CinemaCon Days 1&2 Recap
As if that wasn’t enough for one day, the evening brought Warner Bros’s chance to showcase their 2013 lineup, which looks to be extensive. Many films were mentioned, but there were several highlights for me. I’ve been going back and forth on The Great Gatsby, but they showed a good chunk of footage that was vibrant and beautiful, the 3D was excellent, and the tone seems to be spot-on. I’m very excited for the final product now.
It’s impossible not to mention The Hangover 3, being that the convention is in Las Vegas, and so Todd Philips came out to introduce some new footage. The plot of the film was laid out more clearly (and I’m not going to blow it, but I’m sure it will come out soon enough), and it feels very much in the same vein as the prior two films. Perhaps not a near shot-for-shot remake like part two, but some beats do feel pretty similar. Looks funny still, great team chemistry as always, but it is probably good to wrap things up.
The presentation I was most excited to see was for Man of Steel. They had Zack Snyder introduce the new trailer that is coming out with Oblivion (and is already online). It clears up a lot of the plot and continues to reinforce my excitement. Zack Snyder’s beautiful visuals paired with a story from the mind of Christopher Nolan seems like a great combo. I wanted to see a conflicted Superman, and that is exactly what we get, as he is in hiding from the world while following his nature to help. Zod’s arrival in pursuit of him brings this to an end in what looks to be epic fashion…this is potentially the biggest film of the summer. I really like the idea of capturing the “myth” of Superman, and the inner battle of wanting to do good alongside the fear of being discovered.
Another hotly anticipated property, Pacific Rim, was introduced by Guillermo del Toro. The newest footage finally addressed the mental bridge with the robots and showed a smidge of Charlie Day and Ron Pearlman. As del Toro touched upon in his intro, it looks incredibly fun and really highlights the notion of movie magic—reigniting our imaginations and childlike wonder.
Beyond that, they sped through a series of clips, including The Conjuring (looks very creepy, no surprise, as it’s from the makers of Insidious), 300: Rise of an Empire, which looks to be very much like its predecessor, We’re The Millers, which looks a bit crazy but still pretty funny (Jason Sudekis continues to bloom into a full-blown superstar), and the triumphant return of Alfonso Cuaron with Gravity—and while it was only a short clip, the film looks both beautiful and intense. The use of 3D in the clip looked good, and all the buzz coming out of the convention indicates that the film is expected to be a strong awards contender. No surprise that Cuaron nails sci-fi; after all, his last film, Children of Men, was one of the best sci-fi movies in the last few decades.
Additionally, Warner Bros touched upon a few other films but didn’t show much of them: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug—not much footage, but finally did get to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug (two major villains in one year—wow), Getaway, an action thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez (not sure how to feel about that), and The Seventh Son, which also looks sort of like Men in Black, but with monsters instead of aliens and set in a fantasy world (and, amusingly, also stars Jeff Bridges—and is perhaps in the same vein as RIPD, but more serious and more fantasy-like).
The night closed out with an advanced screening of 20th Century Fox’s The Heat. Despite the trailers feeling a bit too like Miss Congeniality 2, I had been very excited to see Paul Feig’s follow-up to Bridesmaids. Additionally, I’m a big fan of both Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and they made a great comedy duo. I wouldn’t say the laughs are quite as big as in Bridesmaids, but the softer moments might be sweeter. Paul Feig continues to do a wonderful job of crafting films around excellent female leads. A fun action comedy.
That is pretty much it for the first few days, but lots of big studio presentations are yet to come (Disney, Sony, Fox, and Lionsgate). It has been a blast so far, and I can’t wait to see what else is coming.