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Jul 23, 2009

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2009 - THURSDAY, PANEL 2 - 3-D SHOWCASE

Hollywood really is going all-out with Digital 3-D, and Comic-con followed suit by outfitting Hall H with 3-D technology.

Following the 3-D Disney panel was the 3-D Showcase featuring 3 upcoming films.

First off was Sony’s CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. The directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller – who looked just as nerdy as some of the people in the crowd – came out to introduce what was essentially an extended version of the trailer. They then brought out cast members Anna Ferris and Andy Samberg, who stepped out of the wings, waved and then everyone just left. The crowd inside Hall H, expecting a little more of a push were left scratching their heads at that one (as was I).

Next up was THE HOLE directed by Joe Dante. Joe Dante is a director I admire thanks to his work on GREMLINS and MATINEE (we won’t talk about LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION). Dante got his start like many other directors of his time did by directing low budget Roger Corman horror movies and THE HOLE seemed to be a throwback to those days. A creepy horror movie about some kids who unleash some badness when they find a hole in the floor. We were treated to a very scary trailer, and 2 even scarier scenes – one in a bathroom with the main female being chased by something that may or may not be there, and the main boy being stalked by a very scary clown toy.

Dante along with actress Haley Bennett spoke about the film for a minute then opened it up for questions. I felt bad for them though, as the crowd really didn’t seem to know exactly who he was (again, the TWILIGHT effect) and there were only 2 questions while Dante and Bennett sat on stage waiting for more – another Comic-con first.

The final film on this panel was New Line Cinema’s (via Warner Bros.) THE FINAL DESTINATION. Producer Craig Perry came out to introduce a montage of scenes from this fourth film in the series which featured extremely gruesome deaths in glorious eye-popping 3-D. It looks like the filmmakers have crafted a very fun and exciting ride with even more bloodier deaths that thanks to 3-D just flew out at the audience. 3-D seems to have made THE FINAL DESTINATION more than just another horror sequel. I’m not the biggest fan of this series – I enjoyed the first one, hated the second and thought the third was okay – but this presentation made me want to see this movie on the big screen and in 3-D. It makes complete sense that this would work. Back in the 50s when 3-D was first big, the horror movies were the biggest genre to take advantage of the process. As usual, the more things change….