Comic-Conned Part 2
“I never said I was different. I only said I was bored.”
Aint that the truth? Sh*t. This whole thing seems redundant and asinine. How goddamn long are we going to have to talk about this thing called the Comic-Con? A day? A week? A Year? Other sites are still slowly posting their coverage from 2005. They might have it all up by July 2006. If they’re lucky. Not us. Not here at movieweb. We had most of our stuff up by Sunday night. You want to know why? Because we kick ass…
Okay, maybe I should cut out the “we” part of that statement. I did very little to help push the coverage along. Drinking 23 Black Russians in one sitting is not a helpful gesture when it comes to posting stuff on the web. I was of very little use, and it’s taken me three weeks to sit down and type this lame sh*t up: Call it my drunken, Birdseye view of the con floor and the energy surrounding it. I’m so disinterested in whatever anyone else has too say, not too mention angry at my own alien fingers for sitting here typing this up, that I wouldn’t hold it against you for tuning out right now. But…And this is a pretty big “but”…IN a few moments I’m going to start talking sh*t about all you other websites. So you might want to hang tight for a bit.
Before I get started with my own self-branded type of bullsh*t, I want to do something that goes against writing a voiced column. It needs to be done, though, because people just don’t know. See this website? There’s a guy sitting behind it, designing everything you see. Like the Wizard in the wizard of Oz. You might think it’s a bunch of wires, or robots, or the disembodied soul of the Internet himself creating the pages that occasionally flash across your screen. But no, there’s a dude sitting behind the curtain working his ass off for you. And, as gay as it may sound, I think he’s awesome. Sure, movieweb looks pretty cool right now. It’s one of the best-looking movie sites on the net. But very soon, it’s going to get better. Brain Balchack, our Webmaster, has spent every waking hour upgrading this site, and the results, which you’ll see very soon, are exceptional. When the gate goes up, you’ll be shocked. Floored. Movieweb will no longer be one of the best looking websites on the Internet. It will “be” the best looking site on the Internet. And we owe it all to Shecker Ballchecker! He deserves your applause. So, stand-up mother f*ckers and clap…
That said; the guy is kind of a dick. He handed Mush and I a handful of actual work at the Con and then left to go back to his Hotel Room. We had free porn being piped in, so you know he was probably pulling an old Lee Thomas “Whoop-Doo!” Whatever floats your boat, right? Room service has to clean the sheets. Not me and Mush (though I think Mushy might have slept on some of those sheets; yuck!).
If you’re just catching up, Mushy (of Mushy’s Movie Minute) and I had just experienced a very strange run in with Vigil. He’s this old WWF wrestler whom I’d always assumed was just some junked-up Mexican action figure sitting near my sink in the kitchen. Imagine my surprise when I found out he was a real, living person. Seeing him and Margot Kidder within minutes of each other just about blew my sh*t apart. The ethereal vision leaked out of my brain in a pool of sweet saliva. Oh, the wondrous Con. Like Amsterdam, everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime. Only, here, in San Diego, you don’t need to drink a Space Shake to feel all funny and sick at your stomach.
Anyway, roundtables for ZATHURA were about to start, so we hurried away from Virgil and headed down the hallway. Initially, Mushy was just going to conduct an interview with Rachael Wiez for THE FOUNTAIN. I was going to do the ZATHURA roundtable with Jon Favreau, then head over for one-on-ones with V for Vendetta illustrator David Lloyd and FOUNTAIN director Darren Aronofsky. But those plans changed, and I came out looking like the asshole.
Mushy ended up doing all of the 1-on-1 interviews, adding aplomb to his already golden MVP status here at movieweb. But, goddamn it, it wasn’t my fault. I was told to show up for Zathura at a certain time, and always the punctual fool, I landed at Columbia’s doorstep within seconds of when I was supposed to be there. Hell, I thought I was going to be late. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was actually two hours early. Not on purpose. They just kept pushing the interviews back. To the point that it became maddening.
