September 10th, 2012
09:19 AM ET
Dean Cain hasn’t played Superman for 15 years, but he’s still a hero for many fans.
Hundreds of people turned up last weekend at Atlanta's Dragon*Con to hear him reflect on his years in the 1990s hit “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
The actor, charming as ever, made the ATL geek fest especially unforgettable for Ruby Rinekso of New York, who was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Jennifer Haviland, at the convention.
September 7th, 2009
12:03 PM ET
How exactly does one attempt to break the Guinness Book world record for the most people dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller?" As Sunday night's event at Atlanta, Georgia's Dragon*Con proved, it's no small feat.
Participants were asked to sign up and get a number all throughout the weekend, and were encouraged to attend two rehearsals earlier in the day. Dancer Ben Acosta of Huntsville, Alabama, explained, "They took you through all the steps and broke everything down to bring all of the components of it together."
The atmosphere in the Sheraton hotel ballroom was electric in the minutes leading up to the big moment, with spontaneous applause and chanting breaking out on more than one occasion.
Jackson look-a-likes (including one who took the stage to lead the dance) and dress-a-likes were prevalent, along with a multitude of "zombies," not an unusual sight for the annual convention. Among the participants were someone dressed as an "Alien" from the long-running film franchise of the same name, and another convention regular in a costume based on "Sesame Street's" Cookie Monster.
So did they break the record? Convention staffers told CNN that they were able to sign up 1,118 dancers. However, a large group in Mexico made another attempt to break the record, previously set by 242 College of William & Mary students back in April. Guinness Book officials are expected to sort through all of this in the coming days. Regardless of whether they broke the record, everyone there seemed to have a lot of fun. As Acosta put it, "It was a chance to be part of something extraordinary."
September 7th, 2009
11:58 AM ET
Felicia Day, creator/star of web series 'The Guild,' re-enacts a scene from the show's music video with a costumed fan.
You may recognize her from guest appearances on "House," "Monk" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but Felicia Day may be best known for co-starring in the hit online musical short film "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" along with Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion ("Castle"). After winning the People's Choice Award for "Favorite Online Sensation," it was nominated for an Emmy this year in a special category. Not bad for an idea that came together during the 2007-08 writer's strike, completely funded by writer/director Joss Whedon.
Prior to getting that role, Day had already begun an ongoing series for the web called "The Guild," which just began its third season. Each three-to-eight minute episode focuses on a group of hard-core online gamers dealing with the problems that come with living in the real world, a concept which Day calls "'The Office' for the geek set."
"The Guild" has received a very warm reception from fans over the weekend at Atlanta, Georgia's annual Dragon*Con. At the convention, Day told CNN that the inspiration for the show came from the old adage, "Write what you know." A "gamer" since the age of six, Day said, "What I know best is online gaming and interacting with people online, and I feel like that's my home."
Speaking about the demands of the web audience, Day explained, "People want to have a more immersive experience, and hopefully my show provides that."
Early on, Day started by simply posting episodes on YouTube and the site's comments were meant to be part of the full "Guild" experience. Fans helped fund the show's first season via Paypal as well. Day has since scored a sponsorship deal for "The Guild" with Xbox. "With Xbox, people can download the episodes onto their TV like a TV show," she said when asked about the possibility that "The Guild" might go beyond the web. "If it were to jump to a bigger venue, that would be cool, but I like what I'm doing now."
September 6th, 2009
02:49 PM ET
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."
September 6th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
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.
September 4th, 2009
05:13 PM ET
An enthusiastic crowd greeted director and "Monty Python" alum Terry Gilliam at Dragon-Con in Atlanta earlier today, and he was just as excited to meet them.
Gilliam, best known for the films "12 Monkeys," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and "Brazil," spoke to convention-goers about making his upcoming film "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," which stars the late Heath Ledger in his final performance. His fans were treated to footage of the movie, including one never-before-seen clip featuring Ledger.
Gilliam said "Parnassus," with 650 visual-effect shots, cost only $25 million to make and done without the help of any movie studio.
When it came time for Gilliam's question-and-answer session, he realized he couldn't hear the audience. So he made do by gleefully trotting over to the edge of the stage to shake hands and take questions up close.
Gilliam confirmed that his abandoned project, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," was back on track. The unfinished movie, whose trials and tribulations were seen in the documentary, "Lost in La Mancha," was to star Johnny Depp (who also stars in "Parnassus" as an incarnation of Ledger's character). Gilliam said that Depp has other commitments now and they're casting for someone to fill his role.
Gilliam joked that they wouldn't need a documentary crew for the new project because this time it would be finished.
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