After attempting to play photographer and journalist simultaneously for The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones Comic-Con panels in Hall H, I decided to dial things back a few notches and take in the film coverage that followed from more of an attendee's perspective. Sony Pictures' Total Recall, Looper, and Elysium went back-to-back-to-back and delivered serious star power that would have left someone who didn't arrive in San Diego via yacht helipad a bit in awe.
Notes and observations from each along with some highly captionable photos (looking at you, Biel) are on the way in three separate quick hit posts. First up: Total Recall.
- Bryan Cranston is -- as always -- the best. I was super bummed not to be able to attend the Breaking Bad panel, but luckily I got a little Cranston fill as he appeared here about an hour prior. Highlights included Walter White's fun-loving alter ego enthusiastically taking photos of the crowd, challenging the hearing impaired translator to tackle "douchebag," mocking a British attendee's accent with, "He seemed a bit upset," and getting a real kick out of one fan addressing him as Ted's boss from How I Met Your Mother only to ask Kate Beckinsale a question.
- Colin Farrell is admirably self-deprecating. I've been pro-Farrell since In Bruges and he didn't disappoint at the panel. The guy was honest, funny, enthusiastic, and turned all the jokes on himself. He repeatedly ribbed his own personal issues, his big budget flops, and his independent films no one has seen. My two favorite Farrell answers to fan questions were: A) "There weren't many to turn down," in (paraphrased) response to why he chose this particular blockbuster role and B) "I always wondered who the person who saw Ondine was," when one fan referenced the film.
- Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are not unattractive. Both were sincere and gracious but certainly not as lively as Farrell or Cranston. When they spoke of the movie they were more straight-forward, which I guess was to be expected. But yes, I can confirm that from tens of feet away they look like perfect people.
- Len Wiseman is exactly who you think he is. Not Michael Bay, but not the directors who followed him on stage either. If you found his Die Hard watchable because -- like me -- you find fairly well made action movies that don't go out of their way to offend your sensibilities watchable, I imagine you'll experience the same thing here.
- No one is worried about replicating anyone's performance. The director and actors weren't eager to make comparisons to the original film, but when asked also didn't skirt away. Farrell and Beckinsale in particular didn't feel like they were following in the footsteps of Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone since the tone of the movie is so completely different. Farrell noted that he was very excited to learn he wasn't expected to repeat any of Arnold's one-liners as he would have no chance at making them as funny (or presumably ironically funny).
- The Three-Boobed Hooker is not a myth. All involved confirmed they wouldn't have it any other way. She pretty much intro'd the extended footage previewed at Comic-Con. All in attendance were pleased they had embraced the extra mammary gland.
And here's the glimpse we got (that I believe is in the latest trailer). George R. R. Martin is pissed he left early.