Once again, I get up early. I'm not 100% sure why, exactly, since nothing I am particularly excited about what occurs today until mid-afternoon, but I do, probably because of the damn crick in my neck. How am I supposed to get rid of this thing, I wonder. I consider twisting my neck as fast and as far as humanly possible to the right, remembering all the action movies in which guys do that and go right to sleep, and then I remember more vividly - oh yeah, they died. So instead I set my mind on my work and get up and go to The Con.
On my way to the top floor for the DVD Preview Panel, I notice at the Urbanvision booth that they're announcing the premiere of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust will premiere at the Egyptian Theater in L.A. on August 24th, with wider release going into effect in September. I write it down to put in the column. Two days later, I put it in this column. My brain then releases endorphins, and I feel good.
After the Urbanvision booth, but way before the endorphins, I go upstairs and sit down in wait for the DVD Panel to begin. Soon, it does begin. I receive lots of information on upcoming DVD releases. My brain then releases endorphins, and I am happy.
Planet of the Apes: The DVD was in production while the movie was in production, meaning that the makers of the disc were frequently on set. The producer of the disc was there said that he was rather stressed out, since the supplemental materials for the disc were due only three days after the movie opens.
Hannibal: We were treated to a special preview of Disc 2 of the anticipated 2-Disc set, which currently includes the following extras (and perhaps more - we didn't have time to see the whole thing):
"Making Of" Featurette
The "Making Of" featurette can be shown in two ways, either as a complete mini-film, or in chapters. The current length of the complete featurette runs at 1 hour, 16 minutes and 8 seconds, and is comprised of the following chapters:
Development: 16 minutes, 43 seconds
Production: 20 minutes, 29 seconds
Special Make-Up Effects: 13 minutes, 55 seconds
Music: 14 minutes, 51 seconds
Reaction (including footage from the premiere/after party): 13 minutes, 9 seconds
Apparently the times don't add up (I'll take their word for it - I'm a lazy bastard and don't want to do the math), but they are aware of this and will fix it for the completed version.
Some notes follow about the Multi-Angle Vignettes, which will allow the viewer to re-edit the fish market shoot-out sequence. The producer of the disc (didn't catch his name, sorry) mentioned that alternate angles were a feature long-promised on DVDs, but up till now were only used on porn. "You turned it into a porno movie?" someone quipped. Well, not quite. Here's the lowdown.
The Multi-Angle Vignettes button takes you to another menu, featuring three items - "Anatomy of a Shoot-out," "Ridleygrams," and "Title Design." Selecting "Anatomy" takes you to yet another menu where you can select Takes, Lenses, FPS, Camera Mount and even Exposure. For those casual movie fans who don't know what these terms mean, exactly, there will be definitions available.
From here you will be able to select between four camera angles that simultaneously shot the fish market scene, and multiple takes thereof. Some takes did not involve certain cameras, or certain cameras all the time, so not every angle will always be available. The producer of the disc also accidentally let slip a potential Easter Egg - a fifth camera angle enabling you to see all four cameras at once. Cool stuff.
"Ridleygrams" is a feature that will enable the viewer to look at storyboards with a (presumably optional, I didn't catch it) commentary from Ridley Scott. I also heard mention of a scene-by-scene comparison, but either I didn't catch it or they didn't go into much detail.
There were too many deleted scenes to jot down in the short amount of time I had (they said "No recording devices," and true to my sense of honor I didn't use any), but I did note four that seemed interesting, entitled, "Fish Market Aftermath," "Alternate Ending," "Planning the Meal," and "Dear Clarice." Again, there seemed to be at least 20 alternate or deleted scenes, and they didn't show ANY of them, so my information in this regard is somewhat limited.
The Marketing Gallery section of the Disc will include over 600 photos, many of which never before seen, as well as heretofore unseen poster work.
The 2 Disc Special Edition of Hannibal hits the streets August 21st.
Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory: This long-awaited DVD did not yield anything so wholly remarkable as multi-angle options, but did yield the following observations.
The menu is particularly interesting, and very family oriented - the menu is actually inside a Wonka Bar, waiting to be opening. The background for the menu is the Chocolate Waterfall from the film, and featured prominently are Gene Wilder as Wonka, swinging his cane back and forth (and occasionally all the way around), and a sporadically appearing Oompa-Loompa. An interesting feature of this DVD (right now, at least) is that if you stay on the menu too long without touching anything, the movie simply starts up without you. This feature, the DVD producers mentioned, may become more prominent in the future.