Initially, I thought it would be awesome to chat with Jon Favreau. Then I grew bored of waiting for his bloated ass. As I’d mentioned early on, I’d forgotten to pack a pen. Balchack gave me the one he’d received from the Wes Craven RED EYE screening the previous night. Talk about a piece of sh*t pen. Oh, it spread ink with an elegant grace. Sure. But the top of it was adorned with this ghoulish looking blue Frankenstein figure. You couldn’t simply pull it off. It was glued on there tight. This caused a problem. Where was I supposed to put the cap? I fiddled with this stupid looking thing for about a half an hour, dreaming up questions for Favreau. And then I flipped the end of it and hit Sailor Moon in the eye. She wasn’t too pissed. Until I told her she was hot. And asked her to Saturday Night’s costume ball.
God, does everybody hate me?
The blood drive room was right next door to the supposed ZATHURA roundtables. So, I scooched myself over there to watch for a while. It was fun in an off, bizarre sort of way, to see every various sort of creature and alien give blood. They’d get the orange punch and the cookie. They’d lie on a cot. Darth Maul winced in absolute agony while filling a pint. That pussy bitch. As you can guess, the novelty of this circus sideshow wore off quickly. Klingons sit in silence when receiving a needle. I felt like I was locked in some horrible Sci-Fi TV show used to mock popular culture.
Bored, I went over to the ZATHURA publicity robot and asked how much longer it would be. He explained that the presentations in Hall H had gone on way past their due, then assured me that I had a good hour to kill. I decided to kill it on the presentation floor, looking, once more, for the Hasbro booth. Again, I couldn’t find it. There were too many people walking around. They kept pushing and bumping into my backpack. I wanted to kill them. I didn’t like this. Every time I stopped for a minute, some random representative from the Con would yell at me, “Keep it moving!” I saw Bill Dee Williams. I wanted to buy his autograph. I told the guy who was yelling at me that exact same thing. He got very angry and said, “Get in line!” His finger went to the back wall. There must have been a gazillion people waiting for Lando’s Colt 45 induced signature. Damn! I took one last close-up look at ol’ Billy Dee. He was making me thirsty for beer. Then I headed forward. My head down. My mission null and void…
I truly wanted to buy something. I wanted to get some more cool free stuff. I just couldn’t muster up the energy to care once I got on the Con floor. This place was a buzzing hive of retardation. Everything hit my eyes at lightening speed. It made me nauseous. I had to go back up stairs. The weird thing was; my small journey had eaten up an entire hour. I’m still not sure where the time went. It felt like I was down there for no more than fifteen minutes. On that same note, it also felt like a lifetime. The thigh chaffing was starting to itch.
Once back at the ZATHURA room, I learned we still had another hour to kill. I decided to go see how Mushy was doing. He’d just finished up the V for Vendetta roundtables and looked non-the-worse for wear. I informed him that the ZATHURA roundtables were taking forever. We sat and chatted. We waited. He was pulled out of the room for his 1-on-1 with Rachel Wiez. He came back. I checked on ZATHURA. Still no dice. I wasn’t sure when my interview would be a go. Time was ticking off the clock. I had to give Mushy the 1-on-1 with David Lloyd. And then I had to give him the 1-on-1 with Darren Aronofsky.
Basically, it looked like I wasn’t doing anything. But I was. I was waiting for Swingers star Jon Favreau. I love DINNER FOR FIVE, so I was kind of excited to see him in the flesh. But my patience was waning. Mush had a bag of work stacked against his back, and all I had was this boring tale of Monster blood banks and angry Con girls. Though, in all honesty, I must admit, I was quite pleased that Mushy did the 1-on-1s. Because, I didn’t really care. I had absolutely no questions for any of those people. Hell, I didn’t even have questions for Favreau. Yet. I was decidedly playing it by ear, much to Balchack’s chagrin.
While Mushy was out with Darren A., the ZATHURA room got changed to the one I was currently sitting in. How convenient. Walking back down to the original roundtable room sounded like a choir. I was starting to get excited. I mean; I was minutes away from hanging out with Foggy Nelson. Imagine my disappointment, then, when Jon finally walked in the room. I was expecting to see the guy from MADE. Instead I get the guy from PCU.
