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Del Toro, Hill Haunt Hall H: Comic Con 2010 Day One, Part One

Del Toro, Hill Haunt Hall H: Comic Con 2010 Day One, Part One (photo)

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“The first rule of Comic-Con is to show up in your own costume, and I can see as I look in the hall, not a lot of people in costume,” Will Ferrell said as he surveyed the audience in the San Diego Convention Center’s cavernous Hall H on the first day of Comic-Con.

It was meant to be a joke, as Ferrell was dressed as the character he plays in the animated film “Megamind,” but it’s one that was unwittingly perceptive. There do seem to be fewer people in costume around Hall H this year, which seems less connected than ever with the rest of the convention, where TV panels bring out their most devoted fans and comics are still bought, sold and discussed thoroughly.

As for the films that occupy Comic-Con’s most prized piece of real estate, there seemed to be an uncertainty about how to wow the crowd, at least on day one of the 2010 edition. For “Tron Legacy,” which has seen its entire evolution occur at the Con after premiering test footage two years ago, this year’s presentation felt like a victory lap, even though the film doesn’t come out until December.

On the other end of the spectrum, panels for “The Expendables” and “Salt” offered the opportunity for studios to trot out the films’ stars, who were more than gracious to the fans, but even with exclusive footage and surprises like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost crashing the “Scott Pilgrim” panel, it’s all felt a little more mechanical than in years past.

07232010_Megamind2.jpgOne thing that remains is the event is as unwieldy as ever, as a young child next to me asked, “Are they really up there?” when we sat so far back from Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill on stage at the “Megamind” panel that the only way we could see them was on one of Hall H’s many screens. However, security seems tighter this year — Con-goers who try to sneak into line close to the door are quickly rebuffed and a young woman at the mic who told Tina Fey she was “fucking hot” was hauled off before she could get a response.

If there was a policy of keeping the banter safe for kids, Jonah Hill must not have received the memo. While Ferrell was dressed in blue, Hill was working blue, taking the bait from HitFix’s Drew McWeeny on a question about which person in Hollywood they would want to destroy if they had superpowers. Hill responded, “Mel Gibson’s girlfriend. I just want to come out officially and support Mel” and walked defiantly off stage.

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg probably would’ve preferred that Hill not return if he knew Hill would defuse the situation by coming back to apologize with “I actually read what [Gibson] just said. I’m going to have to take a few of those things back. It was paraphrased to me earlier and now I read what he actually said. I feel guilty. I only support a quarter of the things he was talking about on those tapes. No, I was kidding. I don’t support him. I do think the Jews killed Jesus. Other than that…” (Hill mused earlier in the panel Katzenberg would “shoot an arrow in my head” if he revealed a twist for his character in “Megamind,” but I suspect there might be a worse reprimand for this and his later crack about Michael Cera masturbating throughout the sleeping bag scene in “Superbad.”)

The eight minutes of “Megamind” footage that was shown paled in comparison, though the biggest laugh of the superhero spoof was a sight gag when Ferrell’s villainous title character takes control of a city long protected by the superhero Metro Man (Brad Pitt, who appeared in cardboard cut-out form on the panel since he didn’t attend) and Megamind’s visage appears on banners resembling Shepard Fairey’s the Obama “Hope” posters, with the logo, “No, You Can’t.”

Likewise, there wasn’t much to discuss from the “Tron Legacy” panel besides its new trailer:

Most of the money shots were part of the eight minutes of footage the Comic-Con crowd got to see, which was largely an introduction to Garrett Hedlund’s Sam Flynn as he’s abducted by a recognizer and suited up with a disc in hand on his way to find his father Kevin (Jeff Bridges). Daft Punk got the biggest audience response when they were ordered by a white-haired Michael Sheen to “electrify the boys and girls” and the footage turned into a montage that resembled the trailer, ending with the unveiling of Jeff Bridges appearing as his 35-year-old self as Kevin’s avatar CLU.

Bridges called the whole thing “pretty wild, pretty psychadelic,” and while co-star Michael Sheen made a nice play on words when he noted the film will be in 4D since Bridges “brings a fourth dimension,” Bridges actually appeared to be a different dimension when he was waxing on about a Jackson Browne concert he just attended and the plague of plastic water bottles contaminating the earth.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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