The extras aren't too great in number, but what is there looks great. Two documentaries are present, including a 30 year old feature running at 10 minutes, and a retrospective documentary, entitled "Pure Imagination," running at 30 minutes. Apparently the producers of the disc had more footage, but there the top brass apparently have some sort of problem with documentaries running too long on DVDs (something about the difference between "Featurettes" and "Documentaries") - this is one of the reasons why the Hannibal disc chose to separate its documentary footage into smaller pieces, in fact.
The audio commentary for the disc features all five child actors from the film (all grown up now, of course), who reportedly had NEVER seen the film together before. Sounds interesting. Other special features include a Sing-Along option (3 songs only, apparently), and both wide-screen and full-frame options. The disc looks beautiful, I must say, with the colors quite literally popping out of the screen. Its release is apparently Warner's biggest DVD campaign of the year.
Terminator: Special Edition: We already have a kick-ass release of the sequel, and now the film that started it all gets a special treatment of its own. A 2-Disc release on one disc (double-sided), production began on it over a year. You might have heard that this disc has already been released in Europe - but this version will have more extras. 40 minutes more, in fact.
The features on Side 2:
- Terminated Scenes
- Original Treatment
The documentaries include the 1992 VHS release of "Other Voices: Back Through Time," featuring James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and "Terminator: A Retrospective."
The deleted scenes as shown were entitled:
- Wholesome Sarah
- Wrong Sarah
- Lt. Traxler's Arc
- Sarah Fights Back
- Making Bombs
- Tickling Reese
- The Factory
Apparently these deleted scenes include one of Sarah suggesting she and Reese blow up Cyberdyne, and a scene revealing that the machine press the Terminator is destroyed in belongs to Cyberdyne Systems. These scenes also feature something of a rarity: commentary tracks by none other than James Cameron himself, a man not prone to doing commentary work. (Speaking of rarities, the trailers were also apparently VERY hard to come by.)
Some info on the sound of Terminator: Special Edition: even though the film was originally mixed in Mono, the DVD will offer real 5.1 Stereo Surround sound. In the case of the musical score, however, this involved completely re-recording the audio track. All you die-hard fans, however, should know that great pains were taken to preserve the sound of the original score - no alterations were made, apart from re-working the score as if it had been done in stereo in the first place. The video is a new, anamorphic high definition transfer.
And for all you Easter Egg hunters out there, there are reportedly 40 minutes of Easter Egg footage to be found - if I heard them correctly, all on side one. (Just don't quote me on that.)
In the course of the panel, the following upcoming DVDs were announced:
- Thelma & Louise: Special Edition (due out next year)
- Legend: Special Edition (still on its way)
- Blade Runner: Special Edition
- Pearl Harbor (the producers of the disc reportedly have over 300 hours of on-set footage to work with)
- Twin Peaks
- The Last Emperor
- Star Wars: Episode 1 ("It's gonna be cool")
- Jerry Maguire
- Ocean's Eleven (the original, presumably in time for the re-release)
- Rush Hour 2 (like 13 Days, it will be an Infini-Film - it's producer called it "a complex disc")
Phew! Okay, finally moving on. I skipped the Trailer Park Panel of the Con, and from the looks of other coverage of the event I didn't miss much - all the interesting stuff I got elsewhere. I did, however, barely get in line in time to see Kevin Smith talking. I swear, the size of the line was AMAZING. The line for Stan Lee autographs wasn't this big. Anyway, I stood there for what seemed like an hour (actually, it was), and was finally let in. Finally (again), Kevin Smith walks in, holding his adorable young daughter, Harley.
He sets her up on the table.
"Say Hi," he says to her.
The audience goes "Awwwwwww…" in a way you couldn't imagine. And then the unthinkable.
Gales of laughter.
The house explodes.
(Paraphrasing - again no recording equipment allowed, and I rarely use it anyway) - "If you're not going to be part of the act, you should probably go off-stage."
Smith's INCREDIBLY hot wife comes in and takes the child.
"That's my wife," he says, incredibly smugly.
"Fat kid did well for himself, didn't he?"
Smith didn't talk too much about his upcoming movie, although he did show some "Making Of" footage and a clip (I'll be reviewing the ENTIRE movie, however, in The Untitled Deadpool Column real soon). I did, however, write down some other stuff. Smith himself was worried about how he was going to fill the 3 hours of time he was given to speak, suggesting that if he ran out of things to say, we should all watch a copy of The Legend of Bagger Vance he rented.
He started talking for a while about how he's just a regular everyday person like the rest of us comic fans, and how, like us, he's never going to get laid. (Looking off-stage, presumably at his wife and child, he turns and says, "Well, once. At least, that's what SHE says.") "You're all here to see the fat guy, so who's laughing now, motherfuckers?" He concludes.
