Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta would have been 92 today.
Viva El Santo!
Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta would have been 92 today.
Viva El Santo!
Congratulations to Michael Emerson, for his Emmy win tonight, for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. You can keep your Don Draper. I’ll take Benjamin Linus as the best character currently on series television.
How long ’til Lost starts again?
I may have lost the memo, but I believe this is a national holiday on THE BEAT CALENDAR.
The trailers for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and THE FANTASTIC MR FOX.
Continuing coverage of all things Miyazaki at THE BEAT, let’s look at the opening weekend in the United States for PONYO.
The picture finished ninth this weekend at the box office, with $3.5 million weekend gross on 927 screens, for a per-screen average of $3,782. It was fourth among new films opening last weekend, finishing behind DISTRICT 9 ($37 m on 3049 screens), THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE ($19.2 m on 2988 screens) and THE GOODS ($6.9 m on 1838 screens).
This makes it already the third-highest grossing Miyazaki movie in the US. According to Box Office Mojo, it’s only $1.2 m behind HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, with SPIRITED AWAY at #1 with $10 m.
It probably goes without saying this is the most screens ever for a Miyazaki movie. SPIRITED AWAY was on 714 screens, a far cry from the paltry 129 for PRINCESS MONONOKE. I remember having to drive over an hour up to Philadelphia to see MONONOKE and that was the closest it came and I think only lasted 2 weeks in the theater.
As for critical acclaim, it’s currently at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, wth 79 positive reviews and 5 negative. (What’s wrong with those people?)
I saw it Friday afternoon and was thoroughly entertained, although perhaps not as much as some of the more “adult” previous works in the Miyazaki canon. Certainly a hearty review for anyone with kids the age of the characters in the movie.
Posted by mark coale
(The second part of a series on how not to spend Comic-Con week at Comic-Con)
After spending most of the week in San Diego, but only one day at the actual con itself, it was off to the Bay Area for the previously-discussed Miyazaki festivities at Berkeley. But before seeing the director, the previous day was spent making the trip from San Francisco Airport to Santa Rosa to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum.
(For the super-nerds: Not only did I want to go to Santa Rosa to see the Schulz Museum, but wanted to drive around town, since it was the setting for my favorite and perhaps the most underrated of all the Hitchcock movies, SHADOW OF A DOUBT.)
It’s fair to say that anyone coming to California for Comic-Con really should make a detour to the Schulz Museum, as it’s one big love affair to Schulz and all the lovable characters (and Lucy) that populate the world of PEANUTS.
Obviously, it goes without saying there is tons of Schulz artwork in and around the museum, from the giant mural in the lobby to comic stripped tiles in the restroom (bathroom reading has never been so appealing).
While I was there in late July, there were two featured exhibits in the museum. The one that was nearing its run featured a number of strips and memorabilia commemorating the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The exhibit had both PEANUTS strips done by Schulz over the years related to the anniversary, as well as personal artifacts from Schulz’s time in the army during World War II.
The other exhibit, which had just opened the day I was at the museum, was the second of three under the heading “The Language of Lines.” This one is called “How Cartoonists Create Characters” and is filled with original art from the Golden Age up until the present. Sure, it was great to see a BARNEY GOOGLE strip from the 1930s or a page of PRINCE VALIANT art, but, given my age, nothing was cooler to see than an original CALVIN AND HOBBES strip.
The neatest thing among the permanent exhibits may be a re-creation of Schulz’s studio, complete with his longtime drawing board. Eagle-eyed visitors will want to be on the lookout for the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award, which Schulz was given in 1981 for his contributions to hockey, as well a Peabody Award, given for A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.
Any visitor to the museum will also want to venture across the street and have lunch at the Warm Puppy Café, which is part of Snoopy’s Home Ice, the ice rink Schulz had built in 1969 and was opened by a skate by Olympic darling Peggy Fleming.
Although the museum was set up at Comic-Con (you could have easily missed them, like everything else that wasn’t a movie booth), it’s certainly no substitute for a visit to the real thing.
Posted by Mark Coale
Posted by Mark Coale
During our high-powered breakfast (maybe brunch by the time Ace and FMB got there), The Beat requested that I try and write more for the site. So, here’s the first article about the non-SDCC portion of my travels recently.
