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Bears

"Bears" could have used a lot more science; more substantive information in the place of wacky one-liners. Still, the images trump everything.

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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Joss Whedon at Comic-Con 2013

Yesterday, I learned why Joss Whedon inspires such a following. At a Ballroom 20 fan meeting, Whedon was his own panel and came off like everyone's best friend or the wittiest friend of your dreams. One fan called him the "God of Comic-Con."

Does such adulation go to his head? Whedon gracefully accepts such compliments, saying "I like where that sentence went."

For one hour Whedon answered questions from his fans about almost anything. When greeted with "Hello, my hero," Whedon quickly replied, "Hello, my villain." The questions ranged from what-ifs about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or its spin-off "Angel," to more practical concerns about the delayed Dr. Horrible or future Shakespeare adaptations.

For those of you who don't know, just because a TV program is canceled doesn't mean it actually dies and we're not just talking about fan fantasies tapped out and dispersed on the Internet. Dark Horse continued Buffy as a comic book series meaning that instead of going from comic book to movie like Spider-man, Superman or Batman, Buffy went from a 1992 movie to a 1997-2003 TV series and then to comic book form. The same thing happened with the spin-off TV series "Angel" (1999-2004) and both comic book series are overseen by the shows' creator, Joss Whedon for the publication company, Dark Horse. While Buffy had seven seasons on TV, the comic books have carried on to season 9 and "Angel" has continued adventures in comic book form via "Angel: After the Fall" and "Angel and Faith" (the latter being on-going).

Whedon admitted that his favorite death scene was from "Angel" in the 15th episode of season 5, "A Hole in the World." It was his favorite to write and his favorite to shoot.

When asked if, having conquered TV and movies, he'd like to take on Broadway, Whedon joked, not to forget that he had also conquered Poland. "People leave that out all the time and it wasn't easy." While he won't take on Broadway any time soon ("I'm booked for many, many years," he confessed), he'd like to give it a try.

One of those things he has in the works is a new TV series. Whedon won't reveal the secret behind Agent Phillip Coulson's resurrection. You'll have to watch the new ABC TV program "Agents of SHIELD" starring Clark Gregg to learn more about that. He did say he wouldn't kill anybody from the pilot. SHIELD (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division).is based on a Marvel Comic organization created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

If Whedon had the chance to do another Shakespeare adaptation, he'd choose "Hamlet." But really, don't many of his fans wish he'd get the next Dr. Horrible done?

Whedon did have some criticism of recent films, particularly CGI animated films which he said were basically the same film over and over again. Whedon is a fan of Ghibli animated features and noted that Japanese animation acknowledges that adults want to see animated films.

Overall, Whedon stated, "Pop culture is in desperate need of new ideas." Whedon was charming; he was whimsical and witty. The Whedon only panel was for his fans and Whedon gave the fans what they wanted. The love flowed both ways and this is what Comic-Con is really about.

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