Legion M, backed by its more than 100,000 members and 16,000 fan-owners, returns to San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) for its biggest activation yet, hosting star-studded events, industry parties, two fascinating panels—including an in-depth look at Legion M and Screen Media’s feature-length documentary “Memory: The Origins of Alien” which was acquired early this year at Sundance using Legion M’s innovative Film Scout platform—and amazing experiences for SDCC attendees to celebrate the power of fandom and see first-hand how the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company is revolutionizing Hollywood.
Legion M’s SDCC event schedule includes the late night (Friday, July 19 at 10 p.m. PDT) fan-premiere of the critically-acclaimed Sundance favorite “Memory: The Origins of Alien” followed by a special Q&A with the film’s director Alexandre O. Philippe (“78/52,” “The People vs. George Lucas,” “Doc of the Dead”) in the all-new TCL Chinese Theatre at Theatre Box®. The feature-length film, which premiered to rave reviews in the Midnight Section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, unearths the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece, and reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the archives of “Alien” creators Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger. “Memory: The Origins of Alien” screening and Q&A hosted by Legion M and Screen Media is a must-see SDCC event for “Alien” fans celebrating the epic horror/Sci-Fi film’s 40th anniversary. Ticket information for the screening is coming soon on the legionm.com website!
Legion M’s Fan Lounge, presented by The Pop Insider, will take over Gaslamp Quarter’s Theatre Box and its brand-new Chocolate Lounge and rooftop bar and lounge at 701 Fifth Ave. (Fifth Ave. and G St.). SDCC attendees can grab a cocktail (cash bar), relax, recharge and enjoy a full slate of fan-centric activities, appearances, giveaways and exclusive events on Thursday and Friday, July 18-19 (12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT) acomic con
Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT). Inside, The Pop Insider, a daily pop culture news and review site for superfans, will give SDCC attendees a chance to “Fuel Their Fandom” with special Angry Birds phone charging stations. Fans can also stay up-to-date with all things pop culture by picking up the Con-exclusive, limited print edition of The Pop Insider magazine.
The Pop Insider will also be hosting a series of afternoon events and activities on the Theatre Box rooftop bar and lounge from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT each day July 18-21, including a cosplay dance party and karaoke showdown. Cosplayers looking for a quick spruce-up can stop by the Cosplayer Repair and Pro-Artist Makeup Station sponsored by Spirit Halloween, get professional photos taken to commemorate the occasion, and may even star in an upcoming “Cosplayers Getting Coffee” YouTube episode. For the most up-to-date Legion M Fan Lounge and rooftop schedule, please visit www.legionm.com/sdcc2019. Activities will be added as confirmed.
Be sure to also check out two Legion M-hosted panels at San Diego Comic-Con. On Thursday, July 18 (7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. PDT, Room 6BCF), “Fans Celebrating 40 Years of Alien,” co-hosted with Screen Media, will take a deep dive into the origins of “Alien” and its fandom while celebrating the classic horror/Sci-Fi film with the director of “Memory: The Origins of Alien” Alexandre O. Philippe, along with Legion M’s vice president of development David Baxter, Diane O’Bannon (Dan O’Bannon Estate), Will Linn (Joseph Campbell Foundation) and other special guests as they discuss Philippe’s upcoming feature documentary and debut the trailer for “Memory: The Origins of Alien.”
On Thursday, July 18 (2 p.m. to 3 p.m. PDT, Room 7AB) learn how you can become part of a Hollywood revolution and get involved directly in films, TV shows and digital content when Legion M executives host “Legion M: Fans Unite to Take Over Hollywood.” Legion M cofounders Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison, along with Legion M COO and head of content Terri Lubaroff, vice president of development David Baxter and special guests, will reveal how Legion M is involved with films like the upcoming Kevin Smith “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” along with “Colossal,” “Mandy,” “Tolkien,” and “Memory: The Origins of Alien.” Legion M has made it possible for anyone to become a fan-owner. Find out how you can join the more than 100,000 Legion M members who have access to special screenings, industry events, and exclusive Legion M meet-ups.
