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ScreenGems and Hatefull Eight

Ok…let’s keep this ball rolling.

The next movie presentations were a strange mix to say the least.

Screen Gems/Sony

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


I remember looking at the program for Hall H this year and taking a pause when I saw this in the program.

“Wait…they actually filmed this movie?”

This project has been in all kinds of development hell since 2009 when the film was originally gonna star Natalie Portman and was to be written and directed by David O Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) It went through so many writers and directors that I just assumed that the film was still in development. I clearly missed the announcement that the film was finally gonna be made.

So how did the footage look? It’s clear that they pretty much accomplished what they wanted to do with this film…make it look like a big budgeted period drama, but then zombies show up. It’s all played straight, with no winking at the camera.

I have nothing against that, and obviously is part of the appeal of reading the book. But sadly the way the footage was cut for this audience it just wasn’t exciting enough for the Hall H crowd. It moved too slowly, with the tone being lost on us. Were we suppose to laugh? Were we suppose to cheer? There in lies the problem with doing a movie like this and trying to make it look like a legit period drama….a period drama wouldn’t sell to a Comic Con audience.

I’d argue they did TOO good of a job making the film look like a period drama. And when the action does come, it’s still shot like a drama. It doesn’t become a Sam Raimi horror film with the crazy visuals which I get, but that sadly makes the action seem kinda lifeless.

The casting does look spot on. The point of the casting this film is getting people that would have been good in a regular Pride and Prejudice film sans zombies. Lily James is a great fit for Elizabeth Bennett and Sam Riley is gonna be a spot on Mr. Darcy. Matt Smith (yes, the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who) plays Mr. Collins and he is god damn perfect in the role.

One can argue that the time for this movie has passed. I have no clue if the film will come together when it’s released, but it would be fun to find out this worked out.

Patient Zero

I knew nothing about this movie when I saw it on the program, so I went in looking forward to kinda learning what this film was gonna be about.

Here’s the official synopsis…

After an unprecedented global pandemic has turned the majority of humankind into violent “Infected,” a man gifted with the ability to speak the Infected’s new language leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

That man is played by….what? I’ll be damned..MATT SMITH!

Matt’s trying out an American accent in this one, and I’m not sure if it’s working for him or not. The footage screened showcased a pretty interesting looking horror/thriller but learning that the flick is about a “zombie” interrogator actually got me a bit intrigued by it. I get why you would want to cast Matt Smith. He’s done variations of these kinds of scenes on Doctor Who and he was convincing every time.

The real treat in the footage was find out that the TUCC is in this movie! Yeah, that’s right, Stanely Tucci is in the film as a smart, and talking zombie.

For Games of Thrones fans the film also has Natalie Dormer and John Bradley.

While it’s clear that the film is in it’s early stages, I can see the potential about the idea and were the enclosed spaced tension can lead into some great tension. A little early to tell if it’s gonna work, but nothing about what I saw in this panel made me think other wise.

And now we leave the Screen Gems/Sony panel and enter the world of….

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight


Personally, as a  film fan, I LOVED this panel. Part history lesson on 70 mm film, and lots of great stories on how Quentin approached filming his newest western.

As a Tarantino fan, I’ve always loved listening to that man talk. He can hold his own with a 7,000 crowd and kill it. He didn’t have to do it alone as he did bring the whole cast out on stage.

Here’s some of my favorite moments from the panel….

-The film will have a ROADSHOW style screening first. The film will play on Christmas day in theaters that have 70mm projectors. There will be a Pre show opening and an intermission during the film. This was something that Quentin has wanted to do for a while and I’m excited to hear that he finally figured out the right film that will allow this kind of pre-show and intermission.

-Tarantino explained that since they were using 65 mm cameras they had to basically antique hunt to find lenses for them since they don’t make lenses for those cameras any more. The cool part is that  the lenses that were used to film this were the actual lenses the filmed Ben Hur, Battle of the Bulge and even It’s a Mad Mad Mad  Mad Mad World.

-Michael Madsen and Tim Roth said that they felt like time didn’t pass between filming Reservoir Dogs and this film.

-Bruce Dern was incredibly sweet describing how much he admire Tarantino and his work as a director.

Quentin did show us a lengthy 7 minute reel of the film (but man does did go by fast.)

The reel basically broke down each cast member and their characters. It’s classic Tarantino all the way and with in one minute we got a feeling for each character in the film. I can’t wait till you guys see Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character, she is probably gonna steal the whole god damn movie.

The biggest news to come out of this panel was that Tarantino announced that not only would this be his first film have a 100% original score but that the composer would be legendary Ennio Morricone!

That surprised me to say the least! I remembered reading that Morricone said that he “wouldn’t like to work with him again, on anything” after doing some work with him on Django Unchained. He even went on to say that he didn’t really care for the film saying the movie had “Too much blood.” (click here to read that interview on The Playlist website.)

Well, they obviously talked it out and Morricone will be giving us his first new western score in 34 years!

Ok, two more write ups to go and so much more more movies to talk about! Next up…the Legendary Panel!


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