I had always planned on only doing one day of San Diego, but for a while, wasn’t sure what to do for the weekend before coming back to the muggy Mid-Atlantic states. There were many possibilities: baseball games, futbol matches, even going to see Monument Valley. The deal was sealed when I found out that the legendary Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki was going to be in Berkeley doing a Q&A in conjunction with receiving an award from Cal’s Center for Japanese Studies.
When I told friends at the Con that I was only staying for a day (plus Preview Night), most were dumbfounded that I would make the trip for so brief a trip. But when I said that I was going to see Miyazaki, almost everyone immediately said, “Oh, that’s understandable” or “I wish I could go.” One unnamed Eisner winner said they were jealous and wondered how they could pull strings to maybe meet Miyazaki while he was briefly at the Con Friday.
It was certainly worth the trip. I haven’t watched his SDCC panel with Pixar’s John Lassiter, but I presume it didn’t have the coziness of his Berkeley talk. It was not in a small room, but a 1000-seat auditorium on a college campus likely beats trying to watch a cramped and sweaty panel in Room 20 or Hall H at the Con. And there was thankfully no one dressed as Ashitaka or Kiki. The closest we got was a number of people carrying Totoros in with them to the talk.
It’s always interesting to go to a panel where a translator is involved, because often, Miyazaki would make a joke and about a quarter of the room would laugh and the rest of us would have to wait for the translation to understand what was so funny. And Miyazaki made plenty of jokes during his 90 or so minutes on stage.
Miyazaki, prompted by moderator Roland Kelts, talked in a mostly-playful manner about some of the elements most associated with his films, such as nature vs technology and the use of female protagonists. He expressed dismay for how disasters are seen as “evil,” even though they are just part of nature and often have a cleansing aspect to them.
When asked about good and bad characters, Miyazaki said he often doesn’t have true villains in his pictures, since he did not like to make his animators draw evil people.
There was also discussion about Studio Ghibli’s animation practices and Miyazaki’s desire to continue making traditional animation films done with cels and not CGI, even though it was like “being in a raft in a sea full of speed boats.”
The Q&A session, both the moderator’s inquiries and the audience question portion, quickly sped by and Miyazaki was soon off the stage and a very satisfied audience poured out of the building, with a lot less pushing and shoving than one probably found in San Diego.
Considering this was likely a once-in-a-lifetime event (how often does Miyazaki appear in public in the US, now, if ever), it was certainly worth skipping out on SDCC.
How much work did the Lost brain trust put into their (last?) Comic-Con panel presentation? A lot, according to an article in today’s NYT.
“Is it too late for when Carlton and I come out onstage for there to be giant towers of flames?” Mr. Lindelof said (mostly) facetiously.
Tip of the hat to Peter Sanderson, since we saw the story first from his Facebook link.
Posted by mark coale
Paste Pot Pete by Colleen Coover
[Special to The Beat by Mark Coale]
As I told a number of people, I stopped coming to SD in 2003 because it had gotten too big. And after one day, I’m glad I’m leaving tomorrow.
Exhausted is just the word that came out of most people’s mouths. And those were from people with booths, who presumably weren’t constantly on the go the entire day.
I love how staffed the show is now, but it seems a smidge too draconian. You couldn’t go more than 10 feet without a Con volunteer or red-shirted security person making sure you only went out the exits and kept lines from turning into quagmires.
Man, the lines. Even the short ones were long. Long lines upstairs to get into panels. Long lines downstairs to get free nick-nacks or books signed, be it comics pro or C-list celebrity. Lines at the ATM, lines at the food court. And then there’s the rumored two-mile line for the Twilighters.
Let it be said I can’t recall a bad incident today with a Twilighter. Maybe they all did leave after the panel and never even set foot in the hall.
I vented in an email to a few people last night about Preview Night and won’t repeat them all here but just wanted to say that “real weapons” are banned from the convention center (although I saw an Elektra apparently brandishing sais), the “fake ones” that are oversized could be just as much of a hazard.Costumers, please leave your giant novelty Manga Swords or Death Scythes at home next year.
On the plus side, it was great catching up with people probably not seen since the last time I was in SD. Had some wacky conversations about goofy 1960s villains a couple times today. Got a couple books to peruse. But still missed many people I knew were in the hall and never saw once. Hopefully, they’ll be at one of the more intimate shows like Baltimore or Charlotte soon.
And now, a vacation from this vacation.
In the immortal words of Kimbo Slice, “I’m done Gus.”