Legion M 2019 San Diego Comic-Con Fan Lounge and Events Calendar
(All times Pacific)
To sign up for Legion M SDCC activation information: www.legionm.com/sdcc2019
Wed., July 17 (7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) The Pop Insider San Diego Con Kickoff Event!, Coin-Op Game Room, 789 Sixth Ave.
Fuel Your Fandom at the ultimate Con kickoff party! The Pop Insider is hosting a can’t-miss pre-Con rager complete with retro gaming, dancing, giveaways and more, with Legion M, Spin Master Games, ARCADE1UP, Disguise, Inc., and Cosplayers Getting Coffee. This event is sold out. Limited press passes are still available. Members of the media can contact Kristen Joerger at email@example.com or 646-484-4577 to apply for press credentials. (Age 21+)
Thurs. and Fri., July 18-19 (12:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) and Sat. and Sun., July 20-21 (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) Legion M Fan Lounge presented by The Pop Insider @ Theatre Box Chocolate Lounge
Relax, recharge and have FUN at the Legion M Fan Lounge presented by The Pop Insider every day during San Diego Comic-Con. Mix and mingle with friends, Legion M executives and members, and other SDCC attendees while celebrating the power of FANDOM in the fan lounge. Fans will enter the Legion M Fan Lounge through a 45-foot facade of the Quick Stop featured in the upcoming Kevin Smith feature film “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.” The perfect SDCC photo opp will feature props from the actual Quick Stop set!
Thurs. and Fri., July 18-19 (12:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) and Sat. and Sun., July 20-21 (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.), Stargate Command, Theatre Box
MGM’s Stargate Command will present a replica “Stargate” photo opportunity in the Theatre Box lobby for the whole weekend and will give attendees a chance to spin the prize wheel for unique “Stargate” prizes, including mini-posters, pins, buttons, original SuperFan creations and more! Talent will be dropping by for autographs as well! Look for more information about schedules, podcasts, and more fun all weekend! www.stargatecommand.co/articles/events
Thurs., July 18 – Sun., July 21 (12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) The Pop Insider’s Rooftop Pop-up Party! @ Theatre Box Rooftop Bar and Lounge
Join The Pop Insider as they “Fuel Your Fandom” with fan-focused events on the Theatre Box rooftop bar and lounge each day, including a cosplay dance party with DJ (12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.) and karaoke showdown (2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.). Stop by the Cosplayer Repair Station and Pro-Artist Makeup Station sponsored by Spirit Halloween any time!
Thurs., July 18 (2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.) “Legion M: Fans Unite to Take Over Hollywood” Panel, Room 7AB, San Diego Comic-Con
How can YOU become part of Hollywood, and get involved directly in films, TV shows and digital content? Legion M is the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company. Through equity crowdfunding, we’ve made it possible for anyone to become an entertainment investor and fan-owner. And it’s more than simply being a “shareholder,” members have access to special screenings, industry events, and exclusive Legion M meet-ups. Our panel of Legion M executives Paul Scanlan, Jeff Annison, Terri Lubaroff, David Baxter and special guests will reveal how Legion M is involved with films like “Bad Samaritan,” “Colossal,” “Mandy,” “Tolkien,” our latest films “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” directed by Kevin Smith (“Clerks” and “Dogma”), as well as “Memory: The Origins of Alien” directed by pop culture documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe (“The People vs. George Lucas”). Updates will also be provided on Legion M projects in development.
Thurs., July 18 (7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) “Madness in the Method” sneak preview, TCL Chinese Theatre at Theatre Box
“Madness in the Method” – Jason Mewes’ (“Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”) directorial debut is a hilariously insane crime comedy in which Mewes also stars, alongside Vinnie Jones, Gina Carano, Danny Trejo, and his View Askew costars Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, and Brian O’Halloran. Mewes will participate in a special Q&A after the debut screening. Ticket info coming soon!