Favreau had ballooned-up since the last time I saw him. And his face was sun burnt. Bright red. He pulled himself into the room with a squealing kid wrapped around his thigh. The little boy didn’t want to let go. The ensuing conversation quickly focused on the Power of Jumanji, and how ZATHURA wasn’t a sequel to that film. There was also a lot of talk about how Jon’s kids were helping shape the final product. I got to ask Jon why the two boys in the movie were able to breath in space. He answered this dumb question very diligently. The man can talk. He sold me on the premise. I actually want to see ZATHURA now. Before our chat, I didn’t really want to see another film ever again.
Overall, the sound bytes were tight. Too bad most of the other sites seated around me chose to post the exact same interview in audio format (hey, comingsoon.net, we’ve been doing this forever so don’t start crying rip-off, you nerdy jerks!). I thought we’d be the only ones. It doesn’t matter. These types of interviews are quite inconsequential in the scheme of things. After it was over, I stood for a moment, watching Favreau pose for a handful of digital photos. A friendly man, he probably would have signed some sh*t without question. I didn’t want to hassle him, and I had nothing worthy of his autograph. I decided to take off for greener pastures. My only work for the day was done. Or so I thought.
Mushy met me right outside the door. He seemed complacent. Apparently his handful of 1-on1s went really well. He told me that Aronofsky was tired, and hungry, and jumped up with glee at the call of “Last Question.” I’m not too familiar with Darren or his new project, so I was overly joyed that I’d skipped out on the bulk of their conversation. A call came in on the cell phone. Brian had finally arrived back at the Con from jacking off too Hotel porn. He was downstairs in Hall H. A tired man. A blistered hand…
F*cking Hall H. If I never have to go back there, I’ll be a happy guy. As I sit, typing this sentiment, I can literally feel my future self, fidgeting in that huge room, not really wanting to listen to whatever actor or director as they discuss his or her latest project. In all actuality it’s a painful torture. I’ve reached the breaking point. Interviews are stupid, and I hate DVD special features. And Christ, fan Q & As are the worst. “Get a life, nerds.”
(Oh, wait; look at what I’m doing right now. I suck.)
We arrived at the back of Hall H to find the lights dimmed. Pitch black, it was almost impossible to see anything. We were walking right into the middle of Disney’s Big Presentation. They were about to introduce a clip from SKY HIGH. I didn’t really know how to find Brian, so I asked him via text messaging to stand up and wave his arms. It’s kind of hard to miss the baldy faggot. Pretty soon, after a bit of scuffling and dodging the occasional Elvis Stormtrooper, our little movieweb army was back in formation. We sat to watch the exclusive 10-minute footage from SKY HIGH. It was Bruce Campbell’s introductory scene as Coach Boomer, where he tries to separate the Heroes from the Sidekicks. I found it to be rather amusing. It pulled me in. I wanted to keep watching the movie. I’d have been content to stay there and screen the rest of it at that moment. I guess their approach worked.
The lights came back up, and the film’s director, Mike Mitchell, walked on stage with the scriptwriters and co-star Bruce Campbell in tow. As always, Bruce was in top form, riffing and zinging one quick joke after the other. I wanted to care, but something mean was rumbling inside my intestines. Relived to find out that Hall H had its own bathroom, I ran to relinquish a bit of brown mud. It was odd, sitting, and sh*tting, and listening to Bruce Campbell in person, blabbing about his crush on Wonder Woman. I wondered if Ash could kill this zombie I was dropping against porcelain. I wondered if I was going against some strict nerd code by taking a dump during his ace podium speech. I mean; his sit down Q & As with his fans are made of legend. This was like the time I went to Nirvana’s last American Tour Date ever, before Kurt blew his brains out, and stood peeing twelve beers while Cobain belted out his acoustic rendition of Polly. What if Bruce died shortly after this Panel discussion? I’d know to stop defecating during opening mic ruminations. That’s for sure.
