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Life On Mars Part 5: The Top Moments and People of Comic Con.

Steven Panzarella counts down his top 5 people and moments from San Diego Comic Con 2012. The people that made an impact on the crowd and the events that blew us all away.

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So after plenty of time deliberating on the top moments and people of comic con I’ve created a countdown.

The Top 5 Moments at Comic Con

5. The many panels at Nerd HQ- I just spoke about Zac Levi and his incredible Generosity,on that level was also how personal the panels got at the HQ. Most of them were led by the ever charming Levi, others were just with the actors, writers, directors, or personalities that came there. You can find all the videos at thenerdmachine.com but every single one was in a small setting, you had your seats so there was no reason to line up overnight and everyone got to ask any questions they want. It was the perfect experience for anyone at comic con. Levi and friends created one of the best environments at Comic Con with a bar, and pre-released video games for fans to play while hanging around. It was the perfect away from comic con environment for fans.

4. RDJ and the Little Iron men and ladies- The video says it all, check out Robert Downey Jr dropping in on an event at the Iron Man 3 stage. An adorable appearance by Tony Stark himself.

3. The Firefly Reunion-This was the most sought after panel of the weekend. In the second largest room at the Convention center which fits 5,000 people. The Ballroom was packed to capacity and had fans sleeping over all night to get in line. Show creator Joss Whedon dropped in on the fans sleeping over and literally woke them up to talk. Then the emotional side took over towards the end of the panel, tears were flowing as they thanked the fans for keeping the passion going on that project. Later in the day Nate Fillion was asked what the fans had to do to get another movie or show going and fillion seriously responded “Your doing it, there is nothing more you guys can do”. The passion and emotion made this one of the biggest and most talked about panels of the week and one of the highlights of the weekend. Take a look at a fan taken video of a choked up Joss Whedon.

2. Marvel fires back- After our number 1 moment of Comic Con Marvel took the stage at Hall H and had to fire on all cylinders to top what we had all just saw. They did the best they could which was pretty darn great. Announcing 3 new movies including Sequels to Captain America and Thor. Then announcing a Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, after that Edgar Wright took the stage to talk about Ant-Man and he showed us his test footage he had been working on. The footage was unfinished but still very cool and a very exciting look at the character that Wright has been working on for years. Then after that Marvel gave us a very big trailer for Iron Man 3, one that was very exciting and earned a standing ovation from the crowd. The panel was hilarious, with excellent stuff from Director Shane Black and RDJ, and Don Cheadle arguing over why it takes Don more time to get out of his Suit then Downey Jr.

1. The Juggernaut Panel- Taking the top spot is the massive panel from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. They had 5 major panels in 2 1/2 hours that included Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Man Of Steel, The Campaign and The Hobbit. All 5 panels had its own attraction and all 5 gave fans something  to cheer about. Whether it was the brilliant footage or funny Q&A’s, it was the most talked about event at comic con. Everyone was very excited to see footage and all 5 gave you something you have never seen and something you don’t expect to see until at least next week after The Dark Knight Rises. Some you wont see until 2013, like Pacific Rim and maybe even Godzilla which is not expected to hit theaters until 2014. Don’t forget scenes from both The Hobbit films, which were unfinished and the first one does not come out until December. It was thrilling, and mind blowing to be in the hall for that panel and was surely one of the most unforgettable moments in Comic Con history.

 

Next… the top 5 people of Comic Con 2012.

5. Guillermo Del Toro- Del Toro has become a fan favorite at comic con. He is upfront and emotional at his panels and he is not afraid to use tough language to make a point. At the end of the day he brought 3 min of footage for Pacific Rim, a movie  that will not be showing another trailer until January. His footage was fully complete and looked stunning, he is my number 5 person of 2012 comic con thanks to fact that he blew 6500 out of their chairs in the first portion of a mind blowing panel. He did so by bringing the heat, and always wearing his emotions on his sleeve.A great example of this was during the Pacific Rim panel when the director admitted that Pacific Rim “was the christmas present he desperatly needed”, and had several bursts during questions, when a fan asked if the robots would have “rocket punches”, Del Toro responded with a “F*** Yea!”, then went into detail on how the robots were designed. He deserves the positive recognition that he gets from fans and has earned a yearly spot in Comic Con’s main hall.

4. Robert Downey Jr- Of course the man needs no introduction, yet there he was dancing through Hall H at the start of his Iron Man 3 panel. He also did an awesome thing: he showed up to an Iron Man event at the Iron Man 3 station with little kids dressed up as Iron Man and answered all their questions. A nice sight to see from a busy actor. He brings such a loveable swagger and has become the epitome of his character.  RDJ deserves the credit even if he really is THAT cocky, with lines like “Every movie I am in will be top 3 ever” but seriously…How can you not love Tony Stark?

(Check out a clip of RDJ below to see him in action!)

3. Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin- These guys made the rounds over the weekend, doing panels for Firefly as well as joining Zac Levi at his Nerd HQ events. They showed up to many events and did plenty of signings and appearances. The most impressive of which were showing up unannounced to a free panel at Nerd HQ, an event that was the talk of comic con. They showed up after their own event and sat for another hour and answered questions along with other stars that included Firefly Co-star Summer Glau. Both men were friendly to fans and offered insight into Firefly, which has become the great fascination of all comic con fans. These guys belong on this list because of their patience and eagerness to talk to what ever fans come there way.

2. Chris Hardwick- As the host of AMC’s The Talking Dead and the creator of Nerdist.com, he  has become the moderator that everyone wants for panels. Hardwick is quick witted and funny which made his frequent appearances so much fun. He earned just as loud ovations from the Hall H crowd as some stars did and after comic con was over was one of the most talked about people at the con. If you get a chance watch Talking Dead and you will see just how funny and great he has been for fans.

1. Zac Levi-The star of NBC’s Chuck was just cast in Thor 2. Levi is a passionate man who runs thenerdmachine.com and Nerd HQ. Nerd HQ runs comic con panels off the San Diego convention center site. The panels cost 20 dollars and have plenty of merchandise and all the proceeds  go to Operation Smile which is a charity that gives money for children who need facial surgeries. Levi went all out for his panels getting big names that included the cast of Twilight, Stan Lee, The Avengers Director Joss Whedon, and many more. Levi paid for nearly the whole thing out of pocket last year and now got alot more help from his friends and with 20 dollar’s per panel Levi made a ton of money for a great cause and did as passionately as anyone i have ever seen. He deserves being named the man of the year at Comic Con.

Thank you to all for reading and following these journals.  Also thanks to  Brian Balthazar for letting me write these journals, they were a blast! Special thanks to Comic Con International, and everyone in San Diego that made it one of the most enjoyable trips i have ever been on. I hope to give you more coverage for NY Comic Con in october and even more from San Diego next year.

Movies

‘The One And Only Ivan’ Is Torn Between His Two Worlds In The Adorably Meaningful Disney+ Trailer

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Leave it to talking animals to teach us an important lesson about where we belong.

The trailer for the Disney+ The One And Only Ivan promises a story filled with heartwarming conversations, endearing characters and a star studded cast. Based on the best-selling children’s book by Katherine Applegate, the film follows the story of Ivan the silverback gorilla who is torn between staying with his circus family and the man who raised him or returning to his roots in the jungle. The animals talk too, by the way, which is just icing on the cutesy cake.

The film is jam packed with A-list talent like Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Hellen Mirren, Brooklynn Prince, Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Chaka Khan, Mike White, Ron Funches, Phillipa Soo, and Bryan Cranston.

The One And Only Ivan is available for streaming on August 14th.

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Celebrities

The Trailer For The Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Will Leave You Singing Jennifer Hudson’s Praises

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She deserves all the R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Everything written below is riddled with bias because I love Jennifer Hudson and think she can do no wrong and if I had a genie’s lamp one of my three wishes would be to have her record the outgoing message on my voicemail. The other two wishes are not important right now.

The official trailer for Respect, the Aretha Franklin biopic, debuted during the BET Awards last night and it looks like we are all in for a treat. In the trailer, the incomparable Ms. Hudson is transformed into Aretha and soundtracks the preview with a powerful cover of “Respect.” The Oscar-winner’s voice is not the only notable talent worth mentioning. The trailer shows off Hudson’s acting chops too as she demonstrates Franklin’s growth from insecure songstress to the powerhouse Queen of Soul. The film’s description reads “following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, RESPECT is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.”

Hudson is joined with a cast filled with heavy hitters like Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Forest Whitaker, Mary J. Blige and Marc Maron. Now, the only bad thing I saw in the entire 90-second trailer was the release date. The film was originally expected to hit theaters in October but due to COVID-19 we now have to wait all the way until December! At least I know what the soundtrack to this year’s Christmas will be.

Check out the amazing trailer below!

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Broadway

The Trailer For ‘Hamilton’ On Disney+ Just Dropped And Honestly July Can’t Come Soon Enough

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Unlike Aaron Burr, I can’t “wait for it.”

It’s a pretty tough time for Broadway lovers right now. The coronavirus pandemic has left the fate of our beloved Great White Way uncertain and there is no definitive word on when theaters will reopen. Just when things were looking their bleakest, however, Lin-Manuel Miranda rode in on his metaphorical horse…although I’m sure he could have a real horse if he wanted to, he’s very rich…and shared some good news that reignited hope for all us theater lovers. On July 3rd, the mega-hit musical; Hamilton will be available for streaming on Disney+.

The musical was filmed with the original Broadway cast at the Richard Rodgers Theater back in June of 2016. The filmed live production was meant to hit theaters on October 15th but with the fate of movie theaters also unknown, it was decided to shift the show to a streaming platform. In the film, there is creator Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.

Disney+ dropped the trailer for the streamable version and suddenly I feel “helpless” that July 3rd is still a few weeks away.  The musical is obviously amazing but judging from the trailer, the directing and the editing of this film are really going to help make this feel like we are sitting front row center to this production.

Check out trailer below!

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