Thurs., July 18 (7:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m.) “Fans Celebrating 40 Years of Alien” Panel, Room 6BCF, San Diego Comic-Con
A deep dive into the origins of “Alien” and its fandom with documentary director Alexandre O. Philippe (“The People vs. George Lucas,” “Doc of the Dead,” “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene”), Diane O’Bannon (Dan O’Bannon Estate), Will Linn (Joseph Campbell Foundation), David Baxter (Legion M) and special guests as they discuss Philippe’s upcoming feature documentary “Memory: The Origins of Alien” and the sustaining power of Ridley Scott’s horror/Sci-Fi masterpiece with fandom. Trailer debut from the “Memory: The Origins of Alien” documentary will be shown.
Fri., July 19 (10:00 p.m.- 12:00 a.m.) “Memory: The Origins of Alien” Fan Premiere and Q&A, Theater Box
Come see the critically-acclaimed documentary “Memory: The Origins of Alien” followed by a special Q&A with the film’s director Alexandre O. Philippe (“The People vs. George Lucas,” “Doc of the Dead”). The feature-length film, which premiered to rave reviews in the Midnight Section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, unearths the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece, and reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the archives of “Alien” creators Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger, including original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and O’Bannon’s original 29 page script from 1971, titled Memory. The documentary also takes fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of “Alien” and dedicates focus on the film’s iconic “Chestburster” scene. “Memory: The Origins of Alien” screening and Q&A hosted by Legion M and Screen Media is a must-see SDCC event for “Alien” fans celebrating the epic horror/Sci-Fi film’s 40th anniversary. Ticket info coming soon at www.legionm.com/sdcc2019!
Sat., July 20 (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) The Night Time Show, Legion M Fan Lounge @ Theatre Box
Hosted by Nickelodeon star Stephen Kramer Glickman, Mike Black, Matt Walker, and Emmy Nominated writer Mike Glazer, The Night Time Show is one of the top entertainment industry podcasts in America. They are teaming up with Legion M and ASIFA to record interviews with award winning actors, legendary directors and industry giants.
Sun, July 21 (3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) Potterhead Party, The Pop Insider’s Cosplay Dance Party on the Roof @ Theatre Box’s Rooftop Bar and Lounge, with Fantastic Beasts Dan Fogler podcast recording.
Join Legion M and The Pop Insider to close out SDCC with a Potter-themed event with giveaways, potion drinks, and a cosplay meetup, featuring star of Fantastic Beasts Dan Fogler! Then, join Dan as he records his popular podcast 4dXperience! from the roof at 5:30 p.m. Ticket information to follow on www.legionm.com/sdcc2019
For more information about Legion M and the Legion M Fan Lounge at San Diego Comic-Con, please visit www.legionm.com/sdcc2019. Be sure to follow Legion M on Instagram and Twitter at @LegionMOfficial for more SDCC announcements!
Midnight Mass: The Blood of Life
The isolated island community of Crockett receives a mysterious new head priest, full of secrets and a brand new testament under a very unusual Messenger of God.
Meet poor Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), freshly released from prison and wracked with guilt over what got him there, a stupid drinking accident that caused the death of his ex-girlfriend. The last thing he wants to do is go back to Crockett and the judgment of the mostly religious community there, his disappointed family, and the nightmares of his ex’s death that plague him. But where else would have him? Resignedly on the ferry, he goes.
Riley’s dad Ed (Henry Thomas) isn’t the kind of man who talks very much at all, much less about his feelings, or his very real disappointment in his elder son. Riley’s teen brother Warren (Igby Rigney) has no idea what to say to him either, and just generally keeps mum. Riley’s mom Annie (Kristin Lehman) is accepting and loving, hesitant in how to help her eldest son but never wavering in her faith in the help of our lord Jesus. Mom seems to think a good heaping dose of the Church would set Riley right but is surprised to learn that the old priest of the Parish, Pruitt, has taken an extended leave of absence from the island, and his newcomer replacement Father Paul (Hamish Linklater) is young, charismatic, and bursting at the seams to tell the whole island about the gifts he brought them, most especially what he claims as a new testament under a messenger of God.
