BFI & Empire's Movie-Con 2 kicked off today

Saturday, August 15, 2009 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Today the much anticipated Movie Con 2 kicked off. I'm still reeling from the mind blowing Film goodness of day 1.

The BFI & Empire Magazine have pulled off another collaborative coup for film lovers. The second Movie Convention is heading to all time greatness.

Movie Con is a annual collaborative effort between the BFI & Empire Magazine. It takes place just after after Comic Con (San Diego) at the BFI on the Southbank in London. This means that the organisers can cherry pick the best of Comic Con as well add some good stuff. It's held for film fans and the core content covers forth coming features in the Super Hero, Horror, Fantasy, Sci Fi, blood and Cult genres.

Empire have a much better run down of today's schedule over here. But today's events have roused me from my Blog laziness of late and mention must be made of some of the key events:

Trailers & footage from Astroboy. Over the last 18 months I have been hearing the buzz about the animated Astroboy feature but had no real interest in this remake of a 60s Japanese TV show. After today's clips I'll be seeing this gem. It will enthrall kids & older kids alike. It had the audience oohing, aahing & laughing in all the right places.

Harry Brown Presentation. Harry Brown is a new film from British filmmaker Daniel Barber and stars Sir Michael Caine. The film is about an elderly veteran that due to circumstances decides to do something about his neighbourhood that has been over run by young yobs.

Coming across as a modern day version of Michael Winner's Death Wish with big boots, genuinely threatening yobs, knuckledusters and big guns. The clip we saw made it clear this was a quality production with outstanding performances Sir Michael and the blinding Sean Harris as a very, very scary low life (think Drexel nastier brother, the love child of Travis Bickle & Myra Hindley on crack). I recently saw Tonto Woman the brilliant short that Daniel Barber adapted from an Elmore Leonard story. He received an Oscar nomination for it. I'm looking forward to seeing Harry Brown in full as well as anything else Daniel Barber serves up. Think Peckinpah with a social conscience.

Next up the indomitable genius "Still not a Sir" Terry Gilliam showed us some mind melting clips from The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. Seems to be a true return to form for Mr Gilliam whose tribulations of getting his film made rival anything you have seen on screen. Doctor Parnassus recaptures the magic of Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen with a dash of sensibility from The Fisher King.

* When re-watching the classic Spies Like Us keep an eye out for Terry Gilliam as Dr. Imhaus.

Kick Ass Presentation. Put together by the Stardust team & Brad Pitt, independently financed, directed by Matthew Vaughn, written by Jane Goldman (Mrs Johnathan Ross but a super talent in her own right) & Mark Millar. Kick Ass promises to turn the Super Hero genre upside down. Referencing the both comic & film super heroes, eastern sensibilities and the slacker/Clerks space. The Kick Ass clips shown deliver in the holy Triumvirate of modern super hero genre: high action, humour & blood stakes.

I was surprised thaty neither Jane Goldman or Matthew Vaughn did not pitch up but enjoyed Editor Jon Harris' presentation and chat with Christopher Mintz-Plasse (yes that's right McLovin) and Jason Flemyng. I'm slightly annoyed I didn't get a chance to quiz Flemyng about Clash of the Titans & Solomon Kane both of which I am eagerly waiting for.

The super secret screening
I guessed that this year's secret screening was going to be District 9 - D9. I have been curious about D9 for awhile Weta and Peter Jackson's name should have made this a dead cert but South African films tend to do emotional small films well and haven't really shone in the high action or sci fi genre as yet. D9 changes that - whilst being true to it's African setting it shines at being a high adventure sci fi romp that has it's roots firmly planted in complex social issues. Google "District 6" & "Africa xenophobia" for sight of the bigger picture.

Originally Jackson and Director Neil Blomkamp were to make HALO: Combat Evolved when that fell through they decided to remake an earlier Blomkamp short film "Alive in Joburg".

* Sharlto Copley whio plays D9 lead Wikus Van De Merwe is not a trained actor and was a producer on Alive in Joburg.

Next up was Warner Bros screening of the Jonah Hex trailer. I've been waiting for this film for about 20 years.

Jonah Hex is a scarred Mad Max by way of Dirty Harry in the West that was on the wrong side during the Civil war. This makes fior an intresting character seeking redemption.

The trailer looked good but it could still go either way the newly added occult plot devices are a bit of a concern. I'm holding off on judgment for now.

Finally and "saving best for last" Robert Downey Junior & Guy Ritchie made an appearance to introduce an extended trailer for Sherlock Holmes. They were in good spirits and played off each other like a comedic duo rather than Star and Director. And well they should be in high spirits the Sherlock Holmes footage was everything it needed to be. My only query would be that it seemed fairly light and didn't really show any darkness that usually haunts Victorian era pea soap London. Possibly emulating the very successful Iron Man's formula? I'm holding thumbs.