To engage in a rare-bit of self-promotion, I finally posted an interview I did for the new Oni Press book YOU HAVE KILLED ME by Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones. We did the interview last summer, but the book was delayed and the next issue of ODESSA STEPS was delayed. And here we are. YOU HAVE KILLED ME will debut at San Diego next week. In it, we talk about the new book, some old books and our mutual love/obsession with the Criterion Collection.
And that art, by Joelle Jones, will eventually be the cover of the next issue of the magazine, hopefully debuting at Baltimore this year. (Of course, we said that last year too.)
Posted by mark coale
As us nerds remember all too well from high school, the “jock clique” and the “geek clique” don’t often mix well. So, imagine what it was like the other day when the Mets (the favored team in Stately Beat Manor) arrived at their hotel in Pittsburgh to see a furry convention going on.
That led to a discussion about on the air last night between Mets broadcasters Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez. Uniwatch has the transcipt, including this gem:
Hernandez: I saw a guy with, with his pet beaver. He had his hand, he was stroking it, he was petting it. [Long pause.] I’m serious! It was a, like a stuffed animal, and he was comforting it. Very bizarre.
No word about whether Mr. Met got any action from anyone dressed like a cat.
[posted by mark coale]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that there will now be TEN Best Picture nominees instead of only five. Certainly done for marketing reasons (more pictures with Oscar nominations, don’t you know?), the question to ask in these here parts is: How does this effect both “genre movies” and animated features?
Would THE DARK KNIGHT had gotten a Best Picture nomination if there were five more slots available?
Will this enable UP to escape the “Best Animated Feature” “ghetto” to be recognized with other pictures?
Megan Fox is thinking about dressing as Slave Girl Leia at Comic-Con.
San Diego might explode.
The game was created 25 years ago today. Learn more about the creation of “the world’s greatest video game” here.
I don’t know about you, but I played TETRIS so much when I was an undergrad in the late 1980s, I would see the shapes when I closed my eyes, trying to get to sleep at night.
And now, there are kids still playing it today on their Wiis and on their cell phones.
If you have been missing Lost this last couple weeks, well, no new episodes, but this might tide you over for a day or so. The Helper Monkey was on wrestling historian Karl Stern’s podcast today to discuss the season finale, the show as a whole, the greatness of John Locke and Benjamin Linus, the not-so-greatness of Jack Shephard and more.
You can download it here.
Probably due to all THE BEAT’s responsibilities during MoCCA week (picking out karaoke songs?), she hasn’t had the chance yet to post the trailer for AMC’s remake of THE PRISONER. Well, here it is.
… then what do you think about his new assistant?
According to the BBC website, the new companion for Doctor # 11 Matt Smith will be 21-year-old Karen Gillan.
The actress has already appeared in the series, playing a soothsayer in a Series Four episode set during the Pompeii/Vesuvius disaster.
Well, so much for all the talk about a possible return of Sally Sparrow, the spunky heroine from the episode BLINK written by new head honcho Steven Moffat.
I had been hoping for the intriguing dynamic of young Doctor/older female companion with Moffat casting longtime collaborator Gina Bellman, who worked with Moffat on both COUPLING and JECKYLL. It’s possibly her commitments to the TNT show LEVERAGE may have prevented her from taking the part. Or I’m just wacky for this suggestion.
As someone clinging to the “In Moffat We Trust” mantra, I’ll wait and see how this young pairing works. That said, wouldn’t it be great if they finally introduced a third companion to the TARDIS during the show’s revival (not counting semi-regulars like Mickey or Rose’s Mum) and it was someone totally opposite this younger demographic? You know, like Bernard Cribbin as Wilf?
Posted by Mark Coale
We’re guessing it was a sad day at Stately Beat Manor Saturday, as it was in the Helper Monkey’s cave, to see Manchester United capture yet another Premier League title. Of course, this is emotion partially born out of envy. Both FMB’s Villains and the Helper Monkey’s Toffees will finish again out of the Top Four and will spend next season competing for the Europa Cup instead of cashing big checks in the Champions League.
And now, with the season in England and Italy and Spain almost over, we turn our attention to … MLS? Nah, we’ll stick to baseball.
Isn’t it sad that both of these characters are dead and Kate is still alive?
Season Finale. Let’s get it on after the jump.
A Faraday Episode.
Your running diary of tonight’s episode after the jump.