Soon, Jason Mewes drops by - Kevin helps introduce him by stating, "The Jay to my Silent Bob… together we'll be striking back." As Kevin answers some questions, stating how he likes working with the same cast numerous times, because there's no 'getting to know you' time required, Jason starts smoking. Exactly WHAT he is smoking was never actually settled (I have my theories), but the guy seems really out of it for the rest of the discussion. "You're going to get us thrown out," Smith says. Mewes answers a few questions, then eventually leaves "to go smoke." He doesn't come back from over an hour. Smith says that this is typical of him.
Anyway, on to some actual project questions:
Name, an unmade (though once discussed) 5th Jersey Film was discussed, though not confirmed. The intention was to make it more serious, according to Smith. Also, "It wouldn't necessarily be tied into the View Askewniverse." Adding, "Trademark, copyright."
On how Jay prepared for his role in the original Clerks: "Drank and smoked a lot of bud."
Future comic projects: Smith expressed his desire to write The Brave and the Bold, though nothing has been really discussed just yet.
Smith is not attached in any way to the Green Arrow movie, nor does he have any desire to adapt a comic book into a feature film.
The long-discussed Fletch treatment hasn't started yet, but Smith assures, "We're going to do it. I promise."
When asked about the rumor that he's in Star Wars: Episode 3: "I am?!" (I hadn't heard about that one, either.) It was apparently mentioned that he might play Obi-Wan's cousin or something, to which Smith said, "It's like, Cos, what's with the ponytail?"
On how he originally met Jason Mewes: Apparently there was a stigma around Mewes. "There's that Mews kid - I heard he fucked a dog! Then you get to know him later and it's like, 'I never fucked a dog. Blew it a little bit…'" Smith first noticed how funny Jason was, he says, when he just walking in a room one day and started giving blowjobs to everything phallic in sight. And never once did he look at anyone to see if it was funny or not. In Smith's own words, it was like "he came in with an agenda."
On the Dogma DVD documentary, the one about the controversy: Disney wouldn't let it be put on the DVD - although Lion's Gate owns the property, apparently Disney still has some say in how it's marketed. It might be placed on the Vulgar DVD, to be released October 11th.
Test Screenings of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back are going "phenomenally." The film is getting scores in the 80s. (Apparently a very good thing.)
On whether or not the Clerks animated series will air on MTV: They're "still working with MTV to hammer something out." The plan right now, if everything works out, is to show the original series, and if they do well maybe make some more episodes.
The first featurette was a blooper reel, entitled, "Why Movies Cost So Much." Funny stuff, but of the "You Kinda Had To Be There" variety.
Harley Quinn Smith plays young Silent Bob in the film, but apparently was a troublemaker by not being able to shut up during filming.
In the upcoming film, Drawing Flies, Jason Mewes actually plays a character that isn't Jay, and according to Smith does a pretty good job.
Second featurette: "The Cockknocker Files." Mark Hamill discusses why he did this film while turning down so many other Star Wars homages. He came up with the idea for having his character, Cockknocker, have a blue penis drawn on his face. Eventually, however, they went with a more traditional blue mask, covering the eyes. Following this was "The Pimp File," a VERY short little film featuring Jason Mewes walking around, acting "Pimp-y" in a bright orange coat and broad-brimmed hat.
On why he did a documentary for Prince: "I was a big fan of Batdance." Actually, Prince was a fan of Dogma, and asked Smith to shoot footage of him for a couple of days. However, Smith states that he really didn't do much more than organize, since Prince already had everything else taken care of himself.
On the final words in the credits to Dogma, promising a Clerks sequel: Not going to happen. Smith was planning it for a while and was going to call it "Clerks 2: Hardly Clerkin'", but decided against sequelizing. He figures that the movies are already intertwined enough, and he can always tell another Clerks story in the comic books.
The animated Clerks, however, is apparently a go.
The once printed Mallrats scriptbook from Kitchen Sink Press won't be reprinted, because the film is lost. Unless that is found, the book is gone forever.
And finally, although Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back will be the last official film in the View Askew Universe, the name of the production company will not change. View Askew forever.
I spent the better part of the rest of the evening deciding what I was going to do with the better part of the evening. Should I do my reporterly duties and cover the Eisner Awards, or attend the Kung Fu Festival which was going to have an appearance by Cynthia Rothrock? Luckily, fate came along and answered my question for me, thrusting a last minute ticket to Jay and Silent Bob in my face. Again, look for the review of that in The Untitled Deadpool Column. Right now, I'm getting real sleepy, just like I was Friday night. It looks like this Hollyfeld Reporter, originally intended to be a one-column opus, has just extended into a trilogy. I'll see you real soon for part three of Lazlo Hollyfeld's San Diego Comic Con Adventure, when I'll be talking about the numerous movie previews shown last Saturday. Good stuff, I promise you. I'll be back tomorrow. See ya. Bye.