We’ll get back to that whole ball of issues in a moment, the other interesting characters of Crockett Island. Bev Keane (Samantha Sloyan) is the nightmarish overly polite and gently, almost lovingly condescending neighbor Christian woman you’ve ever loathed, the kind of person who explains away every last thing her Church may do wrong or contradictory because, after all, God works in mysterious ways. Pfft. Of course, Bev immediately ingratiates herself as the second to the new Father Paul in their services and is the first to start covering up his transgressions as they become more rampant.
Newcomers to Crockett Sheriff Hassan (Rahul Kohli) and his son Ali (Rahul Abburi) present a burgeoning problem to the plans of Father Paul and his shadowy companion, for they are both practicing Muslims. The practical side of investigating these so-called ‘miracles’ and strange happenings falls on Hassan’s shoulders, as he already struggles with barely-concealed racism and suspicion from his fellow islanders, and of course his son is being wooed away from him by the promise of actual, tangible miracles, but from a different whole faith and God. Father Paul definitely does not practice a traditional Christian faith and relies far too much on making use of the eucharist, the ceremony of the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ turning into bread and wine and, well, consumed.
Wade (Michael Trucco) and his wife Dolly (Crystal Balint) are lifers of the island and both in general interested in one thing, the advancement of their own family, specifically their daughter Leeza (Annarah Cymone), who happens to be in a wheelchair. And that happens to be the canny Father Paul’s first real miracle-with-a-cost that he demonstrates to the astonishment of the parishioners, after a heartfelt and rousing sermon, Father Paul commands Leeza to rise, to stand, and to walk. And lo, she does. What parents wouldn’t wholly dedicate themselves to a cause after seeing this happen to their beloved precious daughter? The fringe benefits of healing, and power, the ones that come at a mighty, currently unnamed, cost, are simply a nice bonus.
Joe Collie (Robert Longstreet) is the town drunk, and while his reasons for drowning his sorrows in the sauce might be understandable, absolution wears a very different face when it comes from Father Paul. While Leeza might be willing to forgive Joe, and even as Joe begins attending the newly-formed Al-Anon meetings on the island of course hosted by Father Paul, redemption might’ve been better sought from medical professionals, and not this newfound method of religious worship.
Dr. Sarah Gunning (Annabeth Gish) is the islands’ kind of all-around medic, and this is how she and Riley’s old friend Erin (Kate Siegel), also newly returned to the island, a few months pregnant but traveling quietly alone, met when Erin comes to the Doc for obstetrics. Sarah’s older mother Mildred Gunning (Alexandra Essoe) has many medical and mental issues, and Sarah struggles in their shared home, to take care of her addled mom and balance her own life. Then Father Paul takes it upon himself to visit one of his oldest parishioners, bringing the sacred host and wine with him to give directly to Mildred, who starts looking and acting so much better under his loving care.
The show is very much a slow slow burn, with a lot of the actual action taking place in the last two episodes. Much of the beginning and middle episodes feature two people just sitting alone, having quiet and seriously in-depth conversations about heavy subjects – grief and repentance, what happens when we die, the disasters that come as a result of addictions, how our actions’ consequences reverberate to those we love around us, faith and the foibles of man, and of course, the giving of oneself over to a higher power, for strength, and guidance, and love.
Except, for the higher power that Father Paul brought back with him, to share with his beloved flock of Crockett Island, while it may be extremely powerful and full of what could be considered miraculous magic, everything comes at some kind of a cost. And when the Messenger of God is finally revealed to the shocked denizens of Crockett at Easter Mass, with Father Paul rapturing on about rebirth as the bloody massacre begins in earnest, it’s faith, not in any kind of God or religion, but faith in each other, that may save a few hardy souls.
Question the wisdom of your religious leaders along with the rest of us in a fine slow-burn addition to the Flanaverse, Midnight Mass is on Netflix now!
Saw X: It ain’t brain surgery!
Legendary executioner Jigsaw returns to exact revenge on a cadre of scam artists who promised him a bogus cure for his cancer!
First off, be aware, that this is what I call an interleaved sequel, a movie set between previous films in the franchise. In this case, Saw X occurs after the events of the very first Saw film, and before Saw II. Everybody got where we are? Good! Into the madness, we dive!
