ENJOY THE MOVIES
Yesterday at the ShoWest industry convention, Warner Brothers put on quite the show with their annual presentation looking at their line-up for this year. We got to see some Clash of the Titans 3D footage (which looked pretty bad because it was converted in post) and new footage from Chris Nolan's Inception and the final two Harry Potter movies. The presentation was moderated by Warner Bros President Alan Horn, one of my favorite execs, who revealed that all of their upcoming tentpole movies would be in 3D. This isn't that surprising considering we recently learned that five of their big upcoming movies would be presented in 3D.
Believe it or not, I loved it. Yep, Sony decided to show their upcoming remake of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan to the exhibitor crowd at ShoWest in Las Vegas yesterday. And damnit, I loved it, even though it is a remake of one of everyone's favorites. Before I go any further, yes I've seen the original Karate Kid, and I love the original, but it's a campy 80's classic. This isn't a review since the version we saw was an early cut with a temp score, but this new Karate Kid is a wonderful contemporary homage to the original. It's an entertaining modern version of the same story, but set in an entirely different country.
Early today in Las Vegas at the ShoWest convention, Disney showed the entirety of Pixar's Toy Story 3 to an audience of theater owners as a preview of their summer line-up (Prince of Persia screens on Thursday). I was lucky enough to attend and catch this very first showing of the movie and, as expected, it was another wonderful Pixar film. This is not a review, since the version we saw wasn't 100% finished, but I wanted to at least write up my initial reaction to the sequel to compliment other reaction write-ups on SlashFilm, Latino Review, and Cinema Blend. In brief, it's everything I was expecting, but not too much more beyond that.
This week I'm in Las Vegas attending the ShoWest convention for theater owners and exhibitors. The show has a focus on all things movie theaters and is occasionally a launching ground for cool new concepts related to moviegoing. Fandango have just launched a new style of online movie ticketing that uses barcodes and digital tickets on your mobile device. Remember when "print at home" tickets were a big innovation? This is the next step, allowing moviegoers to simply buy tickets and show a barcode at theaters to get in, instead of printing anything. Sounds like a cool idea and I'd love to see this at all of my local theaters, too. Read on!
While Woody Allen's latest film, Whatever Works, isn't due out in theaters until June 19th, I'm anxious to put up my reaction, because I thoroughly enjoyed it and have a lot to say. Sony Pictures Classics showed Whatever Works at ShoWest in Las Vegas today, and while I can't write a full review yet, I can tell you about it. If you haven't already heard, the film stars Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood, and is about an odd relationship the two build after a chance meeting. It's Allen's 42nd film and not exactly a big departure from his past work. It is his standard New York talky, but actually one of his best films in recent years.
Over the last year or so, we've heard rumblings on numerous exciting projects in works within Sony. Back in September we reported that another Men in Black was in development, although it was too early on for any details, and it wasn't official. Additionally, we've written countless times about the Ghostbusters reboot that is already in the works, with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky writing. During Sony's presentation today at ShoWest, Sony president of worldwide distribution, Rory Bruer, mentioned that not only is Spider-Man 4 in the works for 2011, but so are a new Men in Black and a new Ghostbusters.
I just left Sony's big presentation at ShoWest in Las Vegas and in addition to a few teasers of their summer line-up, they debuted the first ever footage from Peter Jackson's big summer action movie District 9. You've probably never heard of this movie, right? We wrote a big article about it way back in July last year, after a big viral hit the halls of Comic-Con (see above). But no one knows anything about it, most people haven't heard of it, and it's a very small production with a small cast. In fact, no one even knows when its been shooting! But this footage was great, and this is one you should definitely keep your eye on!
Before I head off to play some poker in Vegas, I've got to write up my reaction to the five minutes (or so) of new G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra footage that Paramount showed before a screening of The Soloist. I've got to admit, Paramount has had a bad track record with this footage. Every year they screen one of their movies at ShoWest, and every year they show some preview footage before it. The first year I went it was Transformers, and I didn't like what I saw (at the time), last year it was The Love Guru, I don't think I need to say more. This year it was G.I. Joe, and it was also pretty bad, but maybe I'm jumping the gun?
Earlier today at ShoWest in Las Vegas, Warner Brothers president Alan Horn lead a "State of the Industry" presentation, and debuted the first trailer for Sherlock Holmes. The first thing you need to know is that this isn't the Sherlock Holmes you know… It a funky way, it's kind of like if Snatch were about a British detective from the 1800s, which is exactly what it is, thanks to Guy Ritchie writing and directing. The reaction didn't seem to be overly positive, at least coming from a few other writers that I know. It is a bit of a shock at first, because it's such a big departure from expectations, and I hope most people still like it.
This final piece from ShoWest last week covers the few films I screened and wanted to mention. Primarily I want to focus on Disturbia, which I enjoyed quite a damn bit. I also saw El Cantante, a biopic about salsa music and its frontrunner Hector Lavoe starring Jennifer Lopez, and Hot Fuzz for a second time, where I was joined by Ain't It Cool News' Quint, ComingSoon's Ed Douglas, and IESB's Robert Sanchez, who were all seeing it for a second time, too.
I'm not giving full reviews of each, as I'm not yet allowed, but I wanted to voice my opinion on Disturbia, and just how great it was, so much so that you should definitely see it opening day.
At ShoWest yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the big "gala" event of the entire show for New Line's upcoming summer film Hairspray, adapted from the musical (and original John Waters film). The full on extravaganza featured about 20 minutes of footage that would end up in a live performance on the stage from the respective singer in the movie. In addition to plenty of good free food, almost the entire cast was present: John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden, Elijah Kelley, Zac Efron, and newcomer Nicole Blonsky as the lead. And honestly, I was impressed at the footage I saw, and have a feeling this might be a big summer hit!
The Transformer named Blackout in the movie.
At ShoWest here in Vegas I just returned from a screening of Disturbia (a great movie on its own that I'll talk about later). Before the screening began, the one and only Mr. Michael Bay took the stage to introduce and present roughly 15-20 minutes of clips (3 different scenes in total) from Transformers. The scenes have already been show at various places, including Toy Fair in February and via Ain't It Cool News - check either of those for the complete description, however my response is onwards.