Fan Fest takes place at the London Film Museum (on Google Maps) this Saturday and Sunday, the 24th and 25th April. The official website describes it as “The Ultimate Spy and Sci-Fi Event” and an “Action & Entertainment Weekender For All the Family”. I can also tell you that it’s going to be the single biggest gathering of James Bond alumni under one roof, as well a showcase for costumes and props from a wealth of beloved genre films, with a little bit of bias towards films made in Britain.
As well as the exhibits and signing sessions, the weekend will also feature a full timetable of onstage Q&A sessions with such geek luminaries as Ray Harryhausen, Avatar’s Stephen Lang and more Bond Girls and Guys than you could shake (not stir) a stick at. In true Q&A tradition, audience members will have a chance to ask their own questions after a bit of warm-up by the chair.
I’m lucky enough to be hosting Sunday afternoon’s Q&As . Here’s who I’m going to be speaking to:
2.30 Stephen Lang – Avatar‘s Colonel Quaritch
3.00 Richard Kiel and Blanche Ravalec - James Bond’s Jaws and Dolly
3.30 Eunice Gayson and Madeline Smith – the first Bond Girls to Connery and Moore respectively
Tickets will be available on the door, though there are a limited number of seats in the debating chamber so I would recommend booking early. There’s a lot of interesting folk appearing over the weekend and it’s not every day we see them interviewed, much less taking questions from fans.
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Stephen Lang‘s reward for acing his portrayal of the villainous Colonel Quaritch in Avatar could be another showcase role as the colourful bad guy. There’s said to be a deal on the table right now that would see Lang taking the part of Khalar Singh in Marcus Nispel‘s Conan reboot.
Here’s how Singh was described in the casting breakdown for the movie:
He’s in his 40s to 50s, Asian or Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Mongol, Turkish, or Persian, open to all ethnicities; commanding in size and manner, a warlord and formidable warrior, brilliant, cruel, weathered and tanned by the many campaigns he has waged and won.
From here on out, the description became a little more spoiler-prone. If you aren’t averse to plot details, read on…
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[Editor's Note: We have published reviews of Avatar by David Chen, Brendon Connelly, and Russ Fischer. Here is a different take on the film from Hunter Stephenson.]
No man is an island, so James Cameron humbly ventured off several years into the future to create one for his own damn self called Pandora. And now he’s inviting the unwashed masses to explore it for a small fee, with permission to return, preferably in the company of an unsuspecting elder skin, if one so chooses. In my mind, the phrase “movie gods” as it applies to mainstream blockbusters had nearly become obsolete. Agree? The exciting, previously unimaginable computer generated wow-factor that Cameron and Steven Spielberg defined with Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park was followed by challengers to the SFX throne that, even at their best, never quite felt as revolutionary and transportive.
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[Editor's Note: Last week we published David Chen's and Brendon Connelly's reviews of Avatar. Here is a different take on the film from Russ Fischer.]
James Cameron sure can build a world. His obsessive, detail-oriented approach to filmmaking is particularly suited to inventing alternate environments; in another life he might have been a magnificent city planner. Pandora, the world on which his film Avatar takes place, is rich in strange and beautiful detail. It’s a pulp wonderland, the sort of world that would make Robert E. Howard nod in approval. The science fiction of his teen years, the building blocks of early films like Aliens and the hidden sights discovered in his mid-life underwater career are recombined into an environment that becomes more than the sum of its parts.
When Pandora is allowed to take center stage it makes a hell of a subject. Cameron is fully engaged while exploring the planet’s verdant beauty, or, ironically, when blowing it to pieces. But while building his world the designer in James Cameron took precedence over the screenwriter. There’s an argument to be made that a story with roots so deep in pulp adventure doesn’t need to be well-scripted. I can’t get behind such a viewpoint. That a place imagined to the most minute detail should be home to a story so thin is the film’s greatest irony. Read More »
You may have seen the international version of this trailer, which we ran last night. But if not, or if you’re looking for some subtitle-free blue alien cats, then the full trailer for James Cameron‘s Avatar is online for your HD viewing pleasure. Read More »
Avatar Day isn’t enough. Fox is trying to make this Avatar Week. First there was word that the trailer for James Cameron‘s upcoming Avatar would arrive tomorrow morning, in advance of the theatrical footage premiere on Friday. Now we’ve got six new images from the film. They show Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Lang and Michelle Rodriguez in character, and the one above, a still from the trailer, shows off some of the war tech we’ve already seen in toy form. Check ‘em all out after the jump. Read More »
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Stephen Lang (Gods and Generals, Gettysburg) and Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight, Fast and the Furious, Lost) have joined the cast of James Cameron’s $190+ million super-epic 3D performance-capture/live action/animation hybrid sci-fi film Avatar.
Written by Cameron eleven years ago as an 80-page treatment, Avatar follows a wounded ex-marine who is unwillingly sent to settle and exploit the faraway planet Pandora. When he gets caught up in battle for survival by the planet’s inhabitants (called Na’vis) he unexceptionally falls in love with one of them.
Lang plays a seasoned Marine Corps colonel who travels to the faraway planet Pandora to take charge of its troops. And Rodriguez plays an ex-Marine pilot.
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