So, as we all know, John Kramer’s been diagnosed with cancer, very aggressive brain cancer, and likely doesn’t have much time left. And he’s tried everything under the sun, doing a ton of meticulous research, we’d expect nothing less from our master of the art of murder, and not one thing has worked. Yet one man from the support group for cancer sufferers, Henry (Michael Beach), offers an off-the-books supposed miracle cure, and John jumps at the chance.
Why does this nonsense always sound too good to be true? Because it is. Deleted scenes from the first Deadpool movie already told us why traveling to Mexico for any kind of medical cure is a sublimely stupid move, but Kramer is desperate. And while he might be sick and dying, John Kramer has never been what anyone could call stupid. So the villa out in the Mexican countryside, the affable cab driver Diego (Joshua Okamoto) professes surprise at Kramer being highjacked for his good, the nervous muttering from assistant Valentina (Paulette Hernandez), the side-eyeing from little housekeep Gabriela (Renata Vaca) and her tequila, and most especially the smooth and smarming reassurances of head “doctor” Cecilia Pederson (Synnove Macody Lund), all leave a kind of sour taste in John’s mouth.
The whole cluex4 scene is done in the style that the Saw films are known for, where we the audience are treated to cut-together explanatory scenes in a flip-flash fashion of usually about two minutes, for poor John when he realizes he’s been hoodwinked and just how badly, seems a little contrived. But then it’s entirely possible that we the audience truly expected our genius mastermind of the infamous Jigsaw murders to have realized what was happening sooner, and got enraged along with Kramer. And cheered as he prepared to take his bloody and ultra-violent revenge!
First up in our grand guignol of executions is the return of Jigsaw’s first protégé, Amanda (Shawnee Smith). And despite her avowed reverence for Jigsaw and his proven “therapy”, Amanda does waver a bit when the scammers are put through the paces of their specially-made Saw traps, and they shriek and blubber and bleed out. The appearance of the ringer of the bunch, Parker (Steven Brand), doesn’t even slow our beloved engineer of the damned down, because we knew Jigsaw would have his other apprentice waiting just off stage, the deliciously vicious Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). Even the monkeywrench of involving little-boy soccer fan Carlos (Jorge Briseno) in the traps, is just another cog in the machine that is the brilliantly plotting mind of John Kramer.
A fine addition to the Saw legends, showcasing a return to the beloved style and panache of the original Tobin Bell-starring Jigsaw films, Saw X is splashing gore and gallons of blood in theaters now!
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off,” Netflix’s latest series, is a rollicking journey through the world of video game culture, blending nostalgic references with a fresh narrative twist. Centered around Scott Pilgrim, portrayed with magnetic charisma by Michael Cera, the show skillfully integrates gaming elements into its storytelling, creating a delightful homage to the video game subculture.
The series cleverly employs pixelated graphics, power-up animations, and game-like sound effects to bring the virtual world to life. These visual cues, reminiscent of classic video games, enhance the storytelling and resonate with audiences familiar with the gaming landscape. The attention to detail in recreating iconic gaming moments is commendable, creating a visual and auditory treat for enthusiasts.
The exploration of video game culture goes beyond mere aesthetics; it becomes an integral part of the characters’ identities and interactions. The script intelligently weaves gaming terminology and tropes into the dialogue, effectively blending the real and virtual worlds. The series navigates the challenges and triumphs of the characters through the lens of gaming, making it a unique and engaging experience for both gamers and general audiences.
The ensemble cast, including standout performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, and Chris Evans embraces the gaming theme with infectious enthusiasm. The chemistry between the characters is palpable, adding emotional depth to the series.
“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” successfully taps into the zeitgeist of video game culture, offering a nostalgic yet contemporary take on the gaming phenomenon. It’s a must-watch for those who cherish the pixelated roots of the gaming world while providing an accessible and entertaining narrative for a broader audience. The series takes off not only in its title but also in its ability to soar within the ever-expanding realm of Netflix originals.