Comic-Con 2012: Get Him to the ‘Skyfall’ IMAX Trailer Party
We know what you want. You want to know about the exclusive IMAX ‘Skyfall‘ trailer I saw on Thursday at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego, and I want to tell you. However this is one of those cases where the context of the presentation absolutely influenced, and maybe even overshadowed, the art on display.
Indulge me, as I give you some background.
I’m here in San Diego, offering up as much firsthand coverage of Comic-Con’s big budget presentations as possible. In an alternate universe I’m attending panels on how to make a weirding module out of soap and shoe polish, but ever since I flew in from New York I’ve been hustling to get to the world premiere of ‘Dredd,’ waiting in line to see first footage of movies like ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ or listening to Sylvester Stallone trade zings with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Frankly I’m still a little tired from Wednesday’s flight when I discover that, buried deep in my email, I have an invitation to see some of the new James Bond movie. This realization comes when I’m at a swank party, four-and-a-half IPAs deep. I race to a different hotel, mere blocks as the crow flies, but quite a difficult passage when 150,000 of your closest nerd friends are in the way taking pictures of grown women dressed like characters from ‘Legend of Korra.’
Suddenly I’m atop an open double decker bus and, oddly enough, engaged in conversation with a British guy I’ve only known on Twitter who knows a lot about the science behind 3D technology. He’s saying things like “stereography” and “ocular planes” as the bus driver, no doubt local to San Diego and not accustomed to double deckers, makes sure to get the branches of every low hanging tree to swat me in the face. (It’s around here when I realize it was more like five-and-a-half IPAs.)
The bus stops and, for the first time ever, I see two of my favorite things combined. For you see, I’m at a science museum loaded with free food.
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (as Instagram tags would have it) is one of those nifty hands-on places where you can shoot marbles to learn about centrifugal force, but tonight it’s done up in black light with techno thumpin’. It’s a little bonkers, especially when I’m handed another beer and discover the artisinal Mac & Cheese bar.
In time, though, I’m ushered inside what I thought was going to be another IMAX theater. It is, in fact, a giant white sphere, giving me flashbacks of David Bowman’s journey beyond the infinite in ’2001.’
This isn’t just a presentation of 007 footage – it is an IMAX Remix party, and it makes the laser Floyd shows I saw at the Hayden Planetarium growing up look like a joke.
A fella by the name of DJ Glenn Morrison came up to “spin.” I couldn’t quite see if he had records or was just pushing buttons on a computer interface, because the lights soon dimmed and the spherical room burst into images.
Since I was among the last to enter (had to grab one more Kobe beef slider) I was way up front and to the right, so I had to cock my head at an angle. This, in my disoriented state, made it even better. Not only was my entire perception engulfed by sound and light, but I was seeing it all horizontally.
So what did I see? A tripped-out collage of scenes from many of the recent IMAX released films like ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,’ ‘Mission Impossible 3: Ghost Protocol’ and one of the Harry Potters (when Dumbledore fights Flatnose in a room with dark tiles.) Intercut with this were shots of launching NASA rockets, gliders zooming over mountain ranges, extreme snowboarders, the stars and other cool stuff. It was like the world’s greatest screensavers set to awesome rhythms, made even more remarkable because I was watching it all half-upside down and the room was spinning.
When this concluded DJ Glenn took a bow, a suit from IMAX came up to embarrass himself with dopey jokes, and we saw a brief teaser for ‘Skyfall.’
Unlike the IMAX Remix presentation the footage did not use the entire screen, but it used a lot of it.
It wasn’t that easy to glean the plot of this new 007 flick, but what I got from it was this: M (Judi Dench) has somehow lost a file containing the identities of all the undercover British agents throughout the world. (I guess she stuck it on iCloud, I dunno.) Bond suddenly finds himself in a series of action set pieces.
There were many shots of him running, jumping and crashing a motorcycle through glass – but one thing that really struck me was a hand-to-hand fight scene atop a speeding train.
The other moment – the one that really got the audience to cheer – was Bond talking with a bespectacled geek. Intercut with shots of computer tech, the young man (Ben Wishaw) says something to the tune of, “I can do more in one hour from my pajamas than you can do in a year.” Daniel Craig’s Bond agrees, but adds “someone has to pull the trigger. Or not pull the trigger.” Just when I was trying to figure out what this zen koan could mean in the context of an international espionage action picture, he throws in the kid’s name: “Q.”
Yeah, I got a chill when I realized the jocular old man from the early Bond films has now been reconceptualized as a cocky hacker.
The other cool takeaway was that there are some scenes in an evocatively lit room with Chinese interior design and a woman in revealing clothing. She may have had a few lines, too.
After the footage (which was short) I was back out in the club/science center, trying to find one of those electrically charged spheres that makes your hair stand up. There were more people giving me drinks and, eventually, somehow, I discovered I was back on my hotel bed, where I dragged my ass up, found my computer, and wrote this report.