Tag: Se7en

Wrapping Comic-Con, if that’s even possible

Okay, so the big show has been over for more than 24 hours and it’s time to come to some grand conclusions. The thing is the only grand conclusion I can offer you is one that isn’t news, and really hasn’t been for many years now: Comic-Con is less and less about comics as a medium — a medium that is too frequently confused with a genre — and more and more about a kind of obsession in the media business with appealing to a young males with tales of butt-kicking monoliths and moderately dressed babes who bend over a lot, and now to young females with tales of forbidden love with troubled vampires who are more a lot more James Dean than Bela Lugosi or Max Shreck — not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, in theory. (I’ve never seen/read “Twilight,” hence my blissful tolerance on that score.)

Of course, there are plenty of bright spots and I’m fond of reminding the world of “Sturgeon’s Law,” the dictum uttered by science fiction great Theodore Sturgeon that “90 percent of everything is crap.” In other words, don’t expect greatness most of the time from any genre, whether it’s superhero funnybooks or Elizabethan plays (though the ones that survive a few centuries tend to be dandy).

And, as someone who bemoans the lack of emphasis that the still nascent art form of comics gets at its own convention, I need to get serious myself and read a few more of them this year. (If you’re curious about comics as a medium and how they relate to other media, including film which grew up alongside it, one of the best books about media ever created is a comic book, “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud.) For this kid who grew up dreaming of the day his comic book favorites would finally become major motion pictures, the phrase “be careful what you wish for” is certainly valid.

Before we go, we do have a few lingering con and geek related news items I should probably mention…

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When David met Aaron?

Like Cinematical, some blogs and movie sites couldn’t get over news, yesterday, of a possible teaming between onetime master-of-mayhem David Fincher and former TV walk-and-talk specialist megawriter Aaron Sorkin, creator of “The West Wing,” “Sports Night,” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” (which I liked, anyway). The subject: the creation of Facebook.

From a Sorkin standpoint, this actually makes sense. Every thing he’s ever written is about people working on hugely important tasks with a dedication that goes well beyond mere workaholism. From a Fincher standpoint, while the line between dedication and lunacy was the main topic of his cinephile cause celebreZodiac,” let’s just say it’s more of a stretch. And there’s nothing wrong with stretching.

For example, while “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was largely a romance, why couldn’t past Fincher products be reworked to include a bit less slaughter and bit more steam?

And how will Fincher outdo ace TV director Thomas Schlamme’s approach to Sorkin’s signature walk-and-talks?

Greetings to the New Show: “13: Fear is Real”

I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the programming department of The CW when the folks over there first heard that the Sci-Fi Channel had beaten them to the punch in the field of horror-themed game show, but I can only imagine the sigh of relief they released after taking a gander at “Estate of Panic.” I received a screener of the premiere episode, and I duly handed it over to my wife, whose fascination with scary movies is, if not quite an obsession, certainly a bit of a hobby; after watching it, she duly reported back that she had lost a great deal of respect for Steve Valentine for agreeing to host such a cheesy show, likening it more to “Fear Factor” than anything legitimately scary.

Even after this disappointment, however, I was still optimistic about The CW’s “13: Fear is Real,” if only because of the series’ executive producers: Sam Raimi, Robert G. Tapert, and Jay Bienstock. Horror fans will no doubt recognize the first two names, with Raimi having earned his genre stripes with the “Evil Dead” films and then teamed with Tapert to produce such flicks as “30 Days of Night,” “The Messengers,” “Boogeyman,” and “The Grudge.” Bienstock, meanwhile, is best known in reality-TV circles as the guy responsible for bringing “The Apprentice” to the airwaves. In theory, it’s hard to imagine that you could bring this trio together and not come up with a legitimately scary reality show.

The premise of “13: Fear Is Real” as laid out in the press release is thus: “Thirteen people compete to ‘stay alive’ as they face their deepest fears in an all-out elimination competition and scare-fest. Pitted against each other in situations straight from the horror movies, the 13 will face shocking surprises, psychological scares and lots of ‘beware of the dark’ moments, all designed by a ‘mastermind’ of terror.”

So, wait, is this when we cue the clip of Count Floyd saying, “Ooooh, scary“?

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