Movies

WonderCon 2014: Feature Film Highlights Part III

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Unlike last year, this year’s WonderCon features a number of feature films. While it may not be “exclusive”, as these movies are going to be out in theaters pretty soon; and while the panels and exhibits have lower energy in general, it’s still entertaining to see extended trailers or additional footage and chat with select cast and crew.

Here are some more of the feature film highlights:

“Lucy” (starring:Scarlett Johansson)

P1110911-400In attendance: director Luc Besson

Responding to a fan’s question, director Luc Besson mentioned that his films often show the strength of women and weakness of men. His latest picture has a gritty look and cool feel, it’s estimated only 30% of the movie is CGI.

Like the 2011 “Limitless,” this movie is based on a popular belief that humans only use ten percent of the brain and explores what happens if we could access and operate at 100% of brain power. Taking on the action route, the result shown here is a near superhuman who acts with enhanced precision, in both speed of movement and perception. In rapid succession, Scarlett Johansson’s character is shown mapping her escape from her shackles, shooting and killing several men, chowing down the dead men’s food, pulling out a bullet from her shoulder, finding her way to a hospital and forceing doctors to operate on her to take out a leaking bag filled with drugs that was mysteriously placed inside her stomach. In another scene, she drives the wrong-way in the streets of Paris, unfazed amidst other cars wheezing by, flipping and crashing around her.

Showrunners Panel

A day dominated by movie presentations ended with a TV-related panel for me, a Q and A session with showrunners of various TV shows. Steve Callaghan (“Family Guy”), Chris Carter (“The X-Files”), Marc Guggenheim (“Arrow”) and Andrew Kreisberg (“Arrow”), Steven Molaro (“The Big Bang Theory”), Rockne O’Bannon (“Revolution”), Jane Espenson (“Once Upon a Time”) and John Rogers (“Leverage”) were in attendance.  P1110947-400

It’s interesting to hear them speak and provide insights, such as the writing aspect, their relationships with the actors and fans and the role of social media. One funny tidbit they mentioned was about the actors. During the first year of the show, it’s been said that actors work for them. In the second year, actors and showrunners are partners. But by the third year, showrunners work for the actors, because it’s easier to replace who’s behind the camera since they’re not visible to the public, than the actors, who by this time have become well-known and a constant present in the lives of the shows’ fans.

 

As long as WonderCon continues to be held in Anaheim, I would happily attend. It may not be a transcendent experience like the mega-popular Comic-Con, but certainly worth the drive. Hassle-free entrance to most panels, comics-loaded exhibit halls (although curiously missing movie and TV props this year) and creative cos-plays.

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If you’ve never been to Comic-Con and wanted to get a taste of the experience at a fraction of the price, or if you’re a Comic-Con fan but tired of the drama-filled process of scoring tickets, waiting in long lines and camping out for panels, head out to WonderCon next year!

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Photos by Nathalia Aryani.

Copyright (c) 2014. Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven (http://sdmoviemaven.blogspot.com). Twitter: http://twitter.com/the_moviemaven. She can be reached at indotransserv@gmail.com.

"Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven (sdmoviemaven.blogspot.com). Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at indotransserv@gmail.com."

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