When I came back out of the bathroom, Mush and Brian were ready to leave. We headed out the door and didn’t return for the rest of the day. Our Friday Con coverage was finished. And it didn’t seem like I’d accomplished much of anything. Oh, well. Time to start drinking. And there’d be no better place to start than the Side Bar. Why? Because the drinks were going to be free. All I could guzzle. Warner Brothers was having a FOUNTAIN party, and we were invited.
We hurried over to the restaurant as fast as we could only to find the place closed. It’s a pretty nondescript looking joint, painted green and seemingly empty. On the way down Market Street, Mushy had spotted an actual Video store. And when I say actual video store, I mean they traded in Beta and VHS tapes. Like a man obsessed, Mush hurried back over to see if he could find anything good for sale. Call it technology in retrograde. I stayed near Side Bar and got a piece of pizza from this stoner chick working next-door. Remember that two dollars and fifty cents I earned letting someone in the Hall H line? It came in handy as that was the exact amount of this BBQ chicken slice. Two-fifty was also the exact price of the Altoids Mush picked up at the Mini-Market on our walk over. The dude that cut in front of the Hall H line must have been made of some sort of weird fate or destiny.
I took an immediate like to the pizza girl behind the counter. I thought she was super hot. I was in love. Everyone else had a problem with her looks. Balchack kept insisting that she had a lazy face. Like it had just been shot up with Novocain. I didn’t care. I wanted to bang her. Twenty-five minutes passed by before we reconvened outside Side Bar. Other Internet entities were starting to emerge. We here at Movieweb.com like to keep a low profile, meaning we don’t socialize with other sites too much. I, personally, find them to be too totalitarian. All they care about is their own opinion. All I care about is finding my next free drink and having a good time. Sh*t, the movie’s over and you’re still alive, right? Relax and take a breather. Nope, not these guys. But there are some exceptions to the rule, and I’ll get to them in a minute.
We were starting to gather around the back of the bar like a bunch of booze-starved flies. Side Bar’s stairwell, which led to their basement, smelled like a garbage heap. The stink of hazardous bum sh*t wafted up and killed our lingering minutes. First too arrive and introduce itself was bloodydisgusting.com. I could tell right away that this website was taking itself too seriously. It had on a suit jacket over a maroon colored t-shirt. And maroon colored Chuck Taylor’s that matched. It wanted to shake my hand, but I couldn’t get past all the dandruff on its shoulders. Call me a dick, but I didn’t want to talk to this website. I played dumb, which is pretty easy for me to do. Human embodiments of sites like bloodydisgusting.com consider themselves a little too sophisticated to engage in conversation with a dipsh*t like me. And that’s just the way I like it.
I wandered away from the amassing crowd. I didn’t want to know these people. And I didn’t want to trade business cards with them, only to find mine on the floor of the bathroom later in the evening. Brian did all of the interpersonal networking, with Mushy chiming in on a muted level. Ol’ Mush looked about as interested in these pretentious assholes as I did. (Though, noted, I was being more of a pretentious asshole than any of them. I just did it in an idiot-man, off-putting way where I made it difficult for people to want to talk to me. I guess it’s a defense mechanism).
On the way in, joblo.com introduced itself to us. For whatever reason, I took an immediate liking to this dude. I’ve always enjoyed their site, and was glad to find that one of the faces behind it didn’t look like your typical Internet asshole. Still, I had a difficult time listening to the conversations he kept proposing. I’ve got a one-track mind, and it was focused on 2 Black Russians and a Black & Tan chaser. Movieweb.com and Joblow.com took the far booth. The other websites that were in attendance shared a middle booth. They started yakking about movie related matters. I started drinking. Brain and Mush sat, looking bored.
Joblo.com and I got into a bit of a drinking contest at the table. We weren’t really keeping score; we just decided to see if we could keep at least three drinks between us on the table at all times. Brian and Mushy were emotionless as far as I could tell. Maybe they were wiped out from two days at the Con. They’re a couple of straight-edgers. They don’t drink. Or do drugs. They just kick unwed pregnant ladies.
