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What looks good this year? This past week I attended the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, an annual convention for movie theater owners + distributors. Every year Hollywood flies in actors and hosts elaborate presentations inside of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace to show off their movies over the next year. I've decided to recap all of the panels from all of the studios (Paramount, WB, Fox, Universal, Sony) and discuss some of the best footage we saw. They pack in so much into these presentations, and I'm glad we get a first look at some of the big projects they've been working on. A few reveals blew us away, while other footage made me less worried about movies we've already seen teases for. So without further ado, let's jump right in.
Lasers. They're the future of cinema, so you better get used to it. I've been attending CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest), the movie theater owners' convention, for the last 9 years and have seen many fantastic technical demos. One year James Cameron came and showed us his first look at High Frame Rates; one year Dolby introduced their (now everywhere) Atmos sound system with a custom install in a big auditorium where we get to see screenings. This year, Dolby held a demo of their latest offering - a system called Dolby Vision (we've written about it recently). It runs on two 4K laser projectors and they claimed that the contrast ratio they were getting up to is 1,000,000:1. Most cinemas today are barely 2,000:1. It was mesmerizing to see.
Can it be done? Can (and will) a movie studio successfully market a major movie without any trailers or clips or actual footage from the movie? (And I don't mean a tiny indie that becomes a big hit.) That's the question bouncing around my head this week, augmented by all the marketing madness occurring at the CinemaCon convention (where movie studios go all out showing movie theater owners their slate for the upcoming year). With the release of the latest Tomorrowland trailer this week, the discussion has restarted on Twitter about not watching any trailers at all any more, a growing movement among dedicated movie lovers. So, that makes me wonder: is marketing a movie successfully without spoiling any footage possible?
"If you succeed, you will be remembered as a hero." Yes. The moment I have been waiting for. While I've clearly admitted that Neill Blomkamp's Elysium is my #1 most anticipated summer movie, I think Ender's Game just took the crown for my most anticipated movie of 2013. Lionsgate, who now owns Summit, held the final studio presentation at CinemaCon 2013 bringing trailers and glimpses of all of their 2013 movies coming up. But the one that blew me away, the movie I can't stop raving about now that I've seen footage, is Ender's Game. We were the first audience in the world ever to see the trailer and holy shit does it look epic.
At CinemaCon last year, Fox teased 10 minutes of footage from Life of Pi, which we all flipped for (watch our video blog from last year). The buzz began then and we all know it went on to win a few Oscars. At their 2013 presentation, 20th Century Fox (not 21st!) decided to pull the same trick with the Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And it had the same effect - the Oscar buzz for this movie officially begins today, it has that potential. Beyond that, they showed us footage from quite a few of their upcoming live-action and animated films, including Blue Sky's Epic, DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2, Ridley Scott's The Counselor and James Mangold's The Wolverine, too. Video recap below.
Welcome to Monsters University! Disney held their big 2013 presentation at CinemaCon on Wednesday morning, kicking things off with an impressive glance at their upcoming slate (which includes all Marvel Studios, Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm movies coming up). But the biggest surprise of the day was a screening of Pixar's Monsters University in its entirety. It seemed mostly final (unlike when they screened a rough cut of Toy Story 3 here three years ago) and is an excellent follow-up that made me quite emotional by the end. We also got to watch almost 20 minutes of footage from Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, which I was actually entertained by (it is another Jerry Bruckheimer movie) although it was overshadowed by MU.
In the immortal words of Neo: whoa. Warner Bros hosted "The Big Picture 2013" preview presentation at CinemaCon tonight in Las Vegas, unveiling the brand new Man of Steel trailer as well as some amazing Pacific Rim footage and fantastic glimpses at a few of their other 2013 movies. One that I've been waiting to see footage from for years is Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, his next feature following Children of Men. In the middle of their preview, they snuck in a quick 60 second teaser that was breathtaking and stunning to see, though I'm not sure when it will ever end up online. That said, this is still one of my most anticipated sci-fis.
Can Universal convert me into a fan of their summer blockbusters this year? At the industry convention CinemaCon this year, Universal Pictures brought five of their summer movies (eschewing mention of some of their later titles like 47 Ronin, which they showed us footage for last year) to preview. The studio teased roughly 10 minutes of their movies R.I.P.D. with Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges, Despicable Me 2 from Illumination, and a 15 minute action sequence (the one with the tank seen above) from Fast & Furious 6, which kicked some serious ass. After five sequels, they may finally be turning me into a Fast & Furious fan.
"You can't just kidnap a guy and take his things! That is so illegal!" To kick off the first day of CinemaCon 2013, the movie industry convention held in Las Vegas every year, Paramount Pictures held the first panel previewing their upcoming 2013 movies. Not only did we see about 18 minutes of footage from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness (I just want to see the full movie already!!) and 10 minutes from Marc Forster's World War Z, but they screened all of Michael Bay's new low(er) profile movie Pain & Gain. And it was dark, hilarious, outrageous stranger-than-fiction glossy Bay fun. Full video blog with Peter Sciretta below.
Wrapping up our coverage of CinemaCon, and putting one hell of a cap on the convention in Las Vegas, was Universal's big presentation Thursday evening. The studio brought any and everyone, including stars from most of their big summer movies, like Kristen Stewart from Snow White and the Huntsman, and Jeremy Renner of The Bourne Legacy. Not only did we get to see brand new footage from both of those movies, Universal unveiled a lot, and showed a lot, including completely raw scenes compiled from only a few weeks of shooting on Joe Kosinski's Oblivion and Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin, as well as other surprises.
Yet another studio presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, this time hosted by 20th Century Fox looking at their upcoming slate of movies in 2012. Their panel was a unique presentation focusing on the content, and it delivered. The most impressive footage we were treated to was an early look at Ang Lee's adaptation of Life of Pi, the unfilmable novel that looks like it may be a very strong Oscar contender. Fox also showed new footage from Ridley Scott's Prometheus, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Akiva Schaffer's comedy Neighborhood Watch and Olivier Megaton's sequel Taken 2, which looks badass. Fire up the latest vlog!
Bond. James Bond. He's back. Yesterday at industry convention CinemaCon in Las Vegas, I attended the presentation hosted by Sony Pictures, the same as Columbia Pictures. They've got a very exciting slate of movies this year, but four of them in particularly really impressed us and we recorded our thoughts after. Not only where we shown the world premiere of the teaser trailer for Sam Mendes' Skyfall, which looked outstanding, but new extended footage in 3D from Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man, plus another glimpse of Rian Johnson's Looper, and finally an extended look at Len Wiseman's Total Recall. Dive in!