The Cult of Kitsch: Cherry 2000 (1988)

The one-sheet promo art for "Cherry 2000"

The one-sheet promo art for “Cherry 2000”

By Wes Smith

Though many viewers consider the heyday of kitsch films to be the 60’s and 70’s, other generations have had no lack of their own number of cult films, as showcased by 1988’s Cherry 2000.

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The Cult of Kitsch: Heavy Metal (1981)

The iconic poster and magazine cover for 1981’s “Heavy Metal” film.

By Wes Smith

In anticipation for Gamescom and the slew of announcements likely to come in the next week or so, we’re taking a short break from the news at Acta Dinerda to bring you a series of reviews and lookbacks at iconic, influential, or just plain fun classic cult films from the realm of sci-fi and fantasy. We’re calling it the Cult of Kitsch, and each day this week we’ll bring you a short write-up of one of our favorites!

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UPDATED: SDCC Open Registration Guide

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Update 2/21: SDCC is SOLD OUT after roughly 59 minutes.

Tomorrow marks one of the two largest dates for attendees to San Diego Comic Con (the other coming on March 24th with hotel registration). To kick off convention season, here’s a quick guide on how to handle the SDCC ticketing process, whether you are a first-timer or a veteran navigating through changes in the system.

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SDCC Saturday Recap

A portion of the exhibit hall floor during Saturday's Comic Con in San Diego.

A portion of the exhibit hall floor during Saturday’s Comic Con in San Diego.

By Wes Smith

San Diego Comic Con’s most popular day brought stars and announcements from the largest entertainment companies in the world.

Movie and television panels from Marvel and Warner Bros. highlighted the packed event that swarmed into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for the weekend. Crowds began lining up for Hall H panels as early as 2 p.m. Friday in order to catch glimpses of upcoming films and television shows.

Kicking off the day’s programming was Warner Bros. Studios, which released the first footage of the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to the massive Hall H. The footage also released the first images of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume, with co-stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and director Zack Snyder joining her on stage.

DC Comics also held panels for their other upcoming pilots, as well as a Constantine fan meet-up at the NBC off-site location with cast members joining in. An evening panel for Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine made the largest-ever panel to hold the stage in Hall H.

Fans camp out overnight along the San Diego harbor for a chance to enter Saturday's panels.

Fans camp out overnight along the San Diego harbor for a chance to enter Saturday’s panels.

Marvel’s panel featured expansions of their cinematic universe, including release dates for upcoming projects. With the cast of The Avengers in attendance for the panel, Marvel officially set a release date of 2017 for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 a week ahead of the original film’s release.

Their panel also featured first-time appearances for Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas for Ant-Man. The film will release in 2015, the same year as Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A cosplayer strikes a pose as Vanellope from Disney's 'Wreck-It Ralph.'

A cosplayer strikes a pose as Vanellope from Disney’s ‘Wreck-It Ralph.’

Throughout the Gaslamp Quarter, business held events, some with celebrity guests. The Hard Rock Cafe hosted interviews on a balcony facing the convention. Into the evening, parties, like the annual Entertainment Weekly event, closed access to several clubs.

With the convention reaching its peak, several portions of the exhibit hall and surrounding areas were blocked throughout the day, emphasizing concerns about the growing popularity of the convention.

In one incident Saturday afternoon, a woman was struck by a vehicle as a deaf family tried to drive through the annual Zombie Walk event. The woman suffered a serious but non-life-threatening arm injury from the accident. Police are currently investigating the situation.

A 'Legend of Korra' cosplayer strikes a pose outside the convention center.

A ‘Legend of Korra’ cosplayer strikes a pose outside the convention center.

The convention will wrap up Sunday with panels for Supernatural and Sons of Anarchy.

SDCC Day Two Recap

Russel from 'Up' awaits a crossing guard's signal at San Diego Comic Con.

Russel from ‘Up’ awaits a crossing guard’s signal at San Diego Comic Con.

By Wes Smith

Day Two of San Diego Comic Con brought massive crowds and A-List celebrities to the downtown convention center.

As one of the largest days of convention programming in the United States, the day focused on several large television productions. Hall H flooded as attendees hoped to glimpse The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones announcements in the morning. Shortly after, Daniel Radcliff made his way to the stage for his first-ever SDCC convention.

In Ballroom 20, fans of popular culture screened a new episode of The Legend of Korra in the morning. During its panel, the producers discussed the Nickelodeon show’s move away from the cable channel into a digital-only format.

