hal the correct oath. Hal speaks it correctly, nobly and flies through space with a protective coating of green shield.

As soon as he arrives on Oa, he’s suited up. The green suit looks totally real, and Hal can’t help but strut. Tomar-Re even scolds Hal for showboating, as if he’s used to it from the new guards. Hal calls Tomar-Re a talking fish but it quickly answers the questions about his translation utility.

Once we’re on Oa, you believe that Hal Jordan from our earth is walking around with aliens dealing with real issues. That’s in a few minutes of clips, so a 20 minute first act ought to really segue nicely. The backgrounds and crowd shots still look like CGI and green screen. I mean, we’ve seen fishy guys and hordes of followers in the distance, but the tone is “we all believe this sincerely.”

The only Hal Jordan construct they showed was the ethereal green gattling machine gun from the sizzle reel. That’s the money shot for June 17.

The post WonderCon: ‘Green Lantern’ Footage Breakdown appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]> 0 Green-Lantern-Movie-Trailer