The bartender caught onto our drinking game and started making us weak drinks. I decided that the occasional trip to the bar and a dollar tip was worth the trouble. The place got really crowded fairly quickly. My buzz was in full effect, and the only real thing I remember is Mushy eating plates and plates of appetizers. I hadn’t eaten all day, but now it was too late. One slice of pizza and I was on a strictly liquid diet. Yum. We saw my Pizza girl walk through the bar. I tried to catch her. Brian made more fun of her lazy, paralyzed face.
Walking towards the barkeep, I met up with two of my old friends from the Dukes of Hazzard set visit, blackfilm.com and latinoreview.com. These two sites in human form are awesome. The only real friends I’d consider hanging out with at a party full of internet scumbags. We said our hellos, and then I made a B line for more drinks. The place was crowded beyond moving. I spilt copious amounts of liquor on the floor heading back to our table.
A representative from Warner Brothers had stopped by our booth for a chat. He shall go nameless at this time, in case he google-searches himself (I can’t remember it anyway). He went to shake my hand, asking who, and how, I was. I shouted out, “I’m the awesome!” This took him back a bit. I don’t think he was expecting me to greet him in such a manner. Brian looked slightly amused, yet annoyed at the same time. Usually, people kiss this guy’s ass, and I stepped over the line. I thought he was just some Internet dude. I tried to apologize for my behavior, but it was a moot point. He stuck around for a minute, chatting us up. He seemed like a nice guy. I’d probably ruined whatever working relationship we were going to have with him. Oh, well. That’s my MO. Balchack didn’t seem too concerned. He’d occasionally give me the mean cheek.
Time started weighing heavy. It seemed like the party was winding down. Mush and Brian were anxious to get over to the local Gas Lamp theater for a screening of Micheal Bay’s The Island. Rachael Wiez and Darren Aronofsky stood behind us, talking to one occasional passerby after the next. A group of photographers grabbed Rachael by the arm and rushed her over to the back wall, next to where we were seated. As bulbs lit up our dark corner, I turned to Wiez and said, “Why don’t you put a drink in your hand. That’d make for a better picture.” She shot me an awful glare. She didn’t appreciate my comment very much. But one of the photographers thought it was funny. He went on to inform me that Warner Brothers wouldn’t appreciate the sentiment. I smiled, ducking back behind my glass of Long Island Ice Tea…Long Island Iced Tea? Where the f*ck did this come from? I wasn’t sure. I drank it anyway. I think it was joblo.com’s drink of choice. Ah, that site’s from the East Coast, so what did I expect?
Latinoreview.com and blackfilm.com offered to take me and joblo.com to the Masters of Horror party at the House of Blues. This sounded like fun. But I also kind of wanted to go with Mush and Brian. It was a tough decision, but more free drinks won out. My guys left; and I felt slightly guilty. They’d be seeing some horrible movie, followed by going back to the hotel for work. I’d be sh*tting it up with some lesser websites at a party full of B list stars. Oh, well. You only live once. And I could see the Island anytime. B list stars, not so much…
Within minutes, a huge group of us were walking down the street. It was like some weird Internet contingent. The crowds on the street were buzzing by. We passed a couple of sweet tits on the left. I yelled out to them, “You’re hot!” They shot back, “And you’re not!” Joblo.com thought this was pretty funny. Before I knew it, we were at the House of Blues. I was still stinging from that last uncalled for comment, but I came through with a shining smile.
Latinoreview.com and his cronies went inside to set up for whatever it was they were going to be doing. Blackfilm.com, joblo.com, and I headed over to some hippie bar for a couple of Hefeweizens, which were on me. The wheat will equalize your brain, bringing the buzz down to an even calm. These moments are sort of blurry. But I know for a fact that I was having fun. Blackfilm.com didn’t seem to be getting along very well with his drink. Time elapsed. Next thing I knew, I was breezing through the walkway of the HOB. I immediately started hitting on the waitresses in true B. Alan fashion. They were kind to me, handing off full trays of margaritas. One at a time. I must have drank at least sixteen of those awful things.