In the afternoon, Marvel announced several new characters to their Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series. Producers and stars of CW’s Arrow teased an episode title ‘Oracle’ for character Felcity Smoak.

An 'Iron Man' cosplayer makes his way through the audience near the DC Comics booth.

An ‘Iron Man’ cosplayer makes his way through the audience near the DC Comics booth.

The exhibit hall floor gained momentum along as crowds entered for the weekend festivities. Several booths featured signings, giveaways, and more. The Walking Dead signing blocked nearby intersections of the floor for several minutes as fans reached for photo ops.

As the crowd begins to grow, concerns over crowding and SDCC policies have made their way into an increasingly connected social media atmosphere.

Fans hoping to camp for Hall H panels for Saturday started lining up as early as 2 p.m. Friday. Due to the new wristband policy from Comic Con International for Hall H’s first panels each day, confusion sparked frustration over linecutters, unclear policy guidelines, and official line markers.

When CCI staffers started handing out wristbands at 8 p.m. Friday, the line stretched into the Embarcadero area behind the convention center.

A cosplayer strikes a pose as Elsa from Disney's 'Frozen.'

A cosplayer strikes a pose as Elsa from Disney’s ‘Frozen.’

With such long lines, Saturday’s convention is expected to be the busiest of the event, with Warner Bros. and Marvel taking over Hall H for highly-anticipated panels.

SDCC Opening Day Recap

The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is transformed for the annual Comic Con convention.

The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is transformed for the annual Comic Con convention.

By Wes Smith

San Diego Comic Con kicked off its first official opening day with celebrities, concerts, packed exhibit booths, and a transformed Gaslamp District.

The convention, which pulls over 130,000 convention attendees and countless others looking for off-site events, is the largest fan gathering in the United States. This year’s opening slate continued the trend of big announcements reserved for the largest crowds.

While Preview Night is open to many attendees who purchase tickets, Thursday is the first official day of the convention and when most of the panels begin in earnest. The upper floors of the convention center and ballrooms of local hotels maintained a constant stream of programming throughout the day.

Perhaps the largest panel of the day came from Hall H, the largest ballroom of the convention, where Paramount Pictures brought out Christopher Nolan to speak about his next film, Interstellar. Nolan, notoriously protective of his properties, has famously avoided the convention in the past during his production of the Batman franchise.

Director Christopher Nolan speaks to Hall H during the Paramount Pictures panel. (Abrah Shapiro/Acta Dinerda)

Director Christopher Nolan speaks to Hall H during the Paramount Pictures panel. (Abrah Shapiro/Acta Dinerda)

The Hall H panels also featured a panel on the upcoming film The Giver, which featured Jeff Bridges and author Lois Lowry. Fans seemed eager to have questions answer about the adaptation of the popular book among Millenials.

“I told them we have to keep the kids 12,” said Jeff Bridges about aspects of the book he fought to keep in the film. His insistence on true-to-book ages was a highlight.

Other special guests attend panels included the cast of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Benedict Cumberbatch for Penguins of Madagascar, and TV Land stars Betty White and William Shatner.

Inside the exhibit floor and outside the convention center, companies sold or gave away exclusive items, a tradition at SDCC. Fans followed vehicles from Universal’s upcoming Jurassic World for an exclusive print, while Hasbro sold a full Transformer’s set inside the main hall.

'American Ninja Warrior' star Kacy Catanzaro runs through the 'Assassin's Creed' parkour course in record time.

‘American Ninja Warrior’ star Kacy Catanzaro runs through the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ parkour course in record time.

Cosplayers zip through Gotham City in Fox's 'Gotham' zip line outside of the convention center.

Cosplayers zip through Gotham City in Fox’s ‘Gotham’ zip line outside of the convention center.

As the convention grows, so do the activities outside the convention. This year included a Gotham City zipline, Assassin’s Creed obstacle course, and a 40 ft. Godzilla sculpture.

The evening concluded with a dance party at Nerd HQ in Petco Park and the MTV Fandom Awards outside the baseball stadium. The awards show drew thousands of spectators after MTV announced a headline show from Linkin Park.

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Linkin Park performs for SDCC attendees at the MTV Fandom Awards.

More cosplayers, panels, and events are expected as Friday and Saturday approach. The economic impact is estimated to be over $175 million, according to Mayor Faulconer.