A long line, something of a Dragon*Con mainstay, stretched across the third floor of Atlanta, Georgia's, Marriott Marquis hotel, all the way into the skywalk which connects into the Hyatt Regency across the street on Saturday. Another mainstay of the convention: asking "What is this line for?" was repeatedly answered with "Patrick Stewart."
One convention staffer described it as a game of "human Tetris" in order to get as many of the thousands lined up to see the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "X-Men" star into the hotel's enormous ballroom as possible.
In a talk show interview setting, Stewart fielded questions about his career and memories of his tenure as captain of the Enterprise. He was barely aware of "Trek" when he got the role and was "guaranteed" by friends and others that the show wouldn't work.
He discussed how horribly uncomfortable the show's uniforms were originally, leading his doctor to contact the production office demanding that they be changed.
When asked about fellow convention guests Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, Stewart talked about how much he respected Nimoy. As for Shatner, he paused and said, "He's a piece of work, isn't he?"
He was also particularly pleased to be able to recall the plots of some favorite episodes mentioned from the titles.
When the discussion turned to "X-Men," Stewart, who had a cameo as a younger Professor Charles Xavier in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," said that from what he had heard, audiences have probably not seen the last of the professor. He mentioned he recently co-starred in a production of "Waiting for Godot" with Ian McKellen and the two agreed that they would like continue exploring the relationship between Xavier and McKellen's "X-Men" character Magneto.
As for that other franchise, Stewart thought that this summer's reboot of "Star Trek" was "terrific," but didn't see a future for Jean-Luc Picard in the franchise, leaving open only the possibility that he would agree to do a cameo in a sequel. Stewart mentioned a proposed final "Next Generation" film, but after the disappointing box office for "Star Trek: Nemesis," it never materialized.
"I feel that I have left behind a legacy as Picard," he said. "In my head and heart, I've moved on."
When some members of the cast of the 1990s cult basic cable show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" got back together to replay their characters for a DVD special feature, this was more than just a reunion. They wanted to show that they could bring the series back in some form.
Unfortunately, that was not to be, but that didn't stop them from bringing back the one thing they have become the foremost experts on over the past 20 years: poking fun of bad, cheesy movies.
Five of the "MST3K" crew got together to create a new DVD series, "Cinematic Titanic," which offers more witty second-by-second reactions to some of the worst Hollywood has had to offer.
"Titanic's" Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl shared the story of the beginnings of "Titanic" and took questions from an audience of devoted fans at Atlanta, Georgia's Dragon*Con Saturday. Beaulieu and Conniff, as well as series creator Joel Hodgson contacted Pehl and original "MST3K" cast member J. Elvis Weinstein to join them in this new effort.
"We were anxious to get back to the stuff we used to do," said Conniff.
Now, nearly two years later, they've released seven episodes of the show on DVD and according to their website, done over 20 live movie-riffing performances in ten cities this year alone.
How have they come up with so many jokes for so many full-length movies? It helps that the group have been able to retain an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of movies, books and television, an ability Bealieu described as "pop cultural flypaper."
Of the many movies, good and bad, they've seen, which ones are their favorites? Beaulieu and Conniff said they admire "Citizen Kane" the most, though Beaulieu admitted an affection for 2003's "Dreamcatcher," a movie he was most recently told was actually bad.
Pehl said that Tim Burton's 1994 film "Ed Wood" held a special place in her heart, as it was a loving portrayal of a director of infamously bad movies. However, "The Sound of Music" and "Gone With the Wind" were Pehl's two all-time favorites. In fact, when a fan mentioned that a "Gone With the Wind"-themed museum was located in a nearby town, Pehl asked if he would drive her there later.
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