Then I proceeded to harass as many people as I could. I grabbed John Landis by the arm and told him his new DVD cut of the Blues Brothers was awful. I told Bruce Campbell that I didn’t know who he was; and that I thought his new movie, Sky high, looked really good. He didn’t seem to like this opinion, and took a general disliking towards me. I punched on Ken Foree. He’s now my buddy. I saw Stan Lee wasted and shook his hand. I confronted Hal Sparks about getting fired from E! That was kind of funny. His eye started twitching just like it does in that scene from DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR. There were a few other run-ins, like seeing Diamond Dallas Page’s penis. But nothing too out of the ordinary. I pretty much acting like an ass, and I did it knowing full well what I was up to.
At the close of the party, Anchor Bay gave us these huge gift bags full of DVDs and Superman toys. It was a good thing I brought my backpack. Everyone disbanded at about midnight. I was left to take a taxicab back to my place with some dude I didn’t know. The taxi driver tried to stiff us on our fare. I didn’t let him get away with it. That jackass didn’t get a tip, let me tell you!
So, anyway, I came back from the shindig with this knowledge: Latinoreview.com likes to act like its getting f*cked-up, but its really not. It’s keeping a very close eye on everything and everyone around it. Latinoreview.com’s got your back, but if you slip, it’ll put you in a ditch. Blackfilm.com is everyone’s best friend. An all around awesome entity, but it can’t hold its liquor. And it doesn’t like Hefeweizen. Joblo.com is your goodtime drinking buddy, but, at the same time, like all goodtime drinking buddies, it’s also a major cockblock. What the f*ck is that about? Joblo.com is married. Ah, see, doesn’t matter. Cock block and drinking buddy are synonymous with each other. Bloodydisgusting.com has dandruff issues. Other than that, I don’t want to say too much else about those other prick websites. (And if you were wondering: Movieweb.com is a loud, obnoxious, drunken asshole.)
I entered my hotel on the wrong floor, which immediately put me face to face with some hot chick wandering around looking for her own room. We went on a short adventure together, and eventually got each other where we were going. When I walked into my room, I found both Brian and Mushy hard at work. I tried to act as sober as I could. I wasn’t fooling either one of them. The only thing that saved me was a call from David Yates. He was down in the parking lot. I raced to meet him.
We ended up going to some Mexican bar and having a few more drinks. We also got some burritos. I didn’t end up going back to the Hotel room for another two hours. When I arrived for the second time, with David Yates in tow, both of my comrades were still hard at work. I felt like a douche. Kinda. Not really. They took the beds, deservingly so. Yates blew up an air mattress. And I went to sleep with just my head under the coffee table.
I woke up several hours later to find Yates & Mushy watching Sinbad in The Cherokee Kid. It was 4 am. They stared; huge smiles on their faces. It disturbed me. I went back to sleep.
That was my second Con experience.
Noted: The second day of the Con was mostly captured on Video by our Videographer David Yates. This footage will soon be shown here in exclusive clips. They are all outtakes and scenes from Yate’s upcoming documentary AMERICAN DRUNK, which is about binge drinking on the weekends. Captured for your viewing pleasure is my run in with Superman Returns director Brian Singer, my roundtable interview with the six beautiful STUFF magazine cover girls that were in the Wedding Crashers, an interview with the people from The Fog, and me just being a drunk jackass around the Con floor. Yes, you’ll see me get brutalized by Robot Caveman. And accosted by Vampire Hunter D. And win a date with Wonder Woman. I also fight a Sith Lord or two. We were also on the red carpet for The Devil’s Rejects. I got to talk to Geoffrey Lewis about his daughter, Juliet, and ask Rob Zombie about Dan Aykroyd’s Nothing But Trouble. Its fun, fun stuff that amuses me. I don’t really care if you want to watch it or not.
Thanks for your time…
Now get out of my face!
(Oh, yeah…We never did get our exclusive live-action footage of the Internet walking around the Con. Maybe next time.)