08/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I'm A Freak And A Geek

I'm a Comic-Con virgin. But after three days of this shindig, my er ... "Cherry Darling" (come on, Planet Terror fans ... and I saw Rose McGowan on the Red Sonja panel so it's relevant) anyway, that thing's been popped. Amid the herds of nerds (and I mean that in the nicest way possible -- mostly) and costumed fan-freaks, the expansive convention floor/field filled with every kind of graphic novel to numerous movie posters to the "Harold & Kumar" unicorn, I am, in the grandest of understatements, a bit overwhelmed. And surprised, too. I'd gone in thinking I'd be annoyed by the geek fest, that my inner high-school-smoking-section Kim Kelly (the "freak" from Freaks and Geeks) would rage against the onslaught of nerd-dom; instead, I was charmed. I'd see a guy in far too tight spandex Robin outfit and think, "Right on! Do your thing, man!" When spying a girl dressed in the original Princess Leia outfit, I thought, "Good for you! Those cinnamon buns on your head must have been a bitch to apply."

And then I took the Comic-Con shuttle. Filled with Comic-Con fans of every stripe, I realized I wasn't far removed from these kids -- and they all seem like kids, even the adults who are older than I am. After speaking to one fellow who asked me what the hell I was doing there (funny -- I'm the weirdo I guess), I told him I just saw, among others, Frank Miller speak. When he asked me who Frank Miller was, I flipped: "What?!" I exclaimed, "You're at Comic-Con and you don't know who Frank Miller is"? That's like saying you don't know who Han Solo is! What the hell is wrong with you?!" Yes I geeked out. And yes, OK, Kim Kelly did emerge, albeit a much nerdier one. I realized my own fan-girl geekdom when my first panel began with ...

judd-apatow.jpg Judd image by danagracemarie July 25, 2008
The Visionary Filmmakers

I love Frank Miller. I love his graphic novels, I love that he loves film noir, I love that he's staunchly protective of his material and I love that he can actually pull off wearing a pin-striped jacket and a fedora -- not an easy feat, my friends. So I was excited to learn he would be participating in the Visionary Filmmakers panel as part of his promotion of The Spirit. His fellow panelists were Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300 and the highly anticipated Watchmen), Judd Apatow (creator of Freaks and Geeks, director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up and producer of Superbad and The Pineapple Express) and Kevin Smith (Clerks, and you know the rest). Now, I still love Frank Miller, but dammit if Kevin Smith (who received the biggest applause upon entering), a filmmaker I don't revere by any stretch of the imagination, didn't win me over. Discussing the role of geek in cinema, the power they hold both culturally and in the business world (they are taking over), Smith and Apatow dominated the panel with their hilarious, incredibly blue banter. When asked why they made the movies they do, Smith quipped, "I just wanted to get my c** sucked, sir." And then Apatow one upped him with, "I'd still like that to happen ... [Anyway] I was 16/17 years old and I had sex for the first time, and afterwards I asked her, 'Was it good for you too?' She answered, 'I guess it'll get better' & and then I knew." He continued with, "I'm sure none of you have had that experience." Ah, have to love him (and there's more of him to come).

Miller and Snyder were silent for most of the panel, with Snyder coming off almost nervous at times (even Smith, who praised Watchmen pointed out his lack of verbal skills were made up by such a strong visual sense), but Snyder did make some nice points about the power of watching movies on the big screen: "I'm a fan of the theater, I want to go to the movies, I want the lights to go down and get my brains blown out." Considering his movies, I'm pretty sure he meant that literally.

Kevin Smith Makes a Porno

The raunchiness continued with Smith's hour-and-a-half discussion of his newest picture, Zack & Miri Make a Porno, which stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. Based on the clip he presented, the film looks pretty damn funny. Again, I'm not the world's biggest Smith fan, but with Rogen dominating the screen (and Smith very openly admits this by praising Rogen's improvisational skills), the movie looks like it could be the funniest he's ever made. With, among others, porn icon Traci Lords, Rogen, Jason Mewes and Banks on the panel, the night was highly amusing and I can't repeat nearly any of what was spoken here. Sorry.

July 26, 2008

Terminator Salvation
Did I honestly think Christian Bale would make a surprise appearance here? Yes, yes, there was some glimmer of hope inside, even with his latest incident. ("Verbal assault"? What is up with laws in England? Leave Mr. Bale alone. He was having a bad night.). Anyway, I was shocked by how er ... articulate director McG (he of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle fame) was. After showing the trailer (starring Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard and Common, who did all appear on the panel today) the picture looks a lot grittier than we've seen of Mr. McG, who stated he used no visual effects in order to create a more "tactile feel" and a more "'70s" vibe. Good direction. He was also quite political ("I think if the world would get its head out of its ass & if we actually see a guy like Common running shi* ...") and made some interesting points about the state of the world: "Science fiction is over, we live in a world we can clone a sheep, talk on our blackberries, and if we're depressed, we just take a pill to affect our dopamine levels. The future is here." He also conceded his lack of credible weight by citing others for any artistry the film might have. "We hired Stan Winston, John Nolan is the writer, who you know from a little picture called The Dark Knight." He continued with "[Audiences are thinking,] I don't know about that McG guy. So I wanted to hire the most credible actor of this generation: Christian Bale. He is John Connor. I can report fairly back to you, he's doing a great, great job." I'm pretty sure he's right. As for the movie itself, we shall see ...

Read the rest of my coverage including Death Race, Drag Me To Hell and the movie I'm most excited for, Pineapple Express here.

Read more Kim Morgan at Sunset Gun.